Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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(1,477 words)

Arabic term for “way of acting.” The ancient Arab concept sunna (pl. sunan) occurs eighteen times in the Qurʾān. Generally — that is to say outside the strict context of the Qurʾān — it is defined as a way of acting, whether approved or disapproved, and is normally associated with the people of earlier generations, whose example has to be followed or shunned by later generations. The concept occupies a crucial place in Islam. In the development of Islamic theology, it eventually came to be associated with orthodoxy, the bastion against heterodox innovation ( bidʿa; see innovation; theology…

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Juynboll, G.H.A., “Sunna”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 28 October 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQSIM_00408>

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