Talk:Sunni Islam

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Merging out redundant content (major proposed restructuring)[edit]

I would like to propose some major restructuring to this article for stylistic, aesthetic and practical reasons. As it is, certain sections of the article have become bloated which is unnecessary considering that there are already separate articles devoted to those subjects. I will try to keep my suggestions brief for the sake of discussion:

  • The etymology, history, adherents and further reading sections must be kept as is and perhaps even improved upon somewhat; there is really no other place to put that content.
  • The section on notes and external links, obviously, shouldn't be touched. Though I would prefer that the section on notes is simply called references.
  • The sections for six pillars of iman and sunni view of hadith are excellent, and exactly what the rest of the article should emulate. The sunni view of hadith especially; it merely contains links to the Wikipedia articles for the mentioned topics, not overly lengthy paragraphs explaining it.
  • The section on school of law and theological traditions are just awful. I say this now with complete honesty, considering that between 12 March 2012 and 13 March 2012 I was the one who personally added most of the references for the madhhabs. In retrospect, it just doesn't belong here.

In short, I would like to take most of the content for the schools of law and put it in the article for madhhabs, which to be frank is neglected. I would also like to take most of the content for the schools of theology and put it in the article for Islamic theology, most of which is already there anyway. The latter section here in this article could mention all major schools in one sentence without the details of where most adherents live and who founded it; the former could be summarized in the same way. It is my hope that implementing these changes will make the article easier to read and provide better categorization for the issues discussed therin. I await the responses of concerned editors. MezzoMezzo (talk) 08:42, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

In regard to the section in legal schools, even the article for Madhhab would have become bloated with excessive details not directly related to the matter at hand. Keeping that in mind, I performed a partial merge to the articles for each school. I feel that the Sunni Islam article is now less cluttered and focuses on only the most pressing details regarding the schools; readers of Wikipedia who wish to know more can simply click on the links for each school and seek more information there. I hope my edits are seen as helpful and non-controversial, and feedback is much needed. MezzoMezzo (talk) 05:34, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Self-contradicting lead[edit]

The lead to the article seems like it was written by Sufi and Salafi editors both trying to push their opposing points of view, in regard to the third paragraph. It's uncited and ab it overly long, so I think a better choice would be to simply remove the details regarding jurisprudence and leave such information in the appropriate articles. I hope this is acceptable to my fellow editors. MezzoMezzo (talk) 04:32, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Differences among denominations of Islam[edit]

You still need something about the Sunnis on this page so that the basics of all the different denominations are on one page and could be compared. The Sunnis are the biggest denomination in Islam and even the adherents of their individual schools of thought out number some of the smaller denominations. Therefore you need this data on this page.

I would propose having a table of the main similarities and differences for this page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Johnleeds1 (talkcontribs) 15:42, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

I'm glad that I'm not the only one ready to help! This page is about Sunnis, so do you mean something about the differences between Sunnis and Shi'ites here? I think the Arabic version of this article might have something like that. We would need a serious amount of verifiable, reliable sources though, to ensure that nobody's beliefs are misrepresented. Perhaps there are articles here where we could simply borrow such sources? MezzoMezzo (talk) 08:57, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
There's no table at Shia Islam and I think it would be inappropriate to have one. It would be almost impossible to construct one that isn't original research. Any comparisons have to be made by reliable sources, we can't do those comparisons ourselves. I'm confused by the statement "You still need something about the Sunnis on this page". This is the page on Sunni Islam. Dougweller (talk) 14:18, 22 January 2013 (UTC)


Sorry ignore my comments. I meant to say have a table of the main similarities and differences between all the different denominations in Islam, on some other page, not on this page. But over the last week, I have done a lot of research. Having gone through a lot of books in the School of Oriental and African Studies SOAS library and on the Internet and lots of Islamic and non Islamic Book shops, now, I am not so sure. Views of the different early jurists including Jafar al-Sadiq whose views most Shia's follow and Imam Abu Hanifa and Malik ibn Anas whose views most Sunnis follow and the other old jurists criss cross like the weaving of a cloth. They all give priority to the Quran and the Hadith of Mohammad over their own views. I have also found it hard to find any actual text, actually written by Jafar al-Sadiq. May be he also wanted people to give priority to the Quran and the Hadith. This also makes it hard to compare the actual views of these imams. Imam Malik ibn Anas wrote the Muwatta therefore his views are easier to assess.

