Dawat-us-Salafiyyah(Call of those who preceded us)
As-Salaf as-Saalih - The people of the past, namely the first three generations of pious muslims during and after the revelation of the Qur'an, i.e.the Sahabah (companions) of the Prophet, saaws , the Taabi'een (followers) and the Taabi Taabi'een (followers of the followers)
Salafi - means "of the salaf". The "i" (sounds like "ee") on the end of the word means "of the", "of" and/or "are". Using correct arabic grammar, the word "salafi" can only be used in association with words that are of that which is truly from the far past. In order to be a salaf, you had to exist generations prior to the current one. Referring to oneself as a salafi* is permissible in Islam so long as the intention is for identification with the salafi minhaj and this identification does not replace your identification as being MUSLIM, as this is what Allah swt has commanded us in The Qur'an to call ourselves. While it is important, as many scholars have said, to distinguish ourselves from the innovators, we first do this in our actions (i.e. do not sit with the people of innovation, engage the sunnah in our daily lives, etc.), and to do so in speech, we can best do so by clearly stating that we are followers of the pious predecessors ("Ana a-taaba as-salaf as-saalih").
Those Muslims whose intentions are to follow the Qur'an and Sunnah of the Prophet saaws and the salaf, know better than to divide themselves into a sect (a dissenting or schismatic religious body; especially one regarded as extreme or heretical) that parts from following clear proof in Quran and Sunnah.
"And this Ummah will divide into seventy-three sects all of which except one will go to Hell and they (i.e. the Saved Sect) are those who are upon what I and My Companions are upon (i.e. those who follow My Way and the Way of my Companions.)" [Reported by at-Tirmidhee - Hasan]
"Verily those before you from among the People of the Book split into seventy-two sects and verily this religion . . . ", and in another narration, this Ummah will split into seventy-three sects: seventy-two will be in the Fire and one in Paradise and that is the Jamaa'ah." [Reported by Abu Daawood - Sahih]
When questioned by his Companions about those who will be saved from the Fire, the Messenger (sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam) replied: "They are those who are upon what I and my companions are upon." [Reported by at-Tirmidhee from Amr ibn al-Aas - classified as Hasan.]