[Q]: Noble Shaykh, is it sufficient for the one who follows the Sunnah to just call his self a Muslim or must he add to that another name, meaning Salafee?
[A]: Why are not the likes of these questions asked all the time regarding being Ash’aree for example or Maatureedee or Teejaanee or Marghanee or Naqshabandee or Sahrawardee; you find hundreds of paths (of deviation and misguidance) and there is never a problem with that. The reason is, it is as if these are correct with these people and there is no objection to them. The apparent from the one on all these misguided paths is that he is a Muslim (as well) and there is never an objection (to these names). It is as if they see it to be correct and there is never any objection, except with the word: Ahlul-Hadeeth, except with Salafiyyeen.
Ok, what do the words Teejaanee, Naqshabandee or Sahrawardee entail? They entail Hulool and Wahdatul-Wujood (belief that Allaah enters His creation and that Allah becomes one with His creation) and they entail Shirk, kufr (disbelief) and various types of misguidance. As for the word Salafee, what does it entail?
Put the words to the side (for a minute), what is important now is the meanings. What does the word Salafiyyah and Ahlul-Hadeeth entail; do they carry and falsehood?
I ask you all now and you are in front of me, the People of Hadeeth, do you find that they carry any falsehood or call to falsehood? So long as this reality is correct (i.e. that Salafiyyah and Ahlul-Hadeeth do not entail falsehood) then the word is correct and there is no disputing in regards to the words.
However, these (who dispute that) are the people of fitnah (trial, tribulation) and the people who stir up trouble and they only seek to cause trouble upon the truth that this word carries. So know the plots and attacks of the people of fitnah and innovation and continue upon using the word Ahlul-Hadeeth and Salafiyyeen because they are the truth.
Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) said that it is incumbent to affiliate with Salafiyyah. If you affiliate with Salafiyyah you do not affiliate with a specific person or the methodology of a specific person and you are not affiliating with innovations, rather (by this) you only affiliate with the Companions and the virtuous generations who were upon guidance by the testimony of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam),
“The best of the people is my generation then those who follow them and then those who follow them. Then there will come after them a people who will give testimony when not asked to do so, and they will vow but not fulfill it and obesity will become abundant in them.” 
So therefore you affiliate with these generations in which the Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) testified to their goodness. Rather, Allaah testified to their goodness,
“You are the best nation to be raised up from Mankind, you command the good and forbid the evil.” [Soorah Aali-’Imraan 3:110] 
: Saheeh: Related by Aboo Daawood (no. 4657), at-Tirmidhee (no. 2222) and Ahmad in al-Musnad (no. 19405). It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in Silsilatus-Saheehah (no. 1845).
: Refer to al-Lubaab (p. 102-103) of Rabee’ al-Madkhalee.
Translation by Abu Suhayl Anwar Wright