Yet these two schools of Sufis were never quite similar; on Sunnite soil Sufiism could not openly impugn orthodox views, while in Persia it was saturated with Shiite heresy and the pantheism of the extreme devotees of 'Ali.
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.
On the side of Persia too, where the decisive battle of Shurur (1502) had raised to power Ismail, the first of the modern line of shahs, danger threatened the sultan, and the latter years of his reign were troubled by the spread, under the influence of the new Persian power, of the Shiite doctrine in Kurdistan and Asia Minor.
Ali among Shiite Mahommedans; the Bab in Babism; the Druse Hakim).
It is still, however, the centre of distribution for a very large, if scantily populated, country, and it also derives much profit from pilgrims, lying as it does on the route which Shiite pilgrims from Persia must take on their way to the sacred cities.
Badakshan proper is peopled by Tajiks, Turks and Arabs, who speak the Persian and Turki languages, and profess the orthodox doctrines of the Mahommedan law adopted by the Sunnite sect; while the mountainous districts are inhabited by Tajiks, professing the Shiite creed and speaking distinct dialects in different districts.
He not only caused the mourning for the death of Hosain and other Shiite festivals to be celebrated at Bagdad, but also allowed imprecations against Moawiya and even against Mahomet's wife Ayesha and the caliphs Abu Bekr, Omar and Othman, to be posted up at the doors of the mosques.
The Caucasian races (except the Gregorians), together with the Turks and Tatars, are Mussulmans of the Sunnite sect (2,021,300), and the Iranian races mostly Mussulmans of the Shiite sect (884, too).
The Kajar shah walked on foot to the tomb of Imam Riza, before which he knelt and kissed the ground in token of devotion, and was recognized as a Shiite of Shiites.
The Sunnite Turk was almost a greater enemy to his neighbor the Shiite than the formidable Muscovite, who had curtailed him of Rupture so large a section of his territory west of the Caspian.