Sulh al-Hasan

Sulh al-Hasan

The Peace Treaty of al-Hasan (a)

Outstanding work on the difficult situation that faced Imam al-Hasan (a) during his Imamate, and the events and political attitudes that led to peacemaking, as well as the unfair accusations made against him.

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Important notice: In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful The Ahlul Bayt DILP team wishes to inform the readers of some important points regarding this digitized text, which represents the English translation of an arabic book that deals with an important topic. Although no one can doubt the best intentions of the translator and the publishers in making this title accessible to the English speaking world, the editing and digitization process of this book has revealed the following points: - the quality of the translation is lacking in many respects. The DILP team has taken the liberty of making some grammatical corrections to make the text more readable and less ambiguous. In many places the meaning of the sentences was so unclear that it was not possible for them to be improved. - Various spelling mistakes and typos have been corrected. - An attempt has been made to improve the highly non-standard use of transliteration of arabic names and terms. - Very occasionally, comments in square brackets are inserted representing corrections of erroneous statements. It must be noted that this is not a complete overhaul of the translation, that being outside the scope and expertise of our team. Further, no comparison to the original arabic text has been made. Users who wish to see the translation as it was published must refer to the printed copies available in bookshops. Those who understand arabic are advised to refer directly to the original book in that language. In summary, this online text is not exactly as translated by its translator. It has undergone changes which we hope are improvements. However, they are not comprehensive and we realize that they are not the solution to the challenge of having good quality English translations. We hope that our decision to present this translation online, in its amended form, along with this notice would help achieve three objectives: One: allow a world audience to benefit from a scholarly and important book by a notable scholar Two: alert this world audience that this translation is deficient and our efforts at correction are but a humble contribution towards the goal of having access to quality Islamic literature in English. Three: highlight the fact that unless translations of important books are carried out professionally from the beginning, they have the potential to mislead and belittle the worth of the great original books and their authors that they aim to represent in translation.

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Publisher's Preface

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

This valuable book, Sulh al-Hasan, is, among the works of the great Shaykh Radi Al-Yasin. It is also among the important writings on the subject. So we may say that it is matchless. Worth mentioning, writing about such a subject, Sulh al-Hasan (peace be on him) is among the difficult matters. That is because the time of Imam al-Hasan, Peace be on him, is among the vaguest periods in the history of Islam.

In other words it is difficult to get the facts about the events as they had happened. Meanwhile they are in need of much studying and researching. Thank Allah. The great researcher Shaykh Radi Al-Yasin was granted success in making important researches and studies about this topic. Thus he has left behind this immortal work. It is an act of pride that we were granted permission to translate, to print and to distribute it.

That is because Muslims are in urgent need of it. In the meantime Muslim libraries are empty of it. After a period of effort and fatigue, we were able to publish the book before you to help the seeker of knowledge and truth to make use of it.

Noteworthy, Sayyid 'Ali Khamana'i, leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, had translated the book, Sulh al-Hasan, from Arabic into Persian before the revolution. The book was translated and printed in an excellent manner. So Persian speakers have made use of it.

We ask Allah, the Most High, to grant us success to render more services. Meanwhile we ask the gentle reader to show his/her suggestions about the book. Indeed success is from Allah.

Introduction

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

The Peace Treaty of al-Hasan, peace be on him, with Mu`awiya was among the most difficult problems from which the Imams of the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt) suffered. This is because the Muslim community after Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, criticized them very much.

Because of this Peace Treaty, al-Hasan, peace be on him, faced unbearable adversities. No one was able to bear those adversities but with the help of Allah, the Great and Almighty. Anyhow, al-Hasan bore them with patience to seek Allah's pleasure. He passed them successfully. For he wanted to be loyal to Allah, the Exalted, His Book, His Apostle, and all Muslims. So all his words and deeds were honest.

Those who have accused al-Hasan, peace be on him, of inclining to rest through his Peace Treaty with Mu'awiya are not important, nor are his Shi'a (followers). Enthusiasm has motivated them. Thus they said that al-Hasan should have fought against Mu'awiya. He had to reach life through the way of death. Besides he had to win victory and conquest in the way that his brother (al-Husayn) adopted at the Battle of Karbala', when he won a glorious victory and a clear conquest.

It is strange that the people have not understood the Peace Treaty of al-Hasan since then. In other words no one has explained his viewpoint with traditional and logical proofs. I (i.e., Sayyid Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din) had tried to achieve this task. However, Allah, the Great and Almighty, had decreed to single out the author of this new book, namely `Sulh al-Hasan,' to accomplish this task instead of me. In his book, the author has shown a sound judgment, detailed correctness, and a separating limit between the truth and falsehood.

I (i.e., Sayyid Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din) have studied the outstanding chapters of the book. So I have understood that they (the chapters) represent the outstanding merit of their noble, righteous author. For they are similar to each other in study, exactness, moderation, plain explanation, proof, floweriness, observation, the piety of quoting, good debates, and the appropriate comprehension of the subjects. Also they are similar to each other in the simple style, the logical coherence, the eloquent conciseness, and the accepted wordiness.

So the book has been controlled by an organizing, creative mind that is regarded as a proof. For, in it, the style matches comprehension, and clarity matches deep understanding. In other words these are the elements of analytic criticism.

As for the author, may Allah promote his rank; you can conclude his qualities from his abilities in this book. Although you have not seen the author, you can draw his picture when you read his features in this book. For it shows you that the author has a clear beginning. He has a bright face. He has sweet words, a good temper, good-heartedness, clemency, great mind, plentiful knowledge, many reports, art writings, good hints, and nice metonymies, and wonderful metaphors. Also this book shows you that wisdom manifests itself through his good words and deeds.

You cannot find a person whose manners are better than his. The author has a lot of information about the sciences of the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family. He is a scholar and researcher. He has deeply studied the secrets of the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family. So he has discovered their secrets. Nothing has escaped him because of his outstanding qualities that his book represents clearly.

Whoever considers the contents of the book carefully, namely Mu'awiya's and al Hasan's conditions, knows that they (Mu'awiya and al-Hasan were two caliphs with two different manners. As for the manners of al-Hasan, they are the manners of the Qur'an and of the Sunnah (the Prophet's words and deeds). In other words they are the manners of the Prophet Muhammad and of Imam 'Ali. As for the manners of Mu'awiya, they are the manners of the Umayyads. Namely they were the manners of Abu Sufyan and of Hind.

Whoever wants to study in detail the history of the two families (the family of Muhammad and of Mu'awiya), will know their different manners.

When Islam came, Allah helped His Servant and Apostle to achieve that clear conquest and to win that glorious victory. So the Umayyad's wicked intentions disappeared.

Then Abu Sufyan, his sons, and his relatives were forced to surrender in order to spare their blood. For if they had not surrendered, their blood would have been shed. So they embraced Islam as the people did, while their hearts were full of malice. So they waited for an opportunity to carry out their wicked plans against Muhammad and his family. Though Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, was acquainted with their attitude, he treated them kindly in order to reform them.

The Prophet's kind treatment towards Abu Sufyan, his son, and his relatives compelled them to hide their enmity towards him. That is because they were afraid of him and eager for money. So after the coming of Islam, the people were about to forget the Umayyads even in their narrow homeland, namely Mecca.

As for the battles of conquest after Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, the people knew nothing about the Umayyads. They only knew that they belonged to the Prophet's family and his Companions.

Then, after the Prophet, some people, who did not belong to the Prophet's family, were able to take the reins of power. So under their shade, Mu'awiya became the greatest of all the governors in power, words, and deeds.

At that time Mu'awiya used his cleverness to make Islam a bridge to cross to power. To corrupt Allah's religion, to enslave His creatures, and to waste the Public treasury. Allah's Apostle told the Muslims about these deeds of Mu'awiya. These deeds occurred as the Prophet said. So they were among the signs of his Prophethood.

Mu'awiya became active during the time of the second and third Caliphs. For they made him a governor over Sham (Syria) for twenty years. So he was able to control the organs of government strongly. In the meantime he fed and bribed the people of Sham (Syria). So they were his supporters there. Accordingly, he was a danger against Islam. For the people knew that he was from Quraysh (the family of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family), and that he was among the Companions of the Prophet. These qualities made him more famous than the foremost Companions, such as Abu Dharr, `Ammar, al-Miqdad, and the like with whom Allah was pleased, and who were pleased with Him.

In this manner the Umayyads came to power again. They began competing with the Hashimites using their name openly. Still they (the Umayyads) plotted against them secretly. They (the Umayyads) seized the opportunity to deceive the common people with their cunning. In the meantime they bought the prominent people. They showered them with the money that belonged to the common people. Also they gave them positions paying no attention to Allah's will. That is because Allah refused to give such positions to the traitors like them. They took advantage of the conditions of the conquest and the pleasure of the Caliphs with them.

When the Umayyads took the reins of power through Mu'awiya's cunning, they followed satanic methods to corrupt the religious commandments. For they wanted the Muslim community to lead the pre- Islamic lifestyle that was full of recklessness and atheism. To achieve their interests through such kind of lifestyle, the Umayyads adopted a pagan method and a utilitarian plan.

However, all people did not understand the pagan method and the utilitarian plan of the Umayyads. For they adopted an Islamic rule that says: "Islam abolishes what had been before it." Thus Islam concealed the atrocities of the Umayyads. Moreover, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, forgave them and treated them kindly. The Caliphs took them as close companions, made them governors over Muslims, and gave them powers of which no governor had. So the Umayyads applied their policy to Sham (Syria) for twenty years.

However, they did not refrain from committing ugly acts, nor did they prevent other people from doing them.

The Second Caliph (i.e., `Umar) kept an eye on his governors. He punished them severely. For example, he punished Khalid b. (bin) al-Walid, who was his governor over Qansarin. When he heard that the latter gave al-Ash'ath ten thousand dirhams, he ordered Bilal al-Habashi to tie him with his turban. Then he (the Second Caliph) made Khalid stop before him on one leg and without a turban. He punished him before the political leaders and the prominent figures at al-Masjid al-Jami` in Hams. Then he began to ask him about the ten thousand dirhams and whether they belonged to the public treasury or to his own property. If the ten thousand dirhams had belonged to his own property, then it would have been an act of extravagance. For Allah does not love the extravagant. If the ten thousand dirhams had belonged to the public treasury, then it would have been an act of treason. For Allah does not love the traitors. Then the Second Caliph removed Khalid from office forever.

The Second Caliph summoned Abu Hurayra and said to him: "You know that I have made you a governor over Bahrain, while you had no sandals. Now, I have heard that you sold some horses for a thousand and six hundred dinars." Abu Hurayra said: "We had some horses and they reproduced. We received gifts one by one." The Second Caliph said: "I have fixed your livelihood and provisions. This is an addition. You should pay it." Abu Hurayra said: "This addition does not belong to you." The Second Caliph said: "Pay it; otherwise I will hurt your back." Then he (i.e., the Second Caliph) stood up and whipped Abu Hurayra on the head till he bled. Then he said: "Fetch it (i.e., the addition)." Abu Hurayra said: "Sacrifice it in anticipation of Allah's reward." The Second Caliph said: "That would be right if you took it (the addition) legally and paid it with obedience. Do you not know that the people collect money even from the remotest stone of Bahrain?. Does this money belong to you or does it belong to Allah and the people?"

In this connection Abu Hurayra said: "When `Umar removed me from Bahrain, he said to me: `Enemy of Allah and enemy of His Book, you have stolen the money of Allah!' So I said: `I am not the enemy of Allah, nor am I the enemy of His Book. Rather I am the enemy of your enemies. I have not stolen the money of Allah.' He (`Umar) said: `From where have you brought this ten thousand dirhams?' So I (i.e., Abu Hurayra) said: `Some horses reproduced, gifts came one by one, and shares came regularly.'" He (i.e., Abu Hurayra) said: "So he (`Umar) took it (the ten thousand dirhams) from me."

`Umar treated his governors as he treated Khalid b. al-Walid and Abu Hurayra. Those who have studied `Umar's policy knows his treatment towards his governors. For example, he dismissed Abu Musa al-Ash'ari, Quddama b. Maz'un, al-Harith b. Wahab, and one of the sons of Layth b. Bakr 1 after he had divided the money among them.

This was the policy of `Umar towards his governors. In other words he treated them severely. However, Mu'awiya was his close companion though he was opposed to his policy. `Umar did not prevent Mu'awiya from doing anything, nor did he punish him for doing ugly deeds. Rather he said to him: "I do not order you, nor do I prevent you." Besides he let him do according to his viewpoint.

This treatment of `Umar made Mu'awiya a tyrant and encouraged him to carry out his Umayyad plans. So al-Hasan and al-Husayn were in danger because of Mu'awiya's cunning. Islam was also in danger because he spared no effort to destroy it in the name of Islam and to put out the light of the truth with the name of the truth. Accordingly, to remove Mu'awiya's danger, al-Hasan and al-Husayn were before two choices: either to resist Mu'awiya or to surrender to him.

As for the resistance under the leadership of al-Hasan, they thought that it would certainly destroy those who protected the religion and its followers. Also it would destroy those who guided people to Allah, the Great and Almighty, and to His straight path. On the other hand, his brother al-Husayn sacrificed his life at the Battle of Karbala'. He gathered the Hashimites and their followers. He waged war against the strong Umayyads. If al-Hasan had sacrificed his life in this manner, the battle would have resulted in killing them all.2

Namely the Umayyads would have gained a victory over them and achieved their hopes and desires. If al-Hasan and his followers had been killed, the Umayyads would be the only rulers over the Muslim community. So al-Hasan, far be it from him, would fall into what he escaped from in the worst manner. Also his sacrifice would have no effect on the public opinion except blame and refute. 3

From here al-Hasan, peace be on him, decided to leave Mu'awiya play with his tyranny and to test him with authority. However, al Hasan obligated Mu'awiya to conform to the Qur'an and the Sunna (the Prophet's words and acts). Also he obligated him not to punish the Shi'a for a certain mistake they had done towards the Umayyads, to respect them, and to give them their rights fully like the other Muslims. Besides al-Hasan obligated Mu'awiya to carry out other conditions though he knew that the latter would not fulfill his promise or would do the opposite.4

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, made these conditions to show the people the artificial qualities of the Umayyads and to show them the false aspects of Mu'awiya. In other words al-Hasan wanted to show the people that Mu'awiya and the Umayyads were ignorant, far away from the true Islam, and full of spites. Though Islam treated them (the Umayyads) kindly, they remembered their defeats at the battles of Badr, `Uhud, and al-Ahzab (the allies).

Generally speaking, al-Hasan planned to create a stormy revolution through that necessary Peace Treaty. He made peace with Mu'awiya because of his critical circumstances: the people at that time were not able to distinguish between right and wrong, and the tyrants strongly controlled authority.

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, did not start this plan, nor did he end it. Rather he took it from his grandfather, and then his grandsons adopted it. He, like the other Imams, wanted to guide the people through his deeds. Allah tested him with this plan. So he (al-Hasan) yielded to it patiently to obtain Allah's pleasure. Then he passed the Divine test successfully.

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, learned this plan from the peace treaty of al-Hudaybiya. Namely, he learned it from the policy of his grandfather (Prophet Muhammad), may Allah bless him and his family. In other words he followed the good example of his grandfather. Still some of his prominent companions and followers criticized him for the Peace Treaty he made with Mu'awiya. However, he (al-Hasan) was indifferent to their criticism.

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, made this plan (Peace Treaty). He wanted it to be an example for his brother al-Husayn, the Lord of the youth of Paradise, and the nine Imams after him. So the nine Imams based their wise policy on al-Hasan's successful plan during their critical conditions. Accordingly, al-Hasan's plan was a part of the Hashimite policy. He and the other Imams adopted it to support the truth, not to win victory for their own selves.

This Peace Treaty paved the way for al-Hasan, peace be on him, to ambush Mu'awiya through his own soldiers and to kill him while he did not know. Also the Peace Treaty helped al-Hasan to turn the victory of the Umayyads into a mutiny against them.

Immediately after the Peace Treaty, the signs of the mutiny against Mu'awiya started. For example, the Iraqis rebelled against him. So he addressed them, saying: "Iraqis, by Allah, I have not fought against you to make you pray, nor to fast, nor to pay alms (zakat) nor to perform the hajj. Rather I have fought against you to be a ruler over you. Allah has given me that (authority), while you are reluctant to (it). I have put the Peace Treaty with al-Hasan b. 'Ali under my two feet."

When the people pledged allegiance to Mu'awiya, he delivered a speech. During his speech, he mentioned Imam 'Ali and al-Hasan to defame them. So al-Husayn rose to reply. However, al-Hasan said to al-Husayn: "Brother, slowly!" Then al-Hasan, peace be on him, stood up and spoke: "You who mentioned 'Ali, I am al-Hasan and 'Ali was my father. You are Mu'awiya and your father was Sakhr. My mother was Fatima and your mother was Hind. My grandfather was Allah's Apostle and your grandfather was Harb. My grandmother was Khadija and your grandmother was Futayla. May Allah curse him who is inferior to us in fame and ancestry, and who is the oldest one in evil, unbelief, and hypocrisy." So some groups of those who were present in the mosque said: "Amen!"

Then Mu'awiya adopted a certain policy to oppose the Qur'an and the Sunna (the Prophet's practice). For example, he did not prevent people from doing evil deeds. He killed the righteous, disgraced the good ones, stole money, imprisoned the noble, and made the reformers homeless. Moreover, he supported the corrupt persons and made them his ministers such as b. al-`As, b. Shu'ba, b. Said, b. Artat, b. Jundub, b. al-Samt, b. al-Hakam, b. Marjana, b. 'Aqaba, and b. Sumayya. It is worth mentioning that Mu'awiya separated b. Sumayya from his legitimate father. So b. Sumayya became Mu'awiya's brother. Then Mu'awiya appointed b. Sumayya a governor over the Shi'a in Iraq. He (i.e., b. Sumayya) killed their children, enslaved their women, sowed division among them, burnt their houses, and stole their money. Generally speaking, he did his best to persecute them.

Mu'awiya ended off his abominable acts with appointing his corrupt son Yazid a ruler over Muslims. Yazid the corrupt spared no effort to destroy the religion of Muslims and to spoil their life in this world. For example, he killed al-Husayn, peace be on him, and his companions at the Battle of Karbala'. At the Battle of al-Hurra, he ordered Muslim b. 'Aqaba to ravage Medina for three days. Moreover, he ordered the commander of his army to use mangonels to throw fires and stones at Mecca.

This was the end of the deeds of Mu'awiya. This end was quite appropriate for the beginning of his black acts.

Between the beginning and the end, adversities doubled, misfortunes occurred, and ordeals overcrowded. I (Sayyid Abd al Husayn Sharaf al-Din) do not know how that time contained such adversities, misfortunes, and ordeals. I do not know how that society endured them. For if they were distributed throughout a time, the time would not contain them. If they were distributed all over a world, the world would become an unbearable inferno.

However, the events occurred to explain al-Hasan's plan. They showed the people that the Umayyads were wicked. Also they showed them that al-Hasan wanted to prevent the Umayyads from destroying the message of his grandfather.

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, was able to disclose the evil intentions of the Umayyads with his plan. So the Umayyads were overthrown, praise be to Allah.

With his plan, al-Hasan paved the way to his brother al-Husayn, the Lord of martyrs. So al-Husayn was able to declare his revolution with which Allah has explained in the Qur'an and made it a lesson for the wise.

Al-Hasan and al-Husayn, peace be on them, were two faces of the message. In other words they had equal attitudes towards it.

Al-Hasan was ready to grant his life for Allah. Al-Husayn was not more generous than al-Hasan in granting life for Allah. However, al Hasan kept his life to lead a silent struggle. When the time came, al Husayn died a martyr at the Battle of Karbala'. However, this martyrdom had belonged to al-Hasan before it belonged to al Husayn.

The wise deeply know that the sacrifice at the Battle of Sabat was more meaningful than that at the Battle of Karbala'. For al-Hasan, peace be on him, practiced bravery patiently. In other words he endured hardships in a peaceful way.

The martyrdom at the Battle of Karbalah belonged to al-Hasan, and then it belonged to al-Husayn. That is because al-Hasan had ripened its results and paved the way to it.

The bloody victory of al-Hasan depended on the truth which he clarified for his brother al-Husayn with his patience and wisdom. So when this truth became clear, al-Husayn won a victory over his enemies.

It is as if that al-Hasan and al-Husayn, peace be on them, were in agreement on the design of the plan. Namely, al-Hasan took the role of the patient, wise person, while al-Husayn took the role of the generous revolutionist. So they helped each other to make a perfect plan with one purpose.

After the Battles of Karbala' and Sabat, the people began to consider the events carefully. So they concluded that the Umayyads were an abominable, ignorant group. Also they concluded that the Umayyads played the most dangerous role to destroy Islam and Muslims. For they (the Umayyads) were full of malice.

The people understood that the Umayyads shared the same wicked nature, and that Islam was unable to educate such a kind of nature with its kind treatment. For example, Hind made a plan to kill Hamza (the Prophet's uncle). When Hamza was killed, Hind came to him, ripped open his chest, and began eating his liver. At the Battle of Karbala', Yazid gathered his fighters to attack al-Husayn and his companions. When al-Husayn was killed, Yazid ordered his fighters to break al Husayn's chest with the hooves of their horses. Besides he ordered them to cut off his head, and to leave him naked in the open air to be eaten by the birds and the beasts of prey. Moreover, Yazid ordered his fighters to take the prophet's granddaughters as prisoners.

The people knew that Mu'awiya went on his wicked plan towards al-Hasan till he poisoned him. They knew that Mu'awiya was indifferent to the Peace Treaty, which he made with al-Hasan. Also they knew that al-Husayn revolted against the Umayyads because their oppression reached its zenith.

Accordingly, it was natural for the people to consider those events carefully. They wanted to know why the Umayyads deviated from the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family. They also wanted to know why that cunning, oppressive, Umayyad regime took the reins of authority. Moreover, they wanted to know why such a regime spared no effort to put out the light of the family of Muhammad or to prevent it from reaching the community.

Yes, the people knew the wicked plan of the Umayyads because of al-Hasan's and al-Husayn's efforts and their wise plan.

The people knew that there was a strong enmity between Islam and the Umayyads. We said that the Umayyads took the reins of authority through Mu'awiya and his Peace Treaty with al-Hasan. Then, why did Mu'awiya persecute al-Hasan and poison him? Why did he do his best to put an end to the righteous followers of al-Hasan?

Also Yazid killed al-Husayn and took the reins of authority, but why did he kill al-Husayn's followers mercilessly?

Indeed, we must leave the good ones who are acquainted with the Islamic history to discover the reality of the struggle between the family of the Prophet and the Umayyads. That is because we have detailed this matter in the introduction of the book: `Al-Majalis alFakhira fi Ma'atim al-`Ittra al-Tahira'. See this book. Now, it is enough for me to mention that al-Hasan and al-Husayn helped each other to show people the real face of the Umayyads. So I want to underline this fact again: The martyrdom at the Battle of Karbala' belonged to al-Hasan first, and then it belonged to al-Husayn. The wise deeply know that the sacrifice at the Battle of Sabat was more meaningful than that at the Battle of Karbala'.

Thanks to our master, our prototype, the prominent figure of the community, expert in the secrets of the Imams, Hujjat al-Islam and Muslims, our holy Shaykh, Shaykh Radi Al-Yasin, may Allah promote his rank. For he was the first to discover the secret of the relationship between the Peace Treaty of al-Hasan and the revolution of al-Husayn.

Besides, we must acknowledge that no one of the great figures devoted himself to this task as Shaykh Radi Al-Yasin did in this valuable book. So may Allah reward him and dwell him in the highest Heaven: "with those upon whom Allah has bestowed favors from the prophets and the truthful and the martyrs and the good, and a considerable company are they!"

His Eminence Ayat Allah, Imam, Great Reformer,

Sayyid Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi, al-`Amili
(May his grave be sanctified)
Sur (Jabal `Amil) on the fifteenth of the month of Rajab, in the year 1372 A.H.

  • 1. Al-Zubayr b. Bakkar, al-Muwaffaqiyat. Concerning the biography of al Harith b. Wahab, b. Hajar has reported the above- mentioned words in his book `al-Isaba,' Chapter One, on the authority of al-Zubayr b. Bakkar.
  • 2. As Shaykh Radi Al-Yasin has explained in this book.
  • 3. That is because Mu'awiya insisted on making a peace- treaty with al Hasan. He declared that he was ready to carry out all conditions of al-Hasan for Allah and the community. He besought him to prevent the bloodshed of the community of his grandfather. He (Mu'awiya) declared his request, so the two parties knew it. If the battle had lasted, Mu'awiya would have defeated al-Hasan. Al-Hasan, Mu'awiya, and their soldiers knew the result of the battle. So if al-Hasan had insisted on fighting Mu'awiya he would have been defeated and blamed.

    Moreover, if al-Hasan had said that Mu'awiya would not fulfill his conditions, the common people would have not believed him because they admired Mu'awiya, as we have already mentioned, and because the defects of the Umayyads were not clear for them to support al-Hasan and to abandon Mu'awiya. However, the defects of the Umayyads during the lifetime of the Lord of martyrs (i.e., al-Husayn) were so clear that his sacrifice played an important role in supporting the truth and its followers, praise be to Allah.
    Read the chapter: "the Secret of the Attitude" in this book.

  • 4. Read the Peace Treaty in this book

Author's Preface

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. May Allah bless Muhammad, his family, and his companions.

Now, I want to put the conclusion of the studies in front of the gentle reader. This conclusion has been based on facts from real life. They are free from any doubt. They are not subjected to any effect of the oppressed historical period, which our old historians had not presented in an appropriate way, nor have our contemporary authors analyzed it in a suitable manner.

This period of time represented the succession of al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on them. This period has historically been distorted because of the ambitions of the foremost authors and the carelessness of the modern ones. This period, like other historical periods, has been liable to deliberate blackout, forgetfulness of facts, negligence, and distortion. So rash eastern and western authors have described al Hasan b. 'Ali, the best blessing and peace on him and on his father, as a caliph with weak policy, the one who absorbed in loving women, and who sold Mu'awiya the succession for money. Also there are similar oppressive baseless accusations to these ones.

So in the following chapters, I (the author) will explain this important short period. For it is similar to the great historical periods of Islam after the death of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. That is because this period was unique in the history of the other caliphs. Namely, it was the beginning of a new rule that distinguished between the spiritual powers and the temporal ones in Islam. It was the period whose events confirmed the tradition in which the Prophet told the people that oppressive rulers would take the reins of authority. It was the period when tribal spites appeared for the first time in the history of Islamic beliefs.

However, the little efforts in the chapters of this book are not enough to explain the facts about the period of al-Hasan's succession. That is because such facts are about in various books.

These little efforts have shown us that al-Hasan b. 'Ali (peace be on him), though the period of his succession was short, was the cleverest of all Caliphs in policy, and solving the problems. They have shown us that al-Hasan was very careful of the plans and plots of Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan. They have shown us that he married many women to show his great position among people. Moreover, they have shown us that he made a Peace Treaty with Mu'awiya to indicate the almighty plan through which he destroyed his enemies in history. So al-Hasan did not sell Mu'awiya the succession for money, nor did he bargain with him. Moreover, all deeds of this Imam (i.e., al-Hasan) have underlined his great position among people. However, some people have ignored his deeds and history has oppressed them.

The most horrible ungratefulness for the talents of the great figures is that ignorant people write about their history and classify their ranks.

Such ignorant people do not harm al-Hasan b. 'Ali. For there are other people who have the ability to distinguish between the right and the wrong. For the brave attitude of this Imam (i.e., al-Hasan), his great talents, and his meaningful aims have made him occupy the highest position of the great immortal figures.

It is enough for us to mention the following chapters to show the correct logical method which people should follow to denote that Imam al-Hasan was great, and free from all defects.

So impudent authors have condemned the policy of al-Hasan, peace be on him, for taking a sum of money. This sum of money was the reason for creating such a historical problem to al-Hasan, peace be on him. That is because such authors have not studied the private conditions of al-Hasan thoroughly. Besides they have decided to support their party activities, to comply with the wishes of the ruling policy, and to make people forget this great Imam.

So the authors have regarded al-Hasan as an unsuccessful leader. However, they have not considered carefully the reasons for this claimed failure that has reflected the state of the people whom al-Hasan led during that period. In other words the authors should consider carefully the temptations of the new conquests that prevailed the people at that time. Accordingly, the authors will know that the leader has no defect when his community becomes corrupt, his soldiers become traitors, and his people lose their social conscience.

The authors have forgotten to regard al-Hasan as the most prominent politician. For they have not known that he studied the psychological features of his opponents, the desires of his society, and the situations of his time. Moreover, they have not known that al Hasan made plans. They have not known that he decided the results. They have not known that he kept the future of all his community with his plans. They have not known that he dug the graves of his opponents one by one with his conclusions.

Though al-Hasan was surrounded by the hardships of his time, he was the peace- maker whose success was certain, and whose head was raised through the summons to righteousness. Then he died. However, he refused to waste even an inch of his right. I (the author) wonder, which greatness is better than that of al-Hasan when the pedantic critics study his conditions with honesty?

Our book will give you clear evidence for what we have mentioned above. That is because its chapters have been based on accurate studies. The gentle reader will find these studies the nearest thing to reality or they are the reality itself. Also he will find that we have proved them with logical criteria.

The reader will find that this book is not about the conditions of Imam al-Hasan, peace be on him, in general. Rather the book is about his political attitudes. Anyhow, it is necessary for us to mention a chapter about his life.

Our matter (the Peace Treaty of al-Hasan) is wide and difficult. However, the reference books are very few. That is because most of our old books were liable to be missing. For example, we have not found these books:

1) Sulh al-Hasan and Mu'awiya by Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Said b. Abd al-Rahman al-Subay'i al-Hamadani (died 333 A.H.),

2) Sulh al-Hasan by Ibrahim b. Muhammad b. Said b. Hilal b. `Asim b. Said b. Mas'ud al-Thaqafi (died 283 A.H.),

3) Amr al-Hasan by `Abd al-`Aziz b. Yahya al-Jalludi al-Basri,

4) Akhbar al-Hasan by al Haythem b. `Adi al-Tha'labi (died 207),

5) Akhbar al-Hasan b. 'Ali by Abu Ishaq Ibrahim b. Muhammad al-Isfahani' al-Thaqafi1 and the like.

As for the books, which we have found, they are all in agreement on the Peace Treaty of al-Hasan (Sulh al-Hasan). However, they are in disagreement on presenting an event narrating a sermon, reporting a declaration, and deciding a certain number. Rather, even two chains of authority in these books are in disagreement on appointing the exact date of an event or a sermon. They are in disagreement on limiting the name of the leader, for example, or the order of the leadership between two or among three leaders. They are in disagreement on reporting the ways of the plot which was made against al-Hasan, peace be on him, at his camps. They are in disagreement on expressing his peace, and his killing at last. Moreover, they are in disagreement on the small and the great news of the story from the beginning to the end.

In these books there are many factors that played a dangerous role in treating the sensitive matters.

Attributing these facts to their correct chain of authority was the most difficult stage for me during this writing. However, it was easy for me to achieve this purpose through resorting to the relations of the conditions and the coordination of the events with which we can evaluate a certain situation.

Among the best chances is that we have depended on the plain proof in choosing the way to order the reports that are here and there in books. So these reports, though incomplete, are all our perfect proofs for the coordination and the study we have chosen. This is the most wonderful success, which I have achieved.

We considered carefully the attitude (i.e., the Peace Treaty) throughout its stages. We depended on reason more than the reports. We resorted to the personal declarations (i.e., the words of al-Hasan) to indicate the purpose (the Peace Treaty) more than the reports of many historians.

Moreover, it (this study) is my little goods. From it I do not want anything. However, I want it to be a clue for new studies to remove the vagueness that has covered the Peace Treaty of al-Hasan throughout history.

If my study is successful in achieving that, then I will be given much good "With none but Allah is my success, on Him do I rely and to Him do I turn."

  • 1. You can find these books with in the biographies of their authors in the biographical books, such as al-Fihrast by b. al-Nadim and al-Najashi, and the like. Also you can find them with the names of other books concerning al-Hasan's, peace be on him, peace and killing. We do not want to speak at length about them, for they have become mere names.

Part 1: Imam Al-Hasan (Peace Be On Him)

His father was the Commander of the faithful (Amir al-mu'minin), 'Ali b. Abu Talib. His mother was the mistress of the women of the worlds, Fatima the daughter of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family.

His Birth

He was born in Medina on the night of the middle day of the month of Ramadan, in the year 3 A.H. He was the eldest son.

When al-Hasan was born, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, took him. Then the Prophet said the adhan (call to prayer) in al-Hasan's right ear, and said the iqama (words similar to the adhan) in his left ear. Then he sacrificed a ram for him (in the ceremony of `aqiqa). Then he shaved his hair. He (i.e., the Prophet) gave silver equal to his hair. So the weight of al-Hasan's hair was a dirham and some of silver. Then he ordered his hair to perfume. So the `aqiqa and giving alms as equal as the weight of hair have become Sunna (an act of the Prophet).

The Prophet named him Hasan. People did not know such a name in the pre- Islamic period. Also he gave him Kunya (i.e., the name by which an Arab is usually referred to and which refers to him as the father of someone, usually his eldest son) as Abu Muhammad. Al-Hasan had no Kunya other than this (Abu Muhammad).

His Nick-Names

al-Sibt, al-Sayyid, al-Zaki, al-Mujtaba, al-Taqi.

His Wives

Al-Hasan married Umm Ishaq bint (the daughter of) Talha b. `Ubayd Allah, Hafsa bint (the daughter of) 'Abd al-Rahman b. Abu Bakr, Hind bint (the daughter of) Suhayl b. `Amru, and Ju'da bint (the daughter of) al-Ash'ath b. Qays, whom Mu'awiya tempted to kill al-Hasan. So she killed him with poison.

His Children

Al-Hasan had fifteen children, both male and female: Zayd, al-Hasan, `Amru, al-Qasim, `Abd Allah, `Abd al-Rahman, al-Hasan al-Athram, and Talha, Umm al-Hasan, Umm al-Husayn, Fatima, Umm Salama, Ruqayya, Umm `Abd Allah, and Fatima.

His Characteristics

No one was more like the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, than al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on him, in form, manner, and nobility.

In this manner the describers have described al-Hasan and said: "He (al-Hasan) had a white, reddish face. He had black eyes, smooth cheeks, thick beard, and curly, plentiful hair. His neck was as white as a jug of silver. His body was good. He had large shoulders, and big fleshy bones. He was of medium height; neither long nor short. He was handsome; the best of all people in face.

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, was as the poet said:

When some handsomeness creeps into the insights of imaginations,

He (al-Hasan) has the special share.

His forehead from under his forelock is like

The full moon that illuminates the dark night.

His ambergris and musk is far above the perfume of

The people of the earth, so he is the heavenly perfume.

Ibn Sa'd said: "Al-Hasan and al-Husayn used to dye black."

Wasil b. `Ata' said: "Al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on them, had the visage of prophets and the glory of kings."

His Worship

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, performed the hajj on foot twenty- five times. When he mentioned death, he wept.

When he mentioned the grave, he wept. When he mentioned the resurrection, he wept. When he mentioned crossing the sirat (a kind of bridge which only the righteous can cross on the road to Paradise), he wept. When he mentioned the standing before Allah, the Great and Almighty, he fainted. When he mentioned Paradise and Fire, he shock as the sick person did. So he asked Allah to make him enter Paradise and to protect him from Fire.

When al-Hasan performed an ablution for prayers, he shock all over and his face became pale.

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, shared his property with Allah three times. He gave people from his property twice in the way of Allah, the Exalted. He mentioned Allah, the Great and Almighty, in all conditions whether pleasant or otherwise.

They (the historians) said: "He (al-Hasan, peace be on him) was the best of all people in worshipping Allah and refraining from the life in this world."

His Ethics

Al-Hasan's ethics were excellent examples for people. So everyone respected him. Everyone loved him when he associated with him. When his friend or his enemy heard him talking or delivering a speech, he was sorry that he (al-Hasan) would end his talking or his speech.

In his book, vo1.8, p. 37, b. Kathir has reported on the authority of b. al-Zubayr, who said: "By Allah, no woman has born (a baby) like al-Hasan b. 'Ali."

Muhammad b. Ishaq said: "After Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family; no one had a high social position as al-Hasan b. 'Ali had. (Mats) were spread out at the door of his house. When he came out and sat, the street was over crowded. So no one of Allah's creatures could pass to show respect for him. When he knew that, he stood up and entered his house. So the people could pass."

Al-Hasan dismounted his camel on the road to Mecca, so all those who saw him dismounted their camels. Also Sa'ad b. Abu Waqqas dismounted his camel and walked beside him.

Ibn `Abbas caught the stirrup for al-Hasan and al-Husayn, peace be on them, and arranged their clothes. So Mudrik b. Ziyad said to him: "You are older than them, so why do you catch the stirrup for them?" Ibn "`Abbas said: "Woe unto you! Do you know who they are? They are the grandsons of the Apostle of Allah. What a great blessing is that Allah has made me catch the stirrup for them and arrange their clothes!"

Although al-Hasan, peace be on him, had a high social rank, he was kind to people. One day he passed by poor persons. The poor persons were sitting on the ground. There were pieces of bread before them. They were picking up the pieces of bread and eating them. When they saw al-Hasan, peace be on him, they said to him: "Son of the Apostle of Allah, come to lunch!" So he dismounted his camel and said: "Indeed, Allah does not love the proud." He began eating with them. Then he invited them, so he gave them food and clothes.

The following are some examples about al-Hasan's generosity: A man came to him and asked him for a need. He (al-Hasan) said to the man: "Write your need on a piece of paper and submit it to me." The man submitted his need to him. He (al-Hasan) doubled the man's need. So some of those who were sitting with al-Hasan said to him: "Son of the Apostle of Allah, the blessing of the piece of paper was great for the man."

So al-Hasan said: "Its blessing for us is greater, for Allah has made us appropriate for doing good. Do you not know that doing good should be optional, namely without request. As for him whom you give after the request, you give him after he has lost face. He may spend his night restless and sleepless. He rocks between despair and hope. He does not know whether he will face a sad answer or a glad success. He comes to you while he shakes all over and his heart is afraid (of you). Then if you met his need through losing face, that (losing face) would be greater than what he has obtained from your favor."

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, gave a poet (some money). So one of those who were sitting with him said to him: "Glory be to Allah! Do you give the poet who disobeys the Merciful (Allah) and tells lies?" Al-Hasan, peace be on him, said: "Servant of Allah, the best of your money is what you spend to protect your dignity. It is an act of kindness to avoid the evil."

A man asked al-Hasan, peace be on him, for a need. So al-Hasan gave the man one thousand dirhams and five hundred dinars and said to him: "Fetch a carrier to help you." The man fetched a carrier. So al-Hasan gave the carrier his cloak and said: "This is the wage of the carrier.

A Bedouin came to al-Hasan, peace be on him, and asked him for a need. So al-Hasan said: "Give him all the money in the safe." There were twenty thousand dirhams in the safe. All the money was given to the Bedouin, so he said: "My master, do you not let me tell you about my need and praise you?" Al-Hasan, peace be on him, began saying:

Our gifts are many

The hopeful enjoy them.

Our selves give generously before the request

For fear of losing face.

Al-Mada'ini said: "Al-Hasan, al-Husayn, and `Abd Allah b. Ja'far went out. However, their luggage went before them. So they became hungry and thirsty. They saw an old woman sitting in a tent. They asked the old woman for water. She said to them: `Milk this ewe.' They did. Then they asked her for food. She did: `I have nothing but this ewe. Let one of you slaughter it. So one of them slaughtered and skinned it. Then she grilled some meat of the ewe for them. They ate the meat and took a nap at the old woman's tent. When they got up, they said to her: `We are a group of people from Quraysh. We want to go through this direction. When we come back, visit us. For we will do good for you.' Then they went away.

When the old woman's husband came, she told him about her entertainment. Her husband said: `Woe unto you! You have sacrificed my ewe for people whom you do not know, then you say that they are from Quraysh.' Days passed. The old woman's condition became worse. So she departed till she passed through Medina. Al-Hasan, peace be on him, saw her and recognized her. He said to her: `Do you know me?' `No,' she answered. He said: `I was your guest on the day so- and- so.' Then he gave her one thousand ewes and one thousand dinars, and he sent her to al-Husayn, peace be on him. Al-Husayn gave her like that (number) and sent her to `Abd Allah b. Ja'far. The latter gave her like that (number)."

A Hashimite man and an Umayyad quarreled with one another (about generosity). The Hashimite man said: "My people are more generous (than yours)." The Umayyad one said: "My people are more generous (than yours)." The Hashimite man said to the Umayyad one: "Go and ask ten of your people (for money)" The Umayyad man went and asked ten of his people (for money). Each one of the ten people gave him ten thousand dirhams. In the meantime the Hashimite man went to al-Hasan b. 'Ali. So al-Hasan gave him one hundred and fifty thousand dirhams.

Then the Hashimite man went to al-Husayn. So al-Husayn asked him: "Had you asked anyone for money before me?" "I had asked al-Hasan," answered the Hashimite man. Al-Husayn said: "I cannot give more than what my master (al-Hasan) has given you." Then al-Husayn gave the Hashimite man one hundred and fifty thousand dirhams. Then the Umayyad man came back with one hundred thousand dirhams from ten people, while the Hashimite man came back with three hundred thousand dirhams from two people. So the Umayyad man became angry and returned the money to its owners who received it. Meanwhile the Hashimite man went to al-Hasan and al-Husayn to return the money, but they refused to accept it. Then they said: "We do not mind whether you take the money or throw it away on the road."

One day al-Hasan, peace be on him, saw a black boy. The black boy was eating a piece of bread and giving a piece of bread to his dog. So al-Hasan said to him: "What has made you do this?" "I feel shame of my dog when I eat and do not feed him," answered the black boy. Then al-Hasan said to him: "Do not leave your place till I come to you." At that moment al-Hasan went to the black boy's master. He bought the black boy and the wall (the garden) where he lived. He (al-Hasan) freed the black boy and made him possess the wall.

The traditions about al-Hasan's generosity are numerous, but we do not intend to mention them all.

As for al-Hasan's clemency, it was as heavy as the mountains, as Marwan said concerning al-Hasan.

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, renounced worldly pleasures very much. So Muhammad b. 'Ali b. al-Husayn b. Babawayh, who died in the year 381 A.H., wrote a book. He called the book `Zuhd al-Hasan.' How an outstanding merit was that al-Hasan renounced all life in this world for the sake of the religion!

His Outstanding Merits

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, is the Lord of the youth of Heaven. He was one of the two persons in whom the progeny of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, was limited. He was one of the four persons through whom the Prophet made the contest of prayer with the Christians of Najran. He was one of the five persons whom the Prophet covered with his cloak. He was one of the twelve Imams whose obedience Allah made incumbent on people.

He was among those who were purified from sins as the Qur'an says. He was among those whose love Allah made reward for the message. He was among those whom the Apostle of Allah made one of the two valuable things (thaqalayn). Thus whoever cleaves to them does not go astray. He was the plant of the sweet basil of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. The Prophet loved him and asked Allah to love those who love him.

Al-Hasan had other outstanding merits. These merits are in need of a long explanation. Still the explanation does not encompass them even if it is long.

The people pledged allegiance to him after the death of his father, peace be on them. So he assumed the succession in the best manner though the time of his succession was short. Also he made a Peace Treaty with Mu'awiya on the fifteenth of the month of Jamadi al`Ula' in the year 41 A.H., according to the most correct reports. So he was able to protect the religion and to spare the blood of the believers. In the Peace Treaty, he followed the teachings, which he reported on the authority of his father on the authority of his grandfather, may Allah bless him and his family. Apparently, his succession was seven months and twenty days.