In: Modernist Islam, 1840-1940: A Sourcebook By Charles Kurzman - Page 236 [1]

Charles Kurzman puts it down like this:

"As is evident, all of the founders of the four orthodox schools of Islam agreed upon the wrongness of imitation. They engaged in ijtihad and expressed their opinions, but they did not impose upon anybody else by asserting that their opinions had to be accepted. Everyone was free to accept or not accept. Abu Hanifa said, "This is my opinion. If anyone brings a better explanation, I will accept that one." In the same way, when Imam Malik was asked to compel the agents of Harun al-Rashid to act according to the principles put forth in his work al-Muwatta he declined, saying: "The Prophet's companions spread all over different countries, and there are hadiths in every nation that other nations have not heard of." Imam Shafi'i used to forbid his students to follow his words in the presence of hadith, saying, "If the Prophet's words become evident to a person, it is not correct to leave aside the sunna in favour of anybody's word." In the same way, Imam Ahmad rejected the writing down and codifying of the religious rulings he gave. They knew that they might have fallen into error in some of their judgements and stated this clearly. They never introduced their rulings by saying, "Here, this judgement is the judgement of God and His prophet."

The articles on Islam in wikipedia have also become a mediun for people to push their political ideas. There appears to be more politics in the Islam section than actual information about Islam.

Over the last fews days, on the Islam page I have done a lot of work to tie it to the other pages about islam in Wikipedia, chronologically. I also put links in to other articles on wikipedia about actual events agreed by every denomination and the historians. I tried to make it flow better. The whole section on islam still needs work from other contributors.

comment added by Johnleeds1 —Preceding undated comment added 21:31, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

--Johnleeds1 (talk) 18:48, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Adherents Phrasing[edit]

"Estimates of the world Sunni population has been estimated by some analysts to be from over 75% to 90%."

This sentence seems to me to imply that 75% to 90% of the world's population is Sunni Moslem, rather than that the Sunnis comprise that proportion of all Moslems. Dawright12 (talk) 08:55, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Barelvis status[edit]

discussion from talk page of User:Pass_a_Method


Mr pass a method my edit it totally nutral and also depended upon a reliable source.dont insert your WP:OR

Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represents all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources.[2]

you are making this article less informative.Dil e Muslim talk 14:35, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ Modernist Islam, 1840-1940: A Sourcebook By Charles Kurzman - Page 236[1]
  2. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view#Due_and_undue_weight
That's an absolutely ridiculous claim, Am Not New/Dil e Muslim. Barelvis comprise 200 million out of 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, and they share South Asia with several other sub-categories of Sunni Islam like Deobandis and Ahl al-Hadeeth. Please don't use Wikipedia as a Barelvi propaganda platform; see WP:SOAPBOX. MezzoMezzo (talk) 03:51, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
Mr mezzomezzo your above made statement is WP:OR.and where i added my own contents.mezzomezzo stick to what the sources say in stead of making your own analysis.Dil e Muslim talk 07:56, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
Every single source on all the related articles note that Deobandis and Ahl al-Hadeeth are also Sunnis and that Barelvi is a sub category for Sunni, not referring to all Sunnis in South Asia. Even if you refuse to accept that, the fact that at least six editors are now regularly reverting what they all agree is OR in your part is telling. You're only making things worse for yourself by being combative. MezzoMezzo (talk) 09:04, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

mr mezzomezzo havent you read the source.the source is oxford dictionary of religion and it is clearly written on it that souce that alhesunnat wa jamaah is commonly known as barelvi.i am pasting that.and for your information my edit is according to nutral point of view.see me sentence.even its you who is making less informative.Dil e Muslim talk 17:06, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

well i am copying discussion to page Sunni islam to discus.Dil e Muslim talk 17:06, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

