The Beginning of The End
"Qays b. Sa`d's letter arrived, for the first time, to al-Hasan, peace be on him, informing him that they had stopped Mu'awiya at a village called al-Jinubiya opposite Maskan. Then Mu'awiya had sent to `Ubayd Allah b. `Abbas, urging him to come to him and offering him a million dirhams, half of which he would give him immediately, and the other half on his entry into Kufa.
`Ubayd Allah had slipped away in the night with his close associates to (join) Mu'awiya's camp. In the morning the people found their leader missing. Qays b. Sa'd said the prayer with them and took charge of their affairs."1
Through its first paragraphs, the letter makes us feel that `Ubayd Allah did not send al-Hasan letters when the former and his army stopped at Maskan. 2
I (the author) wonder: Does the withdrawal from the Supreme Command (i.e., al-Hasan) indicate pre-mutiny? Of course, we do not know exactly the time that took `Ubayd Allah to exchange letters with Mu'awiya, and then to join his camp.
The news from (the Camp of) Maskan came successively before and after Qays' letter. "Bad news spread quickly." So al-Hasan heard that the close associates were the partners of `Ubayd Allah in drawing the plan of treason. Worth mentioning, Qays has mentioned these close associates in his letter. Also other reference books have called them "the people of honor and of the houses" or "the prominent figures and the people of the houses."
Moreover, al-Hasan heard that some of these close associates had escaped before `Ubayd Allah. Some pieces of news went to extremes, so they exaggerated the spites towards `Ubayd Allah when they said: "Indeed, he (i.e., `Ubayd Allah) passed carrying the banner.3
This hostile movement prepared an atmosphere for an evil mutiny. This enemy atmosphere included other parts of the army. So many fighters became active to desert it. For they thought that there was an advantage in following the people of honor and of the houses. Also they thought that they would have lost the advantage if they had followed them.
Moreover, Mu'awiya did his best to provoke this mutiny, to activate it, and to spread it. He was aware of the selves of the children of the cowardly families. For luxury overcame them, and luxuriant comfort made them forget their stubborn tribalism. He went on making their hearts incline towards him. To achieve that, he made use of all tricks. In the end he was successful in degrading their glory through material interests. Noteworthy, these material interests fascinated their commander so that he chose that shameful attitude.
In this way "The companions of al-Hasan, whom he sent with `Ubayd Allah, began slipping away to join Mu'awiya's camp. Of course, they were the great figures who belonged to the people of the houses" and their followers.
The number of those who deserted from jihad and betrayed Allah, His Apostle, and the grandson of the Apostle of Allah increased to eight thousand deserters.
In his book `Ta'rikh', Ahmad b. Ya'qub has told us: "He (i.e., Mu'awiya) sent to `Ubayd Allah b. `Abbas and offered him a million dirhams. So `Ubayd Allah with eight thousand fighters joined (the camp of) Mu'awiya. Then Qays b. Sa'd replaced him." 4
Yes, (they were) eight thousand fighters of twelve thousand fighters.
It was an awful gap that occurred in the army of al-Hasan. It made al-Hasan's army unable to resist sixty thousand fighters from the strong enemies. Rather, it was a terrible plot that paved the way to that disaster to happen.
So `Ubayd Allah is responsible for that disaster before Allah and history.
These men were hasty to create that discord. They thought that if they had done as the paternal cousin of al-Hasan had done, no one would have blamed them. They agreed on this paralyzed idea to justify their deed before the people. However, the people did not think about their defeat but through its frame coated with gold, namely Mu'awiya's false gold. Then they knew nothing about the glory of the people of the houses but that they broke the covenant they made with Allah and that they sold the religion for the life in this world.
The people who deserted al-Hasan were fully aware of his outstanding merits. Still they tried to exploit him to achieve their desires in this world, but he refused that.
Apart from this, when the people deserted al-Hasan and joined the camp of Mu'awiya, they had no confidence in Mu'awiya's promises. For they knew his attitude towards them when he entered Kufa and broke his promise. Also they knew his social rank.
Therefore, the people turned away from al-Hasan and deserted him. Nevertheless, they loved him and had no knowledge of him. In the meantime they hated Mu'awiya and mistrusted him. Thus there were other motives that made such a kind of deceived people commit that evil deed openly.
We think that the opposing leaders planed those plots to save themselves from the future punishments when the authority would be moved from Sham (Syria) to Kufa. Besides, they were afraid of the wide measures which the Imam took to summon the Islamic countries to take part in jihad. Also they were afraid of the active Shi'a who volunteered to support this summons. All these factors created fear in the restless persons from the traitors and the followed leaders.
