Imam Hassan Mujtaba (as) was the second Imam. He and his brother Imam Hussein were the two sons of Amir al-mu"minin Ali and Hadhrat Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet. Many times the Prophet had said,"Hassan and Hussein are my children". Because of these same words Ali would say to his other children, "You are my children and Hasan and Hussein are the children of the Prophet."
Imam Hassan was born in the year 3 A.H. in Medina and shared in the life of the Prophet for somewhat over seven years, growing up during that time under his loving care.
After the death of the Prophet which was no more than three,or according to some, six months earlier than the death of Hadhrat Fatimah,Hassan was placed directly under the care of his noble father.
The Holy Imam (A) helped his father throughout his life until Imam Ali (A) died when the Holy Imam (A) was 37 years old. At this age he inherited his father and became the guardian of the Ahlul Bayt and the Shia. In his well-known will Imam Ali (A) appointed him as the next Imam.
The martyrdom of Imam Ali (A) on the 21st of Mahe Ramadhan, 40 A.H. marked the beginning of Imam Hasan's (A) Imamat. The Muslims pledged their allegiance to him and finalised the formality of Bay'at (Oath of Allegiance). No sooner had he taken the reins of leadership in his hands than he had to meet the challenge of Muawiya bin Abu Sufyan, the governor of Syria, who began trying to undermine his authority. The Holy Imam (A) decided that Muawiya would have to be ousted by force and he prepared for war. He appointed a representative in Kufa and proceeded to Nukhayla where he had asked the army to gather. After 10 days, only 4,000 men had assembled, so he went back to Kufa and made another call for people to come to arms, sending out Hujr bin Adi to do the same.
Slowly the people answered the call for Jihad. A mixed band of people formed the army. Some were sincere Shia, others were Kharjites who wished to fight Muawiya by any means possible, some were men who loved fighting and desired war booty, some were unsure about the right of the Holy Imam (A) to the Caliphate, while others blindly followed their tribal leaders with no thought for religion.
The Holy Imam (A) gave an address to the army in which he first praised Allah and the Holy Prophet (S). He then told the people that he was their sincere advisor and urged them to unite rather than be divided in factions. This message was misunderstood by some, who thought that he planned to hand over authority to Muawiya. There was a riot amongst the people and a group of them attacked the Holy Imam (A) while he was in his tent. The Shia gathered around him and protected him.
Later, during the march towards Syria, a man from the Bani Asad attacked the Holy Imam (A) and struck him on the thigh with an axe. Due to the injury, the Holy Imam (A) was forced to stop at Mada'in, from where he sent Ubaidullah bin Abbas with 12,000 men to stop Muawiya, who had advanced into Iraq.
Muawiya managed to bribe and threaten many of the Holy Imam's (A) followers into abandoning him, including Ubaidullah, who was paid one million dirhams to betray the Holy Imam (A).
The Holy Imam (A) realised that he could not trust the intentions of most of his men and the only people he could rely on were his Shia, who were too few to resist the Syrian soldiers. Meanwhile, Muawiya wrote to him suggesting a truce and Peace Treaty on the Holy Imam's (A) terms.
Muawiya was still not satisfied with affairs. He knew that the treaty was never meant as a surrender of authority by the Holy Imam (A), because he was Divinely Appointed as the Imam.
It was merely an interim transfer of the administration of the Islamic State, subject to the condition that it would be returned to the Holy Imam (A) after Muawiya's death and then it would be in turn inherited by Imam Husain (A). However, Muawiya had plans to declare Yazid, his son, as his successor, and he decided to get rid of the Holy Imam (A) first.
In human perfection Imam Hassan was reminiscent of his father and a perfect example of his noble grandfather. In fact, as long as the prophet was alive, he and his brother were always in the company of the Prophet who even sometimes would carry them on his shoulders.
Both Sunni and Shiite sources have transmitted this saying of the Holy Prophet concerning Hassan and Hussein:"These two children of mine are Imams whether they stand up or sit down" (allusion to whether they occupy the external function of caliphate or not).