The dictionary mentions that Barelvis call themselves that, not that they are that. Ahlus Sunnah wa al-Jama'ah is the Arabic long form of Sunni, which is more like a slang term/short form. And since Deobandis and Ahl al-Hadith are also acknowledged as movements within Sunni Islam by Oxford University Press sources as can be seen across multiple articles, your attempt to subtly hint that they (as the other Sunni movements in South Asia after Barelvis) are somehow heretics is a clear violation of WP:NPOV. Seeing editors who adhere to the Barelvi movement such as yourself attempt to write this in to Wikipedia over the past seven years has made a number of editors, including myself, aware of what you're trying to do. Be logical and think of what will happen if you continue this sort of behavior. MezzoMezzo (talk) 04:00, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

mr mezzomezzo i think you havent read the souce.it is clearly written that ahlesunnah wa jamaat is known as barelvi.that doesnt mention that mentions that Barelvis call themselves that.that is your own deduction and is WP:OR.so i advice you to relay on source instead of giving your own logic.Dil e Muslim talk 18:02, 1 May 2013 (UTC)


Sunnism Refuted[edit]

A critical section would belong. There are many clear errors in sunnism, and reasonable criticism should be allowed. On the page is a typical error "it was collected by the sahabah". Some say "it was collected by uthman", which probably is about the same. The Quran says, that it was collected in Mohammeds time, and that he followed it.

Writing a correct article, requires extensive knowledge on the subject, and I am dropping a link, for those who want to try and do that. http://ovekarlsen.com/Blog/sunnism-refuted/

This link could also be included on the page, as a critical view.

Peace Be With You. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.211.129.189 (talk) 16:34, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

That link is someone's personal blog and fails WP:IRS as a self-published source by a non-expert. In general, most Qur'anist polemical sites like that are just tirades individual people write in their free time rather than informative articles from qualified authors possessing "extensive knowledge." MezzoMezzo (talk) 12:21, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Lead References[edit]

"Sunni Islam is the world's largest religious body[1] and largest religious denomination for any religion in the world[2]."

  1. ^ Religious Diversity and Children's Literature: Strategies and Resources, Sandra Brenneman Oldendorf - 2011, p 156
  2. ^ New York Murder Mystery: The True Story Behind the Crime Crash of the 1990s, Andrew Karmen - 2006, p 223

I question the appropriateness of the sources used to substantiate these claims. There is a relevant discussion regarding the first source at talk:Catholic Church --Zfish118 (talk) 17:58, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

Improved coverage of leadership[edit]

I would like to see more about how Sunni Islam is governed. For instance, how do individual Mosques relate to each other? Do the "Schools of Law" provide supervision for the Mosques; or is each Mosque self governing? I am new to this topic, and unfortunately cannot provide such information myself. --Zfish118 (talk) 06:44, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

The difficulty is that Islam as a religion lacks a central authority like Roman Catholicism for example, so the governance of religious bodies tends to differ depending on location, country, culture and so forth. Actually, we could still probably find sources stating that too which could be a good addition to the article. MezzoMezzo (talk) 08:41, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
That is essentially the kind of information that I would find really beneficial to this article. Based on my very brief research the past few days, I came to that basic conclusion, but previously had no background whatsoever to understand the material in these articles (this article, as well as the main Islam article). --Zfish118 (talk) 16:41, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
Awesome work so far, good job. I will try to see what else I can add as well. MezzoMezzo (talk) 03:45, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

Reference Quality[edit]

The first paragraph, second sentence contains a rather definitive statement about the size of Sunni Islam compared to other religious denominations. The references cited are a book about religious diversity in US schools and a book about murder rates in New York, neither primary sources for population statistics in the Middle East, North Africa or South East Asia. I suggest clarification or removal unless better reference material can be found. I'm investigating suggestions. (First time contributor, don't know if I followed protocol.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Auslander392 (talkcontribs) 21:32, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Generally if the quality of a source is challenged but the source is considered reliable, then deletion is a no-no; instead, it should be tagged with Template:Better source. That way, editors know to come here to the talk page and discuss potential replacements. MezzoMezzo (talk) 05:50, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

Schools of Law[edit]

The map is extremely helpful, thank you for that. Is it possible to split it into two, one for Sunni and one for Shia? F.Tromble (talk) 10:41, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Moderate Sunni-Islam[edit]

The Islamic radicalism remains no less a challenge to the world than it did back at 2001 after 9/11. One of its chief aspects involves how non-Muslims, who typically have little knowledge of Islam, may accurately identify Muslim moderates.