They made them careful of al-Hasan because of their maneuvers and movements against their camp in Kufa. So they thought that it would be better for them to desert al-Hasan to get rid of their fear. Thus they committed various acts of sabotage against the forces of the party of which they were afraid. Moreover, carrying out the plan at a short time and in a wide range indicates that the desertion of the people was because of a plot many people designed.
To understand the tragedy of the defeat through this explanation is nearer to reality than that of those who reported the events from the friends and the enemies.
This explanation does not mean that Mu'awiya did not promise anyone or did not bribe any leader.
Rather, he was generous in promises in a way that he bewildered them. For example, he gave one leader a million dirhams so that he was able to buy his religion and his dignity.
However, what draws the attention is that the events of the defeat are not attributed to anyone other than `Ubayd Allah, the leader of the vanguard at Maskan. For he took a certain amount of money from Mu'awiya to desert al-Hasan.
I (the author) wonder: Why were the other leaders satisfied with Mu'awiya's promises instead of his money? Didn't the fear which we have mentioned create the spirit of the defeat in those leaders and make them satisfied with promises?
Fear has power over selves, especially the selves of luxurious people. So no wonder when fear moves the idea of treason in the selves of the children of the prominent houses. Moreover, the temptations of Sham (Syria) ignited this idea in that environment that was far away from Allah and severe justice.
In this way, each group of the army disclosed clearly its hidden purposes. In other words their pre- Islamic tribalism and their worldly desires caused the dangerous results of that attitude.
The ambitions exposed the offenses of those who did not join this army but to take part in booty through the way of treason. For it was an easy way. Besides they thought that they would not obtain booty in
a peaceful way. Rather, they thought that they would obtain it when their hearts were full of fear of the clashing of the swords.
They abandoned this way and chose the lowest level of their luck because they broke their covenant with Allah who said: "Surely those who pledge allegiance to you do but pledge allegiance to Allah, the hand of Allah is above their hands. Therefore whoever breaks (his pledge), he breaks it only to the injury of his own soul, and whoever fulfills what he has pledge with Allah, He will grant him a mighty reward."5
No one abandoned his Imam and sought protection with the aggressors but those evil ones who were weak in their religion and restless in their life in this world. Thus Mu'awiya's camp was worthy of such weak restless people.
The disaster distinguished those who stayed bravely at their places clung to the doctrine of resistance, and looked for no escape from it. Indeed, they resisted for certain death.6 They waited for death with happiness and tranquility to defend the son of the daughter of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, and to fulfill their pledge of allegiance to Allah.
Al-Hasan had outstanding qualities such as noble origin, good intention, solid body, and the worthiness in life. Thus he resisted hardships, endured disasters, got ready to endure pains, and offered sacrifices.
The news of those fearful disasters at Maskan had bad effects on the members of the other army at al-Mada'in, for it was exaggerated. In this army, there were many rabble persons who belonged to those mixed bands. Also in this army were loyal people belonging to Hashim, Rabi'a, and Hamadan. The latter group of people resisted that violent shock that was about to prevail the camp.
As for al-Hasan himself, he faced those disturbances with hope, for he had a strong heart and an immortal self. He thought that the failure during a certain place or a certain time did not mean deprivation of success that would accompany his doctrine sooner or later. This was al-Hasan's intention, namely he was indifferent to success or failure. In the meantime, he wanted to carry out his obligation to please Allah.
Al-Hasan was full of activity. Thus he was able to lead his holy war (jihad) and his army. Meanwhile he was aware of the discord that began growing increasingly before him because of those successive events. No one heard him saying a word showing his anger, his concern about that serious disaster, his pessimism, and his wrath with the attitude. However, he said many words to teach his followers to conform to the rules of jihad (holy war) in Islam.
Al-Hasan, peace be on him, turned to Kufa. He remembered the hardships which his father had faced before. His father (i.e., Imam 'Ali) fought for the glory of Kufa, and founded its high oblong entity. So it became the greatest city in the Islamic world. For all civilizations met in it, and all nations came to it. Kufa achieved its cultural and commercial interests through her co-operation with most of the known countries at that time. Kufa was everything in al Hasan's policy.
It was the greatest reserve which he saved for the black days, red (bloody) events, and various misfortunes which the nights poured on him at that time of his. He sat with himself. He considered his previous deeds for Kufa and the previous deeds of Kufa towards him. He recalled the crowd of the people who came there to pledge allegiance to him, and to support him. He remembered their agreement on his condition on the day when they pledged allegiance to him. He remembered the condition that they should listen and obey, and that they should fight against him whom he fights against and should make peace with him whom he made peace with.
Then al-Hasan, peace be on him, reviewed the events of Maskan, and the shaky position of the majority of his armies from the Kufans. Then he reviewed their turning away from fighting, their inclining towards deserting, their being deceived by the temptations, their open mutiny, and their breaking the covenants they made with Allah.
