Secret of The Attitude
Up till now, we have brought nothing to quench our thirst or to serve as a proof for understanding the reason why al-Hasan, peace be on him, turned away from martyrdom and accepted making peace practically. The most important point in the matter of al-Hasan arose from the day when he made peace with Mu'awiya. For people have criticized him since then.
The subject which we have mentioned within this study is the worthiest of all subjects in taking care, discussing, and probing. That is because it is of great importance and because it is the secret of the attitude which no one has unveiled for more than thirteen centuries.
To be more accurate in understanding the reasons for the purpose which we want to conclude through this study, we will first of all start with mentioning the declarations of the most famous historians on the subject, and then we will consider carefully the condition when al Hasan made peace (with Mu'awiya) and the conclusions of this study.
1. In his book `Ta'rikh', al-Ya'qubi said: "Mu'awiya sent (some men) to the army of al-Hasan to rumor that Qays b. Sa'd had made peace with Mu'awiya and joined him. Also he (i.e., Mu'awiya) sent (some men) to the army of Qays, after the desertion of `Ubayd Allah b. `Abbas and those who were with him, to rumor that al-Hasan had made peace with Mu'awiya and answered him. Then Mu'awiya sent to al-Hasan al-Mughira b. Shu'ba, `Abd Allah b. Kurayz, and `Abd al Rahman b. Umm al-Hakam. They came to al-Hasan, who stopped at his great tent, in al-Mada'in. Then they left him speaking loudly to make the people hear: `Indeed Allah has prevented bloodshed through the (grand) son of the Apostle of Allah.
For al-Hasan has calmed the discord and accepted making peace (with Mu'awiya).' So they (the people) attacked al-Hasan, and plundered his great tent. So al-Hasan mounted his own horse and went to Mazlam Sabat. Al-Jarrah b. Sinan al-Asadi had ambushed him, stabbed him in the thigh, seized his beard and twisted it, and took him by the neck. Al-Hasan was carried (on a stretcher) to al-Mada'in. He bled very much, and his illness became intense. So the people deserted him. Then Mu'awiya came to Iraq and controlled the authority. Al-Hasan had no strength, and his companions had deserted him and had not stood alongside him. He knew of that, so made peace with Mu'awiya."
2. Al-Tabari said: "The people pledged allegiance to al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on him. Then he went out with the people till he stopped at al-Mada'in. He sent Qays b. Sa'd to lead his vanguard (so and- so) that was composed of twelve thousand fighters. (In the meantime) Mu'awiya and the Syrians moved till they stopped at Maskan. While al-Hasan had been at al-Mada'in, a caller called in the army: `Qays b. Sa'd has been killed, so desert (al-Hasan).'
So they deserted him, and plundered his tent to the extent that they plundered even his prayer mat from under him. Then al-Hasan went out till he stopped at the white compartment at Maskan. The uncle of al Mukhtar b. Abu `Ubayd was governor over al-Mada'in. His name was Sa'd b. Mas'ud. So al-Mukhtar, who was a young man, said to him: `Have you anything of riches and honor?' He (i.e., Sa'd b. Mas'ud) said: `What is that?' He (i.e., al-Mukhtar) said: `Bind al Hasan's legs together and ask Mu'awiya for safety through this act.'
So Sa'd said to him: `May Allah's curse be on you! Do you want me to attack the son of the daughter of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, and to bind his legs together? How a bad man you are!' So when al-Hasan knew that the people deserted him, he-sent (a man) to Mu'awiya and asked him to make peace with him. Thus Mu'awiya sent to him `Abd Allah b. `Amir, and `Abd al-Rahman b. Samra b. Habib b. 'Abd Shams. So they came to al-Hasan at al Mada'in, then they gave him what he wanted and made peace with him."
3. In his book `al-Kamil', Ibn al-Athir said: "When al-Hasan stopped at al-Mada'in, a caller called in the army: `Qays b. Sa'd has been killed, so desert.' Then they attacked al-Hasan's tent and plundered his provisions."
Also Ibn al-Athir has mentioned the previous text of al-Tabari, then he said: "It was said that al-Hasan handed over the authority. That is because Mu'awiya exchanged letters with him to hand over the authority. Then al-Hasan addressed the people. He praised Allah, lauded Him, and said: `By Allah, neither doubt nor regret prevents us from the Syrians. Rather we fought against them with safety and patience. However, safety was mixed with enmity, and patience with impatience. Your religion was before your life in this world during your advancing against (them at the Battle of) Siffin.
However, today your life in this world has become before your religion. Indeed you have become between two killed (persons)- one was killed at (the Battle) of Siffin and you weep over him, and the other was killed at (the Battle) of al-Nahrwan and you avenge his blood. As for the rest, they are betrayers, and as for the weeper is a rebel.
Indeed Mu'awiya has summoned us to a matter in which there is neither dignity nor justice. So if you want death, we will answer in kind and judge him for Allah with our swords. If you want life, we will accept him and take contentment for you.' So the people called al-Hasan from all directions: `The rest! The rest! Make peace!'"
4. In his book `Sharh Nahj al-Balagha', b. Abu al-Hadid said: "On the authority of al-Mada'in, who said: `Then al-Hasan sent `Abd Allah b. `Abbas and Qays b. Sa'd b. `Abbdda to head a vanguard of twelve thousand (fighters) to advance against Sham (Syria). Then he went out to head for al-Mada'in. However, he was stabbed at Sabat and his provisions were plundered. Then he entered al-Madain. Mu'awiya heard of that news, so he propagated it.
The companions whom al-Hasan sent with `Abd Allah began joining Mu'awiya's camp. They were from the prominent figures and the members of the houses. So `Abd Allah b. al-`Abbas wrote to al-Hasan concerning that.
For this reason al-Hasan addressed the people and scolded them and said: `You had disobeyed my father, so he accepted the arbitration while he was reluctant (to do that). Then he summoned you to fight against the Syrians after the arbitration, but you refused that till he passed away. Then you pledged allegiance to me to make peace with him who makes peace with me and to fight him who fights against me. I have heard that the people of honor went to Mu'awiya and pledged allegiance to him. It is enough for me when you do not desert me and my religion.
Al-Hasan sent to Mu'awiya `Abd Allah (b. al-Harith b. Noufal b. al-Harith b. `Abd al-Muttalib. His mother was Hind bint (the daughter) of Abu Sufyan b. Harb) to ask him to make peace. Al-Hasan stipulated that Mu'awiya should act according to the Book of Allah and the Sunna (practices) of His Apostle, and that he should not pledge allegiance to anyone after him.
5. In his book `al-Irshad', al-Mufid said: "A group of the tribal leaders wrote secretly to Mu'awiya offering to accept his authority (i.e., to listen and obey). They urged him to come to them and they guaranteed to hand over al-Hasan when they got to his camp, or to kill him treacherously.
"Al-Hasan learned of that when a letter came to him from Qays b. Sa'd. He had sent Qays with `Ubayd Allah b. `Abbas (to go on ahead) when he had set out from Kufa to meet Mu'awiya and to drive him out of Iraq, and make himself a commander of a unified people (lama `a). He had said to `Ubayd Allah: `If you are struck down, then the commander will be Qays b. Sa'd.'
"Qays b. Sa`d's letter arrived informing al-Hasan 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.
"Al-Hasan's awareness of the people's desertion of him increased, (as did his awareness) of the corrupt intention of the Muhakkima (the Kharijites) against him, which they made obvious by cursing him, accusing him of disbelief, and declaring that it was lawful to shed his blood and plunder his proper. There remained no one to protect him from his unfortunate predicament except the close associates from his father’s Shi'a and his own Shi'a, and they were a group that could not resist the Syrian soldiers.