Muslim moderation is defined by attitudes and conduct, not by abstractions or historical precedents, which, as with all religions, may be interpreted to support any ideological position. Observing and analyzing Sunni Muslims by such positive, practical criteria is extremely easy. There are more than a billion Sunnis in the world, and they are not all jihadists or fundamentalists, so telling them apart should not be difficult with a little effort. Identifying moderate Shia Muslims is harder, but one thing may be said immediately: those who follow Ayatollah Ali Sistani in Iraq prove their moderation daily, by their silent but effective support to the U.S.-led liberation coalition.

Moderate Sunni Muslims may be recognized in person by asking a simple question: "what do you think of Wahhabism, the state Islamic sect of Saudi Arabia?" Every Muslim in the world knows about Wahhabism, and knows that it is embodied in al-Qaida. If a Sunni Muslim is asked about Wahhabism and states that it is a controversial, extreme doctrine that causes many problems because of Saudi money, the respondent is probably moderate. Denouncing the Saudis alone is not enough; radicals criticize the Saudi monarchy for insufficiently enforcing Wahhabi beliefs. The root cause of Sunni terror is Wahhabism, not the monarchy.

It seems unnecessary to add that those who try to disclaim a link between Wahhabism and al-Qaida, or who blame al-Qaida on American machinations, cannot be considered moderates. If a Sunni denies that Wahhabism exists by saying "there is only Islam," or tries to cover Wahhabism with an ameliorative term like "Salafism" -- a fraudulent effort to equate Wahhabism with the pioneers of the Islamic faith -- the individual is an extremist. Such a radical will not, under any circumstances, declare his or her opposition to Wahhabism per se. They may even claim that the whole concept was invented by Westerners such as myself.

A parallel example may be cited from the history of Communism. Stalinist Communists would repudiate the charge that they were Communists, calling themselves progressives, liberals, or socialists. They would deny that Communism intended anything malign toward the U.S., portraying America as an aggressor (something Islamists and Stalinists have in common) but nonetheless claiming loyalty to it. They would often argue over whether Stalinism even existed. And they would never denounce Stalin, even though the entire planet knew about the atrocities of the Soviet regime. Neither will Islamist radicals denounce Wahhabism.

Moderate Muslims may also be identified by what they do not do, to contrast them with radicals. And at the top of that list comes the practice of takfir, or declaring Muslims unbelievers over differences of opinion. Takfir also includes describing the ordinary, traditional Muslim majority in the world as having fallen into unbelief.

Takfir is used to justify the radical Sunni massacres of Shia Muslims in Iraq. It underpins the ideology of the Saudi-Wahhabi sect, the extremist Sunni Islamic Brotherhood in Egypt, and the bloodthirsty Sunni jihadist movements in Pakistan. It also serves to bind together Muslim extremists through the illusion that they belong to a purified elite. Islam is not, and never was, a radical or fundamentalist religion in its mainstream practice, regardless of the fantasies of Islamist fanatics and Islamophobes alike.

Moderate Muslims do not engage in takfir. Shias shun takfir, including radical Shias, and Shias fighting against Sunnis who persecute them do not practice takfir against their foes. Enemies of terrorist Wahhabis do not accuse them of unbelief, but of criminality. Traditional Muslims avoid accusations of unbelief, as they were counseled to do by the Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet never anticipated that Muslims would fall into unbelief.

Moderate Muslims, including Shias as well as Sunnis, also do not refer to followers of other religions, especially Jews and Christians, Zoroastrians, Hindus, and Buddhists, as unbelievers. The Koran never refers to Jews and Christians as unbelievers, but as People of the Book, worthy of respect and protection. Moderate Muslims adhere strictly to this outlook.

Moderate Muslims do not employ the rhetoric of jihad, including attempts to split hairs over the meaning of the term. Moderate Muslims seek a place in the contemporary world for Islam to be respected as a faith, not conflicts in which they may gamble on victory with the lives of others. Jihad vocabulary does nothing to advance the cause of Islam; it creates obstacles to it.

