Author's Preface

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.
May Allah bless Muhammad, his family, and his companions.

Now, I want to put the conclusion of the studies in front of the gentle reader. This conclusion has been based on facts from real life. They are free from any doubt. They are not subjected to any effect of the oppressed historical period, which our old historians had not presented in an appropriate way, nor have our contemporary authors analyzed it in a suitable manner.

This period of time represented the succession of al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on them. This period has historically been distorted because of the ambitions of the foremost authors and the carelessness of the modern ones. This period, like other historical periods, has been liable to deliberate blackout, forgetfulness of facts, negligence, and distortion. So rash eastern and western authors have described al Hasan b. 'Ali, the best blessing and peace on him and on his father, as a caliph with weak policy, the one who absorbed in loving women, and who sold Mu'awiya the succession for money. Also there are similar oppressive baseless accusations to these ones.

So in the following chapters, I (the author) will explain this important short period. For it is similar to the great historical periods of Islam after the death of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. That is because this period was unique in the history of the other caliphs. Namely, it was the beginning of a new rule that distinguished between the spiritual powers and the temporal ones in Islam. It was the period whose events confirmed the tradition in which the Prophet told the people that oppressive rulers would take the reins of authority. It was the period when tribal spites appeared for the first time in the history of Islamic beliefs.

However, the little efforts in the chapters of this book are not enough to explain the facts about the period of al-Hasan's succession. That is because such facts are about in various books.

These little efforts have shown us that al-Hasan b. 'Ali (peace be on him), though the period of his succession was short, was the cleverest of all Caliphs in policy, and solving the problems. They have shown us that al-Hasan was very careful of the plans and plots of Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan. They have shown us that he married many women to show his great position among people. Moreover, they have shown us that he made a Peace Treaty with Mu'awiya to indicate the almighty plan through which he destroyed his enemies in history. So al-Hasan did not sell Mu'awiya the succession for money, nor did he bargain with him. Moreover, all deeds of this Imam (i.e., al-Hasan) have underlined his great position among people. However, some people have ignored his deeds and history has oppressed them.

The most horrible ungratefulness for the talents of the great figures is that ignorant people write about their history and classify their ranks.

Such ignorant people do not harm al-Hasan b. 'Ali. For there are other people who have the ability to distinguish between the right and the wrong. For the brave attitude of this Imam (i.e., al-Hasan), his great talents, and his meaningful aims have made him occupy the highest position of the great immortal figures.

It is enough for us to mention the following chapters to show the correct logical method which people should follow to denote that Imam al-Hasan was great, and free from all defects.

So impudent authors have condemned the policy of al-Hasan, peace be on him, for taking a sum of money. This sum of money was the reason for creating such a historical problem to al-Hasan, peace be on him. That is because such authors have not studied the private conditions of al-Hasan thoroughly. Besides they have decided to support their party activities, to comply with the wishes of the ruling policy, and to make people forget this great Imam.

So the authors have regarded al-Hasan as an unsuccessful leader. However, they have not considered carefully the reasons for this claimed failure that has reflected the state of the people whom al-Hasan led during that period. In other words the authors should consider carefully the temptations of the new conquests that prevailed the people at that time. Accordingly, the authors will know that the leader has no defect when his community becomes corrupt, his soldiers become traitors, and his people lose their social conscience.

The authors have forgotten to regard al-Hasan as the most prominent politician. For they have not known that he studied the psychological features of his opponents, the desires of his society, and the situations of his time. Moreover, they have not known that al Hasan made plans. They have not known that he decided the results. They have not known that he kept the future of all his community with his plans. They have not known that he dug the graves of his opponents one by one with his conclusions.

Though al-Hasan was surrounded by the hardships of his time, he was the peace- maker whose success was certain, and whose head was raised through the summons to righteousness. Then he died. However, he refused to waste even an inch of his right. I (the author) wonder, which greatness is better than that of al-Hasan when the pedantic critics study his conditions with honesty?

Our book will give you clear evidence for what we have mentioned above. That is because its chapters have been based on accurate studies. The gentle reader will find these studies the nearest thing to reality or they are the reality itself. Also he will find that we have proved them with logical criteria.

The reader will find that this book is not about the conditions of Imam al-Hasan, peace be on him, in general. Rather the book is about his political attitudes. Anyhow, it is necessary for us to mention a chapter about his life.

Our matter (the Peace Treaty of al-Hasan) is wide and difficult. However, the reference books are very few. That is because most of our old books were liable to be missing. For example, we have not found these books:

1) Sulh al-Hasan and Mu'awiya by Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Said b. Abd al-Rahman al-Subay'i al-Hamadani (died 333 A.H.),

2) Sulh al-Hasan by Ibrahim b. Muhammad b. Said b. Hilal b. `Asim b. Said b. Mas'ud al-Thaqafi (died 283 A.H.),

3) Amr al-Hasan by `Abd al-`Aziz b. Yahya al-Jalludi al-Basri,

4) Akhbar al-Hasan by al Haythem b. `Adi al-Tha'labi (died 207),

5) Akhbar al-Hasan b. 'Ali by Abu Ishaq Ibrahim b. Muhammad al-Isfahani' al-Thaqafi1 and the like.

As for the books, which we have found, they are all in agreement on the Peace Treaty of al-Hasan (Sulh al-Hasan). However, they are in disagreement on presenting an event narrating a sermon, reporting a declaration, and deciding a certain number. Rather, even two chains of authority in these books are in disagreement on appointing the exact date of an event or a sermon. They are in disagreement on limiting the name of the leader, for example, or the order of the leadership between two or among three leaders. They are in disagreement on reporting the ways of the plot which was made against al-Hasan, peace be on him, at his camps. They are in disagreement on expressing his peace, and his killing at last. Moreover, they are in disagreement on the small and the great news of the story from the beginning to the end.

In these books there are many factors that played a dangerous role in treating the sensitive matters.

Attributing these facts to their correct chain of authority was the most difficult stage for me during this writing. However, it was easy for me to achieve this purpose through resorting to the relations of the conditions and the coordination of the events with which we can evaluate a certain situation.

Among the best chances is that we have depended on the plain proof in choosing the way to order the reports that are here and there in books. So these reports, though incomplete, are all our perfect proofs for the coordination and the study we have chosen. This is the most wonderful success, which I have achieved.

We considered carefully the attitude (i.e., the Peace Treaty) throughout its stages. We depended on reason more than the reports. We resorted to the personal declarations (i.e., the words of al-Hasan) to indicate the purpose (the Peace Treaty) more than the reports of many historians.

Moreover, it (this study) is my little goods. From it I do not want anything. However, I want it to be a clue for new studies to remove the vagueness that has covered the Peace Treaty of al-Hasan throughout history.

If my study is successful in achieving that, then I will be given much good "With none but Allah is my success, on Him do I rely and to Him do I turn."

  • 1. You can find these books with in the biographies of their authors in the biographical books, such as al-Fihrast by b. al-Nadim and al-Najashi, and the like. Also you can find them with the names of other books concerning al-Hasan's, peace be on him, peace and killing. We do not want to speak at length about them, for they have become mere names.