After the Peace Treaty had been concluded, al-Hasan, peace be on him, came back to Medina to stay there. So his house became as a second haram (a sacred sanctuary) for people to visit.

Through these two sacred places (al-Hasan's house and Medina), al-Hasan, peace be on him, became the rise of guidance. He was the stronghold of knowledge and shelter of Muslims. Meanwhile there were many knowledgeable people all around him. Anyhow such knowledgeable people were the students of al-Husayn. So they learned knowledge from him and reported it on his authority. Allah granted al-Hasan plentiful knowledge and a high social position in the hearts of Muslims. Thus he (al-Hasan) was able to guide the community, to lead Muslims spiritually, to correct the Islamic beliefs, and to unify the people of monotheism.

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, performed the early morning prayer in the mosque of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. He sat there praising Allah till the sun rose. In the meantime he answered the questions of the great Muslim figures. In his book `al Fusul al-Muhimma', p.159, b. al-Sabbagh said: "The people gathered around him (al-Hasan). He (al-Hasan) answered the questioners perfectly and refuted the proofs of the disputers."

When al-Hasan, peace be on him, performed the hajj or went around the Kaaba, the people were about to destroy him. For they overcrowded to welcome him.

His Death

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, was given poison several times. We will detail this matter when we discuss the fulfillment of the conditions of the Peace Treaty. When al-Hasan, peace be on him, felt the danger in the last attempt, he said to his brother al-Husayn, peace be on him: "My brother, I am leaving you and meeting my Lord. I have been given poison to drink, and have spewed my liver into the 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 Allah, the Great and Almighty."

Then he said: "Bury me with the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family.1 For I am worthier of him and his family' (than others). If they prevent you from doing that, then I make you swear by the relation which Allah has made close to you and by the blood relation to the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him family, not to shed even your blood into the cupping-glass in (carrying out) my command, till we meet the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, to oppose the people before him and to tell him about what we have suffered from them."

Then al-Hasan, peace be on him, made his testamentary bequests to his family and his children. (He gave al-Husayn) his heirlooms and the things which the Commander of the faithful (Imam 'Ali), 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 Shi'a that he (al-Hasan) was his successor.

Then al-Hasan, peace be on him, died on the seventh of the month of Sufar, in the year 49 A.H.

Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani said: "Mu'awiya wanted the people to pledge allegiance to his son Yazid. However, the existence of al-Hasan b. 'Ali and of Sa'd b. Abu Waqqas troubled him very much. So he gave them poison to drink, and they died of it."

The abominable disasters of this kind shook the conscience of the Muslim countries. So there were various revolutions throughout history. In this connection Allah, the Exalted, says: "And they who act unjustly shall know to what final place of turning they shall turn back."

His Burial

Sibt b. al-Jawzi reported on the authority of b. Sa'd on the authority of al-Waqidi, who said: "When al-Hasan was about to die, he said: `Bury me beside my father.' He meant the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. However, banu (the sons of) Umayya and Marwan b. al-Hakam and Said b. al-`As, who was the governor over Medina, prevented him." Ibn Sa'd said: "Among them was `A'isha, who said: `No one is buried beside the Apostle of Allah.'"

Abu al-Faraj al-Amawi al-Isfahani reported on the authority of Yahya b. al-Hasan, who said: "I heard 'Ali b. Tahir b. Zayd say: `When they wanted to bury al-Hasan, she (`A'isha) mounted a mule and asked the help of banu (the sons of) Umayya, Marwan, those who were there from them (banu Umayya) and from their servants. So someone said: `One day (she was) on a mule, and one day (she was) on a camel.'"

Al-Mas'udi has mentioned that `A'isha mounted a gray mule and led the Umayyads to declare a second battle against the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt. He (al-Mas'udi) said: "So al-Qasim b. Muhammad b. Abu Bakr came to her (`A'isha) and said: `Aunt, we,, have not washed our heads since the Battle of the Camel.2 Do you' want people to call this day the Battle of the Gray Mule?' So she came back."

Many people gathered together with al-Husayn b. 'Ali and said to him: "Leave us with the children of Marwan. By Allah, they are, with us, nothing but an itching of the head." Al-Husayn said: `By Allah, 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 Allah 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 you for ourselves." Here al-Husayn, peace be on him, reminded them of the conditions of the Peace Treaty.

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 Allah be pleased with her.

In his book `al-Isaba', he (Ahmad Shahab al-Din al-`Asqalani) said: Dawud b. Sinan informed us: Tha'laba b. Abu Malik told us: "I (Tha'laba b. Abu Malik) saw al-Hasan on the day when he died and was buried in (the cemetery of) al-Baqi`. I saw that if a needle had been thrown away in (the cemetery of) al-Baqi`, it (the needle) would have not fallen but on the head of a person."

  • 1. Al-Hasan, peace be on him, was worthier of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, than others, because he was his grandson and a piece of him. Rather al-Hasan was the piece of the Prophet. No one is worthier of the grandfather than the grandson. In other words the piece is worthier of the entirety than others.

    Al-Hasan, peace be on him, was worthier of the Prophet's family, because he was his legitimate inheritor through his mother the truthful and chaste one, peace be on her. She was the only inheritor of her father, may Allah bless him and his family. So she (Fatima, the Prophet's daughter) had the right to inherit her father as Solomon inherited David. For there is nothing that can specialize the general inheritance.

    Here the comparative degree `worthier' concerns the mafdulin (less excellent), namely Abu Bakr and `Umar. For they regarded themselves as worthier of burying in the room of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, than others. However, his grandson (al-Hasan) was worthier of that than them. That is because they (Abu Bakr and `Umar) thought that the wife had the right to inherit her husband. Muslim jurists have disagreed on this matter since then. `A'isha, the daughter of Abu Bakr, and Hafsa, the daughter of `Umar, had, according to the correctness of their inheritance as two wives, a share of seventy-two shares in the room where the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, was buried. For they were two of nine wives. And all the nine wives had one- eighth which they divided among themselves according to this rate. As for the holy room whose wideness we do not know exactly should be wide enough to hold seventy two graves; otherwise the inheritors of the truthful, chaste one (Fatima did not permit Abu Bakr and `Umar to be buried in it. So what is other than this (explanation)? Accordingly, we must admit that al-Hasan, peace be on him, was worthier of the Apostle of Allah and of his house than the others.

  • 2. In his book `Al-Mahasin wa al-Masawi', vol. 1, p.35, al-Bayhaqi has reported similar words. He (al-Bayhaqi) said: "On the authority of al-Hasan al-Basri that al-Ahnaf b. Qays said to `A'isha at the Battle of the Camel: `Mother of the believers, has the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, authorized you this movement?' She said: `O Allah, no.' He said: `Have you found it (this movement) in the Book of Allah, the Exalted?' She said: `We do not read but what you read.' He said: `Have you seen that the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, asked the help of his wives when he was few in number and the polytheists were many?' She said: `O Allah, no.' Al-Ahnaf said: `Therefore, what is our guilt?"

Part 2: On the Political Attitude

Before The Pledge Of Allegiance

Now, we are discussing a matter. We do not know exactly to what extent the matter was affected by the previous conditions. Still it is enough for us to present some of the social conditions which the Muslims knew for the first time after the death of the Prophet. That is because the Prophet had a strong effect on the selves, a strong power in forming society, and a powerful hand in building the elements of the activity of beliefs.

We are recalling the memories to draw a transient picture here. Thus it is enough for us to take an appropriate thing from every event or to take the suitable events for our subject and leave the others. That is because we want, in the light of this method, to know whether our subject (i.e., the Peace Treaty of al-Hasan) was affected by the previous circumstances or not.

The greatest event in the history of Islam was the death of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. Thus that heavenly radiation gave this world all good ceased. Suddenly, the world became dark and people began to prepare themselves to commit evil deeds. When the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, died, the earth separated from the sky.

For the Prophet was the only means between them. Is the earth in no need of the sky? Of course not.

For the sustenance of the earth, its good, its life, its activity, its light, and its religion are all from the sky. This event (the death of the Prophet) would have caused intense loneliness in this world and a heavy loss for Muslims if he (the Prophet) had totally ended his relation with the world and Muslims.

However, the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, was aware that the believers would be tested after him through facing great misfortunes. The Prophet was kind to the believers. Thus he told them that only one rope would continue the relation between them and the sky. So is there a rope worthier of clinging than the rope of the sky in the time when inspiration has ceased?

For this reason, the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, said: "I have left among you that which if you cling to, you shall not go astray after me: the book of Allah, (which) is the extended rope from the sky to the earth, and my family, the members of my house. They (Allah's Book and the Prophet's family) shall not abandon each other till they come to me at the Hawd (the river in Paradise). So think, how will you treat them after me?" 1

Accordingly, we have the right to base the research that is between our hands, on these events to conclude the attitude of the community towards the family of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, or the attitude of those groups who claimed that they had the right to represent the community.

That is because we want to know how that community and those groups treated the family of the Prophet after him. In the meantime we want to conclude the appropriate events for our subject. So if the word al-`itra means `asbira or the kin of the man, then 'Ali was the most prominent man of them all after Allah's Apostle. If the mentioned word means dhurriya (progeny), then al-Hasan was the eldest one in the family of the Prophet after him. For, in Arabic, the word al-`itra is used for both `ashira (kin) and dhurriya (progeny).

However, after the death of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, the Muslim community disagreed on the matter of the succession. That is because some Muslims depended on their viewpoints. Some of them cleaved to the clear traditions of their Prophet, who said many traditions concerning nominating the successor after him. However, this is not the place to mention all these traditions. Meanwhile we do not intend to discuss with those who depended on their personal interpretations, nor do we intend to discuss with those who worshipped Allah according to the clear traditions of their Prophet. For everything on which we agree and disagree with them all or with a party of them ended as it was at its time. The research, which we are doing, now has nothing to change the adopted ideas.

We do not look for excuses for those who depended on their viewpoints. In spite of their disagreement on the traditions of their Prophet, we say: The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, regarded the Qur'an and his family as his deputies after him as in the foregoing traditions and similar ones. However, those who depended on their viewpoints treated the Prophet's deputies (the Qur'an and the Prophet's family) according to their political ideas that mean that they accepted the traditions of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. In other words they thought that the interest should be taken into consideration. Also they thought that obeying the orders of the Prophet was in charge of the experienced old men. If they confirmed what the Prophet wanted, then it was okay. If they did not confirm what the Prophet wanted, they put into effect whatever they wanted.

In this manner the succession was taken from the Prophet's family. In this manner, it was possible or advisable for a great number of those who believed in Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, to give Mu'awiya the right to compete with the others for the succession of Islam and to produce old- age 2 as evidence for it. In the meantime the old men such `Amr b. al-`As, al-Mughira b. Shu'ba, Abu Hurayra al-Dousi, and the like confirmed his claim. This claim of Mu'awiya, that included disdain at the sacredness of Islam, was not for the first time. Rather it had historical backgrounds. 3

It is obvious that these historical back grounds led to an unexpected trend in Medina when the people held a meeting in the Shelter (saqifa) of banu (the sons of) Sa'ida to find a new rope other than that of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, in the foregoing tradition. In this connection, Polis Salama said:

Events occurred one by one under the Shelter (Saqifa)

They provoked hidden things and inclinations

Tendencies divided like the branches of

The tender boxthron. 4

The owner of the right (Imam 'Ali) in the succession adopted an honorable attitude towards his brothers who depended on their viewpoints. His attitude in itself underlined that he wanted to protect Islam from collapse. Also such an attitude underlined that he was the only means or rope between the people and the sky. He (Imam 'Ali) failed for a very short time to pledge allegiance (to Abu Bakr). That is because his Islamic mind showed him his usurped right. Then he was forced to pledge allegiance.5

So some of his companions asked him: "How did your people deprive you of this position (Caliphate) while you are worthier of it than them?" He (Imam 'Ali) said: "It was a selfish act on which the hearts of people has become greedy while some people did not care for it. The Arbiter is Allah and to Him is the return on the Day of Judgment. Now leave this story of devastation about which there is hue and cry."

These words show you that Imam 'Ali was internally angry but was externally submissive.6

The enemies of Imam 'Ali have become blind to his light (outstanding merits). In other words the covering of enmity is on their eyes. So they have ignored him. However, they have not ignored his early Islam, his jihad (struggle), his close relation to the Prophet, his affinity with him, his brotherhood to him, his knowledge, and his worship.
Moreover, they have not ignored the traditions of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, concerning him. They understood these qualities of his then more than we understand them at the present time. However, the enemies of Imam 'Ali, peace be on him, showed enmity towards him because of his many outstanding merits, his intense justice, and his sword with which he killed many of them in the fields of the holy battles.

Also 'Ali's enemies showed enmity towards him because he was in the fourth decade of his life. No wonder, for they thought that the caliph after the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, should be in the seventh decade of age to be fully experienced.

'Ali's enemies have forgotten that the Imamate in Islam is religion like Prophethood itself. What is permitted in Prophethood is permitted in the Imamate. Also what is not permitted in the Imamate what is not permitted in Prophethood though great. So what is the relationship between ijtihad (the ability to conclude religious verdicts) and an age when there is a textual nomination? What is the importance of political interests towards Allah's Words and the traditions of his Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family? 'Ali's age when the Prophet died was equal to that of `Isa b. Maryam (Jesus, Mary's son) when Allah, the Great and Almighty, raised him (Jesus) to the sky. It was possible for `Isa to be a prophet in the earth at such an age. So why was it impossible for 'Ali to be a caliph at the age of thirty-three? Worth mentioning Allah will choose such an age for the people of Paradise on the Day of Judgment. If this age was not the best years of the human being, Allah would not choose it for his servants in the gardens.

'Ali's enemies harbored malice against him because of his close relation to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. So they hated to see that the Imamate and Prophethood come together in one house. We do not know why the outstanding merit, according to this logic, has caused this malice. We do not know why 'Ali's close relation to the Prophet made his enemies prevent him from taking the reins of the Caliphate.

They (`Ali's enemies) thought that they did good things for Islam and Muslims when they separated the Imamate from the family of Prophethood, and when they helped other families to usurp the high religious position.

Moreover, they forgot the precautionary steps of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, when he limited the succession to his family.

The traditions of the Prophet have drawn the attention of the wise men to the mistakes of the people. Besides they have drawn their attention to the correctness of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family.

So the operation of separation between the Caliphate and the family of the Prophet has moved historical differences among the lovers of the Caliphate throughout various generations. Also it has caused ugly disasters for Muslims and distorted the ideal beliefs of Islam. All these differences and disasters would have not happened if the Caliphate had been given to its real owners. In other words if the people had obeyed Allah and His Apostle as in this verse:

وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ ۗ وَمَنْ يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا مُبِينًا

"And it behooves not a believing man and a believing woman that they should have any choice in their matter when Allah and His Apostle have decided a matter; and whoever disobeys Allah and His Apostle, he surely strays off a manifest straying." (Qur'an: 33:36)

All these differences and disasters have taken place among Muslims because the ambitious ones have been permitted to compete with the righteous for the Caliphate.

For example, bloody battles took place between banu (the sons) of Hashim and banu (the sons of) Umayya, between banu al-Zubayr and banu Umayya, between banu al-`Abbas and banu Umayya, and between banu 'Ali and banu al-`Abbas. All these bloody battles took place because of that separation between the family of the Prophet and the Caliphate. Noteworthy the Prophet underlined the succession after him through his traditions to prevent those bloody battles and regretful events from happening in Islam.

The members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt) suffered from various misfortunes. They were liable to assassinations, capturing, and homelessness. They suffered from all these misfortunes. That was because of the first mistake which was made to disobey the policy which the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, adopted to protect his community and his family. Unfortunately, the people disobeyed him in what he wanted.

However, they misunderstood the meaning of this wise policy. For they hated to see that the Caliphate and Prophethood come together in one family. Meanwhile they wanted to follow another policy.

The age was their apparent justification, which they explained for the people. No one but Allah knows the hidden reasons. Their spiteful memories resulted from the battles between them and the early Muslims or from envy that "eats religion as fire eats wood," as in the holy tradition.

The love of leadership and the desire for authority have been dangerous diseases from which people suffer. Also they are deep-rooted diseases in the nature of powerful leaders.

However, Prophethood and the Imamate, as two Divine offices, are different from the familiar meaning in the political fields. In other words Prophetic policy results from religion and belongs to it. So the only source in political affairs is the Owner of religion (the Prophet), and his words are decisive in them.

If you want to know the close relationship between this event and our subject, you have to read the following words of al-Husayn b. `Ali, peace be on him. For you will know that al-Hasan expressed his dissatisfaction in the following letter of his when the people pledged allegiance to Mu`awiya in Kufa.
Al-Hasan, peace be on him, said: "When he (Allah's Apostle), may Allah bless him and his family,, passed away, the Arabs differed over the succession after him. So the Quraysh said: `We are his tribe, his family, and his friends. You have the right to dispute with us over the succession after Muhammad.'

So the Arabs believed the words of Quraysh and their proof for that (succession) against him who disputed with them over the succession after Muhammad. So you bestowed upon them and yielded to them. Then we argued7 with the Quraysh as the Arabs did. However, the Quraysh did not treat us with justice as the Arabs treated them.

They (Quraysh), with the exclusion of the Arabs, took this matter through (asking) equity and protest. We, the members of the House of Muhammad and his friend, disputed with the Quraysh. We asked them to treat us with justice. However, they turned away from us' seized (power), and gathered together to oppress and force us. So we suffered from their persecutions toward us. So the promise is Allah. He is the Lord and Helper.

"We became surprised at those who took unjustly our right and the succession of our family. If they (the Quraysh) had an outstanding right and priority in Islam, we would refrain from disputing with them. We do not want the hypocrites and the allies (ahzab) to find a gap in the religion to corrupt it.

"So today, Mu'awiya, the person is surprised when you have unjustly taken the authority while you are in appropriate for it. You have no known merit in religion, nor have you a laudable act in Islam. You are the son of an ally (hizb) of the allies (ahzab). You are the son of the most hostile one of all the Quraysh towards the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, and His Book. Allah alone is sufficient for you. You shall be returned to Him, and you shall know to whom the final result shall be."8

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, expressed his astonishment to show the relationship between Mu'awiya's usurping the right of the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt and that of the early ones from Quraysh. The relationship between the matter of al-Husayn and that of the early Caliphs resulted from this event. In the meantime matters other than al-Husayn's matter appeared. Some of these matters related to the two brothers; some of them related to the parents; and some of them related to the general right.

We will not mention any of these matters here. For we do not want to discuss research conducted within these lines, but the matters that have a relation to our subject.

We have known that there was a skillful, political activity after the death of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. The activity enabled Abu Bakr to win the attitude (i.e., the Caliphate). `Umar called that activity Alta (i.e., unexpected event). Mu'awiya called it: "Usurping the right and disagreement on authority."9 So the quick success which that political activity made underlined the previous determination of those in power. From this determination, we can easily understand that there was a special trend towards the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family. This trend caused effects during and after its time.

So the family of the Prophet was helpless, and were intentionally removed (from authority) in all prominent developments which history witnessed then.10

The person who knew the Caliphate (Abu Bakr) did not prefer them (the Prophet's family) to others. Besides the person who limited the Caliphate to the three of six people (i.e., `Umar) did not treat them with justice. Were not for the election made by the people after the Event of the House (hadith al-dar), the Prophet's family would have had no portion in authority throughout the various times.

Then this special trend had an effect in creating a strong opposition against the two Caliphs who consulted the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, about their affairs.

At the Battles of Basrah and Siffin, there are many proofs for what we have said.

Also there are other proofs concerning the attitude of b. (the son of) `Umar, Sa'd b. Abu Waqqas, Usama b. Zayd, Muhammad b. Muslima, Qadama b. Maz'un, `Abd Allah b. Salam, Hassan b. Thabit, Abu Said al-Khudari, Zayd b. Thabit, al-Nu'man b. Bashir. They were called al-Qu `ad (the neutrals). For they preferred neutrality to jihad (holy war) and refrained from pledging allegiance to Imam 'Ali and his son al-Hasan, peace be on them.

This opposition had different fields and various kinds. Some of them were the improper, negative attitudes from which the leaders of the Prophet's family suffered in Medina, and then in Kufa.

For this reason Imam 'Ali, peace be on him, addressed the people from his pulpit in Kufa: "You who are like men, and not men! Your intelligence is that of children and your wit is that of women. I wish I had not seen you nor known you. By Allah this acquaintance has brought about shame and resulted in repentance. May Allah kill you. You have filled my heart with puss and loaded my bosom with rage. You made me drink mouthfuls of grief one after the other. You shattered my counsel through disobeying and leaving me."

Imam 'Ali, peace be on him, made numerous, similar speeches on various occasions.

It was the opposes who planted evil intentions all over the cities of 'Ali, and provoked the people to refrain from supporting him using all pretexts.

I (the author) have believed in this factor. Meanwhile I do not want to forget the other factors that took part in creating the abovementioned, special trend. Namely the factors that took part in creating that opposition that had a positive, armed attitude and a betraying, negative one towards the Prophet's family during the holy Hashimite time.

I (the author) have no doubt that strict justice and accurate equality that prevailed the Hashimite times disturbed the people or some of them. So the people were not ready to show obedience and loyalty that were necessary for war and peace. Besides the booty of the conquered countries made those people cling to the life in this world.

In spite of that special trend, which was formed within twenty-five years, the time of the Caliphate of Imam 'Ali, peace be on him, had appeared before pledging allegiance to al-Hasan, peace be on him, in Kufa.

Al-Hasan was the eldest son of 'Ali, peace be on him, and the successor after him. He (al-Hasan) took part in the good days and bad days of his father. He shared him his sorrows and pains. At that time, he (al-Hasan) was aware of the hardships which his father faced from his people, his subjects, and his enemies. Those hardships made al-Hasan sad. They reminded him of his grandfather Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family. For the latter ordered his community to cling to the Book of Allah and to treat his family kindly: "Think how you will treat them (my family) after me."

Though al-Hasan, peace be on him, was full of sorrow, he sometimes resorted to hope. Thus he remembered the good companions' help. Also he remembered their activity, their sacrifice, and their loyalty. Accordingly, he concluded that their deeds were free from the political ambitions in this world.

Among those companions were army leaders, excellent orators, jurists, readers of the Qur'an, and the rest of the good ones who fixed Islam.

The Commander of the faithful (Amir al-mu'minm) relied on those companions during his battles and his peace. Also the Hashimites relied on them to protect Islam from dangers.

Imam 'Ali's companions were from the Muslims who were loyal to the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. For they promised him to protect him as they protected their own selves. So al Hasan was hopeful that they would support him in achieving the authority of his father or his own authority.

They ('Ali's companions) believed in the Words of Allah concerning the members of the House of their Prophet. Also they believed in the trustee of authority (wasi) after their Prophet. They understood 'Ali thoroughly. 'Ali was the hero after the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. He was the best of this community after him (i.e., the Prophet) in loyalty to the truth, sacrificing for Islam, advising the Muslims, sound justice, and abundant knowledge. Generally speaking, 'Ali's outstanding merits made his enemies jealous of him.

Some of 'Ali's good companions were `Ammar b. Yasir, Khuzayma b. Thabit (the one with two testimonies), Hudhayfa b. al-Yamman, `Abd Allah b. Badil, Malik b. al-Harith al-Ashtar, Khabab b. al-Arat, Muhammad b. Abu Bakr, Abu al-Haythem b. al-Tayhan, Hashim b. `Utba b. Abu Waqqas (al-Mirqal), Sahl b. Hunayf, Thabit b. Qays al-Ansari, 'Aqaba b. `Amru, Sa'd b. al-Harith b. al-Samman, Abu Fadala al-Ansari, Ka'b b. `Amr al-Ante, Qurda b' Ka'b al Ansari, `Auf b. al-Harith b. `Auf, Kilab b. al-Askar al-Kinani, Abu Layla b. Balil, and the like. They were leaders in the fields of war and worshippers in prayer. They ordered people to do good and prevented them from doing evil. They competed with each other for death in the way of Allah, while other than they competed with each other for worldly desires.

It is necessary to mention that all the above- mentioned good companions died martyrs at the battles headed by 'Ali, peace be on him. Besides, sixty- three Badri companions died martyrs at the Battle of Siffin.11 Many companions of 'Ali died martyrs at the three successive battles.

The camp of Imam 'Ali, peace be on him, became empty of those good, reliable companions. Accordingly, he was heard saying: "Allah, make haste the unhappiness of al-Muradi (i.e., `Abd al-Rahman b. Muljim)." "What prevents the most wretched person of it (the community) from coloring it (his beard) with the blood of that which is above it (i.e., his head)." "Indeed, by Allah, I wish that Allah took me out of your existence and took me to his mercy from you."

Peace be on ('Ali) on the day when he was born, on the day when he was the first to believe Islam, on the day when he fixed Islam with his sword, on the day when he was tested, on the day when he died, and on the day when he will be raised from the dead.

Therefore, al-Hasan had to face the hardships of the time when his father lived. Namely, he had to face the hardships, which his father faced: the poverty of al-Ansar (the supporters), the armed hostility, and the betraying boycott.

  • 1. Al-Tirmidhi, Kanz al-`Ummal, vol. l, p. 44, tradition no.874. There are many traditions similar to this tradition. For example, among them is: "I am leaving two caliphs among you: the Book of Allah, (which) is extended between the sky and the earth or (which) is between the sky and the earth, and my family, the members of my House, and they shall not abandon each other till they come to me at al-Hawd (the river in Paradise) - (Imam Ahmad, al-Musnad. Al-Tabarani, al-Kabir).
  • 2. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol.4, p.13.
  • 3. Al-Mas'udi, Hashim b. al-Athir, vol. 6, pp. 78-79. Many of our old poets, based their good poems on these historical backgrounds. For example, Mihyar al-Daylami referred to them when he said:

    As for the two evil ones: b. (the son of) Hind and his son,

    Even if their affair became tyrannical after fear

    They did not create (anything) in what they had brought.

    Rather they followed those ways.

    Mihyar's teacher, al-Sharif al-Radi, may Allah have mercy on, had referred to them:

    The deed of the latter ones, though rises over

    The ugly deed of the early ones is not more.

    Al-Kumayt had referred to the above- mentioned historical backgrounds before these two poets: The bowmen hit it (the target) with the bow of other than them So the latter, gave him the trousers. There are other poetic lines similar to these in meaning.

  • 4. Bolis Salama.
  • 5. Mu'awiya said in what he wrote to him (Imam 'Ali) with Abu Imama al-Bahili: "And you failed to pledge allegiance to him (i.e., Abu Bakr) till you were forced to (pledge allegiance) to him. You were dragged with the reins of force as the injured camel dragged."
  • 6. Imam 'Ali, Nahj al-Balagha, (explained by Muhammad `Abda), vol.1, p.299
  • 7. The ugliest spites concerning the matter of the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, is that those debates disappeared from history. So we have found nothing of them but bits and pieces which the enemy's observation ignored without intention. So here, I (the author) have mentioned the following words of the renewing poet al-Hajj `Abd al Husayn al-Azdi:

    Read what the desires write at your time.

    (That) tells about what occurred in the past times.

  • 8. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, vo1.4, p.12.
  • 9. You can clearly find that in what Mu'awiya wrote to Muhammad b. Abu Bakr concerning Imam 'Ali, peace be on him. He (Mu'awiya) said: "Your father and his companions were the first to usurp his right and disagreed with him on authority. They agreed and were harmonious on that. Then they summoned him to pledge allegiance to them. However, he was slow in coming to them and failed to answer them. So they asked him to be quick, and they intended to do a great thing against him. Then he (Imam 'Ali) pledged allegiance to them and yielded to them. However, they prevented him from taking part in their authority. And they did not inform him of their secrets till Allah made them die." Then he (Mu'awiya) added: "If what we are in was right, then your father seized it and we were his partners. Were not for your father's previous act, we would have obeyed b. Abu Talib and yielded to him. However, your father had done that (disobedience) before us. So we followed him." See al-Mas'udi, Hashim b. al-Athir, vol.6, pp.78- 79.
  • 10. We find many examples concerning this point in the words of the Commander of the faithful (Amir al-mu'mineen peace be on him). In this connection he said: "By Allah, I am still deprived of my right. (Some people) have been preferred to me since Allah made His Apostle die till this day of people." And He said: "Allah, I ask you to show your enmity towards Quraysh and those who help them. For they have severed the relations between me and my relatives, belittled my great position, gathered together to dispute with me over the authority which belongs to me."
  • 11. Place on the bank of the Euphrates, between `Ana and Dir al-Sha'ar.

After The Pledge Of Allegiance

The religion of Islam is what the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, propagated. For he (the Prophet): "Does not speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed." So the Prophet had the right to nominate the Muslim successor for the succession. That is because the succession is the high responsible authority for the lawful. Therefore al-Hasan b. 'Ali was the legitimate successor whether the people pledged allegiance to him or not.

The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, mentioned al-Hasan within the chain of the names of the twelve imams. The Prophet said many traditions concerning al-Hasan and his brother al-Husayn. The Sunni scholars have reported these traditions.1 All the Shi'ite scholars have agreed on the report of these traditions. In other words the two parties (Sunna and Shi'a) have agreed on these traditions. Among these traditions are: "You (al-Hasan and al Husayn) are two Imams. Your mother has the intercession.2"This (i.e., al-Husayn) is an Imam, the son of an Imam, the brother of an Imam, and the father of the nine Imams.3

When Imam 'Ali got ill, he ordered his son (al-Hasan) to lead the people in prayer. When Imam 'Ali was about to die, he entrusted al-Hasan and said: "My son, you are the trustee of authority and of blood." Imam 'Ali made al-Husayn, Muhammad (b. al-Hanafiya), all his sons, the chiefs of his Shi'a (followers), and the members of his House bear witness for his bequest. Imam 'Ali gave al-Hasan the Book and the weapon, then he said to him: "My son, the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, has ordered me to entrust you and to give you my books and my weapon as the Apostle of Allah entrusted me and gave me his books and his weapons. Also he (the Prophet) has ordered me to order you that when death comes to you, give them (the books and the weapon) to your brother al-Husayn."

Then Imam 'Ali turned to al-Husayn and said: "The Apostle of Allah has ordered you to give them to this son of you."4 Then he took the hand of 'Ali b. al-Husayn and said: "The Apostle of Allah has ordered you to give them to your son Muhammad. Send him the greetings of the Apostle of Allah and my (greetings).5

All tradition books have mentioned this tradition through authentic reliable chains of narrations on the authority of the members of the House (Ahl alBayt), peace be on them. This tradition of 'Ali was appropriate for the expected conditions. The Imami Shi'a uses this method to prove the Imamate. The Sunni scholars have reported successive Prophetic traditions through their methods. Also non- Sunni scholars have clearly reported the same traditions through their methods. They (the traditions) have limited the Imamate to twelve Imams who were all from Quraysh.6 Also they sometimes mention their names Imam by Imam to the last one of them, who is the awaited Mahdi (the rightly guided one), with whom Allah will fill the earth with justice when it is full of oppression and injustice.

Moreover, there are personal texts which the imams said to nominate each other.

Then the supremacy of each imam in knowledge, acts, miracles, and outstanding merits underlines both kinds of the above- mentioned traditions.

As for the pledge of allegiance of people, it is not a condition in the imamate of the Imam. In other words, people should pledge allegiance to those whom the Prophetic traditions have underlined. The Imamis regard pledging allegiance to other than the Imam as a correct act. It (pledging allegiance) is not accepted from anyone but at the time of compulsion.

The conditions prevented the community from pledging allegiance to the nominated Imams but two of them, who were 'Ali and al-Hasan peace be on them.

After al-Hasan, the formal succession started. Such kind of succession was usurped through weapons or money. Namely, such kind of succession occurred as al-Ghazali said: "The people assumed the succession without any merit."7

It was better for the Muslims or the Muslim historians in particular to regard the end of al-Hasan's succession as the beginning of the time of the kingdom. So they would be able to know that time clearly through its aspects, its policies, and its non-Islamic deeds. If they (the Muslims and the Muslim historians) had done that, they would have maintained the ideal, Islamic beliefs which that ideal succession followed.

For they followed the example of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. Also they (they Muslims and the Muslim historians) would have protected Islam from those kings who imposed their succession on Muslims. Unfortunately, the Muslim historians have called those kings successors while they (the kings) were not worthy of this title. For this reason, the mentioned historians have wronged Islam though they wanted to do good for it.

I (the author) wonder: was it appropriate for the successor, who had to be like the Prophet in his words and acts, to perform the Friday prayer on Wednesday or to perform it again in the morning? Was it appropriate for him to do Islamically forbidden acts?

In other words, was it appropriate for him to sell gold for that which is more than it in weight, to attribute the corrupt persons to the family of the Prophet, to murder the believing people, and to supply the unbelievers with money to wage war against his Muslim brothers, and the like? So why had the historians not called such persons kings instead of calling them successor? Just imagine those persons who succeeded Mu'awiya. Did they not belong to the tree which Allah has cursed in the Qur'an? Just imagine Yazid, Abd al-Malik, al-Walid, and the like!

All these acts should urge Muslims to support Islam. They should not attribute to the Islamic authority but to those ideal Imams who followed the example of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family.

As we have said that al-Hasan was the most similar person to the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, in form, manner, and nobility.8 He had the visage of prophets and the glory of kings. He is the lord of the youth of Paradise in the hereafter. The lord in the hereafter must be a lord in this world. His grandfather the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, surnamed him the absolute lord.

We have known that al-Hasan was the noblest person in ancestry. He was the best of men in father, mother, uncle, aunt, grandmother, and grandfather, as Malik b. `Ajlan described him during the meeting of Mu'awiya.9
As al-Hasan had these noble traits and a textual nomination, then why didn't the people pledge Allegiance to him? Why didn't they let him assume the high religious position (i.e., the succession)? If it is difficult for us to understand the Imamate and the succession through these excellent abilities and outstanding merits, then which quality can replace them all and help us understand the Imamate or the succession?

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, carne out to meet the people. He was indifferent to their attitude towards him. Thus he stood on the pulpit of his father peace be on him to praise him. He said: "There has died to night 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 Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, and protect him with his own life.

The Apostle of Allah, may Allah 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 Allah brought victory through his hands. He, peace be on him, has died on this night on which Jesus, son of Mary, was taken up (to Heaven), on which Joshua, son of Nun, the testamentary trustee (wasr) 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."10

This praise of al-Husayn is unique. Also his style is oratorical. We have never read such kind of style. For al-Hasan, as you see, has not mentioned the known qualities of the great late Imam. People used to hear these qualities during such attitudes when great men are praised. People used to praise great men to show their noble qualities such as knowledge, patience, eloquence, bravery, generosity, lineage, nobility, faithfulness, refusal, and the like. Among the great men was 'Ali, who astonished the praises.

Therefore why did al-Hasan, peace be on him, refrain from following the known method in praising the great ones? I (the author) wonder: Did the strong shock resulting from his father's death prevent him from that? In other words, al-Hasan was an eloquent orator. He was the son of the most eloquent person in oration. Therefore why did he not mention his father's known qualities? Did he intentionally use this style? So al-Hasan was the most eloquent orator in using appropriate words for such an occasion. Besides he was the longest of them in oration though his words were short.

Yes, al-Hasan praised his father in the manner which no one had used before him in history. He mentioned certain qualities to praise his father. The qualities were not appropriate for anyone in history except 'Ali. Namely, no one of great men has such qualities. Therefore they are Alid traits.

Al-Hasan mentioned the Divine qualities of his father. He wanted to indicate that there was no one like his father throughout history.

Imam 'Ali was a man. However, the early people were not like him, nor were the later ones. He was a human being. However, he was between Gabriel and Michael. His spirit was taken up (to Heaven) on the night on which Jesus was taken up (to Heaven), on which Moses died, and on which the Qur'an came down to the earth. He spent all stages of his life with a close angel, a sent prophet, and a sent down Book. He was with the Apostle of Allah. He was ready to sacrifice his life for him. So the noble qualities in this world are not important in comparison with the Divine ones. For this reason, al-Hasan did not mention the noble traits in this world when he praised his father.

Now, you may agree with me on this unique style which al-Hasan used to praise his father, peace be on them. Namely, he used the most eloquent praise and the most appropriate style for the late Imam at that time.

This is one of al-Hasan's oratorical attitudes that indicate his close relation to his father and his grandfather, may Allah bless them and their families. Al-Hasan, the Successor, peace be on him, delivered many sermons after his father's death. For the people pledged allegiance to him. Moreover, he faced many critical situations.

`Ubayd Allah b. `Abbas b. `Abd al-Muttalib, al-Hasan's cousin, stood by the pulpit in al-Masjid al-Jami` that was full of people. He was waiting for the people to stop weeping after al-Hasan's praise for his father, peace be on them.

Then `Ubayd Allah said the following words with his sounding inherited voice that boomed in the earth as it boomed in the sky. From the first day, he propagated the message of the sky in the earth: "This is your Imam. He is the grandson of your Prophet and trustee of authority of your Imam. So pledge allegiance to him. `With him Allah guides those who will follow His pleasure into the ways of safety and brings them out of utter darkness into light by His will and guides them to the right path.'"

Many people remembered the tradition of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, till the day when Imam 'Ali died. The tradition was concerning the succession of al-Hasan after his father. So the people said: "How dear is he (al-Hasan) with us! How obligatory is his right on us! What appropriate is he for the succession!" Then they rushed willingly to pledge allegiance to him.

That (the pledge of allegiance) was on the twenty- first of the month of Ramadan, on the day when his father (peace be on him) died, in the year 40 A.H.11

In this manner, Kufa was the first to pledge allegiance to al-Hasan, peace be on him. Then Basrah and al-Mada'in pledged allegiance to him. Then all Iraqis pledged allegiance to him. Then Hijaz (Saudi Arabia) and the Yemen, headed by the great leader Jariya b. Qaddama, pledged allegiance to him. Then Persia (Iran) pledged allegiance to him with the help of its leader Ziyad b. `Ubayd. Moreover, the great figures of the Emigrants (muhajrin) and of the Supporters (Ansar) pledged allegiance to him. Generally speaking, no one refused to pledge allegiance to al-Hasan, peace be on him, but Mu'awiya and his followers. So Mu'awiya led his followers to the way of misguidance. Besides other persons adopted a neutral attitude, so they were called al-quad (the neutral).

The religious succession was achieved according to its general phenomenon through the free pledge of allegiance. This was the second pledge of allegiance in the history of the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family. So al-Hasan's Imamate came to the Muslims through the holy way in which Prophethood came to them half a century before. So al-Hasan's Imamate had a close relation to the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. For it is regarded as continuation for the Prophetic mission through which the people were guided. In other words, the new Successor (i.e., al-Hasan) was ideal materially and spiritually.

According to these outstanding merits, al-Hasan, peace be on him, was the most appropriate person for the succession as the poet said:

He obtained the succession because it was predetermined for him.

As Musa (Moses) came to his Lord due to predetermination.

After the people had pledged allegiance to Imam al-Hasan, peace be on him, he started his new time through his historical, eloquent speech. Through this speech he mentioned the outstanding merits of the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt) and their clear right to authority. Then he told the people about the expected dangers from which Islam would suffer.

The following is some of his eloquent speech: "We are the victorious party of Allah. We are the close family of the Apostle of Allah. We are the good, pure members of his House. We are one of the two valuable things (al-thaqalayn) which the Apostle of Allah left behind him in his community. The other is the Book of Allah, in which there are details for everything. `False shall not come to it from before it nor from behind it.' So reliance is on us in explaining it. We do not depend on doubts in explaining it. Rather we are certain of its facts. Therefore obey us, for our obedience is obligatory. It is as obligatory as the obedience to the Apostle of Allah. Allah, the Great and Almighty said: `O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those in authority from you; then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Apostle.' Then He said: `.And if they had referred it to the Prophet and to those in authorities among them, those among them who can search out the knowledge of it would have known it.'"

In the end of his speech, al-Hasan, peace be on him said: "I warn you not to listen to the temptation of the Satan, for he is a clear enemy for you. Therefore you will be like his followers to whom he said: `No one of the people can overcome you this day, and surely I am your protector; but when the two parties came in sight of each other he turned upon his heels, and said: Surely I am clear of you, surely I see what you do not see.' So `On the day when some of the signs of your Lord shall come, its faith shall not profit a soul that did not believe before, or earn good through its faith.'"12

Then al-Hasan, peace be on him, got off his pulpit to regulate the governors, to appoint the commanders, and to take care of the affairs.13

Accepting the Succession

Some pedantic critics thought that al-Hasan, peace be on him, was hasty when he accepted the succession at that time when the people pledged allegiance to him. For that time was about to result in hardships.

To understand whether al-Hasan, peace be on him, was hasty or not according to this criticism, we must explain the reason why al Hasan, peace be on him, accepted the succession:

1. As it was a religious duty on the people to pledge allegiance to the nominated Imam, it was incumbent on the Imam, who had supporters, to accept the succession from the people.

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, had many supporters. For the people all over the Muslim countries gathered together to pledge allegiance to him. So he had no right to fail to accept the obligatory succession. For the situation was appropriate.

2. This criticism concerning the succession of al-Hasan, peace be on him, has resulted from a pure worldly viewpoint. Thus the researcher must take the religious viewpoint into account. For there is a great difference between the religious viewpoint and the worldly one. From here, this matter subject is victory, not loss, as we will explain it in its proper place. Although the pledge of allegiance to al-Hasan, peace be on him, resulted in hardships, the hardships were for the sake of Islam. Then who was better than al-Hasan, peace be on him, in bearing the hardships for Islam?

3. Al-Hasan had a high social rank among the Muslim leaders, noble lineage, and plentiful knowledge. Thus he was unable to abandon the people even if he wanted that intentionally, nor did the people abandon him even if he wanted to abandon them. Moreover, many violent events occurred successively in the Muslim society. Such events urged him to take on an attitude to enforce the right and to forbid the wrong, as his brother al-Husayn, peace be on him, did at his time.

If al-Hasan, peace be on him, had abandoned the people and turned away from their pledge of allegiance to him, and if the people had abandoned him and refrained from pledging allegiance to him, the oppressive rulers would have not left him. For they thought that he was a fearful ghost. That is because his high social rank, his noble ancestry, and his plentiful knowledge spread righteousness among the people. Meanwhile the people were indignant with that situation. Thus they opposed the rulers, and propagated the religion of Allah. At that time, the people did not find anyone better than the beloved grandson of the Apostle of Allah to refer to in their religious affairs.

Apart from this, delegations came to al-Hasan, peace be on him, and told him that they were ready to oppose the Umayyad rulers to bring back the usurped right. This underlines the clear wrath that prevailed the Muslim society, then.14 Of course, the authority of the oppressors was shaky as long as this prominent figure (i.e., al-Hasan) was among the people who referred to him in their religious affairs.

We must always remember that al-Hasan, peace be on him, was given poison to drink. Why did they (the Umayyad rulers) kill him while he made peace with them and left all this world for them? Does this not mean that they were afraid of him? For he would shake their authority and prevent the hearts of the people from inclining towards them. Besides, does this not indicate that the people refused to consult anyone concerning their religious affairs except him?

All these events occurred after the Peace Treaty. Still some groups of his followers and other than they have criticized him for his peaceful attitude with Mu'awiya.

I (the author) wonder: how would the Muslims have treated al Hasan, peace be on him, if he had refused the succession from the beginning? That is because they were longing very much for his succession. Accordingly, was it possible for al-Hasan, peace be on him, to be the ray of hope and shelter for the indignant and the opposes? Was it possible for his careful eyes to sleep and leave their world?

So which mind accepts that al-Hasan, peace be on him, was hasty when he accepted the succession?

The succession, in its origin, was the position of his father. So he (al-Hasan) and his brother (al-Husayn) inherited it. That is what Imam Musa b. Ja'far, peace be on them, said.

As for the disturbances which these critics have mentioned, they were created by the opposes in Kufa. In the meantime, no one of those disturbances harmed al-Hasan, peace be on him, as long as the people supported him. It is worth mentioning that every caliph or leader has opposes.

