Iraq has been an Islamic land that dominated over Islamic world throughout caliphate life for centuries and therein numerous important developments were embedded. With two cities of Basra and Kufa it initially appeared under the name of ”'Araqiyan” and later with the appearance of Baghdad it played a more important role. The time we talk about is when it is still a hundred years left to Baghdad emergence. Basra, for years after the event of Jamal, was 'Uthmanids.1
Although it was somewhat moderated with the Mu'tazilites' (schismatic) penetration later. On the other hand, Kufa has always been known as a Shi'ites center that did adhere to its belief during the Umayyads's authority and later on. On different occasions this city has been “reproached” on the one hand and admired on the other, thus different judgments have been passed about the Kufa people as follows:
A. These people on different occasions took different positions. Once they rose for defending Ahl al-Bayt and strengthened the 'Alawites with their courage and it was their assistance that helped Imam defeat Nakithin. Yet, it was the last years of Imam 'Ali's caliphate when they hesitated to help him, so the gospel. Truth was defeated and the credal error won.
Though many2, later they left Hasan Ibn 'Ali (a) helpless on his own as well. Such a tragedy was also repeated in Muharram 61 A.H. However, many of them under the name of Tawwabin (the Penitents) repended and in a movement were martyred.
Another group allied with Mukhtar Ibn Abi 'Ubayd to take revenge for Imam Husayn's assassin to show their Shi'ites stance. With not helping Zayd Ibn 'Ali in 122 A.H. they proved their unfaithfulness to the 'Alawites.
B. The why of such contradictory judgments is the existence of various political and religious groups in the city. One group was the Kharijites, another was somehow the Umayyads' accomplice as the noble and the other group was the Shi'ite Muslims, Ahl al-Bayt's devotees from among whom the righteous were praised for their right deeds and the wicked kept on until they murdered the prophet's son.
C. The existence of the tribes was also influential in people's quick stance changing. They went to extremes in their tribal prejudice so irrationally that they made rash decisions on any trivial affair. Mostly in favor of the tribes were the decisions, so they threatened the Kufiyan's unity, exactly what the Umayyads took advantage of several times.
Here it looks essential that we get acquainted with the Iraqi's state on the threshold of Hasan Ibn 'Ali's Imamate. Were these people familiarized, the next developments in Iraq would be well comprehended.
Doing research on Imam Hasan's disciples, Sheykh Mufid classified people into categories. Imam 'Ali's Shi'ite Muslims; the Kharijites who were intent on fighting Mu'awiya and due to Imam Mujtaba's intention of battling against Damascus allied with him. Those greedy for the booty; Common people negligent of what to do; and the group included those with tribal prejudice who obeyed their chiefs disregarding the religion.31509
The number of those belonging to the third group exceeded all. As Iraq was the center of eastern conquests, they gained a great deal of booty in all wars. Yet, since Imam 'Ali's entrance to the land civil wars began; therefore, they assumed the 'Alawites as debtors.4
After Nahrawan, they did not deem to the good of themselves to start a new war in the prevailing status. With the rumors spread by Mu'awiya's spies in Iraq, doubt expanded among the Iraqis. The Kharijites' emergence added to their doubt and undermined them to understand the situation.
Regardless of what said above, the people of Iraq, as matter of fact, had expressed themselves encountering the rulers of a hundred years. The honor they had gained during the years of conquering Iran had made them dominant over the Prophet's Medina and when dissatisfied of any ruler, they compelled even 'Umar to depose him.
The figures who were not among the tricksters seemed to be defeated. 'Ammar Ibn Yasir as a righteous man as well as Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqas as an un-political person could never tolerate the state of Kufa. In spite of it Mughira Ibn Shu'ba, a powerful debauchee (as described by 'Umar), could rule over Kufa for years.51511
Later on, with Imam 'Ali's emigration from Medina to Kufa, it developed and the significance of its role in the Islamic world multiplied. His ethical and scientific background as well as his devotion during the life of Islam led people to rise up and help him.
The Prophet's disciples and his own close followers joining to his army added to his might and allowed no one to overcome him for a time. but, after the issue of arbitration was broached in Siffin, they found a justification for standing against Imam 'Ali (a) and after suppressing the Kharijites, they, under the pretext of fatigue, drew back from the internal affairs. Imam stated that although a ruler, he had been oppressed by people.6
People's present state made Imam announce that he was by no means able to reform them. Though he could rule over them by force, it was never the way he did ever choose.
He himself has described them well enough, “O people of Kufa! With Qur'anic advice thee I reproached, fruitless it was. With rods thee I threatened, useless it was. With whips thee I punished, pointless if was. The only means to reform thee is sword, but at a cost of thy reforming never do I excite discord.”7
Sword was the one and the only thing that could make the people of Iraq obedient. This fact has been confirmed throughout history. If anyone like 'Ali (a) and his progeny had never desired to make use of force, that is to impose something the people hated, neverever could he have succeeded.
Such rulers as Ziyad, his son, 'Ubayd Allah, or Hajjaj could pacify Iraq. Despotism was what could remove the tensions. Mukhtar also could rule for a short time with his policy but because not despotic, he could never unite Kufa let alone Iraq.
Amir al-Mu'minin, the Commander of the Faithful, has expressively described this nation. He has likened them to a pregnant woman who aborts her baby at the very last moment after bearing the sever pain of pregnancy.8 To camels without riders he also likened them that are gathered from one side but scattered on the other.91515
It is quite natural that such morale can on no accounts tolerate a calm and reformist ruler who resorts to human and logical ways. At the end, the more Imam insisted on people's unity against Damascus, the less they even tried to defend Iraq.
It was then when Imam addressed them reproaching:
أيتها الفرقة التي إذا امرت لم تطع وإذا دعوت لم تجب، لله أنتم، أما دين يجمعكم، أما حمية تشخدكم؟ أوليس عجباً أنَّ معاوية يدعو الجفاة الطغام فيتبعونه غير معونة ولا عطاء وأنا أدعوكم وأنتم تريكة الاسلام، أنه لايخرج إليكم من امري رضاَ ترضونه ولا سُخط فتجتمعون عليه وإن احبَّ ما أنا لاق إلي الموت
“O the crowd laying disobedient when ordered and remaining silent when called. Thou hast no religion to prepare thee? Thou hast no fervor to propel thee? Not a surprise rogues follow Mu'awiya without expecting money and he is obeyed. I call you, the survivors of Islam, but you never follow me even I am not outraged for this. The only desire I seek is death.” 101516
These people treat 'Ali such while having brilliant records as far as he desires death. Of course, Imam could attract people, like Mu'awiya, through non-Islamic ways or force them to war. But Imam behaved them this way now that they like staying and he never intended to force them to accept something they did not want11 because if he did so, his leadership is not “Imamate ” but “Monarchy”.
This was something Mu'awiya stayed proud of. Anyway, such people faced Hasan Ibn 'Ali (a)'s succession, the eople unwilling to admit their Imam's command to defend Iraq and they went their homse from Nahrawan for rest and never returned.12
Mu'awiya's position in Damascus had strengthened as well. Damascus people who had already called Mu'awiya Amir now called him Amir al-Mu'minin. The Iraqi solidarity was not like that of Siffin time. The death toll in Siffin and Nahrawan had undermined the Iraqi's spirit.13 Since Hasan Ibn 'Ali was Imam 'Ali's son, it had added to the difficulties.
Yet, Iraq was afraid of being dominated by Damascus. Although they disobeyed their Imam, they were not contended with his murder. In other words, because they did not want to be under Mu'awiya's dominance, they had no other alternative but swearing allegiance to Imam 'Ali's son.
Under those circumstances no one could lead Iraq but Imam Hasan (a). Supposing that he did not exist, the Umayyads would naturally rule over Iraq. Nevertheless, the Iraqis' allegiance was not so wholehearted to keep them faithful to their new Imam. As seen later, on the horns of a dilemma, they preferred to be beside the Umayyads, yet unwillingly. Therefore, among these people there was no room for Imam. He had to head for Medina.
Regarding Imam Hasan's virtues many narrations are recorded the narrators of which have been both Shi'ite Muslims and Sunnites scholars.14 Many historical books have been written containing his virtues but regretfully until recently no serious effort had been made about the events in his life.
Like any other time, the events are compiled with no serious research done nor is a detailed evaluation made. Most of the recorded virtues concerned with this magnanimous Imam reveal how much the two brothers were adored by Allah's Apostle who expressed his affection even publicly. Coming down the pulpit, kissing them and then going up the pulpit indicated that there was a reason behind the scenes.15
It is additionally quoted from the prophet that he advised the present to recount to the absentees how he expressed affection for Imam Hasan (a).16
He had also stated, “I do love him and the one loving him.” 17
Imam's presence in Mubahala (cursing each other) and among the people of Kasa' (covering) shows the credit the prophet had considered for him. Appealingly, when Imam Mujtaba (a) took part in Riďwan allegiance, the Prophet swore allegiance to him.18
In a narration he has stated, لوكان العقل رجلاً لكان الحسن “ If wisdom was imagined in a man, he would be Hasan.”19
Imam Hasan's power in persuading the Kufiyans, when Nakithin20 revolted, manifests his importance and popularity among the people. As far as these hadiths are concerned, Muslims considered Fatima al-Zahra's descendants as the Apostle's, and despite the Umayyads's and later the 'Abbasids's denial there was no doubt for Muslims in this regard.21
It was due to his eminent characteristic that when Imam 'Ali introduced him publicly as his successor, the people of Iraq and other areas swore allegiance to him as an official caliph. Meanwhile, the spiteful around tried to mar his characteristic introducing him as the one with no policy and prudence on the one hand and a worldly figure with an opposite position to those of 'Ali (a) and Husayn (a) on the other hand.
