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6.4 – The 2nd Imam (Forth Ma’soom) – Imam Al-Hasan (‘A)

T. One Lonely Imam (‘A) And One Nation Afflicted By Indolence

Birth And Characteristic

Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) was born in Medina on the night of the 15th of the month of Ramadan, year 3 AH/624 AD.

Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) was the firstborn of Imam Ali (‘a) and Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) in their holy marriage and the firstborn in the holy household of the Prophet (S), home of revelations. Imam Ali (‘a) and Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a) requested the Prophet Muhammad (S) to name the child, and so he asked God. God sent down the archangel Jibrail (‘a) with the name Hasan, originating from one of God’s names. Hasan means a good and handsome one.

Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) resembled the Prophet (S) in both character and appearance, which the Prophet (S) emphasized when he said to Imam Al-Hasan (‘a):

“O Hasan, you are like me in appearance and morals.”1

The High Position Of Imam Al-Hasan (‘A)

The Prophet (S) Loved Imam Al-Hasan (‘A)

The Prophet (S) said:

“O God, I love him; You too love him.”

The Prophet (S) have had both Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) and Imam Al-Husayn (‘a) on his lap and said:

“These are my daughter's sons. O God, I love them; so, YOU too love them, and love everyone who loves them.”2

Specific Events And Statements

Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) was one of the Ashab Al-Kisa` (People of the Cloak) during which God sent down the verse of Tathir.3 Similarly, the Prophet (S) brought along Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) and Imam Al-Husayn (‘a), in connection with the event of Mubahala in the capacity of ‘his sons’ as God commanded in the related Qur’anic verse.4

There are great amounts of events where the Prophet (S) demonstrated his love for Imam Ali’s (‘a) and Fatimah az-Zahra’’s (‘a) children, Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) and Imam Al-Husayn (‘a), and named them his sons, the continuation of his lineage and the surviving line of Imamah. Additionally, there are also plenty of ahadith where the Prophet (S) spoke of Imam Al-Hasan’s (‘a) and Imam Al-Husayn’s (‘a) positions and emphasized them.

Among those the Prophet (S) has named Imam Al-Hasan and Imam Al-Husayn (‘a) as:

“Hasan and Husayn are the two masters of the youths of paradise.”

“Indeed, my sons Hasan and Husayn are my two scented flowers in this world.”5

The Prophet (S) was clear and distinct in emphasizing the status of his Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a), especially that of Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) and Imam Al-Husayn (‘a), to all Muslims. Hence, the love of Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a) was far and widely given to all Muslims and is to this day, among both Shi’a and Sunni Muslims.

Imam Al-Hasan (‘A) Becomes An Imam

During his lifetime, the Prophet (S) had mentioned on several occasions the names of all coming Imams (‘a).6 Imam Ali (‘a) obeyed the Prophet’s (S) command and in connection with his martyrdom, handed over the banner of Imamah to Imam Al-Hasan (‘a).

The Prophet (S) has also said:

“Hasan and Husayn are imams; weather they rise or sit [whether they make an uprising or make peace].”7

On his deathbed, Imam Ali (‘a) asked his closest relations to gather around him, as he mentioned Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) taking on Imamah after him, and requested all present to witness;

“My son! The Noble Prophet (S) ordered me to appoint you as my successor and to entrust you with my books and sword, the same way the Prophet (S) appointed me as his successor and entrusted me with his Holy Qur’an and sword, and asked me to pass it on to you so that you may entrust it to you brother Imam Al-Husayn (‘a) when your departure approaches.”8

Receives The Governorship Of A Divided And Weary Nation

Shortly after the martyrdom of Imam Ali (‘a), Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) was to govern a divided nation, suffering moral decays by the deceiving hand of Mu’awiya’s treacherous tricks and attacks. Those are the same people to surround Imam Ali (‘a) and urge him to take over governance, only to, later on, surround him again but with stubbornness and ignorance. The Islamic state was affected by indolence and disunity, rooted in the previous caliphates, prevented them from submitting to Imam Ali (‘a), even though they had pledged allegiance to him. When Imam Ali (‘a) was martyred, the nation was left somehow shock, and people knew, albeit short-lasting, whom they had in actuality lost. The threat of Mu’awiya was also evident. Hence, people turned to Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) – now in the highest rank after that of his late father.

People Pledge Allegiance To Imam Al-Hasan (‘A)

After the passing and burial of Imam Ali (‘a), people turned to Imam Al-Hasan (‘a). Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) gave a sermon in which he declared his position as an Imam and the rightful successor after Imam Ali (‘a):

“Last night a man passed away, unique to all of earlier age and those of the future, known for his knowledge, piety, behaviour and character. He participated in battles together with Prophet Muhammad (S) and fought hard to defend Islam. A person who was a needle in the eyes to his enemies and a fruit of life to his friends. He did not collect any of this world’s wealth for himself…”

At this moment, Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) cried bitterly, and so the people wept alongside him, he then explained:

“I am the son of Prophet Muhammad (S), Imam Ali (‘a) and Fatimah az-Zahra’ (‘a). I am the flame to the lantern of prophethood. The household from which God banished filth, impurities and stains...”