So accepting the succession was the most feasible idea in all circumstances. Rather, it was incumbent on al-Hasan, peace be on him, to accept the succession to maintain the public interest and to enforce the right.

  • 1. Al-Qunduzi, Yanabi` al-Mawadda, vo1.2, p. 440. Ibn al-Khashshab, Ta'rikh. Ibn al-Sabbagh, al-Fusul al-Muhimma. Al-Hafiz al-Kunji, al-Bayan. As'ad b. Ibrahim b. al-Hasan b. 'Ali al-Hanbali, al-Arba'iniya. Hafiz al-Bukhari (Khaja Barsa), Fasl al-Khitab.
  • 2. Al-Shibrawi al-Shafi'i, al-Ithaf bi Hub al-Ashraf (Egypt), p.129. Al Safuri al-Shafi'i, vol. 2, p. 148.
  • 3. Ibn Taymiya, al-Minhaj, vol. 4, p. 210.
  • 4. Al-Mas'udi, Hamish b. al-Athir, vol. 6, 61.
  • 5. 'Usul al-Kafi, p. 151. Kashf al-Ghumma, p.159.
  • 6. In his book called `al-Sahih, vol.2, p. 119, Chapter: People were the Followers of Quraysh, Muslim has reported on the authority of Jabir b. Samra, who said: "I (i.e., Jabir) heard the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, saying: `The religion will last till the hour (i.e., the Day of Judgment) starts, and there will be twelve Imams over them (people), who are all from Quraysh.'" A similar tradition has been reported by: al-Bukhari, al-Tirmidhi, al-Hamidi, and the like.
  • 7. Farid Wajdi, Da'irat al-Ma'arif, vo1.3, p. 231.
  • 8. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad, p. 167. Al-Ya'qubi, al-Ta'rikh, vol. 1, p.201.
  • 9. One day Mu'awiya said to the noble people from Quraysh and others: "Tell me about the best person in father, mother, uncle, aunt, grandmother, and grandfather." So Malik b. `Ajlan stood up, pointed to al Hasan, and said: "There he is! His father was 'Ali b. Abu Talib. His mother was Fatima, the daughter of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. His uncle was Ja'far al-Tayyar (the one who flies in the gardens). His aunt was Umm Hani' the daughter of Abu Talib. His uncle was al-Qasim the son of the Apostle of Allah. His aunt was Zaynab the daughter of the Apostle of Allah. His grandfather was Allah's Apostle. And His grandmother was Khadija bint (the daughter of) Khuwaylid." (al-Bayhaqi, vol. l, p.62).
  • 10. Al-Ya'qubi, Ta'rikh, vol. 2, p.190. Ibn al-Athir, vol. 2, p. 190. Maqatil al-Talibiyyin.
  • 11. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, vol. 4, p. 11. Other than b. Abu al-Hadid, has mention `Abd Allah instead of his brother `Ubayd Allah.
    In Chapter `Leadership and War,' we will mention that `Abd Allah was not in Kufa when the people pledged allegiance to al-Hasan, peace be on him.
  • 12. Hisham b. Hasan has reported this sermon. He said: "It (the sermon) is some of his (i.e., al-Hasan's) sermons after the pledge of allegiance to him. See Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 99. Also see al-Mas'udi
  • 13. Most historians have reported this text.
  • 14. Al-Imama wa al-Siyasa

Kufa During The Days Of The Pledge Of Allegiance

Sa'sa'a b. Sawhan al-`Abdi1 described Kufa as: "the dome of Islam and top of speech." However, there were rude persons in Kufa. They prevented the people from obeying those who were in charge of authority (i.e., the Prophet's family). Also they prevented the people from meeting them. These were the manners of the possessors.

The Muslims inhabited Kufa in the year 17 A.H., namely directly after the conquest of Iraq.2

The early houses of Kufa were built of reed. However, they burned down. So they were built of adobes. The streets of Kufa were twenty cubits wide. Its lanes were seven cubits wide. The places of the buildings were among its streets. They were forty cubits wide. Also alqatay` (plots of land) were among its streets. They were sixty cubits wide.

The Mosque was the first thing to be built in Kufa. It was built in the Middle of the area which was chosen to build the city. A strong man threw arrows at all directions. Then the houses were built beyond the arrows. So the area before the arrows was allotted to build the Mosque and its yard. In front of the Mosque, they (the Muslims) built a porch on which they built pillars made of marble, which the followers of Kasra (a Persian king) brought from the ruins of al-Hira. They (the Muslims) dug a trench around the yard of the Mosque to prevent the people from building houses near it.

Suddenly, the buildings of Kufa increased. For the Commander of the faithful (Amir al-mu'minin) emigrated to it. Then he regarded it as a headquarters after the Battle of the Camel on the twelfth of the month of Rajab, in the year 36 A.H.

Among the motives of this initiative (the Emigration of Imam 'Ali to Kufa) was that the resources of Hijaz (Saudi Arabi) became so weak that this country depended on other resources from other countries. The most harmful thing for a certain country is that it depends on the resources of other countries. However, Kufa and Iraq did not suffer from the paucity of resources. In other words their resources were more than their needs. There were also military factors. For example military rebels used Iraq as a base for their hostile acts.

Prominent Muslim figures came successively to Kufa, from various Muslim countries. For it was the capital of the Caliphate. The Arab tribes from the Yemen and Hijaz, and the Persian communities from al-Mada'in and Iran inhabited Kufa. Trade markets became active in it. Scientific studies became bright in it. Gardens and villages were built around it. Glorious history, arts, sciences lasted in it for a long time.

Shi'ism (tashayu) for Imam 'Ali and his sons, peace be on them, prevailed Kufa under the Hashimite ruling. This phenomenon has been in it since that time. Because of the mixed groups who inhabited the new city, other hostile desires appeared there beside Shi'ism. After a short time, such hostile motives became the reason for creating historical events in Kufa.

The pledge of allegiance to al-Hasan, peace be on him, occurred when Kufa pledged allegiance to him. Then all the people there agreed on his nomination though they rarely agreed on a certain idea.

Throughout his life in this city, al-Hasan, peace be on him, showed the noble qualities which the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, inherited. Those noble qualities were: goodness, good manners, noble feelings, gentle traits, wide patience, excellent mind, knowledge, religious devotion, worship, and the like. So the hearts of the people inclined towards him.

The Pulpit of the succession, though sad for the late Imam ('Ali), smiled at the Prophetic qualities inherited by its new Successor. For he was the best person in piety, refraining from the life in this world, and collecting all good traits. For this reason, he (al-Hasan) was a unique figure. Thus all different persons agreed on him willingly. Moreover, all the elements of leadership necessary for the leader of a nation or the Imam of people gathered in al-Hasan.

The festivals of the pledge of allegiance to al-Hasan, peace be on him, in Kufa ended in the hoped manner. They resulted in strength, activity, and mobilization. However, fate has rules that do not occur according to the measures of minds, nor do they occur according to the desires of selves. So the political atmosphere in the city of (Kufa), that celebrated the appointment of the Successor for the first time in its history, was still stagnant, clouded, and mingled with much suspicious disturbance.

That was what Kufa suffered from because of the effects of the violent battles that happened in the neighboring places, namely in Basrah, Nahrwan, and Siffin. In Kufa, at that time, there were many supporters for the martyrs and victims of these battles from both parties. Those supporters were very eager to avenge the blood of their martyrs. So they spared no effort to carry out their purposes. Some of these purposes were good, while some of them were evil. The evil purposes were the reason for creating disagreement in the Muslim community.

Though al-Hasan was in the beginning of his succession, all the hearts inclined towards him. For he was the son of the daughter of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. To love him was among the conditions of belief. To obey him was among the conditions of the pledge of allegiance to him.

Ibn Kathir said: "They (the Kufans) loved him (i.e., al-Hasan) more than they loved his father.3

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, was still safe from all parties. That is because he did not react to destroy the purposes of some people or to injure the sensitive cord of the stubborn ideas of some people. That is because the ways through which Islam lived at that time were sometimes subjected, in such Muslims, to personal aims and were sometimes to fanatic opinions.

Many of those people were selfish and ambitious. Their selfishness and ambitions exceeded the limits of Islam. Thus they thought that they would achieve their ambitions through pledging allegiance to al Hasan. Al-Hasan's good manners made them pledge allegiance to him. For his manners reminded them of the manners of his grandfather, may Allah bless him and his family. Also they memorized a tradition from the Companions of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. The tradition said that al-Hasan was the most similar person to Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, in form and nobility.

In fact, they (the Kufans) understood al-Hasan's great manners as they were.

Many of those who were opposed to al-Hasan's ideas and thoughts competed with each other for the above- mentioned ambitions. So they pledged allegiance to him of their own accord as the loyal believers did. Then they, after a short time, were the quickest of all the people in escaping from his camps. That is because they thought that they would obtain their ambitions through the leniency of al-Hasan, peace be on him. However, they found it difficult for them to get their ambitions when al-Hasan assumed the succession. For he was very strict in enforcing the Islamic law even with his close relatives such as his brother and cousin.

For this reason, it was natural for the leaders in Kufa to oppose al Hasan, peace be on him, as they had opposed the late Imam (i.e., Imam 'Ali) who said to them: "You have filled my heart with puss and loaded my bosom with rage. You made me drink mouthfuls of grief one after the other." In this manner, that corrupt group of people clung to their angry partisanship. Meanwhile they found a strong supporter abroad (i.e., Mu'awiya in Syria). Also in this manner, various kinds of problems began to appear because of that abominable partisanship.

Groups of the opportunists took advantage of that critical stage. They were able to communicate with the people of Kufa to provoke them to mutiny against the obligatory Successor, to violate morals, and to break the pledge of Allegiance to him, peace be on him. These kind of people, who were `like men,' resorted to riot, boycott, and disobedience when the Islamic Succession was moved to the new city (Kufa) in Iraq. For the Islamic Succession there was clear in carrying out the Islamic laws and was severe in enforcing justice. They were restless because they were hopeless of the world of that succession. For such a kind of succession was religious, not worldly. Also they knew that the succession would not allow them to achieve their worldly ambitions.

So they (the rebels in Kufa) took advantage of the disagreement between the new Successor in Kufa and Mu'awiya in Sham (Syria). They found that disagreement appropriate for them to renew their activities to get possible urgent interests through deceiving the two parties (i.e., al-Hasan and Mu'awiya). Thus they were before two choices: either they get their ambitions through the new succession or they co-operate with each other to corrupt and destroy it. In the meantime, Mu`awiya promised to achieve their ambitions. Accordingly, money and promises were the strongest weapons the rulers in Sham used to destroy the new succession in Kufa throughout that time.

In this manner, the changeable desires, the different ideas, the bad manners, and the impudent quarrels were able to weaken the attitude of al-Hasan, peace be on him, in Kufa.

Thus the people during the pledge of allegiance to al-Hasan, peace be on him, were many parties. We may classify them as follows:

The Umayyad Party

The greatest persons who belonged to this party were: `Amr b. Hurayth, `Ammara b. al-Walid b. 'Aqaba, Hajar b. `Amru, `Umar b. Sa'd b. Abu Waqqas, Abu Burda b. Abu Musa al-Ash'ari, Isma'il and Ishaq the two sons of Talha b. `Ubayd Allah, and the like. Strong elements with followers and influence belonged to this party. They played a dangerous role in destroying the succession of al-Hasan, peace be on him, through their riot, plots, and disobedience.

"So they wrote secretly to Mu'awiya to listen and obey him. They urged him to come quickly to them. They guaranteed to hand over al Hasan when they got to his camp, or to kill him treacherously."4

In his book `Ta'rikh, al-Mas'udi told us5: "Many of them (the Kufans) wrote secretly to him (Mu'awiya). They became hasty in promises for him and asked him for powers."

"Mu'awiya plotted against `Amr b. Hurayth, al-Ash'ath b. Qays, Hajjar b. Abjar, and Shibth b. Rib'i through his spies. In the meantime he said to one of his spies: "If you kill al-Hasan, I will give you one hundred thousand dirhams, an army of the armies of Sham (Syria), and a daughter of my daughters." Al-Hasan, peace be on him, heard of that. So he wore his breastplate. He guarded against them and did not head them in prayer. So one of them (the above mentioned persons) threw an arrow at him. However, the arrow did not hit him because of his breastplate. 6

One of these texts is enough to explain Mu'awiya's intentions. In this manner, they (the Kufans) did evil deeds intentionally. They did the deeds of the traitor who waited for an opportunity. Their mean attempts were clear even under the clouds of deception and hypocrisy. In other words their attempts seemed exposed and blatant at the hour of the summons to the obligation.

Also in this manner, they (the Kufans) were throughout that time the leaders of riot, helpers of plots, and fingers of the enemy in the city (of Kufa).

The Kharijites co-operated with them (the Kufans) to overthrow the Hashimite Caliphate during its two holy times. That is because the Kharijites and the Kufans shared the same plan. The evidence for this is what has been in the last text concerning the participation of alAsh'ath b. Qays and Shibth b. Rib'i, who were among the leaders of the Kharijites in Kufa.

The Kharijites

They were the enemies of Imam 'Ali, peace be on him, from the day when the event of the arbitration (al-tahkim) took place. Also they were the enemies of Mu'awiya.

The leaders of the Kharijites in Kufa were: `Abd Allah b. Wahab al-Rasibi, Shibth b. Rib'i, al-Ash'ath b. Qays, and Shimr b. Dhi al-Jawshan.

The Kharijites insisted on waging war against Mu'awiya more than the other people in Kufa did. It was they who pledged allegiance to al Hasan, peace be on him, on the condition that he should fight against those who went astray (i.e., the Syrians). However, al-Hasan refused their pledge of allegiance according to this condition. He wanted them to pledge allegiance to him to conform to "listening and obeying."

Moreover, he asked them to fight against him whom he fought against and to make peace with him whom he made peace with. So the Kharijites went to his brother al-Husayn, peace be on him. They said to him: "Stretch out your hand to pledge allegiance to you as we had pledged allegiance to your father to fight those who went astray (i.e., the Syrians)." So al-Husayn, peace be on him, said to them: "I seek protection with Allah, I cannot accept your pledge of allegiance as long as al-Hasan is living." So they (the Kharijites) went to al-Hasan again and pledged their allegiance to him as he had stipulated before.7

I (the author) think that there was no aspect of enmity when the Kharijites wanted to pledge allegiance to al-Hasan, peace be on him. Besides there was no aspect of enmity when they insisted on fighting those who went astray from the Syrians. In the meantime, some followers of al-Hasan, peace be on him, supported the Kharijites to declare war. However, when you read the stages of the matter of al Hasan, you will understand that the Kharijites were the reason for creating critical conditions from which al-Hasan suffered. You have read in the foregoing text that two leaders of the Kharijites took part in the ugliest Umayyad plot in Kufa

The Kharijites used effective, fearful methods when they provoked the people against the Umayyads. Their methods undermined the belief of many people with doubts. That was the reason for the spreading of the Kharijites after their decisive defeat at the Battle of al-Nahrwan.

Concerning the methods of the Kharijites, Ziyad b. Abih said: "Indeed, the words of these (Kharijites) goes quicker to the hearts than the fire goes to the reeds." In this connection, al-Mughira b. Shu'ba said: "When they (the Kharijites) stayed at a place for two days, they corrupted those whom they associated. 8

The Kharijites told lies and thought that they told the truth. They did evil deeds and thought that they did good deeds. They relied on Allah, but there was no religious relation between Him and them.

We will mention the Kharijites again when we discuss the members of the Army in the following chapters.

The Doubters

We have read something about the doubters in what al-Mufid, may Allah have mercy on him, has mentioned concerning the members of the Army of al-Hasan, peace be on him. We think that they have been called the doubters because they were affected by the ideas of the Kharijites while they did not belong to them. They were hesitating. Namely they did not belong to a certain party.

I (the author) have known that al-Murtada has mentioned the doubters at a great length and regarded them as unbelievers in his book `al-Anal', vol. 3, p. 93. It is as if that he understood that the doubters had doubts about the origin of the religion.

The doubters were a group of the people of Kufa. They were from the defeated rabble there. They had no intention to do good, nor had they an ability to do evil. However, their existence in itself was evil. It was a help for corruption, and a tool in the hands of the wrongdoers.

Al-Hamra'

They belonged to the armed men in Kufa. Their number was twenty-thousand men, as al-Tabari said in his book `Ta'rikh'. When Kufa had been divided into one-sevenths, they lived in the one seventh which was allotted to their allies who belonged to the Banu (sons of) `Abd al-Qays. They (the Hamra') did not belong to the Banu of `Abd al-Qays, nor did they belong to the Arabs. Rather they were a mixed band from the friends and the slaves. Maybe, most of them were from the sons of the Persian women who were taken prisoners at the Battles of `Ayn al-Tamr and Jalawla' in the years 12- 17 A.H. So they carried weapons in the crisis of al-Hasan in the year 41 A.H., and in the crisis of al-Husayn in the year 61 A.H.

The Hamra' were the police- men of Ziyad who killed the Shi'a in the year 51 A.H. They were from those who carried out their duties well when the evil tempted them. Mere likely, they were the soldiers of the victorious tyrants.

The Hamra' became powerful because they helped Ziyad suppress the events and the disturbances took place in Kufa during the first century A.H. Moreover, they became more powerful in Kufa when they ascribed it to themselves. So Kufa was called the Kufa of the Hamra' (Kufat al-Hamra ).

Basrah, like Kufa, had mixed groups of people (Hamra'). Ziyad, who was the governor of Basrah then, was afraid of their power there, so he tried to destroy them. However, al-Ahnaf b. Qays prevented him from doing that.

Some modern writers have attributed the Hamrd' to the Shi'a, while they were far away from them. For they spared no effort to destroy the Shi'a and their Imams. We do not deny that there might be some of them who adopted the beliefs of the Shi'a. However, the Shi'a are not judged by the few persons. The followers of al-Hasan, peace be on him, lived in Kufa beside these hostile people. The followers of al Hasan were greater in number than the Hamra' in the capital of Imam 'Ali, peace be on him. Among al-Hasan's followers were a number of the Emigrants (muhajrin) and the Supporters (ansar). They followed 'Ali to Kufa. They had a high social rank. The people respected them because they were the Companions of the Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family.

The great figures of the Shi'a in Kufa proved their loyalty to the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. They pledged allegiance to al-Hasan, peace be on him. Thus he (al-Hasan) summoned them to jihad (holy war) after his succession during the critical situations. If those Shi'a had been safe from the plots of the other citizens, they would have defended Kufa against the dangers of the Syrians. No one can deny the ability and the activity of that blessed group of people. By the activity we mean the abilities that helped that Shi'ite group to bear and understand the hardships. Also they help them find solutions to these hardships.

Among that blessed Shi'ite group were: Qays b. Sa'd b. `Abbada al-Ansari, Hujr b. `Abu al-Kindi, `Amr b. al-Hamq al-Khiza'i, Said b. Qays al-Hamadani, Habib b. Muzahir al-Asadi, `Adi b. Hatam al-Ta'i, al-Musayyab b. Nujayya, Ziyad b. Sa'sa'a, and the like.

As for the reckless, opposing foreigners, and the mercenaries, they did their best to overcome those abilities and to change that power.

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, was aware of that atmosphere full of various inclinations, disturbances, and opinions. It was necessary for him, at the beginning of his succession, to tell the people frankly about his plan and his attitude which he had concluded from his real conditions both in Kufa and abroad.

It was Mu'awiya who was the enemy abroad. Thus he disturbed Kufa through his various plots. Also he had taken the reins of authority. Moreover, his own country Sham (Syria) was stable. It was not permitted for al-Hasan, peace be on him, to overlook Mu'awiya. That is because the latter was not an easy enemy. Meanwhile al Hasan would have not been safe from his plots if he had overlooked him. Indeed al-Hasan had been the most ready person to destroy Mu'awiya if he had found available means to achieve that during his conditions.

As for Kufa, it had a dangerous opposition. The opposition was near to al-Hasan, peace be on him, in place. However, it was far away from him in spirit, meaning, and aims. So this kind of opposition engaged the Imam and held his attention.

It was sorrowful for al-Hasan, peace be on him, to see such of people in his capital (i.e., Kufa). For their desires and ambitions had controlled them, and their opinions divided them. Besides, they did not know the meaning of loyalty, the safeguard of the religion, and the rights of the neighbor. They abandoned their morals, so they became an exploited tool for opposition, treason, and corruption. They followed every crower and rambled in every valley. So they were not appropriate for a political field, nor were they appropriate for a war field. It is enough for you to know that they were the reason for creating disturbances, riots, and fear.

In this way, since the ancient times, the Iraqis have the ability to understand opinions and violent revolts on various occasions.

Through his tested attitude, al-Hasan, peace be on him, showed his talents that were always the good news of a bright victory. However, he suffered from awful adversities came down on his attitude as the decree came down from the sky.

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, had predicted many events before they occurred. However, the precautionary procedures prevented him from mentioning those events openly. So he made hints for them. For this reason he said the following vague words which he quoted from the Qur'an: "I see what you do not see."

I (the author) wonder: At that time al-Hasan, peace be on him, saw those active festivals which the Muslim community held to express their loyalty to their new Successor. However, why did the new Successor see what they did not see?

It was the insight that was among the qualities of al-Hasan, peace be on him. He used such an insight in war and peace and in all his steps towards his enemies and his friends.

Unfortunately, the historical encyclopedias have not paid attention to many examples. That is because they are necessary for us to indicate the historical policy of al-Hasan, peace be on him, especially during the first period of his short time. Namely the period that preceded the declaration of holy war (jihad) in Kufa. So we have collected some extracts from here and there to show his skillful policy that is beyond doubt. So he led that shaky community wisely.

The following are some examples about al-Hasan's wise leadership:

1. Al-Hasan, peace be on him, made a certain form for those who wanted to pledge allegiance to him, and he refrained from accepting the conditions which the others made to pledge allegiance to him. He was ready to accept that pledge of allegiance from the people provided that they should listen and obey him, fight those whom he fought against, and make peace with those whom he made peace with. Thus the people admired his ability to run war and peace at the same time.

In this way he was able to please the two parties in Kufa, namely those who wanted war and those who wanted peace. That is because the general situation in Kufa forced him to take such wise precautions for a certain time.

2. Al-Hasan, peace be on him, raised the salaries of the fighters to 100%. That was the first step he took when he became a successor. Then the successors after him followed his example.9

This step al-Hasan, peace be on him, adopted to promote the salaries refreshed the morale of his army and made a large number of people ready to render their services for jihad (holy war).

Also this step means that al-Hasan, peace be on him, was ready to declare war. However, it does not show us clearly that he was resolute to wage war as long as it was a step of refreshment at that new time. Besides this step was among his wise acts that led the Muslims to unity, not to discord. In the meantime it was wise readiness for the future that would force him to wage an expected war.

3. Al-Hasan, peace be on him, ordered the two men to be killed, for they spied for his enemies. Also he threatened those who might spy on him in Kufa and Basrah. Al-Mufid, may Allah have mercy on him, said: "When Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan learned of the death of the Commander of the faithful (Amir al-mu `minin), peace be on him, and the people's pledge of allegiance to his son, al-Hasan, peace be on him, he sent a man from Himyar secretly to Kufa and a man from Banu al-Qayn to Basrah. 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 (the tribe of) Lakhm in Kufa. He had him brought out and executed. (Al-Hasan) wrote to Basrah. Ordering the Qayni to be brought from the Banu Sulaym. He was brought out and executed."10

Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani has mentioned a report similar to what al-Mufid has mentioned: "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 that will soon happen, so wait for it, if Allah wills. I have learned 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.

Many people urged al-Hasan, peace be on him, to wage war against Mu'awiya from the day when he took the reins of authority in Kufa. However, he considered their viewpoints carefully.

In Chapter 5, which you will read soon, we will analyze the political attitude at that time. You will know that this deliberation was the only measure at that time of al-Hasan, peace be on him.

5. Al-Hasan, peace be on him, made Mu'awiya forget his shaky, baseless attitude through exchanging letters. Through Mu'awiya's answers full of insults to al-Hasan, peace be on him, the people were able to know the former's character which was unknown for them. Besides the letters paved the way for al-Hasan to show the reasons for his war against Mu'awiya. Suddenly, Mu'awiya became the defeated party according to the logical viewpoint of the wise though he was victorious, after that, according to the logical viewpoint of those who depend on force.

One of these skillful measures which al-Hasan, peace be on him, used to carry out his political plan during his short time, between the death of his father (peace be on him) and his determination to wage war, is enough to explain al-Hasan's wise policy.

  • 1. See chapter: The Leaders of the Shi'a, in this book. Al-Mas'udi, Hamish b. al-Athir, vo1.6, p.118.
  • 2. Al-Baladhuri, Futuh al-Buldan. Al-Buraqi, Ta'rikh al-Kufa. Al-Hamawi, al-Mu'jam. However, al-Hamawi opposed him when he said: "Basrah was inhabited six months before Kufa in the year 14 A.H."
  • 3. Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 8, p.41.
  • 4. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad, p.170. Al-Tubrisi, A'lam al-Ward.
  • 5. Al-Mas'udi, Hamish b. al-Athir, vol.6, p.42. I (the author) say: I think that many people from Sham might have written to al-Hasan, peace be on him, at that time as the Kufans wrote to Mu'awiya. We have known that the two parties (the Kufans and the Syrians) were ready to break their promises whenever worldly desires tempted them. You have to see `al-Mahasin wa al Masawi', vol. 2, p.200, by al-Bayhaqi, to know that the followers of Mu'awiya wrote to imam 'Ali, peace be on him. Also try to see Ta'rikh, vol. 3, p. 12, by al-Ya'qubi, to know that all followers of `Abd al-Malik b. Marwan wrote to Mas'ab b. al-Zubayr and asked him for safety and gifts. So we must understand that the Syrians wrote to al-Hasan, but their letters have remained secret for us, for al-Hasan did not reveal the secret as Mu'awiya did, or the historians have intentionally ignored this matter as they have ignored many matters.
  • 6. `Ilal al-Sharai`, p.82.
  • 7. Al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, p. 150.
  • 8. Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 109.
  • 9. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol.4, p. 12.
  • 10. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad, p. 168. al-Anwar. Kashf al-Ghumma.

Determination To Wage War

The studies throughout the various historical periods have maintained that the victory of religion in a certain society is of great importance for spreading ethics. That is because nations follow the example of their leaders and adopt the aims of their laws. If religion had nothing but to enjoin people to do good deeds, prevent them from doing evil deeds, and purifying the self from clinging to worldly desires, then it would be enough.

This group (i.e., the Umayyads) was from the remains of the pre-Islamic paganism. They propagated classicism. They used to cling to the habits of their fathers and grandfathers, ancient regulations, and unjust attitudes. They were the mortal enemies of the religion. After they had followed the religion, they regarded it as means for achieving their worldly ambitions.

The aims of the religion have become lost because of these ambitions. Besides society has lost its necessary righteousness. So the people have clung to their worldly ambitions. Moreover, the religion has become as Imam Husayn, peace be on him, said: "licking on the tongues of the people. They encompass it as long as their livelihood stream. However, when they are tested with the tribulation, the followers of the religion become few."

The family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, had their own message. They did not retreat from it. For they wanted to save people (from oppression) not to achieve their own interest. They wanted to spread the teachings of the religion not to establish their own thorns. They wanted to preserve morals not to preserve their own selves.

However, Mu'awiya opposed these objectives. He waged war against those who wanted to propagate them (the objectives). He insisted on his oppression and enmity. He sought the fame of authority. He looked after his feelings and ideas. Therefore it was incumbent on al-Hasan, peace be on him, to lead the Muslims to fight against him, and to punish him according to the Laws of Allah, the Great and Almighty.

Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani said: "The first thing which al-Hasan, peace be on him, did was that he raised the salaries of the fighter to 100%.’Ali, peace be on him, did that on the day (Battle) of the Camel. Then al-Hasan did it as soon as he became a successor. So the successors did that after him."

He (i.e., Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani) said: "Al-Hasan, peace be on him, wrote to Mu'awiya and Harb b. `Abd Allah al-Azdi: From al Hasan b. 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, to Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan. Salamun `alayka (peace be on you). Indeed, I thank Allah, Who there is no god but He, instead of you. Now then, verily, Allah, the Great and Almighty, appointed Muhammad as mercy for worlds, and as favor for the believers and all people. (He appointed him) to warn those who are still living, and to enforce the words on the unbelievers. So he (Muhammad) propagated the messages of his Lord. He carried out the order of Allah. He did not fall behind or neglect anything. Then Allah caused him to die after He had shown the truth and destroyed polytheism through him.

He (Allah) singled out Quraysh through him (Muhammad). So He (Allah) said to him: `And it (the Qur'an) is a reminder for you and for your people.' When he (Muhammad) died, the Arabs differed over his authority. So Quraysh said: `We are his tribe, his family, and his friends. You have no right to dispute with us over the authority of Muhammad and his right.' Thus the Arabs believed the words of Quraysh and their proof for that (succession) against him who disputed with them over the authority of Muhammad.

So you bestowed upon them and yielded to them. Then we argued with Quraysh as the Arabs did. However, Quraysh did not treat us with justice as the Arabs treated them. They (Quraysh), with exclusion of the Arabs, took this matter through (asking) equity and protest. When we, the members of the House of Muhammad and his friends, began disputing with them (Quraysh) and asked them to treat us with justice, they turned away from us, seized (power), and gathered together to oppress and force us. So we suffered from their persecutions towards us.

"We became astonished at those who took unjustly our right and the authority of our family. If they (Quraysh) had an outstanding merit and priority in Islam, we would refrain from disputing with them for fear that the hypocrites and the allies (ahzab) might find a gap to corrupt the religion.

"So today, Mu'awiya, the person is astonished at you. For you have usurped the authority. However, you are not appropriate for it. You have no known merit in the religion. You have no laudable act in Islam. Your are the son of an ally (hizb) of the allies (ahzab). You are the son of the most evil one of all Quraysh towards the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, and His Book. Allah alone is sufficient for you. You shall return to Him. You shall know to whom the final result of the abode shall be. By Allah, you shall meet your Lord soon. Then He shall punish you because of what your hands have done. Allah is not unjust for the servants.

"Indeed, when 'Ali passed away (the mercy of Allah be on him on the day when he died, on the day when Allah bestowed Islam on him, and on the day when he will be raised from the dead) the Muslims made me a successor. So I ask Allah not to give us in this transit world a thing with which He decreases our dignity which He has. The thing that made me write to you is an excuse between Allah, the Great and Almighty, and me concerning your affair. If you do that, you will have great luck, and the Muslims will have righteousness.

"Therefore avoid going too far in falsehood, and pledge allegiance to me as the people have done. You know that I am worthier of this authority than you with Allah and with every loyal repentant, and a repenting heart. Fear Allah, abandon oppression, and spare the blood of the Muslims. Enter peace and obedience. Do not dispute with the people of authority over their authority, and with those who are worthier of it than you. With that Allah will put out this disturbance, unify (the Muslims), and settle the enmity.

"If you insist on your error, I will advance against you with the Muslims and punish you till Allah judge between you and me, and He is the best of all judges."1

In its last words, the letter of al-Hasan, peace be on him, shows you that al-Hasan clearly threatened Mu'awiya with war. It was necessary for al-Hasan to follow this method. For it was appropriate for Mu'awiya. He asked him "to avoid going on falsehood and to pledge allegiance to him as the people did." This was the wise political method which al-Hasan used to undermine the resistance of the enemy through undermining his determination. Then al-Hasan, peace be on him, said these words to Mu'awiya after telling him about the previous argument of the Prophet's family with Quraysh.

So al-Hasan, peace be on him, summoned Mu'awiya to stop going on falsehood and to pledge allegiance to him. Thus he gave him pieces of advice, then he threatened him, and then he clearly warned him with war.

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, followed the plan of his father towards Mu'awiya. Indeed, al-Hasan did as his father did. He treated the conditions and the enemies as his father did. It is as if that al-Hasan and his father, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, lived during the same time in Kufa. War was an inevitable necessity during the time of the late father (i.e., Imam 'Ali), peace be on him. Thus it was also an inevitable necessity during the time of the son (i.e., al Hasan) who assumed the succession.

It was necessary for al-Hasan to adorn the new succession. Thus it was incumbent on him to make it brilliant during its new time through having a powerful authority. Also it was necessary for the new Successor to punish the wrongdoers to spread respect in the selves, and to find his way to take the reins of authority. Therefore, there is no wonder, when the letter of al-Hasan, peace be on him, was clear in threatening, severe in preaching, strong in presenting the words that ordered Mu'awiya and prevented him: "Fear Allah, abandon oppression, and spare the blood of the Muslims. Be peaceful and obedient. Do not dispute with the people of authority and those who are worthier of it than you. Enter peace and obedience."

However, the Umayyads in Sham (Syria) went on showing their enmity towards the Hashimite Succession in Kufa. They refused to pledge allegiance to al-Hasan, peace be on him, as they had refused to pledge allegiance to his father before. The sincere, advising letters of al-Hasan did not avail Mu'awiya, nor did their wise styles and their plain proofs keep back his disobedience.

If we run over the letters of al-Hasan, peace be on him, to Mu'awiya, we find them full of proofs for his right in authority. In the meantime they indicate the right of his family because of their love which Allah has imposed on people. The Qur'an denotes that they were free from sins, and it hints to their authority over people. The authentic traditions of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, concerning the Imamate and the Imam affirm their right in authority, too. Nevertheless al-Hasan, peace be on him, asked Mu'awiya to obey him, to spare the blood of the Muslims, to put out the disturbance, and to settle the enmity.

Also Mu'awiya sent letters to al-Hasan, peace be on him. From these letters we have understood that they often took care of the non-essential things of the matter while they ignored the essential ones. Besides their words moved spites and stirred up discord among the Muslim brothers.

It is an act of truthfulness to mention that Mu'awiya was the first in the history of Islam to move the tribal feelings through renewing spites and fanatical instincts. So he was the first to scatter the Muslim unity on which the religion of monotheism was based. He did his best to destroy this unity that is, indeed, the essence of the righteousness of the religion and the secret of its success among the religions.

Mu'awiya was unable to convince even the ignorant ones through two ways. Namely, he was unable to convince them to believe in him and his father Abu Sufyan b. Harb. For the Muslims knew the backgrounds of these two ways through numbers and dates. So Mu'awiya began writing letters to al-Hasan making use of the name of Abu Bakr, `Umar, and Abu `Ubayda. In his letters, he hinted to the disagreement of the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt) peace be on them, on the pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr.

All the letters of Mu'awiya were in need of producing evidence in support of his legal right in the holy throne. Even the baseless pretext (i.e., avenging the blood of `Uthman) which Mu'awiya used to wage long-term battles against 'Ali, peace be on him, was forgotten when the first Imam (i.e., 'Ali) died. However, Mu'awiya renewed this pretext against the second Imam (i.e., al-Hasan). He forgot that al Hasan sat at the door of the House of `Uthman on the day when he was killed. Al-Hasan guarded `Uthman against the people. So he was wounded and colored with his own blood. All historians have reported this event. For example, in his book `Ta'rikh', al-Taqtaqi said: "Indeed, al-Hasan fought bravely for `Uthman. He stood side by side with him while he was fighting for him. He (al-Hasan) was ready to sacrifice his life for him (`Uthman)." 2

Nevertheless, in the critical attitude, the others provoked the people against `Uthman and his close relatives betrayed him.3

Yes, the only proof of Mu'awiya in his letters to al-Hasan was this claim of his: "I am prior to you in authority, more experienced than you in authority, and older than you in age." 4

If Mu'awiya had possessed an acceptable proof other than these repeated sentences, he would have mentioned it. Moreover, he would have left inclination towards renewing spites and stirring up fanatical instincts.

I (the author) wish I knew which experiences did you mean, Abu Yazid (i.e., Mu'awiya)?

Were your experiences on the day when the Syrians brought suit against you to `Umar? So he summoned you, and you were more afraid of him than his servant Yarfa'. Were your experiences on the day when `Umar hit you with the whip on the head when you came to him wearing your green clothes?

Were your experiences on the day when you issued orders without permission from `Uthman and said: "This is the order of `Uthman." So you told lies to him and were among the reasons of his disaster.

Or were your experiences on the day when you and your army waged war against the Imam of your time (i.e., Imam 'Ali) drawing your swords out of oppression, and paying no attention to committing sins?

Have you an old experience which we may regard as evidence for your worthiness of authority? Therefore, I (the author) wonder: "What is your worthiness of the succession (Khilafa)?"

Your authority was based on telling lies, fabrications, and bloodshed. So does it indicate that you were worthy of that high religious position?

Your sentences are repeated. They have only one meaning that is looking for a proof through "the long period of time!"

The man (i.e., Mu'awiya) maybe the most knowledgeable one of all people in buying the consciences of men or in stirring up discord among men. However, this does not mean that such a man is worthy of the succession of the Prophethood in Islam.

The man maybe the most righteous one of all men in controlling his nerves and suppressing his desires. Perhaps the people regard him as one of the great, clement figures. However, this is not evidence for the religious Imamate over people. For the hypocrite leaders may have clemency as great as the Imam has.

The man maybe the most experienced one of all people in arranging the believers and directing the people to adopt his own ideas. He did not mind whether his ideas belonged to Allah or they belonged to his own desires. However, this indicates that such a man originated heresies in the religion. Moreover, this indicates that he was inappropriate for the succession over Muslims. That is because the Successor has to have no opinion but the opinion of the Qur'an, no support but the hadith (tradition), and no authority but Allah, the Great and Almighty.

Therefore, there was no appropriate person for the Muslim succession (Khilafa) after the Prophet but a creature from the rare creatures. Allah selected him from His servants, and chose him from His creatures. For such a creature had qualities and outstanding merits of which no one of the people had. Allah, the Glorified, created people. So He is the most knowledgeable one in selecting and choosing the righteous servant who has such qualities and outstanding merits. Also Allah inspired His Apostle about the name of the Imam. So He (Allah) selected the Imam from the people. Accordingly, no one had the right to elect him.

Now, the backgrounds of Mu'awiya, and of his father, the method through which he became Muslim, the method through which his father became Muslim, and his attitudes towards `Umar, `Uthman, and 'Ali (peace be on him) were unable to make him worthy of the greatest position in Islam. However, al-Hasan was the grandson of the Apostle of Allah may Allah bless him and his family. Thus the Muslims all over the Muslim lands pledged allegiance to him. For this reason, Mu'awiya said to him: "I am prior to you in authority, more experienced than you in authority, and older than you in age.

Do you find, in the world of proofs, a proof more eloquent than this one in declaring feebleness in proving the matter?

Mu'awiya wrote to al-Hasan again. However„ at this time, he tried to threaten him with assassination and to tempt him with words. It is as if that Mu`awiya did not know al-Hasan as he was. So he resorted to this trite style that was inappropriate for al-Hasan. Mu'awiya said: "Now then, indeed, Allah does for his servants what He wills. There is no reviewer for His judgment, and He is quick in reckoning. So be careful not let the rabble from the people cause your death, and you are the most hopeless one in finding defects in us. Then the succession (Khilafa) is for you after me, for you are the most appropriate person for it, greetings." 5

Al-Hasan sent two men to Mu'awiya. They were Jundub b. `Abd Allah al-Azdi, and al-Harth b. Suwayd al-Tamimi. However, Mu'awiya said to them: "Go back. There is nothing between me and you but the sword."6

In this way, Mu'awiya showed enmity towards al-Hasan. He intentionally disobeyed the Successor (i.e., al-Hasan) whose obedience was obligatory. Al-Hasan was the legal successor. Thus all Muslims pledged allegiance to him except Mu'awiya and his followers. Mu'awiya's followers did not pledge allegiance to al-Hasan because Mu'awiya educated and brought them up according to his ideas.

Besides he prevented them from associating with the people so that they obeyed no one but him. Mu'awiya asked Sa'sa'a b. Sawhan to describe his followers. So he (Sa'sa'a) said: "They are the most obedient ones of all people to a creature, and the most disobedient ones of them to the Creator. They are disobedient to the Almighty (Allah), and obedient to the evil ones." 7

The sincere Shi'ite Kufans heard of Mu'awiya's threat and of the news of his advance against Iraq. So they got ready to meet him and his army.

In this way, the attitude became serious. Thus the trustee of authority (i.e., al-Hasan) was forced to respond to the sudden condition and to accept the accomplished fact.

It was obligatory for al-Hasan, peace be on him, to fight against the aggressors. He concluded this obligation from his faith and his religious principles. He felt that the succession was in danger. So he tried to put an end to that division which Mu'awiya imposed on the Muslims through his armed revolts for three successive years. Noteworthy, the Muslims were in need of stability and readiness.

The Syrians started the worst battles in the history of Islam. Through those battles, they shed blood, lost rights, distorted facts, supported the reckless persons, and encouraged the worldly, cheap desires.

The humanitarian, noble principles of Islam prevent all Muslims from starting war. However, they permit them to start war to support Allah, to do good for people, and to protect Muslim lands. In other words the high principles of Islam prevent all Muslims from attacking the borders, terrifying the innocent, waging war against the nations who believe in Allah and His Apostle. However, Mu'awiya adopted such deeds, so he divided the Muslims and imposed enmity on them.

Some foolish persons supported Mu'awiya in those battles. Shibth b. Rib'i described such persons as foolish when he faced Mu'awiya in the events of the year 36 A.H. So he (i.e., Mu'awiya) took advantage of their bad manners, traded with their corrupt tastes, and threw them into the places of death. Still they were all satisfied with him and obedient to him.

The Hashimites never started fighting anyone. The commandments of al-Hasan to `Ubayd Allah b. `Abbas, the commander of the Army of al-Hasan, clearly affirm these outstanding manners of the Hashimites. Al-Hasan, in particular, had inherited commandments and rules. He learned them from his father, the Commander of the faithful and Master of the Arabs. As history tells us, the Commander of the faithful took care of his son al-Hasan very much: "He (i.e., the Commander of the faithful) honored him very much, glorified him, and revered him."8

These commandments of Imam 'Ali, peace be on him, are ideals. Falsehood does not approach them. They do not deviate from righteousness though they concern various matters such as the life in this world, religion, education, ethics, and the like. Among the commandments of 'Ali to al-Hasan are: "Do not summon anyone to fight. If you are summoned to it, then answer. For the person who summons to it (fight) is an aggressor, and the aggressor is overcome.

For this reason, we have known that the Companions of al-Hasan pledged allegiance to him and urged him strongly to wage war against Mu'awiya. However, he did not accept the idea of war, nor did he act for it seriously, for he regarded war as an abominable necessity. He thought that he would resort to such a necessity when he had no other means to avoid it. Besides, he tried to organize forces to win war. However, the critical circumstances prevented him from achieving what he wanted.

In the previous chapter, we have mentioned the enthusiastic parties in Kufa. These parties were the Umayyads, the Kharijites (muhakima), the doubters, and the Hamra.' Also we have mentioned that these parties were ready to resist the new Successor (i.e., al-Hasan) through various methods.

All the above-mentioned factors made al-Hasan, peace be on him, slow in war. Thus some groups of his sincere companions blamed him for that slowness. For they relied on that timely, limited activity that occurred in Kufa during the pledge of allegiance to al-Hasan. In other words they thought that everything was available to the new Successor. However, they did not take the aims of those persons into consideration.

As for al-Hasan, he thought about his critical conditions through his careful insight more than his companions did. Moreover, he knew their problems with his watchful mind more than they did.

Al-Hasan understood that critical attitude very well, for he knew those bad manners that prevailed a great part of those who were with him in his army, and of those who were around him in Kufa. He was aware that such corrupt people who sold their religion for the life of this world would have had bad effects on war if he had started one without a necessity.

Al-Hasan thought that he had to bear the little corruption of the above- mentioned people to achieve much righteousness for his policy during his special condition.