For example, with recourse to a handful of counterfeited reports they tried to rumor that Imam Mujtaba (a) had been constantly marrying and divorcing.22 Related to the reports of the compromise, they claimed that he abdicated through a number of financial conditions. It implies that he had been after Darabjird and Ahwaz revenues as well as the public found in Kufa.23
In such reports they have declared that since Imam did not deem caliphate his right, he submitted it to Mu'awiya. This utterance is nothing but an accusation because Imam had regularly made it clear that caliphate had been his right yet he had to give it up under duress.24
In addition to blemishing his reputation mostly done by the 'Abbasids under the pressure of the Hasanides they abused Imam's position to condemn 'Ali (a) and even Husayn Ibn 'Ali (a). They falsely quoted Imam as saying,”For the sake of kingdom, never will I fight Mu'awiya”.25
It could seem useful to Sunnites bigots to condemn Imam 'Ali's wars. It is also narrated that when Imam Hasan was born, his father liked to name him Harb (war)26. They implied that from the very beginning he did naturally love to fight.
Elsewhere they have quoted him as saying, “The entire Arab might is in my hand so it will be with me whether I fight or compromise.27 One hundred thousand or forty thousand people swore allegiance to him and even loved him more than his father”.28
Anyone who believes such untrue remarks, he will inevitably assume that Imam left the authority of his own volition not by force. These two are worlds apart.
The other point was that this group of historians had been determined to prove in their historical reports that the two brothers had been in discord with different attitudes. In a narration they have quoted the Prophet as saying, “Hasan is from me but Husayn from 'Ali”.29
Whereas as one of Imam Husayn's virtues repeated over and over is, حسين مني وانا من حسين “ Husayn is from me and I am from Husayn.”
Why this narration was counterfeited is to introduce 'Ali and his son, Husayn, both as the seekers of murder.
Concerning the differences between the two brothers, they have quoted Imam Husayn as saying to his brother, “I wish my heart were yours and your tongue mine”.30 They have also quoted Abu Bakr, upon seeing Hasan Ibn 'Ali, as saying, بابي شبيه بالنبي ليس شبيهاً بعلي “By my father, he looks more like the Prophet than 'Ali.” 31
These are all narrated as virtue by the later generations while they had been counterfeited with the mentioned aim. Such a view could help the 'Uthmanids to damage Imam 'Ali's reputation and 'Ashura.
One of the accusations made against Imam was his 'Uthmanids stance, that is to say that he had been at odds with his father and refused to bloodshed in civil wars.
Misunderstanding the concept of compromise counted for the accusation. It was falsely claimed that although powerful enough, Imam relinquished authority to Mu'awiya. But an unfounded accusation it is nothing. It was maintained to the extent that they narrated that he had accused his father of participating in 'Uthman's assassination.32
Earlier it was discussed that no one but the Umayyads with political intention accused Imam 'Ali of being an accomplice in 'Uthman's murder. By the same token how can it be ever possible for his son to accuse him of so?
Surprisingly, a group of historians have said that Imam had sent his son to 'Uthman's house to defend him. Given that it is true,33 he had been set to prevent him from being killed. Furthermore, Imam Hasan had been among the participants in Jamal war who played pivotal roles against the 'Uthmanidses.
Imam 'Ali's representative to persuade the Kufiyans to take part in war was he who could persuade some ten thousand people into the anti-'Uthmanid war with his sermon in Kufa mosque.34 Prior to that, he had defended Abu Dharr when in dispute with 'Uthman and when parting Abu Dharr at the time of being sent into exile he told him,”Put up with the difficulties they have made to you until you visit Allah's Apostle while satisfied with you”35
In the thick of Siffin war 'Ubayd Allah, 'Umar's son, who had killed Hurmuzan, his wife and his Abu Lu'lu' scared of Imam 'Ali's retaliation tried foolishly in vain to have Imam Hasan stand against his father. It was after he rejected him angrily that Mu'awiya said, “He is indeed his father's son”.36
In Siffin, Imam Mujtaba (a) provoked people against Qasitin. Once he had addressed them,
فاحتشدوا في قتال عدّوكم معاوية وجنوده فإنه قد حضر ولاتخاذلوا فإن الخذلان يقطع نياط القلوب
Unite against your enemy, Mu'awiya and his army, and never droop for it does sever the nerves of your heart.” 37
He also, in a letter written to Mu'awiya at the beginning of his term, alluded to Ahl al-Bayt's rightfulness and oppressedness after the Prophet's departure. These are all convincing reasons for confirming what a great helper Imam had been to his father Under any circumstances.
In a narration when Imam Mujtaba saw Abu Bakr on the pulpit he said, إنزل عن منبر أبي “ Climb down my father's pulpit!”
Immediately Imam 'Ali (a) said,إن هذا شيء عن غير ملاء منا “This is something exceptional in our tribe.” 38
Imam Hasan's strong position in fighting against Mu'awiya after assuming the caliphate was exactly like that of his father. Imam's hostility towards the Umayyads was to the extent that Marwan did not allow his corpse to be buried next to the Prophet's grave, saying,”Why 'Uthman was buried outside Baqi' but Hasan Ibn 'Ali next to the Prophet?”39
It does manifest how strong had been Imam Mujtaba's position against 'Uthmanids's attitude. Yet, as mentioned earlier regarding the issue of compromise and in order to legitimize Mu'awiya's rule, Imam's position was distorted.
The trace of the 'Uthmanids's attitude in Sunnism proves that Imam Mujtaba's six-month caliphate was neglected considered neither as the Orthodox caliphs' term nor as the monarch's.40 In other words, his caliphate was not that legitimate.
The survivors of Muhajirun and Ansar in Kufa, yet along with the people of Iraq and the oriental lands of Islam had acquiesced to him as Muslim's caliph. Meanwhile Mu'awiya had also claimed caliphate in Damascus though according to himself only one from among Ansar had joined him, hence a wide gap was created among Muslims.41
It was evident that not only the principle of analyzing caliphate was not accepted at that time but also to the end of the historical caliphate era it was assumed impossible to exist two caliphs simultaneously in the Islamic world.
The present situation of Iraq when Imam Hasan(a) assumed the power was far worse than that of Damascus. In addition to the defeat the Iraqi people had experienced concerning arbitration, the Kharijites's revolt did severely undermine their morale and after three wars had gone weary. In very last days of his life, the more Imam 'Ali tried to mobilize them, the less they obeyed.42
Now after Imam 'Ali's martyrdom and the Iraqi people's concern about Damascus domination, it looked probable that they resist. They should have chosen an Imam and as referred to previously, they had no other alternative. Qays Ibn Sa'd's and 'Abd Allah Ibn 'Abbas's allegiance to Imam paved the way for the Iraqis's allegiance. Following them, the residents of Hijaz after a while of delay swore allegiance.
Among the people the Shi'ite Muslims were found whose belief was profoundly in Imam Mujtaba's Imamate and whose sworn allegiance was based on it as well. As a matter of fact, the tendency of the majority in Kufa was towards Shi'ism, namely denying 'Uthman and approving 'Ali (a).
They, during Imam's five-year term, being influenced by Imam and his disciples had become 'Alawites and hated the 'Uthmanids. Opposition to 'Uthman as well as his infamy in the city from the very time of Imam 'Ali (a) was to the extent that Jarir Ibn 'Abd Allah Bajali had said that he would no longer stay where 'Uthman was officially insulted.43
Whom could people choose other than Imam Mujtaba after 'Ali's martyrdom? Among Muhajirun and Ansar or even the Qurayshites, of course, there were a group of the Prophet's disciples such as 'Abd Allah Ibn 'Abbas in Kufa who without a shadow of doubt had faith in Imam Mujtaba and never ever did they think of someone else.
The meaning was not that the Iraqi people liked Hasan Ibn 'Ali more than his father,44 it was owing to the fact that there was no other choice. It is pointed out because some are set to declare that the convenient opportunity was provided to Imam Hasan but he himself declined to keep on his struggle.
As far as the theory of Shi'ites Imamate is concerned, there is evidence that Imam 'Ali had introduced his son as his successor though the Sunnis have not referred to such evidence for succession.45 A narration is quoted from the Prophet in this respect in many a source as stating,
الحسن والحسين امامان، قاما أو قعدا “
Hasan and Husayn are the Imams whether they rise up or not.” 46
This Hadith makes it clear that the two brothers' Imamate had been expressly stated. Historically, there are reports as proofs of Imam Mujtaba's Imamate.
As reported by Nasr Ibn Muzahim, A'war Shanni had addressed Imam 'Ali (a), “May Allah endow you more with success for a glance you have cast at divine light… The leader is you. Were you killed, the leaders would be these two, Hasan and Husayn.
Lend an ear to what I have composed, “O Hasan's father! The dazzling sun of the midday is you and the shining moon is your sons. Until the Day of Judgement, thou and these two will go together as an ear with an eye. The generous are thou whose generosity is so sublime that no man can keep up with.47
Mundhir Ibn Ya'mur told Imam in Siffin,
فان تهلك فهذان الحسن والحسين أئمتنا من بعدك “
Hasan and Husayn would be our Imams after you even if you were killed.”
