- Al-Hasan Ibn 'Ali al-Mujtaba
- ( Peace be Upon him )
- Name: al-Hasan.
- Title: al-Mujtaba.
Agnomen: Abu Muhammad.
Father's name: 'All Amir al-Mu'minin.
Mother's name: Fatimah (daughter of the Holy Prophet).
Birth: In Medina on Tuesday, 15th Ramadan 3 AH.
Death: Died at the age of 46, in Medina on Thursday, 28th Safar 50 AH; buried in Jannatu
'I-Baqi, in Medina.
- Imam Hasan was the eldest son of Imam 'Ali
and Hadrat Fatimah. When the Holy Prophet received the happy news of the birth of his
grandson, he came to the house of his beloved daughter, took the newly born child in his
arms, recited adhan and iqamah in his right and left ears respectively, and in compliance
with Allah's command named him al-Hasan.
- * * *
- The first phase of seven years of his
infancy was blessed with the gracious patronage of the Holy Prophet, who gifted him all
his great qualities and adorned him with Divine knowledge, tolerance, intelligence, bounty
and valour. Being infallible by birth and decorated with heavenly knowledge by Allah, his
insight had an access to al-lawhu'I-mahfuz ( the Guarded Tablet on which the transactions
of mankind have been written by Allah for all eternity). The Holy Imam immediately became
conversant with all the contents of any wahy (Qur'anic verses) revealed when the Holy
Prophet would disclose it to his associates. To the great surprise of the Holy Prophet,
Hadrat Fatimah would often recite the exact text of a newly revealed wahy before he
disclosed it personally to her. When he inquired, she would inform him that it was Hasan
through whom she had learned the Revelation.
- * * *
- Remembrance of Allah:
- The Holy Imam devoted himself to prayers in
such abundance, that all the limbs employed in prostration bore scars and impressions of
his Sajdah (prostration). Most of the nights were spent on the prayer-carpet. The sense of
his absorption and humiliation in prayers to Allah were in such earnest that he would shed
tears profusely out of fear of Allah. While performing ablution, he trembled with the fear
of Allah and his face grew pale at the time of prayers. His earnest meditation in the
offering of prayers and his extreme absorption in communion with Allah would render him
entirely unconscious of his environments.
- * * *
- His Piousness and Contentment:
- Imam Hasan had the worldly possessions at
his disposal and could have well enjoyed a luxurious life, but he utilized all of it in
the betterment of the condition of the poor. He was so courteous and humble that he never
hesitated to sit along with the beggars in the lanes and on the thoroughfares of Medina to
reply to some of their religious queries. Through his cordial attitude and hospitality he
never let the poor and the humble feel inferior to him when they visited his abode.
- * * *
- The demise of the Holy Prophet was followed
by an eventful era when the Islamic world (under the false ruling bodies) came in the grip
of the fever of expansionism and conquest. But even under such a revolutionary phase, Imam
Hasan kept devoting himself to the sacred mission of peacefully propagating Islam and the
teachings of the Holy Prophet along with his great father Imam 'Ali. The martyrdom of Imam
'All on the 21st Ramadan marked the inception of Imam Hasan's Imamate. The majority of
Muslims pledged their allegiance to him and finalized the formality of bay'ah (oath of
allegiance). No sooner had he taken the reins of leadership into his hands than he had to
meet the challenge of Mu'awiyah, the Governor of Syria, who declared a war against him. In
compliance with the Will of Allah and with a view to refrain from causing the massacre of
Muslims however, he entered into a piece treaty with Mu'awiyah on terms (though not
totally respected and carried out by Mu'awiyah), yet saved Islam and stopped a civil war.
But this peace treaty was never meant as a surrender by him of the permanent leadership to
Mu'awiyah. It was meant only as an interim transfer of the administration of the Islamic
kingdom, subject to the condition that the ad- ministration would be surrendered back to
Imam Hasan after Mu'awiyah's death and then it would in turn be inherited by Imam Husayn.
Having relieved himself of the administrative responsibilities, Imam Hasan kept the
religious leadership with himself and devoted his life to the propagation of Islam and the
teachings of the Holy Prophet in Medina.
