Shaykh Al-Albaanee said, “However, there are some who claim knowledge who deny this ascription, claiming that it has no foundation, saying: “It is not permissible for a Muslim to say: I am Salafi.”
Thetefore it is as if he is saying: “It is not permissible for me to say: l am following the Salafus-Saalih (righteous predecessors) in what they were upon in ‘aqeedah, worship and manners!”
Plus there is no doubt that the likes of this denial – if that is what is meant – implies that he is disassociating himself from the correct Islaam that the Salafus-Saalih were upon…
Thus it is not permissible for a Muslim to disassociates himself from being ascribed to the Salafus-Saalih. If, however, he freed himself from any other nisbah ( ascription ), then none of the people of knowledge could accuse him of disbelief or sinfulness.
However, the one who refuses calling himself with this name Salafi, then it should be seen, does he attribute himself to a particular madhhab – whether in matters of ‘aqeedah or fiqh”
So perhaps he will call himself an Ash’aree or a Maatareedee, or he may be from Ahlul-Hadeeth, or a Hanafee, Maalikee, Shaafi’ee or Hanbalee – from those matters which enter into the term Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah. Despite that fact that the one who ascribes himself to the Ash’aree madhhab, or the four well-known madhhabs, then he has ascribed himself to those who are not protected from making mistakes as individuals – even though there are from them Scholars that attain what is correct.
So why O why do they not reject the likes of these ascriptions to individuals who are not protected from mistakes?
However, as for the one who ascribes himself to the Salafus-Saalih collectively – then he ascribes himself to that which is protected from mistakes.”
Ref: Al-Asaalah Magazine 9/87
Posted by Abdul Kareem Ibn Ozzie