The roots of Sunni Islam lie in the earliest sectarian divides that affected the Muslim community immediately after the death of the Prophet Muhammad.
Sunni Islam emphasizes the prophetic legacy of Muhammad. The evolution of hadith literature during the early years of Islamic society's expansion and development is the major influence on the trajectory of the tradition.
Sunni Islam was not a singular movement or the result of any one person's approach to religion, but rather a broad tradition stemming from diverse and organic developments in the early Muslim community.
Like all Muslims, Sunnis believe that the Quran is the inviolable word of God. What distinguishes Sunni Islam is a tradition of hadith literature that underwent its own processes of elaboration and canonization over the course of the first several centuries of the Islamic era.
Though Sunni Islam has its origins in the conflicts of the 7th century, it reached its fullest maturation, as a wide-ranging tradition, during Islam's Classical Period, in the late and High Middle Ages.