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. ^
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 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 i advice you to relay on source instead of giving your own logic.Dil e Muslim talk 18:02, 1 May 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)

Color bias[edit]

The map showing Sunni/Shia world demographics the colors are biased, pro-Sunni.

Muslims perceive green color as muslim color - Sunnis are in green, but Shias and Ibadi are in other colors than green, which may mislead people to think of Shias and Ibadis as less muslim.-- (talk) 00:38, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Mislead who exactly? Other muslims? (talk) 18:50, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

I'm not a muslim, but yes, It's a bias. Colors should be neutral, and not the official muslim color for one group or another. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A01:E35:8A8D:FE80:490C:D1E:F9F2:1CCF (talk) 10:22, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

Sunni Islam as " the largest religious denomination for any religion in the world"[edit]

This relates to the following article snippet ffrom the article. I am rendering it here as wikitext in order to show the internal comment:

and the largest religious denomination for any religion in the world.<!--The following ref looks unlikely; can anyone confirm?: <ref>New York Murder Mystery: The True Story Behind the Crime Crash of the 1990s, Andrew Karmen - 2006, p 223</ref>-->

This had been removed by this edit, saying "Removed claim of largest denomination in the world that had no reference. How defined is the denomination and what numbers or references exist? Certainly none to justify a claim in the overview."

It was restored to the article by this edit, saying "restoring the REFERENCED statement about the denomination's size. this has been discussed several times before, the removal was clearly inappropriate".

This has been discussed here at #Lead References and at #Reference Quality. I think that more discussion is needed.

The cited supporting source is this page of this book, titled New York Murder Mystery: The True Story Behind the Crime Crash of the 1990s. The book page cited does support the assertion, using slightly difference in terminology. However, that particular book does not look to me like an authoritative source to support this specific assertion or in relation to this article topic.

I have dug around a bit and found

  •, which says that according to the Encyclopedia Britannica Catholics numbered 968,000,000 in mid-1995. That source was last updated 28 October 2005, estimates their number then at 1,050,000,000, vs. an estimate of 940,000,000 Sunnis.
  • this 2013 BBC news story gives the number of Catholics as 1,168,000,000 (my addition of figures given there).

My guess is that there are probably more sources out there and that info in them about this would probably boil down to putting Catholics and Sunnis close in number of adherents, with one probably being slightly more numerous than the other.

I think we have at least two of issues here:

  • the terminology of the article assertion
  • the apparent topical reliability of the various sources

I see several alternatives here:

  1. consider all the sources mentioned here and possibly some others to be reliable, and fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources which differ on this in proportion to their prominence (per WP:DUE
  2. consider the New York Murder Mystery book source to be unreliable for this topic, disregard it, and remove or rewrite the assertion
  3. consider some of the sources mentioned here and/or some others to be reliable, cite those, and rewrite the assertion not to simple claim that Sunis (or Catholics) are biggest, but to claim that there are roughly as many Sunnis as there are Catholics.

I would favor alternative number three, but the choice ought to be made by editorial consensus.

Discussion? Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 05:47, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

The book was printed by a respectable publishing house and there's no reason to doubt its accuracy, especially when you also acknowledge here that either Catholics of Sunnis could be more numerous than one another - it isn't a particularly wild claim. Your request for more sources to look into the topic, however, is reasonable.
What we can't do, however, is perform our own calculations and compare statements by the BBC,, or any other sources; that would be a violation of Wikipedia:No original research.
If you want a group effort here to perform more research and see what other sources say specifically about the issue of the size of this denomination, then it's a great plan and alerting Wikiprojects would be in order. MezzoMezzo (talk) 03:47, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

Article needs to cover conflict between Sunnis and Shiites[edit]

There are conflicts today in the Middle East where Sunni-dominated forces and Shiite-dominate forces are fighting each other. Article needs to cover the whos, whats, whys and hows of this. Rcbutcher (talk) 07:34, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

Article needs to cover divisions and conflicts within Sunni Islam[edit]

I came to this article seeking to understand the history of conflict within Sunni Islam. To use an analogy, the Sunni - Shia schism could be likened to the Catholic - Orthodox division in Christendom. Yet within Catholicism there has also been a history of factionalism and division. Protestants and Catholics are the most visible break, but there are also deep divisions within these groups. Clearly deep divisions also exist among Sunnis. For example, Sunni critics say that Wahhabism's rigidity has led it to misinterpret and distort the true Sunni understanding of Islam, pointing to extremists such as Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network and the Taliban. Can a section on divisions internal to the Sunni faith be included in this article? Asd154 (talk) 21:35, 12 September 2015 (UTC)