The researcher who examines the life of the Holy Prophet’s grandson, Imam Hassan and his brother, Imam Hussein (as),can’t help drawing the conclusion that they enjoyed a high level of education and spiritual and ideological upbringing, which no other person had won next to their grandfather (pbuh),mother and father (as).
The imprints of the revelation and Divine care marked their characters, in all its aspects, ingredients and angles.
They were highly refined and brought up in line with Islam’s teachings by their grandfather, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.), their father, Imam Ali (a.s.), and their mother Fatima (a.s.) , through excellent examples and direct daily guidance. Although they lost both their grandfather and mother at an early age, their upbringing suffered no interruption. Their father, Imam Ali bin Abi-Talib(a.s.), the disciple of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.), and the graduate from the school of Divine revelation, who was the beacon for the people, was alive, throwing his shade over them. There is no doubt that Imams Hassan and Hussein (a.s.) wound up in the stage of Divine preparation.
They were prepared to shoulder the responsibility of the Divine message, in form and content. The ultimate result was that both Imams Hasan and Hussein (a.s.) became Islam personified walking on the earth.
As the ingredients of the characters of the two Imams were the same, they were singular in their behavior, march, steps and goals, which were Islamic in their entirety.The nature of our discussion dictates that we present lively examples from Imam Hassan’s (a.s.) spiritual, scientific, and ethical activities.
The excellent preparation which was provided for the grandson of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.), helped his spiritual entity to sublimate. His closeness to Allah, and his attachment to Him was a source of awe and respect.
Following are a few narratives which shed light on this side of his character:
Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said:
"Hassan bin Ali (a.s.) was certainly the most true worshipper, ascetic and merited man among the people of his time."
Ali ibn Jadh’an, and Abu-Na"im report in Helyat al-Awaliya" (Ornament of the Saints) and Tabaqat ibn Sa"d that Imam Hasan had given all his money to the needy twice, seeking Allah"s pleasure, and had given half his money to the needy three times. He would even give a single shoe and retain the other, and give a single sandal and retain the other. When he approached the door of the mosque, he would say. "O Lord! Your guest is at Your gate. O Generous! The transgressor has come to You. Forgive me my ugly deeds with Your Generosity. O Generous!"
All of the rightly guided Imams either received their education directly from the Messenger (s.a.w.) or indirectly from the preceding Imam.
As for the new questions and developments of life, the sublime, inner entity of the Imam himself, and his boundless spirituality, qualified him for self-acquired knowledge. That is why the Muslim orators dubbed the knowledge of the Imams, from the perspective of the "present knowledge". An Imam wouldn’t need to be tutored or taught by others in this respect. He acquired knowledge by means of direct inspiration.
Following are a number of reports about Imam Hasan"s vast knowledge.
A. Hasan al-Basri wrote to Imam Hassan (a.s), asking him about the Divine decree. The grandson of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) answered him in these words:
"Mind you, he who does not believe that all sudden incidents that happen, be they good or bad, are known earlier by Allah, is an infidel. He who blames sins on Allah, is unchaste. Allah is not obeyed against His will. He is not sinned against by force. He does not leave aside His servants in His Kingdom. He is the Owner of what He gives to them. He is the Powerful over whatever He puts at the disposal of them. Nay, He orders them with no coercion, and prohibits them as a warning. If they opt to obey Him, none would stand in their way, and if they choose to sin, He may prevent them from doing it. But if He does not, He is not to blame, because it is not He Who forces them to do it, or compels them into committing it against their will. But He does them a favor by opening their eyes, teaching, warning, ordering and prohibiting them. He does not force them to do what He orders, so as to be like the angels, not does He pressure them to keep away from what He forbids. Allah"s is certainly the conclusive argument. If Allah willed, He would have guided you to the right path..."
B. "What is asceticism?" the Imam was once asked.
"The desire to be pious and abstemious in this life," he replied.
"What is forbearance?" he was asked.