Then, Abdullah Ibn Abbas stood up and said:

“O people, this is the son of the Prophet (S) and your Imam (‘a), be aware, for he is the rightful successor and heir of Imam Ali (‘a). Therefore, pledge allegiance and loyalty to him.”

People pledged their oaths of allegiance to Imam Al-Hasan (‘a), on the condition that; they would fight against all those he fought against, and if he found that peace was necessary, they will also accept it. All accepted.9

A Nation Afflicted With Indolence

The difficult and unstable state had worsened towards the end of Imam Ali’s s (‘a) lifetime and as such people were afflicted with indolence and lack of motivation, caused by the inflicted war-making society aggravated.

The battles of Jamal, Siffin and Nahrawan took place one after the other; people had not yet taken down arms only to lift take up weapons again. These wars were not waged against clear enemies, such as during the time of the Prophet (S), now Muslims were fighting Muslims, and only worsening situations. Society perceived those who wished to reveal the truth as suspicions. No one trusted the other. The least of consequences were people’s indolence and refusal to fight batil and disarm it for once. As Imam Ali (‘a) was martyred, and people pledged allegiance Imam Al-Hasan (‘a), this became clearer. When Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) ordered people to mobilize against the force of Mu’awiya, people were weaker than during the time of Imam Ali (‘a). The response was slow, and it was with great effort that Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) could gather the rest of his father’s shattered and untrustworthy army.

Did You Know?

This indolence had its foundation in a two centuries-long period of corruption and was nothing but a result of people’s shortcomings in obeying Imam Ali (‘a). Had they followed Imam Ali’s (‘a) commands in Siffin, they would have ended the threats of Mu’awiya and as such lived with dignity, stability, prosperity and peace in many generations to come. Yet again, this points to one important principle; those who do not take responsibility due to a short-termed time of comfort and unwillingness to sacrifice will be afflicted with long-termed grief shortly afterwards. As well as many other situations in life, both for an individual and the entirety of society, it requires that one stands up for justice and sacrifice whatever they must, or instead pay the consequences of one’s own shortcomings, both during their lifetimes and for generations to come.

Mu’awiya Wages War

When Mu’awiya heard of the allegiances pledged by the people to Imam Al-Hasan (‘a), he immediately mobilized a large army to head towards Iraq and fight Imam Al-Hasan (‘a).10 In turn, Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) commanded the people to mobilize in order for them to go head-to-head with the army of Mu’awiya.

Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) ventured towards an area by the name of Sabat, near the city of Madain and stayed there with an army of thousands; he then sent off twelve-thousand men with commander-in-chief Ubayduallah Ibn Abbas and his vice-commander Qais Ibn Aa`d to stop Mu’awiya on the front-lines. They were to meet up with the army of Mu’awiya, many times larger than their own.

T1. The Enemy’s Solution – Feeble Friends & Treacherous Enemies

Feeble Friends

The contradictions characterizing society at the time of Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) were mirrored even on the ranks of the Imam’s (‘a) army. Deployments with their so-called leaders followed different lines, their intentions to join the battle against Mu’awiya as well as their view of Imam Al-Hasan and the acceptance of Imamah, differed. For some, the fight against Mu’awiya was based on avenging their dead, who had fallen in earlier battles. Others joined to gain status and receive spoils of war. Additional groups were present to sow division out of personal gains and assignments were given by Mu’awiya.

It was only a few who truly believed the Imamah Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) and were his Shi’a, and perceptive enough to see through the tricks and deceptions of the enemy. The majority of the people who harboured a love for Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) and the Prophet’s (S) Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a), did lack the perceptivity and decisiveness required not to be swept with or confused by all different the movements and groups joining from all directions. In addition, the remaining Khawarij who admittedly saw Mu’awiya as their enemy, but had the same number of problems with Imam Ali (‘a) and his lineage, continued spreading rage and narrowmindedness against Imam Al-Hasan (‘a).

The already weak army was additionally weakened when Mu’awiya sends out his spies, causing divisions. His spies spread rumours, flaring up the differences between the different groups. The deceitful rumours initiated by the enemy spread wide and far until they came to play a crucial role. Different groups went against each other, creating chaos, plotting, and treason spread swiftly through the entire army. The state of matters intensified as Mu’waiya succeeded in bribing commanders and prominent personalities in Imam Al-Hasan’s (‘a) army. Some of which left the army with groups or tribes, as their betrayal weakened the morality of the soldiers left behind. The scattered army was no force to rely on and without faith in what they were doing, they were no match to Mu’awiya’s deceit, already winning the war in its first stages.

Before Assembling The Army – Tribal Leaders And Other Companions Betray

When Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) was assembling the army, a tribal leader had been bribed and joined Mu’awiya. Several others of Imam Al-Hasan’s (‘a) army were also bribed and joined Mu’awiya by leaving the Imam (‘a) during nightfall. The Imam (‘a) taken aback by their deceit, gathered the army himself and his close companions.