"Mu'awiya wrote to al-Hasan about a truce and peace treaty. He also sent him letters of his followers in which they had guaranteed to kill him treacherously or to hand him over. He offered him as many conditions as he wanted, to answer his (call) for peace and he gave his (sworn) covenant by whose fulfillment everybody's interests would be served. Al-Hasan did not trust him. He was aware of his deception and his attempts at assassination.
However, he could find no escape from assenting to his demands to abandon the war and bring about a truce because of the weakness of his followers' understanding of his right, their corrupt attitude towards him and their opposition to him. (In addition, he was aware) of the view of many of them in declaring it lawful to shed his blood and to hand him over to his rival. (He also knew) of his cousin's desertion (of him) and his joining his enemy, as well as the inclination of the people towards the immediate present and their reluctance (to show concern) for the future."
I (the author) say: In most historical encyclopedias, you do not find a study written in detail on the matter of al-Hasan, peace be on him. In this respect, all writers do not resemble each other and sometimes they oppose each other in presenting the historical facts. Besides their studies are incomplete and their expressions are brief.
As you have seen (in the above- mentioned texts) that one of the historian thinks that al-Hasan asked Mu'awiya for making peace, while the other thinks that it was Mu`awiya who asked al-Hasan for making peace. Some historians think that al-Hasan asked Mu'awiya for making peace because of the discords that happened at both the camps, namely at Maskan and al-Mada'in. Then they differ over the kind of the discord.
Some of them think that al-Hasan agreed on making peace with Mu'awiya because the people deserted him when he was stabbed and became ill. Some of them think that al-Hasan made peace with Mu'awiya because the people were tired of fighting alongside him. That was al-Hasan's oration when the people said: "the rest! the rest!," and when they said openly: "Make peace (with Mu'awiya)!" Some of them think that al-Hasan made peace with Mu'awiya because the commander (i.e., `Ubayd Allah b. `Abbas) deserted him and his companions betrayed him and some of his companions declared that it was lawful to shed his blood and the rest of his companions were not enough to wage war against Mu'awiya.
Moreover, the historians still differ over the commander's name. Some of them have called him `Abd Allah b. `Abbas; some of them called him Qays b. Sa'd b. `Ubbada; some of them called him `Ubayd Allah b. al-`Abbas, and so on.
How painful this historical matter is! Indeed it is harmful, especially when the historians study it at random.
The other historians have studied this matter as they studied the marginal matters in history, paying no attention to that short period of time that was full of great events, namely the period of time when al Hasan's general Islamic succession to authority occurred, the separation between the spiritual authority and the temporal authority happened, the caliphate turned into kingdom, and the tribal enmities in Islam started.
The historians who wrote briefly or in detail about the matter of al Hasan discussed only the critical conditions that forced him to make peace with Mu'awiya. In other words they adopted different attitudes towards such a sensitive matter: some of them yielded to government, kept silent, and showed no idea; some of them regarded al-Hasan's matter as right, justified it, increased proofs for it, and numbered the excuses; others criticized him in an ignorant way, were unaware of the secret of the attitude so that they began disclosing their own psychological traits such as impudent fanaticism, bad discrimination, and the like.
If the friends and the enemies consider carefully the critical historical situations from which al-Hasan, peace be on him, suffered, they will refrain from censuring him for turning away from martyrdom that was, without doubt, the best and most appropriate end for the immortal Imam.
At this they will be able to know the reason why the Imam preferred making peace with Mu'awiya to martyrdom. In the meantime they will be in no need of any effort to count the disasters or to study the critical situations. However, these people insist that it was inappropriate for al-Hasan to make peace with Mu'awiya, for the condition was appropriate for al-Hasan to die a martyr as his brother al Husayn did. In other words the hardships from which al-Hasan suffered were similar to those from which al-Husayn suffered. However, al-Husayn passed them through martyrdom. So such a kind of martyrdom is a proof for his immortality in the history of the people who revolt against oppression.
Therefore, why did al-Hasan not follow the way of al-Husayn?
Was he cowardly? I (the author) ask Allah's forgiveness, for al Husayn's heart was not braver than al-Hasan's, nor was his sword sharper than his, nor was he more liable to persecutions than him. Al Hasan and al-Husayn were two brothers in all their great qualities: in good manners, religion, sacrificing for the religion, bravery in battlefields; moreover they were the two sons of the bravest of all Arabs. So I (i.e., the author) wonder: where is the place of cowardice in al Hasan?
Was al-Hasan desirous of the life in this world? Far be it from the spiritual Imam who has perfumed history. It was impossible for him to prefer the life in this world to what Allah has bestowed on him such as dignity and great position in the gardens. He had great spirits, for jihad and sacrifices grew on him. Thus he was ready to abdicate the throne and to renounce all worldly pleasures.
Was he satisfied with Mu'awiya to be the leader of Islam when he made peace with him and yielded to him? Certainly not! Al-Hasan was not satisfied with Mu'awiya. Many historians have reported his words concerning Mu'awiya. He regarded him as an aggressor. He had no doubt about his aggression. He described him as an unbeliever. Thus he said to the Muslims that it was incumbent on them to fight against him.
These are some of al-Hasan's words to Mu'awiya: "Leave aggression and prevent the blood of the Muslim from shedding. By Allah, you have shed a lot of their Blood. Fear Allah, for you will meet him.1
One of his companions blamed him for making peace with Mu'awiya, so he said: "By Allah, if I had supporters, I would fight against Mu'awiya day and night."2
In his historical speech at al-Mada'in, al-Hasan said: "By Allah, neither doubt nor regret prevent us from (fighting against) the Syrians."
As we have previously mentioned, al-Hasan said to Abu Said: "The reason that made me make peace with Mu'awiya was the same reason that made the Apostle of Allah made peace with the banu (sons of) Damra, the banu of Ashja`, and the Meccans when he left al Hudaybiya. Those were unbelievers according to the Holy Qur'an, while Mu'awiya and his companions are unbelievers according to the interpretation."
Therefore al-Hasan made peace with Mu'awiya, but he was not satisfied with him. He did not fight against him, but he was not afraid of him. Moreover, he turned away from martyrdom, but he was not desirous of the life in this world. Rather he made peace with Mu'awiya because there was no choice other than making peace during his time. In this way al-Hasan is distinguished from al Husayn. That is because al-Husayn had two choices during his time: either making peace or martyrdom. So the best of all the people (i.e., al-Husayn) hurried to choose the better of the two ways. As for al Hasan, he was prevented from obtaining martyrdom so that he had only one possible way which he had to follow.
I (i.e., the author) say that and I am sure of what I say.
Maybe it seems strange when I say: al-Hasan was prevented from obtaining martyrdom. That is because someone may ask: "Wasn't al Hasan the believer who abdicated his right to authority? Didn't he leave for Allah what was in the world for the world? Didn't he sell his life for Allah's reward? So why did he avoid facing the swords and the spears to be a martyr? Isn't this the Immortal martyr? Moreover, why was such a mujahid (holy fighter) prevented from martyrdom while he had a long history in jihad (holy war)? So why didn't he hurry to martyrdom? Why haven't we heard that he tried to obtain martyrdom through fighting against the enemy on the day when he had no escape from that? If he had done that, wouldn't all his loyal Shi'a have defied death for him? Were they not waiting for his final word to wage war against his enemies?"
Yes, this was the beginning of the problem that distinguished al Hasan from the other members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. From here this historical problem has become a matter of doubt. Much nonsense has been said about it. Such kind of nonsense has complicated the matter very much and made the people unable to understand it.
Then it is natural for those who depend on nonsense in their life to misunderstand the series of the events. Thus they improvise rules. Through these rules they study the policy of al-Hasan to show weak points in it and to criticize it paying no intention to the historical facts.