"Restraining one"s anger and controlling oneself," he answered.
"What is righteousness?" he was asked.
"Replacing the bad with the good," he answered.
"What is honor?" they asked.
"Being kind to one’s relatives and shouldering people’s burdens of sin."
"What is the succour?" he was asked.
"Defending the neighbor, patience in war, and advance during adversities," he said.
"What is glory?" he was asked.
"Giving while being in debt and forgiving others their offences."
Covering this aspect of the character of the grandson of the Prophet (s.a.w.) by no means signifies a difference among the guiding Imams (a.s.) in this respect, or in any other ingredient of the ideal Islamic character.
They are equal in this. We will confine ourselves to presenting some narratives of the Imam’s behavior with the people.
1. It is reported that he once chanced upon some poor men who put a few crumbs of bread on the ground in front of them, which they had earlier picked up from the road. They were eating them. They invited him to eat with them. He accepted the invitation and said: "Certainly Allah does not like the proud."
Having finished eating with them he invited them to his house. He showered them with money, fed and clothed them.
2. It is reported that he was sitting in some place. When the Imam (a.s.) rose to go, a poor man came in. The Imam greeted him, and spoke kindly to him. "You have come at the time when I was taking leave," he said to the man. "Do you permit me to go?" "Yes, O son of the Messenger of Allah," replied the man.
A Syrian, imbued with hatred and spite against the family of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.), by Mu’awiyah bin Abi-Sufyan, once saw the Imam on horseback. He at once emitted a series of curses! Imam Hasan (a.s.) did not put in a word of protest or interruption. When the man finished, Imam Hasan (a.s.) approached him with a tender smile. He said to him:
"O old man! I think you are a stranger here. Maybe you mistook me for someone else? If you propitiate us, we will satisfy you. If you ask us, we will give you what you need. If you ask our advice, we will guide you. If you ask us to give you a ride, we will take you with us. If you are hungry, we will satisfy you. If you are naked, we will clothe you. If you are in need, we will make you rich. If you are a refugee, we will give you lodgings. If you have a request, we will grant it. If you join your luggage to ours, and be our guest until the time of your travel, it will be more useful to you, because we have a spacious place, a good social position, and a vast amount of money."
Upon hearing these words, the Syrian broke into tears.
Then he said: "I bear witness that you are the viceroy of Allah on the earth. Allah knows best whom to entrust with His message. You and your father were the most hateful creatures of Allah to me. But now you and your father are the most beloved from among all the creatures of Allah to me."
Then the Imam took the Syrian to his house as his guest till the time of his departure. The man had completely changed his opinion and position toward Ahlul-Bait (a.s.).
Maybe the most eminent of Imam Hassan’s (a.s.) attributes is his generosity. He believed that money was only a means to clothe the naked, help the destitute, pay the debts of the indebted, or satisfy the hungry. Once, he was asked: "We do not see you disappoint a beggar. Why?"
He replied:" I am asking Allah for His favors, and I love to be near Him. I am ashamed, as I am myself in need of Allah, to repulse a beggar. Allah got me used to a habit; to shower me with His bounties, and I get Him used to me showering His bounties on the people. I fear that should I stop my habit, He may stop His habit."
One of the Holy Imam's (A) wives was Ju'da binte Ash'ath bin Qays. Muawiya conspired with Ju'da to give the Holy Imam (A) some poison. In return she would get 100,000 dirhams and he would marry her to Yazid. This evil woman put poison in the Holy Imam's (A) drinking water and he immediately fell gravely ill as a result. After great suffering, the Holy Imam (A) departed from this world. Just before he died, he entrusted the affairs of Imamat to his brother Imam Husain (A) and made him the guardian of his own family.
