History of the Caliphs

By: Rasūl Ja’farīan

Translation by: Ali Ebrahimi

p. 303-307

Regarding Imām Hasan’s virtues many narrations are recorded the narrators of which have been both Shi‘ite Muslims and Sunnites scholars.[1] Many historical books have been written containing his virtues but regretfully until recently no serious effort had been made about the events in his life. Like any other time, the events are compiled with no serious research done nor is a detailed evaluation made. Most of the recorded virtues concerned with this magnanimous Imām reveal how much the two brothers were adored by Allāh’s Apostle who expressed his affection even publicly. Coming down the pulpit, kissing them and then going up the pulpit indicated that there was a reason behind the scenes.[2] It is additionally quoted from the prophet that he advised the present to recount to the absentees how he expressed affection for Imām Hasan (a).[3]

He had also stated, “I do love him and the one loving him.”[4]

Imām’s presence in Mubāhala (cursing each other) and among the people of Kasā’ (covering) shows the credit the prophet had considered for him. Appealingly, when Imām Mudjtabā (a) took part in Ridwān allegiance, the Prophet swore allegiance to him.[5]

In a narration he has stated, لوكان العقل رجلاً لكان الحسن “If wisdom was imagined in a man, he would be Hasan.”[6]

Imām Hasan’s power in persuading the Kūfiyāns, when Nākithīn[7] revolted, manifests his importance and popularity among the people. As far as these hadiths are concerned, Muslims considered Fātima al-Zahrā’s descendants as the Apostle’s, and despite the Umayyads’s and later the ‘Abbāsids’s denial there was no doubt for Muslims in this regard.[8]

It was due to his eminent characteristic that when Imām ‘Alī introduced him publicly as his successor, the people of Iraq and other areas swore allegiance to him as an official caliph. Meanwhile, the spiteful around tried to mar his characteristic introducing him as the one with no policy and prudence on the one hand and a worldly figure with an opposite position to those of ‘Alī (a) and Husayn (a) on the other hand. For example, with recourse to a handful of counterfeited reports they tried to rumor that Imām Mudjtabā (a) had been constantly marrying and divorcing.[9] Related to the reports of the compromise, they claimed that he abdicated through a number of financial conditions. It implies that he had been after Dārābdjird and Ahwāz revenues as well as the public found in Kūfa.[10]

In such reports they have declared that since Imām did not deem caliphate his right, he submitted it to Mu‘āwiya. This utterance is nothing but an accusation because Imām had regularly made it clear that caliphate had been his right yet he had to give it up under duress.[11] In addition to blemishing his reputation mostly done by the ‘Abbāsids under the pressure of the Hasanides they abused Imām’s position to condemn ‘Alī (a) and even Husayn Ibn ‘Alī (a). They falsely quoted Imām as saying,”For the sake of kingdom, never will I fight Mu‘āwiya”.[12]

It could seem useful to Sunnites bigots to condemn Imām ‘Alī’s wars. It is also narrated that when Imām Hasan was born, his father liked to name him Harb (war)[13]. They implied that from the very beginning he did naturally love to fight.

Elsewhere they have quoted him as saying, “The entire Arab might is in my hand so it will be with me whether I fight or compromise.[14] One hundred thousand or forty thousand people swore allegiance to him and even loved him more than his father”.[15] Anyone who believes such untrue remarks, he will inevitably assume that Imām left the authority of his own volition not by force. These two are worlds apart.

The other point was that this group of historians had been determined to prove in their historical reports that the two brothers had been in discord with different attitudes. In a narration they have quoted the Prophet as saying, “Hasan is from me but Husayn from ‘Alī”.[16]

Whereas as one of Imām Husayn’s virtues repeated over and over is, حسين مني وانا من حسين “Husayn is from me and I am from Husayn.”

Why this narration was counterfeited is to introduce ‘Alī and his son, Husayn, both as the seekers of murder.

Concerning the differences between the two brothers, they have quoted Imām Husayn as saying to his brother, “I wish my heart were yours and your tongue mine”.[17] They have also quoted Abū Bakr, upon seeing Hasan Ibn ‘Alī, as saying, [بابي شبيه بالنبي ليس شبيهاً بعلي[18 “By my father, he looks more like the Prophet than ‘Alī.”

These are all narrated as virtue by the later generations while they had been counterfeited with the mentioned aim. Such a view could help the ‘Uthmānids to damage Imām ‘Alī’s reputation and ‘Āshūrā.

One of the accusations made against Imām was his ‘Uthmānids stance, that is to say that he had been at odds with his father and refused to bloodshed in civil wars.

Misunderstanding the concept of compromise counted for the accusation. It was falsely claimed that although powerful enough, Imām relinquished authority to Mu‘āwiya. But an unfounded accusation it is nothing. It was maintained to the extent that they narrated that he had accused his father of participating in ‘Uthmān’s assassination.[19]

Earlier it was discussed that no one but the Umayyads with political intention accused Imām ‘Alī of being an accomplice in ‘Uthmān’s murder. By the same token how can it be ever possible for his son to accuse him of so? Surprisingly, a group of historians have said that Imām had sent his son to ‘Uthmān’s house to defend him. Given that it is true,[20] he had been set to prevent him from being killed. Furthermore, Imām Hasan had been among the participants in Djamal war who played pivotal roles against the ‘Uthmānidses. Imām ‘Alī’s representative to persuade the Kūfiyāns to take part in war was he who could persuade some ten thousand people into the anti-’Uthmānid war with his sermon in Kūfa mosque.[21] Prior to that, he had defended Abūdhar when in dispute with ‘Uthmān and when parting Abūdhar at the time of being sent into exile he told him,”Put up with the difficulties they have made to you until you visit Allāh’s Apostle while satisfied with you”[22] In the thick of Siffīn war ‘Ubayd Allāh, ‘Umar’s son, who had killed Hurmuzān, his wife and his Abū Lu’lu’ scared of Imām ‘Alī’s retaliation tried foolishly in vain to have Imām Hasan stand against his father. It was after he rejected him angrily that Mu‘āwiya said, “He is indeed his father’s son”.[23]

In Siffīn, Imām Mudjtabā (a) provoked people against Qāsitīn. Once he had addressed them,
[فاحتشدوا في قتال عدّوكم معاوية وجنوده فإنه قد حضر ولاتخاذلوا فإن الخذلان يقطع نياط القلوب[24 “Unite against your enemy, Mu‘āwiya and his army, and never droop for it does sever the nerves of your heart.”