Al-Hasan tried to treat that situation according to different viewpoint. So he treated the people kindly. He did not turn away from anyone of his subjects, nor did he show them anything. Rather, he depended on his self-control. That is because he did not want to create a wide gap and a general disturbance. Besides he thought that it would be better for him to postpone the elimination of the corrupt people to an appropriate time. For he wanted to depend on both generosity and the sword.

Here the researcher may face a question. So he should know the answer to the question. The question is: When the head of a state faces a critical situation like that of al-Hasan, should he not rely on a decision to put an end to that critical situation? In other words does he use violence or kind treatment instead?

There are three answers to this question. You will read them at the end of chapter eight. Here, we say: The policy of violence is among the clearest methods which are applied to such conditions. If al-Hasan had resorted to this policy, he would have intentionally made the disturbance hasty. Moreover, he would have opened his field for internal revolts that would be as dangerous as the battles headed by the Syrians. In the meantime, Mu'awiya was his enemy who went on provoking the people to revolt against him in Kufa through all his wealth and his cunning.

For this reason, what al-Hasan had chosen was the best thing for his critical situation.

Some of al-Hasan's companions recommended him to make war at haste. They asked him: "to surprise Mu'awiya through advancing against him to fight against him in his lands, his country, and his work."9 In this connection we say: There were many people who were opposed to al-Hasan in Kufa. They were the leaders of the parties, the learned readers of the Qur'an, and the like.

So if al-Hasan had been the first to fight against Mu'awiya, such opposing groups would have taken advantage of his act to justify their disobedience against him. In other words, they would tell the majority of people that al-Hasan was an aggressor. So the people would have an excuse to mutiny against him, and to break openly their pledge of allegiance to him. This means that the community in Kufa would be liable to an internal division with dangerous results.

For this reason, al-Hasan preferred slowness in war to waging it.

Then al-Hasan improvised the order of the armed fighting (jihad).

Al-Hasan ordered the people to wage holy war (jihad) against Mu'awiya because of the accidental condition. Al-Hasan could not bear that condition. So he ordered the people to wage holy war (jihad). That was when Mu'awiya was the first to wage war against al-Hasan to achieve his ambitions through dominating the Muslim countries. So al-Hasan headed for the bridge of Manbij, 10 namely he advanced against Iraq. That was after the death of the Commander of the faithful in a short time. Al-Ya'qubi11 decreased this time very much. He decreased it to eighteen days.

When Mu'awiya reached the high parts of the Euphrates, he howled loudly to make roaring and rattling to scare the safe, calm fortified borderline cities and to excite those who were like lions in Kufa to invite them to fight against him.

Mu'awiya regarded the killing of 'Ali, peace be on him, as the best opportunity to carry out the decisive measures between Kufa and Sham (Syria). That was the last decision on which Mu'awiya and his advisers agreed. Mu'awiya's advisers came to him day and night. They helped him organize a movement to oppose the Hashimite Succession. Among them were al-Mughira b. Shu'ba, `Amr b. al`As, Marwan b. al-Hakam, al-Walid b. `Utba, Yazid b. al-Hur al`Abbasi, Muslim b. 'Aqaba, al-Dahhak b. Qays al-Fihri, and the like.

Also Mu'awiya succeeded in creating an annoying riot in the Kufa of al-Hasan. He did that through much care he used to buy the cheep consciences, and through the spies who spread various lies during their going to Kufa and brought news from it about al-Hasan's plans and forces. This weapon of Mu'awiya was more powerful than his other weapons.

Mu'awiya called upon his tribes and his armies. He wrote letters to his governors. In his letters he said: `When these letters of mine come to you' come towards me with your seriousness, your effort, and your good equipment."12

As for al-Hasan, peace be on him, he went on his decision to get ready to answer that aggression. So he summoned the people to wage holy war (jihad). The loyal ones from those who knew the Qur'an by heart, the leaders of battles and the pious in Islam supported him. Among them were: Hujr b. `Adi al-Kindi, Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, `Amr b. Qarda al-Ansari, Yazid b. Qays al-Arhabi, `Adi b. Hatam al-Ta'i, Habib b. Muzahir al-Asadi, Darar b. al-Khattab, Ma'qal b. Sanan al-Ashja'i, Wail b. Hajr al-Hadrami, Hani' b. `Urwa al Muradi, Rushayd al-Hajri, Maytham al-Tammar, Burayr b. Khudayr al-Hamadani, Habbab al-`Arani, Hudhayfa b. `Usayd, Sahl b. Sa'd, al-Asbagh b. Nabata, Sa'sa'a b. Sawhan,

Abu Hujja `Amr b. Muhsin, Hani b. Aus, Qays b. Sa'd b. `Abbada, Said b. Qays, `Abis b. Shabib, `Abd Allah b. Yahya al-Hadrami, Ibrahim b. Malik al-Ashtar al-Nakha'i, Muslim b. `Ausaja, `Amr b. al-Hamq al-Khuza'i, Bashir al-Hamadani, al-Musayyab b. Nujayya, `Amir b. Wathila al-Kinani, Juwayriya b. Mushir, `Abd Allah b. Musmi` al-Hamadani, Qays b. Mushir al-Saydawi, `Abd al-Rahman b. `Abd Allah b. Shaddad al-Arhabi, `Ammara b. `Abd Allah al-Saluli, Hani' b. Hani' al-Subay'i, Said b. `Abd Allah al-Hanafi, Kathir b. Shahab,

`Abd al-Rahman b. Jundub al-Azdi, `Abd Allah b. `Aziz al-Zindi, Abu Thumama al-Sa'idi, `Abbas b. Ju'da al-Jadali, `Abd al-Rahman b. Shurayh al-Shaybani, al-Qa'qa` b. `Amr, Qays b. Warqa', Jundub b. `Abd Allah al-Azdi, al-Harth b. Suwayd al-Tamimi, Ziyad b. Sa'sa'a al-Tamimi, `Abd Allah b. Wal, and Ma'qal b. Qays al-Riyahi.

These figures were the strong wing in the front of al-Hasan. They were masters. Al-Hasan described each one of them more than a battalion. He described them in such a way when he appointed `Ubayd Allah b. `Abbas as a commander for his army. During the Battle of Siffin, Mu'awiya described their hearts as the heart of one man. Concerning them he (Mu'awiya) said: "They were not killed till they killed a similar number to them." It was they whom he meant at that time when he said: "When I remember their eyes under the armors (alMaghafir) in Siffin, my mind becomes confused." The testimony of the enemy is the most truthful one of all testimonies.

The summons to the armed fighting (jihad) excited the Kufans very much. Violent optimism prevailed the people because of their opponents. Suddenly, the people competed with each other to fight against their enemies. Among them were persons who were not known for their activities in good attitudes, righteous acts, and pure efforts for Allah, the Great and Almighty.

Apart from the loyal supporters, the Camp of al-Hasan included unknown groups of people, and a group from the families of the hypocrites. It included a community of the ill-intentioned persons who did not agree with al-Hasan on his idea. Rather they spied on him and his companions. It (al-Hasan's Camp) included weak, cowardly persons. If they had been forced to fight, they would have escaped. Besides they had no hope but booty: "They do not agree with each other on an idea or a desire. They are in disagreement. They have no intention in good or in evil."13 Moreover, the Camp included party quarrels that played a dangerous role in hindering the necessities of the battle.

From the first day, al-Hasan was afraid of these mixed groups of people who were among the members of his army. He was sure of their desertion which some books have clearly mentioned.14

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, looked at those groups of people who gathered together for the battle. He had no confidence in their resistance with him, nor had he belief in their loyalty to his objectives.

Al-Hasan considered these mixed groups of people. He knew that some of them were double-faced figures. For Islam was unable to reform them. Among them were al-Ash'ath b. Qays, `Amr b. Hurayth, Mu'awiya b. Khadij, Abu Burda al-Ash'ari, al-Mutldhir b. al-Zubayr, Ishaq b. Talha, Hajr b. `Amru, Yazid b. al-Harith b. Ruwaym, Shibth b. Rib'i, `Ammara b. al-Walid, Habib b. Muslima, `Amr b. Said, Zayd b. `Umayr, Hajjar b. Abjar, .`Urwa b. Qays, Muhammad b. `Umayr, `Abd Allah b. Muslim b. Sa'id, Asma' b. Kharija, al-Qa'qa` b. al-Shur al-Dhahli, and Shimr b. Dhi- al Jawshan al-Dababi.

Al-Hasan knew that such types of people would some day carry out a mutiny against him.

They were the rebellious Kufans who legislated manners for their own selves and for the people similar to them. Still they claimed that they were Muslims. Islam reformed ethics and made people lead good lives. However, the material desires of such kinds of corrupt people defeated it. So there was no relationship between them and Islam. They became unable to follow the Islamic teachings. Although they (the rebellious Kufans) pledged allegiance to al-Hasan to listen and obey, they became agents for his enemies. So they began creating riot and disobedience. They waited for appropriate events and conditions to occur.

They seized the opportunities, and cooperated with each other to commit abominable acts. They paid no attention to the results of their deeds. Moreover, they were indifferent to disgrace in this life and the fire of the hereafter. These people joined al-Hasan's army. Thus their danger was greater than that of his enemies. For his enemies showed enmity towards him frankly and face to face.

Therefore, it was natural for the new Successor of Kufa (i.e., al Hasan) to be afraid of the desertion of such kinds of people. Also it was natural for him to be slow in waging war. That is because-the vague results had their own rules. These rules that imposed slowness on al-Hasan and reminded him of patience to avoid the loss.

Al-Hasan was summoned to fighting. Thus it was better for him to resort to the valuable inheritance to make use of the talents of his great father. For "it is necessary for the (lion) cub to come to the nature of the lion."

So it was incumbent on al-Hasan to resort to the recommendations of his father to him. Among his father's recommendations to him was: "Do not summon (anyone) to fighting. However, if you are summoned to, then answer. That is because the person who summons to it is an aggressor."

Also it was incumbent on al-Hasan to resort to his religious obligation that was his authority over the Muslims. For he was the Imam to whom the people pledged allegiance. Thus he had no right to overlook openly, evil deeds and aggression against Islam whatever they may be.

That is because Allah, the Most High, says: "And if two parties of the believers quarrel, make peace between them, but if one of them transgresses, then fight that which transgresses until it returns to Allah's command." The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, says: "Whoever summons (people) for himself or for anybody, and there is an Imam over the people, then the curse of Allah is on him, so kill him."

Al-Hasan had to forbid evil deeds by force. For he had military forces all over Kufa and the fortified borderline cities which he governed. This makes us certain that there were enough forces to wage war in spite of the unusual conditions to which the traitorous persons in Kufa inclined.

In the middle years of the first century A.H., the Muslim State had a great army. However, it was necessary for al-Hasan to conform to the rules of defense. Namely he had to guard the Muslim distant borders with a great number of soldiers. Besides he had to suppress those mutinies that took place near the capital. Noteworthy, the logistic operations were difficult.

The number of the army assigned to protect Kufa was ninety or one hundred thousand soldiers.15 The number of the army assigned to defend Basrah was eighty thousand soldiers.16

They (the members of the two armies) received salaries from the treasury of the Muslim State.

In the military cities (i.e., Kufa and Basrah), there was a similar number to these (two armies). It was from the followers of the members of the two armies, their friends, and the volunteers who came to take part in the armed fighting (jihad).

So the total number of al-Hasan's army was about three hundred and fifty thousand Iraqi soldiers. Apart from this, al-Hasan had armies from Persia (Iran), the Yemen, Hijaz (Saudi Arabia), and other countries.

The Shi'a were eager to start the battle which al-Hasan headed. The Kharijites insisted on fighting against those who went astray from the people of Sham (Syria). For the Kharijites thought that the Syrians had gone astray. The people came in groups on the day when the summons to jihad in Kufa became successful. All these factors are enough for us to think that al-Hasan had enough forces. Thus he

would have won the battle if these groups of people had been truthful in what they promised Allah on the day when the parties met and the battle became hot.

  • 1. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 12.
  • 2. Al-Fakhri, p. 74.
  • 3. Maybe, it is good for those who want more details about this brief idea to read what `Abd Allah al-`Alayali has mentioned concerning the conditions of the society during the time of `Uthman. Please, see his book Ayyam al Hasan, pp. 112- 128. We should summarize what he has mentioned as follows: "They (the Umayyads) were not satisfied when they imposed themselves and their imaginary existence of life and effort (on the people). Rather, they exceeded this when they divided the society into classes. Suddenly, fabulous wealth gathered together in the hands of the Umayyads and their supporters. Suddenly, Marwan alone possessed the high fates according to his desires. Suddenly, most regions became feudal estates between so and so. So Ya'li b. Umayya had about one hundred thousand dinars, apart from his many real estates. `Abd al-Rahman b. `Auf had about five hundred thousand dinars. Zayd b. Thabit had gold and silver which were broken with axes. Therefore, no wonder when the majority expressed their dissatisfaction with the plan of this new one (i.e., Mu'awiya). No wonder when they (the majority) confronted his supporters and accused them of renouncing their religion. And no wonder when they (the majority) began conflicting against them (Mu'awiya and his supporters). The conflict began secretly, and then it spread openly.

    "The general condition may be summarized in two words: The government plotted against the people, and the people plotted against the government. However, the people always have the high, final word. It is an act of justice and good to mention that the people, in spite of that, were not lightheaded during their revolt. Rather, they communicated with the possessors of the affairs and authority, and they declared their demands several times through their representatives. However, every time their demands failed. It was a quick, continuous failure, and it was of the exciting kind.

    "In the meantime, `Amr b. al-`As provoked the people against `Uthman, abolished his policy openly, spied on him, disclosed the talks that happened in his house, and made the hearts of those whom he met hate him. When `Uthman addressed a group of noisy rebels, he (`Umru b. al-`As) said to him: "Commander of the faithful, you have committed sins and we committed them with you. So repent, and we repent.' When `Uthman was addressing (the people), `A'isha spread the Prophet's shirt, dared and said: `This is the shirt of the Prophet. It has not worn out yet, while you have worn out his Sunna (practice)'. Talha and al-Zubayr helped the revolutionaries with money. Although 'Ali suffered from many hardships, he was the first to send his two sons. For they had important considerations. Also he sent his followers to put an end to those violent events.

    "When he (Imam 'Ali) heard that the people besieged him (`Uthman) and prevented him from drinking water, he sent him three water skins and said to al-Hasan and al-Husayn: `Go with your swords, stop at his door, and do not allow anybody to hurt him. So al-Hasan was colored with blood, and Qanbar, his (`Ali's) servant, was wounded.

    "This is what history has mentioned about 'Ali and his sons towards the event, while, on the other hand, it (history) has mentioned that when `Uthman was besieged, he wrote to Mu'awiya, who was in Sham (Syria): 'Indeed, the people of Medina have disbelieved (in Allah). They have disobeyed (me). And they have broken their pledge of allegiance (to me). So send me fighters from Sham on every obedient and disobedient camels' However, when Mu'awiya received his (`Uthman's) letter, he betrayed him. He hated, as he claimed, to disagree with the Companions of the Apostle. For he knew that they agreed on that. Among the ironies of fate were that `Umru b. al-`As provoked (the people) to kill `Uthman, A'isha blamed him openly, Mu'awiya refused to help him and helped both Talha and al-Zubayr against him. Then they (i.e., Mu'awiya, `A'isha, Talha, and al-Zubayr) went here and there accusing 'Ali of killing `Uthman, while 'Ali b. Abu Talib gave him a sincere piece of advice and warned him against that fate."

  • 4. Ibn abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al Balagha, vol 4, p.13.
  • 5. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, pp. 13- 14
  • 6. Ibid.
  • 7. Al-Mas'udi, Hamish b. al-Athir, vol. 6, p. 119.
  • 8. Ibn Kathir, vol. 8, pp. 36- 37.
  • 9. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 13.
  • 10. Manbij was a big, ancient city. There were three leagues between it and its bridge over the Euphrates. There were ten leagues between Manbij and Elepoe. In al-Mu`jam: "Two days were between them." "From Manbij to Maltiya four days, and to the Euphrates one day. A group of people went out of it. Among them were al-Bukhari, Abu Firas al-Hamadani, and the like."
  • 11. Al-Ya'qubi, Ta'rikh, vol. 2, p. 191
  • 12. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 13.
  • 13. The words of al-Hasan himself. They were among the words with which he described the Kufans. See Ibn al-Athir, vol. 3, p. 62.
  • 14. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 14.
  • 15. Al-Ya'qubi, al-Ta'rikh, vol. 2, p. 94. Ibn Qutayba al-Dinawari, al Imama wa al-Siyasa, p. 151.
  • 16. Jamil Madwar, Hidarat al-Islam fi dar al-Salam.

Jihad And Leadership

The caller of Kufa called: "The prayer is a general one (which all should have attained) (al-salat jami `a). "The people gathered. Al-Hasan, peace be on him, went out. He went up on the pulpit. He praised Allah, lauded Him, and said: "Now then, indeed, Allah has enjoined jihad (fighting) on you, and has called it dislike. Then He said to the mujahidin (holy fighters): `Be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.' People, you do not obtain what you like but through enduring what you dislike. I have heard that Mu'awiya has advanced against us. Therefore, may Allah have mercy on you, go out to your camp at al-Nukhayla1 so that we may look and you look, we may see and you see.

The historians of the event said: "The people kept silent. They did not speak to him, nor did they answer him with a letter."

`Adi b. Hatam was the chief of (the tribe of) Tay. He was a notable leader for his glorious deeds. He was a companion of both the Prophet and 'Ali, the trustee of authority (wasi), may Allah bless them. When he saw that (attitude), he was full of anger. His voice boomed and shook the gathering people. So they turned to him to understand his words and to take care of his affair. Many people knew the history of b. Hatam al-Ta'i. They knew his righteousness, and his resistance for the truth. The leader (i.e., `Adi b. Hatam) used effective words and intense scolding. He condemned the silence of the people, and denounced their abominable weakness.

Then `Adi said: "I am `Adi b. Hatam. How ugly this attitude is! Why do you not answer your Imam, the son of the daughter of your Prophet? Where are the orators of the city? Where are their tongues that are like the penetrating swords during peace? Why do they trick like the fox during seriousness? Do you not fear Allah's disgust? Do you not feel shame for the defect and the disgrace of it (the attitude)?"

Then `Adi b. Hatam turned his face to al-Hasan and said: "May Allah achieve right guidance through you, guard you against misfortunes, and grant you success to do laudable acts. We have heard your words. We have obeyed your order. We have listened to you. We have obeyed you in what you have said and seen. Now, I am heading for our camp."

Then he said: "So whoever wants to come, let him come." Then he went out of the mosque. His riding animal was at the door (of the mosque). So he mounted it and headed for al-Nukhayla. He ordered his servant to follow him to supply him with his necessities. For this reason he was the first to go to the camp,2 to set a good example to the other obedient mujahids (fighters). In (the tribe of Tay), there were a thousand fighters who obeyed `Adi in everything.3

After `Adi b. Hatam, other orators became active. They addressed al-Hasan in the same manner `Adi used. So al-Hasan, peace be on him, said to them: "May Allah have mercy on you. I still know your sincere intentions, your faithfulness, and your love. So may Allah reward you with good."

Al-Hasan, appointed his cousin, al-Mughira b. Noufal b. al-Harith b. `Abd al-Muttalib, as his successor over Kufa and ordered him to urge the people to join him at al-Nukhayla.

Al-Hasan went out with those who were with him. His going out was the first day of the declaration of jihad. In the meantime it was the strongest proof al-Hasan used to urge the people to take part in jihad.

The battalions of al-Nukhayla included the best companions from the followers (Shi'a) of al-Hasan and from the companions of his father, and the like.

Al-Mughira b. Noufal became active in urging the people to take part in jihad. The people held active festivals during the pledge of allegiance to the new Successor. It was expected for the new Succession to urge the people in Kufa to answer the summons of the Imam (i.e., al-Hasan) with enthusiasm. However, nothing of that occurred. Noteworthy, there were ready companies. They had forty thousand fighters. The Commander of the faithful (i.e., Imam 'Ali) formed them to resist the attacks of the Syrians before his death. However, these ready companies divided and most of them mutinied against al-Hasan. Also most of the armed men in Kufa followed them in disobeying al-Hasan's orders.

Some hesitating Kufan chiefs became very active during the critical moment when the attitude became serious.

The historians have mentioned the following words on the authority of al-Harith al-Hamadani, who said: "Those who wanted to go out rode with him (i.e., al-Hasan). Many people refused to go with him. They did not fulfill what they had said and promised. They deceived him as they had deceived the Commander of the faithful before him. Al-Hasan camped at al-Nukhayla for ten days. No one joined him except four thousand fighters. So he came back to Kufa to urge people. There he delivered a sermon in which he said: "You have deceived me as you had deceived those who were before me."4

I (the author) say: We do not know exactly the number of those who joined al-Hasan. However, we know that he "left Kufa with a great army" as b. Abu al-Hadid said in his book `Sharh Nahj al-Balagha.'

In the chapter entitled, `the Number of the Army', we will discuss the ideas of the historians to choose the accurate number of the soldiers of al-Hasan, peace be on him.

Al-Hasan left al-Nukhayla and reached Dir `Abd al-Rahman. He stayed there for three days. At that place other mujahidin (fighters) joined him, but we do not know their number.

Dir of `Abd al-Rahman was situated between the two camps of Imam al-Hasan in al-Mada'in5 and Maskan.6

As for al-Mada'in, it was at the bridgehead towards Persia and the neighboring area. Because of its geographical situation, al-Mada'in was the only area that protected the three lines that connected Kufa, Basrah, and Persia with each other. Because of its military importance, it drove back the events which the conditions of war caused. Persia was the place from which the revolts against the State started. Over Persia was Ziyad b. `Ubayd who was appointed by the Imam, and who went on his previous nature that changed everything in him.

As for Maskan, it was the sensitive point in the history of the jihad of al-Hasan, peace be on him. That is because it was the field which al-Hasan was supposed to meet the enemy face to face. At that time it was on the far northern borders of Hashimite Iraq, or the areas dominated by the Kufan authority from this direction. At Maskan, there were agricultural lands, inhabited lands, and many famous villages such as Awana, `Ukbara, and al-`Alth that was the last village on the northern borders of Maskan.7 Facing al-`Alth was a village called al-Jinubiya towards which Mu'awiya and his army advanced when they left the bridge of Manbij where the two armies met.

It is known today that the situation of Maskan is at these wide plains that are situated between the village of Sumayka and the village of Balad, with the exception of Samarra.'

Maskan had nature rich in resources, near rivers, and wide plains. Because of these natural features, Maskan was the best place for war. It was, for the first time in its history, the battlefield towards which al-Hasan and Mu'awiya advanced. Then many battles between Iraq and Sham (Syria) occurred there.

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, thought that it was better for him to use al-Mada'in, because of its military importance, as a headquarters for his high command to receive military supplies from the three neighboring cities and to be at the back of his field where he met Mu'awiya and the Syrians, namely at Maskan. There were no more than fifteen leagues between the two Hashimite camps, namely alMada'in and Maskan.

That was the excellent plan of which there was no alternative for that situation of war. In this way, namely through drawing his war plans, al-Hasan has shown us that he was the inspired leader who had command of war tactics as the people of his time called. Moreover, al-Hasan used gradual steps to resist his enemy. Namely, he tested the time, chose the situations, and led the armies. All these steps have indicated that he had outstanding military talents that were equal to the talents he had in policy, loyalty, and sacrifice.

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, looked left and right. Then he considered carefully the prominent figures who were with him. They were from the leaders of his followers (Shi'a) and of his family. He wanted to choose a leader from them for his advance guards whom he determined to send to Maskan. Among the gentle ones of the tribe and the loyal Ansar (supporters), he found no one more eager and sincerer for the attitude of his cousin `Ubayd Allah8 b. `Abbas b. `Abd al-Muttalib, Qays b. Sa'd b. `Abbada al-Ansari, and Said b. Qays al-Hamadani, the head of the Yemenis in Kufa. So al-Hasan confined successively the leadership to these three leaders.

`Ubayd Allah b. `Abbas was among those who were eager for war, and was indifferent to life. Religious zeal moved him, and the tribal enthusiasm stirred him up. So he was melted in his fanaticism for the Hashimite throne as the melted steel. He was among the leaders of the Hashimites. As they say:"The bereaved woman of a child is unlike the hired one." As for his outstanding backgrounds, he was the Emir of the hajj in the year 36 A.H. (according to the narration in the book al-Isaba') or in the year 39 A.H. (according to the report of al-Tabari) or he was the Emir of the hajj in both years. He was the ruler of Bahrain and the Yemen9 and their subsequent parts during the lifetime of the Commander of the faithful (i.e., Imam 'Ali). The pilgrims in Mecca bore witness that he was generous. Then he was the first to pledge allegiance to al-Hasan when the people pledged allegiance to him.

According to these excellent backgrounds, Imam al-Hasan, peace be on him, had great confidence in `Ubayd Allah.10Then al-Hasan summoned him and gave him commandments which have not fully been reported to us. Rather some books have briefly mentioned them.

In these commandments, al-Hasan, peace be on him, said :"Cousin, I am going to send with you twelve thousand from the horsemen of the Arabs and the readers of the Qur'an in the city. The man from them is more than a battalion. So lead them and treat them kindly.

That is because they are the rest of the reliable companions of the Commander of the faithful. Lead them to the Euphrates. Then go on (your advancing) till you make them meet Mu'awiya face to face. If you find him (i.e., Mu'awiya), then withhold him till I come to you, for I am about to follow you. Let your news come to me every day. Ask the advice of these two (persons) (i.e., Qays b. Sa'd, and Said b. Qays). If you meet Mu'awiya, then do not start fighting against him till he starts fighting against you. If he does, then fight him. If you were struck (i.e., killed or wounded), then Qays b. Sa'd would be (the leader) over the people. If he were struck, then Said b. Qays would be (the leader) over the people.

As you see that Imam al-Hasan peace be on him, did not mean `Ubayd Allah through his commandments. Rather he meant his Companions. So he (al-Hasan) praised them, lauded their bravery, and added them to his father, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. With all this praise and laud, al-Hasan wanted to raise the morale, to stir up their enthusiasm, and to move their feelings. Then al-Hasan ordered `Ubayd Allah to treat them kindly. Al-Hasan gave these commandments to `Ubayd Allah to create exchangeable confidence between the commander and the army. This confidence, in the war that suffered from the paucity of the modern military regulations, was the worthiest of importance of all the elements hoped for the black (bad) days.

They (the commandments) are in four joined sentences. They underline each other. Then they have only one meaning. I (the author) wonder: Is it possible for us to make use of this intentional repetition of these sentences? They, through their emphasizing, tried to uproot a certain manner in `Ubayd Allah (the new commander). That is because there were great figures with him in his army. They had glorious backgrounds and reputation. Thus they were not unable to bear his proud manner, nor were they able to bear his rudeness. For he would enjoin and prevent them. In other words they were unable to bear these qualities in that Hashimite young man who was not the best of them in merit, jihad, piety, and age.11

After that are these words of al-Hasan: "Ask the advice of these two persons." These words are another evidence for that al-Hasan intended to reform the rude behavior of `Ubayd Allah. The Imam knew that his cousin had such a kind of behavior that would hinder his victory at the battle.

I (the author) say: That rude manner, if the doubt is true, would not prevent `Ubayd Allah from being worthy of the leadership. In other words many other conditions forced him to use that rude manners, for there is a close relation between rudeness and military life in the past and present times.

In this connection, we may raise a question: Why did al-Hasan, peace be on him, appoint `Ubayd Allah over the vanguard of his army? Didn't his army have great figures such as Qays b. Sa'd b. `Abbad al-Ansari? Wasn't the latter known for his military merit, his loyalty to the family of the Prophet, May Allah bless him and his family, and his honesty.

We may answer these questions as follows:

1. When al-Hasan appointed `Ubayd Allah over the vanguard, he ordered him to ask the advice of both Qays b. Sa'd and Said b. Qays. That is what his clear commandments indicate. Through this measure, al-Hasan was able to avoid preferring `Ubayd Allah to the others. For he would be criticized for this preference. In the meantime this preference would affect that attitude. In this way the leadership became a consultation among the three persons who were the most appropriate ones of al-Hasan's men. Among these prominent figures, who were known for their leadership at the battle fields, loyalty, jihad, and back grounds, were Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, Hujr b. `Adi al-Kindi, `Adi b. Hatam al-Ta'i, and the like. We have already mentioned them.

Generally speaking, al-Hasan gave priority to `Ubayd Allah, who was al-Hasan's and the Prophet's cousin, may Allah bless him and his family, over the two other leaders. He appointed him as a leader only in name. He ordered him to ask the advice of Qays and his companion, as we have mentioned above. These steps put an end to any disagreement on the leadership or any competition for it.

2. Among the excellent precautionary measures for the general situations at that time was that no one would be a leader with al-Hasan but a Hashimite one.

To explain that, we may say that the intense weakness that accompanied the matter of al-Hasan in Kufa was still very ominous in his consideration. So al-Hasan had to take possible measures to avoid in his present and future times, the censure of the people, their accusing him of an error, and their criticism. It is easy for people to accuse someone of an error or to criticize him when they find weakness, failure, and deprivation in him. If the matter of al-Hasan in Maskan had failed, the people would have blamed him for that failure. They would say that if the leader had been from the family of al-Hasan, he would have been the most appropriate person for enduring the great adversities, and the matter would have not come to this result.

So al-Hasan was right when he got ready for the disasters of that time through appointing a Hashimite leader. This measure was very important.

3. `Ubayd Allah was more angry with Mu'awiya than any other man. He was angrier with him than Qays and the son of Qays. That is because `Ubayd Allah's two sons were killed when Bisr b. Artat attacked the Yemen. (This event is among the famous events in history.)

Thus it was very appropriate for al-Hasan to choose such a leader who was full of anger, and was eager to fight against the killer of his two sons.

The majority of the army of the vanguard headed by `Ubayd Allah was from the army which the Commander of the faithful prepared in Kufa to fight against the Syrians. It’s worth mentioning that, Qays b. Sa'd b. `Abbada was the commander of this army during the lifetime of the Commander of the faithful (i.e., Imam 'Ali), peace be on him.12

These backgrounds were of great importance in strengthening the links between the commander and his soldiers. It was easy for the commander who had great influence on his soldiers to incline, whenever he wanted, to free conduct. This kind of freedom would indicate that there was no positive relation between the commander and the Supreme Authority. So al-Hasan had to be careful of such a position, for it was the most import thing during that attitude.

Although we respect our master Qays very much, we do not deny his personal abilities that would make him incline to such a kind of free conduct.

We do not forget that Qays, on the day when he headed this army, stood among his soldiers and ordered them to choose either following the Imam's Peace Treaty or going on fighting against Mu'awiya without an Imam.

Accordingly, Imam al-Hasan carried out the best two ideas. In other words, he appointed a person as a commander for his army. In the meantime he made `Ubayd Allah b. `Abbas a military adviser to make use of his abilities and cleverness.

I (the author) say: Appointing Qays as a successor after `Ubayd Allah did not harm this policy (i.e., al-Hasan's policy). That is because Qays would, after the killing of his predecessor in the battlefields of Maskan according to the items of the convention, follow the plan, which his predecessor had followed. For the conditions of the battle between the two parties (i.e., al-Hasan and Mu'awiya) did not permit him to change the plan. Moreover, he (Qays) would be under the direct leadership of the Imam (who was) the high leader. From what we have already mentioned, we have known that the Imam promised the vanguard of his army that he was about to follow them.

After this (explanation), there was no danger in appointing Qays as a successor after `Ubayd Allah as long as the former was ordered to follow a certain plan, and was under the direct supervision of the Imam.

  • 1. Little date palm, a place near Kufa, towards Sham (Syria). I (the author) say: Today, there is, towards Karbala', a building called Khan al-Nukhayla. There are twelve miles between it and Kufa.
  • 2. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 14.
  • 3. Al-Ya'qubi, Ta'rikh, vol. 2, p. 171.
  • 4. Al-Rawandi, al-Kharaij wa al-Jaraih, p. 228, (Iran).
  • 5. It was the Sassanid capital. It lasted for one thousand years. It was the inheritor of Babil (Babylon) in greatness. Today, none of its ruins has remained but Taq Kasra, and the Shrine of the great Companion (Salman al Farisi), may Allah have mercy on him. There were seven facing cities, namely they faced each other on the banks of Tigris. The Muslims conquered it in the year 15 A.H. At that time it was the capital of all the Persian East. So in the Western side were Saluqiya, Darzjan, Bahrsir, and Jindisabur (Kauka) in the district of Mazlam Sabat which was related to Nahr al-Malik (the River of the king). And in the Eastern side were Asfanbar, Romya, and Tishfon which had Taq Kasra.

    More than one hundred years had passed before the extinction of al Mada'in because of the foundation of Baghdad in the year 150 A.H. During that period of time, al-Mada'in supplied Kufa with industries, resources, and crops. That was through sending Persian friends to it, who became Muslims.

    Al-Mada'in followed the example of the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, from the day when Salman became a governor over it. Also in the seventh century A.H., al Mada'in was a village which no one inhabited but the eager Shi'a.

    Al-Mas'udi mentioned al-Mada'in when he mentioned Iraq. He said: "And the cities of Iraq were al Mada'in and the surrounding cities. The people of al-Mada'in had the most moderate colors, the purest perfumes, the best tempers, and the most obedient natures. In them were inclusive virtues, and peerless sound deeds."

  • 6. The name of al-Tasuj from which Awana was. It was situated on the bank of the river Dujayl. There were many gardens of date- palms and trees in it. Abu al-Faraj al-Sawadi (from the poets of the sixth century A.H.) meant it when he said:

    And they regarded it as virgin grew in Awana

    Hidden from her fiancees with the vessels.

    There were ten leagues between Maskan and Baghdad. At Maskan, a battle took place between `Abd al-Malik b. Marwan and Mas'ab b. al-Zubayr in the year 72 A.H. Mas'ab and Ibrahim b. Malik al Ashtar were killed at that battle. They were buried where they were killed. Their graves are still visible. There is a humble dome over the two graves. The Arabs of Sumayka call this dome the Grave of Shaykh Ibrahim (Qabr Shaykh lbrahim). There are about sixty kilometers between this dome and Baghdad, and ten kilometers between it and Tigris. So Maskan was the area that surrounded this grave, including the river Dujayl. Also Awana was there.

  • 7. In al-Ahkam al-Sultaniya, al-Mawardi has mentioned the following on the authority of al-Hamawi, who said: "Al-`Alth is the first part of Iraq from this direction." I (the author) say: Al-`Alth is situated between `Ukbara and Samarra'. `Ukbara is among the villages of Dujayl, near Awanan.
  • 8. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad, p. 170. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al Balagha, vol. 4, p. 14. Al-Ya'qubi, Ta'rikh, vol. 2, p. 191.

    Another historian has mentioned that it was his brother `Abd Allah b. 'Abbas. That is incorrect, for `Abd Allah was not in Kufa during the days of the Succession of al-Hasan. Rather, he was in Mecca, and wrote to al-Hasan a letter in which he hinted at war. You find details about him in `Sharh Nahj al-Balagha', vol. 4, pp. 8-9. If `Abd Allah was in Kufa at that time, his name would not be hidden during those events. In his book `al-Ta'rikh', vol. 6, p. 81, al-Tabari said: "In the opinion of all historians, `Abd Allah b. 'Abbas went out of Basrah and reached Mecca. Some historians have denied that and claimed that the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, appointed him a governor over Basrah. He governed it till he (the Commander of the faithful) was killed. (He was still a governor over Basrah) after the killing of 'Ali till al-Hasan made peace (with Mu'awiya). Then he left (Basrah) at that time for Mecca." I (i.e., the author) say: `Abd Allah b. 'Abbas was not in Basrah. If he had been there, the army would not have delayed. For al-Hasan was in a pressing need of it in al-Mada'in. Ibn al-Athir (vol. 3, p. 166) has underlined that `Abd Allah b. `Abbas left 'Ali during his lifetime.

    We think that it is the similarity between the two brothers in father and name has made such an error in attributing the leadership to `Abd Allah. Another historian made a mistake so that he has attributed the leadership of the vanguard to Qays b. Sa'd who was the leader of the fighters who were in front of the vanguard as Ibn al-Athir has mentioned. That maybe the reason for this imagination. Then think.

  • 9. Some historians tried to doubt the historical backgrounds of `Ubayd Allah through the event that forced him to go out of the Yemen. It is an act of truthfulness to admit that the garrison of the Yemen was too weak to resist the attack of Bisr b. Artat at that time. Moreover, some of the Yemenis deserted the Hashimite authority. They wrote letters to Mu'awiya. They dismissed their Emir Said b. Nimran from the army. And they disobeyed their ruler `Ubayd Allah. All these factors and others indicate that `Ubayd Allah was innocent of the doubts. If `Ubayd Allah had tried to resist Bisr, the latter would have been able to defeat him with the help of the `Uthmanis in the Yemen. `Ubayd Allah did not do more than what his peers did in Mecca and Medina when they escaped from Bisr. The governor of Mu'awiya over the three capitals attacked the people where in. So he killed about thirty thousand innocent people.

    We have known that `Ubayd Allah intended to go to Kufa when he left the Yemen. And if he had been suspicious, he would have not headed for Kufa. Besides we have known that Said b. Nimran apologized to the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, when he said to the latter: "I summoned the people (i.e., the people of the Yemen) to fighting. A group of them answered me. So I fought weakly. Then the people left me, and I went away. I (the author) say: Will the experience of b. Nimran not correct the apology of `Ubayd Allah b. `Abbas? That is because the backgrounds of this man had no defect. Therefore, no wonder when al-Hasan was satisfied with him because of his reliable backgrounds.

  • 10. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, vol. 4, p. 14. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad, pp. 168-169. Al Ya'qubi, Ta'rikh, vol. 2, p. 191.

    Only al-Ya'qubi did not mention the third leader from the leaders of the vanguard, then he said: "Al-Hasan ordered `Ubayd Allah to obey the order and idea of Qays b. Sa'd. So `Ubayd Allah advanced towards the Island (i.e., Mesopotamia). When Mu'awiya heard of the killing of 'Ali, peace be on him, he headed for Mousil eighteen days after the killing of 'Ali. I (the author) say: Mousil was among the villages of Maskan. Our master Muhammad b. Imam 'Ali al-Midi was buried near Mousil as al-Hamawi has mentioned in his book `al-Mujam'. It is other than the present city of Mousil (in Iraq). There is no difference between what al-Ya'qubi and what the others reported about limiting the situation where the army of Mu'awiya stopped during his war against al-Hasan. That is because Mousil, al Haywada, al-Jinubiya were all among the villages of Maskan at that time. Maybe, the army occupied all these villages, so their names have been mentioned in various reports. Also some reports have been confined to some names as you see. As for us, we have only chosen al-Jinubiya depending on the letter Qays b. Sa'd wrote to al-Hasan as we will mention in the following chapters.

  • 11. Ubayd Allah b. `Abbas was 39 years old on the day when he led this army.
  • 12. Ibn Kathir, Ta'rikh, vol. 8, p. 14.

The Number Of The Army

The number of the army that was in Kufa in the middle years of the first century, A.H. was forty thousand fighters. Every year ten thousand fighters of it made a campaign (against the enemies of Islam). (This is what the reliable books have mentioned).

We have known that the Commander of the faithful (Imam 'Ali), peace be on him, prepared forty thousand or fifty thousand fighters according to two different reports- to attack the Syrians. However, he had died before he made an attack with them. We think that al-Hasan's army was a group of the army which the Commander of the faithful prepared to fight against Mu'awiya.

Then we know nothing about the attitude of these armies towards al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on them, when he summoned them to jihad (armed struggle). Besides we have known, from more than one reference book, that the vanguard which al-Hasan sent to meet Mu'awiya at Maskan was estimated at twelve thousand fighters. The acceptable idea is that this vanguard was from the groups of the army which the Commander of the faithful formed before he died. So some of these groups supported al-Hasan while the rest refused that.

Then, from another reference, we have known that the. Kufans became excited on the day of al-Hasan, so they called up other four thousand fighters.1

Thus these are sixteen thousand fighters whom the unquestionable text have shown.

There also are other figures concerning the number of the army.

The historians have mentioned them, and the important declarations have included them. However, their correctness is liable to test and discussion.

The following are some texts about these different figures. First we will mention these figures as they are. Then we will check them properly.

1. In his book (Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 110), he (i.e., Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi) said: "Then he (i.e., al-Hasan) dispatched to him (i.e., Mu'awiya) a leader with four thousand (fighters). He (the leader) was from Kinda. He (al-Hasan) ordered him (the leader) to camp in Anbar2 and not to do anything till his (al-Hasan's) order came to him. When he (the leader) headed for Anbar and stopped there, Mu'awiya knew of that.

Thus he sent messengers to him, and wrote to him: `Indeed, if you came to me, I would appoint you as a ruler over some districts of Sham (Syria) and of the Island (al-jazirah), and the like.' He (Mu'awiya) sent him (the leader) five hundred thousand dirhams. So al-Kindi took the money. He deserted al-Hasan. He went to Mu'awiya with two hundred men from his notables and the member of his family. Al-Hasan heard of that. So he rose and delivered a sermon:

`Al-Kindi went to Mu'awiya. He deserted me and you. I told you a time after a time (that) you have no faithfulness. You are the slaves of this world. I am going to send another man to replace him. I know that he (the man) will do towards you and me as your friend (i.e., al-Kindi) did. He will never fear Allah concerning me and you.' So he (al-Hasan) sent him (Mu'awiya) a man from (the tribe of) Murad with four thousand (fighters).

He (al-Hasan) came toward him (the man) before the very eyes of the people, confirmed him, and told him that he (the man) would desert as al-Kindi did. So he (the man) took a solemn oath before him (al-Hasan) that he (the man) would not do that. So al-Hasan said: `He will desert.' When he (the man) headed for AnbaI, Mu'awiya sent him messengers. He wrote to him as he (Mu'awiya) wrote to his (the man's) companion. He sent him five thousand (maybe he, the reporter, meant five hundred thousand) dirhams. He made him desire for any district he liked from the districts of Sham and of the Island. So he (the man) deserted al-Hasan, went to Mu'awiya, and did not keep his word."

After this text, al-Majlisi mentioned that al-Hasan took al-Nukhayla as a camp for him, and that al-Hasan went there.

2. In his book (Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 14), b. Abu al-Hadid said: "The people went out. They became active for going out. Then al-Hasan went out to the camp. He had appointed al-Mughira b. Noufal b. al-Harth b. `Abd al-Muttalib as a successor over Kufa. He ordered him to urge and dispatch the people to him. So he (i.e., al-Mughira) began urging and dispatching them to the extent that the camp was full (of people). Then al-Hasan went with a great army and good equipment till he stopped at Dir `Abd al-Rahman. He stayed there for three (days) till the people gathered. Then he summoned `Ubayd Allah b. al-'Abbas b. `Abd al-Muttalib, and said to him: `Cousin, I am going to send with you twelve thousand (men) from the horsemen of the Arabs and (the Qur'an readers) of the city.'"

3. Al-Tabari (vol. 6, p. 94.) reported on the authority of al-Zuhri, who said: "When Mu'awiya got rid of `Ubayd Allah b. 'Abbas and al Hasan, peace be on him, he came to plot against a man who was the most important of the people in plotting against him (Mu'awiya). There were forty thousand (fighters) with him. Mu'awiya, `Amru, and the Syrians met them."

4. In his book (Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 6), b. Abu al Hadid has mentioned the following on the authority of al-Mada'ini3 on the authority of al-Musayyab b. Nujayya, who said to al-Hasan when he blamed him for his Peace Treaty with Mu'awiya `My astonishment at you does not end. You have made peace with Mu'awiya, (while) you have forty thousand (fighters). Or he (al Musayyab) said: `You have pledged allegiance to (Mu'awiya)', due to different reporters."