The Holy Imam (A) had stated that before he was buried in Jannatul Baqee, his body should be taken to the grave of the Holy Prophet (S) for a final visit. When the Bani Hashim attempted to carry out the last wishes of the Holy Imam (A), they were stopped by Ayesha and members of the Bani Umayyah, who thought that they wished to bury him next to his grandfather. Imam Husain (A) did not want bloodshed so he directed that the body be taken straight to Jannatul Baqee, where Imam Hasan (A) was buried next to his grandmother Fatima binte Asad. He was 48 years old when he was martyred.
When Ju'da came to Muawiya to claim her reward, he gave her the money, but refused to marry her to Yazid, declaring that a woman who could poison one husband would certainly not hesitate to poison another.
(This is) an account of the Imam after the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, the date of his birth, the evidence for his Imamates the period of his succession, the time of his death, and the place of his grave. (It also provides) a brief outline of the reports about him.
The Imam after the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, was his son al-Hasan, the son of the mistress of the women of the worlds, Fatima, daughter of Muhammad, the Lord of messengers, may God bless him and his pure family. (Al-Hasan's) kunya was Abu Muhammad. He was born in Medina, on the night of the middle day of the month of Ramadan, three years after the hijra (624).
His mother, Fatima, peace be on her, brought him to the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, on the seventh day in a silken shawl from Heaven, which Gabriel had brought down to the Prophet, may God bless him and his family. He named him Hasan and sacrificed a ram for him (in the ceremony of aqiqa).
[It is reported by a group (of authorities), including Ahmad b. Salih. al-Tamimi on the authority of Abd Allah b. Isa, on the authority of Jafar al-Sadiq b. Muhammad, peace be on him;]
Al-Hasan, peace be on him, was the most similar person to the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, in form, manner and nobility.
[It is reported by a group (of authorities), including Ma'mar, on the authority of al-Zuhri, on the authority of Anas b. Malik, who said:]
No one was more like the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, than al-Hasan b. Ali, peace be on them.
[Ibrahim b. Ali al-Rafi'i reported on the authority of his father, on the authority of his grandmother Zaynab, daughter of Abu Rafi' - and Shabib b. Abi Rafi' al-Rafi'i on the authority of those who told him - she said:]
Fatima, peace be on her, brought her two sons, al-Hasan and al- Husayn, peace be on them, to the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, at the time when he was suffering from the sickness from which he died.
“Apostle of God,” she said, “these are your two (grand) sons. Give them something as an inheritance.”
“As for al-Hasan,” he replied, “he has my form and my nobility. As for al-Husayn, he has my generosity and my bravery.”
Al-Hasan b. Ali, peace be on him, was the testamentary trustee (wasi) of the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, over his family, his children and his followers. He bequeathed him to look after his position and (the position of) his taxes (sadaqat) and he wrote him a covenant (of succession) which is well-known. His testamentary trusteeship is obvious in terms of the outlines of religion, the essential characteristic of wisdom and good-breeding. A great number of scholars have reported this trusteeship and many of the men of understanding have realised the truth of this through his (attitude to) the world.
When the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, died, al- Hasan addressed the people. He reminded them of his right (to authority). The followers of his father pledged allegiance to him in terms of fighting those he fought and making peace with those with whom he made peace.
[Abu Mikhnaf Lut b. Yahya al-Azdi reported: Ashath b. Suwar told me on the authority of Abu Ishaq al-Sabi'i and others, who said;]
Al-Hasan b. Ali, peace be on them, addressed the people towards dawn on the night in which the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, died. He praised and glorified God and blessed the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family. Then he said:
There has died tonight a man who was the first among the early (Muslims) in (good) actions. Nor did any later (Muslims) attain his level in (good) actions. He used to fight alongside the Apostle of God, may Allah bless him and his family, and protect him with his own life. The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, used to send him forward with his standard while Gabriel supported him on his right and Michael supported him on his left. He would not return until God brought victory through his hands.
He, peace be on him, has died on this the night on which Jesus, son of Mary, was taken up (to Heaven), on which Joshua, son of Nuh, the testamentary trustee (wasi) of Moses, peace be on him, died. He has left behind him no gold and silver except seven hundred dirhams of his stipend (ata'), with which he was intending to buy a servant for his family.
