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.
The Salafi da'wa is a methodology, but it is not a madh'hab in fiqh (jurisprudence) as is commonly misunderstood.
Salafis may be influenced by the Maliki, Shafi'i, Hanbali or the Hanafi schools of Sunni fiqh.
Salafis place great emphasis on practicing actions in accordance with the known sunnah, not only in prayer but in every activity in daily life.
They believe that to engage in rational disputation (kalam), even if one arrives at the truth, is absolutely forbidden.
Hafez, is an "extreme form of Sunni Islamism that rejects democracy and Shia rule." Hafez distinguished them from apolitical and conservative Salafi scholars (such as Muhammad Nasiruddin al-Albani, Muhammad ibn al Uthaymeen, Abd al-Aziz ibn Abd Allah ibn Baaz and Abdul-Azeez ibn Abdullaah Aal ash-Shaikh), but also from the sahwa movement associated with Salman al-Ouda or Safar Al-Hawali.
Since the fifth Muslim generation or earlier, Sunni theologians have used the examples of the Salaf to understand the texts and tenets of Islam.
At times they have referred to the hadith to differentiate the creed (Aqidah) of the first Muslims from subsequent variations in creed and methodology (see Madhab), to oppose religious innovation (bid‘ah) and, conversely, to defend particular views and practices.
It advocated a return to the traditions of the salaf, who are the first three generations of scholars after the Prophet Muhammad.
The Salafist doctrine is centered around the concept of looking back to a prior historical period in an effort to understand how the contemporary world should be ordered.
Because of being active on social media, they have earned some support among more educated youth.