Now, which idea is correct-the idea of al-Hasan or that of the critics?
Al-Hasan was a great leader. No one can doubt his leadership. Besides no one can criticize him easily.
Now, we will solve the problem. However, it is better for us to mention three facts before we solve it. These facts are as follows:
The first fact is about the meaning of martyrdom.
The second fact is about al-Hasan's critical situation at al Mada' in.
The third fact is about Mu'awiya's plan towards the aims of al Hasan, peace be on him.
1. Martyrdom for Allah
In its meaning that makes life, martyrdom means sacrificing the life to enliven a good deed or to cause an evil deed to die.
The sacrifice that is not for Allah is not an act of martyrdom, nor is the sacrifice that not for enjoining good deeds and forbidding evil deeds.
If an unbeliever killed a Muslim in the field of jihad, the Muslim would be a martyr.
If an oppressive person killed a Muslim in the field of defense, the Muslim would be a martyr.
However, if a Muslim killed a Muslim during a personal dispute or killed him to support a certain religious doctrine, there would be neither martyrdom nor dignity. That is because the dignity on which mankind have agreed throughout history is the wage of the martyr, for he sacrifices his life for the public interest. So neither personal sacrifices nor anti-interest sacrifices are acts of martyrdom.
The leader is sometimes killed by his followers or by those who have right to authority. Thus his blood is in vain, namely he is not a martyr in the full sense of the word. That is because the majority in every society is the source of the powers of every person who assumes their affairs in their name. This was the rule on which the team powers in Islam were based. According to this rule, the early Muslim said to `Umar b. al-Khattab: "If you deviate (from the truth), we will straighten you with our swords."
Again, if the leader is killed, then his blood is in vain, and he is not a martyr in the full sense of the word, for the friendly followers who gather together to shed this blood are worthier of authority than him. In other words they revolt against him to take their legal right to authority. Their strong proof for that is their cooperation. In this respect al-Qaffal al-Shafi'i said: "Indeed the community that appoints (a person) as a ruler is responsible for punishing him."
For example, `Uthman, who was the third Caliph and historical figure who shook the earth with his fearful authority, was killed by the armed revolutionaries from the owners of the right to authority. So neither history nor his friends in history are able to regard him as a martyr in the full sense of the word.
Waqqas was the servant of Abu Dharr al-Ghifari. He was a poor black slave. He had no important role in life. However, he has forced history to hallow him, for he was killed in the way of Allah, so he has become a martyr in the full sense of the word.
Therefore the conditions of martyrdom and the necessities of its dignity do not concern only the great figure. Meanwhile not only the great figure is regarded as a martyr when he is killed in the way of Allah.
Now, let us leave this preface to move to the second subject, then we will take our need from it when necessary.
2. A Diminished Picture on the Irregular Situation at al-Mada' in
From the foregoing study, repetition is necessary for the research, we have known that the best soldiers of al-Hasan joined the vanguard that went to Maskan before him. However, his soldiers at al-Mada'in were the weakest of all soldiers in morale and the nearest of them to desertion, restlessness, and division.
We have also known that al-Hasan had been surprised by three initiatives before he received any help from his other camps. These three initiatives, that were as warners against the disaster, are as follows:
A. The news of the wide-range treason at Maskan.
B. The provocative rumor that urged the people to desert (the camp) through telling them that Qays b. Sa'd, who was the second commander of the army of Maskan, had been killed.
C. The discord created by the Syrian delegation that came to show the Imam the letters of the traitorous Kufans, and then the delegation went out saying that al-Hasan had accepted making peace with Mu'awiya.
As we have mentioned in chapter 8, in this army were the men of discords, the men of the wish for booty, the Kharijites, and the like. They had no means more useful than these discords which they stirred up among al-Hasan's army through the above-mentioned three sorrowful initiatives.
Moreover, al-Hasan summoned the people, addressed them, asked them for good intention and patience, reminded them of their laudable days (i.e., battles) at Siffin, and blamed them for those discords. Among the most wonderful things which al-Hasan achieved through his speech was that he was able to bring the people gradually to confess openly that they recoiled from waging war against Mu'awiya. That occurred when al-Hasan wanted to ask them for advice concerning what Mu'awiya had written to him, so, at the end of his speech, he said: "Indeed Mu'awiya has summoned us to a matter in which there is neither dignity nor justice. If you wanted death, we would refuse it and judge him with our swords before Allah. If you wanted life, we would accept it from him and take contentment for you." So the people called him from all directions: "The rest! The rest! Carry out peace making!"3
I (i.e., the author): In the history of the matter of al-Hasan, peace be on him, there are two reports. They have been mentioned to the extent that they have become among the axioms of this history. They are: the narration of the people who requested the rest and carrying out peace making, and the narration of the people who rose in al-Mada'in protesting against making peace and insisting on waging war against Mu'awiya. So I wish I knew which of the two ideas was the aim of these people?
Aren't these two ideas the signs of the division which we have already mentioned? Rather they indicate the chaos that hindered the battle field, and they indicate that those who called the Imam from all directions to make peace with Mu'awiya were themselves who asked the Imam to wage war against him.
So chaos, summons to jihad, and making friends with the Imam do not come together.
These were among the aspects of the camp of al-Mada'in, and among the qualities of the mixed groups of people who had controlled it.
Some soldiers revolted against al-Hasan. They accused him of unbelief. This indicates that they belonged to the Kharijites. For the Kharijites accused the Muslims or the Imams of unbelief when they became angry with them. Besides they used such an accusation as a pretext to cover the great crime which one of them committed when he stabbed al-Hasan in the thigh.
Some soldiers plundered al-Hasan's tent to the extent that they plundered his cloak and his prayer mat. This indicates that they belonged to the men of the wish for booty.
The discords in al-Hasan's army indicate that there were discord makers. They were in this army when it was in Kufa and when it moved to the two camps to wage holy jihad against Mu'awiya.
In this manner the discord quickly spread through the army in al Mada'in. So even the well- organized loyal companions to al-Hasan were unable to control it. Thus the majority prevented the minority from carrying out its duties. This army lacked tranquility which was important to achieve steadfastness.
Meanwhile it had no aims but foolish ones. So this army was not able to fight against Mu'awiya. However, it wanted to fight against its Imam, al-Hasan. It did not take war booty from their enemy, but it wanted to take booty from its friends through plundering their possessions. It was not able to join Mu'awiya's camp, as its friends in the second camp did, it wrote to him to come to it.
This is what history has kept for this group of the people. As for what historians have forgotten or tried to forget or they have been prevented from mentioning it, no one knows it but Allah, the Great and Almighty.
I (i.e., the author) wonder: If Mu'awiya with all his cleverness and generosity faced the situation and the army of al-Hasan, would he pass his critical situation in a manner better than that al-Hasan used to protect his doctrines, his plans, and his future?
To increase looking for the reasons that prevented al-Hasan from obtaining holy martyrdom, we will inform the gentle reader of the third stage of this round with sad steps.
3. Mu'awiya's Plan towards the Aims of al-Hasan, peace be on him
When `Uthman died, the title `the governor' (al-wali) with which Mu'awiya was called died, too. We do not know which title he had used to call himself after that, nor do we know the kind of his responsibility according to the Islamic Law. However, we have known that the two legal caliphs (i.e., 'Ali and his son al-Hasan), peace be on them, did not appoint him as a governor, so he was not a governor. Also we have known that the Islamic Law does not permit two caliphs at one time, so he was not a caliph.
Therefore what was Mu'awiya after `Uthman?
We do not know.
Yes, he drew the weapon at the faces of these two caliphs (i.e., 'Ali and his son al-Hasan) from the day when he was removed from the authority of Sham (Syria). We have seen that the Islamic Law gives a title to him who behaved as Mu'awiya did. We think that Mu'awiya was satisfied with the title that is al-baghi (i.e., the oppressive one).