- * * *
- Mu'awiyah's malice against Imam Hasan led
him to conspire with the Imam's wife Ja'dah, the daughter of Ash'ath. She was made to give
the Imam some poison which affected his liver. Imam Hasan thus succumbed to Mu'awiyah's
fatal mischief and attained his martyrdom on 28th Safar 50 AH. His funeral was attended by
Imam Husayn and the members of the Hashimite family. His bier while being taken for burial
to the Holy Prophet's tomb was shot at with arrows by his enemies, (under direct
supervision and consent of 'A'ishah), and it had to be diverted for burial to the Jannatu
'I-Baq;' at Medina. His tomb was demolished along with others on 8th Shawwal 1344 (21st
April 1926) by the Saudi rulers when they came to power in .Hijaz. The terms of the peace
treaty were soon violated, but earned only a short-lived glory for Mu'awiyah. Its
aftermath proved disastrous and doomed the fate of his son Yzid and dealt a fatal blow to
the entire family of Umayyads. After the death of Mu'awiyah, Imam Husayn emerged as the
insurmountable mountain of truth and determination. In the gruesome tragedy of Karbala',
by sheer force of numbers, and by isolating the seventy-two members of Imam Husayn' s
party and stopping them from even getting water to drink for three days, Yazid succeeded
in annihilating the seventy-two persons including members of the Imam's family who were
with him. This dastardly success of Yazid was, however, short-lived. The Muslims turned
against him on learning of the heinous act he had committed and this resulted in the
downfall of Yazid and the extinction of the Umayyad power from the face of the earth.
- * * *
- Allamah Tabatabai writes:
- Imam Hasan Mujtaba, upon whom be peace, was
the second Imam. He and his brother Imam Husayn were the two sons of Amir al-Mu'minin 'Ali
and Hadrat Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet. Many times the Prophet had said,
"Hasan and Husayn are my children." Because of these same words 'Ali would say
to his other children, "You are my children and Hasan and Husayn are the children of
the Prophet." Imam Hasan was born in the year 3 AH, 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 Hadrat Fatimah, Hasan was placed directly under the
care of his noble father. After the death of his father, through Divine Command and
according to the will of his father, Imam Hasan became Imam; he also occupied the outward
function of caliph for about six months, during which time he administered the affairs of
- During that time Mu'awiyah, who was a bitter
enemy of 'Ali and his family and had fought for years with the ambition of capturing the
caliphate, first on the pretext of avenging the death of the third caliph and finally with
an open claim to the caliphate, marched his army to Iraq, the seat of Imam Hasan's
caliphate. War ensued during which Mu'awiyah gradually subverted the generals and
commanders of Imam Hasan' s army with large sums of money and deceiving promises until the
army rebelled against Imam Hasan. Finally, the Imam was forced to make peace and to yield
the caliphate to Mu'awiyah, provided it would again return to Imam Hasan after Mu'awiyah's
death and the Imam's Household and partisans would be protected in every way. In this way
Mu'awiyah captured the Islamic caliphate and entered Iraq. In a public speech he
officially made null and void all the peace conditions and in every way possible placed
the severest pressure upon the members of the Household of the Prophet and the Shi'ah.
- During all the ten years of his Imamate,
Imam Hasan lived in conditions of extreme hardship and under persecution, with no security
even in his own house. In the year 50 AH, he was poisoned and martyred by one of his own
House- hold who, as has been accounted by historians, had been motivated by Mu'awiyah. In
human perfection Imam Hasan was reminiscent of his father and a perfect example of his
noble grand- father. 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 Shl'ite sources have transmitted this saying of the Holy Prophet concerning
Hasan and Husayn: "These two children of mine are Imams (leaders) whether they stand
up or sit down" ( allusion to whether they occupy the external function of caliphate
or not). Also, there are many traditions of the Holy Prophet and 'Al concerning the fact
that Imam Hasan would gain the function of Imamate after his noble father. (Shi'ite
- Imam al-Hasan ibn 'Ali', peace be on him,
- If you fail to obtain something of worldly
benefit, take it as if the thought of it had never crossed your mind at all.
- Never did a nation resort to mutual counsel
except that they were guided by it towards maturity.
- It is love which brings closer those who are
remote by ancestry, and it is (the absence of) love which causes dissociation between
those who are related by ancestry.
- Opportunity is something which is quick to
vanish and late to return.
- * * *
- (A Brief History of The Fourteen Infallibles, p.