The life of Imam Hasan (as) was both eventful and full of lessons, and yet the significance of his role seems to have been ignored, forgotten, or eclipsed by the extent of focus on Imam Husayn (as). Why has history blackened the radiant face of that Imam in whose adoration forty thousand people unanimously raised their hands to pledge allegiance, and the outside of whose house was continually overflowing with people?
A common misconception is that he was just a peace-maker, yet nothing could be further from the truth. For Imam Hasan (as) was overwhelmingly and popularly appointed as Caliph due to his charisma, knowledge and eminent piety. Then he led the Islamic Caliphate for six months with authority and control, and he prepared his army, leading it to war against Muawiya and exhorting it to be brave and unflinching.
Only when his men became weak at the knees and fell prey to bribery, did he have to resort to peace in order to achieve his objectives. And by that means, he forever made absolutely clear the difference between Caliphate and Monarchy, thus putting an end to Muawiya’s schemes.
So what we see in our history and communities is that there is an imbalance of treatment between Imam Hasan (as) and Imam Husayn (as), whereas the Prophet (saws) declared them both as the leaders of the youth of Paradise. This book very nicely redresses that balance by displaying the brilliance of Imam Hasan’s (as) leadership, the farsightedness of his thinking, and his iron-like resolve in serving Allah (swt) all characteristics so reminiscent of his father before him.
Moreover, the author demonstrates, with exacting scholarship using authentic sources and the motherbooks of history, how there would have been no Karbala without the groundwork laid by Imam Hasan (as). The book also has great value as a manual of instruction on how one should obey the Imam of one’s time, in war and in peace .Thus making it an excellent way of preparing for the emergence of the Twelfth Imam (ajtf).
The author, Hujjatul Islam Sayyid Muhammad Qurat-ul-Ain Abidy, has been in the Holy City of Qom for twenty years, first as a student in the Islamic Seminary & then as a teacher of Qur’an Tafseer and Fiqh. Among his publications are the following works:
• ‘Islah Ijtimai Dar Islam’ (Social Reforms in Islamic Society),
• ‘Sirat-e-’Ali’ (Translation to Urdu of the biography of Imam ‘Ali (as)).
• ‘Ghina’ (Translation into Persian of a treatise on music).
He is also a founding member of the Islami Afkar Foundation in Pakistan and a senior teacher in the Al-Asr organization of London.
I hope that this book is of benefit to both scholars, who will appreciate the thoroughness of its investigations, and to lay people, who will appreciate the excitement of a narrative depicting the rise and fall of rulers and the battles fought between them. In particular, students of Islamic history from 40AH – 50AH, and those studying the causes of the shift from Islamic Government (Caliphate) to materialistic Monarchy, will find this work valuable.
Zahir Davdani (Meng)
Qom - 30/9/05.