I (i.e., the author) wonder: Did Mu'awiya choose a title for himself other than the leader of al-bughat (i.e., the oppressive ones)?
I think that Mu'awiya, because of his future ambition, was not annoyed when he took the reins of authority while his title was unknown, nor was worried when he was called al-baghi according to the Islamic Law. That is because he was insisting on taking the greatest titles by force regardless of the Islamic Law. So after that, Sa`d b. Abu Waqqas called him king. Muslim b. `Aqaba 4, al-Mughira b. Shu'ba5, and `Amr b. al `As6 called him Amir al-mu'minin (the Commander of the faithful). He was the happiest one in this world, "who obtained all things which the people did not obtain in this world," as he said concerning himself.
When 'Amrru b. al-`As, Muslim b. 'Aqaba, and al-Mughira b. Shu'ba had appointed him as a caliph and Commander of the faithful, Mu'awiya was indifferent to the Islamic Law whether it permitted him to use such titles or not. That is because the Islamic Law does not permit anyone to take the religious titles by force, nor does it allow anyone to use the title `caliph' but when the person is similar to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. Besides the Islamic Law deprives the person of using this title when there is between him and the Prophet like that which is between two religions.
We do not know exactly to what extent these titles cost Mu'awiya in his religion when he ascribed them to himself and to his son Yazid by force, and when he did not introduce his son to the Muslims.
Also we do not know to what extent Mu'awiya took care of himself towards Allah concerning what he had to take care of.
However, in the light of his many disputes, we have known that he did not guard against himself. Also we have known that the ambitious selfishness had controlled his heart so that he forgot his attitude standing windward, and based on the spider web on the day when all titles deserted him.
Also we have known that unruly tribalism prevented Mu'awiya, the tyrant, from thinking so that it made him think that had a justification for refusing the clear conditions of Islam concerning the caliph. That is because `Amr b. al-`As pledged allegiance to him, and alMughira b. Shu'ba nominated his son Yazid to be the successor after him to lead the believers. Wasn't this pledge of allegiance to Mu'awiya and this nomination to his son Yazid resulting from the cheap bargaining for the authorities of Egypt and Kufa as it is historically known?
No wonder! It was natural for Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan to be as he had been before. That is because he was an original Umayyad or an Umayyad associate, but he spared no effort to be original Umayyad. 7
The Umayyads and the Hashimites had their own history that made them ascended till they met and descended with them whenever the time descended.
It was natural for the persons who were used to the tribal backgrounds before and after Islam, who accepted Islam unwillingly on the Day of the Conquest (of Mecca), and who did not understand Islam as it is, to keep on their inherited spites and the old heritage with deep injuries.
After the Conquest (of Mecca) and during the time of the Prophet, Mu'awiya was a bare-footed freed prisoner of war, as he described himself. Then the Umayyads became eager to renew their position in society. That is because an Umayyad member was nominated take to part in the consultative Committee (which `Umar b. al-Khattab appointed to elect a new caliph).
This step helped `Uthman's cousin (i.e., Mu'awiya) to be the fearful powerful governor of Sham (Syria). So he began to gather helpers and supporters and to please the followers, the soldiers, and the advisers. Then he built palaces, used curtains for them, and ordered the soldiers to stop at their doors. In the meantime his wealth was enough to tempt the men of greediness, the men who sold their conscience, and the men who licked the bowl.
As Mu'awiya was a deserted subject and was unable to avenge himself and his tribe on the people who overcame him and his tribe, it was natural for him, when he took the reins of authority, to punish those people severely and to avenge himself and his tribe on their children, their brothers, their companions, their doctrines and their aims. So it was expected that Mu'awiya would make armed raids on 'Ali and al-Hasan, peace be on them, at the first opportunity, and to wage cold war against them. Noteworthy this cold war of-his was the longest of all wars, and most harmful of them towards Islam.
From the numerous diplomatic acts which Mu'awiya did during his long time, we can conclude that he had decided to make a wide- range campaign to destroy the Alid doctrines or to destroy the true Islam which 'Ali and his pure sons represented.
It seems that Mu'awiya wanted to achieve four aims through this campaign of his. They are as follows:
1. To paralyze the Shi'ites, to destroy gradually all those who adopted Shiism, and to divide their unity.
2. To create discords in the areas that followed the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, so that he (Mu'awiya) would be able to severely punish those innocent people under the pretext of causing riot.
3. To isolate the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, from the Muslim world, to force the people to forget them, to prevent them by all means (possible) from having any influence, and then to destroy them through assassinations.
4. To strengthen war of nerves.
In this respect, Mu'awiya had oppressive deeds. Thus Allah, the Great and Almighty, will expose him for a long time as he has exposed him throughout history. The research will force us to give some examples of them when we talk about the stipulations of the Peace Treaty, which Mu'awiya broke.
The most prominent way Mu'awiya used to show his enmity towards 'Ali and his sons was that he forced the people in his kingdom to curse them. This means that he forced the people to forget their right to the authority, to renounce them, and to leave any tradition concerning their outstanding qualities. Through this act, Mu'awiya was the first to curse the Companions of the Prophet. So he was able to make the people obey him through this abominable heresy.
Worth mentioning that the people were quickly affected by the powerful propagation, especially when they were accompanied by money and high ranks.
We do not know why the people were satisfied with Mu'awiya when he cursed 'Ali, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn, peace be on them. In the meantime we do not know why they harbored malice against the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt) peace be on them, when Mu'awiya provoked them.
Perhaps Mu'awiya was able to convince the people of that it was 'Ali and his sons who waged war against the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, when he summoned the people to believe in Islam, and that it was they who made unlawful what Allah had made lawful and made lawful what Allah had made unlawful, and that it was they who added the illegal child to the lineage, and that it was they who broke the covenants, violated the oath, killed great Muslim figures, buried the innocent alive, and performed Friday prayer on Wednesday.8
Perhaps Mu'awiya fed the people but he did not satisfy them, and maybe he terrified them without giving them food. So he assumed "power through them when they obeyed him and made cursing 'Ali a sunny (practice) on which the young one grew up and the old one died.9 It seems probable that it was Mu'awiya who called this heresy Sunna (practice). Then those who were deceived by his policy called it Sunna.
In this way the people after Mu'awiya went on adopting his heresy, namely cursing 'Ali, till `Umar b. `Abd al-`Aziz came to power and abolished it. "The orator of the mosque of Harran delivered a sermon, then he ended the sermon. However, he said nothing about cursing Abu Turab (i.e., Imam 'Ali) as usual. So the people shouted from all sides: `Woe unto you! Woe unto you! The sunna, the sunna! You have left the sunna!"10
Then the sunna of Mu'awiya became historical rule. It made the word sunna imply another idiomatic meaning which the generations handed down, and with which the early political meaning was forgotten.
When you consider carefully Mu'awiya's psychological features, you will be in no need of mentioning many examples of his evil deeds.
After this, what would have happened if Mu'awiya had been victorious at his fighting against al-Hasan and the latter had died a martyr at that fighting?
Do the back grounds of Mu'awiya indicate that he would be moderate in his victory over al-Hasan's Shi'a and the rest of the firm believers or would he destroy them all after he had killed the greatest figure in the great Prophetic family?
Surely, Mu'awiya would never refrain from doing that. Moreover, he would not abstain from destroying the doctrine that shook his entity from the day when 'Ali became a caliph, rather from the day when the Hashimites brought light to the life in this world, rather from the day when the Hashimites vied in nobility with the Umayyads so that the latter escaped to Sham (Syria).
Mu'awiya would be able to take other well- woven measures to destroy the Shi'a after the killing of al-Husayn and to trick those who were deceived by his leadership from the generation that helped him to usurp government.
