Anti-Sunna opposition: Historical perspective I. The beginning
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Although the supporters of Sunna want to see its opponents as newcomers to Islam and recent, West-influenced innovators, it is a historical fact that controversies around the Prophetic Tradition emerged long before the modern times. The growth of the critical tendencies starting in the 19th century in fact marks a new era of anti-Sunna movement. However, it is really difficult nowadays to get the real picture of the earliest Sunna opposition. The reason is simple: a lack of documents from the source. The remaining heresiographical materials usually date back only to about the year 900 and, to boot, are contaminated with prejudices and enmities of their authors, pre- dominantly representing the mainstream Islamic ideology. Additionally, a complication in naming the sects has come into existence.