He also, in a letter written to Mu‘āwiya at the beginning of his term, alluded to Ahl al-Bayt’s rightfulness and oppressedness after the Prophet’s departure. These are all convincing reasons for confirming what a great helper Imām had been to his father Under any circumstances.

In a narration when Imām Mudjtabā saw Abū Bakr on the pulpit he said, إنزل عن منبر أبي “Climb down my father’s pulpit!”

Immediately Imām ‘Alī (a) said, [إن هذا شيء عن غير ملاءمنا[25“This is something exceptional in our tribe.”

Imām Hasan’s strong position in fighting against Mu‘āwiya after assuming the caliphate was exactly like that of his father. Imām’s hostility towards the Umayyads was to the extent that Marwān did not allow his corpse to be buried next to the Prophet’s grave, saying,”Why ‘Uthmān was buried outside Baqī‘ but Hasan Ibn ‘Alī next to the Prophet?”[26] It does manifest how strong had been Imām Mudjtabā’s position against ‘Uthmānids’s attitude. Yet, as mentioned earlier regarding the issue of compromise and in order to legitimize Mu‘āwiya’s rule, Imām’s position was distorted.

[1] Such as Tardjamat al-Hasan from Ibn ‘Asākir in Tārīkh Dimashq and Tardjamat al-imām al-Hasan from Ibn Sa‘d in Tabaqāt al-kubrā
[2] Nūr al-absār, pp.119-120, Manāqib Ibn Shahr Āshūb, vol.IV, p.24; Nazm Durar al-simtayn, p.195
[3] al-Mustadrak, Hukaym Niyshābūrī, vol.III, pp.147, 173; al-Ithāf bi-hubb al-ashrāf, p.34
[4] Tardjamat al-imām al-Hasan (a), Ibn Sa‘d, p.134
[5] al-Hayāt al-siyāsiya li l-Imām al-Hasan, pp.24,44
[6] Farā’id al-simtayn, vol.II, p.68
[7] Tardjamat al-imām al-Hasan, Ibn Sa‘d, p.49
[8] al-Hayāt al-siāsiyya Li-Imām al-Hasan, p.27. According to a narration in Kashf al-ghumma, vol.I, p.550, Mu‘āwīya tried to call Hasan (a) and Husayn (a) Imām ‘Alī’s sons not the Prophet’s.
[9] al-Ithāf, p.34
[10] It will be discussed later.
[11] al-Amālī, Shiykh Tūsī, vol.II, p.172; Bahdj al-sabāqa, vol.III, p.448; Hayāt al-Hayawān, vol.I, p.58; Bihār al-anwār, vol.XXXXIV, pp.30,56; Manāqib Ibn Shahr Āshūb, vol.IV, p.34
[12] Dhakhā’ir al-‘uqbā, p.139; Nazm Durar al-simtayn, p.195
[13] Tardjamat al-imām al-Hasan, Ibn Sa‘d, p.126
[14] Ibid. p.167; Dhakhā’ir al-‘uqbā, p.139
[15] Tahdhīb al-tahdhīb, vol.II, p.299; Dhakhā’ir al-‘uqbā, pp.138-139; Tahdhīb Tārīkh Dimashq, vol.IV, p.212; al-Ithāf, p.35
[16] Dhakhā’ir al-‘uqbā, p.132
[17] Kashf al-ghumma, vol.II, p.243; Tardjamat al-imām al-Husayn. Ibn ‘Asākir, pp.145-146
[18] Manāqib Ibn Shahr Āshūb, vol.IV, p.121
[19] Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II,p.12. According to this narration, Hasan has objected to Imām ‘Alī (a). It is true but this Hasan had been Hasan Basrī not Imām Mudjtabā.
[20] Professor Sayyid Dja‘far Murtadā is skeptical of this issue. al-Hayāt al-siyāsiya li l-Imām al-Hasan, pp.149-150
[21] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.15; al-‘Iqd al-farīd, vol.V, p.63
[22] al-Hayāt al-siyāsiya li l-Imām al-Hasan (a), p.113; Sharh nahdj al-balāgha, Ibn Abi l-Hadīd, vol.VIII, p.253; al-Ghadīr, vol.VIII, p.301; Tārīkh al-ya‘qūbī, vol.II, p.172
[23] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.297; Sharh nahdj al-balāgha, Ibn Abi l-Hadīd, vol.V, p.233; Manāqib, Ibn Shahr Āshūb, vol.III, pp.186,199
[24] Waq‘at Siffīn, p.114
[25] Tardjamat al-imām al-Hasan, Ibn Sa‘d, p.160; Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol.II, p.26; Ibn Sa‘d(219) has referred to such a reaction by Imām Husayn (a).
[26] Nazm Durar al-simtayn, p.205; Rawda al-Wā‘izīn, p.168; Manāqib, Ibn Shahr Āshūb, vol.IV, p.44; Dhakhā’ir al-‘uqbā, p.142
Source: maaref-foundation.com

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