Al-Hasan was displeased with those people. For they had bad qualities such as lowliness, corruption in the religion, and impudent manners. Moreover, a group of them claimed Islam, read the Qur'an, believed apparently in the Prophet and asked Allah to bless him and his family five times a day during its five prayers. Still this group of people deserted the family of the Prophet, broke the pledges they made with Allah. Thus it drew on itself the disgrace of history. Nevertheless it was indifferent to that.
They (i.e., the Kufans) thought that Mu'awiya would guard them against death and poverty. No, by Allah, there was no escape from death, nor were the bribes of Mu'awiya more useful than the lawful livelihood Allah predetermined for them in this life. In this way Mu'awiya was able to go up on the pulpit in Kufa to break his promises and "to put that all under his feet."7
There was nothing but his habit which his ambition for victory with every means imposed on him, so he was very eager to take the reins of authority. I wish I knew where those people escaped from poverty which they tried to avoid through escaping from their legal Imam. That was on the day when they were sure of the persistence of Mu'awiya on breaking his promises and his covenants.
Of course, they were certain of that. I wish I knew where they escaped from death of which they were afraid through waging holy war (jihad) alongside the son of the daughter of their Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. Still death would overtake them "even if they were in lofty towers." Death would reach them while they had nothing of both their religion and their life in this world. They did not put into effect the pledges they made with Allah, nor did they obtain Mu'awiya's bribes. They died in a way similar to that of their grandfathers who died before Islam. Then they will enter Hell. How bad this consequence is! In this connection, Badi` al Zaman al-Hamadani ( a poet) said:
Woe unto him who turned his back to the Book
And (put) the life in this world before him.
He should gnash the tooth of regret
On the day when regret will be useless.
He should know that the evil rest of enmity
Grows out of enmity.
What a curse encircled their necks
Like the ring of the dove!
The Kufans at Maskan committed the greatest sin when they followed those who led the traitorous movement during its first steps. Namely, from the day when they committed those evil deeds through their mixed bands and their letters (to Mu'awiya).
When al-Hasan, peace be on him, was in al-Mada'in, he saw some persons from "the prominent figures and the children of the houses" in the army of Maskan. He sometimes knew them through their words and sometimes through their deeds. They did not withdraw from al-Hasan and his group in Kufa, but they withdrew from his love and from loyalty to his aims through what they had hidden.
It is worth mentioning that, nothing of what they had hidden slipped from al-Hasan's memory, nor did anything that they practiced during their maneuvers escape him, for he knew that when he tested their intentions. When they communicated with him, they affected the religion to use it as a means for their life in this world. Also they thought that they had mastered using the means. However, when they knew their errors, they began doing their evil deeds.
They came back to their past time when they did their yellow cajole and their black desertion. They practiced their tricks which they made during the lifetime of al-Hasan's father, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, in Kufa. That was on the day when al-Hasan's father was tired of life because of their friendship with him. So he longed for death openly to separate himself from them.
Al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on them, knew without hesitation that this group itself was the fingers (agents) whom Mu'awiya used to ravage the fates of his army at Maskan and to encourage many people to join Mu'awiya's camp. For Mu'awiya was able to deceive such a group of people with his fascinating various bribes to the extent that he wrote to some of them: "I'll marry you to one of my daughters."
The prominent quality in Mu'awiya was that he seized the appropriate opportunities during the critical situations of his opponents. He himself was very skillful at making those critical situations to take advantage of their opportunities. This was his talent with which he fascinated the intellect of those who admired him, and with which he became very skillful. So historians think that he was clever, and experienced in politics and the army.
When we study Mu'awiya's life, we conclude that he was a fighter against the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family at the Battle of Badr.8 He was among the prisoners who were released on the day when Mecca was conquered. He was a pauper.9 He had no money. He ran barefooted- without sandals- under the riding camels of `Alqama b. Wail al-Hadrami10 in Medina. `Umar and `Uthman appointed him a governor over Sham (Syria) for twenty years.
Then he fought against Imam 'Ali and his son al-Hasan, peace be on them, for four years. Moreover, he claimed the succession (Khilafa) after the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, while he contradicted intentionally the Prophet's practices. Mu'awiya said: "By Allah, I have obtained all things people obtained from this world."11 I (the author) say: If we study Mu'awiya's many attempts, we will not admit all the traits which have been attributed to him.
Besides these traits indicate that he seized the opportunities whether they were before or after Islam.
It is not an act of cleverness, nor is an act of policy to obtain aims through unsatisfactory ways or to obtain them through an open deviation (from the truth) which no custom accept, nor does religion confess. Still Mu'awiya went on claiming that he was the head of the defenders of the religion and the chief of the caretakers of traditions.