In a poem he had composed,
ابا حسن أنت شمس النهار وهذان في الداجيات القمر
وأنت وهذان حتي الممات بمنـزلة السمع بعد البصر
O Hasan's father, the midday sun dazzling is thee and the shining moon is these two. Until the Day of Judgement thou and these two will go together as an ear with an eye. 48
It clarifies that Imam's disciples even from his time knew both Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn as his successors as after Imam Mujtaba's martyrdom Kufiyan Shi'ite Muslims went after Imam Husayn (a). 'Abd Allah Ibn 'Abbas also called the people to listen to Imam Mujtaba who said, “Swear allegiance to him who is your Prophet's son and your Imam's successor”.49
In a letter, Imam Mujtaba also wrote to Mu'awiya “On the threshold of demise, my father entrusted the power to me.”50
Haytham Ibn 'Adi has quoted his chiefs as saying, “Hasan Ibn 'Ali is his father's successor”.51 When Abul-Aswad Du'ali secured allegiance for Imam in Basra, said that, “Successorship and Imamate ” had been entrusted to him by his father.”52
People also told Imam, “You are our caliph and your father's successor and we are you followers”.53
Anyhow it can be borne in mind that Imam 'Ali (a) had introduced his son as his successor.54 One Friday when Imam did not feel fine, he asked Hasan to lead the Prayer.55 Heedless of the fact that Kufa Shi'ite Muslims had come up with Imam Mujtaba based on their beliefs, the special Shi'ites concepts of Ahl al-Bayt and the dignity of Imam should be taken into account.
Imam's first-ever sermon as reported by all related sources is, “Anyone who knows me, all right but anyone who does not know me, I am Hasan, Muhammad's son. The son of the Bearer of good news and the Warner is I. I am the son of Allah's Apostle and with His permission the guidance light. I am from among Ahl al-Bayt from whom any filth and sin is kept away; whom are purified and whose affection Allah has made incumbent upon you in His Book, say, for my mission I want thee naught but affection for my kinsfolk's.56
And (anyone who does good, we do multiply his good), so this good is feeling affection for us, Ahl al-Bayt.”57
Mas'udi has presented a part of Imam Hasan's one sermon as follows, “The saved Allah's party and close kin's of Allah's Apostle are we. We are the purified ones and one of the two weighty things left behind by the prophet. The other one is the divine Book to which no wrong can ever penetrate
… Obey us then, for our obedience is incumbent, for besides obeying Allah and His Apostle about the men of authorities it is ordered too. Anything which was in dispute, refer to Allah and His Apostle… If you referred to the Apostle and the authorities, they would surely figure it out, for they are the people of science inference”.58
Hilal Ibn Yasaf has recounted that he was present when Hasan Ibn 'Ali delivered a sermon saying,
“O Kufiyans! Fear from Allah concerning us. We are your emirs and your guests. We are the ones about whom Allah has stated, انما يريد الله ليذهب عنكم الرجس البيت ويطهركم تطهيراُ 59 “Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! And to give you a thorough purifying.”
This sermon appears to be made after Imam Hasan was wounded in Sabat.
In spite of Muhajirun's and Ansar's allegiance to the former caliphs, Imam Mujtaba like his father deemed caliphate his right. His letter to Mu'awiya like that of Imam 'Ali (a) included censure for the former caliphs' designation.
Pointing to Quraysh's reasoning in Saqifa, kinship to the Prophet (S) and Arabs' approval of such reasoning, Imam in his letter wrote,”Although such reasoning we also had, Quraysh never behaved justly towards us as were behaved by Arabs. They altogether oppressed us and stood against us. Since we feared from the hypocrites and the parties, we had to bear them until we now come to grips with you who have no precedence in Islam and whose father had been the archenemy of Allah's Apostle and Book”. Then Imam urged him to swear allegiance to him like people.
In his response, Mu'awiya referred to his reaction against the event of Saqifa and wrote, “So you explicitly have denounced not only Abu Bakr, 'Umar and Abu 'Ubayda but Muhajirun and Ansar. We never deny your virtues and precedence. That day they preferred them to you for protecting Islam. Today the discord between you and me is the same as that between Abu Bakr and you after the Prophet's departure.
If I were certain that you were better than me as a lord of peasants and supporter of the nation or stronger than me in collecting properties and in encountering the enemies, I would swear allegiance to you. Since I am more experienced in ruling and older than you, you had better concede my sovereignty. If you do so, I will entrust the authority to you after myself, grant you a great quantity from Iraqi Bayt al-Mal (Public fund) and the revenues of anywhere you demanded in Iraq.”60
The mention Mu'awiya had made about the similarity between his dispute with 'Ali and his son and that of Abu Bakr and 'Ali was also seen in the letters exchanged between Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr and Mu'awiya.61
Considering himself as the successor of Abu Bakr and 'Umar, Mu'awiya insisted on it for he was pursuing a political intention as well.
Once he had written to Imam 'Ali (a),”You did injustice to the caliphs all”.
If I did so, answered Imam, I should not apologize to you. The latter added,”I never did injustice. Only did I blame them and for what I did I will apologize to no one.”62
For whatever reason the people of Iraq and Hijaz swore allegiance to Imam Hasan. It is said that when swearing allegiance, Qays Ibn Sa'd said, “For the sake of the Holy Book, the prophet's Sunna and Jihad against the oppressors I do swear allegiance to you.”
Imam only preferred the first and the second ones saying, “These two are superior”.63 As recounted by Mada'ini after Imam 'Ali (a) died a martyr Ibn 'Abbas left home and cried out “One it left behind 'Ali (a) if willing, invite him to come out and you swear allegiance to him but if unwilling no one forces you”.
While they were weeping for Imam 'Ali (a), people showed satisfaction. Imam stepped out of home and after delivering a sermon and reciting the verse of Tathir (purification) and the crowd swore allegiance to him.64 Later on Imam had addressed them, “Of your own volition you swore allegiance to me not under duress”.65
According to what Isfahani has narrated, when Ibn 'Abbas called on the crowd to swear allegiance to him they announced that they knew no other one to be lovelier and more rightful than him, they announced that they knew no other one to be lovelier and more rightful than him, thus, they swore.66
Another point which merits to be taken into account is that the political principle agreed on caliphate is the allegiance of both Mecca and Medina. At the moment after about thirty years after the Prophet's departure, the majority of Prophet's disciples have been killed in conquests and also in Jamal and Siffin. Medina was no longer the center of caliphate.
Therefore, the above-mentioned principle that was the allegiance of Muhajirun and Ansar residing in Medina was called in to two questions. The problem per se foreboded how the situation was converted. It will be discussed later that the principle was not only dissolved but also substituted by the principle of succession on the part of Mu'awiya. In addition, from among the chiefs of Quraysh a few survived to claim caliphate.
In a letter Mu'awiya had written to Ibn 'Abbas, “Now you have to be concerned about Quraysh! Only six are alive, two in Damascus namely 'Amr Ibn 'As and I, two in Hijaz, Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqas and 'Abd Allah Ibn 'Umar and two in Iraq, you and Hasan Ibn 'Ali”.67
Under such circumstances, Iraq could only trust Imam 'Ali's son. However there was a problem due to which the Iraqis were not able to be firm in their chosen way. When swearing allegiance to Imam a group was set to swear provided that Imam did battle with Mu'awiya.
Imam Mujtaba by no means approved their condition and said that he would not accept their allegiance unless they vowed to battle against anyone he battled and compromise with anyone he compromised.68
It seems quite natural that no leader can swear allegiance under such a condition. He ought to be fully empowered to battle or compromise. Imam's remark never implies that form the very beginning he was not intent on war69, but his next actions showed that he was among the ones who insisted on war. The main reason for rejecting this condition was preserving his sovereignty as Imam of a community. If the condition had been approved, they indeed must have chosen a military commander not an Imam.
Sheykh Mufid has recorded that Imam was sworn allegiance on Friday Ramaďan 21st, 40.70
Earlier we referred to one of Imam's letters to Mu'awiya and its answer. The exchanged letters recorded by Isfahani71 bore no fruit. Imam himself was absolutely aware that would never surrender with such letters, yet, it is of great significance that these letters be recorded as evidence to indicate explicitly what the reasoning of the both sides were for their legitimacy.
Mu'awiya did his utmost to be kept abreast of the state in Kufa and Basra through his spies. But the spies were all identified and killed.72
Both Imam and 'Abd Allah Ibn 'Abbas had written to Mu'awiya admonishing him for his violation. For the last time Imam warned Mu'awiya if he did not surrender, he with the Muslim army would attack,
فحاكمتك الى الله حتى يحكم الله بيننا وبينكم وهو خير الحاكمين “
We entrust the arbitration between you and me to Allah to judge and He is the best arbitrator.” 73
When writing letters was fruitless, Imam wrote to Mu'awiya, “Between you and I, sword will judge”.74
In a letter, then, to his agents in various areas besides expressing his delight in Imam 'Ali's effortless murder, Mu'awiya informed them of Kufa in chaos. “The nobles and the leaders in Kufa have written to me for guarantee of clemency for themselves and their families”, added he truly or falsely, “as soon as you receive the letter, move to me with your armies because time is ripe for revenge”. Accompanied by his army Mu'awiya advanced towards Manbaj bridge. At the same time, Imam Hasan (a) sent Hujr Ibn 'Adi for people and his agents to get prepared for fighting.
In Kufa Imam after reciting the verse of, واصبروا ان الله مع الصابرين “ And be patient; surely Allah is with the patient,” 75 addressed the gathering, “O people, but through patience with what you dislike. You can never reach what you like. I learnt that Mu'awiya is moving towards us. Hasten to Nukhayla you all”.76 Isfahani recounts that Imam was speaking as if doubtful about people's readiness. No one breathed a word.
All of a sudden 'Adi Ibn Hatim broke the silence saying, “I am Hatim's son. Why on earth do you keep waiting? Do you not obey your Imam and your Prophet's son?” Then he assured Imam and headed for Nukhayla. A number of people from the tribe of Tayy whose chief was 'Adi Ibn Hatim accompanied him. According to Ya'qubi, there were a hundred fighters in Tayy who never dared to disobey 'Adi.77
Later, Qays Ibn Sa'd, Ma'qal Ibn Qays and Ziyad Ibn Sa'sa'a gave speeches; therefore, around twelve thousand soldiers gathered in Nukhayla. Imam accompanied them up to 'Abd al-Rahman Convent.78
It should not be ignored that the Iraqis' morale had been undermined after the event of arbitration. They had prepared themselves for a compromise with Qasitin. On the other hand, whenever they imagined to be dominated by Mu'awiya, their hair stood on end.