During Battle – Commander-In-Chief Ubaydullah Ibn Abbas Betrays

Already on the front line, Mu’awiya succeeded in bribing the commander of Imam Al-Hasan’s (‘a) army, who joined Mu’awiya along with two-thirds of the army. Thereon, Mu’awiya spread rumours that Qais Ibn Sa’d, Imam Al-Hasan’s (‘a) deputy commander, had been murdered and that the army that accompanied him suffered defeat in the battles against Mu’awiya’s army. In reality, Qais had fought bravely and gained the upper hand against Mu’awiya. Qais was well known for his faith, strength and courage. He did not fall for the tricks and insidious rumours of Mu’awiya. But when the news of Ubaydullah’s betrayal and the rumour of Qai’s alleged death reached the army at Madain, despair and discouragement spread, causing many to lose hope of victory.

This was a major hardship and caused more people to follow suit and leave Imam Al-Hasan (‘a). At that time, the reduction in Imam Al-Hasan’s (‘a) army became visible. One by one, the commanders and officers began to leave the Imam’s (‘a) army. Mu’awiya sent his spies continuously to Madain in order to further weaken and by whatever means disperse people from Imam Al-Hasan’s (‘a) side. The army, already divided by then, became weaker and disagreements as well as the loss of confidence in defeating Mu’awiya increased. Finally, the remaining ones were very few and the Imam’s (‘a) companions even fewer.

On account of Mu’awiya’s deceitful rumours within the Imam’s (‘a) army, riots arose, and some stormed Imam Al-Hasan’s (‘a) tent and even pulled the prayer mat from under his feet. The existing khawarii bore resentment against Imam Ali (‘a) and saw an opportunity for revenge. They attacked Imam Al-Hasan (‘a). In a treacherous ambush, the Imam (‘a) got a dagger in the thigh by one of the khawarij. The Imam (‘a) suffered a severe injury and lost a lot of blood. Some of his faithful companions took the Imam (‘a) on his order to Madain’s governor, Sa’ad Ibn Mas’ood Al-Al-Thaqafi, for treatment.11

The tragedy that had begun with Ubaydullah’s betrayal ended with the majority of officers on Mu’awiya’s side. Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) was alone and attacked by his own army. Like his father, he was now oppressed and had been betrayed by his own people. With a few companions and without an army, he had to accept defeat.

Insidious Enemies

Mu’awiya’s treachery and betrayal knew no limits. There were no moral ground rules that limited him, and he did everything in his power to achieve his goals. Money from the Treasury House, belonging to the people, was freely used to bribe, hire spies who spread lies and on anything else that was needed to put his deceitful schemes into action. Lies, deceit and unethical tricks were all devices of Mu’awiya, and he was far from being reliable or keeping his word. Imam Ali (‘a) has said in this regard:

“By God, Mu’awiya is no more cunning than me, but he deceives and commits evil acts, and had not fraud been a reprehensible act, I would have been the most cunning of people ...”12

Imam Al-Hasan (‘a), as other Imams (‘a), did not lack knowledge nor cunningness, but his piety did not allow him to act if not in a moral and honest manner, even against enemies. The Imam (‘a), through his wisdom and his connection with God, who is the source of knowledge and wisdom, had complete oversight and clarity of the whole situation. Exemplified, not least, in the agreement, the Imam (‘a) signed. His actions were in unison with the meaning of the titles of Imam, leader and role model. He acted on the basis of the means available. Had people trusted Imam Al-Hasan (‘a), and Imam Ali (‘a) before him, and followed them wholeheartedly, they would have triumphed over Mu’awiya without any doubt, despite the treacheries and deceitfulness that Mu’awiya possessed.

In the end, the real victory is the preservation of the true message that can guide people. An ambition the Imams (‘a) constantly achieved with their actions, regardless of the outcome of a war.

Mu’awiya’s Real Objective

Throughout the war, Mu’awiya exposed that his goal was far greater than merely becoming a caliph. Not only did Mu’awiya accuse Imam Ali (‘a) on false grounds for Uthman’s murder while he himself was the one that refused to help Uthman, he initiated a war against Imam Ali (‘a). Mu’awiya continued in the same manner against Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) and deceived people with rumours and insidious plans.

But what demonstrates M’awiya’s real agenda was the fabricated prophetic narrations that he let spread throughout the kingdom.13 Mu’awiya started a huge system of propaganda. He hired people and made them pretend they had been close to the Prophet (S) and thereby spread distorted or even counterfeit ahadith in support of his power.14 Meanwhile, companions who were still alive and opposed to this system were overthrown, expelled, imprisoned or removed in all possible ways and forms.15

The propagandist narrations mainly deteriorated of the position and reputation of the Prophet’s (S) household, Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a). At the same time as they disguised the Prophet’s (S) ahadith against Mu’awiya and Abu Sufyan’s lineage and embellished them.16 The caliphate was only part of Mu’awiya’s plan; he was, in fact, looking to erase all traces of the Prophet (‘a) and Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a), which his son Yazid explicitly tried to do.17

Mu’awiya’s resentment at Islam, the Prophet (S) and his family, which he had partly inherited from his father Abu Sufyan, was enhanced by the revenge for his grandfather, uncle and brother’s death at the battle of Badr.18 In other words, he followed the same course his father and mother, Hind, followed before him. Abu Sufyan repeatedly had, not least when Uthman took over the caliphate, shown his true face and true faith regarding the Prophet (S) and Islam.19 Hind herself showed her true conviction when she hired a slave to murder the Prophet’s (S) uncle Hamza (‘a). She went so far in her revenge that she desecrated Hamza’s (‘a) lifeless body.