Mu'awiya took measures to curse the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt) and to accuse 'Ali of killing `Uthman so that he was ready to take the third measure to destroy Shiism materially and spiritually.
Inside the high palaces of Mu`awiya in Sham (Syria) were consciences for sale and hireling pens. So it was natural for such kinds of people to fabricate traditions and ascribe them to the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. Also it was natural for them to violate the Alid doctrines, to distort them, and to disdain them to the extent that they uprooted their existence from the people.
Then they would be able, when the atmosphere was empty of the family of Muhammad (may Allah bless him and his family), to create another apostasy from Islam through their fabricated traditions so that they would destroy the true Islam and legislate another Islam that was appropriate for Mu'awiya's ambitions and far away from the inspiration of the sky.
This was what al-Hasan, peace be on him, meant when he said: "You do not know what I have done. By Allah, what I have done is better for my Shi'a than what the sun rises over."
There is nothing of what the sun rises over better than protecting the faith and immortalizing the doctrine.
Also this was what Imam Muhammad al-Baqir b. 'Ali b. al Husayn b. 'Ali b. Abu Talib, peace be on him, meant when he was asked about the Peace Treaty of al-Hasan, peace be on him, so he said: "Indeed he (i.e., al-Hasan) was more knowledgeable of what he had done. Were it not for what he had done, there would be a great affair."
We think that the steps for these three stages have helped the gentle reader understand our purpose in this study before we will explain it clearly. Also these gradual steps have helped him discover much of the vagueness that prepared the atmosphere for this inherited criticism.
We have already mentioned that the door to martyrdom was closed at the face of al-Hasan, peace be on him. In other words martyrdom refrained from al-Hasan, not he who refrained from it. To indicate this, we say: If al-Hasan had tried to shed his pure blood during his critical situation to resist the aggression of sixty thousand Syrian fighters and to choose martyrdom and its glorious position, he would have not achieved what he had wanted. Besides he would have been killed and his blood would have been in vain. Moreover, his friends in history would have not regarded him as a martyr in the full sense of the world.
That is because the vanguards of al-Mada'in created a sorrowful situation through their foolish chaos. The traitorous Kufans maintained an attitude when they deserted al-Hasan through their letters, which al-Hasan himself read, to Mu'awiya to kill the former or to hand him over. This forces us to think that a group of the great figures at the camp decided to take part in the greatest crime against Imam al-Hasan, peace be on him. Thus it waited for the opportunity to commit that great abominable crime.
The order at the camp of al-Mada'in was over because of fear, the discords, the news of the camp of Maskan, and the artificial chaos. Thus that group of the great figures seized the opportunity to impose a fatal blow upon al-Hasan. This was the aim of the Kharijites during their fighting against him, and was the purpose of the Umayyad party when it made an agreement with Mu'awiya. We must not forget that Mu'awiya himself had referred to that through his early letters to al-Hasan, peace be on him, to make him feel the threat of this hostile plan from the beginning. Don't these words of Mu'awiya indicate that: "Beware that your death will be done by the rabble from the people."
The attitude was very critical and the situation was very intense during the last moments at the camp of al-Mada'in. So every movement issued from Imam al-Hasan, peace be on him, whether in the way of waging war or in the way of making peace or in the way of joining the front at Maskan or in the way of coming back to Kufa, turned into dangerous disagreement, then into a wide ranging mutiny, and then into a reckless armed revolt. This was all what Mu'awiya had wanted, and for which he devoted his gold and his treasuries.
So nothing would have extinguished the fire of the discord if its firebrand had burnt but the pure blood of al-Hasan.
Unruly revolutions have their own severe rules and results. So the objectives of such revolutions are obtained through sacrificing many people regardless of their great position among the people.
Doesn't the stab of al-Hasan at Mazlam Sabat in al-Mada'in indicate what we say? Didn't those who stabbed him volunteer to kill him with will and intention? It is worth mentioning that al-Hasan went out of his tent on that day when he was stabbed to arrive at the tent of his governor over the camp of al-Mada'in. He went there to avoid the noise of the people and to be able to take measures to treat the situation when necessary.
In this connection the historians say: "Groups of his close associates and of his Shi'a surrounded him (i.e., al-Hasan) and prevented those who sought him from (reaching to) him." In another text is the following : "So they encompassed him and pushed the people away from him." I (i.e., the author) say: Why did they push the people away from him? Why did they prevent those who sought him from (reaching to) him? Doesn't this indicate that al-Hasan's life was in danger, and those who went out with him as fighters (mujahidin) to defend him became enemies after a while and began rushing towards him?
Doesn't al-Hasan's going to the tent of Sa'd b. Mas'ud indicate that he wanted to be far away from the deceived people who were getting ready to declare a revolution that would achieve nothing but atrocities? Al-Hasan saw with his own eye his fighters coming successively into his own tent to plunder what was in it even his prayer mat. He heard them abusing him and accusing him of unbelief. He understood their bad treatment towards him and towards his great position. For this reason he knew that they were unable to see him, and that his existence among them would move their evil mutiny so that he moved away from them. This movement of his was means to treat the attitude.
It is unquestionable that there was no one in all the world more eager than al-Hasan himself to win victory for his affair. There was no one more than he was in act, care, vitality, and sacrifice.
Also it is unquestionable that the idea that does not escape us did not escape al-Hasan, and that the measure that does not escape us did not escape him. Moreover, all his stages have indicated that he was the intelligent man who overcame all his problems then he chose the best solutions for them during his war and his peace, during the stages of his jihad and the treaties of his peace, in the capital of his government (i.e., Kufa), and the capital of his Imamate (i.e., al-Medina).
I (i.e., the author) wonder: Was it possible for the death during the last moments at the camp of al-Mada'in to make life or was it the death that would make death forever? This is why the great selves do not die but to enliven a sunna (practice) or to save a community.
Again I wonder, so was it possible for al-Hasan to die a martyr?
When the person who loves al-Hasan imagined those evil disasters which were imposed on him successively during his critical moments, he will be full of sorrow and sadness.
Mind may accept the events that result from a personal enmity or a tribal dispute or a theoretical disagreement such as the enmity of Mu'awiya towards al-Hasan, the quarrel of the Umayyads towards the Hashimites or the disagreement of the Kharijites towards 'Ali and his sons, peace be on them. As for the events that result from ignoble wishes, they are from the most painful things from which man suffers because of the irregularity of the people.
Do you think that it was possible for a Shi'ite person who believed in the Imamate of al-Hasan as he believed in the Prophethood of the Prophet and lived in the favor of al-Hasan as he lived in his father's favor to desert his Imam and benefactor during the most critical moments when he was in an urgent need of his loyal Shi'a?
Yes, it was the mean plot that resulted from the attitude towards al Hasan when he was in the white tent in al-Mada'in.
Now, consider carefully the corrupt manners of those persons whom al-Hasan prepared to wage war against his enemy.
The person sometimes belongs to a high-born family, but he becomes weak when the people desert him. Such a person, in spite of the weakness deep- rooted in him, feels bravery when he takes part in a certain event and when the eager people around him encourage and help him. In other words the teamwork will move him to think and act. Besides he will oppose his natural feelings and repent painfully when the event abates and the conditions change.
In this manner the critical situation in al-Mada'in discouraged the weak Shi'ite person, so he forgot his Shiism, his tribal qualities, and even his simple Arab morale that had no relationship with the religion.
So if al-Hasan was not the Imam of such persons, he was their benefactor. If he was not their benefactor, he was at least a generous wronged man.
The historians have mentioned an example to show the attitudes of some of al-Hasan's Shi'a towards him, then what do you think about the Kharijites, the Umayyads, the doubters, the Hamra', and the like?
