The first and central difference became apparent after the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632 AD. The question was who would be the caliph – the “representative of God” – in the absence of the Prophet. While the majority sided with Abu Bakr, one of the Prophet`s closest companions, a minority chose his son-in-law and cousin Ali. This group believed that Ali had been appointed by the Prophet as the political and spiritual leader of the young Muslim community. During the 20th century, there was an Islamic uprising in Syria with sectarian religious nuances between the Alawite-dominated Assad government and the Sunni Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, culminating in the Hama massacre in 1982. An estimated 10,000 to 40,000 Syrians, mostly civilians, were killed by the Syrian army in the city. During the uprising, the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood attacked military cadets at an artillery school in Aleppo, carried out car bombings in Damascus, as well as bombings against the government and its officials, including Hafez al-Assad himself, and killed several hundred people. Although the leader of the Iranian revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, is very supportive of Shia-Sunni unity, he has also challenged Saudi Arabia, in his opinion an “unpopular and corrupt dictatorship” and an “American lackey” ripe for revolution. Partly because Saudi Arabia was the world`s largest international donor of Islamic schools, scholarships and scholarships, it angered not only Saudi Arabia, but also its many fundamentalist allies and benefactors in the Arab world, Nasr said.  The Sunni and Shia sects of Islam encompass a wide range of teachings, opinions, and schools of thought. Branches agree on many aspects of Islam, but there are significant differences of opinion within individuals. Both branches include believers who span the range from secular to fundamentalist.
The Shiites consider Ali and the rulers who came after him as imams. Most believe in a number of 12 imams, the last of whom, a boy, is believed to have disappeared in Iraq in the ninth century after the assassination of his father. The Shiites known as the Twelve await his return as Mahdi or Messiah. Because of the different paths taken by the two sects, Sunnis emphasize the power of God in the material world, sometimes in the public and political spheres, while Shiites value martyrdom and sacrifice. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, a Sunni who rules a Shia-majority country and fears the effects of the Iranian revolution, is sending his troops to occupy part of an oil-rich province in Iran. .