13 May 2003, 13:01
One of the Islam trends which has a greatest number of followers among moslems. The word "sunnism" occurs from Arabian "as-sunnah" - a custom, a sample, an example. Its adherents call themselves akl'-sunnah (people - sunns), proceeding from belief that they adhere to the undistorted tradition of prophet Muhammada.
According to the Sunnism doctrine, the head of moslems is elected by the community; six well-known collections of khadises (these are stories about statements and acts of Mukhammad), collected by Mooslim, Abuh Daud, at-Tirmizi, an-Nasai and Ibn Madzhi, are considered authentic, the four first caliphs (the chapter of the Muslim community, replacing the envoy of Allah) - Abuh Bakr, Omar, Osman and Ali - are considered legitimate and just ones.
Sunnits belong to one of four mazhabs (religious-legal schools, interpretations) - the hanafits, the malikits, the shafijits or the khanbalits. As the certain Islam doctrine, sunism was formed in 10-11 centuries in its struggle with shijism. Followers of sunnism make the majority of the population in all Muslim countries, except of Iran and Iraq. In Russia the overwhelming majority of moslems are the sunnism adherents.