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Islam portalvte Sunni Islam
Islam
(/ˈsuːni, ˈsʊni/) is the largest denomination of Islam, followed by 87–90% of the world's Muslims.[1] Its name comes from the word sunnah, referring to the behaviour of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.[2] The differences between Sunni and Shia
Shia
Muslims
Muslims
arose from a disagreement over the succession to Muhammad and subsequently acquired broader political significance, as well as theological and juridical dimensions.[3] According to Sunni traditions, Muhammad
Muhammad
did not clearly designate a successor and the Muslim
Muslim
community acted according to his sunnah in electing his father-in-law Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
as the first caliph.[3] This contrasts with the Shia
Shia
view, which holds that Muhammad
Muhammad
announced his son-in-law and cousin Ali
Ali
ibn Abi Talib as his successor, most notably at Ghadir Khumm.[4][5][6][7][8] Political tensions between Sunnis and Shias continued with varying intensity throughout Islamic history and have been exacerbated in recent times by ethnic conflicts and the rise of Wahhabism.[3] The adherents of Sunni Islam
Islam
are referred to in Arabic as ahl as-sunnah wa l-jamāʻah ("the people of the sunnah and the community") or ahl as-sunnah for short.[9][10] In English, its doctrines and practices are sometimes called Sunnism,[11] while adherents are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis, Sunnites and Ahlus Sunnah. Sunni Islam
Islam
is sometimes referred to as "orthodox Islam",[12][13][14] though some scholars view this translation as inappropriate.[15] The Quran, together with hadith (especially those collected in Kutub al-Sittah) and binding juristic consensus, form the basis of all traditional jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. Sharia
Sharia
rulings are derived from these basic sources, in conjunction with analogical reasoning, consideration of public welfare and juristic discretion, using the principles of jurisprudence developed by the traditional legal schools. In matters of creed, the Sunni tradition upholds the six pillars of iman (faith) and comprises the Ash'ari
Ash'ari
and Maturidi schools of rationalistic theology as well as the textualist school known as traditionalist theology. Sunni Islam
Islam
is not a coherent line of tradition, but a consolidation of doctrines and positions worked out over time in discussions and writings.[16]

Contents

1 Terminology 2 History

2.1 Transition of caliphate into dynastic monarchy of Banu Umayya 2.2 Caliphate
Caliphate
and the dynastic monarchy of Banu Abbas 2.3 Sunni Islam
Islam
in the contemporary era

3 Adherents 4 Jurisprudence

4.1 Schools of law 4.2 Differences in the schools

5 Pillars of iman 6 Theological traditions

6.1 Ash'ari 6.2 Maturidi 6.3 Traditionalist

7 Sunni mysticism 8 Sunni view of hadith

8.1 Kutub al-Sittah

9 See also 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External links

Terminology[edit] Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Mosque
Mosque
in Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia Sunnī (Classical Arabic: سُنِّي /ˈsunniː/), also commonly referred to as Sunnīism, is a term derived from the word sunnah (سُنَّة /ˈsunna/, plural سُنَن sunan /ˈsunan/), meaning "habit", "usual practice",[17] "custom", "tradition". In Arabic, the word is an adjective literally meaning "pertaining to the Sunnah". The Muslim
Muslim
use of this term refers to the sayings and living habits of the prophet Muhammad. In Arabic, this branch of Islam
Islam
is referred to as ahl as-sunnah wa l-jamāʻah (Arabic: أهل السنة والجماعة‎), "the people of the sunnah and the community", which is commonly shortened to ahl as-sunnah (Arabic أهل السنة).[9][10]

History[edit] One common mistake is to assume that Sunni Islam
Islam
represents a normative Islam
Islam
that emerged during the period after Muhammad's death, and that Sufism
Sufism
and Shi'ism
Shi'ism
developed out of Sunni Islam.[18] This perception is partly due to the reliance on highly ideological sources that have been accepted as reliable historical works, and also because the vast majority of the population is Sunni. Both Sunnism and Shiaism are the end products of several centuries of competition between ideologies. Both sects used each other to further cement their own identities and doctrines.[19] The first four caliphs are known among Sunnis as the Rashidun
Rashidun
or "Rightly-Guided Ones". Sunni recognition includes the aforementioned Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
as the first, Umar
Umar
as the second, Uthman
Uthman
as the third, and Ali
Ali
as the fourth.[20] Sunnis recognised different rulers as the caliph, though they did not include anyone in the list of the rightly guided ones or Rashidun
Rashidun
after the murder of Ali, until the caliphate was constitutionally abolished in Turkey
Turkey
on 3 March 1924.

