It is reported from Al-Hasan Al-Basrî that he said, “If a man from amongst the Salaf were to be sent forth today, he would not recognize anything from Islam.” He put his hand on his cheek and added, “Except this prayer (salâh).” Then he said, “But by Allâh, this does not apply to the person who lives in this unfamiliar time, never having seen the Righteous Predecessors, but who sees [instead] the innovator calling to his bid’ah, and the follower of worldly wealth calling to his materialism, but Allâh protects him from all this and makes his heart love and aspire to those Righteous Predecessors, asking about their way, searching and trying to follow in their footsteps, and adhering to their path. Such is a person who will be recompensed with an immense and great reward. So be you all like this, by Allâh’s permission”.
Ibn Waddâh, Al-Bida’ Vol. 1 p190.