Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan was asked:
Is Salafiyyah a hizb (party) from amongst the parties. And is ascribing to them (i.e. the Salafis) a blameworthy thing?
To which he replied:
As-Salafiyyah (those clinging to the way of the Salaf) is the Saved Sect, and they are Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa?ah. It is not a hizb (party) from amongst the various parties, those which are called “parties” today. Rather they are the Jamaa’ah, the Jamaa’ah upon the Sunnah and upon the Deen (religion). They are Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah. The Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said, “There will not cease to be a group from my Ummah manifest and upon the truth not being harmed by those who forsake them neither by those who oppose them” and he (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) also said, “And this Ummah will split into seventy-three sects, all of them in the Hellfire but one.” They said, which one is this O Messenger of Allaah? He replied, “They are those who are upon what I and my companions are upon today”. Hence Salafiyyah is a group of people (i.e. the Salafis) upon the madhhab of the Salaf, upon what the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) and his companions were upon and it is not a hizb from amongst the contemporary groups present today. Rather it is the very old Jamaa’ah, from the time of the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) which inherits (this way) and continues, and which never ceases to be upon the manifest truth until the establishment of the Hour, as he (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) has informed (us).
Source: Cassette: “at-Tahdheer min al-Bid?ah” second cassette, delivered as a lecture in Hawtah Sadeer, 1416H.