Then tears overcame him and he wept and the people wept with him.
Then he continued:
I am the (grand) son of the one who brought the good news. I am the (grand) son of the warner. I am the (grand) son of the man who, with God's permission, summoned (the people) to God. I am the (grand) son of the light which shone out (to the world) . I am of the House, from whom God has sent away abomination and whom God has purified thoroughly. I am of the House for whom God has required love in his Book, when God, the Most High, said: Say: I do not ask you for any reward except love for (my) kin. Whoever earns good, will increase good for himself [ XXXIII 33 ]. The good is love for us, the House.
Then he sat down.
Abd Allah b. al-Abbas, may God have mercy on him, arose in front of him and said:
People, this is the son of your Prophet, the testamentary trustee (wasi) of your Imam. So pledge allegiance to him.
The people answered him saying:
No one is more loved by us nor has anyone more right to succession (khilafa).
They rushed forward to pledge allegiance to him as successor. That was on Friday on the eleventh of the month of Ramadan in the year 40 A.H. (660). Then he assigned (the posts of) the tax collectors and he gave instructions to the governors (of the provinces). He sent Abd Allah b. al-Abbas to Basra. He took charge of all the matters.
When Mu'awiya b. Abi Sufyan learnt of the death of the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, and the people's pledge of allegiance to his son, al-Hasan, peace be on him, he sent a man of secretly to Kufa and a man from Banu al-Qayn to Basra. They were to write reports to him to undermine affairs for al-Hasan, peace be on him. Al-Hasan, peace be on him, learned of that. He ordered the Himyari to be brought out from among (the tribe) of Lakhm in Kufa. He had him brought out and executed. (Al-Hasan) wrote to al-Basra, ordering the Qayni to be brought out from among the Banu Sulaym. He was brought out and executed.
Then al-Hasan, peace be on him, wrote to Muawiya:
You sent men to use deception and to carry out assassinations and you sent out spies as if you want to meet (in battle). That is something which will soon happen so wait for it, if God wills. I have learnt that you have become haughty in a way that no wise man would become haughty. In that you are just as al-Awwal described:
Say to him who desires the contrary of the one who has died: Prepare for another like him, as if (from the same) root.
I and the one among us who has died are like the one who goes in the evening so that (the other) may come in the morning.
Muawiya replied to him with his letter, which there is no need to mention. There followed between him and al-Hasan, peace be on him, correspondences messages and disputes regarding the right of al- Hasan, peace be on him, to authority and the unlawful seizure of power of those who came before his father, peace be on him, and of Mu'awiya's attempt to strip the nephew of the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, from his authority and of their (the House's) right to it apart from them. (All these) matters would take too long to describe.
Muawiya set off towards Iraq. When he reached the bridge of Manbij, al-Hasan, peace be on him, reacted. He sent Hujr b. Adi to order the leaders of Amman to set out and to call the people together for war.
They were slow to (answer) him and then they came forward. (Al- Hasan) had a mixed band of men: some of them belonged to his Sh'ia and to his father's: some of them were members of the Muhakimma (i.e. Kharijites) who were influenced by (the desire of) fighting Muawiya with every means (possible); some of them were men who loved discords and were anxious for booty; some of them were doubters; others were tribal supporters who followed the leaders of their tribes without reference to religion.
He set off until he came to Hammam Umar, then he went on to Dayr Kab. He stopped at Sabat, just before the bridge and spent the night there. In the morning, he, peace be on him, wanted to test his followers and make their situation clear with regard to obedience to him, so that in that way he might be able to distinguish his friends from his enemies and be in a clear mind (about his position) to meet Mu'awiya and the Syrians. He ordered the call to be made:
The prayer is a general one (which all should attend) (al-salat jamia).
