Childhood and the Prophet’s Care
Imam Hassan (peace be upon him) lived under the care of Prophet Muhammad (peace
be upon him and his Household) for seven years. Prophet Muhammad surrounded his
grandson with love and attention, and taught him courteous behavior. He had
special regard for Imam Hassan, and would become happy when seeing him.
Imam Hassan (peace be upon him) inherited from Prophet Muhammad high morals and
learned from him how to be benevolent toward people and to repay offence with
After the death of Prophet Muhammad, Lady Fatima (peace be upon her) lived only
for a very short while and she was the first person who died after her father.
Thus, Imam Hassan had lived with his mother for only a brief period more than
that which he lived with his grandfather, and he witnessed the oppression of his
parents after the death of the Prophet.
Imam Hassan and His Father, Imam Ali (peace be upon
Imam Hassan lived with his father Imam Ali (peace be upon him) during two
1-The phase before Imam Ali (peace be upon him) assumed
This phase lasted for around 23 years during which Imam Hassan (peace
be upon him) followed the example of his father. He cared for the affairs of
Muslims through guiding them and striving to preserve the Sunnah of Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him and his Household).
2-The phase during which Imam Ali (peace be upon him)
During this stage, Imam Hassan (peace be upon him) was also by his
father’s side. He moved with him to Kufa, and took part in the battles which his
father fought against the Disloyal, the Unjust, and the Apostates.
The Command of Imam Hassan (peace be upon him)
After the martyrdom of Imam Ali (peace be upon him), people in the city of Kufa
pledged allegiance to Imam Hassan. However, Mu’awiyah rejected this pledge of
allegiance and strove to fight the Imam and eliminate him. He sent spies to Kufa
and Basra and launched a wide propaganda attack against the Imam.
Imam Hassan (peace be upon him) realized the aims of the conspiracy. He revealed
the spies and sent to Mu’awiyah calling him to abandon his dissension. However,
Mu’awiyah refused to comply with the request of Imam Hassan. Thus, the
confrontation between them escalated until the announcement of war.
The Reasons for the Treaty with Mu’awiyah
Imam Hassan (peace be
upon him) moved forward at the head of a large army until he reached an advanced
area known as “An-Nakhila”. He organized the army and devised the plans for the
leaders of the divisions. From “An-Nakhila”, he sent a vanguard at whose head
was Obeid Allah the son of Abbas, and Qays the Son of Sa’d son of ‘Obada as his
assistant. However, the events turned to the advantage of Mu’awiyah through a
series of incidents:
1-The betrayal of the leader of the vanguard, Obeid Allah the son of Abbas, who
joined Mu’awiyah as a result of a bribe which the latter gave him
2-The betrayal of most of the chiefs of the tribes of Kufa, for Mu’awiyah
showered them with plentiful wealth. Thus, they declared their allegiance and
obedience to him, and vowed to hand Imam Hassan over to him.
3-The strength of the enemy’s army in contrast to the weak morale of the army of
Imam Hassan which was driven by different interests
4-The assassination attempts in Kufa on the life of Imam Hassan (peace be upon
5-The propaganda and rumors which had a great effect on confusing the Iraqi
Due to this shattered situation, Imam Hassan (peace be upon him) found that the
highest interest required the ratification of a treaty with Mu’awiyah to prevent
bloodshed and preserve the welfares of Muslims. The choice of war would have
only brought upon two results: Either the death of the Imam and the small loyal
group of followers of Imam Ali (peace be upon him), or taking the Imam as a
humble prisoner to Mu’awiyah.
Imam Hassan (peace be upon him) placed the conditions of the treaty for a number
-To protect the followers of his father
-To allow the Muslims to discover Mu’awiyah themselves
-For Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) to later be able to reveal the tyranny of
the Umayyad dynasty and their oppressive conduct so as to pave the way for
undermining the foundations of their rule.
The Conditions of the Treaty
Mu’awiyah sent Abdullah
the son of ‘Amer to Imam Hassan with a scroll containing his signature, and in
which he declared his acceptance of all the conditions of the Imam (peace be
upon him). Thus, Imam Hassan and Mu’awiyah came to an agreement. The most
important conditions of the treaty were as follows.
1- Imam Hassan was to assume command after Mu’awiyah’s death. If Imam Hassan
would not be alive at Mu’awiyah’s death, then Imam Hussein would assume command.
2- Mu’awiyah may assume command of the administration of state but under the
condition that he should act according to the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his Household).
3- Mu’awiyah should ensure the safety of the supporters of Imam Ali (peace be
upon him) and should not harm them.
Whoever considers the circumstances which led to the signing of the treaty and
the conditions of the treaty concludes that Imam Hassan (peace be upon him) drew
a correct track for government and administration of the state without omitting
his right to rule.
The Umayyad Plot
Imam Hassan (peace be upon him) moved from Kufa with his brother, Imam Hussein
(peace be upon him), to the city of his grandfather. Thus, the armies of
Mu’awiyah entered the city of Kufa amidst a state of intense fear of its
inhabitants. Mu’awiyah revealed his plot in a speech in front of the people of
Kufa. He said: “O people of Kufa. Do you believe that I fought you so that you
would pray, pay zakah, or perform pilgrimage? I knew that you prayed, paid zakah,
and performed pilgrimage. However, I fought you for the purpose of dominating
you, and God has granted me that while you detest it…Every condition I [agreed
upon] for Hassan is under these two feet of mine.”
In spite of this tragic situation, Imam Hassan (peace be upon him) did not
detach himself from society. In Medina, he undertook intellectual and social
activities which exposed the Umayyad plot and the wrongdoing of the Umayyad
dynasty. Some of the transgressions of the Umayyad dynasty were as follows.
-The assassination of opposing individuals at the head of which were the
companions of Imam Ali (peace be upon him)
-Giving rulers of districts orders to oppress people such as: “Kill whomever you
meet who does not have the same view as you.”
-Wasting the money of the Islamic Nation by giving bribes to people to gain
their support and fabricating false narrations which profit the Umayyad rule
The Martyrdom of Imam Hassan (peace be upon him)
The activeness of Imam Hassan (peace be upon him) worried Mu’awiyah and
prevented him from accomplishing his unlawful plot to grant succession to his
son, Yazid. Thus, Mu’awiyah decided to assassinate him and planned a malicious
plot with the Imam’s wife, Jo’da the daughter of Al-ash’ath son of Qays. She
poisoned the Imam who was martyred due to the consumption of that poison. He was
buried in the graveyard of Al-Baki’ due to the prevention of his burial close to
his grandfather (peace be upon him and his Household).
May peace be upon him the day he was born, the day he was martyred, and the day
he will come back to life on Resurrection Day.
 Ibn Abil-Hadid,
The Explanation of the Path of Eloquence, volume 16, 15
 Ibid., volume 2, 86