The Belief of Sunni Muslims
Glory be to Almighty Allah. Peace and blessings be our Master, the Prophet Muhammad (sall-allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). Benedictions be over his pure Ahl al-Bait and over all his just and devoted companions (radi-Allahu ta’ala ‘anhum ajmain).
Of all the branches of Islam, two are by far the largest: the Shi’ah or the Shi’ites, partisans of Hazrat Ali (may Allah be pleased with him); and the Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-jama’ah, people who follow the prophetic practices and the majority, popularly known as the Sunnis.
The Sunnis number about 80 % of the total Muslim population of the world. The Ahl al-Sunnah emphasizes the teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah (practices of the Prophet of Islam along with the collective judgment of the sahabah, or companions of the Prophet) as authoritative sources of Islamic legislation. The Sunnis stand fast by both the letter and the spirit of the Law emanating from these three sources. But within the school of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-jama’ah there are many divisions and different beliefs [aqida] and practices which many books do not mention.
|Sunni Beliefs||Sunni Schools of Law|
|Beliefs and Practices||The Kharijites||The Murji’ites|
|The Tabligh Jamaat||Fatwas from a Master||Deviation from the Path|
Sunni means literally “one who is a traditionist.” Actually, Ahl al-Sunnah, or “the people of the Sunnah,” are so called because they follow strictly the Hadith, the traditions or sayings of Prophet, and the Sunnah, the practices of the Prophet. The most authentic collections of Hadith are believed by the Sunnis to be the Siah al-sittah (the Six Authentic Works, that is, the six canonical collections of authentic Hadith): the Sahih of Muslim, the Sahih of Bukhari, the Sunan of Ibn Mijah, the Sunan of Abu Da’ud, the Sunan of Nasa’i, and the Sahi of Tirmidhi. The Muwatta’ of Imam Malik ibn Anas also is held in a very high esteem by the Sunnis, although it is not one of the six canonical works. 1 The inspiration for believing in the Sunnah of the Prophet is derived from his last sermon during the hajj al-wada’ (farewell pilgrimage), in which the Prophet emphasized the importance of his sayings and practices saying, “I leave for you two things. You will not go astray if you held fast unto them: the Book of God and the Sunnah of His Messenger.”
Islamic scholars, who are called Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-jama’ah, wrote thousands of valuable books that state the beliefs, commands and prohibitions of Islam correctly. Many of them have been translated into foreign languages and circulated throughout the world. On the other hand, malevolent, short-sighted people have attacked Islam’s beneficial, bountiful and luminous way; tried to blemish the scholars of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-jama’ah, and attempted to change Islam and thereby deceive Muslims. This struggle between Muslims and the irreligious has taken place in every century, and it will continue till the end of the world. Almighty Allah willed in eternity that this be so.
Muslims consist of scholars (hawas) and laymen (awam). Laymen are those who do not know the rules of Arabic grammar and literature. They are unable to grasp the books of fatwa. It is fard for them to look for and learn the knowledge relating to Islamic belief and ‘ibadat.
Harmful separatist movements among Muslims attack books of Knowledge and try to vilify the ‘ulama’ of Ahl as-Sunnat and the great masters of Sufism/Tasawwuf. The Masters of the Ahl as-Sunnat wrote necessary answers against them and protected the true meanings our Master (sall-Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) derived from Quran from their attempts to change it. We entreat Almighty Allah that, by studying this website carefully with their common sense and pure conscience, our valuable readers will judge it fairly and stick together in the right and true way of the Ahl as-Sunnat and avoid lying, slanderous and heretical people. By doing this, they will escape eternal damnation.
May Almighty Allah honor us all with the prosperity of following Prophet Mustafa (sall-Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), who is the spiritual Master of this and the next world and who is the highest of all the people in every respect. Because Almighty Allah likes those who obey and follow him, a tiny act of following him is more exalted than all the worldly advantages and all the blessings of the next world. Real superiority consists of adapting oneself to his sunnat, and the honor and virtue of humanity entails following his Shariat.