They adopted many attitudes towards al-Hasan, but the historians have forgotten or tried to forget them.
Al-Hasan referred to this meaning when he answered his Shi'a who blamed him for making peace with Mu'awiya. He (al-Hasan) said: "Through my making peace with Mu'awiya, I wanted to push death away from you."11
Many words similar to this in meaning have been reported on the authority of al-Hasan, peace be on him.
We must understand this fact in detail to be satisfied with the foregoing brief words of the Imam. We say: the actual dispute between al-Hasan and Mu'awiya was not for the throne, rather it was between their two doctrines that competed with each other for existence and immortality. Thus winning victory during this dispute means that one of the two doctrines would immortalize one of the disputing parties. Such was the war of doctrines. It did not achieve its victory through the weapon, rather through the steadfastness of the faith and the immortality of the doctrine. The doctrine may obtain immortality but under the banner that is apparently overcome.
At that time, because al-Hasan and Mu'awiya were in disagreement on the doctrines, the Muslims divided into two parties. Each party protected its own doctrine and was ready to die for it with all its power and might.
The provoking roles which Mu'awiya played under the pretext of`Uthman's blood moved the Shi'a of 'Ali and of his sons, peace be on them, in the Syrian Camp. So it was necessary for them to join their camp in Kufa and its districts without fear and pursuit.
After that, all the Shi'a of the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt) peace be on them, gathered in Kufa, Basrah, al-Madaiin, Hijaz, and the Yemen.
Besides the great Muslim figures and the rest of the muhajrin (emigrants) and the Ansar (helpers) arrived in the capital of the Imam from all Muslim countries. So during the Hashimite Caliphate, Kufa was the shelter of the Muslims and the center that preserved the heritage of the Islamic message with faithfulness, patience, and belief.
It was natural for this chosen group to respond to al-Hasan's summons to wage the final battle between the two doctrines, for they were the remaining choice in Kufa after the death of his father, peace be on him. In other words they were from his Shi'a (followers), the Shi'a of his father, and the Companions of his grandfather, may Allah bless him and his family. So they joined the army that was getting ready at al-Nukhayla to wage war against Mu'awiya.
In the entire world, there were no abilities to preserve the Islamic heritage in the right manner like the abilities which the flank of this army had when these noble groups joined it. Among them were the members of the pure families from the Hashimites.
Apart from these noble groups, the units of al-Nukhayla included the mixed bands which we have already mentioned in detail. Also we have mentioned their ambitions and the results of their acts.
To continue waging war against Mu'awiya was necessary due to the accidental condition, as we have mentioned before.
Very few days passed. Then all parts of the army at the two camps in al-Madain and Maskan became organized. At each of these two camps were groups from the top class in behavior, morale, and loyalty; in addition to these groups were other groups from the mixed classes.
The desertion of `Ubayd Allah b. `Abbas and his associates to Mu'awiya was a necessary operation for purifying the army of al-Hasan. That is because such an operation purified the Camp of Maskan, that fought against the enemy face to face, from the mixed groups that represented the corrupt organ in the army. Unfortunately, this operation of desertion was accompanied by similar desertions.
As for the Camp of al-Mada'in, it included al-Hasan and his loyal companions. However, this group was surrounded by the defeated like persons who were unable to join Mu'awiya's camp, nor were they able to carry out their obligations. So in the near future, they were the means of the historical disaster when they prevented al-Hasan from achieving his objectives during this war. That is because they prevented him from obtaining martyrdom, and spoiled all his affairs, as we have previously mentioned.
Now, let us suppose that there was one thing at the hand of al-Hasan to go on waging war against Mu'awiya or to refrain from making peace with him.
That thing was that al-Hasan had to issue his commands, while he was besieged at the Camp of al-Mada'in, to his followers at the Camp of Maskan to start the war under the leadership of the new commander, namely Qays b. Sa'd b. `Abbada al-Ansari, the great man who preferred war to peace even if Imam al-Hasan inclined to make peace (with Mu'awiya).12Though the revolt of the disobedient persons at the Camp of al-Madain prevented al-Hasan from preparing this army to fight against Mu'awiya, it did not prevent him from issuing his commands secretly or openly to his loyal followers at the Camp of Maskan to start fighting.
It is possible that many helpless persons from the loyal mujahidin (holy fighters) at the Camp of al-Mada'in were able to join the Camp of Maskan to help the fighting forces there. That would have happened if they had found that al-Hasan had been ready to accept this idea or at least to encourage it.
Also it was possible that Imam al-Hasan was able, after short patience through which he waited for the abating of the disturbances that surrounded him at the Camp of al-Madain, to hasten to the Camp of Maskan to win the final victory or to obtain glorious martyrdom in the full sense of the word in the way of Allah and history.
So why did al-Hasan incline to make peace with Mu'awiya while he was able to take such measures?
We (i.e., the author) say: Maybe al-Hasan was able to issue these commands at the Camp of al-Mada'in during the last moments, and maybe he was unable to do that.
According to these two suppositions, it is not necessary to put into effect every alternative that refers to a certain success. That is because a certain measure during a certain condition may cause critical situations in the conditions that follow. Then this is the rule which should be taken into consideration when the person wants to adopt a certain choice during every critical situation.
Also, here, has the person who suggested this measure thought about the period of time when four thousand fighters, the army of al-Hasan at the Camp of Maskan, were supposed to fight against sixty or sixty eight thousand fighters, who were the army of Mu'awiya? I (i.e., the author) ask Allah's forgiveness! Rather it was a group of the army that was supposed to fight against a group of the army that was forty-five times more than the former. (See the analysis of the numerical ratio between the two parties, namely the army of Sham (Syria) and the army of Maskan, in chapter 11.)
Has the person who has suggested this alternative thought about al Hasan's attitude when the short moments of this war were over, and when the eager ones from his supporters sacrificed their lives for him?
Indeed, without a doubt, the attitude would force al-Hasan, if he remained alive, to yield to Mu'awiya without any condition.
Without a doubt, it would be the new opportunity for which Mu'awiya was waiting to take the final steps between Kufa and Sham (Syria), namely the steps that were nothing more than the military occupation accompanied by Mu'awiya's limitless destruction and wrath against the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, and their followers (Shi'a). It was possible for such an occupation to endanger the hopes of the country, its excellent rites, and its doctrines which were built on the skulls of tens of thousands from the best martyrs who strove in the way of Allah.
I (i.e., the author) think that the person who realizes these certain results will decide that this alternative that contradicts itself is unsuccessful. The most prominent mistake in this choice is that it makes al-Hasan, who wanted to fight against enemy who tried to impose his conditions on his enemy, a defeated fighter who would surely surrender to his enemy without any condition.
This would have happened if the war had ended before it broke out and if al-Hasan remained alive and did not take part in it.
However, if this short war had broken out and al-Hasan had been able to join the Camp of Maskan to take part in it and to die a martyr, while this step did not match the course of the events there as you have just known, then this martyrdom would have not been successful means in the way of Allah and history, for it would have destroyed the doctrine forever.
Besides history, which would be entrusted to mention this war and its sorrowful results after the martyrdom of al-Hasan, would tell generations about the affairs of al-Hasan and his battles in the manner that shows them that he was nothing but a mere rebel. This is what we wanted to refer to when we talked about the `Plan of Mu'awiya towards the Aims of al-Hasan' in this chapter.
To mention more details about this brief idea, we say: As we have said earlier the choice from those who knew the Qur'an by heart, the rest of the pious Companions, and the prominent people from the sincere Shi'a gathered together under the leadership of al-Hasan when he decided to advance against Mu'awiya. We firmly believe that no one of this top class was slow willingly when al-Hasan summoned them to wage holy war (jihad) against Mu'awiya.
