Difference Between Sunni and Wahabi

Main difference

The main difference between Sunnis and Wahhabis is that Sunnis show additional respect for the Prophet Muhammad while Wahhabis also respect the Prophet Muhammad but believe that he should only be respected as a human being.

Comparison chart

Basis of Distinction Sunni Wahhabi
Definition Sunni refers to those Muslims who follow the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad. They also do new things in Islam and called them Islamic. Wahabi is a member of the Sunni Muslim fundamentalist sect founded by Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab
Population 90% Muslim 5% Muslim
countries Asia, Africa, Middle East Saudi Arabia
word etymology Derived from Sunnah From the name of Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab
fiqh school Four: Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali Not except Ijma of Ulema
groups Barelvi, Deobandi, Wahabi Salafi, Ah Hadith


Sunni is the largest section of Islam. Its name comes from the word Sunnah, alluding to the model behavior of the Islamic prophet Mohammed. Sunnis see themselves as the usual branch of Islam. The name “Sunni” is derived from the expression “Ahl al-Sunnah”, or “people of tradition”. The convention for this situation refers to sharpening what the Prophet Muhammad said, consented to or denounced. The essential accumulations comprising Kutub al-Sittah recognized by Sunni convention, together with the Qur’an and restrictive agreement, form the premise of all status within Sunni Islam. Laws are drawn from these essential sources; Likewise, the legal schools of Sunni Islam perceive contrasting techniques to infer lawful decisions, for example, analogical reason, open welfare thinking and legal circumspection. A common mistake is to expect the Sunni group to speak to Islam as it existed before the divisions, and it should be regarded as regulatory or standard. This insight is compromised by reliance on uniquely ideological sources that have been recognized as strong recorded works, plus because the population is largely Sunni and this story suits their group, even though it is far from accurate.


Wahabi is a person from a strict and fundamentalist Sunni Muslim group established by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703-1792). He advocates an early arrival in Islam of the Qur’an and Sunnah, ruling out later developments; order remains the predominant religious impulse in Saudi Arabia. Numerous Sunni and Shia Muslims cannot help but contradict Wahhabi development, and a widely circulated fear-inspired notion holds that it has been the result of mysterious British efforts to bring about the end of the Ottoman Empire. Ulema, including Al-Azhar researchers, frequently vilify Wahhabism with words such as “evil ideology.” Wahhabism has been blamed for being “a source of worldwide psychological oppression”, awakening the belief system of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and for causing disunity in the Muslim ethnic group by naming Muslims who could not help contradicting the Wahhabi meaning of monotheism as defectors (takfir) and advocating his slaughter. Additionally, it has been scrutinized for the demolition of memorable mazars, catacombs, and other Muslim and non-Muslim structures and ancient oddities.

Key differences

  1. After Prophet Muhammad, the Sunnis follow Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik, Imam Hanbal, and Imam Shafi, while the Wahhabis are followers of Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahab.
  2. Sunnis believe in mysticism and intercession, while Wahabi calls these erroneous innovations in Islam.
  3. Most Sunnis observe the Prophet of Muhammad, Sufi festivals and other Islamic events, while Wahhabis are against all of these.
  4. Wahabi tries to live as close as possible to Muhammad while the Sunnis follow almost everyone who, according to them, is on the right path.
  5. The concept of Jihad is strong in Wahhabis compared to Sunnis.
  6. Wahhabis are more conservative compared to Sunnis.
  7. Most sects of Muslims are against the founder of Wahabi, Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahab.
  8. Sunnis are the majority and nearly 90% of Muslims worldwide, while Wahhabis are found in Saudi Arabia and few Muslim countries.
  9. According to Sunnis, Allah (God) is like nothing. He is free from the body, etc. He also exists without a place, while the Wahhabis are against all these beliefs and also believe that Allah is seated in Arsh, above the heavens.
  10. Sunni follow both the companions of Prophet Muhammad and members of His family, while the Wahhabis do not consider that they should be followed after Prophet Muhammad’s preaching is finished.
  11. Sunnis continually visit the tombs or shrines of Prophet Muhammad and Islamic saints and consider it acceptable and blessed. The Wahhabis believe that all this is a great sin,
  12. The Wahabi prayer method is different from that of the Sunnis in one main point, and that is Rafa Yadeen, putting his hands to his ear. While the Sunnis do not follow them.
  13. Sunnis believe in praying after offering a funeral prayer, while Wahhabis do not believe in this.
  14. To a certain extent, Wahhabism is the branch of Sunnism, while Sunnism is an independent sect like Shia.
  15. Sunni believe in six books containing collections of hadith while Wahhabis only believe in the first two.
  16. The Wahhabis have strong beliefs about women and do not even allow them to drive a car and participate in politics, while the majority of Sunni Muslims believe in the equality of Islam.
  17. Muslims, from the time of the Prophet until now, have maintained and continue to visit and seek blessings from holy places and celebrate it in all Muslim lands. No one denied that except the Wahhabis who came up with their new doctrine in the 14th century of the hijra.

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