Abu Sufyan, Hind and Mu’awiya fought against the Prophet (S) and Islam up until the end. However, Mu’awiya pretended to accept Islam. He did this only after the conquest of Mecca. Mu’awiya’s goal was that no one from Bani Hashim, the Prophet’s (S) lineage, would remain alive and that everyone would forget the name of the family of revelation. It was, among other things, with these underlying motives that Mu’awiya systematically ascended the line of power during the time of the third caliph to eventually take over and transform the caliphate into an asset in the Umayyad dynasty’s hand. There is plenty of evidence in history that shows that none of these people ever stopped their hostility to Islam and the Prophet (S) but rather continued to follow up their agenda, albeit under the surface actively.

Mu’awiya is narrated saying:

“Nevertheless, the name of this Hashimite man [Prophet Muhammad (S)] is mentioned at least five times a day in the Islamic world [from the top of the minarets in connection with azan (prayer call)], and he is remembered with greatness. By God! I will not rest until I have buried this name.”20

All of these accounts elucidate the complicated conspiracy that Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) had to resist alone. As well as the length to which his arch-enemy was willing to go to eliminate religion, by primarily removing its custodians. In other words, Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) was dealing with an opponent who wanted to destroy Islam, but in the hidden scene, and therefore pretended on the outside to be a devout Muslim to deceive the people. Mu’awiya’s method was to implement his plan systematically and softly, through the means of propaganda; a method his son Yazid did not live by.

Truce

Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) was part of a truce with Mu’awiya in year 41 AH as it was the only thing that could save Islam. When the Imam (‘a) saw the low morale of his scattered army and found them unwilling to fight, he accepted the peace treaty. The Imam (‘a) clarified his position and the people’s unwillingness to complete the fight against Mu’awiya in his speech where he said:

“Be aware that Mu’awiya has given us an offer [of peace settlement] that is neither respectful nor based on justice. Therefore, if you choose to fight to the death, then we will attack Mu’awiya again and with the taking of the sword takes him to the straight path as God commanded. But if you choose a worldly life, then we will accept his offer and give you security.”

Then from all directions, it was called ‘life, life’ as an affirmation to join the peace settlement.21

In these difficult circumstances, Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) had two choices:

1. To fight Mu’awiya despite the lack of followers and bad circumstances. Doing so would mean a loss where many people’s blood would be spilled. Mu’awiya would then also have a reason to terminate the Prophet’s (S) household, Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a).

2. To sign a peace agreement to prevent the direct threat posed by Mu’awiya while revealing Mu’awiya’s real intentions to the ummah.

Mu’awiya was very deceitful and insidious; apparently, he had not violated the religion laws and carried out his plans tactically and discreetly using all sorts of tricks. Therefore, many ordinary people fell for his outward religiosity, while leading front figures were bribed or eliminated in other ways. It was not possible to show one’s real self when not everyone looked beyond the exterior, and when many of the leading figures were put out of play. In other words, Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) had even fewer loyal companions who understood him and stood firmly by his side.

In addition, the people, in general, had developed indolence that was brought about by the changed conditions of society, not least the more materialistic and worldly-minded values and living conditions. People had relapsed into fanatical traditions that they followed blindly, such as tribal affiliation. This led to the people changing their priorities and putting the Imam’s (‘a) obedience aside. A fundamental factor in this context was even that a few had a real understanding of the meaning of Imamah and Wilayat (divinely appointed leadership and guardianship) and therefore lacked strong faith in the Imam (‘a). All this, along with the full-scale propaganda war Mu’awiya brought, were factors that affected and made the people in their acts weak in the fight against Mu’awiya.

Imam Al-Hasan (‘a), did what was required in order to preserve the true spirit of Islam for people’s continued guidance. Based on the circumstances that prevailed at the time of the Imam (‘a), it was not possible to start a fight against batil (falsehood and injustice) through battle. Rather, the entire message and the Prophet’s (S) family were risked as its protectors. This when batil was not visible and obvious to all, but had put on the clothes of religion and claimed to follow it. Therefore, Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) entered into a peace treaty to conduct the battle in a different way and in the longer term.

