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Definition: Sunna from The Macquarie Dictionary

the traditional part of Muslim law, claimed to be based on the words and acts of Mohammed, although not attributed verbatim to him.

Etymology: Arabic sunnah form, way, path

Summary Article: Sunna
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

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.

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