5. In his book (al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 3, p. 61), Ibn al-Athir said: "Forty thousand fighters pledged allegiance to the Commander of the faithful ('Ali). They were ready to die for him when he told them about something concerning Sham (Syria) and they appeared. While he was getting ready to advance towards (Syria), he was killed. If Allah wills a thing, no one is able to repulse it (the thing). When he was killed, the people pledged allegiance to his son, al-Hasan. He (al Hasan) heard of the advance of Mu'awiya and the Syrians towards him. So he (al-Hasan) and the army that had pledged allegiance to 'Ali got ready and left Kufa to meet Mu'awiya, who had stopped at Maskan. So al-Hasan arrived in al-Mada'in. There he appointed Qays b. `Abbada al-Ansari over his vanguard with twelve thousand (fighters). It was said that al-Hasan appointed `Abd Allah4 b. `Abbas over his (al-Hasan's) vanguard. So he (al-Hasan) appointed `Abd Allah b. `Abbas over his vanguard in the advance guards of Qays b. Sa'd b. `Abbada."

I (the author) say: Ibn Kathir followed such a tradition. Apparently he has taken it letter by letter from the book `al-Kamil.'

6. Al-Mada'ini5 has reported the words of al-Hasan, peace be on him, in response to the man who said to him: "Were you right in what you have done?" So al-Hasan said: "Yes, but I am afraid that seventy thousand or eight thousand (fighters) will come on the Day of Resurrection. Their jugular veins will bleed. So they will ask Allah why their blood had been shed."

7. In his book (al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, p. 151), b. Qutayba al-Dinawari has reported: "They mentioned that the people pledged allegiance to Mu'awiya. Then he (Mu'awiya) came back to Sham (Syria). Afterwards Sulayman b. Sirt al-Khaza'i, who was absent from Kufa and was the master and chief of the Iraqis, came to al Hasan and said to him: `You who have humiliated the believers, al salamu `alayka' !

Al-Hasan said: `wa `alayka al-salam, sit down, may Allah have mercy on your father.' He (b. Qutayba) said: Sulayman sat down and said: `Now then, our astonishment at you does not end because of your pledge of allegiance to Mu'awiya. You have one hundred Iraqi fighters who receive salaries. You have a similar number to them from their sons and friends. Moreover, you have followers (Shi'a) in Basrah and Hijaz."

I (the author) say: In his book (Tanzih al-Anbiya') al-Murtada, in his book (al-Manaqib) Ibn Shahrashub, and in his book (al-Bihar) al Majlisi have reported the complete text of what happened between Sulayman b. Sirt and his companions and al-Hasan, peace be on him. No one of them (the authors) have narrated on the authority of Sulayman and his companions that the number of the army was more than forty thousand (fighters).

So only b. Qutayba has reported on the authority of Sulayman that the number of the army was one hundred (fighters). Also only he used the word `pledge of allegiance' (al-bay'a) instead of the word `Peace' (Sulh).

8. Ziyad b. Abih, who was the governor of al-Hasan over Persia, said the following in response to Mu'awiya's threat: "Indeed, the son of she who ate the livers (i.e., Hind), of the shelter of hypocrisy, and of the rest of the allies (ahzab) has written to me to threaten me. Between me and him are the two grandsons of the Apostle of Allah. They have ninety thousand (fighters) {according to a report seventy thousand (fighters)}, who have put the hilts of their swords under their chins. No one of them turns till he dies. Indeed, by Allah, if he (i.e., Mu'awiya) came to me, he would find me stronger (than him) in hitting with the sword."6

Discussion

In this manner, these texts with various forms have suggested different figures about the number of the army. The large figures in these texts are forty thousand, eighty thousand, and one hundred thousand (fighters).

Indeed, all these three figures are liable to doubt and check, even the smallest of them. Now, you read the following explanations:

1. The largest figure is one hundred thousand or ninety thousand (fighters). Ziyad b. Abih referred to this figure. Only al-Dinawari has attributed it to Sulayman b. Sirt al-Khaza'i. This figure is unacceptable for several reasons:

The most important ones of these reasons are:

A. Both leaders (i.e., Sulayman and Ziyad) did not attend the pledge of allegiance to al-Hasan. They did not take part in the jihad of al-Hasan. They were not present during the succession of al-Hasan in Kufa. Generally speaking, they left their homeland in Iraq for two years.7

Thus they did not attend the situation that prevailed Kufa at that time. Namely, they did not witness the strong formation of the parties and the ignoble tardiness that spread all over Kufa, and with which the Kufans faced their Imam to whom they pledged allegiance. Therefore the figures they have mentioned are worthless.

When Sulayman and Ziyad mentioned these figures of the fighters, they compared the present period of Kufa with its past.. They thought that the Kufans mobilized fighters during the time of al-Hasan as they did during the time of his father, the Commander of the faithful, in the years 37 and 38 A.H.

B. The attitude of both men (i.e., Sulayman and Ziyad) at the emotional moment when they mentioned these figures indicate that they inclined to exaggeration. This exaggeration about the number of the army resulted from Sulayman's strong anger. Thus he censured Imam al-Hasan, peace be on him, for making peace with Mu'awiya. Also it resulted from the threat Ziyad made in response to Mu'awiya's threat.

Therefore there is nothing correct in these two figures. Thus we must not rely on them to determine the number of the army.

Besides we have known that Sulayman was the friend of al-Musayyab b. Nujayya. In other words Sulayman had ties with al-Musayyab other than the personal friendship. In text no. 4, you have read that al-Musayyab admonished al-Hasan for making peace with Mu'awiya:" You have forty thousand (fighters)." It is undeniable that these two friends did not differ over the affairs of the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt) peace be on them, as they differed over these figures.

Accordingly, the reason for these unusual figures of Sulayman b. Sirt is that al-Dinawari, only, who reported such reports about the matter of al-Hasan, did not check them out.

Fate had decided to punish these two leaders (Sulayman and Ziyad) before they left the life in this world. For they recklessly blamed Imam Abu Muhammad (i.e., al-Hasan), peace be on him, for making peace with Mu'awiya.

So in the year 65 A.H., eighteen thousand people pledged allegiance to Sulayman and Ziyad to avenge the blood of al-Husayn, peace be on him. When the Battle of `Ayn al-Warda took place, most people deserted them. Thus suffered from the desertion of the people.

Such kind of desertion reminded them of the attitude of the people towards the matters of the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them.

Then Sulayman and al-Musayyab, who were the leaders of the Movement of the Repentant, were killed at the Battle of `Ayn al-Warda. Also most of their followers were killed on that day.

2. As for the number eighty thousand or seventy thousand fighters, it was mentioned by al-Hasan when he answered the man who asked him: "Were you right in what you have done."

The words of al-Hasan, in fact, indicate that he had not more than twenty thousand fighters according to the greatest assessment. That is because when al-Hasan mentioned those "whose jugular veins will bleed on the Day of Judgment," he ranged their number from seventy thousand to eighty thousand persons. By this number, he did not mean his soldiers in particular. Rather he meant the total number of the two fighting armies. Moreover, we have known that the number of the Syrians during their advance against al-Hasan was sixty thousand fighters. So the rest was the number of al-Hasan's private army.

Al-Hasan's hesitation in determining the number is clear in what we have mentioned. That is because if he had meant his army with the exception of the army of the others, he would have mentioned its number without hesitation. For he was the most knowledgeable of the people in the number of his army.

3. As for the number forty thousand fighters, it has been mentioned more than one historian. Also al-Musayyab b. Nujayya has mentioned it. We have nothing concerning this number but two ideas:

A. This number disagrees with al-Hasan's words with which he referred to the number of the army. You have known that his words do not mean more than twenty thousand fighters according to the greatest estimation. Also this number disagrees with his other words with which he described the attitude of the people towards him. Namely, he described their attitude as: "Sluggishness in fighting."8 Thus if al-Hasan had forty thousand fighters, the people would not have been sluggish in fighting alongside him. So the number is still liable to doubt.

B. The doubt imposed the number on those who believed in it. So they thought that the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, prepared forty thousand fighters for his final campaign against Sham (Syria). Then his holy life had ended before he advanced against Sham with this army. So they thought that the soldiers of the father (i.e., Imam 'Ali) were added to the soldiers of the son (i.e., al-Hasan). However, they forgot to mention the number of the people who deserted the new Successor in Kufa.

Therefore, the figure based on these errors is worthless.

Al-Zuhri's report is very unusual. For it denotes that there were forty thousand fighters with Qays b. Sa'd b. `Abbada al-Ansari. They belonged to the army of al-Hasan. Namely, they were with Qays who became the commander of the vanguard in Maskan when `Ubayd Allah and his followers had escaped. This means that only the vanguard of al-Hasan had forty- eight thousand fighters before the events of escaping.

Thus this idea is incorrect in history.

The reports of al-Zuhri concerning the matters of the members of the house (Ahl al-Bayt) are the weakest of all reports, and the most confused of them all in subjects. The author of the book (Dirasat fi al-Islam) regarded al-Zuhri as a mercenary for the Umayyads. This is enough evidence for the weakness of his reports.

Al-Zuhri said: "Mu'awiya, `Amru, and the Syrians stopped at them." Now, we want to act freely with this narration of his. We want to correct this intentional confusion as follows: the above-mentioned words contain a pronoun that is `them.' If we attribute the pronoun to Mu'awiya's army and exclude Qays' army, then the number will concern Mu'awiya's soldiers with whom he met Qays. The concerned ones of them were those who received salaries. The concerned ones of the Syrians were the volunteers other than those who received salaries. In this way there will be coherence between this narration of his and the other narration that has added the soldiers of Mu'awiya to the vanguard of al-Hasan.

4. Ibn Abu al-Hadid has used the phrase `the great army' to describe the movement of al-Hasan from al-Nukhayla to Dir `Abd al-Rahman on his way to his camps. These words, as you see, are brief. They agree with the number that we have already mentioned. Indeed, sixteen thousand fighters were a great army. If you refuse that; then they were twenty thousand fighters.

5. The narration in the book `Bihar al-Anwar' is the best of all reports which we have mentioned to understand what has been reported about this matter. There is an order in the frequent events of this narration so that such an order imposes doubt on it.

When this narration shows the same events, it ignores the names of the two leaders (i.e., al-Kindi and al-Muradi). For this narration indicates that they met Mu'awiya before `Ubayd Allah. Also they deserted al-Hasan before him. In the history of such an event, the people do not know that ignoring the names of two leaders during two events is among the ugliest events of man in history.

Apart from ignoring the names of the two leaders, this narration which is in Bihar al-Anwar underlines that the Imam (al-Hasan) insisted on accusing the two leaders (of desertion) before he dispatched them. Moreover, this narration underlines that the Imam sent them to meet Mu'awiya though he was aware of their desertion.

Some of this (explanation) is enough so that we will not go on discussing this narration, for it is very easy to understand.

I (the author) say In spite of this discussion, we have not gotten any result about the matter which we have mentioned under the topic: The Number of the Army. These texts, though many, are some examples about the fabrications from which the matter of al-Hasan suffered. No wonder when we mention this fact (matter), repeat it, regard its danger as great, condemn it, and draw the attention of people to its results. These are eight texts. Not one of them is able to resist the discussion, so we cannot use them as historical proofs.

Then we have nothing except the number of the army of the vanguard, that was twelve thousand fighters, and the number of the volunteers in Kufa that was four thousand fighters. Then we have to mention the groups of the people who came to al-Hasan at Dir `Abd al-Rahman when he stayed there for three days. They were about twenty thousand fighters. All these groups of people were the army of al-Hasan when he headed for his two camps at Maskan and al-Mada'in.

As for the fighters from al-Mada'in itself, they did not tarry from the battlefields headed by 'Ali, peace be on him. We have already mentioned that, so it was impossible for them to desert his son (al-Hasan) when he camped among them.

This is what makes us believe that the number of the army at both camps was twenty thousand fighters or little over.

This number was `the great army' which b. Abu al-Hadid meant. Also it is the number that agrees with the foregoing words of al Hasan, peace be on him. There is no proof better than al-Hasan's words concerning his matters.

Then we do not know whether al-Hasan, peace be on him, received any help from any party when he was in al-Mada'in.

  • 1. Al-Rawandi, al-Kharaij wa al-Jaraih, p. 228.
  • 2. A city was on the bank of the Euphrates (west of Baghdad). Anbar was ten leagues far from Baghdad. It was called so, for the stores (`anabir) of wheat and barley were gathered together in it during the days of the Persians. Abu al-`Abbas al-Saffih al-`Abbasi resided in it till he died. He rebuilt palaces and house in it, but they have become extinct.
  • 3. He was Abu al-Hasan b. Muhammad b. Abu Sayf al-Basri. He lived in al-Mada'in, then moved to Baghdad, and died there in the year 215 A.H. Ibn Abu al-Hadid reported many traditions on his authority. He, may Allah have mercy on him, has about two hundred books on various matters.
  • 4. He was `Ubayd Allah, neither `Abd Allah nor Qays. We have already mentioned the reasons for the error in mentioning each of them.
  • 5. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 7. Ibn Kathir, al Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh vol. 8, p. 42.
  • 6. Al-Ya'qubi, Ta'rikh, vol. 2, p. 194. Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 3, p. 166. The former has narrated that the number of the army was ninety' thousand fighters, while the latter has mentioned that it was seventy thousand fighters.
  • 7. Ibn Qutayba (in al-Imama wa al-Siyasa), and al-Murtada (in Tanzih al Anbiya') have mentioned that Sulayman was not in Kufa for two years. As for Ziyad, he was the governor of Basrah. Then `Abd Allah b. `Abbas dispatched him to Persia, to be a governor over it in the year 39 A.H. In the events of the year 39 A.H, al-Tabari mentioned that Ziyad was in Basrah before the year 39.
  • 8. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 113.

The Members Of The Army

In his book `al-Irshad p. 169, al-Mufid said: "Al-Hasan sent Hujr b. `Adi to order the leaders (Ummal) to set out and to call the people together for war (jihad). 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 Shi'a and to his father's; some of them were members of the Muhakkima (i.e., Kharijites) who were influenced by (the desires of) fighting Mu`awiya 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." 1

I (the author) say: From what we have just said, we have known that the number of al-Hasan's army was about twenty thousand fighters or little more. However, we do not know in detail the way used to form this army. However, I think it was the primitive way which was not based on the succeeding, acquired improvements. It was the way which the Muslim communities followed during the first centuries A.H. It was the way that did not stipulate any qualities necessary for accepting the soldier or the fighter (mujahid).

It did not stipulate personal abilities and age, nor did it stipulate compulsory military service as it is in the present time. For the Muslim person who was able to carry the weapon had a religious motive. Thus he took part in jihad willingly when he heard the summons to it in the way of Allah. This motive made him feel his religious obligation. So he was ready to sacrifice his life in the way of Allah. Otherwise, he was unable to carry out his religious duty. For the worldly desires would suppress this feeling in him. Moreover, they would have deprived him of his share of the reward and booty if Allah had predetermined victory and booty for that war.

Modern military laws force people to carry out military service, summon them in certain years, and examine their limited abilities. These laws were not known at that time. Besides they disagree with the Islamic law that is general and tolerant.

Islam is certain correct facts so that the people obey it. In other words the laws of this religion do not force anyone to carry out any obligation. For Islam has showed people two ways (i.e., the way of good and the way of evil). Moreover, it has helped them to choose the way of good through guidance:

وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا ۚ

"And (as for) those who strive hard for us, We will most certainly guide them to Our ways." (Qur'an 29:69).

In this way Islam enjoins people to do good and forbids them from doing evil. Also Muslim leaders have used the same way to enjoin people to do well and to prevent them from doing evil. When they decide to wage war (against their enemies), they follow an excellent way to urge people to take part in jihad (holy war) through convincing them to carry the weapon.

Among these ways are: They increase the salaries of fighters, order their governors to encourage people to take part in jihad, and spread their orators and prominent figures to urge people to volunteer to strive in the way of Allah, the Great and Almighty.

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, followed all these ways from the day when he assumed the succession in Kufa. Also he used them when he declared jihad. Among his measures, as we have said earlier, were: He increased the salaries of the fighters to 100%. He sent Hujr b. `Adi to his rulers to summon them to jihad.

His notable companions, who were orators, helped him with his task. Among them were `Adi b. Hatam, Ma'qal b. Qays al-Riyahi, Ziyad b. Sa'sa'a al-Tamimi, and Qays b. Sa'd al-Ansari. They criticized the people2 for their slowness and urged them to take part in jihad for Allah. Then they themselves competed with each other for their places in the general camp, and they competed with the people for that.

They spread the standards of jihad all over Kufa. They summoned the people (to obey) Allah, the Great and Almighty, and the family of Muhammad, peace be on them.

Thus new awareness arose in the slow city. Namely, the Kufans felt their obligations, and became ready to carry them out.

The slowness in the war happened because either the people inclined to worldly pleasures or the Syrians changed their religious beliefs. This slowness included some of the people in Kufa and the regions around it.

As for this new awareness which the eloquent orators made, it soon created motivation in many of the slow people. The wish stirred up an activity. So enthusiasm resulted from the activity. To some extent, the summons of the Shi'a to jihad was successful in making the majority eager for war in spite of the ignoble attitudes of the oppressors in Kufa at that time. "The people became active for going out to their camp." 3

Moreover, the summons of the Shi'a to jihad was successful, to a great extent, in winning the public opinion in Kufa, its sevenths (asba ), its tribes, and the neighboring outskirts whose dwellers used to come to markets and official offices.

The orators of al-Hasan were so skillful that they exploited the appropriate mind of the people. So they spared no effort to summon them to support the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt) under the pretext of the summons to jihad.

The throats of the companions became hoarse because they mentioned many laudable qualities of the family of Muhammad. In the meantime they showed the defects of their enemies. They resisted the different clubs of Kufa, its districts, and its public places. They drew the attention of the people to the excellent position which no one of the Muslims occupied but the two lords of the youth of Paradise (i.e., al-Hasan and al-Husayn), peace be on them. They indicated the religious firmness inherited by the members of the House of Inspiration. They spread the distinguished qualities of this tribe such as knowledge, purity, religious devotion, sacrifice for Allah, and reforming acts. They indicated their obligatory love on the believers.

Then they (the orators of al-Hasan) mentioned the pledge of allegiance to al-Hasan. They reminded the people that Allah would ask them about obedience of these rulers and the obligatory pledge of allegiance to them.

They (the orators) mentioned the lineage in their enthusiastic sermons. Suddenly, this lineage was very nice, very truthful, and very effective. They bewildered the people and filled them with admiration.

The orators mentioned al-Hasan and Mu'awiya. They said: "What a great difference is between b. 'Ali and b. Sakhr! What a great difference is between b. Fatima and b. Hind! What a great difference is between his (i.e., al-Hasan's) grandfather the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, and his (i.e., Mu'awiya's) grandfather! What a great difference is between his (al-Hasan's) grandmother Khadija and his (i.e., Mu'awiya's) grandmother!"

They cursed the more unknown one of the two persons (i.e., al-Hasan and Mu'awiya). Also they cursed the more ignoble one of them in lineage, the more evil one of them in the past and the present time, and the older one of them in unbelief and hypocrisy. So the people shouted and said: `Amen!' Then the generations came after them (the people). When a Muslim person reads this nice comparison, he will record a new amen against Mu'awiya.

These wise ways and enthusiastic eloquent orations played an important role in moving the people. So they were ready to desert Sham (Syria) and to support Kufa.

In Kufa, the new powerful city, there were mixed bands of people. They belonged to Arab and non- Arab communities. They adopted Islam, but they were displeased with it. In other words they embraced Islam and used it as means to achieve their immediate interests. So they understood the summons to jihad as means for interests and booty. When these mixed bands became satisfied with the success of that war, they joined the army of al-Hasan, peace be on him, to achieve their interests and to take their shares of booty. So why did they not join those who were the first to take part in jihad?

You may agree with me on discovering the motives that drove these rabble mixed groups to join the army of al-Hasan, peace be on him. Suddenly, the men of discords, the men of booty, the men of tribalism, the doubters, and the like became volunteers in the army of al-Hasan.

As we have previously said, the regulations of the Islamic mobilization at that time did not prevent the above mentioned groups from joining the army as fighters or mujhahidin. That is because these regulations stipulated only one condition that was the ability to carry the weapon.

Concerning the reason that urged the Kharijites to join the army of al-Hasan, Shaykh al-Mufid, my Allah have mercy on him, said: "They chose to fight Mu`awiya with every means (possible)."

However, we (i.e., the author) do not believe in this reason though brief, and we do not deny it because it has some meanings What al Mufid said might be part of their aim, and their aim might be a thing other than this.

The relations between al-Hasan, peace be on him, and the Kharijites do not encourage us to have a good opinion about them. Besides, if we study the events (of the Battle) of al-Nahrwan, our doubt in them will double. Suppose that they were right when they summoned al-Hasan to fight against Mu'awiya, and that they had no ill-intention towards him, then where were they during the lifetime of Mu'awiya? Why didn't they band together against him as they did against 'Ali, peace be on him? Moreover, hasn't history kept their revolt against the latter?

The enmity and malice of the Kharijites, and the way of their abominable summons move us to mistrust their purpose when they wanted to go out with: al-Hasan, peace be on him.

We have known the conditions of the Kharijites before their going out for that war. Namely, they cajoled the people. Meanwhile they complimented al-Hasan after their unbelieving fighting against the late Imam (i.e., 'Ali), peace be on him. Through that, they tried to avoid the general abhorrence that prevailed them after that great tragedy.

Do you not think that the Kharijites followed cunning ways? Didn't their timely pressing conditions make them pretend to be loyal soldiers, volunteers in the army of al-Hasan? Without doubt they had hidden their purposes under this pretense. So they became soldiers to achieve their hidden principles which no one has known since then.

The idea of the Kharijites represented an evil beginning that resulted from the matter of the arbitration (al-tahkim) at the Battle of Siffin. For this reason, they were call al-muhakkim. The roots of this idea were fixed in themselves as a firm thought. In the course of time, their idea spread here and there. Thus many people followed it. Therefore it created various kinds of disasters and hardships.

Although the Kharijites were intense in the matter of the religion, they did cunning very well.

So the Kharijites seized the opportunities of the war that took place between the two great enemies. They joined this army that moved from Kufa to Maskan and al-Mada'in.

Through these explanations, I do not want to deny the enmity of the Kharijites towards Mu'awiya. Moreover, I do not deny their choice to fight against him with every means (possible), as Shaykh al-Mufid, May Allah have mercy on him, has said. However, I think that the Kharijites intended to achieve two purposes through their plan.

They had no purpose through their revolts and plots but to destroy the great Islamic figures in Iraq, Egypt, and Syria. The purposes of these people were secret assassinations. These purposes prevailed their other plans. For this reason, they went with al-Hasan to make discords. They followed the way of jihad to make corruption. For example, they achieved a traitorous act at Mazlam Sabat.4 The act harmed al-Hasan very much. It was the second dangerous part of the series of the crimes which this evil band committed against the great, Prophetic family.

Both those two crimes resulted from the active, secret plots which the foolish Kharijites mastered on various occasions.

Ibn. Sinan al-Asadi 5stabbed al-Hasan. Also Ibn. Muljim al-Muradi, Sinan's friend, stabbed the Commander of the faithful, al-Hasan's father, peace be on him. Through His favor, Allah wanted these two stabs to be different from each other.

This mean plot represented the ugliest estrangement towards the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. For, through this stab, b. Sinan tried to kill his eldest grandson, and to render a rare service to Mu'awiya. This stab belonged to the people (i.e., the Kharijites) about whom it was said: "They went out with al-Hasan because they chose to fight against Mu'awiya with every means (possible)."

In this way, al-Hasan became certain of the intentions of the muhakkima (i.e., the Kharijites) in spite of their false flatter for him. From the beginning, al-Hasan was very cautious of them. Still he treated them kindly in spite of their hidden spites.

There is no one more dangerous than the enemy who pretends friendship. Such an enemy shows you friendship openly, but he fights against you secretly. So the most dangerous enemy is he who fights against you with hatred, malice, and tribalism, as the Kharijites did against al-Hasan.

In this way, the army of al-Hasan, peace be on him, was full of those mixed bands who discouraged it from winning the battles. It was also afflicted by the plots of both internal and external enemies, namely in Iraq and Syria (Sham).

It was natural for such an army to be liable to internal discords and mutiny against its commanders.

The holy war (jihad) was not some means for material greed, nor was it a field for dangerous plots, nor was it an aspect for trivial, ignorant tribalism, nor was it an arena for the experiences of the doubters.

So "the insight of al-Hasan increased when the people (i.e., the mixed bands) deserted him.6

Many words have been reported on the authority of al-Hasan. They indicate that he had low confidence in his army.

Al-Hasan said very eloquent words when he addressed his army in al-Mada'in. These words are appropriate for the subject of this chapter. Thus we will mention them here: "During your movement towards Siffin, your religion was before your life in this world. Anyhow today, your life in this world is before your religion. So you are between two killed persons: one was killed at (the Battle of) Siffin and you weep over him. The other was killed at (the Battle of) Nahrawan7 and you avenge his blood. As for the rest, they are betrayers. As for the weepers, they are revolutionaries."

This is the only oration of al-Hasan, in which he refers to the inclinations and desires of the mixed bands in his army during the battles.

As for the revolutionary weepers, al-Hasan refers to the large number from his companions and his bosom ones. As for those who wanted to avenge the blood, he refers to the Kharijites who were in his army. Namely, they wanted to avenge the blood of their companions on al-Hasan. As for the betrayers, he refers to the other groups from the men of the discords, the followers of the ambitions, and the worshippers of desires.

Go over the pages of history. You will find gloomy bloody lines in them. That was because of what the captivated prominent figures from those mixed bands followed. Also it was because of their terrible deeds with which they corrupted the field of the holy war (jihad). Some of their deeds were treason, discords, breaking pledges, plots, forgetting the religion, and the like. So the rest of the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, were liable to their attacks. We will mention some of these tragic pictures in their appropriate places in this book.

Conclusion

Here, we have to listen to what sounds in the mind of people when they study this sorrowful presentation about the bands of the army of al-Hasan, peace be on him. They ask: "Why did al-Hasan permit these mixed bands to join his army? After their joining his army, why was he slow in purifying his army from them? Why did he not use the methods that commanders of armies use to purify their armies such as dismissing corrupt members, censuring them, and banishing them?

These questions are the secret of the matter of al-Hasan. In response to these questions, we say:

1. Islam has abolished classes in jihad as it has abolished them in society through its laws and regulations. So it is unfair for the rulers to differentiate among the classes of Muslims who want to be soldiers. That is because such soldiers believe in Islam and are able to carry weapons. As for those mixed bands who followed al-Hasan, they believed in Islam and were able to carry weapons. Thus it was incumbent on the Imam to accept them according to the Islamic law.

2. The Prophet himself, may Allah bless him and his family, and such groups afflicted the Commander of the faithful during their battles. It is reported on their authority that they permitted such soldiers to enter their armies though they suffered from their disturbances at battlefields.

Concerning the Battle of Hunayn, the historians said: "Some Muslims saw the large number of their army, so they admired it. Then they said that the small army of their enemy would not overcome. However, the army of the Muslims was mixed. Among them (the Muslims) were many of those who came for booty."

The events of the returning of the Muslims from the campaign against the Banu al-Mustalaq indicates the existence of such mixed bands in the army of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family.

Also concerning the army of 'Ali, peace be on him, the historians said: "The army of 'Ali at (the Battle of) Siffin had mixed bands. They belonged to various tribes and communities. They were disobedient and opposing. They did not yield to any command, nor did they take any advice."

In his book (al-Mahasin wa al-Masawi'), al-Bayhaqi has narrated the following on the authority of Mu'awiya, who said: "He (i.e., 'Ali), peace be on him, was among the most wicked army and the most one of them in disagreement. I (i.e., Mu'awiya) was among the most obedient army and the least of them in disagreement."

I (the author) say: So al-Hasan had to follow the Sunna (practice) of his grandfather and that of his father. For it was enough for him to follow their example.

Al-Hasan conformed to Islam and fear of Allah in every movement and silence. Still the opponents of al-Hasan did not conform to these Islamic manners. Were it not for that (i.e., al-Hasan's fear of Allah and his conforming to Islam), you would find that the history of that period would be written in a way different from what you read today.

3. Nevertheless, al-Hasan refused to treat the situation through these ways. The commanders of armies use ways to purify their armies from corrupt persons. For example, they kill them, remove them from office, scold them, and the like. For he did not want to hasten the disaster before its time, as we have mentioned in chapter four. Besides he did want to be the direct reason for stirring up discords, declaring disagreement, and raising the banner of disobedience, at least, in half of his army. This means that al-Hasan intentionally wanted to light the fire of the revolt in the core of his army. Also this means that the holy war (Jihad) would turn into violent internal war. If al-Hasan had taken such steps, he would have achieved Mu'awiya's hopes. For the latter did his best to sow division between al-Hasan and his companions. Thus al-Hasan was very careful of Mu'awiya's tricks.

Moreover, al-Hasan, peace be on him, had no opportunity to reform those mixed bands of people and to unify their ideas, for his time was short and was full of various disasters. In other words, no one, except Allah (the Great and Almighty), was able to reform that situation at that time. That is because the manners, the religion, and the inherited backgrounds of the community were in need of reform during that short time. Moreover, the opposing trends that brought about various kinds of temptation to that generation prevented al Hasan from reforming the members of his army and unifying their ideas. Thus al-Hasan had to treat the situation through the ambitions themselves. This means that he had to cure the illness through the illness. However, he was not ready to follow such a way, for he took the fear of Allah into consideration.

  • 1. Also see: Al-Arbali, Kashif al-Ghumma, p. 161. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al Anwar, vol. 10, p. 110.
  • 2. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 14.
  • 3. Ibid.
  • 4. In Arabic, Sabat means a shelter between two houses through which there is an open way. Sabat was a village in al-Mada'in. Near Sabat there was an arch over the river of the King (nahr al-malik). Maybe it was called so because there was a rare shelter among the shelters (Sawabit) in it. We think that this rare shelter was Mazlam Sabat.
  • 5. In his book (al-Dawla al-Amawiya fi al-Sham wa al-Andalus, p. 50, chapter 4.), Hasan Murad made a mistake when he attributed the stab of al Hasan, peace be on him, with the dagger to the followers of the Umayyads, excluding the Kharijites. In chapter, the Secret of the Attitude, you will read the texts of the event which the old historians reported, and which the modern historians should understand.
  • 6. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad, p. 170.
  • 7. In his book [al-Malahim wa al-Fitan, p. 142, (Najaf, 1368)], Ibn Tawus has narrated: "And the other was killed at (the Battle of) Nahrwan and you avenge his blood on us."

`Ubayd Allah Ibn 'Abbas

`Ubayd Allah was full of eagerness for the war. He was indignant with Mu'awiya, for the latter was the reason for the killing of his two sons in the Yemen. So from the day when `Ubayd Allah withdrew his army from Dir `Abd al-Rahman, he went on hearing the news of Kufa. He knew that there were Shi'ite propagators who went on their lovable way and increasing activity. He hoped that the Shi'ite propagators would help him through their mobilization.

`Ubayd Allah arrived at Maskan, the place where the two fighting armies met. He heard of the summons of the active skillful Shi'ite propagators in Kufa. He knew that the summons mobilized some groups of fighters from the outskirts of Kufa and al-Mada'in. Apart from this, he knew that they went to their camps there.

Also `Ubayd Allah knew that the enemy maneuvers, which some Kufan leaders headed, aborted many efforts of the Shi'ite great figures and hindered the general mobilization.

No wonder! These pieces of news made `Ubayd Allah b. `Abbas angry. They filled his heart with wrath. Thus he was indignant with the people.

`Ubayd Allah's fighters weakened his hope. For they refrained from sending urgent aids for him. Thus he had to make use of these lessons that the conditions of Kufa imposed on him, and to resort to his forces to face the enemy forces. For the enemy forces were ready to fight against him face to face. He heard that they were at least sixty thousand Syrian fighters who were known for their blind obedience for their rulers and commanders.

`Ubayd Allah was indifferent to the large number of the enemy forces. However, he was very careful of the spiritual qualities of the two parties (i.e., Mu'awiya's and `Ubayd Allah's soldiers). Also he attached great importance to the morale of his army. For he had only this army to meet his enemy.

To make a balance between his army and the hostile enemy, `Ubayd Allah thought about the mixed bands in his army. Also he thought about his war that was in need of many loyal strong fighters. So he was very careful of those mixed bands. For they understood nothing of jihad (holy war) except that it was means for booty.

`Ubayd Allah headed for his camp at Maskan. He became very pessimistic. Thus his pessimism had an effect on the steps that followed.

`Ubayd Allah feared for the spirits of his army. For the news of the unsuccessful mobilization spread among the Kufans. Besides Mu'awiya's tricks prevailed them, for they were mere mixed groups at Maskan. This means that he had no confidence in his forces, for they included some persons. They spied for Mu'awiya to corrupt his plan. Cold war was the best of Mu'awiya's weapons. It was not only in this field but also in all fields.

`Ubayd Allah's idea was right.

Suddenly, Mu'awiya's first plot found its way to the Camp of Maskan. At that camp, there were mixed bands: some of them were loyal persons; some of them were hypocrites; some of them were those who preferred rest (to jihad) and hoped that the new rumor would be true. The new rumor was that: "Indeed, al-Hasan is corresponding with Mu'awiya to make peace (with him), so why do you kill yourselves?"1

It was not important for `Ubayd Allah and his loyal companions to hear that false rumor, for they knew that al-Hasan was getting ready to wage war against Mu'awiya through sending messengers to the outskirts of Kufa, and through his orations in Kufa. In other words, they knew that al-Hasan wrote letters to Mu'awiya to wage war against him, not to make peace with him or to give up his idea.

However, it was the excellent trick of the Satan (i.e., Mu'awiya).

The loyal ones from the Ansar (the Supporters) summoned the people to be calm. They asked them for a time till the postman of al Mada'in arrived. Still their words were merely an echo in a valley or a blow in ash. In this way a sorrowful disorder prevailed the fighters of al-Hasan, peace be on him.

Then `Ubayd Allah became weak towards the wicked trick that made a gap in the critical situation.

So he was alone with himself at his tent that was far away from the noise of the people. He thought that this leadership of his would endanger his military position very much, so he got excited for his reputation. Moreover, he was indignant with the words of the people concerning him. Then he repented of accepting it (i.e., the leadership). Among the attacks of the anger in his nature was that he cursed the conditions that opposed him during this military movement of his. Also he cursed the conditions that made him leader in that front. Then he introverted because of a state of worry and of self- love. He did not know what to do.

At last `Ubayd Allah thought that he had to render his resignation (that was the escape which his utmost skillfulness reached). He yielded to his selfish talents on which he depended willingly and intentionally.

After `Ubayd Allah had decided to render his resignation, he had to abandon the headquarters, just as the Imam (i.e., al-Hasan) thought, or to hand it over to his successor Qays b. Sa'd b. `Abbada al-Ansari.

`Ubayd Allah was still at his splendid large tent. The tent was far away from the large tents. It was the only thing that witnessed the mutiny of the betraying leader and heard his indignant mumble and his ungratefulness for the favors he received from his cousins for two generations. Before he left his tent, he had realized that the conditions of the resignation from a certain job would not be complete in the Islamic law but through confessing feebleness openly. However, this man was not ready to subject his character to the scorn of the people. So he came back to himself again to find the escape that would not force him to such a confession.

Also Mu'awiya's letters urged `Ubayd Allah to think about those great temptations whenever he thought to find a solution. It is worth mentioning that he forgot that he had received these letters from the postman who spread the black rumor at his camp in the morning. When he recalled Mu'awiya's letters, he remembered the beautiful dream coated with gold. Still the bitter fact annoyed him. So such a dream paralyzed his thinking and feeling. It prevented him from concluding the idea that was appropriate for him as a Hashimite leader. For he was supposed to fight against the strongest enemy of the Hashimites to win either victory or martyrdom.

`Ubayd Allah was able to render his resignation and to confess feebleness without hesitation and confusion. Through this way he would be able to conclude an excuse for his reputation and dignity. That is because the second leader (i.e., Qays b. Sa'd) was unable to assume the leadership in that critical condition.

Besides `Ubayd Allah was able to endure his attitude, to threaten the rioters, and to take artificial steps to show both violence and guidance. He was able to maintain his religion and reputation through these administrative measures, which he had to master as the other leaders mastered, through patience, and through waiting for the final teachings from the Imam (i.e., al-Hasan).

`Ubayd Allah, who was a commander at the Camp of the Imam, abandoned his glory when he bargained with Mu'awiya's messengers for the wage of the defeat. Thus this deed of his was neither glory nor dignity!

Mu'awiya's letter to `Ubayd Allah stroke the right note of the latter who loved greatness and priority. In his letter to `Ubayd Allah, Mu'awiya said: "Indeed, al-Hasan will be forced2 to make peace (with me), so it is better for you to be followed than to be follower."3 He (Mu`awiya) limited a thousand dirhams for `Ubayd Allah in the letter.4

Mu'awiya was the most desirous person in making use of the critical situations of his enemies.

Mu'awiya had limitless belief in human lowliness. He thought that the most righteous of people in ethics, the strongest of them in determination, and the purest of them in virtue may be tempted by greed and subjected by desires at an hour of weakness that overtook their selves, and at a time of doubt that controlled the people. He thought that the best people and the superior human beings were not safe from the calamities of doubt."5

The following are some words with which the Commander of the faithful warned Ziyad against Mu'awiya. He said to him: "Indeed, Mu'awiya exploits man through his two hands, through his back, through his right (hand), and through his left. So beware (of him), then beware (of him)."6

In this way disappointment and greediness overcame the Hashimite young man (i.e., `Ubayd Allah). Suddenly, he became among the most exposed traitors.

So neither the religion, nor lineage, nor tribalism, nor the close relation to the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, and to his high commander (i.e., al-Hasan), nor the covenant with Allah on the day when he was the first to summon the people to pledge allegiance to al-Hasan at the mosque of Kufa, nor the fear of the words of the people, nor the wrath of history were able to prevent `Ubayd Allah from coming to that ignoble end.

`Ubayd Allah sought protection with Mu'awiya at night. He followed the manner of the defeated, deserted person who himself knew the great sin he committed.

Then history has turned away from `Ubayd Allah and has not mention him but in the black list. That was the reward of the traitors. For they dug their graves with their hands, and died intentionally before they were forced to die.

The defeat of `Ubayd Allah b. `Abbas at (the camp of) Maskan created an atmosphere of quick pessimism. The effects of this pessimism were not only on Maskan but also on al-Mada'in. So his defeat was a painful disaster in the full sense of the word.

`Ubayd Allah was responsible for the gradual situations that followed his desertion. Thus he is condemned before Allah and history.

After the desertion of the first leader (i.e., `Ubayd Allah), Qays b. Sa'd b. `Abbada assumed the leadership of the vanguard. Worth mentioning, Qays was the legal commander after `Ubayd. Moreover, he had excellent qualities. For example, he had a pure faith. He was known for his cleverness in the history of the Arabs. He had a remarkable character because he was among the rest of the Companions7 of 'Ali, peace be on him. He grew up a holy fighter (mujahid). He was righteous throughout his life. He hated weak fighters.

Thus he was indignant with them when they inclined to desires and refrained from carrying out the religious obligations. When he assumed the leadership of the Camp at Maskan, he rose among the rest of the soldiers and addressed them. In his speech he condemned his defeated predecessor (i.e., `Ubayd Allah). He censured him for his shameful attitude. Then he began to refresh the morale of his army, which this violent shock weakened.

He (Qays) said: "Men, what this straying man has done should not terrify you. Don't regard it as great. Indeed, this (man), his father, and his brother never did good some day. Indeed, his father, who was the paternal uncle of the Apostle of Allah, went out to fight against him (Allah's Apostle) (at the Battle of) Badr. So Abu al-Yusir Ka'b b. `Amr al-Ansari captured him. He brought him before the Apostle of Allah. So the latter took his ransom and divided it among the Muslims.

(Imam) 'Ali appointed his (i.e., `Ubayd Allah's) brother as governor over Basrah. So he (`Ubayd Allah's brother) stole his (`Ali's) and the Muslim's money. He bought female slaves for it, and claimed that it was his own legal money. Imam ('Ali) appointed this (i.e., `Ubayd Allah) over the Yemen, but he escaped from Bisr b. Artat. He left his two sons to be killed there. Now, he did what he has done.8

Qays was an excellent orator. Thus he made an effective speech to move the feelings of the people against `Ubayd Allah b. 'Abbas. So the people shouted: "Praise be to Allah who brought him (i.e., `Ubayd Allah) out of us."9

I (the author) say: In this way, experiences are keys to know men, as the Arabic proverb says.

  • 1. Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, 15.
  • 2. I (i.e., the author) say: This text is clear in refuting the rumor that prevailed the Camp of Maskan, that said: "Indeed, al-Hasan exchanged letters with Mu'awiya to make peace with him."
  • 3. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 15. 2
  • 4. Al-Ya'qubi, Ta'rikh, vol. 2, p. 191. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, vol. 4, p. 15.
  • 5. Al-`Alam al-`Arabi (Magazine, year 11, no. 2, p. 30)
  • 6. Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 5, p. 176.
  • 7. Al-Mas'udi said: "Qays b. Sa'd was great in religious devotion, religion, and inclination to 'Ali. He was very afraid of Allah and very obedient to Him. One day he was praying. When he fell down in adoration, suddenly, there was a great spotted serpent. He moved his head from the serpent and bowed down beside it. However, the serpent encircled his neck. Still he did not shorten his prayers, nor did he decrease anything of them till he finished (them). Then he took the serpent and threw it away. He (i.e., al-Mas'udi) said: "Al-Hasan b. 'Ali b. `Abd Allah b. al-Mughira b. al-Mu'ammar b. Khallad reported a similar narration on the authority of Abu al-Hasan, 'Ali b. Musa al-Rida." Qays died in the year 85 A.H.
  • 8. Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani, Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p. 35.
  • 9. Ibid.

The Beginning of The End

"Qays b. Sa`d's letter arrived, for the first time, to al-Hasan, peace be on him, informing him that they had stopped Mu'awiya at a village called al-Jinubiya opposite Maskan. Then Mu'awiya 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) Mu'awiya's camp. In the morning the people found their leader missing. Qays b. Sa'd said the prayer with them and took charge of their affairs."1

Through its first paragraphs, the letter makes us feel that `Ubayd Allah did not send al-Hasan letters when the former and his army stopped at Maskan. 2

I (the author) wonder: Does the withdrawal from the Supreme Command (i.e., al-Hasan) indicate pre-mutiny? Of course, we do not know exactly the time that took `Ubayd Allah to exchange letters with Mu'awiya, and then to join his camp.

The news from (the Camp of) Maskan came successively before and after Qays' letter. "Bad news spread quickly." So al-Hasan heard that the close associates were the partners of `Ubayd Allah in drawing the plan of treason. Worth mentioning, Qays has mentioned these close associates in his letter. Also other reference books have called them "the people of honor and of the houses" or "the prominent figures and the people of the houses."

Moreover, al-Hasan heard that some of these close associates had escaped before `Ubayd Allah. Some pieces of news went to extremes, so they exaggerated the spites towards `Ubayd Allah when they said: "Indeed, he (i.e., `Ubayd Allah) passed carrying the banner.3

This hostile movement prepared an atmosphere for an evil mutiny. This enemy atmosphere included other parts of the army. So many fighters became active to desert it. For they thought that there was an advantage in following the people of honor and of the houses. Also they thought that they would have lost the advantage if they had followed them.