The oppression against Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) took another form when a large majority of his own followers did not understand the Imam’s (‘a) decision and objected to it. They saw Mu’awiya as an enemy and wanted to fight against him, but they lacked the understanding and belief in the Imam (‘a) as one chosen by God with far more insight than themselves. Some went so far that they turned to Imam Al-Husayn (‘a) and asked him to lead them instead. But Imam Al-Husayn (‘a) rejected them as a true companion who did not deviate from the will of the Imam (‘a) of his time.22 Unlike them, Imam Al-Husayn (‘a) and the few faithful companions who remained with Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) believed that the Imam (‘a) was in his infallibility linked to the divine source of wisdom and was the one who could make the best decision. To his own followers who criticized the peace treaty, the Imam (‘a) declared that it was the right course of action in the prevailing circumstances and compared it to the Hudaybiyya treaty which the Prophet (S) wrote with the non-believers in Mecca.23 However, Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) remains one of the most oppressed Imams (‘a) of both friends and enemies.

A Peace Treaty – Continued Battle In Another Form

The peace treaty was a way for Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) to continue the battle in another form. Mu’awiya had now strengthened its fort and dominated over the situation in the Islamic state. The Umayyad dynasty that Abu Sufyan dreamed of, and intended to eliminate the traces of the Prophet (S) and the Ahl Al-Bayt (‘a), was about to become a reality. This would mean the destruction of the religion and its message from within, in such a way that it over time had left nothing but a superficial shell with a distorted content. Already during the time that Mu’awiya had been in control of Sham, he had done great damage and brought forth a generation of Muslims who knew only about Islam the way it was advocated by Mu’awiya. The people were deceived to the extent, that when the news of the sword blow against Imam Ali (‘a) in the mosque during prayer reached Sham, people were completely surprised because they believed that Imam Ali (‘a) did not visit the mosque or performed the prayer! Through their boundless propaganda war, Mu’awiya had spoken to and conveyed such a distorted image of Imam Ali (‘a) to the people that in their conception they did not even believe that the Imam (‘a) prayed. They did not know that the Imam (‘a) was the first to accept the Prophet (S) and profess Islam; the even lesser the people knew about the Imam’s (‘a) position as Imam, and as the Prophet’s (S) successor. The hatred against Imam Ali (‘a) that Mu’awiya implanted and propagated in order to get the people of Sham to fight against the Imam (‘a) showed not the least during the time of Imam Al-Hasan (‘a). In this way, Mu’awiya was aiming to lead religion, softly, towards a definite downfall. He did this by distorting religious concepts, falsifying ahadith and introducing many inventive rules.

Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) was fully aware of the dangers and did not accept the peace settlement except under special conditions. The Imam (‘a) made a clear settlement and recorded a number of requirements on which the peace treaty was based on and which Mu’awiya had to commit to. Some of these conditions were:

• Mu’awiya would act according to the Book of God, the Qur’an, and the Prophet’s (S) sunnah.

• Mu’awiya could not appoint a successor; the choice of the next caliph would be left to the people.

• All people would be safe from Mu’awiya regardless of their background and on which side they stood during the battle against Mu’awiya.

• The cursing of Imam Ali (‘a) on the pulpits, which Mu’awiya had introduced, would be forbidden.

• Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) and his companions would be safe, and Mu’awiya would not attack or conspire against them.

Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) knew that the peace treaty was nothing more than another means for Mu’awiya to achieve his goals and that he did not intend to fulfil the treaty. But under these conditions, Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) primarily limited Mu’awiya’s influence and at the same time, the Imam (‘a), marked clear border whose overriding would show the people’s real face.

It did not pass a long time before Mu’awiya violated all the terms of the peace treaty one after one. Mu’awiya who, upon entering Kufa, announced his fight was about power, stepped up the systematic hunt of all that was associated with Imam Ali (‘a). It was sufficient with only testimony that someone was his follower in order to be convicted, get their wealth seized, and a person’s family and one’s own life would be at risk.24 Mu’awiya did not stop the persecution of Bani Hashim and Imam Al-Hasan’s (‘a) companion, and one large number of the Prophet’s (S) relatives were hunted and murdered. Eventually, Mu’awiya progressed with his plans by appointing his son Yazid as heir and by planning the assassination of Imam Al-Hasan (‘a).25

However, the result of the peace treaty meant that:

• The people realized that Mu’awiya was a hypocrite and liar who did not even maintain the peace treaty he had signed.

• Mu’awiya’s plan and his opposition against Islam became clear when he despite the terms of the peace treaty, appointed his son Yazid as successor and the caliph of the Muslims although Yazid openly violated Islam with morally objectionable acts.

• Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) devoted his time, after the peace treaty, to educate faithful companions and spread the true spirit of religion. Later, this gave Imam Al-Husayn (‘a) the opportunity to rise up against Yazid since his apparent unbelief and breaking of the laws of religion got the people to lose their confidence in the Umayyad autocracy.

• Imam Al-Husayn’s (‘a) revolution led to the fall of the Umayyad dynasty, even though Mu’awiya had done everything to secure its survival for many generations to come. Imam Al-Husayn’s (‘a) revolution still lives on today as the clearest voice for justice and against oppression.

