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The claimed participation of Imam Hasan and Imam Husain in any war of expansion is not authentic and does not have a trusted chain of narrators and it was never narrated in any authentic Shia reference among all of the narrations of the life of imam Hasan and Imam Husain (AS). It was mentioned in two Sunni books ( Tareekh Al-Tabari and Al-Ibrar by ibn Khaldoon who died in 808 Hijri, with out authentic chain of narrators. That is why, we can not trust such claim. We also know that the infallible can never be under leadership of a sinner. 
Expansionistic wars were motivated by rulers who wanted more wealth and more control under the slogan of Islam with out permission from the real leader of Islam after the Prophet who is Imam Ali (AS).


We know that 18 of the sons of Imam Ali (AS) were martyred in Karbala. They are Imam Husain (AS), Abul Fadhl Al-Abbas (AS) and another 16 sons.

Muhammad ibn Al-Hanafiyyah was not well and could not join the caravan of imam Husain in Karbala.


Huthaifa Ibn al-Yamaan was one of the very pious companions of the Proaphet Muhammad (SAWA) and Ameerul Mo'mineen (AS). He is one of the four best companions of the Prophet (SAWA). 
He was informed by the Prophet about the names of the Munafiqeen (hypocrites). Omar Ibn al-Khattab used to repeatedly ask him: Did the Prophet mention my name with the Munafiqeen?

He used to boycott praying on dead body of any Munafiq. He did not pray on many well known persons in Madina.
The narration that Huthaifa took part in al-Yarmouk battle is not in our books but in a Sunni book called al-Waafi bil Wafayaat by al-Safadi (V.11, P. 251).We can not trust such narration.

Huthaifa fought against Mo'awiyah in the army of Ameerul Mo'mineen (AS) in Siffeen battle.

Huthaifa was requested by Omar and Uthman to look after al-Madaa'in. Omar and Uthman wanted to show respect to him being the person who has secrets from the Prophet. He accepted to help Muslims and protect them from corrupt rulers. Imam Ali (AS) also appointed him as a ruler on al-Madaa'in.


Many the battles that were fought during the expansion of the Arab-Muslim empires after the time of the Prophet (S) were the same sort of battles that any other empire or state engages in to look after its political, financial or economic interests, although it is true that, as a side effect, it contributed to the spread of Islam by establishing a ruling class who was Muslim. So, from that angle, there is nothing special about them to make them jihad fi sabil Allah.

However, if someone was fighting in defence or for other selfless reasons, this could be considered jihad, just as it would be considered jihad fi sabil Allah today if I risked my life to defend someone who is under attack. 

Perhaps for that reason, there is a dua in al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyah where Imam Zayn al-Abidin (A) prays for the soldiers on the frontier who are defending the Muslim state against enemies. 

Also, even in times of jihad with the Prophet (S), whether or not fighting was counted as jihad was according to intention. For instance, some people might have gone to war for glory or financial gain, and so this is not the same thing as risking their lives or enduring battle solely for the sake of Allah.