They gathered and he went up on the pulpit and addressed them. He said:
Praise belongs to God whenever a man praises Him. I testify that there is no god but God whenever a man testifies to Him. I testify that Muhammad is His servant and His apostle whom He sent with the truth and whom He entrusted with revelation, may God bless him and his family. By God, I hope that I shall always be with God's praise and kindness. I am the sincerest of God's creatures in giving advice to them.
I have not become one who bears malice to any Muslims nor one who wishes evil or misfortune tor him. Indeed what you dislike about unity (jama'a) is better for you than what you like about division. I see what is better for you better than you see for yourselves. Therefore do not oppose my commands and do not reject my judgement. May God forgive both me and you and may He guide me and you to that in which there is love and satisfaction.
The people began to look at one another and asked each other, “What do you think he intends by what he has just said?
“We think that he intends to make peace with Muawiya and hand over the authority to him” they answered.
“By Gods the man has become an unbelievers they declared and they rushed towards his tent. They plundered him to the extent that they even took his prayer mat from under him. Then Abd al- Rahman b. Abd Allah b. Ja'al al-Azdi set on him and stripped his silk cloak from his shoulder. He remained sitting, still girt with his sword but without his cloak. He called for his horse and mounted it. Groups of his close associates and his Shia surrounded him and kept those who wanted (to attack) him away from him. He said:
Summon (the tribes of) Rabia and Hamdan to me.
They were summoned to him and they surrounded him and defended him, peace be on him, from the people. A mixed group of others went with him (as well). When he was passing through the narrow pass of Sabat, a man of Banu Asad called al-Jarrah b. Sinan caught hold of the reins of his mule. He had an axe in his hand. He cried:
God is greater (Allaku akbar)! You have become a polytheist, Hasan, just like your father became a polytheist before.
Then he stabbed him in the thigh. It penetrated right through to the bone. He seized (al-Hasan) by the neck and they both fell to the ground. A man from al-Hasan's Shi'a called Abd Allah b. Khatal al- Tai; pulled the axe away from his hand and struck him with it in the stomach. Another man called Zubyan b. Umara attacked him, struck him upon the nose and killed him. Another man who had been with (al-Jarrah) was caught and killed.
Al-Hasan, peace be on him, was carried on a stretcher to al- Mada'in where he was lodged with Sa'd b. Masud al-Thaqafi. The latter was the governor of (Ali), the commander of the faithful, peace be on him, there and al-Hasan had confirmed him in that position.
Al-Hasan, peace be on him, was distracted by his own (discomfort) and with treating his wound. (In the meantime) a group of the tribal leaders wrote secretly to Mu'awiya offering to accept his authority (lit. to listen and obey). They urged him to come to them and they guaranteed to hand over al-Hasan, peace be on him, when they got to his camp, or to kill him treacherously.
Al-Hasan, peace be on him, learnt of that when a letter came to him from Qays b. Sa'd, may God be pleased with him. He had sent Qays with Ubayd Allah b. Abbas (to go on ahead) when he had set out from Kufa to meet Muawiya and to drive him out of Iraq, and make himself a commander of a unified people (jama'a). He had said to Ubayd Allah:
If you are struck down, then the commander will be Qays b. Sad.
Qays b. Sad's letter arrived informing him that they had stopped Muawiya at a village called al-Habubiyya opposite Maskan. Then Muawiya 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) Muawiya's camp. In the morning the people found their leader missing. Qays b. Sa'd, may God be pleased with him, 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 property. There remained no one to protect him from his unfortunate predicament except the close associates from his father's Shia and his own Shia, and they were a group which could not resist the Syrian soldiers.
Muawiya wrote to him about a truce and peace treaty. He also sent him the 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 fulfilment everybody's interests would be served. Al-Hasan, peace be on him, 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.
Therefore he, peace be on him, bound himself (in a treaty) with Muawiya as a result of the confirmation of the proof (of his situation) and with the excuses before God, the Most High, and all the Muslims, of what had taken place among them. He stipulated:
That the cursing of the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, should be abandoned and the practice of using the personal prayer (qunut) in the formal prayer (salat) (as prayer) against him should be set aside;
That his Shia, may God be pleased with them, should be given security and that none of them should be exposed to any evil; That each of them who had certain rights should attain those rights.