Martyrdom (Year 50ah/670ad)

The oppression against Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) and his loneliness even emerged in his martyrdom when he was poisoned by his own wife, Ja’da, who was bribed by Mu’awiya. Mu’awiya had promised, among other things, Ja’da’s marriage to his son Yazid in return for poisoning Imam Al-Hasan (‘a). Ja’da who was the daughter of Ash’ath Kindi – the same person who has been a leading figure in threatening and forcing Imam Ali (‘a) to withdraw the attack against Mu’awiya in Seffin and later became one of Khawarij’s leaders – let herself to be persuaded through her father and poisoned the Imam (‘a) who reached martyrdom on the 28th of the month of Safar in the year 50AH.

T2. Preparations For The Final Imam (‘Aj) – An Imam (‘A) Must Have Companions

Imam Al-Hasan’s s (‘a) governorship was a clear example of why an Imam (‘a) must have devoted companions and have the people on his side as a prerequisite for being able to control, defeat enemies and drive the development of society. Unlike tyrants, who admittedly also need to have followers, but who rule with an iron grip and use all means to retain power, the Imam’s (‘a) goals and purpose with ruling differs. For an Imam (‘a), governing is just one of several means that can be used to pave the way for society’s progress and development and therefore, people’s guidance. An Imam (‘a) never uses power for anything but its purpose and acts only on the basis of God’s rules. It is therefore required that the companions realize the position of the Imam (‘a) and stand with him in all situations.

Without faithful companions, the Imam (‘a) will eventually stand-alone, like Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) who saw his army shaken and shattered by rumours. In order to preserve the essence of the message and in order to not give the enemy the reason it sought to eliminate all its followers, Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) chose to pursue the battle on another level with a strategic move. This is a splendid example and a fundamental reason why other Imams (‘a) also did not start any uprising but continued the battle through other means and methods, based on the circumstances and possibilities of their time.

From a historical perspective, it can be stated that while the people of Imam Ali’s (‘a) time had gotten enough of the injustice, they were still not ready to do what was required to implement justice. And while the people of Imam Al-Hasan’s (‘a) time had seen what the enemy is capable of, they lacked insight and belief in the Imam’s (‘a) position. This made them unstable as a follower and repeatedly made them fall for enemy tricks, they trembled because of division and indolence and abandoned the Imam (‘a) instead of sticking with him. On the other hand, Imam Al-Husayn (‘a) came to have faithful companions, many of whom had been brought up by Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) and consequently, at the request of the people, fulfilled the conditions for an uprising. But the public’s will to stand up, hold on, and sacrifice for justice ended because the Imam (‘a) was not the highest priority when push comes to shove. The enemy took advantage of this to their own advantage and murdered Imam Al-Husayn (‘a) and his companions.

Consequently, just like the few faithful companions came to be distinguished for Imam Al-Husayn’s (‘a) revolution, later on, this illustrates why Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) had to enter into peace treaties when he lacked faithful companions. Likewise, this illustrates why the Imam of our time, Imam Al-Mahdi (‘aj), needs to have enough strong and stable companions before his arrival that have established a real longing and will for justice. Rumours and propaganda were perhaps Mu’awiya’s most powerful weapons to deceive the general public in order to carry out his plans. Today, misinformation and propaganda that aims to create disparaging and divisive people in today’s world is an extremely important factor to watch out for.

