Sunni a derivative from the Arabic word Sunnah, which means customs, rites, norms, behaviour etc. The Companions (R) of Hazrat muhammad (Sm) strictly followed all instructions of the prophet (Sm) and acted according to his advice and precepts. Therefore activities, sayings and actions authenticated by them are included in the Sunnah. Accordingly, the followers of the Prophet (Sm) and his Companions (R) are called Sunnis, who are also known as Ahl'us Sunnah wa'al Jam'a. Sunnis believe that they are Al-firkat'un-Najiyya ie, members of the 'group of salvaged persons' and according to them, the Prophet's (Sm) Companions (R) are pioneers the forerunners in this group.

The World Muslim Community (millat) was later divided along some sectarian lines, notable among which are the Khariji, Shiah, Mu'tajili and Sunni. Sunnis however form the majority group. Prominent among the scholars in interpreting and analysing the Sunni Aquida and philosophy was Abul-Hasan Al Ash'ari (died 324 Hegira) and Abul Mansur Al-Maturidi (died 333 Hegira).

Most Muslims in Bangladesh are Sunnis. The term Sunni (Ahl'us Sunnah wa'al Jam'a) first came into use during the period of the Abbasid Khalifa (Caliph) Al-Mutawakkil (232 - 247 Hegira), who was a Sunni. Al-Mutawakkil was awarded the title Muh'yus-Sunnah ie, the monolithic of Sunnah. Subsequently, the Sunni sect got patronage of Khalifas and emperors.

The Sunni sect has a number of sub groups, such as the followers of the Mukallid-fiqhi imams (eg, imams of the four madhabs), Salafis and ahl-e-hadith, to whom Gayar Mukallid-Madhab is not acceptable, and some minor groups who follow scrupulously the literal meaning of Ahl'uj Jahib, quran and hadith. [ATM Muslehuddin]