Muawiya accepted all that and made a treaty with him to observe that. He swore to him that he would fulfil it. When the truce had been concluded, Muawiya went on until he reached al-Nukhayla. That was on a Friday; he prayed the mid-morning prayer (duha al nahar) with the people, and he addressed them. In his address, he Said
By God, I have not fought against you to make you pray, nor to fast, nor to make the pilgrimage, nor to pay zakat. Indeed you do that (already). I fought so that I might have power over you and God has given that to me when you were reluctant to (obey) Him. Indeed I have been requested by al-Hasan, peace be on him, (to give him) things and I have given things to him. All of them are now under my foot. And from now on I will not fulfil anything.
Then he went on until he entered Kufa. He resided there for several days. When the pledge of allegiance by its inhabitants had to be carried out, he went up on the pulpit and addressed the people. He mentioned the commander of the faithful, peace be on him, and that he had taken from him and from al-Hasan, peace be on him, what he had taken.
Al-Hasan and al-Husayn, peace be on them, were present. Al- Husayn, peace be on him, rose to reply but al-Hasan, peace be on him, took him by the hand and made him sit down. Then he, himself, (al-Hasan) arose and spoke:
O you who mention Ali, I am al-Hasan and Ali was my father. You are Muawiya and your father was Sakhr (Abu Sufyan). My mother was Fatima and your mother was Hind. My grand father was the Apostle of God and your grandfather was Harb. My grandmother was Khadija and your grandmother was Futayla. May God curse him who tries to reduce our reputation and to diminish our nobility, who does evil against our antiquity and yet who has been ahead of us in unbelief and hypocrisy.
Groups of the people in the mosque shouted out: “Amen, Amen”
When the peace between al-Hasan, peace be on him, and Muawiya was concluded in the way we have mentioned, al-Hasan, peace be on him, left for Medina. He resided there, restraining his anger, staying close to his house, and awaiting the command of his Lord, the Mighty and High, until Muawiya had completed ten years of his administration. (Then) the latter decided to have the pledge of allegiance given to his son, Yazid, (as his successor).
He communicated secretly with Ju'da, daughter of al-Ash'ath b. Qays- she was the wife of al-Hasan, peace be on him - to urge her to poison him. He gave an undertaking to her that he would marry her to his son, Yazid, and he sent her a hundred thousand dirhams. Juda gave him the poison to drink but he lingered on sick for forty days. He passed along his (final) road in the month of Safar in the year 50 A. H. (670).
At that time, he was forty-eight years of age. His succession (to the Imamate) had been for ten years. His brother and testamentary trustee (wasp), al-Husayn, peace be on him, undertook the washing and shrouding of his body, and buried him with his grand mother, Fatima, daughter of Asad b. Hashim b. Abd Manaf, may God be pleased with her, in (the cemetery) of al Baqi.
Reports of the Cause of the Death of al-Hasan, Peace be on him, and of Mu'awiya Poisoning him, the Story of his Burial and the Actions and Statements Concerning that.
[Isa b. Mihran reported: Ubayd Allah b. al-Sabb'ah told us: Jarir told us on the authority of Mughira, who said:]
Muawiya sent to Juda daughter of al-Ashath b. Qays:
I will arrange for you to marry my son, Yazid, on condition that you poison al-Hasan.
He also, sent her a hundred thousand dirhams.
She did that: she poisoned al-Hasan, peace be on him. (Mu'awiya) gave her the money but did not marry her to Yazid. Instead he gave her a man from the family of Talha as a substitute. The latter gave her children. Whenever any argument occurred between them and the clans of Quraysh, they would revile them saying:
Sons of a woman who poisons her husbands.
[Isa b. Mihran reported: 'Uthman b. Umar told me Ibn Awn told us on the authority ot 'Umar b. lshaq, who said.]