Transition of caliphate into dynastic monarchy of Banu Umayya[edit] The seeds of metamorphosis of caliphate into kingship were sown, as the second caliph Umar
Umar
had feared, as early as the regime of the third caliph Uthman, who appointed many of his kinsmen from his clan Banu Umayya, including Marwan and Walid bin Uqba on important government positions, becoming the main cause of turmoil resulting in his murder and the ensuing infighting during Ali's time and rebellion by Muawiya, another of Uthman's kinsman. This ultimately resulted in the establishment of firm dynastic rule of Banu Umayya after Husain, the younger son of Ali
Ali
from Fatima, was killed at the Battle of Karbala. The rise to power of Banu Umayya, the Meccan tribe of elites who had vehemently opposed Muhammad
Muhammad
under the leadership of Abu Sufyan, Muawiya's father, right up to the conquest of Mecca
Mecca
by Muhammad, as his successors with the accession of Uthman
Uthman
to caliphate, replaced the egalitarian society formed as a result of Muhammad's revolution to a society stratified between haves and have-nots as a result of nepotism, and in the words of El-Hibri through "the use of religious charity revenues (zakat) to subsidise family interests, which Uthman justified as "al-sila" (pious filial support)."[21][22][23] Ali, during his rather brief regime after Uthman
Uthman
maintained austere life style and tried hard to bring back the egalitarian system and supremacy of law over the ruler idealised in Muhammad's message, but faced continued opposition, and wars one after another by Aisha-Talhah-Zubair, by Muawiya and finally by the Kharjites. After he was murdered his followers immediately elected Hasan ibn Ali
Ali
his elder son from Fatima to succeed him. Hasan, however, shortly afterwards signed a treaty with Muawiaya relinquishing power in favour of the latter, with a condition inter alia, that one of the two who will outlive the other will be the caliph, and that this caliph will not appoint a successor but will leave the matter of selection of the caliph to the public. Subsequently, Hasan was poisoned to death and Muawiya enjoyed unchallenged power. Not honouring his treaty with Hasan he however nominated his son Yazid to succeed him. Upon Muawiya's death, Yazid asked Husain the younger brother of Hasan, Ali's son and Muhammad's grandson, to give his allegiance to Yazid, which he plainly refused. His caravan was cordoned by Yazid's army at Karbala and he was killed with all his male companions – total 72 people, in a day long battle after which Yazid established himself as a sovereign, though strong public uprising erupted after his death against his dynasty to avenge the massacre of Karbala, but Banu Umayya were able to quickly suppress them all and ruled the Muslim
Muslim
world, till they were finally overthrown by Banu Abbas.[24][25][26][27]

Caliphate
Caliphate
and the dynastic monarchy of Banu Abbas[edit] The rule of and "caliphate" of Banu Umayya came to an end at the hands of Banu Abbas
Banu Abbas
a branch of Banu Hashim, the tribe of Muhammad, only to usher another dynastic monarchy styled as caliphate from 750 CE. This period is seen formative in Sunni Islam
Islam
as the founders of the four schools viz, Abu Hanifa, Malik bin Anas, Shafi'i
Shafi'i
and Ahmad bin Hambal all practised during this time, so also did Jafar al Sadiq
Jafar al Sadiq
who elaborated the doctrine of imamate, the basis for the Shi'a religious thought. There was no clearly accepted formula for determining succession in the Abbasid caliphate. Two or three sons or other relatives of the dying caliph emerged as candidates to the throne, each supported by his own party of supporters. A trial of strength ensued and the most powerful party won and expected favours of the caliph they supported once he ascended the throne. The caliphate of this dynasty ended with the death of the Caliph
Caliph
al-Ma'mun in 833 CE, when the period of Turkish domination began.[28]

Sunni Islam
Islam
in the contemporary era[edit] The fall, at the end of World War I
World War I
of the Ottoman Empire, the biggest Sunni empire for six centuries, brought the caliphate to an end. This resulted in Sunni protests in far off places including the Khilafat Movement in India, which was later on upon gaining independence from Britain divided into Sunni dominated Pakistan
Pakistan
and secular India. Pakistan, the most populous Sunni state at its birth, however later got partitioned into Pakistan
Pakistan
and Bangladesh. The demise of Ottoman caliphate also resulted in the emergence of Saudi Arabia, a dynastic absolute monarchy with the support of the British and Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the founder of Wahhabism.[29][30][31][32] This was followed by a considerable rise in Wahhabism, Salafism
Salafism
and Jihadism under the influence of the preaching of Ibn Taymiyyah
Ibn Taymiyyah
an advocate of the traditions of Ahmad bin Hanbal. The expediencies of cold war resulted in encouragement of Afghan refugees in Pakistan
Pakistan
to be radicalised, trained and armed to fight the communist regime backed by USSR
USSR
forces in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
giving birth to Taliban. The Taliban wrestled power from the communists in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and formed a government under the leadership of Mohammed Omar, who was addressed as the Emir
Emir
of the faithful, an honorific way of addressing the caliph. The Taliban
Taliban
regime was recognised by Pakistan
Pakistan
and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
till after 9/11
9/11
perpetrated by Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
a Saudi national by birth harboured by the Taliban
Taliban
took place, resulting in a war on terror launched against the Taliban.[33][34][35] The sequence of events of the 20th century has led to resentment in some quarters of the Sunni community due to the loss of pre-eminence in several previously Sunni-dominated regions such as the Levant, Mesopotamia, the Balkans, the North Caucasus
North Caucasus
and the Indian sub continent.[36] The latest attempt by a section of Salafis
Salafis
to re-establish a Sunni caliphate was seen in the emergence of the militant group ISIL, whose leader Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
al-Baghdadi is known among his followers as caliph and Amir-al-maumineen, "The Commander of the Faithful".[37] Jihadism
Jihadism
is however being opposed from within the Muslim
Muslim
community (known as the Ummah in Arabic) in all quarters of the world as evidenced by turnout of almost 2% of the Muslim population in London protesting against ISIL.[38][39] Following the puritan approach of Ibn Kathir, Muhammad
Muhammad
Abduh and Muhammad
Muhammad
Rashid Rida, many contemporary tafsir (exegetic treatises) downplay the earlier significance of Biblical material (Isra'iliyyat). Half of the Arab commentaries reject Isra'iliyyat
Isra'iliyyat
in general, while Turkish tafsir usually partly allow referring to Biblical material. Nevertheless, most non-Arabic commentators regard them as useless or not applicable.[40] A direct reference to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict
Israeli–Palestinian conflict
could not be found. It remains unclear whether the refusal of Isra'iliyyat
Isra'iliyyat
is motivated by political discourse or by traditionalist thought alone.[40] The usage of tafsir'ilmi is another notable characteristic of modern Sunni tafsir. Tafsir'ilmi stands for alleged scientific miracles found in the Qur'an. In short, the idea is that the Qur'an contains knowledge about subjects an author of the 7th century could not possibly have. Such interpretations are popular among many commentators. However, some scholars, such as the Commentators of Al-Azhar University, reject this approach, arguing the Qur'an is a text for religious guidance, not for science and scientific theories that may be disproved later; thus tafsir'ilmi might lead to interpreting Qur'anic passages as falsehoods.[41] Modern trends of Islamic interpretation are usually seen as adjusting to a modern audience and purifying Islam from alleged alterings, some of which are believed to be intentional corruptions brought into Islam
Islam
to undermine and corrupt its message.[40]