  • 1. The hadith is known and stated in several sources including Khasf Al-Ghumma by Ali Ibn Isa Al-Irbili volume 2 p. 290; Bihar Al-Anwar by Majlisi volume 43 p. 294 et al.
  • 2. These ahadith and similar versions where the Prophet (S) expresses his love for Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) and Imam Al-Husayn (‘a) and with an Arabic expression asked God to protect them with His love, are plenty and narrated, among other, in Sahih Al-Bukhari obyBukhari volume 2 p. 432; Tarikh Al-khulafa by Suyuti p. 207-207; Sahih Muslim by Muslim volume 4 p. 1883 et
  • 3. This term was used by the Prophet (S) for this company of the five nearest to him and God, and this historical event causing the term to be, have been extensively narrated in previous books in connection with the verse of Tathir; see F5 and further.
  • 4. This event is mentioned in detail in connection with the verse of Mubahala; see G4 and further.
  • 5. These ahadith are wellknown and frequently narrated by many companions who have heard this proclamation by the Prophet (S) himself in various states and many situations. Suyuti, one of the prominent Sunni scholars, both accepted historian and narrator of hadith, have mentioned this hadith from six chains of narrations in his book Akbar Al-Mutawatira p 286. Among other sources narrating these ahadith and many others are Tarikh Al-Khulafa by Suyuti p. 207; Sahih Tarmothi by Tarmothi volume 5 p. 657; Tarikh Madinat Dameshq by Ibn Askar volume 13 p. 212; Al-Isti’abfi ma’rifat Al-Ashab volume 1 p. 385; as-Swa’eq Al- Muhriqa by Ibn Hijr volume 2 p. 403, 560-561,573; Amali by Sheikh Sadooq p. 333 et al.
  • 6. Several ahadith are mentioned in connection with the section ‘Twelve Imams (‘a) of my offspring’; see G5 and further.
  • 7. This hadith is narrated in several sources, among them: ‘Ilal Al-shara’a’i volume 1 p. 211; Irshid by Sheikh Mufid volume 2 p. 27; Bihar Al-Anwar by Al-Majlisi volume 43p. 291; Rwadhat Al- Wa’edhin volume 1 p. 159; ‘Awali Al-Lai volume 4 p. 93; Manaqib volume 3 p. 394 et .al. Worth noting that the Prophet (S) declared this while Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) and Imam Al-Husayn (‘a) were children and in fact, provided people with a guideline for the future; both for Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) peace treaty and Imam Al-Husayn’s (S) uprising, of which both were headed by a few.
  • 8. This is narrated in Kafi by Kulayni volume 1 p.297, et al.
  • 9. The fact that people, forty thousand in number, were present pledged bay’a and allegiance to Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) is an evident historical encounter, stated clearly in many well-known history books, among them, Tarikh Ya’qoobi volume 2 p. 214; Tarikh Tabari (published 1387 AH) volume 5 p. 158; Morooj ath-Thahab by Mas’oodi (published 1409 AH) volume 2 p. 426; Ansab Al-ashraf by Bilathari (published 1417 AH) volume 3 p. 28; Al-isti’ab fi Ma’rifat Al-Ashab (published 1412 AH) volume 1 p. 385; Amta’ Al-Asma’ by Moqrizi (published 1420 AH) volume 5 p. 385; Nihayat Al-Arb by Nuwayri (published 1413 AH) volume 20 p. 229; Tarikh Al- Khamis by Diar Bakri volume 2 p. 289; and Irshad by Sheikh Al-Mufid (published 1413 AH) volume 2 p. 7-9; Maqatel Al-Talebin by Abu Faraj Isfahani p. 62 et .al.
  • 10. It is narrated in several history books, among them Al-Fotooh by Ibn A’tham (published 1411 AH) volume 4 p. 286; Irshad by Sheikh Al-Mufid (published 1413 AH) volume 2 p. 11 et .al.
  • 11. These historical events have been portrayed in the majority of historical accounts, albeit with minor variations but those do not amount to much difference in the subject matter. Narrated amongst others in Tarikh Ya’qoobi volume 2 p.214; Ansab Al-Ashraf by Bilathari (published 1417 AH) volume 3 p.35; Al-Akhbar at-Tiwal by Daynoori p.217; and Irshad by Sheikh Al-Mufid volume 2 p.11-12 et al.
  • 12. Nahjul Balagha sermon 200. Online in English and Arabic at: https://www.al-islam.org/nahjul-balagha-part-1-sermons
  • 13. The writing and narration of prophetic ahadith had been banned, above all, by the second caliph and many of the Prophet’s (S) companions were not allowed to leave Medina without permission. Therefore, leaving a great void among the people regarding many issues on which the Prophet’s (S) sunnah constituted a basis. In addition, with the expansion of the kingdom and the passage of time, many new people and generations had been formed who had not met the Prophet (S) or experience that time and hence lacked experience-based background and knowledge.

    Therefore, on the one hand, these new people and generations had not themselves seen or heard the Prophet (S), nor, on the other hand, had they gained access to the companions who had been with the Prophet (S) and were able to recount narrations. After a number of years, many of the early companions began to pass away, and since the recording of ahadith had been banned, access to recorded sources was also lacking. Therefore, these new generations became the subject of Mu’awiya’s propaganda relatively easily. These historical developmental processes have been narrated in connection with the depiction of some of these events in connection with the caliphate of the second caliph; see Q2 and on.

  • 14. One of these personalities that was magnified during Mu’awiya’s time and was very active in spreading many dubious and disputed statements which he referred to as prophetic hadith, is Abu Hurayra. Some facts about this personality and what has elicited many remarks and question marks about his stories have been presented earlier in the book; see note 312.
  • 15. One of these companions was Ammar Yasir (r.a.) who became a martyr during the battle of Siffin during the battles against Mu’awiya; see R onwards. Other prominent companions such as Hijr Ibn ‘Adi (r.a.), Abu Bakr’s son Muhammad (r.a.) and Malik Al-Ashtar (r.a.) were also killed on Mu’awiya’s orders. Mu’awiya also had a hand in Imam Al-Hasan’s (‘a) poisoning which led to his martyrdom and it was none other than Mu’wiya’s son who later ordered the massacre of Imam Al-Husayn (‘a) and his companion.
  • 16. Mu’awiya, through his bought companions, saw to that most of the ahadith in which the Prophet (S) cursed Mu’awiya or warned the people of Bani Umayya’s takeover of power were systematically wholly or purely distorted and was instead to be interpreted as a merit or regarding others. For example, the Prophet (S) cursed Mu’awiya on one occasion when he defied the Prophet (S) despite several orders, that Mu’awiya should not become full. Mu’awiya’s insatiable ferocity and great belly is a well-known fact in history but to avoid this being a curse, Mu’awiya let a forged hadith spread that the Prophet (S) prayed that his curse be a blessing and approach for the damned!

