Muslim code of practice; a body of traditional law based on the sayings, actions, and guidance of the prophet Muhammad, as detailed in the Hadith and the Sirah (a biography of the prophet's life). The Sunna forms part of the Shari'a, the law of Islam; there is no difference between civil and religious law. Following the Koran (or Quran or Qur'an) and the Sunna provides all the necessary information for a Muslim to live the right way.
Sunni Muslims believe that they are the true followers of the Sunna; their imams (religious leaders) are seen as advisers. Shiite Muslims have created their own version of the Sunna, as they accept the rulings of the historic imams (believed to be descended indirectly from Muhammad) as divine. They also believe that the last imam (the ‘hidden imam’), continues to pass on divine authority through chosen leaders. Different Shiite groups disagree as to who was the last imam, and who the chosen leaders are.
Sunna (pl. sunan ) is derived from the root s/n/n/(sanna-yasunnu-sannan) . The verb has various meanings: to sharpen, whet, hone, grind...
Member of the larger of the two main sects of Islam, with about 680 million adherents. Sunni Muslims believe that the caliph Abu Bakr, adviser to the
(hädēth'), a tradition or the collection of the traditions of Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, including his sayings and deeds, and his tacit approva