Adherents[edit] Countries with more than 95% Muslim
Muslim
population.[42]   Sunni   Shias   Ibadi Sunnis believe the companions of Prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
to be reliable transmitters of Islam, since God
God
and Muhammad
Muhammad
accepted their integrity. Medieval sources even prohibit cursing or vilifying them.[43] This belief is based upon prophetic traditions such as one narrated by Abdullah, son of Masud, in which Muhammad
Muhammad
said: "The best of the people are my generation, then those who come after them, then those who come after them." Support for this view is also found in the Quran, according to Sunnis.[44] Therefore, narratives of companions are also reliably taken into account for knowledge of the Islamic faith. Sunnis also believe that the companions were true believers since it was the companions who were given the task of compiling the Quran. Sunni Islam
Islam
does not have a formal hierarchy. Leaders are informal, and gain influence through study to become a scholar of Islamic law (sharia) or Islamic theology
Islamic theology
(Kalam). Both religious and political leadership are in principle open to all Muslims.[45] According to the Islamic Center of Columbia, South Carolina, anyone with the intelligence and the will can become an Islamic scholar. During Midday Mosque
Mosque
services on Fridays, the congregation will choose a well-educated person to lead the service, known as a Khateeb (one who speaks).[46] A study conducted by the Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center
in 2010 and released January 2011[47] found that there are 1.62 billion Muslims around the world, and it is estimated over 85–90% are Sunni.[48]

Jurisprudence[edit] Schools of law[edit] There are many intellectual traditions within the field of Islamic law, often referred to as legal schools. These varied traditions reflect differing viewpoints on some laws and obligations within Islamic law. While one school may see a certain act as a religious obligation, another may see the same act as optional. These schools aren't regarded as sects; rather, they represent differing viewpoints on issues that are not considered the core of Islamic belief. Historians have differed regarding the exact delineation of the schools based on the underlying principles they follow. Many traditional scholars saw Sunni Islam
Islam
in two groups: Ahl al-Ra'i, or "people of reason," due to their emphasis on scholarly judgment and discourse; and Ahl al-Hadith, or "people of traditions," due to their emphasis on restricting juristic thought to only what is found in scripture.[49] Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldun
defined the Sunni schools as three: the Hanafi
Hanafi
school representing reason, the Ẓāhirīte school representing tradition, and a broader, middle school encompassing the Shafi'ite, Malikite and Hanbalite
Hanbalite
schools.[50][51] During the Middle Ages, the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt delineated the acceptable Sunni schools as only Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i
Shafi'i
and Hanbali, excluding the Ẓāhirī
Ẓāhirī
school.[52] The Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
later reaffirmed the official status of four schools as a reaction to the Shiite character of their ideological and political archrival, the Persian Safavids,[53] though former Prime Minister of Sudan Al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, as well as the Amman Message
Amman Message
issued by King Abdullah II of Jordan, recognize the Ẓāhirī
Ẓāhirī
and keep the number of Sunni schools at five.[54][55]

Differences in the schools[edit] The Great Mosque of Kairouan
Great Mosque of Kairouan
(also known as the Mosque
Mosque
of Uqba) was, in particular during the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries, an important center of Islamic learning with an emphasis on the Maliki Madh'hab.[56] It is located in the city of Kairouan
Kairouan
in Tunisia Interpreting Islamic law by deriving specific rulings – such as how to pray – is commonly known as Islamic jurisprudence. The schools of law all have their own particular tradition of interpreting this jurisprudence. As these schools represent clearly spelled out methodologies for interpreting Islamic law, there has been little change in the methodology with regard to each school. While conflict between the schools was often violent in the past,[53] the four Sunni schools recognize each other's validity and they have interacted in legal debate over the centuries.[57][58]

Pillars of iman[edit] This section possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. (May 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Main articles: Iman (concept)
Iman (concept)
and Islamic theology All the branches of Sunni Islam
Islam
testify to six principal articles of faith known as the six pillars of iman (Arabic for "faith"),[59] which are believed to be essential. These are [60]

Belief in the Oneness of God Belief in the Angels of God Belief in the Divine Revelations (Books) Belief in the Prophets of God Belief in Resurrection after Death and the Day of Judgment and Belief in Preordainment (Qadar) These six articles are common that present-day Sunnis agree on, from those who adhere to traditional Sunnism to those who adhere to latter-day movements. Additionally, classical Sunni Islam
Islam
also outlined numerous other cardinal doctrines from the eighth-century onwards, such as the Creed of Tahawi. However, none of these creeds gained the importance attributed to the Nicene Creed
Nicene Creed
in Christianity. But while most of the tenets outlined in the classical creeds are accepted by all Sunnis, some of these doctrines have been rejected by the aforementioned movements as lacking strictly scriptural precedent. Traditionally, these other important Sunni articles of faith have included the following (those that are controversial today because of their rejection by such groups shall be denoted by an asterisk):[citation needed]

