Islamic Studies and Humanities 3 (2):103-126 (2018)

Zainul Maarif
Paramadina University
Sunni or Sunnism stands for Ahlu As-Sunnah wa al-Jamā`ah which is also called ASWAJA. Many people publish and debate it without clear meaning and reference. This article is a demonstrative-linguistic study that outlines the meaning and reference to the term "Sunni" to understand it clearly. This research shows that Sunnis have at least two groups. First, Sunni Ahlu Al- Ḥadīts, the path of Ibn Hanbal and Ibn Taimiyyah, which tends to be puritan and at some point raises hardline intolerant Muslims. Second, moderate Sunnis, who opened the space for fiqh schools other than Ibn Hanbal, and chooses to refer to moderate Islamic thinkers, such as Ash-Shāfi'i in fiqh (Islamic law), Al-Asy`ari in kalam (Islamic theology) and Al -Ghazali in Sufism (Islamic mysticism). The two Sunni groups were both Ahlu as-Sunnah wa al-Jamā`ah. The first group tends to embody the phrase Ahlu as-Sunnah wa al-Jamā'ah terminologically (iṣṭilāḥan), while the second group tends to display the phrase linguistically (lughatan).
Keywords Sunni  ASWAJA  Ahlu Al-Ḥadīts  Moderatisme
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