As this prince belonged, like Firdousi, to the Shiah sect, while Mahmud and Maimandi were Sunnites, and as he was also politically opposed to the sultan, Hasan Maimandi did not fail to make the most of this incident, and accused the poet of disloyalty to his sovereign and patron, as well as of heresy.
All are Sunnites, and, although still speaking their Somali national tongue, betray a large infusion of Arab blood in their oval face, somewhat light skin, and remarkably regular features.
The Sunnites, who held by the Koran and tradition) maintained that this should be determined by the choice of the community.
After a time Ali submitted, but the difference of opinion as to his claims gave rise to the controversy which still divides the followers of the prophet into the rival factions of Sunnites and Shiites.
The Sunnites insist that the office belongs to the tribe of Koreish (Quraish) to which Mahomet himself belonged, but this condition would vitiate the claim of the Turkish sultans, who have held the office since its transference by the last caliph to Selim I.
The dominant race is the Uzbegs, who are fanatical Moslem Sunnites, scorn work, despise their Iranian subjects, and maintain their old division into tribes or clans.
The Mahommedans are Sunnites, professing the creed commonly termed orthodox, and are principally of the persuasion of the Shafiis, whose celebrated founder, the imam ash-Shafii, is buried in the great southern cemetery of Cairo.
The religious atmosphere of Ganja, besides, was most favourable to such a state of mind; the inhabitants, being zealous Sunnites, allowed nobody to dwell among them who did not come up to their standard of orthodoxy, and it is therefore not surprising to find that Nizami abandoned himself at an early age to a stern ascetic life, as full of intolerance to others as dry and unprofitable to himself.
SUNNITES, literally, "those of the path," sunna, i.e.
The Sunnites, who accept the orthodox tradition (Sunna) as well as the Koran as a source of theologico-juristic doctrines, predominate in Arabia, the Turkish Empire, the north of Africa, Turkestan, Afghanistan and the Mahommedan parts of India and the east of Asia; the Shi`ites have their main seat in Persia, where their confession is the state religion, but are also scattered over the whole sphere of Islam, especially in India and the regions bordering on Persia, except among the nomad Tatars, who are all nominally Sunnite.
Have tended to bring them closer to one another, we still find that of the thirty-six chief orders three claim an origin from the caliph Abubekr, whom the Sunnites honour, and the rest from 'All, the idol of the Shi`ites.
These steps annoyed the people and the Turkish soldiery, who were Sunnites, and led at last to an insurrection.
The question of Ali's right to succeed to the caliphate is an article of faith which divided the Mahommedan world into two great sects, the Sunnites and the Shiites, the former denying, and the latter affirming, his right.