So the attitude during that critical moment between al-Hasan and Mu'awiya was similar to that between al-Hasan's grandfather, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, and Mu'awiya's father on the day when all belief advanced against all polytheism.
In the entire world, there was no group like this group that gathered together under the leadership of al-Hasan. That is because this group was entrusted to preserve the laws of Islam and the ideal doctrines.
So if al-Hasan had carried out the idea of war and involved this group with violent fighting, he would have neglected the Qur'an which no one in the world had memorized by heart but it.
If he had neglected the Qur'an, the relation between 'Ali, his sons, who were Imams, and generations there would have been cut off till the Day of Judgment.
Then the matter of al-Hasan would have been like that of those Alid Sharifs who rose many times during the Islamic government who summoned the people to righteousness through their close relationship to the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. Then they were overcome so that nothing of their summons has remained in history and lineage books except their names.
Suppose that the Umayyads had thoroughly destroyed the family of Muhammad. In other words they had killed al-Hasan, all members of his family, and the prominent people from the loyal servants of Allah. Moreover, Islam of Muhammad had turned into Umayyad Islam. In this case, which of Muhammad's memories, may Allah bless him and his family, would have remained in history? Which of the Islamic ideals, which these great figures protected, would have remained? Besides, wouldn't al-Hasan's prominent people been cut into pieces by the Syrian swords during this war?
From what we have said before, we have known that Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan was full of tribal spites and selfishness. At the end of this supposed massacre, we are sure that 'Ali and his sons would not be mentioned but with evil words. Then would the people mention Muhammad (may Allah bless him and his family), his teachings, and his authentic doctrines in a good manner?
The victorious enemy at this battle would be Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan. Thus he would be unable to hear the people mention the brother of Hashim (i.e., the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family) five times a day as the Islamic Sunna (practice) decided at the adhan (call to prayer). So he said to al-Mughira b. Shu'ba: "May your mother lose you, every practice remains after this (adhan) will bury us thoroughly.13
His victorious men were: his illegal brother (i.e., Ziyad b. Abih), the old companion (i.e., 'Amru b. al-'As), the dishonest cunning one (i.e., al-Mughira b. Shu'ba), and the one who attacked Mecca and Medina (i.e., Muslim b. 'Aqaba), and the like of these persons who destroyed the spirits of Muslims.
We firmly believe that these persons destroyed the Islamic heritage, the Islamic sanctuaries, and the interests of Muslims. That is because Ziyad committed massacres in Kufa, 'Amra made discords at Siffin and Doumat al-Jandal, al-Mughira b. Shu'ba (the first to be bribed in Islam) spared no effort to appoint Yazid caliph after his father Mu'awiya added Ziyad to him, and Muslim b. 'Aqaba attacked Mecca and Medina.
These persons did what they had done. Their deeds were seen by the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, the remaining choice from his students, and from his followers who enjoined the people to do good and prevented them from doing evil, and who were ready to fight against such kinds of people.
So what do you think that these persons would have done if the world had been empty of the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, and the righteous servants of Allah?
The obvious final result is that if al-Hasan, peace be on him, had sacrificed his life and the lives of his Shi'a, as we have already supposed that he was able to join his camp at Maskan, then he would have subjected his life to death to the extent that even his name would have not been mentioned but in lineage books. He would have subjected his holy doctrine to destruction to the extent that even a word of it would have not been heard in the earth. His glorious history and the outstanding history of his family would have been a mere distorted fable. Thus Mu'awiya would have dictated the fable to others as he had wanted. Besides Marwan and his family would have explained it as they had wanted.
That would have been the end of the history of Islamic spiritualism and the beginning of Umayyad history with certain known features, which there is no need to explain.
This holy tradition affirms that: "If there was no one of the banu (children) of Umayyad but a toothless old woman, she would make the religion of Allah crooked."
I (i.e., the author) wonder: Was it possible for al-Hasan to do more than what he had done?
If we consider carefully al-Hasan's plan, we will conclude that he had used the best way (the way of making peace with Mu'awiya) to decrease the violence of the expected results.
When al-Hasan was sure of these results, he used this way (i.e., the way of making peace with Mu'awiya). For he wanted to continue the lines of his communication with generations, rather the lines of his father and his grandfather, blessing and peace be on them, through preserving his Shi'a. Through this way he was able to save his doctrine from sure destruction, and his history from distortion, forgery, corruption, and contempt.
Also through this way, he was able to gain a bright victory in spite of the desertion that surrounded him during his lifetime. Thus he was able to enliven his doctrine, his faith, and his next life.
In this way, al-Hasan abandoned the life in this world to preserve the religion.
Such was the nature of the Imamate headed by this blessed group from Allah's servants.
- 1. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 12.
- 2. Al-Tubrisi, al-Ihtijaj, p. 151.
- 3. Ibn Khaldun. Ibn al-Athir. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar. We have already mentioned the first part of this oration within the declarations of the historians in this chapter.
- 4. He was the leader at the Battle of al-Hurra, which took place at the City of the Apostle of Allah (i.e., Medina), may Allah bless him and his family. He violated the sanctity of the City for three days. He demolished the Holy Kaaba with his mangonels. Mu'awiya advised his son Yazid, after he had paved the affairs for him, to appoint Muslim b. 'Aqaba as a governor over Medina. He said to him: "You will face a day (a battle) headed by the Medinans. If they did that, then punish them with Muslim b. 'Aqaba, for he is the man whose advice I have known." See al-Tabari, al-Bayhaqi, and Ibn al-Athir.
- 5. In his book al-Mahasan wa al-Masawi', al-Bayhaqi told us: "AlMughira was the first to be bribed. He (i.e., al-Mughira) was the mediator in the matter of adding Ziyad (to Abu Sufyan) regardless of the Islamic laws. He was the first to nominate Yazid b. Mu'awiya to the Caliphate. It was he who said in this respect: `I have put Mu'awiya's leg in the leather stirrup which is far away from the intention of the community of Muhammad, and I have made a rip for them (i.e., the Community of Muhammad), which can never be mended.'"
In his book al-Mahasan wa al-Masawi', al-Bayhaqi told us: "AlMughira was the first to be bribed. He (i.e., al-Mughira) was the mediator in the matter of adding Ziyad (to Abu Sufyan) regardless of the Islamic laws. He was the first to nominate Yazid b. Mu'awiya to the Caliphate. It was he who said in this respect: `I have put Mu'awiya's leg in the leather stirrup which is far away from the intention of the community of Muhammad, and I have made a rip for them (i.e., the Community of Muhammad), which can never be mended.'"
It was he whom Hasan b. Thabit ( a poet) meant when he said:
If ignobility was ascribed, it would be a one- eyed
Slave with an ugly face from Thaqif.
I have left the religion and belief because of ignorance
In the early morning when I met the associate of al-Nasif.
I resorted to youth, and I remembered from inside the bowels
Play and the fine waist.
- 6. He was very famous. His boy Wardan, concerning him, said: "Here and the hereafter quarreled with each other to control his heart." So he preferred the life in this world to the next life. He followed Mu'awiya provided that the latter should appoint him a governor over Egypt. So may the hand of the seller be unsuccessful and the trust of the buyer be disgraceful!
Ibn `Abd Rabbih has reported the following on the authority of al-Hasan al-Basri, who said: "By Allah, Mu'awiya knew that he would not control government completely unless `Amr pledged allegiance to him. So he said to him:' `Amru, follow me.' `Amr said: `Why? For the hereafter? By Allah, there will, be no hereafter with you. Or for the life in this world? By Allah, I will not follow you unless I be your partner in it.' `Then you are my partner in it,' said Mu'awiya. `So give me Egypt and her districts,' said `Amru. So Mu'awiya gave him Egypt and her districts, and wrote at the end of the letter: `Amr should listen and obey.' `And write that listening and obedience should change nothing of his condition,' said `Amru. `No, we will consider this carefully,' said Mu'awiya. `Till you write that,' said `Amru."
