It is reported that Muḥammad b. Sīrīn said, “They used to consider themselves on the [right] path as long as they followed al-athar (guidance of the Sunnah and Salaf as passed down in the narrations).”
Al-Lālakā`ī, Sharḥ Usūl I’tiqād Ahl Al-Sunnah wa Al-Jamā’ah Vol.1 p120.
It is reported that ‘Uthmān b. Ḥāḍir said, “I said to Ibn ‘Abbās: ‘advise me.’ He replied, ‘It is upon you to be upright, follow al-athar, and beware of innovating [in religion].’”
Ibn Battah, Al-Ibānah Al-Kubrā Vol. 1 p214.
It is reported that ʿAbdullāh b. Al-Mubārak said, “Let it only be the narrations (al-athar) that you rely upon, and take from reasoning and opinion that amount that will help you to understand and explain ḥadīth.”
Ibn ʿAbd Al-Barr, Jāmi’ Bayān Al-‘Ilm wa Faḍlihi Vol. 3 p329.
It is reported that Sufyān Al-Thawrī said, “The narrations (al-āthār) are the religion.”
And it is reported that he also said, “A man should not even scratch his head except based on a narration.”
Al-Harawī, Dhamm Al-Kalām wa Ahlihī Vol. 2 p264.
It is reported that Al-Musayyib b. Rāfi’ Al-Asadī said, “We only follow, we do not innovate; we follow behind and do not start anything [in the religion], and we will never stray as long as we adhere to the narrations.”
Al-Harawī, Dhamm Al-Kalām wa Ahlihī Vol. 2 p265.