Belief in the six principal articles of faith being essential for salvation for Muslims[61] Belief in God
God
having created creation with His wisdom[62] Belief in Muhammad
Muhammad
having been the Seal of the Prophets
Seal of the Prophets
or the last prophet sent to mankind[63] Belief in the Quran
Quran
being the eternal, uncreated Word of God[64] Belief in the beatific vision being a reality in the afterlife, even if it will not be all-encompassing and the "manner" of it remains unknown[65] Belief in the Night Journey of Muhammad
Muhammad
having happened in a bodily form, while he was "awake"[66] Belief in the intercession of Muhammad
Muhammad
being a reality on the Last Day[67] Belief in God's covenant with Adam
Adam
and his offspring having been "true"[68] Belief in Abraham
Abraham
having been God's "intimate friend"[69] Belief in Moses
Moses
having conversed directly with God
God
without a mediator[69] Belief in the idea that wrong works in themselves does not make a Muslim
Muslim
an "unbeliever" and that it is forbidden to declare takfir on those who know that what they are doing is wrong[70] Belief in it being wrong to "make a distinction" between the various prophets of God[71] Belief in believing in that which "all the prophets" brought from God[71] Belief in avoiding "deviations, divisions, and differences" in the fold of Islam[72] Belief in venerating all the Companions of Muhammad[73] Belief in the existence of saints, and in venerating them and accepting the traditional narratives of their lives and miracles[74] (*) Belief that saints, while exalted in their own right, occupy an infinitely lesser rank than the prophets and that "one of the prophets is greater than all the saints put together"[74] (*) Belief in the Signs of the Apocalypse[75] Belief that Jesus
Jesus
is the Promised Messiah
Messiah
of God
God
and that all Muslims await his Second Coming[75] Theological traditions[edit] Part of a series on IslamAqidah Five Pillars of Islam Shahada Salah Sawm Zakat Hajj

SunniSix articles of belief God Prophets Holy books Angels The Last Judgement Predestination Sunni theological traditions

Ilm al-Kalam Ash'ari1 Maturidi2 Traditionalist Hanbalis3 Ahl al-Hadith

Shi'aSeven pillars of Isma'ilism4 Walayah Tawhid Salah Zakat Sawm Hajj Jihad Theology
Theology
of Twelvers5

Principles Tawhid Adalah Prophecy Imamah Qiyamah Practices Salah Sawm Zakat Hajj Khums Jihad Commanding what is just Forbidding what is evil Tawalla Tabarra Other Shia
Shia
concepts of Aqidah

Imamate Batin

Other schools of theology Muhakkima Ibadi6 Khawarij7 Murji'ah Karramiyya Qadariyah Muʿtazila8 Quranism Ta'tili Jabriyyah Sufism9

Including: 1Al-Ahbash; 2Deobandi3 Salafis
Salafis
( Ahl-i Hadith
Ahl-i Hadith
& Wahhabis) 4Sevener-Qarmatians, Assassins & Druzes 5Alawites, Qizilbash
Qizilbash
& Bektashism; 6 Nukkari
Nukkari
7Ajardi, Azariqa, Bayhasiyya, Najdat
Najdat
& Sūfrī 8Bahshamiyya, Bishriyya & Ikhshîdiyya9Alevi - Bektashis
Bektashis
& Qalandaris; Barelvis, Mevlevis, Süleymancıs & various Sufi
Sufi
orders Islam portalvte Part of a series onIslam Beliefs Oneness of God Prophets Revealed books Angels Predestination Day of Resurrection

Practices Profession of faith Prayer Alms-giving Fasting Pilgrimage

Texts and sciences Quran Tafsir Sunnah
Sunnah
(Hadith, Sirah) Aqidah
Aqidah
(creed) Theology Sharia
Sharia
(law) Fiqh
Fiqh
(jurisprudence) Qisas Al-Anbiya

History Timeline Muhammad Ahl al-Bayt Sahabah Rashidun Caliphate Imamate Spread of Islam Succession to Muhammad

Culture and society Academics Animals Art Calendar Children Demographics Denominations Economics Education Exorcism Feminism Festivals Finance LGBT Madrasa Moral teachings Mosque Mysticism Philosophy Poetry Politics Proselytizing Science Slavery Social welfare Women

Related topics Abrogation in Islam Criticism of Islam Muhammad Quran Islam
Islam
and other religions Islamism Islam
Islam
and violence Islamophobia Glossary

Islam portalvte Some Islamic scholars faced questions that they felt were not explicitly answered in the Quran
Quran
and the Sunnah, especially questions with regard to philosophical conundra such as the nature of God, the existence of human free will, or the eternal existence of the Quran. Various schools of theology and philosophy developed to answer these questions, each claiming to be true to the Quran
Quran
and the Muslim tradition (sunnah). Among Sunni Muslims, various schools of thought in theology began to be born out of the sciences of kalam in opposition to the textualists who stood by affirming texts without delving into philosophical speculation as they saw it as an innovation in Islam. The following were the three dominant schools of theology that grew. All three of these are accepted by Muslims
Muslims
around the globe, and are considered within "Islamic orthodoxy". The key beliefs of classical Sunni Islam
Islam
are all agreed upon (being the six pillars of Iman) and codified in the treatise on Aqeedah
Aqeedah
by Imam Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Tahawi in his Aqeedat Tahawiyyah.[citation needed]