Original Research implying the first Muslims were Sunnis will be removed[edit]

The pictures of the Prophet's mosque and maps of the Rashidun Caliphate do not belong here unless there's a reliable source to prove that the Prophet and the first caliphs considered themselves to be "sunnis." cӨde1+6 LogicBomb! 01:34, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

@Septate You seem to want to engage in an edit-war, (which you should avoid) please explain your removal of sourced content from the history page here, and also re-including the pics I removed against NPOV. Show me how/why (with reliable sources) those 2 pictures belong here (which have nothing to do with Sunnism), and what reason you had to remove the content on the history of Sunnism, which was reliably sourced. cӨde1+6 LogicBomb! 12:27, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
I will just point out that an "enormous" (see edit summary) amount of text added by User:Code16 to the History section was about Sunni history, and didn't amount to more than a normal-length section. So yes, it would be perfectly "compatible" (citing edit summary again) with this article. As to "Citation needed" tags, those really shouldn't be removed until there is an inline source verifying the challenged material - that's just Wikipedia basics. LjL (talk) 12:45, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
@ User:Code16!

Do uu really think that content was relevant to History section??? You can't just write anything by saying that it is sourced. It hurts me not because it is irrelevant to the article but because it is damaging the credibility of Wikipedia! What would a reader think when he/she finds out that he/she is not reading the history of Sunni Islam but instead Wikipedia is teaching him/her that 'one should not think that early Muslims followed Sunni Islam'

You should overconfident because I can refute your whole ' sourced claims' by stating only one hadith which is believed to be true by all Muslims except quranists. The hadith (saying of prophet of Islam) states that 'there will be 73 denominations of Islam and only one will go to heaven' . (This is the same hadith that ruined by faith in Islam because I realised that there was only 1.39% chance for me to go to heaven'!) This hadith has 2 implications no#1 Islam supports denominations and no#2 there is no such term as 'Nondenominational' in Islam and early Muslims also belonged to a particular denomination.

In end I just request u that plz don't use Wikipedia for promoting unity among Muslims u can have your own site for this purpose and other thing I want to say is that if you don't understand this then keep doing what u are doing. I will neither disturb u nor admin on this topic because I don't care anymore! @LjL the fact that Sunnis believe that Abu Bakar was first Caliph and Ali was fourth one is a universal fact. It will be unnecessay and undue if we site sources. Septate (talk) 13:34, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

No. You're wrong. Citing sources is almost always necessary and due. I do understand that you're upset because you think Code16 is trying to do something as heinous as "promoting unity among Muslims", but what they really are doing is expanding the History section with relevant, sourced material. Hadiths are not a reliable source for anything except their own content. LjL (talk) 13:45, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

Edits by[edit]

The IP in question has been repeatedly making edits that are, well... suboptimal in nature. And in the lead section, at that. Could someone have a look at them? They have bad grammar, are uncited, and they don't really seem to belong in the lede. I've reverted them before with edit summaries, but the user just keeps making more without responding. LjL (talk) 00:44, 24 October 2015 (UTC)

Reverted to last stable version. cӨde1+6 LogicBomb! 01:39, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
There's another IP now and one of the edit summaries made it seem like they are working together. Page protection might be in order... cӨde1+6 LogicBomb! 15:54, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
I already asked for protection, but for now, an admin has chosen to block both IPs instead. Unless a third IP appears, there should be no need for further action. LjL (talk) 15:56, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
I just noticed the block, that should work. cӨde1+6 LogicBomb! 15:59, 24 October 2015 (UTC)


In the section Lexicology, this sentence appears: Some followers of Shi'ism refer to Sunnis using derogatory epithets such as nasibi and Bakri.

