Salafis place great emphasis on following acts in accordance with the known sunnah, not only in prayer but in every activity in daily life.

In legal matters, Salafis are divided between those who, in the name of independent legal judgement (ijtihad), reject strict adherence (taqlid) to the four Sunni schools of law (madhahib) and others who remain faithful to these.

A hadith that quotes Muhammad saying "The people of my own generation are the best, then those who come after them, and then those of the next generation," is seen as a call to Muslims to follow the example of those first three generations, known collectively as the salaf These have been revered in Islamic orthodoxy and by Sunni theologians since the fifth Muslim generation or earlier used their example to understand the texts and tenets of Islam, sometimes to differentiate the creed (Aqidah) of the first Muslims from subsequent variations in creed and methodology (see Madhab), Salafis view the Salaf as an eternal model for all succeeding Muslim generations in their beliefs, exegesis, method of worship, mannerisms, morality, piety and conduct: the Islam they practiced is seen as pure, unadulterated and, therefore, the ultimate authority for the interpretation of the Sunnah.

Salafis believe that the Qur'an, the Hadith and the consensus (ijma) of approved scholarship (ulama) along with the understanding of the Salaf us-salih as being sufficient guidance for the Muslim.

As the Salafi da'wa is a methodology and not a madh'hab in fiqh (jurisprudence) as commonly misunderstood, Salafis can come from the Maliki, Shafi'i, Hanbali or the Hanafi schools of Sunni fiqh.

zahir, apparent, exoteric or literal) meaning of the Qur'an, and especially the prophetic traditions, has sole authority in matters of belief, and to engage in rational disputation (kalam), even if one arrives at the truth, is absolutely forbidden.

Atharis engage in an amodal reading of the Qur'an, as opposed to one engaged in Ta'wil (metaphorical interpretation).

They do not attempt to conceptualize the meanings of the Qur'an rationally, and believe that the "real" modality should be consigned to God alone (tafwid).

movement within Sunni Islam that emerged in the second half of the 19th-century and advocated a return to the traditions of the "devout ancestors" (the salaf).

The doctrine can be summed up as taking "a fundamentalist approach to Islam, emulating the Prophet Muhammad and his earliest followers—al-salaf al-salih, the 'pious forefathers'...