At this juncture, a group feigned ignorance, another group was quite doubtful and only one group, the minority, joined Imam. Setting out for the camp, Imam left his paternal cousin, Mughira Ibn Nawfal, in Kufa to convince people to join. Harith Hamdani has said that those willing to join Imam went to Nukhayla while many balked at going among whom some had already promised to cooperate.79 As a result, Imam had to return to Kufa and mobilize support.
Imam's such position-taking is despite what Zuhri and others have said, كان الحسن لايؤثر القتال ويميل إلى حقن الدماء80 “Hasan is as a matter of fact reluctant to battle.” ولم يكن في نية الحسن أن يقاتل أحداً ولكن غلبوه على رأيه81 “Since Hasan was not determined to battle, he compromised.”
In addition, Imam had given people raises in order to strengthen their spirit.82 They got the raise form the very beginning of caliphate to get ready for the war against Damascus.
The total number gathered in Nukhayla was twelve thousand. They had to go there following their chiefs and under the pressure of propaganda. Though this figure is stipulated in many historical sources, some believe that it was forty thousand. It is said that the troops with Imam going to 'Abd al-Rahman Convent had been forty thousand form among whom a thousand were sent as the vanguard led by Qays Ibn Sa'd.83
This mentioned figure can by no means be correct because, the historical narrations certify that all at first remained silent when called. How is it possible that the number augmented suddenly and miraculously?
If Imam's supporters were that many, there would be no need to go to Ctesiphon and summon forces nor to risk and leave the army all on its own. Many historians such as Ya'qubi, Abul-Faraj Isfahani and Ibn 'Asakir who have accurately recorded the report have approved the twelve-thousand figure. 84
There is a strong probability that this false narration refers to those who swore allegiance to him after Imam 'Ali's martyrdom. The number mentioned in that narration is forty thousand who were supposed to battle with Damascus.85
According to some86, this narration had made a group of people assume that this great number had been prepared to aid Hasan Ibn 'Ali (a) although the allegiance of this number to Imam 'Ali (a) is open to doubt by itself. Regarding Imam 'Ali's repeated remarks in Nahj al-Balagha and other sources about reproaching Kufa people for not helping him in the war against Damascus, it beggars belief that such a large crowd help his son.
As it will be seen later the main cause for the compromise was people's non-collaboration. Which can be easily inferred from Imam's remarks. It is clear-cut that with the presence of forty thousand soliers such rematks should not have been quoted from him.
'Ubayd Allah Ibn 'Abbas was the commander of Imam's army but Zuhri has mistakenly named 'Abd Allah Ibn 'Abbas.87 Some others have mentioned Qays Ibn Sa'd,88 after 'Ubayd Allah fled, who seized his position. There is no doubt that Imam had appointed 'Ubayd Allah.89
Why Imam chose him was that in the present situation full of doubt Imam had no other choice but appointing one form his own lineage. Moreover, 'Ubayd Allah bore Mu'awiya a grudge because Busr Ibn Artat, one of Mu'awiya's commanders, in an attack on Hijaz had beheaded his two sons before their mother's very eyes. Yet, Imam treated it with caution and appointed two deputies for him, Qays Ibn Sa'd and Sa'id Ibn Qays.
Sending them towards the enemy, Imam headed for Sabat in Ctesiphon. But before they go, he gave 'Ubayd Allah some advice, ألن جانبك “ Behave softly” ابسط ووجهك “ Try to look cheerful” أفرش لهم جناحك “Cast the umbrella of your affection over them.” ادنهم من مجلسك “ Try to keep close to them” وشاور هذين “ Consult these two” فلا تقاتله حتى يقتلك “ Never start battling before being stated.”
Imam also pointed out that those people were the survivors of the ones whom Imam 'Ali (a) trusted. Then Imam added that they should move to the Euphrates and then to Maskan to defend themselves against Mu'awiya and stay there until being ordered.90
Imam himself went to Sabat. As recorded by Dinwari, Mu'awiya sent an army with 'Abd Allah Ibn 'Amir Ibn Kurayz to Anbar and then to Ctesiphon. Comprehending the situation, Imam had to set out to Ctesiphon.91 The incident occurred there and is reported by all historians, was the Kharijites attack on Imam.
Such historians as Dinwari, Baladhuri, Abul-Faraj Isfahani and even Sheykh Mufid quoting Isfahani have said that form Imam's remarks the probalility of compromise could be inferred. Due to this reason the Kharijites attacked him. It can not be acceptable. How could Imam, who had gone to Ctesiphon prevent the enemy's invasion or recruit people, give such utterances with the implicit aim of compromise before the war be started? Ya'qubi has recounted clearly what happened.
Mu'awiya, who never ever gave up trickery, sent Mughira Ibn Shu'ba and 'Abd Allah Ibn 'Amir to Sabat to talk to Imam about compromise. When returning disppointedly in order to provoke the Kharijites and under their breath in a way to be heard, they said, “Allah indeed prevented blood shedding and suppressed the sedition by the Prophet's son. At last he accepted to compromise”.
Ya'qubi added that it was then that on heating, the army grew furious and never doubted their truthfulness, so they attacked Hasan (a) and plundered what he possessed.92 The Shi'ite Muslims protected Imam in the middle and kept him away.
Meanwhile Jarrah Ibn Sanan shouting, “Like your father you have become polytheist” struck Imam on his thigh. Shi'ite Muslims attacked Jarrah and killed him. Imam then had to take a rest in the house of Sabat governor, Sa'd Ibn Mas'ud Thaqafi who was Mukhtar's paternal uncle, for treatment.93
Ya'qubi's narration of the riot in Ctesiphon uncovered the fact that event was also plotted by Mu'awiya and his commonders, specially, Mughira Ibn Shu'ba, a corrupt man.
After Imam was wounded, he addressed people,
اتقوا الله فينا، فانا أمراؤكم وضفيانكم، أهل البيت الذين قال الله, إنّما يُريدُ الله ليذهبَ عَنكُمُ الرّجسَ أهلَ البيتِ ويطهّركُم تطهيراً
Seek divine behavior towards us for we are the best rulers among you, that is the same Household about whom God said, “Verily God hast the will to purge evils off thee in thy purity.” The narrator says,”The listeners were all weeping”.94
Imam's separation from the army for mobilizing forces and preparing Ctesiphon to avert the entrance of Damascus plunderers, created particular problems. The two armies stood against each other in Habubiyya village of Maskan. Mu'awiya as usual had recourse to trickery to delude the rival army. He sent 'Abd al-Rahman Ibn Samura to falsely inform 'Ubayd Allah and his army of Imam Hasan's demand for compromise. People, nevertheless, denied and cursed him.95
Later, he secretly sent one to give a message to 'Ubayd Allah Ibn 'Abbas, “Hasan has requested us to compromise. If you join us, I will pay you a million dhms. You take the half now and the other half when we entered Kufa.”
While people waited for 'Ubayd Allah to come for the Dawn Prayer, he had nightly joined Mu'awiya. Qays Ibn Sa'd led the prayer and then talked behind 'Abbas how he had assisted the unbelievers in Badr until he was arrested. Then he talked behind 'Ubayd Allah how in Yemen he fled and let Busr Ibn Artat murder his sons.96
Suggesting bribery on the part of Mu'awiya and other reports reveal well that Mu'awiya had under false pretences propounded the request for compromise on behalf of Imam. If, as a matter of fact, Imam had accepted the compromise, there would have been no need for Mu'awiya to pay a million dhms to 'Ubayd Allah.
Most Iraqis were on the qui vive to see Imam's tendency towards compromising and immediately leave the army. As soon as 'Ubayd Allah left, about two thirds of the army joined Mu'awiya97; therefore, four thousand people remained with Qays Ibn Sa'd.
Mu'awiya supposed that after 'Ubayd Allah and a part of his army sought refuge no one had remained. When he sent Busr Ibn Artat to the Iraqi army, they attacked him. He had to return and with an army attack them. Once again Qays and the army resisted and made them withdraw. A number were killed in the clash.98
Mu'awiya tried to deceive Qays as well, but Qyas said about his religion he would never be deceived. Belittling him, Mu'awiya called him a Jew the son of a Jew and said, “Look how your tribe left your father alone as he breathed his last on his own in Hawran of Damascus.”
In his answer Qays called him an idol the son of an idol and wrote, “From the very beginning you unwillingly embraced Islam and you did nothing for it but sowing the seeds of discord and then willingly you deviated from it. You have always been in battle with Allah and His Apostle and a party from the polytheist parties.”99
Isfahani after recounting the event has referred to a delegation sent by Mu'awiya to Sabat for talks with Imam Hasan. It indicates that Mu'awiya's aim for taking the former action had been only deceiving 'Ubayd Allah.
Before the Iraqis were informed of Imam's injury, the spies had informed Mu'awiya. Upon hearing the news, he wrote to Qays that his defiance was futile, for Hasan's disciples had revolted and wounded him Sabat. It made Qays to wait for a message from Imam.100
When the noble in Iraq realized that the victory would probably be Mu'awiya's, they one after another either joined him or sent him the message of allegiance. According to Baladhuri the distinguished figures of Iraq went to Mu'awiya and swore allegiance the first of whom was Khalid Ibn Ma'mar. He said that his allegiance was equal to those of Rabi'a tribe.
