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.
A great religious difference divided the Fatimite caliph of Cairo, the head of the Shiite sect, from the Abbasid caliph of Bagdad, who was the head of the Sunnites.
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.