He whose brain is full of contradictory things is not clever. It is not an act of cleverness to kill the innocent, to abuse them everywhere, to break covenants, and to violate oath.
Indeed, none of these qualities is an act of cleverness, nor is an act of the policy of the king. Rather, these traits are primitive ways in the world of hostilities. There may be an opposing lower person who can do the ugliest thing to punish his opponents severely. Isn't such a person cleverer than Mu'awiya?
I (the author) wonder: Is irregular cunning cleverness?
If Mu'awiya had been clever due to his abominable deeds, then his son Yazid would have been cleverer than him, for the latter used better ways to obtain his objectives than that of the former.
Now, these are some examples of Mu'awiya's shortcomings: the Byzantines pleased him with money. He made a reckless speech when he entered Kufa. He killed many Muslims at the Battle of al-Fatir. They were from the martyrs of the meadow (Mary) of `Adhra'. Apart from this, there are other examples, but we do not want to mention them here.
To treat with justice those who admire Mu'awiya's cleverness, we will mention one of his attitudes through which he paved the way for his future, and then he used pretexts to convince the people. That was the veiled attitude which he adopted to help `Uthman when the people removed the latter from the Caliphate and killed him.
Mu'awiya used the killing of `Uthman as a pretext. Thus he won supporters from the `Uthmanis. For they accepted the excuse he offered for betraying12 Uthman during his lifetime. Then these supporters volunteered to be soldiers for Mu'awiya to support `Uthman when the latter died. Namely, Mu'awiya wanted to win a victory with them while they did not know.
So Mu'awiya reinforced his weak front with this stupid group of people. That was when he fought against 'Ali, peace be on him.
In this manner Mu'awiya showed his military deeds in history.
Mu'awiya was not a military man in the full sense of the word. He did not take care of drawing plans and leading the battles. He was not a military man at the time of bravery and horsemanship. Namely, he did not show these two qualities when he was summoned to fight against a brave man or to clash with a horseman.
The Commander of the faithful (i.e., Imam 'Ali), peace be on him, summoned Mu'awiya to fight against him, but the latter refused as the cowardly ones did.13
Yes, Mu'awiya had a talent, but it was at a limited place. He had generosity but it was of a unique kind. He had a hobby that had a powerful control over his life.
As for his talent, it helped him seize the opportunities during the critical situations of the people. As for his hobby, it helped him usurp authority. As for his generosity, it did not help him take the hereafter into consideration.
Perhaps Mu'awiya knew that he was unlike the military man who fought bravely for Islam. For this reason, he chose to fight against the Iraqis according to his talent that ordered him to prefer the war of discords to the war of weapons.
The experiences Mu'awiya got during the Battle of Siffin convinced him very much to adopt this choice (of discords).
At that battle, Mu'awiya got ready to run away on the back of his horse, but he adopted the early idea which his great adviser, `Amr b. al-`As, suggested. Accordingly, wide range discord befell the Muslims and caused various kinds of hardships and disasters for them.
In Mu'awiya's opinion, the discord was the best way to achieve success. It was, according to Mu'awiya's experiences, stronger than the weapon. So he depended on it whenever he faced critical situations he created on various occasions.
Through the discord, Mu'awiya succeeded in founding a great peerless organ of government. He created that discord through the great wealth with which Sham (Syria) supplied him throughout two full decades of years, and through his wicked companions such as al Mughira b. Shu'ba and `Amr b. al-`As. It is worth mentioning, that `Amr b. al-`As was the most dangerous person in sowing discords. It was he who "scratched an ulcer and ripped it open."
Apart from these two persons, Mu'awiya added Ziyad b. `Ubayd al-Rumi14 to him. He took him from the Camp of al-Hasan, peace be on him, in the exposed way in history. These were the three fearful persons of Mu'awiya. It was they who caused discords among the people, shook the world, and confused Islam. At last, the discord, in its general sense, was the talent of Mu'awiya, for which no brilliant person competed with him.
According to this rule, Mu'awiya developed his war against al Hasan by using discords.
When Mu'awiya gathered his fighters on the Iraqi borders, he did not want to fight against them; rather he was afraid that his opponents would surprise him. Moreover, he wanted to fight against them in fields other than those of war.
Mu'awiya did not reveal this secret of his but for flatter and whitewash. Through these two qualities he tried to denote that he inclined to the public interests and to fear for the affairs of the people. So when he looked at the armies of the two parties during his attitude towards al-Hasan, he said: "Indeed, if these and those are killed, then who will take care of the affairs of the people."15 Also he said: "The small affair turns away the big affair." 16
We think that Mu'awiya used this or that means to avoid the results of war of weapons. For he thought that if the Iraqis had been truthful in fighting. He, according to this possibility, had no knowledge of the attitude of the Kufans during their readiness to fight alongside al Hasan. In other words, he imagined the unreal results of the Shi'ite summons to fighting.