Although nasibi is defined on its own Wikipedia page, no gloss is given for Bakri. Capitalisation suggests a proper name; then again, Google image search throws up images of livestock. Can anyone help? Nuttyskin (talk) 14:18, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

RfC on Sunni Islam template[edit]

Please comment on this RfC, related to the Zahiri school and the Sunni Islam template. Eperoton (talk) 03:29, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

Sourced content deletion by مصطفى النيل[edit]

@مصطفى النيل:: Your edits have now been reverted by 3 different editors. That should signal to you that something is wrong with what you're doing. Please stop deleting sourced content arbitrarily, without discussing on talk page. cӨde1+6TP 01:54, 18 May 2016 (UTC)

Apparently this user has deleted the same content 3 times already today, I've submitted a report. cӨde1+6TP
@Code16: good on you. I'm surprised that somebody would so blatantly delete nearly the whole lead of such a high-importance article. MezzoMezzo (talk) 03:35, 18 May 2016 (UTC)
Hello :-). I Added important info and a reliable source, and I removed (one) person's opinion on Sunni Islam where he tries to judge weather Sunni Islam represents the original Islam or not! Because one person's or even few persons opinion is not a reliable sources at all in Wikipedia on such a huge issue and global religion. Encyclopedias such as Wikipedia are neutral and do not promote one's or even few people opinion on a religion. I also removed one person's false claim who maybe said (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 and the Caucasus). I didn't remove just because I couldn't find the original source to read claimed quotation and because it is an opinion of one person only, I removed it also because it is completely false info. Sunni-dominated regions such as the Levant.. etc are still Sunni-dominated regions.[1] Best wishes for you. مصطفى النيل (talk) 07:21, 18 May 2016 (UTC)
So an admin already explained to you (on your talk page) why your reasoning isn't valid for removing said content: "The information you removed was supported by an authoritative specialist source which meets our reliable sourcing standards." Please refrain from repeating this incident as it violates guideline. Thanks. cӨde1+6TP 11:14, 18 May 2016 (UTC)
The opinion of more than one scholar was removed, and those opinions were in books published be reputable publishing houses. This isn't up for an editor to simply decide whether *they* personally like it or dislike it. Lecturing multiple users reverting you, after an admin already explained what was wrong with your edits, is combative even when it's done with polite terms. MezzoMezzo (talk) 03:33, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

Guys, You may help me to keep Wikipedia trustworthy[edit]

Hello :-). In fact, Aaron W. Hughes is a Professor of Jewish Studies, not Islamic studies. He only has some interests and writings about Islam but he is NOT a specialist on Islam.[1] So, I hope from you to remove his claims about Islam from Wikipedia to keep Wikipedia trustworthy. I also hope from you to remove the clearly false info which says (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 and the Caucasus) because it's proven that these claims are completely false as an official Congressional report says. [2] [3] So, I hope everyone be helpful keeping Wikipedia trustworthy and avoid edit war. Thanks :-). مصطفى النيل (talk) 16:51, 20 May 2016 (UTC)

Ok, you just deleted the same reliably sourced content, against consensus, after multiple users including an admin warned you not to do so... Also you're making major changes without establishing consensus. EDIT: I've reverted your changes. cӨde1+6TP 20:00, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
@مصطفى النيل: You need for other people to actually agree with your points before you can act on them. If you revert again without other editors agreeing with you, I will block you for edit warring no matter what you post on the talk page before hand. Ian.thomson (talk) 01:11, 21 May 2016 (UTC)

The edition you both are trying to enforce has no consensus also because I don't agree with it for objective reasons! مصطفى النيل (talk) 04:28, 22 May 2016 (UTC)

That's ridiculous. Consensus exists even if you're ignoring it. Ian.thomson (talk) 13:56, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
Aside from consensus issues, the cited source (pp. 35-38) contains nothing even remotely resembling the added text. Eperoton (talk) 14:08, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
I don't think it would be out of line for me to suggest that we're facing an issue of WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT here. MezzoMezzo (talk) 03:50, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

Anyway, in my latest edit I didn't remove the false claims or anything. I just added info and reliable sources and I hope everyone cooperate and avoid edit wars against my latest edit. مصطفى النيل (talk) 04:40, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