The old companion (i.e., `Amru) who died at the age of 98 was pleased to end his long age with such an evil trickery in the religion and began saying without attention: "Were it not for Egypt and her districts, I would escape from it, for I know that 'Ali b. `Abu Talib was right but I opposed him."
As for the early life of `Amr b. al-`As, it harmed Islam and the Prophet of Islam, may Allah bless him and his family, very much. That is because he was one of the two persons who tried to kill the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, on the Night of the Bed in Mecca. (i.e., the night when the latter asked 'Ali to sleep in his bed to emigrate from Mecca to Medina).
It was `Amra who was the childless (al-abtar) person whom Allah, the Exalted, meant by His Words: "Indeed your enemy is the childless."
He was among those who provoked the people to kill `Uthman. He did not go to Palestine till he opened the ulcer as he said concerning himself on the day when he heard of the killing of `Uthman.
At last he joined Mu'awiya's camp according to the above- mentioned shameful bargaining. He got rid of the sure killing at (the battle of) Siffin through the ugliest means which history has known.
Copies of the Qur'an were raised in answer to his idea through which he was able to divide the unity of the Muslims.
When `Amr was about to die, he said to his son: "I had entered affairs. I do not know what my proof for them will be with Allah."
Then he looked at his plentiful property and said: "I wish it was dung. I wish I died thirty years before this time. I reformed Mu'awiya's life in this world and I corrupted my religion. I preferred my life in this world to my next life. My reason became blind till my death came to me." The property he left behind him was three hundred thousand gold dinars and a million silver dirhams in addition to his country estates.
Al-Tabarani and Ibn `Asakir have reported the following tradition of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, concerning `Amr and Mu'awiya: "They do not meet each other but for perfidy."
In their two books called `al-Musnad', Ahmad and Abu Ya`la have mentioned the following tradition on the authority of Abu Barza, who said: "We were with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, so he (i.e., the Prophet) heard someone singing and said: `Look! Who is this?' I (i.e., Abu Barza) ascended. Suddenly, it was Mu'awiya and Amru b. al-`As. They were singing. So I came back and told the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: `O Allah, sink them into the seduction thoroughly. O Allah, leave them in the fire forever.'"
In his book 'Tathir al-Jinan', b. Hajr has narrated the following traditions: "Indeed `Amr went up on the pulpit and cursed 'Ali. Then al Mughira b. Shu'ba did as he (`Amra) did. So it was said to al-Hasan: `Go up on the pulpit to answer them.' However, he refused to do that unless they promised to believe him when he said the truth and to accuse him of lying when he said falsehood. They accepted that, so he went up on the pulpit, praised Allah, lauded Him, and said:' 'Amra and Mughira, I want you to swear by Allah, do you know that the Apostle of Allah had cursed the driver and the leader; one of them was so- and- so (i.e., Mu'awiya)?' `Yes,' they said. Then he (the Prophet) said: `Mu'awiya and Mughira, I ask you to swear by Allah, don't you know that the Prophet had cursed `Amra?' 'Yes,'they said. Then he said: "Amra and Mu'awiya, I ask you to swear by Allah, don't you know that the Prophet had cursed the people of this (i.e., al-Mughira)?' Then al-Hasan said: `Indeed I thank Allah who has made you from those who renounced this (i.e., 'Ali)."'
It was 'Amra b. al-`As whom the great companion 'Ammar b. Yasir, may Allah be pleased with him, meant when he said to the mujahidin (holy fighters) at (the Battle of Siffin) : "Do you not want to look at him who showed enmity towards Allah and His Apostle and fought against them, wronged the Muslims, and supported the polytheist, and when he saw that Allah, the Great and Almighty, had strengthened his religion and supported His Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, he became Muslim, as we think, unwillingly?. Then Allah made his Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, to die. By Allah, 'Amra removed a good deed after Allah's Apostle when he showed enmity towards the Muslims and bargained the criminal. So resist him and fight against him, for he will extinguish the light of Allah and help the enemies of Allah, the Great and Almighty." See: alTabari, Ibn Abu al-Hadid, al-Mas'adi, and the like.
- 7. Al-Zamakhshari, Rabi` al-Abrar. Ibn al-Sa'ib, al-Mathalib. Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani, al-Aghani. Ibn al-Samman, Mathalib bani Umayya. Ja`far b. Muhammad al-Hamadani, Bahjat al-Mustafid. Then the gentle reader will be free to ascribe Mu'awiya to any of his four fathers whose names have been mentioned there. In his book `Nahj al Balagha', the lord of Arabs (i.e., Imam 'Ali) referred to that: "The original one is unlike the associate."
- 8. Al-Mas'udi, Muruj al-Dhahab, vol. 2, 72. Also other references have reported that.
- 9. Al-Mas`udi, Muruj al-Dhahab, vol. 2, p. 72. Here we must remember that 'Ali, peace be on him, heard a group of people abusing the Syrians at the Battle of Siffin, he prevented them from that and said to them: "I dislike you to start abusing them but if you describe their deeds and recount their conditions that would be a better mode of speaking and more convincing way of arguing. Instead of abusing them you should say: `O Allah, save our blood and their blood, produce reconciliation between us and them, and lead them out of their misguidance so that he who is ignorant of truth may know it and he who is inclining to rebellion and revolt may turn away from it.'" Nahj al-Balagha, pp. 420 and 421.
One day Mu'awiya's messenger came to al-Hasan, peace be on him, and said to him: "I ask Allah to protect you and destroy these people." So al Hasan said to him: "Be kind! Do not betray him who trusts you. It is enough for you to love me for the love of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, of my father and mother. It is an act of treason that a certain group of people trust you and you show enmity towards them and invoke Allah against them." See al-Malahim wa al-Fitan, p. 143 (Najaf).
- 10. Hashim al-Daftardar, al-Islam bayna al-Sunna wa al-Shi'a, p. 20.
- 11. Ibn Qutayba al-Dinawari, al-Ma'arif, p. 303.
- 12. Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 3, p. 162.
- 13. Al-Mas'udi, Muruj al-Dhahab, vol. 2, p. 343. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 2, p. 357. Matraf b. al-Mughira b. Shu'ba said: "My father al-Mughira and I went to visit Mu'awiya. My father came to him, talked with him, then he returned to me. So he mentioned Mu'awiya and his intellect, and admired what he had seen of him. One night he came and refrained from having his supper. He looked sad so that I waited him for an hour. I thought that (he was sad) because of a thing had befallen us or our work. So I said to him:' Why do you look sad this night?' 'My son, I came from the worst of all people,' he replied. 'Who is it?,' I said.
He said: 'When I was alone with him (Mu'awiya), I said to him: Commander of the faithful, you have achieved your wish, then you have to show justice and spread good. You have become an old man, so you have to think of your brothers from Hashim's children and take care of them. By Allah, they have nothing that makes you afraid of them'.
He said to me: 'How far! How far! The brother of Taym (i.e., Abu Bakr) ruled, showed justice, and did what he had done. However, when he perished his reputation perished, except his name. Then the brother of 'Adi (i.e., 'Umar) ruled and did his best for ten years. By Allah, when he perished, his fame perished, except his name. Then our brother 'Uthman ruled, while no one was like him in lineage.
He did what he had done, but he was killed. By Allah, when he perished, his reputation perished, and what had been done towards him has been mentioned. However, the brother of Hashim (i.e., the Prophet) is mentioned five times a day: I testify that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah. May your mother lose you, every practice remains after this will bury us thoroughly.'"