Later on, a poet had composed for Mu'awiya,”Hold Khalid Ibn Ma'mar in esteem for without him you would never secured the authority”.101
The policy that Mu'awiya manipulated was spreading rumors in three areas of Kufa, Sabat and the war field. The Kufiyans thought that everything was over. In the war field it was said that your Imam had demanded to compromise. And in Sabat Imam was said that 'Ubayd Allah along with a majority had joined the enemy and it was even rumored that Qays Ibn Sa'd also had compromised.
The only historian who has taken these multi-lateral rumors into consideration is Ya'qubi.
He has said, “On one hand, Mu'awiya sent a group to Imam's military camp to report that Qays Ibn Sa'd has compromised. On the other hand, he sent another group to rumor among Qays's troops that Hasan (a) has requested to compromise”.102
Regretfully, a number of historians have recorded such rumors as historical reports. As an instance, Muhammad Ibn Sa'd has recorded Mughira Ibn Shu'ba's trickery which led to the revolt of some people in Sabat of Ctesiphon as a historical report and added that it was where Imam accepted any condition laid down by Mu'awiya.103
Even a group of the Iraqi nobles who had joined Mu'awiya had told him that they were ready to hand in Hasan locked up. As narrated by Ibn A'tham, when Qays in a letter informed Imam of the army's surrender, Imam called on the distinguished among his disciples saying: “O Iraqi people! What should I do with you?
This is a letter from Qays who has written that your chiefs have joined Mu'awiya. By Allah it comes as no surprise. In Siffin you forced my father to accept the arbitration and when he did so you objected.
When for the second time he summoned you to war against Mu'awiya, you delayed until he was endowed with divine generosity. Quite unwillingly after that you swore allegiance to me. I trusted your allegiance and took a step. Allah Himself is fully aware of my intention. But see what you have done. O people, these all suffice me, deceive not me about my religion.”104
Imam's remarks prove that he had not even the least doubt about the war but people's unpleasant behavior had harassed him.
What elucidates Imam's stance is that he had on no accounts demanded to compromise. It was Mu'awiya who desired to besiege Iraq with no trouble and insisted to convince Imam to abdicate. In spite of the fact, some sources based on the rumors and those narrators who called them historical reports have claimed that it was Imam who suggested the compromise willingly.105
Yet in return we mention some proofs one of which is what Ya'qubi has recounted. Mu'awiya sent a group to Sabat for talks with Imam Hasan (a) about the compromise. It was exactly the meeting therein Imam declined to compromise.106 Accordingly, Mu'awiya's first request was declined. Another proof is Imam's letters in which he had persisted in war and threatened that if he did not surrender, he would face his army.
Imam also told Mu'awiya's envoy,”Tell that sword will judge between you and me.” All demonstrate that Imam's intention was to battle.
The other one was what Imam told people,” Mu'awiya has suggested a compromise there is no honor in. If prepared, I am with you to battle but if worldly life is vital for you, tell me to compromise.”107
Sibt Ibn Jawzi narrated,
“When Imam Hasan (a) found out people have left him alone and have betrayed him, he had to accept to compromise. Earlier Mu'awiya had requested but Imam had rejected. And it was Mu'awiya who wrote to him many times.”108
“Mu'awiya wrote to Imam about compromise”, Sheykh Mufid has said.109
As we discussed earlier, the rumors Mu'awiya had spread had made some historians believe that Imam had been the one suggesting the compromise. Reportedly, Mu'awiya sent his spies to rumor among the vanguard that Hasan has in a letter demanded Mu'awiya to compromise and say,”What do you jeopardize your life for?”110 Also in order to mislead 'Ubayd Allah Ibn 'Abbas, he wrote, ان الحسن قد راسلني في الصلح111 “Hasan wrote to me about compromising.”
These rumors later were recorded as historical narrations and changed the reality diametrically.
There were several reasons that hindered Imam to achieve his goal, a mighty and honorable battle against Mu'awiya. To safeguard the principal Islam and impede fruitless bloodshedding, he had to avoid battling. We point to some reasons below,
A.The most crucial reason for why Imam adopted a new position was people's weakness in supporting him. No one can ever claim that Imam was never determined to fight with Mu'awiya inasmuch as his remarks and position had already proved the reverse.
What took place in Sabat obviously showed how incapable were the people in keeping on their struggle. It was then, according to Sheykh Mufid, Imam found out that people had disparaged him.112
A large number from among these people had been killed in wars of Jamal, Siffin and Nahrawan and now tired of any battle not only they felt no strength to fight but also they considered Ahl al-Bayt as debtors. They believed that Imam was responsible for the murdered.
As soon as Imam learnt that many soldiers have fled, he addressed people as saying,”You disobeyed my father to continue fighting and let the arbitrators judge while my father disagreed. He called upon you to keep on the war but you feared until he was killed.
Later you came up to me and swore allegiance. You vowed to battle against any one I battled and compromise with any one I compromised. Today I heard that your nobles have joined Mu'awiya. It dose suffice me. Deceive me not about my religion.”113
Concerning the reason for Imam's abdication, Jahiz has written,”When he found these people's behavior towards his father and had known how capricious they were, he had to relinquish the power.”114
Imam realized that he could not trust such people. This inconfidence was not only for lack of cooperation on their part but Imam stated,
والله لو قاتلت معاويه لأخذوا بعنقي حتى يدفعوني اليه سلماً
“By Almighty Allah, if I clash with Mu'awiya, they will grasp hold of my neck and hand me over locked up.” 115
Elsewhere he has said,
Iraqi people are those whom anyone trusted, was defeated, for no one agrees with another. They are never serious either about the wrong or the right.”116
With such people battling with determined and united people of Damascus was impossible. The sad remarks of Imam 'Ali (a) made in 39 and 40 A.H. do convince any equitable individual that there was no other alternative but handing Iraq to Damascus. Never ever could Imam Hasan (a) surrender himself and a number of his Shi'ite Muslims bare-handed to Damascus people whose commander was Busr Ibn Artat, bloodthirsty.
Now compromising was the only way for protecting Iraq from being plundered. Although it seemed possible that Imam and his small army resist and be martyred, rarely did it bear fruit. Mu'awiya had poisoned the atmosphere through the slogan of 'Uthman's blood. In addition to Damascus, Egypt and other areas were now in his hand. At this point, Imam with that precedence and eloquence could do nothing and it had no reason but Iraq's ineptness before Damascus.
Hence, Imam's martyrdom could solve no problem. Mu'awiya was absolutely infamous and there was no need to make him known. At times, Imam was mistakenly introduced as the one loathing bloodshedding. It can never be accepted. He participated in wars of Jamal and Siffin actively and confirmed his father's tradition. What Imam loathed was futile bloodshedding with no politically clear results.
B. Another reason was that waging a war normally depended upon people's presence and a ruler to a limited extent could force them to battle. Two points merit consideration. One is whether a Muslim ruler could under any circumstances and even with overt disagreement of the majority start the war. If he were entitled to, under what conditions should he do so? The other point is that supposing he did so, would it be for the good of the Muslim nation or not?
The Prophet's tradition was that he basically consulted the Muslims on war affairs. Considering the wars during his lifetime, we discussed it in detail. It occurred while firstly he had already secured allegiance from them and secondly since Jihad was one of the practical laws of Islam, it was Muslims' duty the same as prayer.
So why did he consult them regardless of these two points? One reason was because war was a heavy burden which was supposed to be carried by people. Prayer took a little time for a Muslim to do whereas war might cause heavy casualties and damages or make many homeless. When one was martyred, a tribe was bereaved.
Naturally, people themselves should have become aware through consultation and shouldered the responsibility a bit. Although Jihad was a practical law of Islam, Allah's Apostle did never call upon Ansar to participate in wars before Badr because they had committed not. Only in Badr did they participate after their leaders declared readiness. Later on, he had also consulted them in Uhud and Ahzab.
Whether to compose people to combat or not is a point that should be considered. Imam 'Ali (a) has always been set to convince them either through advice or perhaps through having a whip in hand. Under no circumstances, did he try to coerce them by sword or torture.117
He stated explicitly, “Yesterday I was the one who commanded, but today I am commanded. Yesterday I was the one who prohibited but today I am prohibited. You love to survive and, ليس لي أن احملكم ما تكرهون I never ever compel you to do what you dislike. 118
Imam Mujtaba (a) was also faithful to this very method. When finding that they were not willing to have such an Imam nor were they prepared to defend themselves against Damascus, it looked quite natural that he left Iraq for Medina after giving essential advice that was mostly given in advance by his father.
Imam 'Ali (a) had already foretold them what an intolerable situation they would have in the future,”Be informed that thou will get into three great difficulties after me, an epidemic objectless, fatal sword and despotism. Then thou will desire that thou could have seen me, helped me and sacrificed thyself for me.” 119
Facing such hard status in Iraq and people's indifference to his demands for a war, Imam Hasan (a) expressed his transparent position under the pressure of Mu'awiya's insistence on his resignation. First of all Imam declared that there was no doubt about the war against Damascus.
والله لا يثنينا عن أهل الشام شك ولا ندم، وإنما نقاتل أهل الشام بالصبر والسلامة “
No doubt or regret will prevent us from battling with Damascus. Forebearingly and calmly we will fight.”
Concerning people's morale, he added,”You differ greatly from the past. Once you were getting prepared for Siffin, your religion was prior but today you give priority to this worldly life over your religion.
Now between two bloody wars of Siffin and Nahrawan you weep for those you have lost and want to take revenge… but Mu'awiya has called upon us to compromise while in the compromise no honor and justice can be ever found, ألا وانّ معاوية دعانا الى أمر ليس فيه عزّ ولا نصفة “ Beware that Mu'awiya called us to do something neither of sublimity nor fairness.”
