Salaf (Arabic: سلف, "ancestors" or "predecessors"), also often referred to with the honorific expression of "al-salaf al-ṣāliḥ" (السلف الصالح, "the pious predecessors") are often taken to be the first three generations of Muslims.[1] This comprises companions of the prophet Muhammad (the Sahabah), their followers (the Tabi'un), and the followers of the followers (the Taba al-Tabi'in).[2] Their religious significance lay in the statement attributed to The prophet Muhammad ﷺ: "The best of my community are my generation, the ones who follow them and the ones who follow them",[3] a period believed to exemplify the pure form of Islam.

Second generationEdit

The Tabi‘un, the successors of Sahabah.

Third generationEdit

The Tabi‘ al-Tabi‘in, the successors of the Tabi‘un.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Lacey, Robert (2009). Inside the Kingdom, Kings, Clerics, Modernists, Terrorists, and the Struggle for Saudi Arabia. New York: Viking. p. 9.
  2. ^ "The Meaning of the Word "Salaf" – Abu 'Abdis-Salaam Hasan bin Qaasim ar-Raymee". 2014-09-29. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
  3. ^ Wood, Graeme (20 December 2016). The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State. Penguin Books Limited. ISBN 9780241240120.
  4. ^ Al bidaya wan Nahaya, Ibn Kathir