YOU are the one who is edit warring. YOU are the one misusing sources and inserting incorrect material to the article. YOU are the one who is causing the problem. STOP edit warring against multiple editors and discuss why exactly you want to enact the changes you want to make first. MezzoMezzo (talk) 04:52, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
I agree with مصطفى النيل latest edit. شامخ بشموخ (talk) 15:10, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
Then address the concerns raised above (e.g., the failed source verification) and get a consensus for the change. Eperoton (talk) 15:40, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
شامخ بشموخ You now have 2 warnings by two different editors on your own talk page regarding these edits, plus Eperton's advice above. And since you're raising the exact same issue as مصطفى النيل, all the points by the other editors to him also apply to you. Read the previous threads on the subject to familiarize yourself with the issue. There is failure of verification and consensus to deal with, and you can't simply delete reliably sourced content because you don't like it. cӨde1+6TP 16:22, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
Me too, I agree with مصطفى النيل edit. أحمد المنصورة (talk) 17:12, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
SPI here. Eperoton (talk) 17:29, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

Nothing wrong with the edit of مصطفى النيل so whats the matter here?! متحور (talk) 18:07, 4 June 2016 (UTC)


The History section of this article seems really bad. Firstly, the "main article" of Caliphate isn't a history of Sunni Islam, but a list of Caliphates, so shouldn't be described as the main article. Secondly, it starts out with "One common mistake is to assume ...". I assume instead that there are many English-speaking readers of this article who know little about Sunni Islam and would have no such assumptions, and would like to know something about the history instead. Thirdly, compare the histories of equivalent Christian denominations: History of the Catholic Church and History of Protestantism - they are far more detailed. Is it not possible to write in a similar way about Sunni Islam? Horatio (talk) 23:08, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

Horatio I've removed the link to the "caliphate" main, valid point. About the leading sentence though ("One common mistake is to assume ..."), it's just paraphrasing the quote in the secondary source, which describes this assumption as a common mistake generally for all (muslims and non muslims alike.) It's actually not an audience specific issue, but a very general point. Keep in mind that most non-Muslims are usually just exposed to Sunnism and its derivatives. cӨde1+6TP 15:29, 14 August 2016 (UTC)

the lede could be more clearly phrased[edit]

hi, i think the lede is unclearly phrased

"Sunni Islam primarily contrasts with Shi'a Islam, which holds that Muhammad's son-in-law and cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib, not Abu Bakr, was his first caliph"

i am writing this from the perspective of someone completely unfamiliar in this subject and having read this phrase it wasnt until I read the intro to the Shi'a Islam article that i realised what this is saying, that Sunni Islam hold's that Muhammed did not appoint a successor.

The Shia Islam page has a simmilar phrase in the lede differentiating Sunni and Shia Islam but the Shia Islam page has an additional sentence which further clarifies in positive terms what Shia Islam holds

"Shia Islam primarily contrasts with Sunni Islam, whose adherents believe that Muhammad did not appoint a successor. Instead they consider Abu Bakr (who was appointed Caliph through a Shura, i.e. consensus) to be the correct Caliph"

- I think this is why the currnet phrase is confusing, because it uses a negative to say what Sunni Islam -does not hold- which is that Ali ibn Abi Talib was the first caliph, instead of saying -in positive terms- what Sunni Islam -does-hold.

I propose adding an additional sentence to this article after the sentence I have highlighted which puts in positive terms that - eg

"Instead they consider that Muhammed did not appoint a successor."

-or more accurately what Sunni Islam holds. As I said I am completely uninformed in this topic so do not feel very equipped to write this additional clarifying sentence but think adding one would be helpful in making the lede clearer and would make the article consistent with the phrasing of the Shia Islam which is clear and which could be good for further clarity. I could work out what the phrase would be which wouldnt be much more than my proposal but if someone feels more qualified please add a sentence instead, I wont add my draft sentence to the page.

Best Veilofdarkness12 (talk) 01:13, 2 August 2016 (UTC)

I agree that the opening of the lead is poorly written, but I think it needs a more thorough solution. The two opening sentences are trying to define the term through its history, and instead end up obscuring and trivializing the subject. Some -- seeimingly most -- encyclopedias don't attempt to explain the Sunni/Shia split in the opening sentences at all, leaving it for later:
 The Sunnis are the largest branch of the Muslim community, at least 85 percent of the world's 1.2 billion Muslims. The name is derived from the Sunnah, the exemplary behavior of the Prophet Muhammad. (The Oxford Dictionary of Islam)
 Practiced by the majority of Muslims, Sunnī Islam is based primarily on the sunnah, the customary practice of the prophet Muḥammad. (The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World)
 the belief and practice of mainstream, as opposed to Shia, Islam (see Shiites). Sunni Muslims, constituting over 80% of all believers, follow the sunna, a code of practice based on the hadith collected in the Sihah Satta, six authentic Books of Tradition about the prophet Muhammad. (A Dictionary of World History (2 ed.), Oxford University Press)
 Arabic Sunnī, member of one of the two major branches of Islam, the branch that consists of the majority of that religion’s adherents. Sunni Muslims regard their sect as the mainstream and traditionalist branch of Islam, as distinguished from the minority sect, the Shīʿites. (Encyclopedia Britannica)