Therefore, Imam announced that compromising would on no accounts be for the good of the nation after all. Then he urged people to tell him what course to pursue
. فان أردتم الموت رددناه عليه وحاكمناه الى الله عز وجل بظبى السيوف، وان أردتم الحياة قبلناه وأخذنا لكم الرضى “
If you are prepared to fight, let's decline their request and rely on our swords, allow Allah to pass judgment. But if you like to survive, let's accept their request and provide you with security.”
At the same time, people shouted from four corners of the mosque saying, البقية البقية “ The remainders, the remainders…” and signed the peace pact.120
Elsewhere he said,
اني رأيت هوى عظم الناس في الصلح، وكرهوا الحرب فلم احب أن أحملهم على ما يكرهون “
I found people mostly willing to compromise yet unwilling to fight. Never do I like to impose what they dislike.”121
أرى أكثركم قد نكل عن الحرب وفشل في القتال ولست أرى أحملكم على ما تكرهون
“I realized how weak you have gone and how reluctant you have turned to fight. So I am not the one who compels you to do what you disgust.”122
Imam referred to people's non-cooperation as the reason for abandoning his caliphate. There was no other solution the normal situation. He stated,
والله اني سلّمت الامر لاني لم أجد انصاراً ولو وجدت نصاراً لقاتلتة ليلي ونهاري حتى يحكم الله بيننا وبينه
“By Almighty Allah, I abandoned it for I had no helper. If there were a helper to me, I would fight him day in and day out until Allah judge between him and me.” 123
C. Imam's other reason for accepting the compromise was to protect the Shi'ite Muslims' lives. Those objecting to Imam were of two groups, the extremists, the Kharijites, who had the same clash with Imam 'Ali (a) as well and the revolutionary Shi'ite Muslims who could never stand compromising.
There was a few among those objecting who described Imam as, مذلّ المؤمنين “ the one who humiliates the believers.”
Yet, in return Imam considered the acceptance of the compromise as honor and described himself as, معز المؤمنين “ The one who holds the believers dear.”
He justified it as follows, اني لمّا رأيت ليس بكم عليهم قوّة، سلمت الامر لأبقى أنا وأنتم بين أظهركم “ When I found thee not powerful enough, I preferred to compromise so that thou and I could survive.”
Next utterances manifest that by their and his surviving he meant safeguarding Shi'ism. Somewhere else, Imam has likened his action to piercing the ship by a scholar with Moses whose aim was preserving the ship for her owners.124
He also had said,
فصالحت بقياً على شيعتنا خاصّة من القتل فرأيت دفع هذه الحروب الى يوم مّا، فانّ اللّه كل يوم هو في شأن “
I did compromise to save the Shi'ite Muslims' lives. I pondered over delaying these wars for every day Allah deals with an affair.”125
In an answer to one of the objectors Imam said,
ما أردت بمصالحتي معاوية الا أن أدفع عنكم القتل عندما رأيت تباطيء أصحابي عن الحرب ونكولهم عن القتال “
With the aim of at least protecting your lives I compromised with Mu'awiya when I found my disciples weak and unwilling to fight.”126
Answering another objector, Imam likened his compromise to the Prophet's with a difference that had been a compromise with the disbelievers, بالتنزيل “ Ordered directly by Allah with revelation.”
But his compromise was with the disbelievers بالتأويل “ Indirectly through interpretation.”
Then he added, ولولا ما أتيت، لما ترك من شيعتنا على وجه الارض أحد الا قتل “ If I had not done so, no Shi'ite Muslim would have survived.”127
When Hujr Ibn 'Adi objected, Imam reacted as saying,
O Hujr! all do not like what you like. I did so for nothing but saving your life and others'. Allah also -deals with an affair every day.”128
يا مالك! لاتقل ذلك، اني لما رأيت الناس تركوا ذلك الا أهله، خشيت أن تجتثّوا عن وجه الارض، فأردت أن يكون للدين في الارض ناعي “
O Malik! say not so, Imam addressed Malik Ibn Dhamra when objecting, when I saw how people but a few left me on my own, I feared you be wipped off the face of the earth. Hence, I decided to make one survive cry out for the religion on the earth.”129
He also said,-
انما هادنت حقناً للدماء وصيانتاً واشفاقاً على نفسي وأهلي والمخلصين من أصحابي “
I agreed to compromise to both prevent bloodshed and save my life, my family's and my faithful disciples.”130
The objectors were mostly faithful to Ahl al-Bayt. Such individuals from among them as Hujr Ibn 'Adi who deemed caliphate no one's right but 'Ali's family tried to resist anyway due to their hatred of the Umayyads as well as their revolutionary spirit. The above mentioned remarks that were intentionally elaborated demonstrate Imam's great insight and logic.
He was well aware that Mu'awiya, in the guise a rightful man, with his large and foolish army could easily suppress limited Iraqi troops and massacre the distinguished Shi'ite Muslims and 'Alawites under the pretext of revenge for 'Uthman's murder. Mu'awiya had changed anything for his benefit.
Only a few eminent disciples were survived who were mighty enough to stand against him. Until then he could make Iraq have doubts as well. With any possible way he could keep the Iraqis far away from Imam.
When Mu'awiya intended to conquer Iraq at the end of Imam 'Ali's term, Imam could do nothing other than what his son, Hasan, did. The devoted persons with Imam Hasan were too few to wage a war. In order to prove that if Imam 'Ali (a) were in such a situation, he would surely have no other alternative, we refer to the issue of arbitration.
When a number objected to Imam 'Ali why he accepted arbitration, he said,”You see how disobedient my army has become. In comparing to their population you are very few. If we fight, this vast majority of war opponents will turn more hostile towards you than the Damascus army. If they ally with the Damascus troops, all of you will be massacred. By Almighty Allah, I myself am never pleased with arbitration but I had to approve the majority decision for I was greatly worried about your lives”.131
Anyhow, Shi'ite Muslims' protection was an incumbent duty that made Imam to approve what for which valor was needed. It is of significance for an Imam or anyone of this type that he carry out his lawful responsibility not care about people's harsh sarcasm which leads to his and his companies' annihilation.
Regarding his compromising, Imam Mujtaba said,
والله، الذي عملت، خير لشيعتي مما طلعت عليه الشمس “
By Allah, what I did was far better than what sun shines and sets for my Shi'ite Muslims.” 132
In the same respect Imam al-Baqir (a) has said,
والله، الذي صنع الحسن بن علي (ع) كان خيراً لهذه الامة مما طلعت عليه الشمس
“By Allah, what Hasan Ibn 'Ali did was far better than what to which sun shines for this nation.” 133
We discussed earlier that a group of historians and tradionists have done their utmost to introduce the two brothers different. The false notion concerning their opinions about compromise was propounded in such a way as though Imam Husayn had denied the compromise and objected to his brother.
It was justified, however, that Imam Husayn (a) had been faithful to his father's policy whereas Imam Hasan had not approved of the policy of fighting. As already shown, Imam Mujtaba had been of the same mind about the war and it was quite explicit in his remarks.
Imam Husayn is quoted as objecting to his brother, أعيذك بالله ان تكذّب علياً في قبره وتصدّق معاوية “ I take refuge in Allah that you deny 'Ali in grave and confirm Mu'awiya!”134
It is also narrated in Mada'ini that Imam Husayn (a) balked at compromising until his brother convinced him.135 Against such claims there are many proofs indicating that Imam Husayn (a) had known no other way more appropriate than compromising and had called upon people to obey his brother.
First, Imam Husayn's practical way of conduct was indifference to the remarks and actions trying to set him against his brother and introduce him as the Shi'ite Muslims' leader in Iraq. To the very last moment of his brother's life, Imam Husayn was beside him living like him in Medina. For eleven years even after his brother's martyrdom, his position was exactly as that of his brother's. It demonstrates that without a shadow of a doubt he agreed to compromise.
Second, Resentful of compromising, the extremist Shi'ite Muslims came up to Imam Husayn urging him to undertake their leadership.
'Ali Ibn Muhammad Ibn Bashir Hamdani recounted, “Sufyan Ibn Abi Layla and I went to Medina to meet Hasan Ibn 'Ali (a). When we stepped in, Musayyib Ibn Najba along with a number was there. I greeted him, السلام عليك يا مذل المؤمنين “ Peace be upon you who humiliated the believers.”
Peace be upon you too, said Imam calmly, sit down. I never humiliated the believers but I held then dear. I compromised for the sake of naught but protecting you.
He added, “We went to visit his brother, Husayn, and inform him of what Hasan had said”.
Imam Husayn said,
صدق ابو محمد، فليكن كل رجل منكم حلساً من أحلاس بيته مادام هذا الانسان حياً فان يهلك وانتم احياء رجونا أن يخيّر الله لنا ويؤتنا رشدنا ولايكلنا الى انفسنا “
My brother is true. All of you should stay at home as long as Mu'awiya is alive. If he were dead and you alive, may Allah do what our progress is in and may He leave us not on our own.”136
When he was demanded to rise up, Imam Husayn said,
أما أنا، فليس رأيي اليوم ذلك، فالصقوا رحمكم الله بالارض واكمنوا البيوت واحترسوا الظنة مادام معاوية حياُ “
Now I do not believe so. Mercy on you, as long as Mu'awiya is alive, stay at home and avoid being suspected.”137
Imam's referring to Mu'awiya's existence reveals that he was fully conscious of the prevailing situation which led to compromising. The role Mu'awiya played was pivotal. Anyhow, afte the compromise was finalized, the two brothers left Kufa for Medina.