    In this way, it was alleged that Mu’awiya had, in fact, gained merit and come closer to God through the curse of the Prophet (S); Sahih Bukhari - research by Muhammad Zuheyr Ibn Naser (published 1422 AH) volume 8 p.77 and Al-Bidya wa an-Nihaya by Ibn Kathir (published 1407 AH) volume 8 p.119-120 and Sahih Muslim volume 4 p.2007 et al.

    On the other hand, Mu’awiya ordered the introduction of a tradition that all regents or persons allowed to speak would curse Imam Ali (‘a) in the sermon before the people. For over 60 years this was an established phenomenon in Sham. To the extent that the people of Sham were surprised by the news that Imam Ali (‘a) was beaten with a sword while he prayed, because, due to all the defamation, they did not believe that the Imam (‘a) did not even pray; Tarikh Tabari (published 1387 AH) volume 5 p.253; Tarikh Al-Islam by Thahabi (published 1409 AH) volume 5 p.231; Maqatel at-Talebin by AbulFaraj Al-Isfahani (published 1419 AH) p.78 Morooj ath-Thahab - research by Muhammad Mohyee Al-Din volume 3 p.28 chapter “The days of Mu’awiyah”; Sharh Nahjul Balagha by Ibn Abil Hadid volume 1 p.436 et al.

  • 17. This is clearly seen in Yazid’s behaviour and the massacre against Imam Al-Husayn (‘a) as well as uttered in a poem which he composed before Imam Al-Sajjad (‘a) and Sayyida Zaynab (‘a) when taken in chains before his court - translation: ‘Bani Hashim played with power, neither; otherwise, there was neither a commandment nor a dispatch!
  • 18. The battle of Badr has been mentioned earlier in the book; see I3 and onwards.
  • 19. One of these cases has been described earlier in the book from Abu Sufyan’s own words; see Q3 onwards.
  • 20. This statement is portrayed by Mutraf Ibn Moghira whose father Moghira was a close relative of Mu’awiya and used to live in his court. Mutraf says that his father came home with a troubled expression at one point after being with Mu’awiya and on the question of what had happened narrated the following: “I said to Mu’awiya: ‘Now that you have reached your wish [taken over power], why not spread kindness and justice when you have also come of age, and show mercy to Bani Hashim for they have nothing left anymore.’ When Mu’awiya heard this he said: ‘Woe, woe, Abu Bakr ruled and went, and although he did well, after his death, his name also died. Omar took power and went and Uthman took power and went. None of them remained, but Muhammad’s name is remembered five times daily on minarets. With that calculation, what’s left for us? No, I will never settle until this name is buried.’” This incident and Moghira’s depiction of the narration is narrated by his son Mutraf are recounted in several historical accounts and other sources including as-Sahih but Sirat an-Nabi volume 1 p.24; Sharh Nahjul Balagha by Ibn Abil Hadid volume 5 p.129-130; Morooj ath-Thahab volume 3 p.454; Al-Mowaffaqiyyat p.577; Kashf Al-Ghomma volume 2 p.44; Qamoos ar-Rejal volume 9 p.20; as well as Tatemmat Al-Muntaha p.52 et al.
  • 21. This is narrated in most historical accounts including Tarikh Ibn Khaldoon volume 2 p.187; Tarikh Al-Islam by Thahabi p.6; Tarikh Ibn Asaker p.178-179; Tahthib Tarikh Dameshq by Abdul Qadir Badran vol 4 p.225; Al-Kamil fi at-Tarikh by Ibn Athir volume 2 p.447; and Hayat Al-Imam Al-Hasan Ibn Ali by Baqer Qarashi volume 2 p.109 et al.
  • 22. As there is an Imam (‘a) for every time, the subsequent Imams (‘a) also submitted to their Imam (‘a). Therefore, Imam Ali (‘a) was Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) and Imam Al-Husayn’s (‘a) Imam, and Imam Al-Hasan (‘a) was Imam Al-Husayn’s (‘a) Imam.
  • 23. The Hudaybiyya treaty has been described earlier in the book; see I3 and further on.
  • 24. History testifies to these abuses that were committed where many people lost their lives simply because they loved Imam Ali (‘a). Affection to Imam Ali (‘a) or bearing the name Ali could therefore be their only crime that led to them being persecuted and murdered cold-blooded. Among these sources is Al-Kamil fi at-Tarikh by Ibn Athir volume 3 p. 229 and Tahthib at-Tahthib volume 7 p. 281 et al. Ibn Abil-Hadid describes the horror of the prevailing situation as such that many preferred to be called polytheists than to be associated with Alis Shi’a; Sharh Nahjul Balagha by Ibn Abil-Hadid volume 11 p. 44.
  • 25. Historical depictions are narrated in several sources including Al-Isti’ab fi Ma’rifat Al-Ashab by Ibn Abedberr volume 1 p. 389; Ansab Al-Ashraf by Bilathari volume 3 p. 295; Imta ‘Al-Asma’ volume 5 p. 361; and Al-Irshad by Sheikh Al-Mufid volume 2 p. 16; Al-Ihtijaj by Tabarsi volume 2 p. 13 et al.