Mu'awiya hesitated about whether to start war. For he thought that he had to avoid creating a scandal in the Islamic world through fighting against the two lords of the youth of Paradise, the two sons of the daughter of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family.
The letters of the traitors from the leaders of the Kufans and from the chiefs of their tribes urged Mu'awiya to adopt the war of discords instead of the war of the weapons. That is because such traitorous leaders and chiefs wrote to him. In their letters they underlined that they would listen and obey. Moreover, they made appointments with him. They asked him for powers. They urged him to come to them quickly. They guaranteed to hand over al-Hasan or to kill him treacherously when they got to his camp.17
Among the most skillful methods of the discord was that Mu'awiya gathered all the letters of the traitorous leaders. He summoned al Mughira b. Shu'ba, `Abd Allah b. `Amir b. Kurayz, and `Abd alRahman b. al-Hakam. He ordered them to send all the letters to al Hasan18 himself to read them and to know the intentions of their owners from the volunteers of his army. Besides, through this discord of the letters, Mu'awiya tried to find a way for peace and mutual understanding for halving authority. Thus he ordered the abovementioned persons to negotiate with al-Hasan, peace be on him, about that.
Al-Hasan considered carefully the Kufans' letters and signatures. For he was aware of their writing and signatures. Then he was sure that the letters belonged to the owners of the signatures. However, the letters did not increase al-Hasan's knowledge of his followers. Also he found nothing new in the letters, for he had known the inclinations and desires of such persons. Moreover, he had known their moral irregularity through which they caused many tragedies and disasters throughout al-Hasan's life. Then their inclinations and desires became very clear on the day when he summoned them to take part in jihad (holy war).
Then al-Hasan, peace be on him, began addressing the Syrian delegation using accurate words. He did not decide a thing, nor did he reveal a secret. Moreover, he advised al-Mughira and his companions to support Allah, the Great and Almighty, and to leave aggression against Him. Also he reminded them of the things for which they would be responsible before Allah and His Apostle, especially concerning his (i.e., al-Hasan's) right (in succession to authority).
We do not know whether al-Hasan accepted the idea of peace with Mu'awiya or not.
However, we have known that al-Mughira and his companions entered the Camp of al-Mada'in when they were permitted to submit the letters to the Imam (i.e., al-Hasan). They did not leave the camp till they created the greatest discord in it. The hostile delegation left al Hasan and began looking at the situations of the camp on their way to Syria.
In the meantime the fighters in the camp were looking at them and trying to hear their words. For some members of the delegation began talking loudly with each other to make the people there hear them. Among their words are: "indeed, Allah has prevented bloodshed through the grandson of the Apostle of Allah. He has calmed the discord when He has made him (i.e., al-Hasan) ready to make peace (with Mu'awiya). 19
These words of them created nothing but the discord itself, namely they used these words and the like to impose peace on al-Hasan.
So the coming of the delegation was a dangerous trick during those critical conditions of al-Mada'in, for the people there were quickly confused by those who created the sorrowful events at the Camp of Maskan.
It is worth mentioning that, the majority of the people in al-Mada'in insisted on fighting against Mu'awiya, for they were indifferent to making peace with him. Besides they thought that the rest of the fighters at the Camp of Maskan would help them to go on resisting when their resistance would be weak. Maybe, they or some of them did not think about that, but they insisted on war, for they "chose to fight against Mu'awiya with every means (possible)"20 That was the idea of the Kharijites in the army of al-Hasan, peace be on him. In this connection al-Mughira and his companions said: "He (al-Hasan) has agreed to make peace (with Mu'awiya)." They regarded these words as unbearable unbelieving ones.
The riot of a big group such as the Kharijites was the reason for shaking the ideas of many groups of fighters. The ideas of the Kharijites affected the weak persons who hesitated between obedience and disobedience and who were ready to accept discords and disturbances made by any person and at any time.
The three Syrian persons designed a plan to create a violent discord in al-Mada'in.
Now, it is easy for us to understand the answers al-Hasan gave to the delegation. We are sure that they have nothing to do concerning peace with Mu'awiya. Meanwhile they indicate that al-Hasan was not ready to make peace with him. That is because if al-Hasan had agreed to make peace with Mu'awiya as the delegation declared, then everything would have ended and the attitude between Iraq and Sham
(Syria) would have been settled. Therefore, why did this discord occur? Why was this discord used as a weapon during peace? Doesn't peace mean disarmament?
Accordingly, al-Hasan declared nothing concerning making peace with Mu'awiya.
Indeed, this discord was the most dangerous weapon the Syrians used.