Moreover, Mu'awiya did his best to provoke this mutiny, to activate it, and to spread it. He was aware of the selves of the children of the cowardly families. For luxury overcame them, and luxuriant comfort made them forget their stubborn tribalism. He went on making their hearts incline towards him. To achieve that, he made use of all tricks. In the end he was successful in degrading their glory through material interests. Noteworthy, these material interests fascinated their commander so that he chose that shameful attitude.

In this way "The companions of al-Hasan, whom he sent with `Ubayd Allah, began slipping away to join Mu'awiya's camp. Of course, they were the great figures who belonged to the people of the houses" and their followers.

The number of those who deserted from jihad and betrayed Allah, His Apostle, and the grandson of the Apostle of Allah increased to eight thousand deserters.

In his book `Ta'rikh', Ahmad b. Ya'qub has told us: "He (i.e., Mu'awiya) sent to `Ubayd Allah b. `Abbas and offered him a million dirhams. So `Ubayd Allah with eight thousand fighters joined (the camp of) Mu'awiya. Then Qays b. Sa'd replaced him." 4

Yes, (they were) eight thousand fighters of twelve thousand fighters.

It was an awful gap that occurred in the army of al-Hasan. It made al-Hasan's army unable to resist sixty thousand fighters from the strong enemies. Rather, it was a terrible plot that paved the way to that disaster to happen.

So `Ubayd Allah is responsible for that disaster before Allah and history.

These men were hasty to create that discord. They thought that if they had done as the paternal cousin of al-Hasan had done, no one would have blamed them. They agreed on this paralyzed idea to justify their deed before the people. However, the people did not think about their defeat but through its frame coated with gold, namely Mu'awiya's false gold. Then they knew nothing about the glory of the people of the houses but that they broke the covenant they made with Allah and that they sold the religion for the life in this world.

The people who deserted al-Hasan were fully aware of his outstanding merits. Still they tried to exploit him to achieve their desires in this world, but he refused that.

Apart from this, when the people deserted al-Hasan and joined the camp of Mu'awiya, they had no confidence in Mu'awiya's promises. For they knew his attitude towards them when he entered Kufa and broke his promise. Also they knew his social rank.

Therefore, the people turned away from al-Hasan and deserted him. Nevertheless, they loved him and had no knowledge of him. In the meantime they hated Mu'awiya and mistrusted him. Thus there were other motives that made such a kind of deceived people commit that evil deed openly.

We think that the opposing leaders planed those plots to save themselves from the future punishments when the authority would be moved from Sham (Syria) to Kufa. Besides, they were afraid of the wide measures which the Imam took to summon the Islamic countries to take part in jihad. Also they were afraid of the active Shi'a who volunteered to support this summons. All these factors created fear in the restless persons from the traitors and the followed leaders.

They made them careful of al-Hasan because of their maneuvers and movements against their camp in Kufa. So they thought that it would be better for them to desert al-Hasan to get rid of their fear. Thus they committed various acts of sabotage against the forces of the party of which they were afraid. Moreover, carrying out the plan at a short time and in a wide range indicates that the desertion of the people was because of a plot many people designed.

To understand the tragedy of the defeat through this explanation is nearer to reality than that of those who reported the events from the friends and the enemies.

This explanation does not mean that Mu'awiya did not promise anyone or did not bribe any leader.

Rather, he was generous in promises in a way that he bewildered them. For example, he gave one leader a million dirhams so that he was able to buy his religion and his dignity.

However, what draws the attention is that the events of the defeat are not attributed to anyone other than `Ubayd Allah, the leader of the vanguard at Maskan. For he took a certain amount of money from Mu'awiya to desert al-Hasan.

I (the author) wonder: Why were the other leaders satisfied with Mu'awiya's promises instead of his money? Didn't the fear which we have mentioned create the spirit of the defeat in those leaders and make them satisfied with promises?

Fear has power over selves, especially the selves of luxurious people. So no wonder when fear moves the idea of treason in the selves of the children of the prominent houses. Moreover, the temptations of Sham (Syria) ignited this idea in that environment that was far away from Allah and severe justice.

In this way, each group of the army disclosed clearly its hidden purposes. In other words their pre- Islamic tribalism and their worldly desires caused the dangerous results of that attitude.

The ambitions exposed the offenses of those who did not join this army but to take part in booty through the way of treason. For it was an easy way. Besides they thought that they would not obtain booty in

a peaceful way. Rather, they thought that they would obtain it when their hearts were full of fear of the clashing of the swords.

They abandoned this way and chose the lowest level of their luck because they broke their covenant with Allah who said: "Surely those who pledge allegiance to you do but pledge allegiance to Allah, the hand of Allah is above their hands. Therefore whoever breaks (his pledge), he breaks it only to the injury of his own soul, and whoever fulfills what he has pledge with Allah, He will grant him a mighty reward."5

No one abandoned his Imam and sought protection with the aggressors but those evil ones who were weak in their religion and restless in their life in this world. Thus Mu'awiya's camp was worthy of such weak restless people.

The disaster distinguished those who stayed bravely at their places clung to the doctrine of resistance, and looked for no escape from it. Indeed, they resisted for certain death.6 They waited for death with happiness and tranquility to defend the son of the daughter of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, and to fulfill their pledge of allegiance to Allah.

Al-Hasan had outstanding qualities such as noble origin, good intention, solid body, and the worthiness in life. Thus he resisted hardships, endured disasters, got ready to endure pains, and offered sacrifices.

The news of those fearful disasters at Maskan had bad effects on the members of the other army at al-Mada'in, for it was exaggerated. In this army, there were many rabble persons who belonged to those mixed bands. Also in this army were loyal people belonging to Hashim, Rabi'a, and Hamadan. The latter group of people resisted that violent shock that was about to prevail the camp.

As for al-Hasan himself, he faced those disturbances with hope, for he had a strong heart and an immortal self. He thought that the failure during a certain place or a certain time did not mean deprivation of success that would accompany his doctrine sooner or later. This was al-Hasan's intention, namely he was indifferent to success or failure. In the meantime, he wanted to carry out his obligation to please Allah.

Al-Hasan was full of activity. Thus he was able to lead his holy war (jihad) and his army. Meanwhile he was aware of the discord that began growing increasingly before him because of those successive events. No one heard him saying a word showing his anger, his concern about that serious disaster, his pessimism, and his wrath with the attitude. However, he said many words to teach his followers to conform to the rules of jihad (holy war) in Islam.

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, turned to Kufa. He remembered the hardships which his father had faced before. His father (i.e., Imam 'Ali) fought for the glory of Kufa, and founded its high oblong entity. So it became the greatest city in the Islamic world. For all civilizations met in it, and all nations came to it. Kufa achieved its cultural and commercial interests through her co-operation with most of the known countries at that time. Kufa was everything in al Hasan's policy.

It was the greatest reserve which he saved for the black days, red (bloody) events, and various misfortunes which the nights poured on him at that time of his. He sat with himself. He considered his previous deeds for Kufa and the previous deeds of Kufa towards him. He recalled the crowd of the people who came there to pledge allegiance to him, and to support him. He remembered their agreement on his condition on the day when they pledged allegiance to him. He remembered the condition that they should listen and obey, and that they should fight against him whom he fights against and should make peace with him whom he made peace with.

Then al-Hasan, peace be on him, reviewed the events of Maskan, and the shaky position of the majority of his armies from the Kufans. Then he reviewed their turning away from fighting, their inclining towards deserting, their being deceived by the temptations, their open mutiny, and their breaking the covenants they made with Allah.

Al-Hasan was displeased with those people. For they had bad qualities such as lowliness, corruption in the religion, and impudent manners. Moreover, a group of them claimed Islam, read the Qur'an, believed apparently in the Prophet and asked Allah to bless him and his family five times a day during its five prayers. Still this group of people deserted the family of the Prophet, broke the pledges they made with Allah. Thus it drew on itself the disgrace of history. Nevertheless it was indifferent to that.

They (i.e., the Kufans) thought that Mu'awiya would guard them against death and poverty. No, by Allah, there was no escape from death, nor were the bribes of Mu'awiya more useful than the lawful livelihood Allah predetermined for them in this life. In this way Mu'awiya was able to go up on the pulpit in Kufa to break his promises and "to put that all under his feet."7

There was nothing but his habit which his ambition for victory with every means imposed on him, so he was very eager to take the reins of authority. I wish I knew where those people escaped from poverty which they tried to avoid through escaping from their legal Imam. That was on the day when they were sure of the persistence of Mu'awiya on breaking his promises and his covenants.

Of course, they were certain of that. I wish I knew where they escaped from death of which they were afraid through waging holy war (jihad) alongside the son of the daughter of their Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. Still death would overtake them "even if they were in lofty towers." Death would reach them while they had nothing of both their religion and their life in this world. They did not put into effect the pledges they made with Allah, nor did they obtain Mu'awiya's bribes. They died in a way similar to that of their grandfathers who died before Islam. Then they will enter Hell. How bad this consequence is! In this connection, Badi` al Zaman al-Hamadani ( a poet) said:

Woe unto him who turned his back to the Book

And (put) the life in this world before him.

He should gnash the tooth of regret

On the day when regret will be useless.

He should know that the evil rest of enmity

Grows out of enmity.

What a curse encircled their necks

Like the ring of the dove!

The Kufans at Maskan committed the greatest sin when they followed those who led the traitorous movement during its first steps. Namely, from the day when they committed those evil deeds through their mixed bands and their letters (to Mu'awiya).

When al-Hasan, peace be on him, was in al-Mada'in, he saw some persons from "the prominent figures and the children of the houses" in the army of Maskan. He sometimes knew them through their words and sometimes through their deeds. They did not withdraw from al-Hasan and his group in Kufa, but they withdrew from his love and from loyalty to his aims through what they had hidden.

It is worth mentioning that, nothing of what they had hidden slipped from al-Hasan's memory, nor did anything that they practiced during their maneuvers escape him, for he knew that when he tested their intentions. When they communicated with him, they affected the religion to use it as a means for their life in this world. Also they thought that they had mastered using the means. However, when they knew their errors, they began doing their evil deeds.

They came back to their past time when they did their yellow cajole and their black desertion. They practiced their tricks which they made during the lifetime of al-Hasan's father, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, in Kufa. That was on the day when al-Hasan's father was tired of life because of their friendship with him. So he longed for death openly to separate himself from them.

Al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on them, knew without hesitation that this group itself was the fingers (agents) whom Mu'awiya used to ravage the fates of his army at Maskan and to encourage many people to join Mu'awiya's camp. For Mu'awiya was able to deceive such a group of people with his fascinating various bribes to the extent that he wrote to some of them: "I'll marry you to one of my daughters."

The prominent quality in Mu'awiya was that he seized the appropriate opportunities during the critical situations of his opponents. He himself was very skillful at making those critical situations to take advantage of their opportunities. This was his talent with which he fascinated the intellect of those who admired him, and with which he became very skillful. So historians think that he was clever, and experienced in politics and the army.

When we study Mu'awiya's life, we conclude that he was a fighter against the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family at the Battle of Badr.8 He was among the prisoners who were released on the day when Mecca was conquered. He was a pauper.9 He had no money. He ran barefooted- without sandals- under the riding camels of `Alqama b. Wail al-Hadrami10 in Medina. `Umar and `Uthman appointed him a governor over Sham (Syria) for twenty years.

Then he fought against Imam 'Ali and his son al-Hasan, peace be on them, for four years. Moreover, he claimed the succession (Khilafa) after the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, while he contradicted intentionally the Prophet's practices. Mu'awiya said: "By Allah, I have obtained all things people obtained from this world."11 I (the author) say: If we study Mu'awiya's many attempts, we will not admit all the traits which have been attributed to him.

Besides these traits indicate that he seized the opportunities whether they were before or after Islam.

It is not an act of cleverness, nor is an act of policy to obtain aims through unsatisfactory ways or to obtain them through an open deviation (from the truth) which no custom accept, nor does religion confess. Still Mu'awiya went on claiming that he was the head of the defenders of the religion and the chief of the caretakers of traditions.

He whose brain is full of contradictory things is not clever. It is not an act of cleverness to kill the innocent, to abuse them everywhere, to break covenants, and to violate oath.

Indeed, none of these qualities is an act of cleverness, nor is an act of the policy of the king. Rather, these traits are primitive ways in the world of hostilities. There may be an opposing lower person who can do the ugliest thing to punish his opponents severely. Isn't such a person cleverer than Mu'awiya?

I (the author) wonder: Is irregular cunning cleverness?

If Mu'awiya had been clever due to his abominable deeds, then his son Yazid would have been cleverer than him, for the latter used better ways to obtain his objectives than that of the former.

Now, these are some examples of Mu'awiya's shortcomings: the Byzantines pleased him with money. He made a reckless speech when he entered Kufa. He killed many Muslims at the Battle of al-Fatir. They were from the martyrs of the meadow (Mary) of `Adhra'. Apart from this, there are other examples, but we do not want to mention them here.

To treat with justice those who admire Mu'awiya's cleverness, we will mention one of his attitudes through which he paved the way for his future, and then he used pretexts to convince the people. That was the veiled attitude which he adopted to help `Uthman when the people removed the latter from the Caliphate and killed him.

Mu'awiya used the killing of `Uthman as a pretext. Thus he won supporters from the `Uthmanis. For they accepted the excuse he offered for betraying12 Uthman during his lifetime. Then these supporters volunteered to be soldiers for Mu'awiya to support `Uthman when the latter died. Namely, Mu'awiya wanted to win a victory with them while they did not know.

So Mu'awiya reinforced his weak front with this stupid group of people. That was when he fought against 'Ali, peace be on him.

In this manner Mu'awiya showed his military deeds in history.

Mu'awiya was not a military man in the full sense of the word. He did not take care of drawing plans and leading the battles. He was not a military man at the time of bravery and horsemanship. Namely, he did not show these two qualities when he was summoned to fight against a brave man or to clash with a horseman.

The Commander of the faithful (i.e., Imam 'Ali), peace be on him, summoned Mu'awiya to fight against him, but the latter refused as the cowardly ones did.13

Yes, Mu'awiya had a talent, but it was at a limited place. He had generosity but it was of a unique kind. He had a hobby that had a powerful control over his life.

As for his talent, it helped him seize the opportunities during the critical situations of the people. As for his hobby, it helped him usurp authority. As for his generosity, it did not help him take the hereafter into consideration.

Perhaps Mu'awiya knew that he was unlike the military man who fought bravely for Islam. For this reason, he chose to fight against the Iraqis according to his talent that ordered him to prefer the war of discords to the war of weapons.

The experiences Mu'awiya got during the Battle of Siffin convinced him very much to adopt this choice (of discords).

At that battle, Mu'awiya got ready to run away on the back of his horse, but he adopted the early idea which his great adviser, `Amr b. al-`As, suggested. Accordingly, wide range discord befell the Muslims and caused various kinds of hardships and disasters for them.

In Mu'awiya's opinion, the discord was the best way to achieve success. It was, according to Mu'awiya's experiences, stronger than the weapon. So he depended on it whenever he faced critical situations he created on various occasions.

Through the discord, Mu'awiya succeeded in founding a great peerless organ of government. He created that discord through the great wealth with which Sham (Syria) supplied him throughout two full decades of years, and through his wicked companions such as al Mughira b. Shu'ba and `Amr b. al-`As. It is worth mentioning, that `Amr b. al-`As was the most dangerous person in sowing discords. It was he who "scratched an ulcer and ripped it open."

Apart from these two persons, Mu'awiya added Ziyad b. `Ubayd al-Rumi14 to him. He took him from the Camp of al-Hasan, peace be on him, in the exposed way in history. These were the three fearful persons of Mu'awiya. It was they who caused discords among the people, shook the world, and confused Islam. At last, the discord, in its general sense, was the talent of Mu'awiya, for which no brilliant person competed with him.

According to this rule, Mu'awiya developed his war against al Hasan by using discords.

When Mu'awiya gathered his fighters on the Iraqi borders, he did not want to fight against them; rather he was afraid that his opponents would surprise him. Moreover, he wanted to fight against them in fields other than those of war.

Mu'awiya did not reveal this secret of his but for flatter and whitewash. Through these two qualities he tried to denote that he inclined to the public interests and to fear for the affairs of the people. So when he looked at the armies of the two parties during his attitude towards al-Hasan, he said: "Indeed, if these and those are killed, then who will take care of the affairs of the people."15 Also he said: "The small affair turns away the big affair." 16

We think that Mu'awiya used this or that means to avoid the results of war of weapons. For he thought that if the Iraqis had been truthful in fighting. He, according to this possibility, had no knowledge of the attitude of the Kufans during their readiness to fight alongside al Hasan. In other words, he imagined the unreal results of the Shi'ite summons to fighting.

Mu'awiya hesitated about whether to start war. For he thought that he had to avoid creating a scandal in the Islamic world through fighting against the two lords of the youth of Paradise, the two sons of the daughter of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family.

The letters of the traitors from the leaders of the Kufans and from the chiefs of their tribes urged Mu'awiya to adopt the war of discords instead of the war of the weapons. That is because such traitorous leaders and chiefs wrote to him. In their letters they underlined that they would listen and obey. Moreover, they made appointments with him. They asked him for powers. They urged him to come to them quickly. They guaranteed to hand over al-Hasan or to kill him treacherously when they got to his camp.17

Among the most skillful methods of the discord was that Mu'awiya gathered all the letters of the traitorous leaders. He summoned al Mughira b. Shu'ba, `Abd Allah b. `Amir b. Kurayz, and `Abd alRahman b. al-Hakam. He ordered them to send all the letters to al Hasan18 himself to read them and to know the intentions of their owners from the volunteers of his army. Besides, through this discord of the letters, Mu'awiya tried to find a way for peace and mutual understanding for halving authority. Thus he ordered the abovementioned persons to negotiate with al-Hasan, peace be on him, about that.

Al-Hasan considered carefully the Kufans' letters and signatures. For he was aware of their writing and signatures. Then he was sure that the letters belonged to the owners of the signatures. However, the letters did not increase al-Hasan's knowledge of his followers. Also he found nothing new in the letters, for he had known the inclinations and desires of such persons. Moreover, he had known their moral irregularity through which they caused many tragedies and disasters throughout al-Hasan's life. Then their inclinations and desires became very clear on the day when he summoned them to take part in jihad (holy war).

Then al-Hasan, peace be on him, began addressing the Syrian delegation using accurate words. He did not decide a thing, nor did he reveal a secret. Moreover, he advised al-Mughira and his companions to support Allah, the Great and Almighty, and to leave aggression against Him. Also he reminded them of the things for which they would be responsible before Allah and His Apostle, especially concerning his (i.e., al-Hasan's) right (in succession to authority).

We do not know whether al-Hasan accepted the idea of peace with Mu'awiya or not.

However, we have known that al-Mughira and his companions entered the Camp of al-Mada'in when they were permitted to submit the letters to the Imam (i.e., al-Hasan). They did not leave the camp till they created the greatest discord in it. The hostile delegation left al Hasan and began looking at the situations of the camp on their way to Syria.

In the meantime the fighters in the camp were looking at them and trying to hear their words. For some members of the delegation began talking loudly with each other to make the people there hear them. Among their words are: "indeed, Allah has prevented bloodshed through the grandson of the Apostle of Allah. He has calmed the discord when He has made him (i.e., al-Hasan) ready to make peace (with Mu'awiya). 19

These words of them created nothing but the discord itself, namely they used these words and the like to impose peace on al-Hasan.

So the coming of the delegation was a dangerous trick during those critical conditions of al-Mada'in, for the people there were quickly confused by those who created the sorrowful events at the Camp of Maskan.

It is worth mentioning that, the majority of the people in al-Mada'in insisted on fighting against Mu'awiya, for they were indifferent to making peace with him. Besides they thought that the rest of the fighters at the Camp of Maskan would help them to go on resisting when their resistance would be weak. Maybe, they or some of them did not think about that, but they insisted on war, for they "chose to fight against Mu'awiya with every means (possible)"20 That was the idea of the Kharijites in the army of al-Hasan, peace be on him. In this connection al-Mughira and his companions said: "He (al-Hasan) has agreed to make peace (with Mu'awiya)." They regarded these words as unbearable unbelieving ones.

The riot of a big group such as the Kharijites was the reason for shaking the ideas of many groups of fighters. The ideas of the Kharijites affected the weak persons who hesitated between obedience and disobedience and who were ready to accept discords and disturbances made by any person and at any time.

The three Syrian persons designed a plan to create a violent discord in al-Mada'in.

Now, it is easy for us to understand the answers al-Hasan gave to the delegation. We are sure that they have nothing to do concerning peace with Mu'awiya. Meanwhile they indicate that al-Hasan was not ready to make peace with him. That is because if al-Hasan had agreed to make peace with Mu'awiya as the delegation declared, then everything would have ended and the attitude between Iraq and Sham

(Syria) would have been settled. Therefore, why did this discord occur? Why was this discord used as a weapon during peace? Doesn't peace mean disarmament?

Accordingly, al-Hasan declared nothing concerning making peace with Mu'awiya.

Indeed, this discord was the most dangerous weapon the Syrians used.

Mu'awiya mastered this weapon (the discord) through a very awful manner; he created it through various kinds of lies. He chose accurately the senses of these lies, and considered carefully the ways to achieve them. Then he spread them about the Camps of al-Hasan.

"So he sent some persons to the Camp of al-Hasan in al-Mada'in to say: `Qays b. Sa'd, who was the successor of b. `Abbas, has made peace with Mu'awiya and joined his camp."21

He (i.e., Mu'awiya) sent some persons to the Camp of Qays at Maskan to say: "Al-Hasan has made peace with Mu'awiya and answered him."22

Then Mu`awiya spread a rumor at the Camp of al-Mada'in: "Qays b. Sa'd has been killed, so desert (the camp)."23

Do you not think that these rumors affected the army in al Mada'in? Do you not think that it heard of the treason of the previous commander who was not worthy of treason? Do you not think that such an army believed the treason of the second commander and the news about his death?

Maskan, like al-Mada'in, had tragedies, and spites. It had mixed groups of people who inclined to desert (al-Hasan). Moreover, it had agents who went on creating discords and spreading the worst news.

In this way Mu'awiya obtained what he wanted through the discords he made. Besides the two armies (i.e., the Army of Maskan and that of al-Mada'in) were liable to disturbances and sorrowful events that were not appropriate for the battlefield.

From the day when it ruled over the Arab Peninsula, Islam was not afflicted by such an ugly disaster. For it made the situation of the Caliphate stagger among the slowness of the soldiers, the weakness of the leaders, the treason of the commander, and the discords of the enemy.

The critical conditions warned al-Hasan against numerous hardships and disasters. For those hardships and disasters ended his short succession that was the whitest and most wonderful page in the history of Islam, and most of all pages in glory and honor.

It was the disaster that foreshadowed the unlucky moment in the history of Islam. The moment which was based on the operation of the separation between the two periods, the period of Caliphate with excellent qualities, and the period of "the biting (terrorist) authority"24 with imposed predestined tribulation.

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, was the most knowledgeable person in those feeble morale, the most desirous Muslim for protecting Islam, and the most patient man in bearing those disasters. All those misfortunes and disasters did not increase him but brilliance in loyalty, glow in idea, death defiance in carrying out the obligation, and sacrifice for the doctrine.

Al-Hasan was not confused though the situation was full of confusion. There was no narrowness in his heart,25 nor reprimand, nor regret. However, he stood up to choose the idea, to draw the plan, and to take measures.

It was necessary for al-Hasan to study all these ideas to choose the most appropriate one of them.

This is what we want to call `the Attitude towards Confusion.'

  • 1. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad, p. 170.
  • 2. That is because the first paragraph was the first piece of news to arrive to al-Hasan when they stopped at Maskan. Besides the letter was from Qays, not from `Ubayd Allah.
  • 3. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 114.
  • 4. Al-Ya'qubi, Ta'rikh, vol. 2, p. 191. Roudat al-Shuhada', p.115.
  • 5. Qur'an, 48, 10.
  • 6. In his book, vol. 4, p. 19, Ibn Kathir said: "Abu al-`Arif said: When we were in the vanguard of al-Hasan at Maskan, we made desperate efforts to fight against the Syrians."
  • 7. Most historical books have mentioned this declaration. Also b. Qutayba has, mentioned it in his book (Ta'rikh al-Khulafa' wa Dawlat bani Umayya, p. 151. Egypt)
  • 8. In al-Fihrast, p. 249, Ibn al-Nadim said: "Hisham b. al-Hakam was asked about Mu'awiya: `Did he take part at the Battle of Badr?' `Yes, from that side', replied Hisham.'"
  • 9. Al-Dimyari, Hayat al-Hayawan, vol. 1, p. 59. He (i.e., al-Dimyari) said: "A woman asked the advice of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, to marry him (i.e., Mu'awiya). So the Prophet said: `He is a pauper with no money.'"
  • 10. Al-Bayhaqi, al-Mahasan wa al-Masawi', vol. 1 pp. 209- 10.
  • 11. Ibid.
  • 12. I We find the declaration about this historical fact in many matters related to it such as the traditions of those who lived during this historical fact, their orations and their poems. In this connection Shibth b. Rib'i said to Mu'awiya: "Indeed, by Allah, what you hide and what you request are well known for us. Indeed, you have found nothing to tempt the people, make their hearts incline towards you, and make them obey you, but these words of you: Your Imam (i.e., `Uthman) was killed while he was wronged. So we avenged his blood. So some rabble foolish persons responded to that. Moreover, we have known that you were slow to help him and wanted him to be killed for this position which you claim. Maybe there is a person who wishes for a thing and requests it, but Allah, the Great and Almighty, prevents him from achieving it. The wisher maybe given his wish and more than it. However, by Allah, you have no good in one of them. Then if you miss what you hope, you will be the worst of all Arabs in that. If you hit (obtain) what you hope, you will not hit it till you are worthy of the burning of the fire your Lord have created. Therefore, Mu'awiya, fear Allah, leave your idea, and do not dispute with those who are appropriate for authority." Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, vol. 5, p. 243.

    Ibn `Asakir has reported the following on the authority of Abu al-Tufayl, `Amir b. Wathila, who came to Mu'awiya and said to him: "What prevented you from helping `Uthman when the Muhajrin (emigrants) and the Ansar (supporters) did not help him?" "Indeed, his right was incumbent on them to help him," replied Mu'awiya. "Commander of the faithful, what prevented you from helping him, while the Syrians were with you?" asked Abu al Tufayl "Wasn't my avenge to his blood a help for him?" asked Mu'awiya. So Abu al-Tufayl smiled and said: "You and `Uthman are as the poet said:

    I do not find you weep over me after death.

    While you do not supply me with provisions in my lifetime."

    Al-Mas'udi reported what Ibn `Asakir narrated, then he mentioned Abu al Tufayl's answer to Mu'awiya: "What prevented you prevented me. You waited for a misfortune to hit him, while you were in Sham (Syria)."

    Al-Baladhuri said: "When `Uthman called Mu'awiya for help, the latter was slow to answer the former. At that time, Mu'awiya promised `Uthman. When the siege became intense against `Uthman, Mu'awiya sent him Yazid b. Asad al-Qushayry and said to him (i.e., Yazid): "When you arrive at Dhi Khashab, stay at it. Do not say that the eyewitness sees what the absentee does not see, for I am the eyewitness and you are the absentee." They said: "So Yazid b. Asad al-Qushayry stayed at Dhi Khashab till the people killed `Uthman. Then Mu'awiya sent for Yazid."

  • 13. In his book (al-Mahasin wa al-Masawi', vol. I, p. 37), al-Bayhaqi said: "When the Battle of Siffin occurred, the Commander of the faithful (i.e., Imam 'Ali) wrote to Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan:' Why are the people killed between us'? Duel with me. If you killed me, then you would get rid of me. If I killed you, then I would get rid of you'. So 'Amru b. al-'As said to Mu'awiya: 'The man (i.e., the Commander of the faithful) has treated you with justice, duel with him.' Mu'awiya said: 'No, b. al-'As. You want me to duel with him to kill me, and you take the reins of the Caliphate after me! The Quraysh have known that b. Abu Talib is their master and their lion.'"

    Also al-Bayhaqi (p. 38) said: "On the authority of al-Sha'bi, who said that 'Amru b. al-'As came to Mu'awiya when there were some people sitting with him. When Mu'awiya saw 'Amru b. al-'As coming forward him, he smiled. So 'Amru said to him: 'Commander of the faithful, may Allah make your tooth smile and make you happy, what has made you smile?'

    So Mu'awiya replied:' The Battle of Siffin has come to my mind. I have remembered the day when you fought against the Iraqis, then 'Ali b. Abu Talib attacked you. 'Then he was about to kill you, you threw yourself off your camel and showed your genitals! How did that come to your mind at that time'? Indeed, by Allah, you fought against a Hashimite Manafi (person). If he had willed to kill you, he would have done that.'

    Then 'Amru said: 'Mu'awiya, if my affair has made you laugh, then laugh at yourself. Indeed, by Allah, if a part of your face had appeared, he would have hurt your eye, orphaned your family, made your property plunder, and separated your authority. However, you guarded against him with the men in whose hands were spears. Surely, I saw you on the day when he ('Ali) summoned you to duel with him, so you became cross- eyed, the corner of your mouth foamed, your nostrils spread out, your forehead oozed sweat, and some of your lower part, which I hate to mention, appeared'. Then Mu'awiya said: 'That is enough! We do not want all this.'"

    Al-Mas'udi has narrated this tradition. (See Hamish b. al-Athir, vol. 6, p. 91.) He started this tradition with the following words of `Amr b. al-`As to Mu'awiya: "Were it not for Egypt and her authority, I would escape from her, for I have known that 'Ali b. Abu Talib was right, and I have opposed him.' Then Mu'awiya said: `By Allah, Egypt has made you blind. Were it not for Egypt, I would find you endowed with eyesight'. Then Mu'awiya laughed very much. `Amr b. al-`As said: `Why are you laughing?' I am laughing at the presence of your mind on the day when you dueled with 'Ali.'"

  • 14. Ziyad was the governor of al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on him, over a district from Persia (Iran). He ruled the district from the time of al-Hasan's father. `Abd Allah b. `Abbas sent him there when the former was the governor of Basrah.

    Mu'awiya wrote to Ziyad to threaten him. At the place of his work, in Persia, Ziyad delivered a speech in which he abused Mu'awiya and described him as "the son of the woman who at the livers, the cave of hypocrisy, and the rest of the allies (ahzab)." Ziyad threatened Mu'awiya with the two grandsons of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. At that time he was among their followers (Shi'a) and their Muslim soldiers. You will find the text of the speech in chapter `the Number of the Army' in this book.

    As for the matter of the addition of Ziyad to him, it is in brief Abu Sufyan (Mu'awiya's father) committed adultery with an adulteress called Sumayya, who belonged to the great figures in Wif. She was paying the tax to al Harth b. Kilidda al-Thaqafi. So she gave birth to Ziyad. Mu'awiya accepted the testimony of both b. Asma' al-Harmazi and Abu Mariyam al-YJrammar al-Siluli, the two procurers of this adulteress. Accordingly, Mu'awiya added Ziyad as legal brother to him, though `Abd Allah b. `Amir (Mu'awiya's son in-law) intended to bring some persons to swear by Allah that Abu Sufyan had not seen Sumayya. Then Juwayriya, the daughter of Abu Sufyan, showed her hair to Ziyad and said to him: "You are my brother. Abu Maryam has told me about that." Concerning his first father on whose bed he was born, whom he exchanged for Abu Sufyan, Ziyad said: "Ubayd was not but a thanked father, then he came down." That was in the year 41 A.H., according to the most correct narration. Ziyad's father was a Roman slave called `Ubayd. Al-Harth b. Kilidda al-Thaqafi possessed him.

    The people regarded the event of the addition of Ziyad to Mu` awiya as the greatest profligacy that took place openly in Islam. Ibn al-Athir said: "The addition of Ziyad (to Abu Sufyan) was the first thing with which the Islamic law was openly violated, for the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, decided that the child was for bed and stoning was for the prostitute. However, Mu'awiya decided contrary to that, according to the pre- Islamic laws. Allah, the Exalted, says: `Is it then the judgment of the pre- Islamic times that they desire? And who is better than Allah to judge for a people who are sure'?

    Ziyad knew that the Arabs did not recognize that lineage, for they knew his real lineage and the reasons for his addition (to Abu Sufyan). Accordingly, he wrote a book and called it `al-Mathalib'. In the book, he attributed all defects to the Arabs to show his reckless racism.

    It was predestined to Ziyad to rule over Kufa after the death of its first Umayyad governor (al-Mughira b. Shu'ba al-Thaqafi), so he turned it into a burning fire and lasting convulsion.

    In his book (Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 123.), al-Tabari said: "When Ziyad came to Kufa, he said (to the Kufans): `I have come to you carrying an order which I had not asked but for you.' The Kufans said: `Summon us to whatever you want.' He said: `Add my lineage to Mu'awiya'. `It is impossible for us to bear a false witness' said the Kufans. He was the first to rule both Kufa and Basrah. He was the first person before whom the soldiers walked carrying bayonets and spears. He was the first to appoint guards. When he was away from Kufa and Basrah, he appointed Samra b. Jundub as his successor over Basrah and `Amr b. Hurayth over Kufa. When he came back to Basrah after six months, he found that Samra had killed eight thousand persons. (All of them gathered the Qur'an)."

    Ziyad died in the year 53 A.H. The `Abbasid Mahdi took the reins of authority in the year 15 A.H. Then he ordered this addition (of Ziyad to Abu Sufyan) to be abolished, and ordered the family of Ziyad to be taken out of the Divan of Quraysh and of the Arabs. In this way Ziyad was again attributed to his father, the Roman slave."

  • 15. Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 8, p. 17.
  • 16. Al-Mas'udi, Hamish b. al-Athir, vol. 6, p. 67.
  • 17. See the footnote in chapter 3.
  • 18. Al-Ya'qubi, Ta'rikh, vol. 2, p. 191.
  • 19. Al-Ya'qubi, Ta'rikh, vol. 2, 191.
  • 20. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 110. Al-Mufid, al-Irshad.
  • 21. Al-Ya'qubi, Ta'rikh, vol. 2, p. 191.
  • 22. Ibid.
  • 23. Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 3, p, 161. Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 96. Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 8, p. 14. Al-Dimyari; Hayat al-Hayawin, p. 57.
  • 24. After al-Dimyari (Hayat al-Hayawan, vol. 1, p. 58) had mentioned the succession of al-Hasan, peace be on him, and counted its days, he said: "The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: `The succession to authority will be terrorism. Then it will be omnipotence and corruption in the earth'. All that occurred as the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said."
  • 25. Ibn Kathir (al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 8, p. 19) said: "And he (i.e., al-Hasan, peace be on him) was pious, wise, and laudable during that attitude. In his heart there was no narrowness, nor reprimand, nor regret. Rather he was happy and satisfied with that."

Attitude Towards Confusion

Al-Hasan devoted himself to thinking., He remained calm in the confusion of the misfortunes that threatened his attitude. He was indifferent to those calamities though some of them were tragedy; some of them were humiliation; some of them were death unlike the death of the great ones.

Confusion was not important for al-Hasan. However, it filled his heart with an intense sorrow. It moved his feelings and pricked him as the burning thorns did. Thus it urged him to find a solution without humiliation, tragedy, and usurped death which his holy memories refused.

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, faced a situation full of exhausted importunity, false rumors, and rushing in the terrible trend of chaos.

In spite of these convulsions, al-Hasan, was like the mountain which violent gales cannot shake. He was a pious Imam. So the ignorance of the ignorant did not enrage him, nor did the wrath of those who were indignant with him angered him. He was indifferent to those hardships. In the meantime he studied the plans and ideas to decide his plan and idea.

Now, we are unable to discuss in detail all the ideas al-Hasan faced at that time. Generally speaking, those ideas were: "what Allah likes, what has been mentioned on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, and what is obligatory to protect the doctrine."

As for what the people said, it did not concern al-Hasan very much.

We must always remember that al-Hasan was a spiritual Imam. Thus he did not cling to life as the people did. He regarded life as a sacrifice in the way of Allah, means for public interest, and a field for achieving righteousness and spreading kindness. So the words of the people were worthless towards this divine morale. The Imam had spiritual qualities. He led the people to good through them. Thus he always thought about Allah, the practice of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and his family), the correct doctrine, and good deeds.

For this reason confusion, as we have said, had no effect on al Hasan. For the way of Allah is everlasting, and the Sunna of the Apostle of Allah is clear. However, he faced bitter confusion.

It is annoying that man is driven from his conditions, from where he has no power, to the situation which no nature accepts, on which the crises agree. Then man goes on resisting such continuous conditions of his own accord. That is the irregular condition which is not known but during confusion, that does not become constant with its desires but during restlessness.

During such a condition the self is between intrepidity and recoiling, and between despair and hope. The self, in spite of such a situation, is in need of a maximum degree of thinking and contemplation, and of memorization and verification. The conscience, in spite of this situation, has an accurate attitude over which the origins of people differ.

How great that self was! How great that conscience was! It was the calm self that resorted to its lord during every terror that befell it. It was the satisfied and pleased self that regarded anyone other than Him as insufficient. It was the self that did not seek guidance of anyone but that of Him. Al-Hasan had a good pure conscience. He did not become weak in spite of the heavy obligation. Rather he was solder than the disaster.

Many people were with al-Hasan during the misfortunes that befell him. They did not say that he was sad or broken hearted. They saw neither sadness nor defeat on his face. Rather, all his aspects were steadfastness, determination, and tranquility. Even during his secret prayers to Allah, he was an example for patience, resorting to Allah, and relying on no one but Him.

Among the supplications of al-Hasan, peace be on him, is: "O Allah! O You Who have might and sovereignty! O You Who have supreme position! How do I fear (of people) and You are my hope? How do I fear (of them) and my reliance is on You? Pour on me some of Your patience. Grant me victory over Your enemies through Your authority. Support me with Your triumph. I resort to You and seek refuge with You. So make for me relief and solution (to save) me from my affair. O You Who were sufficient to protect the people of the haram (the Kaaba) from the Companions of the Elephant! O You Who sent to them birds in flocks to cast them against stones of backed clay! Punish my enemy severely!"

A glimpse of hope flashed in the desperate sides of al-Hasan's intellect and in the frowning corners of his contemplation. The glimpse of hope was an answer to his prayers to Allah, the Great and Almighty. So it spread as fragrance did. Then bright aspects appeared through it. They were like good news.

It (i.e., the glimpse of hope) was a strange surprise. It was able to put an end to all of al-Hasan's troubles at those moments. So he was in a flood of memories. The memories did not belong to his conditions, nor did they belong to the misfortunes of his moment. Those memories pleased al-Hasan. Thus his soul was full of enjoyment and amusement.

The pain sometimes extremely hurts the self. Intense thinking and silence sometimes exhaust it. So the self revolts to move from narrowness to vastness, from despair to hope, and from confusion to the indication full of hopes.

Al-Hasan thought about the disturbances of his time. He thought about the future of his religion that was liable to the dangers of this enemy who paid no attention to the holy things. He thought "that if he had put his hand in the hand of his enemy, the enemy would have not allowed him to follow the religion of his grandfather, the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family."1

As for this new surprise, it reminded al-Hasan of one third of a century. Suddenly, he remembered the houses of the Prophethood, for

they competed with each other to attract him. He remembered the places of the descents of revelation, for they vied with each other to embrace him warmly. He remembered the Ansar (helpers) who celebrated him.

Those memories were visions. They possessed his feelings. They were sweet dreams that nursed his injuries.

This is his (al-Hasan's) grandfather. This is the authority of his Prophethood among his community. These are the holy verses. They are like the stars. They were revealed from time to time. They were like the postmen who traveled between the sky and the earth. They were revealed at his house. This is his (al-Hasan's) father, the helper of the Prophet and the greatest fighter (mujahid), who made the Arab brave men yield to the Words of Allah, and who conquered the Fort of Khaybar. This is his mother, who was pure and chaste. With her the Prophet challenged the Christians of Najran to a contest of prayers. So she was meritorious to be the mistress of the women of the world.

Al-Hasan remembered all these memories. If these were not external realities, then they were psychological ones. For his divine spirit made them appear before his eyes. He inherited this spirit from his parents ('Ali and Fatima), namely his self was not separated from them. In the meantime his body was with them on the day when Allah formed His delegation to challenge the Christians of Najran to a contest of prayer.

So the delegation was composed of al-Hasan, his grandfather, his father, his mother, and his brother. Al-Hasan was with his parents on the day when the Apostle of Allah ordered the cloak to be brought to cover those chosen five persons, who were al Hasan, al-Husayn, their parents and their grandfather. He was with them on the day when the verse of purification was revealed. Noteworthy, the Prophet (may Allah bless him and his family) explained that this verse concerned the five blessed persons, peace be on them.

These are great qualities of which no Muslim has.

Then al-Hasan looked at that sad horizon. He remembered those interesting memories. Thus they reminded him of his blessed childhood, and his early holy youth. Through these memories, he considered his white days full of light in Medina. That was on the day when he toddled at his excellent place in it (Medina), and his notable pampered situation among his friends. That was on the day when he played happily in it. He played there between the great hands of his father and on the chest of his grandfather or on his holy back or on the stick of his scared pulpit.

That was on the day when he embraced revelation from its first moments and learned the Words of Allah through the tongue of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. Thus he graduated from the Prophet's school of knowledge. In this way he completed his education to assume his obligatory Imamate over the Muslims. Moreover, al-Hasan listened to his grandfather when the latter declared his succession to the Imamate on many occasions.

Those memories reminded al-Hasan of great times. Thus he was full of happiness, strength, and activity.

It was the fascinating memory that controlled al-Hasan's soul. So it deprived him of his enjoyable smile. However, we do not think that he smiled during his condition. Al-Hasan remembered his grandfather. For he took him from the shoulder of his mother. He took him by the hand, made him stand on his blessed feet, and began talking gently to him with his holy song: "huzzaqa! huzzaqa! tarqqa `ayna baqqa!(i.e., little! little! ascend the eye of a bug.)"

So al-Hasan ascended gradually with his small feet till he put them on the chest of his grandfather. He opened his mouth when his grandfather said to him: "Open your mouth." Then the Prophet kissed him on the mouth and said: "O Allah! I love him, so love him and love him who loves him."2

Then this memory was the key of the memories that amused al Hasan. For it made him forget the annoying things of his last moment. The best period in the life of every human being is his innocent childhood. For it reminds him of the laps where he sits and the society where he lives. Besides the memories of this period remain immortal in his mind, in his heart, and in his spirit. Namely, he never forgets such a period.

One day al-Hasan remembered his grandfather, the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, when he put him on his right shoulder and put his brother al-Husayn on his left shoulder. So Abu Bakr received Allah's Apostle and said to al-Hasan and al Husayn: "The best riding place you have ridden, two boys." "They are the best two riders. Indeed, these two boys are my two plants of sweet basil (to sweeten) the world,"3 said the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family.