I was with al-Hasan and al-Husayn, peace be on them, in the house. Al-Hasan, peace be on him, came in from outside and then went out again. He said:
I have been given poison to drink several times but I have never been given poison like this. A bit of my liver has come out of my mouth and I began to turn it over with a stick I had.
Who gave you the poison to drink, al-Husayn, peace be on him, asked him, and what do you want for him? Do you want him killed? If he may remain as he is, then God will be more terrible in His vengeance than you. It he may not remain as he is, then I should like to be free of any blame.
[ Abd Allah b. Ibrahim reported on the authority of Ziyad al- Makhariqi, who said:]
When death was close to al-Hasan, peace he on him, he summoned al-Husayn, peace be on him, and said.
My brother, I am leaving you and joining my Lord. I have been given poison to drink and have spewed my liver into a basin. I am aware of the person who poisoned me and from where I have been made a subject to this deceitful action. I will oppose him before God, the Mighty and High. Therefore by the right I have with regard to you, say nothing about that and wait for what God, the Mighty and High, will decide concerning me.
When I have died, shut my eyes, wash me and shroud me. Then carry me on my bier to the grave of my grandfather, the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, so that I may renew my covenant with him. After that take me to the grave of my grandmother, Fatima daughter of Asad, may God be pleased with her, and bury me there.
My brother, the people will think that you intend to bury me with the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family. For that reason, they will gather to prevent you from doing it. I swear by God that you should not shed even your blood into the cupping-glass in (carrying out) my command.
Then he made his testamentary bequests to his family and his children. (He gave him) his heirlooms and the things which the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, had bequeathed to him when he had made him his successor, had declared him worthy to occupy his position, and had indicated to his Shia that he was his successor, and set him up as their sign-post after himself.
When he passed on his (final) journey, al-Husayn, peace be on him, washed and shrouded his (body). Then he carried him on his bier. Marwan and those of the Banu Umayya who were with him had no doubt that they would try to bury him beside the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family. They gathered together and armed themselves. When al-Husayn, peace be on him, approached the tomb of the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, with (the body of al-Hasan) so that he might renew his covenant with him, they came towards them with their group. 'A'isha had joined them on a mule and she was saying:
What is there between you and me that you should allow someone I don't want to, to enter my house?
Marwan began to recite:
O Lord, battle is better than ease.
(Then he went on:)
Should Uthman be buried in the outskirts of Medina and al-Hasan be buried alongside the Prophet, may God bless him and his family? That will never be while I carry a sword.
Discord was about to occur between the Banu Umayya and the Banu Hashim. Ibn 'Abbas hurried to Marwan and said to him;
Go back to where you came from, Marwan. Indeed we do not intend to bury our companion with the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family. But we want him to be able to renew his covenant with him by visiting him. Then we will take him back to his grandmother, Fatima, and bury him alongside her according to his last instructions concerning that. If he had enjoined that he should be buried alongside the Prophet, may God bless him and his family, you know that you would be the least able to deter us from that. However, he, peace be on him, was much too aware of God and His Apostle and the sacredness of his tomb to bring bloodshed to it as others have done (who) have entered it without his permission.
Then he went to A'isha and said to her:
What mischief you bring about, one day on a mule and one day on a camel! Do you want to extinguish the light of God and fight the friends (awliya') of God? Go Back ! You have been given assurance against what you fear and have learned what you wanted (to know). By God, victory will come to this House, even if it is after some time.
Al-Husayn, peace be on him, said:
By God, if there had been no injunction to me from al-Hasan, peace be on him, to prevent bloodshed and that I should not even pour blood into a cupping-glass in (carrying out) his command, you would have known how the swords of God would have taken their toll from you, you have broken the agreement which was made between you and us, you have ignored the conditions which we made with him for ourselves.
Then they went on with (the body of) al-Hasan, peace be on him, and they buried him in (the cemetery of) al-Baqi' beside his grandmother, Fatima daughter of Asad b. Hashim b. 'Abd Manaf, may God be pleased with her.