The speech of the Salaf must be understood by the Scholars of the Sunnah | Shaykh Sulaymān Ar-Ruhaylī
Translation: Masjid Tawheed wa Sunnah – http://mtws.posthaven.com/
Question: What is your opinion of the one who says, “We should concern ourselves with explaining and teaching the books of the Salaf and leave off the books of the later ones, because the books of the past are the foundation?”
Answer: The point is not about the books. The point is not about which came first and which came last. The point is about what is inside these books from good. So if we find a book from the books of the later ones – I say, even if we find a book from the books of the contemporary ones – that has something useful or something clearly good, then there is no restriction on us reading it, teaching it, and explaining it. The point is that we be from those who learn the good and from those who teach the good.
And I say: I do not know why we are trying to make a contradiction between the books of the people of good. We say: stay away from bid’ah and its people. And stay away from books which aren’t based on the Book and the Sunnah. And read the books of the Sunnah and the good, and of those who are known to be from the people of the Sunnah and the good, both those who came first and those who came later.
There is no doubt that the books of the Salaf have abundant knowledge in them and abundant good, however this doesn’t mean that the books of the people of the Sunnah who came later are to be forgotten and not concerned with. Instead, I say that some of the people of the Sunnah have reported the speech of the Salaf with the most excellent and beneficial interpretations.
And I have always said: if we say that the Book and the Sunnah must be understood by the understanding of the Salaf, then I say: then the speech of the Salaf must be understood by the speech of the people of knowledge – those who are concerned with transmitting the speech of the Salaf. We must not sever the chain of light that is between us and the righteous Salaf, may Allah be pleased with them
The speech of the Salaf has been transmitted to us by extraordinary scholars in a chain of light, and they have explained it and clarified it. So if we want to understand the speech of the Salaf, then let’s understand it with the speech of the scholars who have related it and transmitted it, like:
– Shaykh al-Islām ibn Taymiyyah
– Shaykh al-Islām ibn Qayyim
– Shaykh al-Islām Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahāb
– Imam ibn Bāz
– Imam ibn Uthaymeen
– Imam al-Albaanee
…may Allah have mercy on all of them. Likewise, with the scholars of the Sunnah who are still alive, like:
– Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan
– Shaykh Abdullah al-Ghudayaan
– Shaykh Saalih al-Luhaydaan
– Shaykh Saalih Aal-ush-Shaykh
…and other than them from the scholars of the Sunnah who are well-known. Let’s be eager to understand the speech of the Salaf with the speech of the scholars who have related the speech of the Salaf, concerned themselves with it, and transmitted it to us.
And there’s no doubt that what the brother is saying to us is important. It’s very important that we know how to seek knowledge. And how to progress through the levels of the seeker of knowledge. And I hope Allāh makes it easy for us to have a class about that. Na’am.
Translated by Abdullah Boyd
 Translator’s note: Shaykh Ghudayaan has passed away since the time of this recording, may Allah have mercy on him.