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Life of Imam Hassan Al-Mujtaba (peace be upon him)

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 goodness.

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 them)

Imam Hassan lived with his father Imam Ali (peace be upon him) during two phases.

1-The phase before Imam Ali (peace be upon him) assumed command
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) assumed command
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 him)

5-The propaganda and rumors which had a great effect on confusing the Iraqi society

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 of reasons:

-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.”[1]

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.”[2]

-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.

[1] Ibn Abil-Hadid, The Explanation of the Path of Eloquence, volume 16, 15
[2] Ibid., volume 2, 86

1129 View | 02-07-2015 | 15:13


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