[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.
Recently, Shaykh Muhammad Baazmool gave a lecture via tele-link to the Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah Institute in Benghazi, Libya after the Maghrib Prayer on the 4th of Sha’baan, 1434H, entitled: Juhoodus-Salaf fee Siyaanatis-Sunnah wat-Tahdheer minal-Bida’ wa Ahlihi (Exertion of the Salaf in Safeguarding the Sunnah and Warning against Innovation and its People). In this lecture, he addressed the following doubts concerning al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel:
The science of al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel was confined to the time of the hadeeth narrators and does not exist in our times.
The science of al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel is confined to criticism of hadeeth narrators and criticizing the people of innovation is not included within it.
Shaykh Muhammad Ibn ’Umar Baazmool – hafidhahullaah – said,
“And the speech concerning al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel is not limited to the narrators of hadeeth. Rather, Ahlus-Sunnah speak in terms of jarh (criticism) and ta’deel (praise) with regards to everyone who embarks upon conveying knowledge and Religion. Due to that, Ibn Seereen (d.110H) and other than him from amongst the Salaf mentioned, “Indeed, this knowledge is Religion. So look to whom you take your Religion.”
And there occurs that some of the Salaf said, “When they wanted to take the hadeeth from an individual, they would ask about him so much so that the people would think they wanted to marry that individual off.”
And this should clarify to you that the door of al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel is open up until the Hour, or up until knowledge has ended, because the topic knowledge is necessarily in need of confirmation (tathabbut). Confirmation (at-tathabbut) is inescapable. So the one who is unknown, or majhoolul-’adaalah (i.e. his integrity is unknown), then his hadeeth is not accepted, as is proven by the understanding of the statement of Allaah the Glorified and Exalted. So the benefit learned from this aayah is that the news conveyed by the faasiq (disobedient sinner) is not accepted. And the understanding of this aayah is that news conveyed by the one whose integrity is unknown is also not accepted, because this aayah means that we are obligated by justice to accept news from the one who is upright and whose integrity is known. And as for the one whose integrity is not known, then his news is not accepted. Due to that, it is inevitable that we must not accept news, except from one is known for integrity (’adaalah) and the Scholars have testified that for him.
And news (khabr) here refers to information unrestrictedly, regardless of whether it is concerning the narrators of hadeeth, or if it is information about issues of knowledge and Religion, or any type of general information. So we do not accept news, except from an upright person whose integrity is well known. And upon this foundation, the science of al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel is not confined to the topic hadeeth narrators. Rather, it is in every topic of information.
And I intend by the topic of narrators: the topic of hadeeth and the narrators of hadeeth and those who document the hadeeth.
Therefore, we have speech concerning the narrators in terms of jarh and ta’deel and speech about all those who embark upon conveying knowledge, up until their integrity is known so their news is accepted, or their integrity is unknown, so one refrains and does not accept their news.”
Shaykh Muhammad has an article clarifying the same issues, therein he says,
“So the science of al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel and the speech concerning it is not closed up until the Hour is established, as long as there is Islaam. Why?! I say: The affair of testimonies in court and feuds and disputes are established upon the foundation of al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel. So as long as mankind exists, then there will be disagreement there will be feuding and dispute. And as long as there is a dispute, then there will be courts and judges. And as long as there are judges, then it is inevitable that there will be judges. And it is inevitable that there will be those who will vouch for them. So due to this, al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel cannot be confined to a time, nor a place. We only say that as long as Islaam exists, then al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel will exist. And the least significant of topics that I am mentioning to you is the topic of testimonies, it is well known from the topics of fiqh (jurisprudence) and whatever results from that such as the topics of judgement, the courts and the disputes. There is also whatever is connected to the application of Allaah’s judgements, for example: killing the game in the state of ihraam. Two trustworthy witnesses from amongst you must testify to this. It means that al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel is inescapable, in order to distinguish the one who possesses integrity from the others. So if they are disparaged (jarh), then their speech is not accepted. And such is the case with the other topics in the Sharee’ah which necessitate al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel. Based upon this, we say: speaking about the men in terms of jarh (criticism) and ta’deel (praise) is from the sciences connected to al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel.
Take for example the topic of seeking knowledge and the etiquette of seeking knowledge. As long as Islaam exists and Islaamic knowledge is sought, then al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel will exist. One of the Salaf said, “When they wanted to take the hadeeth from an individual, they would ask about him so much so that the people would think they wanted to marry that individual off.” And another said, “Indeed, this knowledge is Religion. So look to whom you take your Religion.” What is the meaning of this speech? The meaning of this speech is that you will be in need of al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel as long as you are in search of Islaamic knowledge.  So who says that al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel is specific only to the chain of narrators in the asaaneed, meaning the biographical books about the narrators only, who says this?! Islaam’s adaptation varies with regards to this. You are in need of knowing al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel in very many affairs from the issues that have been mentioned by the Scholars in the topic of the Prayer and the issue of praying behind a proponent of innovation. Speaking out against the person of innovation is al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel. Speaking about the conditions of the people with regards to innovation and the Sunnah is speech about al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel. In the topic of medicine and medical treatment, the Scholars have stipulated that the speech of a trustworthy Muslim physician is accepted. This means, that there could be a Muslim physician who is not trustworthy. And to say that he is not trustworthy is al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel. And when we arrive at the affairs of da’wah, a caller comes and says that he is a caller to Islaam and he wants to invite us, for example. This is an affair of seeking knowledge and we must know that this caller has been praised by the people of knowledge, or he has not been praised by the people of knowledge! Therefore, it cannot be said, “O my brother, al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel has ended and its time has passed and it is connected to the narrators and there is not jarh or ta’deel amongst us now.”
Shaykh al-Albaanee (d.1420H) is a sign from amongst the signs in this age in hadeeth. He described Shaykh Rabee’ as the flag bearer of al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel in these times!! So if this description was inapplicable, then the first of the people to reject it and not use it in reference to a man living in these times would have been Shaykh al-Albaanee, because he was from the people who specialized in it. And Allaah knows best.” 
: BENEFIT: The understanding described by Shaykh Muhammad Baazmool for al-Jarh wat-Ta’deel existed well before the fourteenth century, much to the dismay of its deniers today. One such example is Imaam Muhammad Ibn Ismaa’eel as-San’aanee (d.1189H). In his commentary on Bulooghul-Maraam, entitled Subulus-Salaam, in the 4th volume of the Maktabatul-Ma’aarif print, with the comments of al-Albaanee (d.1420H), as-San’aanee says on (p. 554) whilst speaking about the exceptions to gheebah (backbiting),
“Fourthly: Warning the Muslims against deception, such as jarh (criticism) of the narrator and the witnesses and whosoever puts himself forward to teach and to issue religious verdicts without being qualified. And the proof is the statement of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), “What an evil brother he is to his family.” [Related by al-Bukhaaree (no. 6032).] And the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “As for Mu’aawiyah, then he is very poor.” And that occurred when Faatimah Bint Qays came to the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) seeking his permission and his consultation and she mentioned that both Mu’aawiyah Ibn Abee Sufyaan and Aboo Jahm had proposed to her. So he (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) replied, “As for Mu’aawiyah, then he is very poor and has no wealth and as for Aboo Jahm, then his staff does not leave his shoulder.” Then he said, “Marry Usaamah.” [Related by Muslim (no. 1480)] To the end of the hadeeth.”