Al-Hasan remembered the day when his grandfather sat down and made him ride on his back and made his brother al-Husayn ride with him, and said to them: "The best camel is your camel, and you are the best two just ones."4

He (al-Hasan) remembered the day when he came and his grandfather was bowing down, so he (al-Hasan) rode on his neck while he (his grandfather) was praying.5 He remembered the day when he (al-Hasan) came and his grandfather was kneeling down, so he (his grandfather) opened his legs to let him pass to the other side.6 He remembered the day when it was said to his grandfather: "You treat this (i.e., al-Hasan) in a manner with which you do not treat anyone else." So he (the Prophet) said: "Indeed, this (i.e., al-Hasan) is my plant of sweet basil. Indeed, this (grand) son of mine is a lord. Through him Allah will make peace between two groups of the Muslims."7

He (al-Hasan) remembered his riding on the neck of his grandfather, may Allah bless him and his family, while the latter was delivering a speech at his mosque so that the shine of his (al-Hasan's) anklets was seen from the farthest (place) of the mosque. They (al Hasan's) anklets were shining on the chest of his grandfather. Then he (al-Hasan) went on sitting on his grandfather's neck till the Prophet ended his speech.8

He (al-Hasan) remembered the day when his grandfather got down from his pulpit frightened when he (al-Hasan) stumbled at the door of the mosque. So he (his grandfather) carried him and took him with him to his pulpit. Then he (the Prophet) said: "The child is nothing but a tribulation."9

He (al-Hasan) remembered his grandfather when he said more than one time to him: "You are similar to me in form and manners."10

He remembered the day when he woke, suddenly. His grandfather and his mother were talking. So he came forward his grandfather and said: "Grandfather, water me." So his grandfather took him and went to his she-camel with a lot of milk. He milked the she- camel. Then he brought a foaming bowel of milk. He passed it to al-Hasan. Meanwhile, al-Husayn woke and said:" (Grand) father water me." He (his grandfather) said to him:"(Grand) son, your brother is older than you, and he had asked me to water him before you."11

He remembered the day when he was a child between the two hands of his mother Fatima, peace be on her. Then her father the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, came to her. He saw him (al-Hasan) playing. So he (her father) said to her: "Indeed, Allah, the Exalted, will make peace between two great groups of the Muslims through this son of yours." 12

He remembered some signs of his succession to authority. That was on the day when he came to Abu Bakr when the latter was on the pulpit of his grandfather, the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. He said to him: "Get down from the pulpit of my (grand) father."13

Moreover, he remembered his grandfather when he took him with him to his pulpit. Thus he (his grandfather) was looking at the people. In the mean time he was looking at him. Then he said: "Indeed, this (grand) son of mine is a lord. Through him Allah will make peace between two groups of the Muslims."14

These sentimental memories had an effect on al-Hasan. Besides they were historical and enjoyable. For they abated his sufferings during those painful moments. Meanwhile they abated that the violent disaster. Moreover, each memory led to many memories, and each vision moved other visions.

Al-Hasan was sure of the words of his grandfather, may Allah bless him and his family, as he was sure of the clear revelation (i.e., the Qur'an). His grandfather said the following words on several occasions: "Indeed, this (grand) son of mine is a lord. Through him Allah will make peace between two groups of the Muslims."

Al-Hasan remembered these words of his grandfather. Thus he asked himself "Is this the day on which the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, wanted me to make peace with the Syrians? The Syrians are aggressors, so does this tradition concern them? Is this the discord for which the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, wanted me to settle? Do I not have enough fighters to suppress it by force?

All these questions sounded in al-Hasan's mind. They stirred him up. So he was about to create a historical change. Apart from this, al Hasan had to find appropriate solutions for these questions to get ready to face his critical situation.

Al-Hasan was successful in finding solutions for these questions. That is because he followed the same ways his grandfather followed during his most critical hours.

Indeed the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said the foregoing tradition.

Besides, it is this discord which the Prophet meant in his holy traditions. For there was no discord greater than it. In other words it divided the Muslims and diverted them from their enemies who lay in wait for them.15 Moreover, it prevented them from achieving their religious obligations such as development, organization, and jihad (holy war).

As for the Islamic judgment of the aggressors, the attitude of the Commander of the faithful (Imam 'Ali), peace be on him, towards them indicates that. He prevented the Muslims from capturing their women and their children. Furthermore, his practices towards them are good enough examples in the religion.

The Shi'a in Kufa was very eager to wage jihad (holy war), against Mu'awiya. However, why did al-Hasan ask himself about the ability to suppress the discord by force? To answer this question. We must study al-Hasan's fighters and their morale in the armies. For they are the only means that help to win battles. Thus they are more important than the large number of an army without high military spirit.

Now, we are able to answer the above-mentioned question as follows:

At Maskan, the morale of al-Hasan's army was low. Hence this army was in need of a miracle to raise its morale. That is because of the disaster that hit it when its commander and eight thousand fighters deserted it.

In al-Mada'in, al-Hasan had some fighters who were like ghosts. He was able to know their intentions through their hostile confusing fabrications. Moreover, they created a good deal of exciting discords. They were afraid of the critical situations. They had no hope of victory at the battle. As for the number of the army of al-Hasan, peace be on him, it was twenty thousand fighters or little more when al-Hasan advanced against Mu'awiya. However, Mu'awiya's army that camped on the Iraqi borders was sixty thousand fighters.

So al-Hasan, at that time, had third of the number of the army of Mu'awiya.

There were many desertions from the Camp of Maskan. For example, the cousin (i.e., al-Hasan's cousin, `Ubayd Allah) deserted that camp. Thus he embodied the Arabic proverb: "A cousin maybe not a cousin." Eight thousand fighters deserted that camp, too. So it decreased in an awful manner.

Accordingly, the number of al-Hasan's army was one fifth of the army of Mu'awiya in both camps.

If we, here, depend on the modern military rule that owes morale to the numerical abundance, that is one to three, then we will come to a very sorrowful result that is fifteen to one in proportion.

If we think about the army of al-Hasan, that remained fighting against Mu'awiya at Maskan (according to this rule), we will find that it was fighting against an enemy who was exactly forty-five times more than it.

Therefore, I wonder: Was al-Hasan's army strong enough to suppress the discord the Syrians created?

War regulations throughout history do not permit one person to fight against fifteen or forty- five persons. If such a war occurred some day, then it would be irregular. Rather, it is among death- defying attacks that lead to suicide with will and intention.

So al-Hasan was not supposed to take such a measure. For he was the (grand) son of the Apostle of Allah. He was the creature whom Allah kept for reform not for war, for peace not for enmity. He was the plant Allah grew for Muslims not for himself, for the religion not for authority. Moreover, he wanted a reward from Allah in the hereafter, not from the people in this world.

In this way the peaceful message of Allah prevented the two parties from waging war against each other. This event is very famous in history. Still some historians tried to hint to a battle. They claimed that the battle took place between the army of Qays, who was the commander of the vanguard of the army of al-Hasan, and the Syrians at Maskan. In his book, `al-Darrajat al-Rafi'a', Sayyid 'Ali Khan (died 1120 A.H.) has mentioned some stages of this claimed battle.

I have not found a reference book older than this book of the great Sayyid to affirm this story, nor have I found what supports this idea when I studied the situation at Maskan at that time, nor have I found what urges me to accept this report when I have studied the plan al Hasan drew to prevent bloodshed during all his lifetime, nor have I understood that when I have read this tradition of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family: "Indeed, Allah will make peace between two great groups of the Muslims through al-Hasan." Rather, this tradition indicates that he was the messenger of peace in Islam.

So was it possible for al-Hasan's army to wage war against Mu'awiya or to attack him?

From al-Hasan's testamentary bequest, we have known that he ordered al-Husayn not to pour even blood into a cupping- glass in carrying out his command. That happened as he wanted.

Moreover, many eyewitnesses underlined that al-Hasan was the successor to authority, and that he did not shed even blood into a cupping- glass during his succession to authority. Some of them said that. They affirmed their words through swearing (by Allah) twice.16

  • 1. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 107.
  • 2. See al-Zamakhshari. Ibn al-Bay`. Al-Tabarani. Yanabi` al-Mawadda. Al-IsAba, vol. 2, p. 12.
  • 3. See the book of Sulaym b. Qays. Al-Bayhaqi, al-Mahasin wa al-Masawi', p. 49. The latter has reported the words of al-Himyari, who poetized the Prophetic tradition as follows: Al-Hasan and al-Husayn came to the Apostle; They had gone out in the morning to play. So he (the Apostle) embraced and welcomed them, They were with him at that place. They passed riding on his two shoulders (i.e., al-Hasan and al-Husayn). So (his shoulders) were the best riding place, and they were the best riders.
  • 4. Ibn Batta, al-Ibana.
  • 5. Abu Nu'aym, Hilyat al-Awliya'
  • 6. Ahmad Shahab al-Din al-`Asqalani al-Isaba fi Tamyiz al-Sahaba, vol. 2, p. 11.
  • 7. Abu Nu'aym, Hilyat al-Awliya'.
  • 8. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 6, p. 58.
  • 9. Al-Manaqib. Al-Tirmidhi. Al-Sam'ani. Ahmad, al-Fada'il.
  • 10. Al-Ghazali, Ihya' `Ulum al-Din. Al-Makki, al-Ihya' and Qut al Qulub.
  • 11. Sulaym b. Qays al-Saqifa, p. 98.
  • 12. Ibn `Abd Rabbih, al-`Iqd al-Farid, vol. 1, p. 194. Al-Bayhaqi, vol. 1, p. 40. Al-Bukhari. Al-Sam'ani. Al-Harkushi. Al-Janabadhi. Abu Nu'aym, Hilyat al-Awliya'. Yanabi` al-Mawadda. Muruj al-Dhahab.
  • 13. Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani, al-Sawa'iq al-Muhriqa, p. 105. Also Al-Darqutni has mentioned it.
  • 14. Al-Bukhari. Muslim. Al-Isaba, vol. 2, p. 12.
  • 15. This is a hint to the attempts of the Byzantine on the Syrian borders in the year 40 A. H
  • 16. Ahmad Shahab al-Din al-`Asqalani, al-Isaba fi Tamyiz al-Sahaba, vol. 2, p. 12. Ibn Kathir, Ta'rikh, vol. 8, pp. 8-14.

Between The Doctrine And Supreme Authority

The best way to understand the subject in this chapter is to mention some clear explanations about the two meanings of the succession to authority. That is because the Muslims have differed over it. Moreover, it is of great importance with one of the two parties (i.e., Shi'a and non-Shi'a), and is sometimes with them both.

Here, we want to explain the succession to authority as it is with the two parties (the Shi'a and the Sunnis). Meanwhile we want to extract the necessary information from this subject.

Furthermore, we will mention details, to clarify the two different ideas of both sides. Our plan is to make a good start for reform and prosperity in this society. Our words do not endanger both parties. Rather, they are full of good and reform for all.

The succession to authority (Khilafa) is general deputyship on behalf of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, in leading the Muslims after his death. The obligatory right of the successor (Khalifa) on the people is that they should obey him. Besides the obligatory right of the people on him is that he should act according to the Book of Allah and the Sunna (practice) of His Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family.

A group of the Muslims agreed on appointing one of them to assume this deputyship on behalf of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. They affirmed him even if he intended to usurp the succession to authority illegally. Thus they affirmed the Caliphate of Mu'awiya, "who sometimes took the succession to authority by using the sword and sometimes by using the trick and policy."1

These are some examples of those who usurped the succession to authority: b. al-Zubayr, Abu al-`Abbas al-Saffah, `Abd al-Rahman al-Nasir, and the like. A group of the Muslims affirmed those who were appointed by their predecessors who took the succession to authority by force or by other means. Examples of these were `Umar, Yazid, al-Rashid, and the like. Also a group of the Muslims affirmed those who obtained the succession to authority through election. Examples of these successors were Abu Bakr, `Uthman, and Muhammad Rashad.

In appointing the successor after the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, the second party (i.e., the Shi'a) resorted to the Owner of the message (i.e., the prophet). So they (i.e., the Shi'a) did not follow any successor after him but those he himself appointed.

The two parties (i.e., the Shi'a and the Sunnis) have followed the above- mentioned theories in appointing the successor after the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family.2

As the two parties have differed over the ways of appointing the successor to authority, they have differed over changing and removing him from office. So according to the first (i.e., the Sunni) theory, the successor is removed from office when other than him is successful in overcoming him or when necessary. According to the theory of the text (i.e., the textual nomination), no one has the right to change the successor or to remove him from office.

The successor appointed by the textual nomination was not liable to any defect. That is because his position was like that of the Prophet. In other words he was infallible as the Prophet was. They both got their infallibility from Allah, the Great and Almighty. The infallibility of the nominated successor was like that of the Prophet himself, may Allah bless him and his family.

So the caliphate or the succession after the Prophet, according to the first or the Sunni theory, is general supreme authority. It is restricted by a special constitution, and it is, in fact, like modern governments. It does not differ from them but in the constitution or as they differ from each other.

Besides the holiness of such caliphate is among the qualities of the person whom the people elect. Also it is among the qualities of the person who takes it by force. Such a person is some times the best of all people in holiness, and sometimes the most rebellious of them against the religion and good manners.

However, the caliphate or the succession after the Prophet, according to the textual nomination or the Shi'ite theory, is a Divine office. So the obedience of the successor is religiously obligatory, namely as the obligatory obedience of the Prophet. Besides The caliphate, in this sense, is the shade of Prophethood which is related to the sky. However, the caliphate is related to the sky through the Prophet. For he was the source of its spirit as he was the source of the text concerning it.

As for the holiness of the second kind of caliphate, it is natural and constant as that of Prophethood itself. In other words each of the successors appointed according to the textual nomination was the holiest and the best figure of all people.

In the past, the matter of the succession to authority was the reason for creating violent riot among the Muslims, and was a source of many sorrowful tragedies in the history of Islam. Moreover, such a matter was not easy or possible at that time, for the people were stubborn. We think that it is nowadays easy and possible to bring the two parties together to accept a moderate idea. Thus they are able to discard disagreement, to adopt obligatory brotherhood, and to incline to righteousness.

That is what Muslims should take into consideration, namely they should take care of the essence, and they should discard nonessential things. They should take care of the true religion and should discard purposes. The Muslim should cling to the true Islam to please Allah. In the meantime, tribalism, feelings, and effects should not deceive him.

The matter of the religion, that is the relation between the servant and his Lord and is the start on which his final result in the hereafter is based, is unlike the worldly matters. For the latter are liable, in many of their relations, to desires, and environmental customs. Furthermore they are liable to man's, inclinations, tribalism, and effects.

As for the true Muslim, he takes care of his pure true religion.

Now, we, in the subject of the succession to authority, want to reunite Muslims to follow the true religion that is far above the foregoing things.

So the Shi'ite person must recognize the succession to authority (of the first kind) as it was on the day when it occurred. He must recognize that it is general supreme authority for Muslims, and that it is worthy of praise because of its many effects in Islam.

Also the Sunni person must recognize the succession to authority as it is. For it is a means between him and the Prophet to understand his religion. It is the fact which the authentic books (al-Sihah) have successively mentioned through various Prophetic traditions. Noteworthy it is not correct for us to discuss scientifically these traditions. For they have been reported through the best ways to which the Muslim resort to adopt his religion.

Then in this way the two parties are able to solve their main differences without injustice and selfishness.3

This research is concerning one of the successors who was appointed according to the textual nomination. However, his succession to authority was unique in the history of Islam. That is because his father designated him to be the successor after him. Then the people pledged allegiance to him after the death of his father, peace be on him.

So al-Hasan was among the first kind (of the caliphs), for he was elected. Meanwhile he was the successor to authority through the textual nomination, for the word `Imam' indicates that.

In chapter three, we have mentioned an example of the texts concerning the nomination of al-Hasan and a quick study about the way of his election and the allegiance the people pledged to him.

When al-Hasan, peace be on him, declared his final attitude, between the doctrine and supreme authority, towards Mu'awiya, he meant nothing but his right to authority. For the people elected him. Moreover, Allah had chosen him to be successor, and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, had affirmed that through his traditions. That is because no one had the right to change or alter this right, as we have previously said. Rather this right was among the unchangeable orders of Allah.

Also the hardships and the disasters that hit al-Hasan during the time of his succession do not indicate that he was a mere Imam. Rather they indicate that he was an Imam with an army and supreme authority.

No change included al-Hasan, nor did a disaster harm him during his Imamate. So he was like the Qur'an in authority.

The disagreement of the people, their disobedience, and their alienation did not harm the Qur'an. For it is the supreme authority of Muslims. It is far above falsehood. It is as it is in leading people. It is as it is in maintaining the Words of Allah. So the people do not harm it whether they accept it or refuse it, act according to its guidance or disobey it, yield to its leadership or deny it.

Such was the Imamate of al-Hasan, peace be on him.

Both the Qur'an and al-Hasan are two main elements in Islam as both law and supreme authority are two main elements in the community with the constitutional regime.

Concerning the two main elements in Islam, I (i.e., the author) mean by that what the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, denoted in his authentic or successive holy tradition when he said: "I am going to leave behind me among you two things which, if you cleave to them, you will never go astray that is the Book of Allah and my offspring from my family (Ahl al-Bayt). They will never scatter (from you) until they lead you to me at the (sacred) waters (of Heaven)." 4

Al-Hasan was among the Prophet's family at that time. He was the string of the necklace and the Imam of the people. He was the center of the circle in Islam. The Owner of the message (i.e., the Prophet) appointed him as successor for Muslims as he appointed the Qur'an as high authority for them.

I (i.e., the author) wonder: is the Imamate a thing other than this?

Think of al-Hasan, peace be on him, when you speak about reality. Then you will know that he conformed to the Words of Allah. Thus his qualities were the Qur'an, the Imamate, the two valuable things (al-thaqalan, i.e., Allah's Book and the Prophet's family), Paradise, righteousness, preventing bloodshed, and fulfilling the covenant.

Now, consider carefully the traits of the enemy of al-Hasan. They were greediness, trickery, discord, bribery, breaking the covenants, money, vanities, waging war, making raids, and the like.

It is this bad life that forced al-Hasan to dispute with Mu'awiya over the succession to authority.

Yes, al-Hasan was the (grand) son of the Apostle of Allah. He was an Imam, then what was the importance of the life in this world, of money, and of vanities?

Al-Hasan is the Lord of the youth of Heaven, as his grandfather, may Allah bless him and his family, described him. All Muslim groups have narrated this tradition on the authority of the Prophet. Also this tradition is as authentic and successive as the Qur'an that is the deepest and most eloquent of all the words of human beings.

Concerning this tradition, we want to say: In this tradition, why was al-Hasan not described as the Lord of the youth of the world? Was he not the Lord of the youth in this world, in merits, and noble deeds?

(Al-Hasan) from Hashim's (tribe), ascending to the sky,

Which made the people die of envy with its high position.

Allah refused (anything) to be for the people (i.e., the Hashimites)

However, the noble deeds of the religion and of the world without a limit.

So in this tradition, why was al-Hasan ascribed to Heaven?

Today, the person does not pay attention to this question. For he thinks that al-Hasan, whom Allah had chosen, is the Lord of the youth of Heaven, and that is enough. In other words such a person does not pay attention to the relationship between al-Hasan's supremacy and the world. That is because the tradition has been on everybody's lips for fourteen centuries. Namely, the people narrate it more than any other tradition on every occasion. So the people understand nothing from it but that al-Hasan and al-Husayn are the two Lords of Heaven, paying no attention to the foregoing question.

I (i.e., the author) wonder: Did the people understand the tradition on the day when the Prophet said it?

Yes, the Prophet called his two (grand) sons the two Lords of Heaven. For he wanted to indicate that they were not appropriate for this world full of treason and desertion. Namely, he wanted to indicate that they were not appropriate for the restless youth of that time, for they got used to hypocrisy and breaking the covenants. Generally speaking, the youth of that time were inappropriate for seeking protection with these two Lords, nor were they suitable for them. Therefore al-Hasan and al-Husayn, peace be on them, were the two Lords of the youth of Heaven. For the latter fulfilled the covenant they made with Allah. Thus Allah settled them in His chosen abode. He has removed malice from their hearts and seated them on facing beds.

Al-Hasan is the Lord of the youth of Heaven, and that is enough.

In other words, the supremacy of al-Hasan and of al-Husayn will prevail a world better than this world, and people better than these people. That is because the youth of the world refused to give them their right, mutinied against them, and denied their supremacy.

Then this world has deprived itself of their blessing, their favor, and their guidance.

Also the traitorous youth of this world have drawn on themselves shame, regret, the shame of history, and the torture of the hereafter.

Moreover, the tradition, according to this concept, is a prophetic epic. It shows the unseen from behind the unseen. It refers, through brief epics, to what the two Lords of the youth of Paradise suffered from the youth of the world. It gives the two Lords their profitable share.

Without a doubt, the person who was the Lord of Paradise or the Lord of its youth was the Lord of all the world.

The Lord of prophets, may Allah bless him and his family, had his own eloquent words. The great talented people were unable to compete with him. That is very clear in his short words which have been mentioned through the authentic chains of reporters (asanid). Then the eloquent words of the Prophet are regarded as a miracle in the vast Arabic language. The excellent feature in the Prophetic eloquent words, though short, is that they imply many meanings. They sometimes have clear meanings, and sometimes have hints. From here, the Prophet's eloquent words referred to many true miraculous predictions.

These eloquent words themselves are proofs for the authenticity of the Prophetic tradition.

Among the traditions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, concerning the textual nomination of his holy two (grand) sons al-. Hasan and. al-Husayn, peace be on him, is: "They (i.e., al-Hasan and al-Husayn) are two Imams, whether they rise or sit." If you consider carefully the surface structure of this tradition, you will understand nothing but the declaration concerning the two lords, namely al-Hasan and al-Husayn.

Then if you consider carefully the deep structure of the tradition, you will understand that the Prophet hinted to the behavior of these two Imams. Namely, the deep structure of the tradition indicates that one of them will rise and the other will sit. Besides it indicates that one of them or they both will rise one time and sit other time. Therefore, they both were two Imams, and no one has the right to oppose them in spite of their two different attitudes.

No one in Islam understood the predictions of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, than his (grand) son and successor, al-Hasan b. 'Ali. For al-Hasan understood what his grandfather meant by these two traditions, and by many other traditions.

Besides, al-Hasan was the most appropriate person for clinging to the Prophet's predictions. Thus he took the methods of his life and his death from them.

Was al-Hasan not the (grand) son of that Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family? Was he not the inheritor of his qualities? Was he not his trustee of authority over his community? Noteworthy, al Hasan suffered from his community as the Prophet suffered from his community when he propagated his message. Thus al-Hasan said as the Prophet said then: "O Allah! Guide my people, for they do not know."

Moreover, al-Hasan inherited noble qualities from the Prophet. Through them he was able to lead all Muslims in the world of Islam. Through them he was In. no need of the material force, wealth, and supreme authority. For these noble qualities themselves were forces, wealth, and supreme authority.

Accordingly, it was not important when Mu'awiya disobeyed al-Hasan, and when `Ubayd Allah and the Kufans deserted him. For his holy relation with the Prophet did not desert him, nor did his obligatory Imamate betray him, nor did his obligatory love transgress against him.

Besides, the limited supreme authority is worthless in comparison with the unlimited spiritual authority.

Neither failure nor death was able, even for a day, to end those high spiritual qualities. Hence history has admired them. Besides the hearts of the Muslims have clung to them. The aggressors and the ungrateful deniers did not prevent those qualities from blossoming. Up till now, they have increased in greatness to complete their strait immortal way.

` We have known the close relation between al-Hasan and the Prophet who was the source of good for mankind during its evil times, of guidance for the Muslims during the times of discords and going astray, and of blessing of the world during aridity and deprivation. Apart from this, we have known that al-Hasan was the (grand) son of the Apostle of Allah, the Lord of the youth of Paradise, and the Imam who shared the Qur'an its Imamate.

Still, we must pay much more intention to understand the words al-Hasan himself said to explain his attitude, namely between supreme authority and the doctrine.

Also we must give brief examples of al-Hasan's many words which have been narrated through various chains of reporters (asania). That is because we want to conclude his eloquent hints, for they are of great importance to guide us to a decisive decision about the subject.

Now, we have to study the personal declarations of al-Hasan, for such declarations are very important in achieving our special subject.

Al-Hasan answered the blaming question of Sulayman b. Sirt al-Khaza'i whom b. Qutayba described as the Lord of the Iraqis and their leader.5 In response to this question, al-Hasan, peace be on him, said: "If I had worked hard and exerted myself firmly for the supreme authority and life in this world, then Mu'awiya would have not been braver than me. However, my opinion is different from yours."6

Some of al-Hasan's enemies were pleased to hurt him though they were safe of him. Among them was `Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr, who showed enmity towards the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family. In response to `Abd Allah, al-Hasan, peace be on him, said: "You claim that I have handed over the supreme authority. Woe unto you! That is impossible. I am the son of the bravest of all Arabs. I am the son of Fatima, the mistress of the women of the world. I have not done that, woe unto you, out of cowardice or weakness. However, those who are like you pledged allegiance to me, asked me to rise, and flattered me. Nevertheless, I do not rely on their support."7

The following is another short declaration of his. Though the declaration is short, it is the most eloquent and important one in this respect. It was an answer to his brother al-Husayn when he asked him: "What made you hand over authority?" So al-Hasan said:" The thing that had made your father hand it over before me."8

I (i.e., the author) say: These few examples are enough to indicate that the friends and the enemies subjected the Imam to a difficult test, but he passed the test successfully.

When we analyze the ideas of the Imam in this respect, we will find that they contain the following main elements:

1. Al-Hasan did not act to obtain the life in this world.

2. If he had acted to obtain the life in this world, he would have been stronger than his enemies. Besides his plans in life would have been other than these plans.

3. He adopted his attitude while he had neither self-weakness nor weak policy nor cowardice. Rather he did not find loyal supporters. Namely, he would have won a victory over his enemies if he had found loyal supporters.

4. His only objective was to follow his father's example. It is noteworthy that his father kept silent when his right to authority was illegally usurped. In other words he kept silent to protect Islamic spirits and beliefs from dying out.

The signs of the spiritual Imamate appear clearly among the elements of the above- mentioned four points. These signs did not mix with weakness, nor did they have any relation to any retreat or recoiling. However, they were the strength that moved al-Hasan to act to please his Lord. So he was in no need of acting to obtain the life in the world.

Besides the life in this world was not like these signs, nor were they like it. Such was the true Imamate. It was the shadow of Prophethood in the meaning that related to the sky. Prophethood did not happen in the earth on the day when Allah wanted it to happen but through the loyal supporters. Also the Imamate did not occur when Allah wanted it to occur but through the loyal supporters. However, there was a great difference between the supporters of Prophet and those of the Imam.

For the supporters of the Imam cajoled him and asked him for the inheritance. They pledged allegiance to him to obey him in an absolute manner, but they deserted him, paying no attention to him.

Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family was an apostle; the apostles had passed away before him. Thus his (grand) son, al Hasan, was an Imam whose heart was full of belief and whose tongue uttered ideal words. This was the message which was wanted for him, and for which he was wanted.

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, was afflicted by a critical situation. Also his grandfather, the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, was afflicted by the same situation. That was on the day (Expedition) to al-Hudaybiya and the Banu (sons of) Ashja`. Al Hasan was deserted by his companions as his father, peace be on him, was deserted on the day of the Shelter (al-Saqifa) and on the day of the Consultation (al-Shura).9 So al-Hasan had to follow these examples of his father and of his grandfather. Also he had to achieve his acts according to their practices (Sunna). Besides there was no shortcoming in what the third one of these two great ones did.

Concerning the second point, we say: Indeed, al-Hasan b. 'Ali (peace be on them) took upon himself that he would use his talents, his life, his history, his political entity, his patience, and his strength to serve his doctrine and to immortalize his character and his word. Through his great step with which he ended his attitude (i.e., between the doctrine and supreme authority), al-Hasan was the Imam who abstained from the life in this world, and the caliph who accepted the responsibility from the people to establish human ideals among people.

So all al-Hasan's deeds were ideals for tentative leaders.

Al-Hasan refused the life in this world though it came to him willingly. In other words he refused to accept authority, wealth, influence, and pleasures. All these temptations cost him nothing. Rather they were ready to obey him, to serve him, and to cling to him.

If al-Hasan had done that, preferred that to his own doctrine, "become resolute, and exerted himself for that," he would have been, without doubt, the worthiest one of winning the foregoing things, for he was at that time the Imam who had the best lineage in the history of humanity. Besides he had the greatest Imamate in history.

However, if al-Hasan had been a worldly man, then he had to abandon his ancestry, his education, and his spiritual qualities. He had to be a person other than al-Hasan b. 'Ali, b. Fatima, and the (grand) son of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. In this way he would have been able to satisfy greed, to gather supporters, and to bribe the restless.

That is because, his vast empire, at that time, had a lot of land taxes that were able tempt the leaders of that generation and "the children of the houses of the opportunists." Accordingly, all hypocrites would have been good believers, all traitors would have been loyal trustees, and the restless would have been obedient subjects. Therefore all people would have been false while they did not know that.

Besides `Amr b. al-`As, al-Mughira b. Shu'ba, Ziyad b. Abih, and their followers would have sought protection with al-Hasan in Kufa. There would have been no difference between them and Hujr b. `Adi, Qays b. Sa'd, and `Adi b. Hatam. So they (the former group) sought protection with Mu'awiya there. They hated al-Hasan because he was indifferent to the world. They hated his noble traits when they sought protection with him. Meanwhile they liked the traits of Mu'awiya, his history, his lineage, and his fabrications.

If al-Hasan had clung to the world, his matter would have been successful. So there would have been no need to write about it, to go into it, and to waste our time in it.

The ignoble Kufans looked for ambitions not for facts. That is because they lived during the lifetime of al-Hasan. They followed him, trusted him, and yielded to him, for they thought that his treasuries would be opened to buy their consciences, his states would be ready to response to the gluttony of their prominent figures, and his policy would please their psychological desires all over his Muslim countries.

Generally speaking, they thought that al-Hasan would meet their party purposes and their worldly ambitions. Noteworthy, among the Kufans were rightly-guided people. They were the followers (Shi `a) of his father. They turned away from the life in this world during their firm attitude alongside him and his father, who divorced the life in this world three times.

Those true believing Kufans supported al-Hasan, for they knew that he was the grandson of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family.

Now, what do you think of this discussion? Do you think that Mu'awiya was able to resist al-Hasan or to win a victory over him? According to this study, which one of them was worthier of weakness al-Hasan or Mu'awiya?

In the light of this explanation, we understand the meaning of the words of al-Hasan: "If I had worked hard and exerted myself firmly for supreme authority and the life in this world, then Mu'awiya would have not been braver than me. However, my opinion is different from yours.

Yes, al-Hasan would have been braver than Mu'awiya if he had wanted the life in this world.

However, Imam al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on them, was a human being other than Mu'awiya.

Al-Hasan did not appear in this world except during counted periods of time when the people learned ideals from his noble qualities and got happiness from his excellent pure guidance.

Al-Hasan understood the special meaning of honor. He understood that it was a mixture of self- respect and the interests of the religion. He thought that authority, money, and worldly pleasures did not belong to honor.

Al-Hasan was infallible as the Book says. His heart was full of ideals. These two qualities made him turn away from the desires of the transient authority. Meanwhile they made him cleave to Allah, His Books, His Apostles, and the Judgment Day. So the worldly man either overlooks those people or is angry with them.

Al-Hasan did not want to win the attitude through these dishonest ways, for he regarded such a kind of winning as a great lost in the life in this world.

If he had followed these dishonest ways, then he would have gotten rid of the ideal natures which the hand of the Prophet had planted in him through his prophetic education.

Was it possible for al-Hasan to get rid of those natures while they were some organs of his body? Was it possible for him to work hard and to exert all strength while he was the (grand) son of the Apostle of Allah, his foster son, and a student of his school?

Were it not for the life in this world was a field to spread his message, the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, would be indifferent to it.

So al-Hasan had to be a mirror to reflect his grandfather's good qualities. Those good qualities were fixed in him because of the nature which was imposed on him through his grandfather's education, his faith, and his environment. However, that was in the field of his Imamate. Such was al-Hasan. He was a good example for people, for he was far above weakness cowardice, and defects. He was the mirror that reflected the Prophet's renunciation from worldly pleasures, his noble traits, for he was "the most similar of all people to the Prophet in form, ethics, policy, and management."

So where are the weak points which the quick critics have mentioned concerning al-Hasan?

Those who have criticized the policy of al-Hasan, peace be on him, have forgotten the critical situation his supporters made. They have forgotten the irregularity of these supporters. They have forgotten that this irregularity resulted from the events which were imposed on al Hasan, namely they resulted from the development of life from the third generation after the lifetime of the Prophet. Besides the people, or most of them, abandoned piety and inclined to ambitions and pleasures. Therefore, the crime resulted from the condition of al Hasan, and the treason belonged to the people who lived during his time. In other words, nobody has the right to blame al-Hasan for what he had done.

Also those who have criticized al-Hasan's policy have forgotten that the final result of such an attitude, of such a condition, and of such society took place because of the people who were hypocrites and liars by nature while al-Hasan always thought about loyalty and the truth.

For this reason, we think that the measures which al-Hasan took during his critical situation were the most skillful of all measures in solving the matter, the most wonderful of them in policy, the most accurate of them in idea, and the most appropriate of them for the behavior of the Imam.

In these chapters of us, we have discussed the reason why al Hasan, peace be on him, has been blamed. We have mentioned each of them in a suitable subject and we have given it a correct irrefutable answer derived from the time when al-Hasan lived.

In this way al-Hasan, peace be on him, declared his great reformatory uprising. He turned the battle, based on discords and weapons, into summons to good manners, peace, and reform. Suddenly, he became the greatest reformer in the field of reform, and the most tentative and successful leader in the field of perfection.

Besides he became the Imam of all the world, though he had no throne.

Is Islam not this angelic spirit which the material world does not overcome, and which vain desires and false imaginations do not humiliate?

Al-Hasan looked at the majority of his companions. He was displeased with them, for they neglected their obligations, turned away from ethics, separated from their right, and joined the camp of his enemies. Moreover, the evil discord, which the counted traitors created, destroyed that helpless people. It divided them, weakened their classes, and made them, at a short time, parties. They drew plans and got ready to wage war against each other.

Accordingly, was there a hope of the companions who were more harmful than their enemies?

Why didn't the Imam, who was the deputy of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and his family), say his word that was similar to the Prophet's word in mercy and nobility? Why did he not say his word that was neutral between the two fighting parties to be far above them all?

Isn't the true Imam a thing above all people?

  • 1. Ta'rikh al-Islam al-Siyasiya, vol. 1, p. 396.
  • 2. Ard' al-Mu'tazila al-Siyasiya, p. 15. Al-Alwah (Magazine), no. 11, first year. Most Mu'tazilites agreed with the Shi'a and said: "No Imamate but through the text and nomination.
  • 3. It is an act of kindness to mention that one of those who plagiarize the ideas of the people had published this solution without ascribing it to its owner. The man was among our listeners, on more than one occasion, when we presented this idea as an example in this book.
  • 4. Al-Hakim (vol. 3, p. 148) has narrated it and said: "This tradition is of authentic isnad (chain of witnesses) according to the condition of the two Shaykhs (i.e., Abu Bakr and "Umar [Ed. This is absolutely incorrect; the two shaykhs refer to al-Bukhari and Muslim])." Al-Dhahabi has reported it in `Talkhis al-Mustadrak', admitting its correctness according to the condition of the two Shaykhs. Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal has narrated it in `al-Musnad, pp. 17 and 26. Also this tradition has been reported by Ibn Abi Shayba, Abu Ya`la, b. Sa'd in 'al-Kanz', vol. 1, p. 47, and the like.
  • 5. Ibn Qutayba al-Dinawari, al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, p. 151.
  • 6. Ibid.
  • 7. Al-Bayhaqi, al-Mahasin wa al-Masawi', vol. 1, p. 60-5.
  • 8. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 113.
  • 9. As for the day of the Shelter (al-Saqifa), it has been mentioned at a great length in many books. As for the day of the Consultation (al-Shura), it has been presented in the best manner by 'Ali, peace be on him, when he said to the Consultative Committee at that time: "You have certainly known that I am the most rightful of all others for the Caliphate. By Allah, so long as the affairs of Muslims remain intact and there is no oppression in it save on myself I shall keep quiet seeking reward for it (from Allah) and keeping aloof from its attractions and allurements for which you aspire." (Imam 'Ali, Nahj al-Balagha, p. 102.)

Sacrifice

Al-Hasan broke the record when he yielded to this nobility. For no one of great figures have done that. Al-Hasan was able to yield to that noble attitude through the Divine qualities such as strength, patience, renouncing worldly pleasures, and the like.

The sacrifice in the way of Allah takes place when the person is righteous, namely when he is far away from doubts, flatters, tricks, hypocrisy, and the like. Besides the person should carry out the greater struggle (al-jihad al-akbar) to destroy his personal inclinations and to oppose his human nature. That happens when he suppresses his material selfish disobedience.

Such was the Divine Imamate, and such was the Divine Imam.

Al-Hasan's situation was inappropriate for achieving a victory over falsehood. Thus it was incumbent on him to wait for a better situation to establish the truth.

Al-Hasan's situation became obvious when he knew the intentions of the people. For they declared their readiness to fight alongside him while they wanted to achieve their ambitions.

Taking the reins of government was the only way to prevent Mu'awiya from showing enmity towards the true Islam. . So it was necessary for the choice from the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, and the loyal rest from the party of Allah to abdicate authority to protect Islam from Mu'awiya, and the Syrians. That is because Mu'awiya spread his fifth column in the core of Kufa and at the Camp of Imam al-Hasan. So the evil band seized the opportunity to achieve its aims in the life in this world through its desires, its ambitions, its harm, and its defects. In this way al-Hasan was able to hand over the authority to preserve his spiritual doctrines with glory, strength, wideness, greatness, and immortality.

The (grand) son of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, had no shortcoming when he was far above the material desires, and left the life in this world for those who wanted it. He had no defect when he stood alone in the authority of spirit. Thus his great position was steadfast. The standards of his Imamate were raised. His ideal doctrines were known. His traits in struggle (jihad), patience, and sacrifice were laudable.

The Muslim who takes care of his Islam and his true faith should not make mistakes in his affair. He should not neglect his right. He should not forget the relation between him and the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. Moreover, he should not ignore his Imamate. That was the Divine Imamate that did not accept any change nor did it imply any weakness and desertion.

Rather it was the victorious Imamate in spite of the hostile traitorous attempts. It was the Imamate that became strong through the might of Allah. It became steadfast through the steadfastness of the truth. Moreover, it has become outspread among generations as Prophethood has become outspread among nations. This Imamate has glory and strong respect in the full sense of the word. Meanwhile it urges the people to scorn the conceit of the enemies.

That stage was critical in the history of Islam. For it led to the separation between the true caliphate and supreme authority (i.e., between the religious Imamate and supreme authority), and between the temporal power and spiritual authority.

Apparently, the early Muslims did not know this separation during the lifetime of the Prophet. Rather the Muslims after the death of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, knew that gradually. Then the religious rulers yielded to this separation and regarded it as a reformatory obligatory way when they feared for the entity of Islam (baydat al-Islam).

To be quite frank with you about this matter, I (i.e., the author) say: Indeed, Imam al-Hasan took an attitude towards Mu'awiya as his father, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, did towards Abu Bakr and his two companions (i.e., `Umar and `Uthman). This was the meaning of the words of al-Hasan when his brother al Husayn, peace be on him, asked him: "What made you hand over the authority?" "The thing that had made your father hand it over before me," replied al-Hasan.

Each of the two Imams (i.e., al-Hasan and al-Husayn), during his special condition, had his own sacrifice through which he preserved Islam.

According to this rule, al-Hasan erased the map of his material kingdom from the earth to draw instead the map of his spiritual greatness in both the earth and the sky. Then al-Hasan turned to the borders of his kingdom in the new immortal authority. Suddenly, they were the borders between the kingdom of the truth and the kingdom of falsehood, between ideal humanity and tyrannical selfishness. Such were the spiritual qualities of the Imam. He lived and died, while the words of Allah were on his tongue.

He used to say: "Perform the prayers." "Give alms (zakat)" "Fasting has been written on you as it had been written on those who were before you." "Pilgrimage to the House is incumbent on men for the sake of Allah, (upon) everyone who is able to undertake the journey to it." Now, the following are the material qualities of the tyrant (i.e., Mu'awiya), who said to the people openly: "By Allah, I have not fought against you to make you pray, nor to fast, nor to make the pilgrimage, nor to pay alms (zakat). I fought against you so that I might have power over you and Allah has given that to me when you were reluctant to (obey) Him."

The people grew accustomed to receive such an event as they received the great shock from the events of the time. That is because they depended on the worldly narrow meaning of the events so that they found nothing in them save loss.

As for the person with good calm self, he regarded the events as means for achieving the aims that were dearer than authority and the entire world. Nevertheless, these aims have been written in history to be glorified for all people.

In this way al-Hasan was victorious through his jihad, his patience, and his sacrifice. These three qualities are the mother of all virtues.

Also al-Hasan had other traits that were proofs for his greatness and his outstanding merits.

Al-Hasan overcame the people with his Imamate, his obligatory love, and his sonship to the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family.

The people who distressed al-Hasan were his supporters, his enemies, and his wife.

As we have already said, he was singled out with an excellent kind of jihad, a great kind of patience, and a unique kind of sacrifice.

Now, we must understand these three talents in particular. For they were Hasanid qualities that had unquestionable aspects. So I (i.e., the author) say:

1. As for his jihad (holy war), it was the most wonderful of all kinds of jihad, most painful of them to the self, the greatest of them in the battlefield, and the longest of them in troubles.

Al-Hasan waged jihad in the way of Allah in many fields, not in one field. He waged jihad against his enemy when he advanced against him. He made every effort to settle the discords and to reform his companions and his soldiers. However, all his efforts went in vain. He struggled against himself to control its emotions, to suppress its ambitions, and to repulse its power.

No leader of the people was able to control himself, his nerves, and his emotions as al-Hasan did during the attitudes from which he suffered. He tried hard to convince his loyal followers (Shi'a) when he endured their intense censure because of the Peace Treaty he made with Mu'awiya. Towards them, he took an attitude. The attitude indicated his angelic excellent qualities. In the mean time it indicated that he was an infallible Imam. That was when he controlled his anger, and possessed himself. That was when he treated them with calmness, soft words, and patience.

Al-Hasan gave each of his followers a clear correct answer. He discovered their aims concerning what they had blamed him for. Thus he was able to uproot their blame. So al-Hasan affected his followers with his skillful proof, splendid purpose, and his genuine idea. Through the attitudes of their Imam al-Hasan, they remembered the attitudes of Prophets. Moreover, they collected his sayings as they collected the traditions of the Prophet, for they regarded them as the traditions of the Prophet.

The following is an example of al-Hasan's answers to one of his followers when he asked him: "(Grand) son of the Apostle of Allah, why have you concluded a truce with Mu'awiya and made peace with him? Don't you know that the right to (authority) is for you, not for him? Don't you know that Mu'awiya is straying and oppressive?"

"Abu Said, am I not the proof of Allah, the Exalted, over His creatures and Imam (leader) over them after my father?" asked al Hasan. "Yes," replied Abu Said. "Isn't (the following) what the Apostle of Allah said to me and my brother: "Al-Hasan and al Husayn are two Imams whether they rise or sit?" asked al Hasan. "Yes," answered Abu Said. Al-Hasan said: "Therefore, I am an Imam when I rise, and I am an Imam when I sit."

Then al-Hasan, peace be on him, added: "Abu Said, the reason for my making peace with Mu'awiya is that the Apostle of Allah had made peace with the banu (sons of) Damrah, the banu of Ashja`, and the Meccans when he left al-Hudaybiya. Those were unbelievers according to the Holy Qur'an. However, Mu'awiya and his companions are unbelievers according to the interpretation (of the Qur'an).

"Abu Said, if I am an Imam (appointed) by Allah, may His name be Exalted, then why do you stultify my idea concerning what I have done? Do you not know that you should obey me when I conclude a truce or wage war even if the meaning of wisdom is vague for you? Do you not know that when al-Khidr (Elijah) tore the ship, killed the boy, and built the wall, Musa (Moses) became indignant with his acts, for the meaning of wisdom was ambiguous for him till al-Khidr told him (about that), so Musa became satisfied? Such is I. You have become indignant with me because you have no knowledge of the meaning of wisdom. Were it nor for what I have done, all my followers (Shi'a) on the surface of the earth would be killed."1

I (i.e., the author) say: Al-Hasan waged another Kind of jihad against another group of people, they were the Umayyads themselves. We will refer to this kind of jihad soon.