Ash'ari[edit] Main article: Ash'ari Founded by Abu al-Hasan al- Ash'ari
Ash'ari
(873–935). This theological school of Aqeedah
Aqeedah
was embraced by many Muslim
Muslim
scholars and developed in parts of the Islamic world throughout history; al- Ghazali wrote on the creed discussing it and agreeing upon some of its principles.[76] Ash'ari
Ash'ari
theology stresses divine revelation over human reason. Contrary to the Mu'tazilites, they say that ethics cannot be derived from human reason, but that God's commands, as revealed in the Quran and the Sunnah
Sunnah
(the practices of Muhammad
Muhammad
and his companions as recorded in the traditions, or hadith), are the sole source of all morality and ethics. Regarding the nature of God
God
and the divine attributes, the Ash'ari rejected the Mu'tazili
Mu'tazili
position that all Quranic references to God
God
as having real attributes were metaphorical. The Ash'aris insisted that these attributes were as they "best befit His Majesty". The Arabic language is a wide language in which one word can have 15 different meanings, so the Ash'aris endeavor to find the meaning that best befits God
God
and is not contradicted by the Quran. Therefore, when God states in the Quran, "He who does not resemble any of His creation," this clearly means that God
God
cannot be attributed with body parts because He created body parts. Ash'aris tend to stress divine omnipotence over human free will and they believe that the Quran
Quran
is eternal and uncreated.

Maturidi[edit] Main article: Maturidi Founded by Abu Mansur al- Maturidi
Maturidi
(died 944), the Maturidiyyah was the major tradition in Central Asia[77] based on Hanafi-law. It is more influenced by Persian interpretations of Islam
Islam
and less on the traditions established within Arabian culture.[78] In contrast to the traditionalistic approach, Maturidism
Maturidism
allows to reject hadiths based on reason alone.[79] Nevertheless, revelation remains important, to inform humans about that is beyond their intellectual limits, such as the concept of an afterlife. Ethics
Ethics
on the other hand, do not need prophecy or revelation, but can be understood by reason alone. One of the tribes, the Seljuk Turks, migrated to Turkey, where later the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
was established.[80] Their preferred school of law achieved a new prominence throughout their whole empire although it continued to be followed almost exclusively by followers of the Hanafi
Hanafi
school while followers of the Shafi
Shafi
and Maliki
Maliki
schools within the empire followed the Ash'ari
Ash'ari
and Athari schools of thought. Thus, wherever can be found Hanafi
Hanafi
followers, there can be found the Maturidi
Maturidi
creed.[discuss][citation needed]

Traditionalist[edit] Main article: Traditionalist Theology
Theology
(Islam) Traditionalist theology is a movement of Islamic scholars who reject rationalistic Islamic theology
Islamic theology
(kalam) in favor of strict textualism in interpreting the Quran
Quran
and sunnah.[81] The name derives from "tradition" in its technical sense as translation of the Arabic word hadith. It is also sometimes referred to as athari as by several other names. Adherents of traditionalist theology believe that the zahir (literal, apparent) meaning of the Qur'an and the hadith have sole authority in matters of belief and law; and that the use of rational disputation is forbidden even if it verifies the truth.[82] They engage in a literal reading of the Qur'an, as opposed to one engaged in ta'wil (metaphorical interpretation). They do not attempt to conceptualize the meanings of the Qur'an rationally, and believe that their realities should be consigned to God
God
alone (tafwid).[83] In essence, the text of the Qur'an and Hadith
Hadith
is accepted without asking "how" or "Bi-la kaifa". Traditionalist theology emerged among scholars of hadith who eventually coalesced into a movement called ahl al-hadith under the leadership of Ahmad ibn Hanbal.[84] In matters of faith, they were pitted against Mu'tazilites
Mu'tazilites
and other theological currents, condemning many points of their doctrine as well as the rationalistic methods they used in defending them.[84] In the tenth century al- Ash'ari
Ash'ari
and al- Maturidi
Maturidi
found a middle ground between Mu'tazilite rationalism and Hanbalite
Hanbalite
literalism, using the rationalistic methods championed by Mu'tazilites
Mu'tazilites
to defend most tenets of the traditionalist doctrine.[85][86] Although the mainly Hanbali
Hanbali
scholars who rejected this synthesis were in the minority, their emotive, narrative-based approach to faith remained influential among the urban masses in some areas, particularly in Abbasid Baghdad.[87] While Ash'arism
Ash'arism
and Maturidism
Maturidism
are often called the Sunni "orthodoxy", traditionalist theology has thrived alongside it, laying rival claims to be the orthodox Sunni faith.[88] In the modern era it has had a disproportionate impact on Islamic theology, having been appropriated by Wahhabi
Wahhabi
and other traditionalist Salafi
Salafi
currents and spread well beyond the confines of the Hanbali
Hanbali
school of law.[89]