Mu'awiya mastered this weapon (the discord) through a very awful manner; he created it through various kinds of lies. He chose accurately the senses of these lies, and considered carefully the ways to achieve them. Then he spread them about the Camps of al-Hasan.
"So he sent some persons to the Camp of al-Hasan in al-Mada'in to say: `Qays b. Sa'd, who was the successor of b. `Abbas, has made peace with Mu'awiya and joined his camp."21
He (i.e., Mu'awiya) sent some persons to the Camp of Qays at Maskan to say: "Al-Hasan has made peace with Mu'awiya and answered him."22
Then Mu`awiya spread a rumor at the Camp of al-Mada'in: "Qays b. Sa'd has been killed, so desert (the camp)."23
Do you not think that these rumors affected the army in al Mada'in? Do you not think that it heard of the treason of the previous commander who was not worthy of treason? Do you not think that such an army believed the treason of the second commander and the news about his death?
Maskan, like al-Mada'in, had tragedies, and spites. It had mixed groups of people who inclined to desert (al-Hasan). Moreover, it had agents who went on creating discords and spreading the worst news.
In this way Mu'awiya obtained what he wanted through the discords he made. Besides the two armies (i.e., the Army of Maskan and that of al-Mada'in) were liable to disturbances and sorrowful events that were not appropriate for the battlefield.
From the day when it ruled over the Arab Peninsula, Islam was not afflicted by such an ugly disaster. For it made the situation of the Caliphate stagger among the slowness of the soldiers, the weakness of the leaders, the treason of the commander, and the discords of the enemy.
The critical conditions warned al-Hasan against numerous hardships and disasters. For those hardships and disasters ended his short succession that was the whitest and most wonderful page in the history of Islam, and most of all pages in glory and honor.
It was the disaster that foreshadowed the unlucky moment in the history of Islam. The moment which was based on the operation of the separation between the two periods, the period of Caliphate with excellent qualities, and the period of "the biting (terrorist) authority"24 with imposed predestined tribulation.
Al-Hasan, peace be on him, was the most knowledgeable person in those feeble morale, the most desirous Muslim for protecting Islam, and the most patient man in bearing those disasters. All those misfortunes and disasters did not increase him but brilliance in loyalty, glow in idea, death defiance in carrying out the obligation, and sacrifice for the doctrine.
Al-Hasan was not confused though the situation was full of confusion. There was no narrowness in his heart,25 nor reprimand, nor regret. However, he stood up to choose the idea, to draw the plan, and to take measures.
It was necessary for al-Hasan to study all these ideas to choose the most appropriate one of them.
This is what we want to call `the Attitude towards Confusion.'
- 1. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad, p. 170.
- 2. That is because the first paragraph was the first piece of news to arrive to al-Hasan when they stopped at Maskan. Besides the letter was from Qays, not from `Ubayd Allah.
- 3. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 114.
- 4. Al-Ya'qubi, Ta'rikh, vol. 2, p. 191. Roudat al-Shuhada', p.115.
- 5. Qur'an, 48, 10.
- 6. In his book, vol. 4, p. 19, Ibn Kathir said: "Abu al-`Arif said: When we were in the vanguard of al-Hasan at Maskan, we made desperate efforts to fight against the Syrians."
- 7. Most historical books have mentioned this declaration. Also b. Qutayba has, mentioned it in his book (Ta'rikh al-Khulafa' wa Dawlat bani Umayya, p. 151. Egypt)
- 8. In al-Fihrast, p. 249, Ibn al-Nadim said: "Hisham b. al-Hakam was asked about Mu'awiya: `Did he take part at the Battle of Badr?' `Yes, from that side', replied Hisham.'"
- 9. Al-Dimyari, Hayat al-Hayawan, vol. 1, p. 59. He (i.e., al-Dimyari) said: "A woman asked the advice of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, to marry him (i.e., Mu'awiya). So the Prophet said: `He is a pauper with no money.'"
- 10. Al-Bayhaqi, al-Mahasan wa al-Masawi', vol. 1 pp. 209- 10.
- 11. Ibid.
- 12. I We find the declaration about this historical fact in many matters related to it such as the traditions of those who lived during this historical fact, their orations and their poems. In this connection Shibth b. Rib'i said to Mu'awiya: "Indeed, by Allah, what you hide and what you request are well known for us. Indeed, you have found nothing to tempt the people, make their hearts incline towards you, and make them obey you, but these words of you: Your Imam (i.e., `Uthman) was killed while he was wronged. So we avenged his blood. So some rabble foolish persons responded to that. Moreover, we have known that you were slow to help him and wanted him to be killed for this position which you claim. Maybe there is a person who wishes for a thing and requests it, but Allah, the Great and Almighty, prevents him from achieving it. The wisher maybe given his wish and more than it. However, by Allah, you have no good in one of them. Then if you miss what you hope, you will be the worst of all Arabs in that. If you hit (obtain) what you hope, you will not hit it till you are worthy of the burning of the fire your Lord have created. Therefore, Mu'awiya, fear Allah, leave your idea, and do not dispute with those who are appropriate for authority." Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, vol. 5, p. 243.