This does not mean moderate Muslims do not defend themselves when attacked. They do. But moderate Muslims in Iraq are under attacks from Sunni radicals, just as moderate Muslims were murdered by Serbs in the former Yugoslavia and moderate Muslims in Chechnya are killed by both Russian troops and Wahhabi adventurers. Iraqi Sunni radicals have more in common with Milosevic's fascist bands than with moderate Muslims. Wahhabis in the Caucasus have interests closer to those of Putin than those of ordinary Chechens, in that both seek a pretext for war. And the Iraqi Sunni radicals and other Wahhabis, Putin the neo-Stalinist, and the Serbs all benefit from the same "antiwar" cheering section in the U.S.

Moderate Muslims also do not reject allegiance to non-Muslim governments. According to current interpretations of Shafi'i sharia, a major school of Islamic jurisprudence through history, there are no countries where Muslims are not required to obey local governments, for the security of their communities. Moderate Muslims do not proclaim public loyalty to such governments while privately counseling that Western governments are inferior to Muslim religious decrees. They do not invent civil rights violations as a political means of fighting Western authorities. Moderate Muslims recognize that Muslims have more rights and opportunities for advancement in most Western countries than in most Muslim lands.

Finally, moderate Muslims are not Arabocentric or trapped in the rhetoric of Pakistan and elsewhere in the Indian subcontinent. They recognize that the styles, idioms, and spiritual practices of Islam differ considerably from Mali to Malaysia and from Bosnia to Botswana. Moderate Muslims accept that such diversity should also exist among Muslims in the West; that there can and will be an Islam that is fully American in its culture, as Bosnians and Indonesians reflect the customs and cultures of their lands.

How do moderate Muslims deal with radicals?

Moderate Muslims admit there is a problem in the body of the religion -- not in the principles and traditions of the faith, but among the believers themselves. They recognize that radical ideology and terrorism threaten the future of Islam and must be stopped.

Moderate Muslims do not limit their struggle against extremism to perfunctory statements stating that terror is incompatible with the religion. Rather, moderate Muslims publicly identify, denounce, and combat radicals.

Is the Islamic establishment in the U.S. -- the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and the Muslim Students Association of the U.S. and Canada (MSA) -- moderate? No, it is not. Not one of these three groups has ever identified or criticized a Muslim radical in the U.S., except to slander authentic moderates by trying to portray them as extremists. To cite a few notable examples: the aforementioned organizations, which I have called "the Wahhabi lobby,"

accused the moderate author Khalid Duran of being a non-Muslim because they disagreed with an opinion he held (takfir);

labeled the Sufi spiritual shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani a dangerous sectarian because he warned at the end of the 1990s that Islamist extremists in Russia were attempting to purchase nuclear materials;

accused me of "jihadism" because I defended the Kosovar Albanians. In reality, I insisted on recognition that the Albanians are multireligious and that the Kosovo war was ethnic, not religious.

Meanwhile, however, the Wahhabi lobby has stood by every accused radical to appear before an American court, paying for their lawyers and inventing excuses for their transgressions.

Moderate Muslims do not come up with bogus fatwas and other gimmicks to try to befog the Western public. Nor do they suddenly remake themselves as Sufis to purge the record of their previous radical statements. Moderate Muslims know that the foundational texts, commentaries, and legal, philosophical and theosophical works of the religion suffice as a bulwark against extremism; that is why today's extremism is a new and radical, not a traditional or conservative, phenomenon. They also know that for a person to be called a Sufi, authentic spiritual study, based on meaningful traditions and precedents, must be the basis of his or her religious activity, not a search for instant credibility.

Finally, some moderate Muslims may seek to "reform" Islam, but moderates are not required to be "reformers." Many who today proclaim their desire to "reform" Islam are not moderate at all in their manners and mental equipment; some are simply publicity seekers who think that by talking about "Islamic reformation" they will gain access to the non-Muslim public. Others are obsessed egomaniacs who consider arguing over an 800-year old text to be more important than defeating terrorist conspiracies. But Ibn abd al-Wahhab, founder of the eponymous sect 250 years ago, is proclaimed a reformer, and Saudi Wahhabis assert they have reformed Islam. Opportunism and sectarianism are ever the twin obstacles to the success of moderates who seek real improvement in society and especially, today, its interreligious relations.

Moderate Muslims concentrate on devotion to their religion, not on politics or public relations, and always recall that the Prophet called for his umma to be a community of moderation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Angel.carter911 (talkcontribs) 18:09, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

Where are you going with this? MezzoMezzo (talk) 03:41, 19 February 2014 (UTC)