The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ, his Companions and those who follow them in truth are the Salaf of this Ummah. Everyone who proclaims the same message as the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ and his Companions and those who followed them in truth is following the path of the Salaf.
Time is not a factor in this definition, rather what matters is being in accordance with the Qur’ān and Sunnah in beliefs, rulings and following the interpretation of the Salaf. Everyone who acts in accordance with the Qur’ān and Sunnah is a follower of the Salaf, even if he is far away from them in time and place. Whoever differs from them is not one of them, even if he lived among them.
Taken from the book: A Brief Introduction to the ‘Aqeedah of Ahl Assunnah wal-Jama’ah