Shaykh Uthaymeen said, “…The Salaf are Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jamaah (1), and this description cannot be true for anyone else other than them.
So how can those who oppose the Sunnah be called Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jamaah this is not possible…
Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jamaah are those who hold on to what the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) and his Companions were upon, and to the aqeedah of the Salaf – until the Day of Judgement – and they are the SALAFIS.” Ref: Sharh ul-Aqeedat ul-Waasitiyyah via Spubs.com
1. The Permanent Committee For Scholarly Research And Fatwas said, “…Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jamaah (in the past) were those who held firmly to the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in their creeds and all principles of religion (i.e. their manhaj ). They did not violate any of these principles under the pretext that they do not agree with their minds and desires. They held firmly to the example of the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) with regard to the pillars of faith and Islam.
Therefore, they became Imams of guidance, landmarks of truth and callers to goodness and prosperity, such as, Al-Hasan Al-Basry, Sa’id Ibn Al-Musayib, Mujahid, Abu Hanifah, Malik, Al-Shafi’y, Al-Awza’iy, Ahmad, Ishaq, Al-Bukhari and those who followed their example in creed and in citing evidence.
As for those who contradicted them (from ahlu bidah) in matters of the principles of religion, they retain the Sunnah that is equal to that in which they have followed the example of the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) and the Imams of guidance. They also retain bidah (innovation) and mistakes equal to that wherein they contradicted them whether little or much…” Ref: Alifta.org via Salafitalk.com