Sunni mysticism[edit] There has also been a rich tradition of mysticism within Sunni Islam, which has most prominently manifested itself in the principal orders of Sunni Sufism. Historically, Sufism
Sufism
became "an incredibly important part of Islam" and "one of the most widespread and omnipresent aspects of Muslim
Muslim
life" in Islamic civilization from the early medieval period onwards,[90][91] when it began to permeate nearly all major aspects of Sunni Islamic life in regions stretching from India and Iraq
Iraq
to Senegal.[92] Sufism
Sufism
continued to remain a crucial part of daily Islamic life until the twentieth century, when its historical influence upon Islamic civilization began to be combated by the rise of Salafism
Salafism
and Wahhabism.[92][93] Islamic scholar Timothy Winter has remarked: "[In] classical, mainstream, medieval Sunni Islam
Islam
... [the idea of] 'orthodox Islam' would not ... [have been possible] without Sufism,"[90] and that the classical belief in Sufism
Sufism
being an essential component of Islam
Islam
has only weakened in some quarters of the Islamic world "a generation or two ago" with the rise of Salafism.[90] In the modern world, the classical interpretation of Sunni orthodoxy, which sees in Sufism an essential dimension of Islam
Islam
alongside the disciplines of jurisprudence and theology, is represented by institutions such as Al-Azhar University
Al-Azhar University
and Zaytuna College, with Al-Azhar's current Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb defining "Sunni orthodoxy" as being a follower "of any of the four schools of [legal] thought (Hanafi, Shafi'i, Maliki
Maliki
or Hanbali) and ... [also] of the Sufism
Sufism
of Imam Junayd of Baghdad
Baghdad
in doctrines, manners and [spiritual] purification."[94] In the eleventh-century, Sufism, which had previously been a less "codified" trend in Islamic piety, began to be "ordered and crystallized"[95] into orders which have continued until the present day.[95] All these orders were founded by a major Sunni Islamic saint, and some of the largest and most widespread included the Qadiriyya
Qadiriyya
(after Abdul-Qadir Gilani
Abdul-Qadir Gilani
[d. 1166]), the Rifa'iyya (after Ahmed al- Rifa'i
Rifa'i
[d. 1182]), the Chishtiyya (after Moinuddin Chishti
Moinuddin Chishti
[d. 1236]), the Shadiliyya
Shadiliyya
(after Abul Hasan ash-Shadhili [d. 1258]), and the Naqshbandiyya (after Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari [d. 1389]).[95] Contrary to popular perception in the West,[96] however, neither the founders of these orders nor their followers ever considered themselves to be anything other than orthodox Sunni Muslims,[96] and in fact all of these orders were attached to one of the four orthodox legal schools of Sunni Islam.[90][94] Thus, the Qadiriyya order was Hanbali, with its founder, Abdul-Qadir Gilani, being a renowned Hanbali
Hanbali
jurist; the Chishtiyya was Hanafi; the Shadiliyya order was Maliki; and the Naqshbandiyya order was Hanafi.[97] Thus, "many of the most eminent defenders of Islamic orthodoxy, such as Abdul-Qadir Gilani, Ghazali, and the Sultan Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn (Saladin) were connected with Sufism."[98] The contemporary Salafi
Salafi
and Wahhabi
Wahhabi
strands of Sunnis, however, do not accept the traditional stance on mystical practices.[99]

Sunni view of hadith[edit] This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) The Quran
Quran
as it exists today in book form was compiled by Muhammad's companions (Sahabah) within a handful of months of his death, and is accepted by all sects of Islam. However, there were many matters of belief and daily life that were not directly prescribed in the Quran, but were actions that were observed by Muhammad
Muhammad
and the early Muslim community. Later generations sought out oral traditions regarding the early history of Islam, and the practices of Muhammad
Muhammad
and his first followers, and wrote them down so that they might be preserved. These recorded oral traditions are called hadith. Muslim
Muslim
scholars have through the ages sifted through the hadith and evaluated the chain of narrations of each tradition, scrutinizing the trustworthiness of the narrators and judging the strength of each hadith accordingly.

Kutub al-Sittah[edit] Kutub al-Sittah
Kutub al-Sittah
are six books containing collections of hadiths. Sunni Muslims
Muslims
accept the hadith collections of Bukhari and Muslim
Muslim
as the most authentic (sahih), and while accepting all hadiths verified as authentic, grant a slightly lesser status to the collections of other recorders. There are, however, four other collections of hadith that are also held in particular reverence by Sunni Muslims, making a total of six:

Sahih al-Bukhari
Sahih al-Bukhari
of Muhammad
Muhammad
al-Bukhari Sahih
Sahih
Muslim
Muslim
of Muslim
Muslim
ibn al-Hajjaj Sunan al-Sughra
Sunan al-Sughra
of Al-Nasa'i Sunan Abu Dawud
Sunan Abu Dawud
of Abu Dawood Jami' at-Tirmidhi
Jami' at-Tirmidhi
of Al-Tirmidhi Sunan Ibn Majah
Sunan Ibn Majah
of Ibn Majah There are also other collections of hadith which also contain many authentic hadith and are frequently used by scholars and specialists. Examples of these collections include:

Musannaf of Abd al-Razzaq of 'Abd ar-Razzaq as-San'ani Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal Mustadrak of Al Haakim Muwatta of Imam Malik Sahih
Sahih
Ibn Hibbaan Sahih
Sahih
Ibn Khuzaymah of Ibn Khuzaymah Sunan al-Darimi
Sunan al-Darimi
of Al-Darimi See also[edit] Outline of Islam Glossary of Islam Index of Islam-related articles Islamic schools and branches Suni (other) References[edit]

^ * "Mapping the Global Muslim
Muslim
Population: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Muslim
Muslim
Population". Pew Research Center. October 7, 2009. Retrieved 2013-09-24. Of the total Muslim
Muslim
population, 10–13% are Shia
Shia
Muslims
Muslims
and 87–90% are Sunni Muslims..mw-parser-output cite.citation font-style:inherit .mw-parser-output .citation q quotes:"""""""'""'" .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration color:#555 .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help .mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg/12px-Wikisource-logo.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output code.cs1-code color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error display:none;font-size:100% .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error font-size:100% .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format font-size:95% .mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left padding-left:0.2em .mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right padding-right:0.2em Sunni Islam: Oxford Bibliographies Online Research Guide "Sunni Islam is the dominant division of the global Muslim
Muslim
community, and throughout history it has made up a substantial majority (85 to 90 percent) of that community." "Sunni". Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. Retrieved December 20, 2012. Sunni Islam
Islam
is the largest denomination of Islam, comprising about 85% of the world's over 1.5 billion Muslims. "Religions". The World Factbook. theguardian.com. Retrieved 2010-08-25. Sunni Islam
Islam
accounts for over 85% of the world's Muslim population...

