Imam Hasan – Director of the Prophet’s Pond
فَأَقبَلَ الحَسَنُ نَحوَ الكِساء وَ قالَ : أَلسَّلامُ عَلَيكَ يا جَدَّاهُ يا رَسُولَ اللهِ أَتَأذَنُ لي أَن أَدخُلَ مَعَكَ تَحتَ الكِساءِ ؟ فَقالَ : وَ عَلَيكَ السَّلامُ يا وَلَدِي وَ يا صاحِبَ حَوضِي قَد أَذِنتُ لَكَ ، فَدَخَلَ مَعَهُ تَحتَ الكِساءِ .
Al-Hasan moved towards the cloak and said, "Peace be upon you, O grandfather, Allah’s Messenger. Will you allow me to be with you under this cloak?"
My father replied, "Peace be upon you too, my son and director of my Pond. I allow you. "Al-Hasan then went under the cloak with his grandfather.
The natural reaction of a person who recognizes the presence of the Holy Prophet (SA) in the same location is to rush towards him and seek his proximity. Imam Al Hasan (AS) approaches the cloak which the Prophet (SA) is covered with and conveys his greetings by pronouncing the Salam. He does so by addressing him first as his grandfather, and then as the Messenger of Allah. This is for us to remind ourselves of the blood relation which Imam Hasan (AS) and his siblings share with the Prophet (SA).
Imam Al Hasan (AS) then makes a specific request from the Prophet (SA) where he seeks proximity to the Prophet (SA) by asking permission to enter under the cloak with him. In the mind of Imam Hasan (AS), there is no other reason to make that request other than enjoy the company of the Prophet (SA) and share from his blessings. He has yet to learn of the grand honor which Allah (SWT) will bestow him and his immediate family under the cloak!
The Prophet (SA) then replies back the Salam to his beloved grandson Hasan whom he considers as his own son by referring to him as "ولدي". It is not a mistake or exaggeration that the Prophet (SA) refers to him as his own son as there are people who try to distance Hasan and Husain from the Prophet (SA) by saying that they are the sons of Fatima the daughter of the Prophet (SA) and not the Prophet.
The Holy Prophet loved his two grandsons, Hasan and Husain, dearly, and since he had no surviving sons of his own, he used to call them his “sons” out of deep affection. In many occasions the Prophet (SA) declared, "Hasan and Husain are my children". (Islam: Faith, Practice, and History)
Because of this, Imam Ali (AS) would say to his other children, "You are my children and Hasan and Husain are the children of the Prophet." (Lantern of the Path) Hasan and Husain themselves used to call the Prophet (SA) as “father” and didn’t do so with their biological father Imam Ali (AS) until the Prophet (SA) departed this world. During the lifetime of the Prophet (SA), Hasan (AS) used to refer to his father Imam Ali (AS) as Abal Husain, while Husain used to call him Abal Hasan.
Furthermore, the Messenger of Allah (SWT) confirms that their station to him is equivalent to being his “sons” in the Event of Mubahala (Imprecation) where the following verse was revealed:
“And to him who disputes with you therein after knowledge has come to you, say: “Come, let us summon our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and your selves, then let us invoke and lay the curse of God upon the liars.” (3:61)
In the ninth year after Hijra (migration), Prophet Muhammad (SA) sent a message to the Christians of Najran asking them to believe in him as a prophet of God and accept Jesus (peace be upon him) as prophet of God according to the teachings of the Qur’an. A delegation of seventy Christian scholars visited the Prophet (SA) and he explained to the Christian scholars the concept of divinity and prophethood but the Christians did not accept the reasoning.
Then the above-mentioned verse was revealed inviting the Christians for invoking the curse of God to determine who is denier of the truth. In a large public gathering, his “daughter” represented Lady Fatima (S.A.), his “self” was represented by his cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS), and his “sons” were none other than his two grandsons Hasan and Husain (AS).
Prophet Muhammad (SA) had orders from Almighty Allah (SWT) through the Verse of Mubahala to take Hasan and Hussain (AS) as his children with him and this was not a personal decision on his own. Their position as “sons” to the Prophet was stamped and approved by Allah (SWT) from above the heavens!
When the chief of the Christian delegation witnessed these five personalities, he was awestruck with their heavenly appearance and counseled his followers not to ask the Prophet to invoke God’s curse, saying that “If these Godly individuals curse us, I am afraid we will be destroyed.” (Madarejun Nubuwwa) He made a peace pact, offered the Prophet (SA) gifts and left in peace.
The next label which the Prophet (SA) describes Imam Al Hasan (AS) is "صاحب حوضي" (the director of my Pond).
One may question why the role of providing food to eat was not specified in traditions as it was with providing water to drink. That is because the need to quench the thirst on the Day of Resurrection will be greater than that of eating. Actually there are numerous narrations where the Prophet (SA) labels Imam Ali (AS) as "صاحب حوضي". In reference to Imam Ali (AS), the Prophet (SA) has said,
“Whomever among you would like to save himself from the troubles of the Day of Judgment, let him take my guardian as their guardian, and let him follow my successor and Caliph after me, Ali ibn Abi Talib, for he is the owner of my Pool (Hawd), he keeps his enemies away from it and quenches the thirst of his devout supporters. Whoever is not granted the permission to drink from it will continuously suffer from thirst.” (Kitab Al Mizan).
There is no contradiction that the Pond (Hawd) belongs to the Prophet (SA) on the Day of Resurrection, while Ali plays the role of “quencher”, while Imam Hasan (AS) is its director (صاحب). For one particular task, there may be various roles with different degrees and the laws may differ in different situations.
After all, Allah (SWT) bestowed the Pond to the Prophet (SA) while giving the authority of direction to Imam Hasan (AS) so that he shares the honor of his grandfather. In other traditions it is apparent that all of the Infallible Imams (AS) will participate in quenching the thirst of the people from that Hawd.
The Prophet (SA) grants Imam Hasan (AS) the permission to enter the Kisaa. This is the first of the series of divinely approved permissions which the Prophet (SA) gives for the entrance under the cloak. It must be noted that the permission of the Prophet (SA) is not from his own will or preference as the Qur’an emphasizes:
وَمَا يَنْطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَىٰ. إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَى.
“Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed.” (53:3-4)
This Qur’anic verse is in agreement with the Bible where it is quoted regarding the station of the Prophet (SA), "He does not speak of his own will", and has also been mentioned in Deuteronomy 18:18.
"Then the Lord said to me (Musa): "I will raise up for them a prophet like you, one of their own race, and I will put my words into his mouth. He shall convey all my commands to them."
It is also mentioned in John 16: 18: (‘Isa said): "However, when he comes who is the spirit of truth, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but will tell only what he hears; and he will make known to you the things that are coming."
The Holy Prophet (SA) was always in communion with Allah (SWT). Whatever he said was the Word of Allah and his actions were the fulfillment of the divine will. So when the Prophet (SA) gives permission for Imam Hasan (AS) to enter the cloak, it is equivalent to divine permission from above the heavens. This significance of this divine permission to enter the Kisaa will be realized as we continue to analyze the Tradition of the Cloak.