As-Salafiyyah in the Arabic Language Means: Ascription to he who has preceded; meaning passed by.
In its legislative usage, it is: All those who have passed after the Prophet Peace be upon him (following) his tracks; from the companions, the Imaams amongst the Taabi’oon (successors of the companions), and those after them.
Know, may Allaah bless you, that no one from the human beings in any time or place founded Salafiyyah. So Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhaab along with his brother Imaam Muhammad ibn Sa’ood were not the founders of Salafiyyah.
Nor was anyone before them from the people of knowledge and the Imaams of the religion and the true callers to this monotheistic religion its founder; such as Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyah and his students, and those who were before him; such as the four Imaams and those who we have named from the Imaams; nor from the Taabi’oon, nor from the companions of Muhammad nor was Muhammad. Nor was it anyone who came before him from the Prophets and Messengers, upon all of them be prayers and peace. Rather, it is from Allaah. The Prophets and Messengers brought it. They conveyed that which He wished from the worship legislatively; as did those who came after them from their companions and followers. So whoever came after them were callers to Allaah in conformity with this Salafiyyah.