Sunni Islam (Arabic: أهل السنة) is the largest branch of Islam. They are the branch of Islam that came through the Rashidun Empire, which started with Abu Bakr and ended by Ali ibn Abi Talib. Sunni beliefs are based on the Qu'ran and the Kutub al-Sittah. Sunnis make up around 75% of all Muslims. With approximately 1.8 billion followers, it is the largest religious denomination of any religion in the world. Catholicism is the second-largest. There are four sub-groups within Sunni Islam; Malikis, Hanafis, Hanbalis and Shafi'is.
Adherents of Sunni Islam are Sunnis or Sunnites. The word Sunni comes from the word sunna (سنة), which means the tradition of the prophet of Islam, Muhammad. Sunnis are also called ahl as-sunnah wa l-jamāʻah (Arabic: أهل السنة والجماعة), which means people of tradition and congregation; this means that the Sunnis are united.
- Sue Hellett; U.S. should focus on sanctions against Iran retrieved 13 December 2012
- Quick guide retrieved 13 December 2012
- Religious Diversity and Children's Literature: Strategies and Resources, Sandra Brenneman Oldendorf - 2011, p 156
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