^ John L. Esposito, ed. (2014). "Sunni Islam". The Oxford Dictionary of Islam. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

^ a b c Tayeb El-Hibri, Maysam J. al Faruqi (2004). "Sunni Islam". In Philip Mattar (ed.). The Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa (Second ed.). MacMillan Reference.

^ Jafri, Syed Husain Mohammad (27 August 1976). The Origins and Early Development of Shi'a Islam
Islam
(Millennium (Series)) (The Millennium (Series).). Karachi, Pakistan: Oxford University Press (First Published By Longman Group Ltd and Librairie du Liban 1979). pp. 19–21. ISBN 9780195793871. The Shi'a unequivocally take the word in the meaning of leader, master and patron, and therefore the explicitly nominated successor of the Prophet. The Sunnis, on the other hand, interpret the word mawla in the meaning of a friend, or the nearest kin and confidant.

^ "Chapter IV Iamhood". Imam Ali
Ali
(a.s.) Foundation. Imam Ali
Ali
(a.s.) Foundation, an affiliate website of the Grand Ayatullah al-Sayyid Ali al-Hussani al-Sistani. Archived from the original on 2017-12-11. Retrieved 24 December 2017. Appointing the heir was done when the Prophet [P] returned from the (Departure Pilgrimage); he [p] gathered all the pilgrims in a place called (Ghadeer khum) addressing them with a lengthy speech through which he asked:(Do not I own thy souls more that thou do, they said: aye). Then he [p] took Imam Ali
Ali
[p] by the shoulder, holding him in front of the people and said:(He whom I am his guardian, Ali
Ali
be his guardian). Thus he [p] certified Imam Ali's [p] heavenly guardianship; so everybody who was present then paid tribute to him, including the second Caliph
Caliph
( i. e Omar Ben Al-Khattab), who congratulated Ali
Ali
[p] saying: (Blassed be thee O! Ali, thou became my guardian and the guardian of every Mo'men.)

^ "Beliefs: Did the Prophet (s) Appoint a Successor". Al-Islam.org. Archived from the original on 2017-12-25. Retrieved 25 December 2017. The Shi'ah believe that the proclamation mentioned by the Qur'anic verse was fulfilled by the Prophet (s) when he appointed Imam ' Ali
Ali
bin Abi Talib (a) as his successor on the day of Ghadir Khumm.

^ Mawlana Hazar Imam. "Imam Ali
Ali
declared the Successor of Prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
in Sunni Hadith
Hadith
Literature". Ismaili Gnosis. Ismaili Gnosis. Archived from the original on 2017-12-26. Retrieved 25 December 2017. As you know, the Shi'a divided from the Sunni after the death of Prophet Muhammad. Hazrat Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet, was in Shia
Shia
belief, named by the Prophet to be the Legitimate Authority for the interpretation of the faith. For Shi'a today all over the world, he is regarded as the first imam.

^ Harney, John (January 3, 2016). "How Do Sunni and Shia
Shia
Islam Differ?". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2016-01-03. Retrieved January 4, 2016. Shiites believe that he chose Ali, his cousin and son-in-law

^ a b Michael E. Marmura (2009). "Sunnī Islam
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(Historical Overview)". In John L. Esposito (ed.). The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acref/9780195305135.001.0001. ISBN 9780195305135. Sunnī Muslims
Muslims
have thus referred to themselves as ahl al-sunnah wa al-jamāʿah (people of the sunnah and the community).

^ a b Lucas, Scott C. (2011). "Sunnism, Sunni". Encyclopedia of Christianity
Christianity
Online. Brill. doi:10.1163/2211-2685_eco_SI.100. The terms "Sunnism" and "Sunni" are anglicizations of Arab. ahl al-sunnah (the people of the Sunna [lit. "custom, way"]) or ahl al-sunnah wa-l-jamāʿa (the people of the Sunna and community).

^ "Sunnism". -Ologies & -Isms. The Gale Group. Retrieved Oct 5, 2016.

^ John Richard Thackrah (2013). Dictionary of Terrorism (2, revised ed.). Routledge. p. 252. ISBN 978-1-135-16595-6.

^ Nasir, Jamal J., ed. (2009). The Status of Women Under Islamic Law and Modern Islamic Legislation (revised ed.). Brill. p. 11. ISBN 9789004172739.

^ George W. Braswell (2000). What You Need to Know about Islam
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& Muslims
Muslims
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^ An Introduction to the Hadith. John Burton. Published by Edinburgh University Press. 1996. p. 201. Cite: "Sunni: Of or pertaining sunna, especially the Sunna of the Prophet. Used in conscious opposition to Shi'a, Shi'í. There being no ecclesia or centralized magisterium, the translation 'orthodox' is inappropriate. To the Muslim
Muslim
'unorthodox' implies heretical, mubtadi, from bid'a, the contrary of sunna, and so 'innovation'."