Concerning the articles stipulated in the pact and signed by Imam Hasan (a) and Mu'awiya, there is no perfect consensus in historical sources. Not only the rumors spread then, but also the spitefulness of historians and Tradionists impacted on the articles. Magnifying some articles, censoring some others, counterfeiting some and ignoring the principal conditions are seen in historical narrations as distortion.138
Heedless of these cases, there are various narrations in this regard each of which has mentioned one part of the authentic text. Al Yasin and some others have compiled these narrations and presented as a whole. Here we present the authentic text and then other narrations sporadically reported.
A number of sources by Ibn A'tham Kufi, Baladhuri and Ibn Shahr Ashub have described the perfect text of the pact as an official treaty. The prefaces confirm the authenticity of the text.
According to Ibn A'tham, when the clash between Imam and Mu'awiya culminated in a compromise, Imam Hasan (a) sent 'Abd Allah Ibn Nawfal to warn Mu'awiya that he would never swear allegiance to him unless he vowed that people and their belongings were secure.
Nonetheless, when 'Abd Allah came up to Mu'awiya, he told him on his own behalf that there were a number of conditions he should meet if he wanted to compromise. First, caliphate would be his provided that he designated Imam Hasan as the caliph after himself. Secondly, he should pay fifty five thousand dhms from the public fund to him annually. Finally, he should not merely pay the taxes collected from Darabjird to him but also provide people with high security.
Accepting the conditions, Mu'awiya asked for a white sheet, signed it at the bottom and sent it to Hasan Ibn 'Ali (a). When 'Abd Allah returned and recounted what happened, Imam told him, “Never do I want the caliphate after Mu'awiya. And about the financial conditions you suggested I should say that it is in no way Mu'awiya's right to commit himself to paying me from Muslims' treasury.
Then Imam called his amanuensis to write as follows,
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم، هذا ما اصطلح عليه الحسن بن علي بن أبي طالب، معاوية بن أبي سفيان، صالحه على أن يسلم اليه ولاية أمر المسلمين على أن يعمل فيهم بكتاب الله وسنة نبيه محمد صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم وسيرة الخلفاء الصالحين؛ وليس لمعاوية بن أبي سفيان أن يعهد لأحد من بعده عهداً، بل يكون الأمر من بعده شورى بين المسلمين، وعلى أن الناس آمنون حيث كانوا من أرض الله، شامهم وعراقهم وتهامهم وحجازهم، وعلى أن اصحاب علي وشيعته آمنون على أنفسهم وأموالهم ونسائهم وأولادهم، وعلى معاوية بن أبي سفيان بذلك عهد الله وميثاقه وما أخذ الله على أحد من خلقه بالوفاء بما أعطى الله من نفسه، وعلى أنه لا يبغي للحسن بن علي ولا لأخيه الحسين ولا لأحد من اهل بيت النبي صلى الله عليه واله وسلم، غائلة سراً وعلانيةً ولا يخيف أحداً منهم في أفق من الافاق.1645
This is a compromise between Hasan Ibn Abi Talib and Mu'awiya Ibn Abi Sufyan. He compromises with him and entrusts caliphate to him provided that he will designate no successor after himself and will allow Muslims' council to designate any one judged competent, for his death is imminent. Another condition is that Muslims must entirely be secure from him. He should behave well towards people.
The third condition is that 'Ali Ibn Abi Talib's Shi'ite Muslims, family and agents must be safe anywhere they are and no aggression should be made against them. Hereby Mu'awiya Ibn Abi Sufyan swears allegiance to Allah and makes a pledge to be faithful to his allegiance and not to take in.
He promises not to do an ill turn to Hasan Ibn 'Ali, his brother Husayn and neither of their wives, children, relatives and disciples either overtly or covertly. Anywhere they are they should be safe and never threatened. That is it.139
As recorded by Baladhuri, Mu'awiya wrote a peace pact himself and sent it to Hasan Ibn 'Ali (a) as follows,”I did compromise with you on the conditions that the caliphate after me be yours, I conspire not against you, I pay you a million dhms from the public fund plus taxes of Fasa and Darabjird [or Darabjard].”
This text is confirmed by both Muhammad Ibn Ash'ath Kindi and 'Abd Allah Ibn 'Amir which was written in Rabi' al-Akhir, 41.A.H.
As soon as Imam read the foregoing text, he said,”He has stipulated something if I yearned for it, never ever would I relinquish the authority”. Then he sent 'Abd Allah Ibn Harth Ibn Nawfal (Ibn Harth Ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib) to tell Mu'awiya, “If people will be safe, I swear allegiance to him.”
Mu'awiya gave him a white sheet and said, “Write whatever you like”.
Imam Hasan (a) also wrote what we referred what we referred to previously.140 The text was cited by Ibn Shahr Ashub in Manaqib.141 Mada'ini142 and Ibn Sabbagh Maliki143 also have confirmed the report related to 'Abd Allah Ibn Nawfal's dispatch and the conditions laid down.
Many sources have referred to the condition of Imam Hasan's successorship after Mu'awiya with presenting no particular text.144 Some other sources also have confirmed the financial commitments made with regard to the taxes of Darabjird, Fasa and Ahwaz in addition to the one-million payment per year.145 Reportedly, the other condition had been that Mu'awiya should never curse Amir al-Mu'minin (a).146
Here, two points merit to be taken into account concerning two conditions, the financial condition and caliphate condition. About the financial condition which is mentioned in different sources and for justifying which a group of Shi'ite Muslims have even discussed in any way147 it should be kept in mind that the only text we confirm is the one shown before; accordingly, imposing any condition in the accord is basically deemed false.
The cogent evidence is the reaction Imam had when finding out that 'Abd Allah Ibn Nawfal had on his own behalf laid down such conditions and said, “Mu'awiya is not entitled to commit himself paying me from the Fund.”
As far as we know what Imams' way of conduct had been, such reasoning is clearly conceivable. The question, however, raised here is how the historians have propounded this condition. The answer can easily be inferred form what discussed above. Ibn A'tham had narrated that the condition had been laid down by 'Abd Allah Ibn Nawfal. As reported by Baladhuri, Mu'awiya himself had imposed the financial condition among the conditions.
Furthermore, seemingly in order to mar Imam's reputation, Mu'awiya's spies and later courtier historians had spread a number of rumors. It appears that the financial condition had been suggested by the delegation sent by Mu'awiya to Sabat in Ctesiphon for talks on compromising.148 Another evidence for proving that there had been no financial condition in the pact is when after the compromise Sulayman Ibn Surad Khuza'i objected to Imam why he had not assigned a proportion.149
Such reasoning can also be found for the condition of Imam's successorship after Mu'awiya. It is narrated that based on the signed accord Imam Hasan had been supposed to replace Mu'awiya and if he were dead, his brother should be the successor.150
This time again Imam was not content to accept what 'Abd Allah Ibn Nawfal or according to Baladhuri and others151 what Mu'awiya had suggested. In return in a text, Imam deprived Mu'awiya of appointing any successor to himself. He stressed that Muslims should shoulder this responsibility.
Since Imam was aware that Mu'awiya had always been set to make caliphate hereditary, he decided to tie his hands in the accord in this respect. If Imam had said something about his successorship, it would have been the confirmation of hereditary system per se. The term of “Muslim council”, however general, could be a way to dispense with the hereditary concept. It might be criticized that it is by no means compatible with the belief in “Nass” (textual nomination) about Shi'ites Imams.
It should be said that firstly the majority of the people among whom Imam lived did not believe in Nass and but this way, they had no other choice. Secondly, if legitimacy was judged by Nass, it would not be incompatible with the principle any way because people's approval is evidently essential in a ruler's legitimacy as a leader in a community. Some points within the peace pact merit consideration:
A. The first vital point was practicing the divine Book, the Prophet's tradition as well as the pious caliphs' lifstyles. Imam's intention was to limit Mu'awiya within a framework. He referred to this very point while making a speech on the pulpit when Mu'awiya had come to Kufa.
إنما الخليفة من سار بسيرة رسول الله وعمل بطاعته وليس الخليفة من دان بالجور وعطَّل السنن واتخذ الدنيا أباً واُمّاً “
The caliph is the one who practices the Prophet's tradition and obeys him. The caliph is never the one who oppresses, disregards the Prophet's tradition and adores the worldly life like his parents.”
وَإِنْ أَدْرِي لَعَلَّهُ فِتْنَةٌ لَكُمْ وَمَتَاعٌ إِلَى حِينٍ.
Who knows, perhaps it is an acid test for you and little goods for Mu'awiya
he added. Mu'awiya turned furious at Imam's remarks.152
At the same sermon Imam announced, “On a right Mu'awiya disputed me that was mine but for the good of the nation and hindering bloodshed I ignored it.” 153
B. Another point was Imam's opposition to a hereditary caliphate that we already discussed in detail.
C. The Shi'ite Muslims' security was one of the crucial principles of the contract. As mentioned before, Imam at the first leg of his talks with Mu'awiya affirmed that he would never swear allegiance to him unless Mu'awiya promised to provide people with security. It is referred to in some narration's that Imam asked clemency of guarantee even for Ahmar and Aswad. It may imply that Imam stressed on Mawali's (freed slaves) security as well who were very respectable in Imam 'Ali's sight.
D. Imam's other condition which had a particular significance was that there should be no covert or overt conspiracy against him or his brother, Imam Husayn (a).
With no prerequisite, Mu'awiya signed the contract owing to the fact that the only thing he wanted was the conquest of Iraq. Mu'awiya and also Imam himself were certain that he would turn a blind eye to any condition.
Mu'awiya was faithful to none of the conditions.
He not only did not follow Qur'an and the tradition, but also went to extremes more than 'Uthman. He appointed Yazid as his successor, and deprived 'Ali's followers (Shi'ites) of security, imposing Ziyad and other tyrants to rule over them.
