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Sunni Islam () is by far the largest
branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who spe ...
of
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
, followed by 85–90% of the world's
Muslims Muslims () are people who follow or practice Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", ...
. Its name comes from the word ''
Sunnah In Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the ''s'' is or , and whether the ''a'' is pronounced , or (when the stress is on the first ...
'', referring to the behaviour of
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
. The differences between Sunni and
Shia Muslims Shia Islam or Shi'ism is one of the two main branches of Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether the ''s'' is or , and whether the ...
arose from a disagreement over the
succession to Muhammad The succession to Muhammad is the central issue that split the Muslim community into several divisions in the first century of Islamic history, with the most prominent among these sects being the Shia and Sunni branches of Islam Isl ...
and subsequently acquired broader political significance, as well as
theological Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught as an academic discipline An academic discipline or academic field is a subdivision of knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity ...
and
juridical {{Short pages monitor