Ibn `Asakir has reported the following on the authority of Abu al-Tufayl, `Amir b. Wathila, who came to Mu'awiya and said to him: "What prevented you from helping `Uthman when the Muhajrin (emigrants) and the Ansar (supporters) did not help him?" "Indeed, his right was incumbent on them to help him," replied Mu'awiya. "Commander of the faithful, what prevented you from helping him, while the Syrians were with you?" asked Abu al Tufayl "Wasn't my avenge to his blood a help for him?" asked Mu'awiya. So Abu al-Tufayl smiled and said: "You and `Uthman are as the poet said:
I do not find you weep over me after death.
While you do not supply me with provisions in my lifetime."
Al-Mas'udi reported what Ibn `Asakir narrated, then he mentioned Abu al Tufayl's answer to Mu'awiya: "What prevented you prevented me. You waited for a misfortune to hit him, while you were in Sham (Syria)."
Al-Baladhuri said: "When `Uthman called Mu'awiya for help, the latter was slow to answer the former. At that time, Mu'awiya promised `Uthman. When the siege became intense against `Uthman, Mu'awiya sent him Yazid b. Asad al-Qushayry and said to him (i.e., Yazid): "When you arrive at Dhi Khashab, stay at it. Do not say that the eyewitness sees what the absentee does not see, for I am the eyewitness and you are the absentee." They said: "So Yazid b. Asad al-Qushayry stayed at Dhi Khashab till the people killed `Uthman. Then Mu'awiya sent for Yazid."
- 13. In his book (al-Mahasin wa al-Masawi', vol. I, p. 37), al-Bayhaqi said: "When the Battle of Siffin occurred, the Commander of the faithful (i.e., Imam 'Ali) wrote to Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan:' Why are the people killed between us'? Duel with me. If you killed me, then you would get rid of me. If I killed you, then I would get rid of you'. So 'Amru b. al-'As said to Mu'awiya: 'The man (i.e., the Commander of the faithful) has treated you with justice, duel with him.' Mu'awiya said: 'No, b. al-'As. You want me to duel with him to kill me, and you take the reins of the Caliphate after me! The Quraysh have known that b. Abu Talib is their master and their lion.'"
Also al-Bayhaqi (p. 38) said: "On the authority of al-Sha'bi, who said that 'Amru b. al-'As came to Mu'awiya when there were some people sitting with him. When Mu'awiya saw 'Amru b. al-'As coming forward him, he smiled. So 'Amru said to him: 'Commander of the faithful, may Allah make your tooth smile and make you happy, what has made you smile?'
So Mu'awiya replied:' The Battle of Siffin has come to my mind. I have remembered the day when you fought against the Iraqis, then 'Ali b. Abu Talib attacked you. 'Then he was about to kill you, you threw yourself off your camel and showed your genitals! How did that come to your mind at that time'? Indeed, by Allah, you fought against a Hashimite Manafi (person). If he had willed to kill you, he would have done that.'
Then 'Amru said: 'Mu'awiya, if my affair has made you laugh, then laugh at yourself. Indeed, by Allah, if a part of your face had appeared, he would have hurt your eye, orphaned your family, made your property plunder, and separated your authority. However, you guarded against him with the men in whose hands were spears. Surely, I saw you on the day when he ('Ali) summoned you to duel with him, so you became cross- eyed, the corner of your mouth foamed, your nostrils spread out, your forehead oozed sweat, and some of your lower part, which I hate to mention, appeared'. Then Mu'awiya said: 'That is enough! We do not want all this.'"
Al-Mas'udi has narrated this tradition. (See Hamish b. al-Athir, vol. 6, p. 91.) He started this tradition with the following words of `Amr b. al-`As to Mu'awiya: "Were it not for Egypt and her authority, I would escape from her, for I have known that 'Ali b. Abu Talib was right, and I have opposed him.' Then Mu'awiya said: `By Allah, Egypt has made you blind. Were it not for Egypt, I would find you endowed with eyesight'. Then Mu'awiya laughed very much. `Amr b. al-`As said: `Why are you laughing?' I am laughing at the presence of your mind on the day when you dueled with 'Ali.'"
- 14. Ziyad was the governor of al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on him, over a district from Persia (Iran). He ruled the district from the time of al-Hasan's father. `Abd Allah b. `Abbas sent him there when the former was the governor of Basrah.