Husayn bin Mundhir used to say: Mu'awiya did not observe any of the conditions he had agreed to in his treaty with Hasan. He killed Hujr and his companions, appointed Yazid as his successor and did not delegate the matter of succession to a counsel, and poisoned Hasan.”
Mu'awiya came to Kufa and said, ألا إني كنتُ شرطت شروطاً أردت بها الأُلفة ووضع الحرب، ألا وإنها تحت قدمي “ I agreed on the conditions to put out the fire of sedition and reconcile the people, yet now I disregard them all.”154
It is also quoted form him as saying, “Never did I fight to have you perform prayers, fast, go Hajj (pilgrimage) or pay poll tax, I fought to rule over you. And Allah bestowed it to me whereas you were all unwilling”.155
A group of residents led by Humran Ibn Aban decided to revolt against Mu'awiya in Basra. As reported he had been summoning people to swear allegiance to Imam Husayn (a). In order to suppress him, Mu'awiya sent 'Amr Ibn Artat or his brother, Busr to Basra.156
By the same token, he could manage to dominate Iraq. He appointed Mughira Ibn Shu'ba to Kufa governorship for nine years as long as he was alive and 'Abd Allah Ibn 'Amir as Basra governor.
Imam Hasan's caliphate began in Ramaďan 40 and terminated in Rabi' al-Akhir, 41H. after seven months.157
Imam Hasan was born on Ramaďan 15, 3 A.H. He looked like his forefather, Allah's Apostle.158 After his father was martyred, he became the Shi'ite Muslims' leader. It is narrated from Abi Razin as saying that Imam, wearing black robe and a turban, delivered sermons.159
Imam Hasan was one of the most morally eminent figures whose conduct was an example to follow. We already discussed how repeatedly the Prophet admired him in his remarks and recommended all to feel affection for him.
For instance, أللهم إني قد أحببته فأحبَّه وأحِبًّ من يحبه “ O Allah! I love him, so adore him and the one who loves him.” 160 من أحبَّني فليحبه وليبلغ الشاهد منكم الغائب “ The one who loves me surely loves him. Tell it to the absentees too.” 161
Anyone who loves Hasan and Husayn, he indeed loves me and anyone who annoys them, he indeed annoys me.” 162
من سرّه أن ينظر الي سيد شباب أهل الجنة فلينظر إلي الحسن بن علي “
Anyone who likes to see the master of the youth in Heaven can look at Hasan Ibn 'Ali and some utterances the Prophet has made about Imam Hasan (a).” 163
Many narrations also are recorded in the light of Imam's ideological features for example his trips as a pilgrim gone on foot. He has said,
إني لأستحي من ربي أن ألقاه ولم أمش إلي بيته، فمشي عشرين مرة من المدينة علي رجليه “
I am really ashamed of meeting Allah if I go to His House on horsebac.”
His generosity for Allah's sake was a proverbial aspect of his ethical character. When Isma'il Ibn Yasar along with 'Abd Allah Ibn Anas went to meet Mu'awiya in Damascus and take money from him but they did not succeed, Isma'il in a poem addressed his friend Ibn Anas as follows:
لعمرك ما إلى حسن رحلنا و لا زرنا حسيناً يا بن انس
“O Ibn Anas by you we did not go to meet Hasan and Husayn.” 167
He implied that if they had gone to those two brothers, never would they have returned empty-handed. It is narrated that some one went to meet Imam Hasan while needy.
Imam told him, “Write down whatsoever you need antd then give it to me”. When the man gave him the list of what he needed, Imam offered him twice as much.168 It is pointed out elsewhere that during his lifetime Imam granted three times each time half as much as the property he had for Allah's sake.169
A man named Abu Harun recounted, “On our way to Medina for pilgrimage we decided to drop in on the Prophet's son. Visiting him, we talked about our Journey. When we returned, he sent us each four hundred Dinars. We went back to him and said that our condition was okay. He answered, لا تردّوا عليّ معروفي170 “Reject not my generosity.”
Imam Hasan was told, فيك عظمة “ You are great enough.” Imam said, لا بل عزَّة، قال الله تعالى, فللّه العِزَّةُ ولرسوله وللمؤمنين “ It is not greatness but honor. Allah has stated that honor belongs to both Allah and His Apostle as well as the believers.”171
After the compromise, the Kufa's Shi'ite Muslims who came to Hijaz for pilgrimage constantly were in touch with Imam during his eight or nine-year residence in Medina. It was natural that they had approved him as their Imam and tried to avail themselves of him ideologically.
A man from Damascus recounted,”One day I ran in to a handsome and serene man wearing smartly on horseback. I asked who he was. They said he was Hasan Ibn 'Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a). I was filled with rage and felt jealous of 'Ali Ibn Abi Talib for having such a unique son.
I approached him asking, “Are you 'Ali's son?” As soon as I heard his positive answer, I heaped abusive words onto him as many as I could. When I stopped he asked me if I was a stranger. “Yes”, I replied.
Then kindly he said, “If you have no place to live, I give it to you, if you need money, I pay you”. I parted him while I had no one as dear as him in my heart”.172
One of Mu'awiya's unforgivable crimes is martyring Imam Hasan (a) who was the apple of the Apostle's eye about which there is no doubt historically. As usual, Mu'awiya hatched a plot and prompted Ju'da, Imam's wife and cursed Ash'ath Ibn Qays's daughter, to kill her husband.
When Medina was plundered in the course of Harra event in 63 AH. this cursed woman's house was plundered too. Nevertheless, due to her cooperation in her husband's murder, her properties all were back. The report of Imam's martyrdom by Ju'da as well as Mu'awiya's conspiracy is recorded in numerous sources.173
Miswar's daughter, Umm Bakr said, “Imam had been poisoned many times. Although each time he survived, the last time the poison was so strong that it made the pieces of his liver come out through his throat.” 176
After he was martyred, he was supposed to be buried next to the Prophet's grave according to his last will, but 'Ayisha and Marwan, the ruler of Medina then, did not allow. Imam had advised that if they faced any problem, he should be buried in Baqi'.177 'Ayisha did reveal his sheer spite towards Zahra (a), Her Excellency, and her son once more. No sooner had Imam's corpse been approached to the Prophet's grave than 'Ayisha warned, هذا الأمر لايكون ابداً “ Under no circumstances, such an action is possible.”178
Both Abu Sa'id Khudri and Abu Hurayra addressed Marwan, “Do you prevent Hasan from being buried beside his forefather whereas the Apostle (S) had called him the master of the youth in Heaven?”
“If such individuals as you, said Marwan sarcastically, did not narrate the Prophet's hadiths, they would be dissolved soon.”179
Muhammad Ibn Hanafiyya has narrated that when Imam was killed, Medina turned thoroughly mournful and all people wept. It was Marwan who let Mu'awiya know saying him,”They want to bury Hasan by the Prophet, but as long as I am alive, I will never allow them.”
Imam Husayn come up to the Prophet's grave and ordered to dig the ground. Sa'id Ibn 'As who was Medina governor pulled back but Marwan commanded the Umayyads to be armed on alert.
“It is impossible to let you”, said Marwan.
“It is non of your concern”, Imam Husayn (a) told him.
“You are not the governor, are you?” Marwan answered.
“No, but as long as I am alive, I will never let you do this”.
Imam Husayn (a) asked Hilf al-Fuďul (the agreement reached during pre-Islamic period for ensuring the safty of the pilgrims) who were always with the Hashimites for help. A number of people belonging to the tribes of Taym, Zuhra, Asad and Ja'uba took up arms then. Imam Husayn (a) and Marwan holding a flag in hand each opened fire on each other.
Yet a group of people demanded Imam to practice the will Imam Hasan had made.”If there were a probability that someone be killed, bury me beside my mother in Baqi'.” At last they could convince Imam Husayn.180 As inferred form another narration, Marwan who was deposed by then was intent to make Mu'awiya gratified with him by such an action.181 When Marwan flourished to change Imam's mind, he reported to Mu'awiya in a bombastic manner.182
He said,”How is it possible to see the son of 'Uthman's murderer buried next to the prophet but 'Uthman in Baqi'?”183 Beyond any doubt, Marwan had been among the wickedest figures of the Umayyads throughout whose term as Medina governor cursed Imam 'Ali as well as the Hashimites.
Some believe that Imam was martyred in Rabi' al-Awwal, 49H. While some others have recorded it Rabi' al-Awwal, 50 H.184 The former seems to be more reliable. As soon as Imam was martyred, the Hashimites sent some persons to different spots of Medina and the suburbs to inform Ansar. Reportedly, no one could ever stay at home.185
The Hashimites women moaned his loss all day long for a month.186 Tabari has quoted Imam al-Baqir (a) as saying that Medina people shut their shops mourning for him for seven days.187 He added that in Imam's burial ceremony the participants were so many that there was no elbow- room.188 News of Imam's martyrdom in Basra led the Shi'ite Muslims there to mourn.189
After Imam Mujtaba's demise, Kufiyan Shi'ite Muslims wrote a letter of consolation to Imam Husayn (a), in which Imam's demise was regarded, on one hand, a tragedy for all Umma and particularly for Shi'ite Muslims, on other hand.
This shows formation of “Shi'a” and even its terminological usage around 50 H. They talked about Imam Mujtaba (a) with these titles, ”'Alam al-Huda and Nur al-Bilad”, someone who was hoped to raise up religion and rehabilitation of conduct of the righteous people. They hoped God would return Imam Husayn's right to him. 190 The letter had to be considered as one of the documents forming Imamate and ideological Shi'a in Kufa.
'Amr Ba'ja says, “The first humiliation that befell to Arabs was Imam Mujtaba's demise.191