^ Todd Lawson The Crucifixion and the Qur'an: A Study in the History of Muslim
Muslim
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^ Sunnah
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^ Hughes, Aaron (2013). Muslim
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Islam
emerged as normative from the chaotic period following Muhammad's death and that the other two movements simply developed out of it. This assumption is based in... the taking of later and often highly ideological sources as accurate historical portrayals – and in part on the fact that the overwhelming majority of Muslims
Muslims
throughout the world follows now what emerged as Sunni Islam
Islam
in the early period.

^ Hughes, Aaron (2013). Muslim
Muslim
Identities: An Introduction to Islam. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-231-53192-4. Each of these sectarian movements... used the other to define itself more clearly and in the process to articulate its doctrinal contents and rituals.

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^ Maududi, Abul A'la (July 2000). Khilafat o Malookiat [Caliphate and Monarchistic] (in Urdu). Lahore, Pakistan: Adara Tarjuman-ul- Quran
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^ Hazleton, Lesley (4 September 2009). After the Prophet:The Epic Story of Shia-Sunni Split in Islam. New York, London, Toranto, Sydney, Auckland: Anchor (Doubleday). p. 193 (kindle). ISBN 978-0385523936.

^ Irving, Washington (1859). Lives of the Successors of Mahomet. Sunnyside: W. Clowes. pp. 163–218. ISBN 978-1273126963.

^ Nadvi, Syed Abul Hasan Ali. Al-Murtaza [The Murtaza] (in Urdu). Karachi Pakistan: Majlis-e-Nashriyat-e-Islam. pp. 218–382.

^ Maududi, Abul A'la (July 2000). Khilafat o Malookiat [Caliphate and Monarchistic] (in Urdu). Lahore, Pakistan: Adara Tarjuman-ul- Quran
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^ Jafri, Syed Husain Mohammad (976). The Origins and Early Development of Shi'a Islam
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(Millennium (Series)) (The Millennium (Series).). Karachi, Pakistan: Oxford University Press (First Published By Longman Group Ltd and Librairie du Liban 1979). pp. 108–109. ISBN 9780195793871.

^ Kennedy, Hugh (2016). The Early Abbasid Caliphate: A Political History (Routledge Revivals) 1st Edition. Oxon: Routledge. pp. 15–16. ISBN 978-1138953215.

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^ Source for distribution is the CIA World Factbook, Shiite/Sunnite distribution collected from other sources. Shiites may be underrepresented in some countries where they do not appear in official statistics.

^ Coeli Fitzpatrick Ph.D., Adam
Adam
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^ Quran, 9:100

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"some 80% of the worlds Muslims are Sunni" "Religions". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Archived from the original on 2011-06-04. Retrieved 8 December 2011. Sunni Islam
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accounts for over 75% of the world's Muslim
Muslim
population Sue Hellett;U.S. should focus on sanctions against Iran "Sunnis make up over 75 percent of the world's Muslim
Muslim
population" Iran, Israel and the United States "Sunni, accounts for over 75% of the Islamic population" A dictionary of modern politics "probably 80% of the worlds Muslims are Sunni" "Mapping the Global Muslim
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Population". Pew Research Center. October 7, 2009. Retrieved 2010-08-24. Of the total Muslim
Muslim
population, 10–13% are Shia
Shia
Muslims
Muslims
and 87–90% are Sunni Muslims. "Quick guide: Sunnis and Shias". BBC News. 2011-12-06. Archived from the original on 2011-11-24. Retrieved December 18, 2011. The great majority of Muslims
Muslims
are Sunnis – estimates suggest the figure is somewhere between 85% and 90%. "United in Islam, Divided in Practice". USA Today. 2007-09-24. Archived from the original on 2011-12-10. Retrieved January 22, 2019. Among the world's estimated 1.4 billion Muslims, about 85% are Sunni and about 15% are Shiite. Sunni Islam: Oxford Bibliographies Online Research Guide "Sunni Islam is the dominant division of the global Muslim
Muslim
community, and throughout history it has made up a substantial majority (85 to 90 percent) of that community."

^ Murtada Mutahhari, The Role of Ijtihad in Legislation Archived 2012-03-04 at the Wayback Machine, Al- Tawhid
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^ Meinhaj Hussain, A New Medina, The Legal System, Grande Strategy, January 5th, 2012

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^ a b c Seyyed Hossein Nasr, The Essential Seyyed Hossein Nasr, ed. William C. Chittick (Bloomington: World Wisdom, 2007), p. 76

^ a b Martin Lings, What is Sufism? (Lahore: Suhail Academy, 2005; first imp. 1983, second imp. 1999), p. 16

^ Massington, L., Radtke, B., Chittick, W.C., Jong, F. de., Lewisohn, L., Zarcone, Th., Ernst, C, Aubin, Françoise and J.O. Hunwick, "Taṣawwuf", in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs; q.v. "Hanafi," "Hanbali," and "Maliki," and under "mysticism in..." for each.

^ Titus Burckhardt, Introduction to Sufi
Sufi
Doctrine (Bloomington: World Wisdom, 2008, p. 4, note 2

^ Jeffrey Halverson, Theology
Theology
and Creed in Sunni Islam, 2010, p. 48

Further reading[edit] Branon Wheeler, Applying the Canon in Islam: The Authorization and Maintenance of Interpretive Reasoning in Ḥanafī Scholarship, SUNY Press, 1996. Patler, Nicholas (2017). From Mecca
Mecca
to Selma: Malcolm X, Islam, and the Journey Into the American Civil Rights Movement. The Islamic Monthly. External links[edit]

Wikisource
Wikisource
has the text of the 1905 New International Encyclopedia article Sunnites.

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