The manhaj (methodology) of the Salaf is to adhere to the Qur'aan and the authentic Sunnah as understood by the Salaf as-Saalih.
The word Salaf is a shortened version of the word 'Salaf as-Saalih', which means the 'Righteous Predecessors'.
It refers specifically to the first three generations of Islaam in which the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) described as being the best generations of Muslims. The first, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and his Sahaabah (companions). The second, the Taabi'een (the followers of the companions). The third, the Tabaa'at-Taabi'een (the followers of the followers of the companions).
Generally, this term refers to all those pious predecessors who followed the way of the Salaf and who have preceded us in time. This is the true manhaj of Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jamaa'ah.