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Peace Treaty

A group of the historians such as al-Tabari and Ibn al-Athir has narrated the following: "Indeed Mu'awiya had sent al-Hasan a blank page. In the bottom of the page, there were his stamps." Then Mu'awiya wrote al-Hasan the following: "In this page, whose bottom I have stamped, stipulate whatever you want, for that will be for you."1

Then the historians have not mentioned the tradition thoroughly, for they have not mentioned what al-Hasan, peace be on him, had written on Mu'awiya's page. We have studied the available reference books but we have not found the complete stipulations of al-Hasan, peace be on him, except separated bits. The narrators have admitted that these bits are part of a complete subject. Only one writer has mentioned a text with a beginning and an end. He has said that the text is the complete Peace Treaty. However, other reports have refuted many items of this text. Worth mentioning is that, these reports are better in Asnad (chain of narrators) and more in number than this reference.

To be acquainted with the contents of the Peace Treaty, we have the right to be satisfied, if we wanted satisfaction, with the narration of the Blank Page (al-Sahifa al-Bayda), as the previous narrators did. That is because they have narrated it briefly. Thus they were satisfied with the summing up instead of the details. That is because carrying out reconciliation was according to this rule: "Stipulate whatever you want, for that will be for you." This means that al-Hasan, peace be on him, filled the page, which was stamped in the bottom, with various stipulations which he wanted, namely with the conditions that were useful for him or his family or his Shi'a (followers) or his objectives. So the page had nothing other than these conditions.

If it is impossible, today, for us to know those conditions in details, at least, we know that they were in the interest of al-Hasan. That was a certain result, for al-Hasan, peace be on him, was free to make conditions.

Unfortunately, we have not found what al-Hasan had written on the Blank Page. So it is necessary for us to collect the separated items from various books to give the most correct and most import form of all reports concerning this Treaty. We have divided the form into items and added each phrase to the appropriate item to be nearer to the reality.

The form of the Peace Treaty the two parties signed is as follows:

Item One:

Handing over authority to Mu'awiya provided that he should act according to the Book of Allah, the Sunna (practices) of His Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family,2 and the Sire (behavior) of the righteous Caliphs.3

Item Two:

Authority should be for al-Hasan after him.4 If an accident happened to him, authority should be for his brother al-Husayn.5 Mu'awiya has no right to entrust anybody to it.6

Item Three:

He (Mu`awiya) should abandon cursing the Commander of the faithful and the practice of using the personal prayer (qunut) in the ritual formal prayer (salat) (as prayer) against him,7 and that he should not mention 'Ali except in a good manner.8

Item Four:

He (Mu'awiya) should excluded what is in the treasury of Kufa, that is five million (dirhams). So handing over authority does not include it (i.e., this sum of money). Mu'awiya should send al-Husayn one million dirhams a year, he should prefer the banu (children) of Hashim in giving and gifts to the banu `Abd Shams, and should divide one million (dirhams) among the sons of those who were killed with the Commander of the faithful at the Battle of the Camel and the Battle of Siffin, and should spend that from the taxes of Dar Abjard.9

Item Five:

"The people should be safe wherever they are in the earth of Allah; in Sham (Syria), Iraq, Hijaz, the Yemen, etc. He should give security to the black and the red (ones). He (Mu'awiya) should bear their slips, should not follow some of them for the bygone nor should he punish the Iraqis for their hostility."10

"The companions of 'Ali should be given security wherever they are, that he (Mu'awiya) should not expose the Shi'a of 'Ali to any evil, that the companions and the Shi'a of 'Ali should be given security over their lives, their properties, their women, and their children, nor should he pursue them for a certain thing, nor should he expose them to any evil, and that he should give them their rights.11

"He (i.e., Mu'awiya) should not seek a calamity secretly or openly for al-Hasan b. 'Ali, nor for his brother al-Husayn, nor for anyone from the family of the Apostle of Allah, nor should he frighten them in any country of the countries."12

The End

Ibn Qutayba al-Dinawari said: "Then `Abd Allah b. `Amir (i.e., Mu'awiya's messenger to al-Hasan, peace be on him) wrote to Mu'awiya all the conditions which al-Hasan dictated to him. So Mu'awiya wrote all that with his own writing and stamped them with his own stamp, confirmed them with certain covenants and strong oath, and made all the leaders of the Syrians bear witness for that. Then he handed them (i.e., the conditions) to `Abd Allah b. `Amir to send them to al-Hasan."13

Historians other than b. Qutayba al-Dinawari have mentioned the form of the text which Mu`awiya wrote at the end of the Peace Treaty. In the meantime Mu`awiya made a covenant with Allah to fulfill al Hasan's conditions.

This form is as follows: "Concerning that, Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan is obliged to fulfill the covenant of Allah and His promise, what Allah obligated His creatures to fulfill, and what Allah has given of Himself."14

That was in the middle of the month of Jamadi al-UIa, in the year 41 A.H. according to the most authentic reports.

  • 1. Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 93. Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 3, p. 162.
  • 2. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 6.
  • 3. Ibn `Aqil, al-Nasa'ih al-Kafiya, p. 156. Al-Majfsi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 115.
  • 4. Al-Sayuf, Ta'rikh al-Khulafa', p. 194. Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa alNahaya, vol. 8, p. 41. Ahmad Shahab al-Din al-`Asqalani, al-Isaba fi Tamiiz al-Sahaba, vol. 2, pp. 12- 13. Ibn Qutayba al-Dinawari, al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, p. 150. Farid Wajdi, Da'irat al-Ma'arif al-Islamiya, vol. 3, p. 443.
  • 5. Ibn al-Muhanna, `Umdat al-Talib, p. 52.
  • 6. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 8
    Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 115. Ibn al-Sabbagh, al-FusW al Muhimma.
  • 7. Muhsin al-Amin al-`Amili, A'yan al-Shi'a, vol. 4, p. 43.
  • 8. Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani, Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p. 26. Ibn Abu al Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 15.
    Other than these two authors said: "Indeed, al-Hasan asked Mu'awiya not to curse 'Ali. However, Mu'awiya disagreed with him on refraining from cursing him, and agreed with him on that 'Ali should not be cursed while he (i.e., Mu'awiya) hears that." Ibn al-Athir said: "Then Mu'awiya broke that, too."
  • 9. Ibn Qutayba al-Dinawari, al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, p. 200. Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 92. Ibn Babawayh, `Ilal al-Sharaiya`, p. 81. Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 8, p. 14.
    Dar Abjard is a town on the borders of Ahwaz in Persia (Iran).
  • 10. Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani, Maqata al-Talibiyyin, p. 26. Ibn Abu al Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 15. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, pp. 101 and 115. Ibn Qutayba al-Dinawari, al-Imama wa al Siyasa, p. 200. We have quoted each paragraph letter by letter from its source.
  • 11. Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 97. Ibn al-Aft, al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 3, p. 166. Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani, Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p. 26. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 15. Al-Majlisi, Bihar alAnwir, vol. 10, p. 115. Muhammad b. 'Ali b. Babawayh, 'Ilal al-Sharaiya', p. 81. Muhammad b. 'Aqil, al-Nasa'ih al-Kafiya, p. 115.
  • 12. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 115. Muhammad b. `Aqil, al-Nasa'ih al-Kufiya, p. 156.
  • 13. Ibn Qutayba al-Dinawari, al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, p. 200.
  • 14. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, VOL 10, p. 115.

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