Mu'awiya wrote to Ziyad to threaten him. At the place of his work, in Persia, Ziyad delivered a speech in which he abused Mu'awiya and described him as "the son of the woman who at the livers, the cave of hypocrisy, and the rest of the allies (ahzab)." Ziyad threatened Mu'awiya with the two grandsons of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. At that time he was among their followers (Shi'a) and their Muslim soldiers. You will find the text of the speech in chapter `the Number of the Army' in this book.
As for the matter of the addition of Ziyad to him, it is in brief Abu Sufyan (Mu'awiya's father) committed adultery with an adulteress called Sumayya, who belonged to the great figures in Wif. She was paying the tax to al Harth b. Kilidda al-Thaqafi. So she gave birth to Ziyad. Mu'awiya accepted the testimony of both b. Asma' al-Harmazi and Abu Mariyam al-YJrammar al-Siluli, the two procurers of this adulteress. Accordingly, Mu'awiya added Ziyad as legal brother to him, though `Abd Allah b. `Amir (Mu'awiya's son in-law) intended to bring some persons to swear by Allah that Abu Sufyan had not seen Sumayya. Then Juwayriya, the daughter of Abu Sufyan, showed her hair to Ziyad and said to him: "You are my brother. Abu Maryam has told me about that." Concerning his first father on whose bed he was born, whom he exchanged for Abu Sufyan, Ziyad said: "Ubayd was not but a thanked father, then he came down." That was in the year 41 A.H., according to the most correct narration. Ziyad's father was a Roman slave called `Ubayd. Al-Harth b. Kilidda al-Thaqafi possessed him.
The people regarded the event of the addition of Ziyad to Mu` awiya as the greatest profligacy that took place openly in Islam. Ibn al-Athir said: "The addition of Ziyad (to Abu Sufyan) was the first thing with which the Islamic law was openly violated, for the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, decided that the child was for bed and stoning was for the prostitute. However, Mu'awiya decided contrary to that, according to the pre- Islamic laws. Allah, the Exalted, says: `Is it then the judgment of the pre- Islamic times that they desire? And who is better than Allah to judge for a people who are sure'?
Ziyad knew that the Arabs did not recognize that lineage, for they knew his real lineage and the reasons for his addition (to Abu Sufyan). Accordingly, he wrote a book and called it `al-Mathalib'. In the book, he attributed all defects to the Arabs to show his reckless racism.
It was predestined to Ziyad to rule over Kufa after the death of its first Umayyad governor (al-Mughira b. Shu'ba al-Thaqafi), so he turned it into a burning fire and lasting convulsion.
In his book (Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 123.), al-Tabari said: "When Ziyad came to Kufa, he said (to the Kufans): `I have come to you carrying an order which I had not asked but for you.' The Kufans said: `Summon us to whatever you want.' He said: `Add my lineage to Mu'awiya'. `It is impossible for us to bear a false witness' said the Kufans. He was the first to rule both Kufa and Basrah. He was the first person before whom the soldiers walked carrying bayonets and spears. He was the first to appoint guards. When he was away from Kufa and Basrah, he appointed Samra b. Jundub as his successor over Basrah and `Amr b. Hurayth over Kufa. When he came back to Basrah after six months, he found that Samra had killed eight thousand persons. (All of them gathered the Qur'an)."
Ziyad died in the year 53 A.H. The `Abbasid Mahdi took the reins of authority in the year 15 A.H. Then he ordered this addition (of Ziyad to Abu Sufyan) to be abolished, and ordered the family of Ziyad to be taken out of the Divan of Quraysh and of the Arabs. In this way Ziyad was again attributed to his father, the Roman slave."
- 15. Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 8, p. 17.
- 16. Al-Mas'udi, Hamish b. al-Athir, vol. 6, p. 67.
- 17. See the footnote in chapter 3.
- 18. Al-Ya'qubi, Ta'rikh, vol. 2, p. 191.
- 19. Al-Ya'qubi, Ta'rikh, vol. 2, 191.
- 20. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 110. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad.
- 21. Al-Ya'qubi, Ta'rikh, vol. 2, p. 191.
- 22. Ibid.
- 23. Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 3, p, 161. Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 96. Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 8, p. 14. Al-Dimyari; Hayat al-Hayawin, p. 57.
- 24. After al-Dimyari (Hayat al-Hayawan, vol. 1, p. 58) had mentioned the succession of al-Hasan, peace be on him, and counted its days, he said: "The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: `The succession to authority will be terrorism. Then it will be omnipotence and corruption in the earth'. All that occurred as the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said."
- 25. Ibn Kathir (al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 8, p. 19) said: "And he (i.e., al-Hasan, peace be on him) was pious, wise, and laudable during that attitude. In his heart there was no narrowness, nor reprimand, nor regret. Rather he was happy and satisfied with that."