Those that do mention the split right at the outset, explain something about the different conceptions of political legitimacy rather than just mention the names:

 The Sunni movement can be identified in terms of its differences with the second largest division of Islam, the Shi'ite, with whom it shares the fundamental creed of Islam. After the death of the Prophet, the political issue of how leadership was to be chosen split the new community. The Shi'a of Ali (literally, the party of Ali) insisted that the Prophet had intended for his cousin Ali to succeed him, while the majority of Muslims maintained that the caliph should be elected and did not have to belong to the Prophet’s family. The Sunnis maintained that since the Prophet had not clearly designated a successor, his Sunna (example, custom), by which they were to abide (hence their name), mandated elections. (The Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa (2nd Edition), MacMillan Reference)
 The majority tradition of Islam, comprising around 72 per cent of all Muslims, and distinguished from Shi'ite Islam in recognizing successors to the Prophet Muhammad (caliphs) without insisting that these had to be his descendants. (A Dictionary of Contemporary World History (3 ed.), Oxford University Press)

How about something like: "Sunni Islam is the largest denomination of Islam. Its name comes from the word Sunnah, referring to the exemplary behavior of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. The differences between Sunnis and Shi'as arose from a disagreement over the choice of Muhammad's successor, and subsequently acquired broader political significance, as well as theological, philosophical, and juridical dimensions." End of paragraph. Then the next paragraph can explain the succession controversy.

Eperoton (talk) 02:07, 2 August 2016 (UTC)

Implementing this proposal. Eperoton (talk) 01:54, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

Is there a contradiction?[edit]

The article on Shia Islam says that Sunni Islam does not uphold the idea of Muhammed appointing a successor; wheras this article says he did, that it was Abu Bakr. Can this be clarified?--NadirAli نادر علی (talk) 05:31, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

The Shia Islam article says, "Shia consider Ali to have been divinely appointed as the successor to Muhammad", As I read this, it implies that Shias disagree with the idea that Mohammed had divine authority to appoint his own successor. I'm not sure whether or not it is needful for this this article on the topic of Sunni Islam to confront non-Sunni disagreements with Sunni beliefs. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 13:50, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Seeming original research in the pillars of iman section[edit]

@Megalodon34: I have some concerns about the pillars of iman section as it stands currently. There were some issues of POV insertion (albeit unintentional since it seemed very conventional) which you might notice in my edit summaries. I'm more concerned about the claims of modern-day movements (I'm assuming you intend Salafists and Wahhabism) rejecting what are considered "traditional" aspects of Sunni creed. There are a few issues I'm seeing here.

  • The points denoted with asterisks are only cited to the book by Tahawi itself; such a citation only points to Tahawi's own comments, not what other groups accepted or rejected.
  • Tahawi's book is essentially like a series of bullet points, albeit some longer than others. Transcluding the entire book to this article isn't helpful nor encyclopedic, and without secondary sources, we have no way for determining which points are more notable than others.
  • Tahawi's book as a citation ends up constituting original research if we, as editors, read into it what he must have intended or what the implications of his views were.
  • The assumption that Ash'arism and Maturidism are traditional whereas the Salafist creed isn't constitutes a combination of OR and light POV pushing, since the Salafists claim that their creed predates their modern movement. Their claim is also one that can't be accepted as objective fact, but the point I'm making is that presentation of the view of either group as truth would constitute an OR issue if presented without citation, and a possible POV issue if citations is provided but only to support one side of the disagreement.

At this point it's best to discuss further, but my main concern currently is that the section is being turned into the personal commentary and views of editors on Tahawi's creed. The solution in most cases like this is to simply scale back recent edits and only present what can be supported with reliable secondary sources, taking care not to take sides in the debate about who's traditional/orthodox and who isn't (re: the problem of presenting Azhar as "traditional"), and ensuring that the content of articles is based on the body of published work and not original prose. MezzoMezzo (talk) 03:29, 12 February 2017 (UTC)