These kinds of jihad were in five fields. Al-Hasan, peace be on him, ended his holy life in them, endured their troubles with steadfastness strength and excellent patience.

Al-Hasan's jihad included all fields.

When al-Hasan handed over his right to authority, he wanted to wage another kind of jihad in the way of Allah, namely he wanted to preserve Islam, to facilitate the life of Muslims, and to protect them from killing. In all these efforts, he overlooked his right to authority to wage jihad in the way of Allah. In other words he sold his life to Allah to buy His Heaven.

2. As for his patience, it was the echo of his jihad, and the stronghold to which he resorted in his various fields.

The people persecuted al-Hasan with deprivation of his right to authority, treason, desertion, plots, hypocrisy, assassination, breaking the covenants, slanders, insults, deviation from the truth, and censure for making peace with Mu'awiya. No leader in history suffered these black tribulations and painful disasters except al-Hasan, for they attacked him from all directions.

Still, al-Hasan, peace be on him, bore them with peerless patience.

Also he treated all his critical situations with his excellent wisdom and cleverness. In other words he treated them gradually from beginning to end. He did not yield to anger, nor was affected by emotions, nor did he surrender to the events, nor was restless because of the disturbances. Nothing shook him. Rather he was eager to support the religion, the words of the Qur'an, and the message of Islam.

Such was al-Hasan as Allah created him. No one denies these qualities of al-Hasan but the obstinate ignorant person or the discriminating enemy. His qualities during his time were ideal. He showed exemplary generosity in dealing with the people. His enemies and his companions were witnesses of his sweet words, his strong proof, his respect, his clemency, and his intellect.

Mu'awiya praised al-Hasan when he debated with him about the succession to authority. Also he flattered him on occasions other than these debates.

One day Mu'awiya flattered al-Hasan's sweet words as follows: "The most lovable person in talking to me is al-Hasan b. 'Ali."2

Al-Hasan was sometimes mentioned in the presence of Mu'awiya. Thus the latter said concerning the former: "They are the people whom Allah has inspired words."3

Concerning al-Hasan's prestige and good presence, Mu'awiya said: "By Allah, when I see him (al-Hasan), I hate his going away, and I am frightened by his blame."4

Also Mu'awiya said: "By Allah, when I see him (al-Hasan) sitting with me, I fear his prestige and his finding fault with me." 5

Also Mu'awiya said praising al-Hasan:

As for al-Hasan, he was the son of him who was before him.

When he walks, death walks wherever he walks.

Does the lion not produce but the like of it

This is al-Hasan (who is) the like and peer of him.

However, if clemency and intellect is compared with a thing,

They would say (that) the thing was withered and perishable.6

Yes, such was Mu'awiya while he was the mortal enemy of al-Hasan. As for Marwan b. al-Hakam, he said concerning al-Hasan, peace be on him: "Indeed, his (i.e., al-Hasan's) clemency is as great as the mountains." 7

These two enemies of al-Hasan affected praise towards him. This is a proof for his high social position among the people. Meanwhile this praise indicates that these two enemies yielded to the accomplished fact or they used such praise as a curtain to destroy their opponent.

The important encyclopedias are full of debates which we have previously mentioned. Mu'awiya became active through these debates during his disagreement with al-Hasan when the latter went to Sham (Syria), after the Treaty of Peace, or when the former went to Medina.

Mu'awiya gathered his strong loyal companions or his close relatives to debate with the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, about various matters. Through these debates he tried to prevent the hearts of the people from inclining towards them. Among those whom Mu'awiya gathered were `Amr b. al-`As, `Utba b. Abu sufyan, `Amr b. `Uthman b. `Affan, al-Mughira b. Shu'ba, al-Walid b. 'Aqaba b. Abu Mi'yat, Marwan b. al-Hakam, `Abd Allah b. alZubayr, and Ziyad b. Abih. Mu'awiya sometimes added other persons to them. Then he summoned al-Hasan, peace be on him, to debate with the men of this party one by one. Thus he used every means possible to challenge al-Hasan to satisfy his desires. Therefore he plotted against al-Hasan through these debates.

Concerning al-Hasan, `Abd Allah b. Ja'far said: "He was like the hard rock which floods cannot shake, ibexes cannot reach, and arrows cannot reach."8 Al-Hasan had an innocent heart, high spirit, and pure rites. These qualities of his did not match the qualities of Mu'awiya and his companions. So he said to them: "By Allah, if the banu (sons of) Umayya ascribed to feebleness in speaking, I would refrain from (debating with them), I make little of (them)."

Also al-Hasan gave them a proof of their increasingly obstinacy. Thus he forced them to declare their submission, their defeat, and their bewilderment.

Al-Hasan answered the Umayyads' questions through reviewing the traditions of the Prophet concerning his right to authority. So he gradually made them recognize his right and his father's.

Al-Hasan went on debating with the Umayyads till he exposed their abominable obscenity. He used neither lies nor obscenity as they did. Rather he refuted them one by one, namely he refuted their most prominent fundamentals such as their known lineage and their described ancestry. That is because the strongest challenge you use against your opponent is that you refute his conceit and his traits he regards as the base of his glory and his character.

In all these debates, al-Hasan was the strong victorious side, while the Umayyads were the defeated side.

The weakest of all the Umayyads in these debates was their leader (i.e., Mu'awiya) though he had material forces that obeyed his orders. He was displeased to see his brothers and cousins defeated at the end of every debate.

So Mu'awiya said to the Umayyads at that time: "I have already informed you (of the knowledge of al-Hasan). However, you refused (that) till you heard what made your house dark and spoiled your meeting."

Also he said to them: "I have previously told you that he (i.e., al Hasan) is among those whose opposition is unbearable."

Also he said to Marwan b. al-Hakam: "I had prevented you from (debating with) this man (i.e., al-Hasan), but you refused that. Stop debating with him, for your father was unlike his father, nor are you like him. You are the son of the expelled homeless one, while he is the (grand) son of the holy Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. However, you are looking for a knife to kill yourself"

Mu'awiya Scolded and provoked `Amr b. al-`As. "His (i.e., al Hasan's) father stabbed you (with his sword), so you protected yourself with your testicles. For this reason, you are cautious of him (al-Hasan)."

At another meeting, Mu'awiya said to `Amr b. al-`As: "Do not match with the seas, for they flood you. Do not match with the mountains, for they bewilder you. So take a rest from the excuse."

Ibn al-Zubayr, who was among Mu'awiya's companions at that time, repented of his debate with al-Hasan, peace be on him. He apologized to him for that and said: "Abu Muhammad (i.e., al-Hasan), excuse me. No one forced me to debate with you but this (i.e., Mu'awiya). He wanted to excite enmity between us. So why haven't you refrained from me when I have no knowledge? That is because you are the members of the house whose nature is clemency and forgiveness."

It was difficult for Mu'awiya to hear `Amr b. al-`As apologizing to al-Hasan and declaring his defeat. So he said to him: "Indeed, he (i.e., al-Hasan) has given vent to the anxieties of my heart upon you when he has caused your killing. So you have become like the partridge in the claws of the falcon. He plays with you however he wishes. So I do not think that you will pride yourself on anybody after that."

B. al-`As, Marwan, and b. Sumayya debated with al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on him. At the end of the debate Mu'awiya said: "Amru spoke but he recoiled." Then Mu'awiya turned to Ziyad and said: "What made you debate with him (i.e., al-Hasan)? You were nothing but like the partridge in the claws of the falcon." So `Amr said (to Mu 'awiya):"Have you intended to (obtain anything) through us?" Mu'awiya said: "Therefore, I would be your partner in ignorance. Do I vie in glory with the man whose grandfather was the Apostle of Allah, who is the Lord of those who died and those who are still alive, and whose mother was Fatima, the chaste, and the mistress of the women of the worlds?" Then Mu'awiya said to `Amru: "By Allah, if the Syrians heard about him (al Hasan), then evil shame would hit me." So `Amr said: "He (i.e., al-Hasan) has retained you, but he ground Marwan and Ziyad as the quern grinds corn. He has trodden on them with his own foot as the expert monkey dealer does."

Then Ziyad said: "By Allah, he (i.e., al-Hasan) has done that. However, Mu'awiya refused (everything) but exciting enmity between them and us."

In this way b. al-Zubayr and Ziyad bore witness against Mu'awiya. They showed that the latter urged them to debate with al Hasan. Also (many people) bore witness to the answers of al-Hasan, peace be on him, to them. They said: "`Abd Allah b. `Abbas was alone with al-Hasan. So he kissed him between his two eyes and said: `Cousin, may I be your ransom, your sea (i.e., knowledge) was still abundant when you were attacking or debating with (them) till you vented my worries upon the sons (of Umayyad)."9

The texts of these debates have rhetorical forms and literary values. They are worthy of reviewing as an original Arabic heritage. They themselves indicate the correctness of their attribution to their owners. Moreover, their styles and forms give us a clear idea about the literature of debates during that time. However, we will not mention them here, for they are full of abuses through which the fabrication makers from the Umayyads obtained their purposes. However, they insulted themselves more than they insulted their enemy. Thus they were evildoers.

As we have already said that we will not mention these debates here. However, we will not neglect them concerning the matter of the patience of al-Hasan peace be on him. That is because many abuses resulted from them towards him. Still he resisted them patiently. Meanwhile he resisted the methods which Mu'awiya used against him and his followers (Shi'a). Namely, Mu'awiya substituted them for the battlefields as war of nerves.

Note that we will discuss aspects of Mu'awiya's cold war in the chapters that follow.

3. His sacrifice: al-Hasan made a unique sacrifice to show his doctrine. That was when he abdicated his right to authority.

To sacrifice the throne indicates that the owner of the throne denies himself more than he sacrifices himself. So self-denial for the doctrine was the clearest trait of al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on him, and the most wonderful means of his during his continuous jihad.

Thus self-denial is more painful than self-sacrifice.

In the past, cleaving to the throne had more effect on those who were eager for authority than cleaving to the self and the doctrine. So many people sacrificed their lives for their throne, while very few people sacrificed their throne for their lives.

In history there are many ugly pictures of those kings who sacrificed their lives for their thrones, while they were not ready to sacrifice their thrones for their lives. From here we can conclude the difference between spiritual values and material ones. In other words, no king throughout history was read to abdicate the throne, but al Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on him.

Therefore, al-Hasan abdicated the throne, and sacrificed all his worldly pleasures for his doctrine. So there is no doubt about the intention of al-Hasan, his loyalty, his purpose for the interest of Muslims, and his great sacrifice for Allah. Besides his year was called the Year of Unity. This denotes that all the people in that year were in agreement on putting his ideas into effect.

This is the sign of his high prestige in the hearts of the Muslims and of his spiritual authority though he abdicated the throne.

Because of this sacrifice, some great figures from al-Hasan's followers (Shi'a) blamed him for refraining from waging armed war (against Mu'awiya). However, no one of those who blamed him had doubt about the correctness of what the Imam did. For they knew that he carried out his religious obligations such as reforming the community, preventing their blood from shedding, and achieving their purposes.

In the chapter that follows, you will know that those who blamed al-Hasan for his attitude did not treat him with justice, and that the solution al-Hasan concluded to solve his last problems was the only solution that suited his critical condition.

Of the two sacrifices al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on them, chose the more painful one in the self, the more effective one in the religion, the rarer one in history, and the more valuable one in the custom of the people. Thus he was not liable to doubts, criticism, and accusation. Of course, al-Hasan was far above doubts, criticism, and accusation, for he chose the severest attitude of all attitudes for himself, and the most useful one of them for other than him to please his Lord. Moreover, he was the divine person whom the people recognized. He was, according to the verses of the Book, free from all doubts, errors, and accusations.

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, did not take the life in this world into consideration. So he did not wish for it. Rather he waited for the reward from his Lord. He was eager to meet Him, and to obtain his laudable position near his parents and his grandfather, and his dignity through which they will ask Allah, the Great and Almighty, to make him nearer to Him.

Moreover, al-Hasan was not cowardly to fear death. Namely, he was not afraid of death when he abdicated his right to authority. I (i.e., the author) wonder: How did cowardice come to al-Hasan? Was his father not the lion of Allah and of His Apostle? Was his grandfather not the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family? Was Shaykh al-Battaha' not his grandfather? Were Hamza and Ja'far, who are the two lords of martyrs, not his two great paternal uncles? Was his brother not the father of martyrs? Did he not have famous attitudes in various fields such as the day of the House (al-Dar), the day of Basrah, and the day of Mazlam Sabat? Was he not the one about whom Mu'awiya said: "If he walked, death walked wherever he walked?" Doesn't this witness of his enemies indicate his bravery?

Indeed al-Hasan sacrificed his right to authority when he abdicated the throne. This sacrifice is among the most wonderful signs of bravery if the people know.

Therefore al-Hasan was not desirous of death nor was he afraid?

There was nothing in the criteria of al-Hasan but his doctrines. He thought that there was nothing like them. So he sacrificed his right to authority to protect them (his doctrines) from the hostile people who were afraid of neither sooner shame nor later fire. He followed this plan to be far above the life in this world. He refused any kind of change, deviation, and inclination. He was the victorious person in the core of desertion, the conqueror in the core of defeat, and the winner in the core of the collapse.

Al-Hasan was pleased to lead a painful life. Also he was pleased to do good for others in all circumstances without any exploitation, preference, and monopoly. This is what only the notable reformers can achieve in history, and what Muslim educators look for to reform people and make them adopt authentic principles.

Many people served their doctrines through enduring disasters. However, no one of them was like al-Hasan, for disasters accompanied him till the last moment of his life.

Accordingly, al-Hasan, peace be on him, was the ideal Imam who occupied an important position through his idealism, and great reformer who sacrificed his right to authority to protect the doctrine.

Besides, he led the following steps through refraining from world pleasures during his life in this world, his patience throughout his life, and sacrificing his right to authority. These outstanding merits themselves were jihad in the way of Allah. For he has immortalized his doctrines through them.

  • 1. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al--Anwar, vol. 10, p. 101.
  • 2. Al-Ya'qubi, Ta'rikh, vol. 2, p. 202. Ibn Kathir, vol. 8, p. 39
  • 3. Ibn `Abd Rabbih, al-`Iqd al-Farid, vol. 2, p. 323.
  • 4. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 116.
  • 5. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Baligha, vol. 2, p. 101.
  • 6. Ibid. vol. 4, p. 73.
  • 7. Ibid. vol. 4, pp. S and 18.
  • 8. Al-Bayhaqi, al-Mahasin wa al-Masawi', vol. 1, p. 62.
  • 9. Al-Bayhaqi, al-Mahasin wa al-Masawi', vol. 1, pp. 59- 64.
    Ibn `Abd Rabbih, al-`Iqd al-Farid, vol. 2, p. 323. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al Anwar, vol. 10, p. 116.
    Concerning these debates, see the book `Nahj al-Balagha' by the author.

Secret of The Attitude

Up till now, we have brought nothing to quench our thirst or to serve as a proof for understanding the reason why al-Hasan, peace be on him, turned away from martyrdom and accepted making peace practically. The most important point in the matter of al-Hasan arose from the day when he made peace with Mu'awiya. For people have criticized him since then.

The subject which we have mentioned within this study is the worthiest of all subjects in taking care, discussing, and probing. That is because it is of great importance and because it is the secret of the attitude which no one has unveiled for more than thirteen centuries.

To be more accurate in understanding the reasons for the purpose which we want to conclude through this study, we will first of all start with mentioning the declarations of the most famous historians on the subject, and then we will consider carefully the condition when al Hasan made peace (with Mu'awiya) and the conclusions of this study.

1. In his book `Ta'rikh', al-Ya'qubi said: "Mu'awiya sent (some men) to the army of al-Hasan to rumor that Qays b. Sa'd had made peace with Mu'awiya and joined him. Also he (i.e., Mu'awiya) sent (some men) to the army of Qays, after the desertion of `Ubayd Allah b. `Abbas and those who were with him, to rumor that al-Hasan had made peace with Mu'awiya and answered him. Then Mu'awiya sent to al-Hasan al-Mughira b. Shu'ba, `Abd Allah b. Kurayz, and `Abd al Rahman b. Umm al-Hakam. They came to al-Hasan, who stopped at his great tent, in al-Mada'in. Then they left him speaking loudly to make the people hear: `Indeed Allah has prevented bloodshed through the (grand) son of the Apostle of Allah.
For al-Hasan has calmed the discord and accepted making peace (with Mu'awiya).' So they (the people) attacked al-Hasan, and plundered his great tent. So al-Hasan mounted his own horse and went to Mazlam Sabat. Al-Jarrah b. Sinan al-Asadi had ambushed him, stabbed him in the thigh, seized his beard and twisted it, and took him by the neck. Al-Hasan was carried (on a stretcher) to al-Mada'in. He bled very much, and his illness became intense. So the people deserted him. Then Mu'awiya came to Iraq and controlled the authority. Al-Hasan had no strength, and his companions had deserted him and had not stood alongside him. He knew of that, so made peace with Mu'awiya."

2. Al-Tabari said: "The people pledged allegiance to al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on him. Then he went out with the people till he stopped at al-Mada'in. He sent Qays b. Sa'd to lead his vanguard (so and- so) that was composed of twelve thousand fighters. (In the meantime) Mu'awiya and the Syrians moved till they stopped at Maskan. While al-Hasan had been at al-Mada'in, a caller called in the army: `Qays b. Sa'd has been killed, so desert (al-Hasan).'

So they deserted him, and plundered his tent to the extent that they plundered even his prayer mat from under him. Then al-Hasan went out till he stopped at the white compartment at Maskan. The uncle of al Mukhtar b. Abu `Ubayd was governor over al-Mada'in. His name was Sa'd b. Mas'ud. So al-Mukhtar, who was a young man, said to him: `Have you anything of riches and honor?' He (i.e., Sa'd b. Mas'ud) said: `What is that?' He (i.e., al-Mukhtar) said: `Bind al Hasan's legs together and ask Mu'awiya for safety through this act.'

So Sa'd said to him: `May Allah's curse be on you! Do you want me to attack the son of the daughter of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, and to bind his legs together? How a bad man you are!' So when al-Hasan knew that the people deserted him, he-sent (a man) to Mu'awiya and asked him to make peace with him. Thus Mu'awiya sent to him `Abd Allah b. `Amir, and `Abd al-Rahman b. Samra b. Habib b. 'Abd Shams. So they came to al-Hasan at al Mada'in, then they gave him what he wanted and made peace with him."

3. In his book `al-Kamil', Ibn al-Athir said: "When al-Hasan stopped at al-Mada'in, a caller called in the army: `Qays b. Sa'd has been killed, so desert.' Then they attacked al-Hasan's tent and plundered his provisions."

Also Ibn al-Athir has mentioned the previous text of al-Tabari, then he said: "It was said that al-Hasan handed over the authority. That is because Mu'awiya exchanged letters with him to hand over the authority. Then al-Hasan addressed the people. He praised Allah, lauded Him, and said: `By Allah, neither doubt nor regret prevents us from the Syrians. Rather we fought against them with safety and patience. However, safety was mixed with enmity, and patience with impatience. Your religion was before your life in this world during your advancing against (them at the Battle of) Siffin.

However, today your life in this world has become before your religion. Indeed you have become between two killed (persons)- one was killed at (the Battle) of Siffin and you weep over him, and the other was killed at (the Battle) of al-Nahrwan and you avenge his blood. As for the rest, they are betrayers, and as for the weeper is a rebel.

Indeed Mu'awiya has summoned us to a matter in which there is neither dignity nor justice. So if you want death, we will answer in kind and judge him for Allah with our swords. If you want life, we will accept him and take contentment for you.' So the people called al-Hasan from all directions: `The rest! The rest! Make peace!'"

4. In his book `Sharh Nahj al-Balagha', b. Abu al-Hadid said: "On the authority of al-Mada'in, who said: `Then al-Hasan sent `Abd Allah b. `Abbas and Qays b. Sa'd b. `Abbdda to head a vanguard of twelve thousand (fighters) to advance against Sham (Syria). Then he went out to head for al-Mada'in. However, he was stabbed at Sabat and his provisions were plundered. Then he entered al-Madain. Mu'awiya heard of that news, so he propagated it.

The companions whom al-Hasan sent with `Abd Allah began joining Mu'awiya's camp. They were from the prominent figures and the members of the houses. So `Abd Allah b. al-`Abbas wrote to al-Hasan concerning that.

For this reason al-Hasan addressed the people and scolded them and said: `You had disobeyed my father, so he accepted the arbitration while he was reluctant (to do that). Then he summoned you to fight against the Syrians after the arbitration, but you refused that till he passed away. Then you pledged allegiance to me to make peace with him who makes peace with me and to fight him who fights against me. I have heard that the people of honor went to Mu'awiya and pledged allegiance to him. It is enough for me when you do not desert me and my religion.

Al-Hasan sent to Mu'awiya `Abd Allah (b. al-Harith b. Noufal b. al-Harith b. `Abd al-Muttalib. His mother was Hind bint (the daughter) of Abu Sufyan b. Harb) to ask him to make peace. Al-Hasan stipulated that Mu'awiya should act according to the Book of Allah and the Sunna (practices) of His Apostle, and that he should not pledge allegiance to anyone after him.

5. In his book `al-Irshad', al-Mufid said: "A group of the tribal leaders wrote secretly to Mu'awiya offering to accept his authority (i.e., to listen and obey). They urged him to come to them and they guaranteed to hand over al-Hasan when they got to his camp, or to kill him treacherously.

"Al-Hasan learned of that when a letter came to him from Qays b. Sa'd. He had sent Qays with `Ubayd Allah b. `Abbas (to go on ahead) when he had set out from Kufa to meet Mu'awiya and to drive him out of Iraq, and make himself a commander of a unified people (lama `a). He had said to `Ubayd Allah: `If you are struck down, then the commander will be Qays b. Sa'd.'

"Qays b. Sa`d's letter arrived informing al-Hasan that they had stopped Mu'awiya at a village called al-Jinubiya opposite Maskan. Then Mu'awiya 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) Mu'awiya's camp. In the morning the people found their leader missing. Qays b. Sa'd 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 proper. There remained no one to protect him from his unfortunate predicament except the close associates from his father’s Shi'a and his own Shi'a, and they were a group that could not resist the Syrian soldiers.

"Mu'awiya wrote to al-Hasan about a truce and peace treaty. He also sent him 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 fulfillment everybody's interests would be served. Al-Hasan 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."

I (the author) say: In most historical encyclopedias, you do not find a study written in detail on the matter of al-Hasan, peace be on him. In this respect, all writers do not resemble each other and sometimes they oppose each other in presenting the historical facts. Besides their studies are incomplete and their expressions are brief.

As you have seen (in the above- mentioned texts) that one of the historian thinks that al-Hasan asked Mu'awiya for making peace, while the other thinks that it was Mu`awiya who asked al-Hasan for making peace. Some historians think that al-Hasan asked Mu'awiya for making peace because of the discords that happened at both the camps, namely at Maskan and al-Mada'in. Then they differ over the kind of the discord.

Some of them think that al-Hasan agreed on making peace with Mu'awiya because the people deserted him when he was stabbed and became ill. Some of them think that al-Hasan made peace with Mu'awiya because the people were tired of fighting alongside him. That was al-Hasan's oration when the people said: "the rest! the rest!," and when they said openly: "Make peace (with Mu'awiya)!" Some of them think that al-Hasan made peace with Mu'awiya because the commander (i.e., `Ubayd Allah b. `Abbas) deserted him and his companions betrayed him and some of his companions declared that it was lawful to shed his blood and the rest of his companions were not enough to wage war against Mu'awiya.

Moreover, the historians still differ over the commander's name. Some of them have called him `Abd Allah b. `Abbas; some of them called him Qays b. Sa'd b. `Ubbada; some of them called him `Ubayd Allah b. al-`Abbas, and so on.

How painful this historical matter is! Indeed it is harmful, especially when the historians study it at random.

The other historians have studied this matter as they studied the marginal matters in history, paying no attention to that short period of time that was full of great events, namely the period of time when al Hasan's general Islamic succession to authority occurred, the separation between the spiritual authority and the temporal authority happened, the caliphate turned into kingdom, and the tribal enmities in Islam started.

The historians who wrote briefly or in detail about the matter of al Hasan discussed only the critical conditions that forced him to make peace with Mu'awiya. In other words they adopted different attitudes towards such a sensitive matter: some of them yielded to government, kept silent, and showed no idea; some of them regarded al-Hasan's matter as right, justified it, increased proofs for it, and numbered the excuses; others criticized him in an ignorant way, were unaware of the secret of the attitude so that they began disclosing their own psychological traits such as impudent fanaticism, bad discrimination, and the like.

If the friends and the enemies consider carefully the critical historical situations from which al-Hasan, peace be on him, suffered, they will refrain from censuring him for turning away from martyrdom that was, without doubt, the best and most appropriate end for the immortal Imam.

At this they will be able to know the reason why the Imam preferred making peace with Mu'awiya to martyrdom. In the meantime they will be in no need of any effort to count the disasters or to study the critical situations. However, these people insist that it was inappropriate for al-Hasan to make peace with Mu'awiya, for the condition was appropriate for al-Hasan to die a martyr as his brother al Husayn did. In other words the hardships from which al-Hasan suffered were similar to those from which al-Husayn suffered. However, al-Husayn passed them through martyrdom. So such a kind of martyrdom is a proof for his immortality in the history of the people who revolt against oppression.

Therefore, why did al-Hasan not follow the way of al-Husayn?

Was he cowardly? I (the author) ask Allah's forgiveness, for al Husayn's heart was not braver than al-Hasan's, nor was his sword sharper than his, nor was he more liable to persecutions than him. Al Hasan and al-Husayn were two brothers in all their great qualities: in good manners, religion, sacrificing for the religion, bravery in battlefields; moreover they were the two sons of the bravest of all Arabs. So I (i.e., the author) wonder: where is the place of cowardice in al Hasan?

Was al-Hasan desirous of the life in this world? Far be it from the spiritual Imam who has perfumed history. It was impossible for him to prefer the life in this world to what Allah has bestowed on him such as dignity and great position in the gardens. He had great spirits, for jihad and sacrifices grew on him. Thus he was ready to abdicate the throne and to renounce all worldly pleasures.

Was he satisfied with Mu'awiya to be the leader of Islam when he made peace with him and yielded to him? Certainly not! Al-Hasan was not satisfied with Mu'awiya. Many historians have reported his words concerning Mu'awiya. He regarded him as an aggressor. He had no doubt about his aggression. He described him as an unbeliever. Thus he said to the Muslims that it was incumbent on them to fight against him.

These are some of al-Hasan's words to Mu'awiya: "Leave aggression and prevent the blood of the Muslim from shedding. By Allah, you have shed a lot of their Blood. Fear Allah, for you will meet him.1

One of his companions blamed him for making peace with Mu'awiya, so he said: "By Allah, if I had supporters, I would fight against Mu'awiya day and night."2

In his historical speech at al-Mada'in, al-Hasan said: "By Allah, neither doubt nor regret prevent us from (fighting against) the Syrians."

As we have previously mentioned, al-Hasan said to Abu Said: "The reason that made me make peace with Mu'awiya was the same reason that made the Apostle of Allah made peace with the banu (sons of) Damra, the banu of Ashja`, and the Meccans when he left al Hudaybiya. Those were unbelievers according to the Holy Qur'an, while Mu'awiya and his companions are unbelievers according to the interpretation."

Therefore al-Hasan made peace with Mu'awiya, but he was not satisfied with him. He did not fight against him, but he was not afraid of him. Moreover, he turned away from martyrdom, but he was not desirous of the life in this world. Rather he made peace with Mu'awiya because there was no choice other than making peace during his time. In this way al-Hasan is distinguished from al Husayn. That is because al-Husayn had two choices during his time: either making peace or martyrdom. So the best of all the people (i.e., al-Husayn) hurried to choose the better of the two ways. As for al Hasan, he was prevented from obtaining martyrdom so that he had only one possible way which he had to follow.

I (i.e., the author) say that and I am sure of what I say.

Maybe it seems strange when I say: al-Hasan was prevented from obtaining martyrdom. That is because someone may ask: "Wasn't al Hasan the believer who abdicated his right to authority? Didn't he leave for Allah what was in the world for the world? Didn't he sell his life for Allah's reward? So why did he avoid facing the swords and the spears to be a martyr? Isn't this the Immortal martyr? Moreover, why was such a mujahid (holy fighter) prevented from martyrdom while he had a long history in jihad (holy war)? So why didn't he hurry to martyrdom? Why haven't we heard that he tried to obtain martyrdom through fighting against the enemy on the day when he had no escape from that? If he had done that, wouldn't all his loyal Shi'a have defied death for him? Were they not waiting for his final word to wage war against his enemies?"

Yes, this was the beginning of the problem that distinguished al Hasan from the other members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. From here this historical problem has become a matter of doubt. Much nonsense has been said about it. Such kind of nonsense has complicated the matter very much and made the people unable to understand it.

Then it is natural for those who depend on nonsense in their life to misunderstand the series of the events. Thus they improvise rules. Through these rules they study the policy of al-Hasan to show weak points in it and to criticize it paying no intention to the historical facts.

Now, which idea is correct-the idea of al-Hasan or that of the critics?

Al-Hasan was a great leader. No one can doubt his leadership. Besides no one can criticize him easily.

Now, we will solve the problem. However, it is better for us to mention three facts before we solve it. These facts are as follows:

The first fact is about the meaning of martyrdom.

The second fact is about al-Hasan's critical situation at al Mada' in.

The third fact is about Mu'awiya's plan towards the aims of al Hasan, peace be on him.

1. Martyrdom for Allah

In its meaning that makes life, martyrdom means sacrificing the life to enliven a good deed or to cause an evil deed to die.

The sacrifice that is not for Allah is not an act of martyrdom, nor is the sacrifice that not for enjoining good deeds and forbidding evil deeds.

If an unbeliever killed a Muslim in the field of jihad, the Muslim would be a martyr.

If an oppressive person killed a Muslim in the field of defense, the Muslim would be a martyr.

However, if a Muslim killed a Muslim during a personal dispute or killed him to support a certain religious doctrine, there would be neither martyrdom nor dignity. That is because the dignity on which mankind have agreed throughout history is the wage of the martyr, for he sacrifices his life for the public interest. So neither personal sacrifices nor anti-interest sacrifices are acts of martyrdom.

The leader is sometimes killed by his followers or by those who have right to authority. Thus his blood is in vain, namely he is not a martyr in the full sense of the word. That is because the majority in every society is the source of the powers of every person who assumes their affairs in their name. This was the rule on which the team powers in Islam were based. According to this rule, the early Muslim said to `Umar b. al-Khattab: "If you deviate (from the truth), we will straighten you with our swords."

Again, if the leader is killed, then his blood is in vain, and he is not a martyr in the full sense of the word, for the friendly followers who gather together to shed this blood are worthier of authority than him. In other words they revolt against him to take their legal right to authority. Their strong proof for that is their cooperation. In this respect al-Qaffal al-Shafi'i said: "Indeed the community that appoints (a person) as a ruler is responsible for punishing him."

For example, `Uthman, who was the third Caliph and historical figure who shook the earth with his fearful authority, was killed by the armed revolutionaries from the owners of the right to authority. So neither history nor his friends in history are able to regard him as a martyr in the full sense of the word.

Waqqas was the servant of Abu Dharr al-Ghifari. He was a poor black slave. He had no important role in life. However, he has forced history to hallow him, for he was killed in the way of Allah, so he has become a martyr in the full sense of the word.

Therefore the conditions of martyrdom and the necessities of its dignity do not concern only the great figure. Meanwhile not only the great figure is regarded as a martyr when he is killed in the way of Allah.

Now, let us leave this preface to move to the second subject, then we will take our need from it when necessary.

2. A Diminished Picture on the Irregular Situation at al-Mada' in

From the foregoing study, repetition is necessary for the research, we have known that the best soldiers of al-Hasan joined the vanguard that went to Maskan before him. However, his soldiers at al-Mada'in were the weakest of all soldiers in morale and the nearest of them to desertion, restlessness, and division.

We have also known that al-Hasan had been surprised by three initiatives before he received any help from his other camps. These three initiatives, that were as warners against the disaster, are as follows:

A. The news of the wide-range treason at Maskan.

B. The provocative rumor that urged the people to desert (the camp) through telling them that Qays b. Sa'd, who was the second commander of the army of Maskan, had been killed.

C. The discord created by the Syrian delegation that came to show the Imam the letters of the traitorous Kufans, and then the delegation went out saying that al-Hasan had accepted making peace with Mu'awiya.

As we have mentioned in chapter 8, in this army were the men of discords, the men of the wish for booty, the Kharijites, and the like. They had no means more useful than these discords which they stirred up among al-Hasan's army through the above-mentioned three sorrowful initiatives.

Moreover, al-Hasan summoned the people, addressed them, asked them for good intention and patience, reminded them of their laudable days (i.e., battles) at Siffin, and blamed them for those discords. Among the most wonderful things which al-Hasan achieved through his speech was that he was able to bring the people gradually to confess openly that they recoiled from waging war against Mu'awiya. That occurred when al-Hasan wanted to ask them for advice concerning what Mu'awiya had written to him, so, at the end of his speech, he said: "Indeed Mu'awiya has summoned us to a matter in which there is neither dignity nor justice. If you wanted death, we would refuse it and judge him with our swords before Allah. If you wanted life, we would accept it from him and take contentment for you." So the people called him from all directions: "The rest! The rest! Carry out peace making!"3

I (i.e., the author): In the history of the matter of al-Hasan, peace be on him, there are two reports. They have been mentioned to the extent that they have become among the axioms of this history. They are: the narration of the people who requested the rest and carrying out peace making, and the narration of the people who rose in al-Mada'in protesting against making peace and insisting on waging war against Mu'awiya. So I wish I knew which of the two ideas was the aim of these people?

Aren't these two ideas the signs of the division which we have already mentioned? Rather they indicate the chaos that hindered the battle field, and they indicate that those who called the Imam from all directions to make peace with Mu'awiya were themselves who asked the Imam to wage war against him.

So chaos, summons to jihad, and making friends with the Imam do not come together.

These were among the aspects of the camp of al-Mada'in, and among the qualities of the mixed groups of people who had controlled it.

Some soldiers revolted against al-Hasan. They accused him of unbelief. This indicates that they belonged to the Kharijites. For the Kharijites accused the Muslims or the Imams of unbelief when they became angry with them. Besides they used such an accusation as a pretext to cover the great crime which one of them committed when he stabbed al-Hasan in the thigh.

Some soldiers plundered al-Hasan's tent to the extent that they plundered his cloak and his prayer mat. This indicates that they belonged to the men of the wish for booty.

The discords in al-Hasan's army indicate that there were discord makers. They were in this army when it was in Kufa and when it moved to the two camps to wage holy jihad against Mu'awiya.

In this manner the discord quickly spread through the army in al Mada'in. So even the well- organized loyal companions to al-Hasan were unable to control it. Thus the majority prevented the minority from carrying out its duties. This army lacked tranquility which was important to achieve steadfastness.

Meanwhile it had no aims but foolish ones. So this army was not able to fight against Mu'awiya. However, it wanted to fight against its Imam, al-Hasan. It did not take war booty from their enemy, but it wanted to take booty from its friends through plundering their possessions. It was not able to join Mu'awiya's camp, as its friends in the second camp did, it wrote to him to come to it.

This is what history has kept for this group of the people. As for what historians have forgotten or tried to forget or they have been prevented from mentioning it, no one knows it but Allah, the Great and Almighty.

I (i.e., the author) wonder: If Mu'awiya with all his cleverness and generosity faced the situation and the army of al-Hasan, would he pass his critical situation in a manner better than that al-Hasan used to protect his doctrines, his plans, and his future?

To increase looking for the reasons that prevented al-Hasan from obtaining holy martyrdom, we will inform the gentle reader of the third stage of this round with sad steps.

3. Mu'awiya's Plan towards the Aims of al-Hasan, peace be on him

When `Uthman died, the title `the governor' (al-wali) with which Mu'awiya was called died, too. We do not know which title he had used to call himself after that, nor do we know the kind of his responsibility according to the Islamic Law. However, we have known that the two legal caliphs (i.e., 'Ali and his son al-Hasan), peace be on them, did not appoint him as a governor, so he was not a governor. Also we have known that the Islamic Law does not permit two caliphs at one time, so he was not a caliph.

Therefore what was Mu'awiya after `Uthman?

We do not know.

Yes, he drew the weapon at the faces of these two caliphs (i.e., 'Ali and his son al-Hasan) from the day when he was removed from the authority of Sham (Syria). We have seen that the Islamic Law gives a title to him who behaved as Mu'awiya did. We think that Mu'awiya was satisfied with the title that is al-baghi (i.e., the oppressive one).

I (i.e., the author) wonder: Did Mu'awiya choose a title for himself other than the leader of al-bughat (i.e., the oppressive ones)?

I think that Mu'awiya, because of his future ambition, was not annoyed when he took the reins of authority while his title was unknown, nor was worried when he was called al-baghi according to the Islamic Law. That is because he was insisting on taking the greatest titles by force regardless of the Islamic Law. So after that, Sa`d b. Abu Waqqas called him king. Muslim b. `Aqaba 4, al-Mughira b. Shu'ba5, and `Amr b. al `As6 called him Amir al-mu'minin (the Commander of the faithful). He was the happiest one in this world, "who obtained all things which the people did not obtain in this world," as he said concerning himself.

When 'Amrru b. al-`As, Muslim b. 'Aqaba, and al-Mughira b. Shu'ba had appointed him as a caliph and Commander of the faithful, Mu'awiya was indifferent to the Islamic Law whether it permitted him to use such titles or not. That is because the Islamic Law does not permit anyone to take the religious titles by force, nor does it allow anyone to use the title `caliph' but when the person is similar to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. Besides the Islamic Law deprives the person of using this title when there is between him and the Prophet like that which is between two religions.

We do not know exactly to what extent these titles cost Mu'awiya in his religion when he ascribed them to himself and to his son Yazid by force, and when he did not introduce his son to the Muslims.

Also we do not know to what extent Mu'awiya took care of himself towards Allah concerning what he had to take care of.

However, in the light of his many disputes, we have known that he did not guard against himself. Also we have known that the ambitious selfishness had controlled his heart so that he forgot his attitude standing windward, and based on the spider web on the day when all titles deserted him.

Also we have known that unruly tribalism prevented Mu'awiya, the tyrant, from thinking so that it made him think that had a justification for refusing the clear conditions of Islam concerning the caliph. That is because `Amr b. al-`As pledged allegiance to him, and alMughira b. Shu'ba nominated his son Yazid to be the successor after him to lead the believers. Wasn't this pledge of allegiance to Mu'awiya and this nomination to his son Yazid resulting from the cheap bargaining for the authorities of Egypt and Kufa as it is historically known?

No wonder! It was natural for Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan to be as he had been before. That is because he was an original Umayyad or an Umayyad associate, but he spared no effort to be original Umayyad. 7

The Umayyads and the Hashimites had their own history that made them ascended till they met and descended with them whenever the time descended.

It was natural for the persons who were used to the tribal backgrounds before and after Islam, who accepted Islam unwillingly on the Day of the Conquest (of Mecca), and who did not understand Islam as it is, to keep on their inherited spites and the old heritage with deep injuries.

After the Conquest (of Mecca) and during the time of the Prophet, Mu'awiya was a bare-footed freed prisoner of war, as he described himself. Then the Umayyads became eager to renew their position in society. That is because an Umayyad member was nominated take to part in the consultative Committee (which `Umar b. al-Khattab appointed to elect a new caliph).

This step helped `Uthman's cousin (i.e., Mu'awiya) to be the fearful powerful governor of Sham (Syria). So he began to gather helpers and supporters and to please the followers, the soldiers, and the advisers. Then he built palaces, used curtains for them, and ordered the soldiers to stop at their doors. In the meantime his wealth was enough to tempt the men of greediness, the men who sold their conscience, and the men who licked the bowl.

As Mu'awiya was a deserted subject and was unable to avenge himself and his tribe on the people who overcame him and his tribe, it was natural for him, when he took the reins of authority, to punish those people severely and to avenge himself and his tribe on their children, their brothers, their companions, their doctrines and their aims. So it was expected that Mu'awiya would make armed raids on 'Ali and al-Hasan, peace be on them, at the first opportunity, and to wage cold war against them. Noteworthy this cold war of-his was the longest of all wars, and most harmful of them towards Islam.

From the numerous diplomatic acts which Mu'awiya did during his long time, we can conclude that he had decided to make a wide- range campaign to destroy the Alid doctrines or to destroy the true Islam which 'Ali and his pure sons represented.

It seems that Mu'awiya wanted to achieve four aims through this campaign of his. They are as follows:

1. To paralyze the Shi'ites, to destroy gradually all those who adopted Shiism, and to divide their unity.

2. To create discords in the areas that followed the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, so that he (Mu'awiya) would be able to severely punish those innocent people under the pretext of causing riot.

3. To isolate the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, from the Muslim world, to force the people to forget them, to prevent them by all means (possible) from having any influence, and then to destroy them through assassinations.

4. To strengthen war of nerves.

In this respect, Mu'awiya had oppressive deeds. Thus Allah, the Great and Almighty, will expose him for a long time as he has exposed him throughout history. The research will force us to give some examples of them when we talk about the stipulations of the Peace Treaty, which Mu'awiya broke.

The most prominent way Mu'awiya used to show his enmity towards 'Ali and his sons was that he forced the people in his kingdom to curse them. This means that he forced the people to forget their right to the authority, to renounce them, and to leave any tradition concerning their outstanding qualities. Through this act, Mu'awiya was the first to curse the Companions of the Prophet. So he was able to make the people obey him through this abominable heresy.

Worth mentioning that the people were quickly affected by the powerful propagation, especially when they were accompanied by money and high ranks.

We do not know why the people were satisfied with Mu'awiya when he cursed 'Ali, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn, peace be on them. In the meantime we do not know why they harbored malice against the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt) peace be on them, when Mu'awiya provoked them.

Perhaps Mu'awiya was able to convince the people of that it was 'Ali and his sons who waged war against the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, when he summoned the people to believe in Islam, and that it was they who made unlawful what Allah had made lawful and made lawful what Allah had made unlawful, and that it was they who added the illegal child to the lineage, and that it was they who broke the covenants, violated the oath, killed great Muslim figures, buried the innocent alive, and performed Friday prayer on Wednesday.8

Perhaps Mu'awiya fed the people but he did not satisfy them, and maybe he terrified them without giving them food. So he assumed "power through them when they obeyed him and made cursing 'Ali a sunny (practice) on which the young one grew up and the old one died.9 It seems probable that it was Mu'awiya who called this heresy Sunna (practice). Then those who were deceived by his policy called it Sunna.

In this way the people after Mu'awiya went on adopting his heresy, namely cursing 'Ali, till `Umar b. `Abd al-`Aziz came to power and abolished it. "The orator of the mosque of Harran delivered a sermon, then he ended the sermon. However, he said nothing about cursing Abu Turab (i.e., Imam 'Ali) as usual. So the people shouted from all sides: `Woe unto you! Woe unto you! The sunna, the sunna! You have left the sunna!"10

Then the sunna of Mu'awiya became historical rule. It made the word sunna imply another idiomatic meaning which the generations handed down, and with which the early political meaning was forgotten.

When you consider carefully Mu'awiya's psychological features, you will be in no need of mentioning many examples of his evil deeds.

After this, what would have happened if Mu'awiya had been victorious at his fighting against al-Hasan and the latter had died a martyr at that fighting?

Do the back grounds of Mu'awiya indicate that he would be moderate in his victory over al-Hasan's Shi'a and the rest of the firm believers or would he destroy them all after he had killed the greatest figure in the great Prophetic family?

Surely, Mu'awiya would never refrain from doing that. Moreover, he would not abstain from destroying the doctrine that shook his entity from the day when 'Ali became a caliph, rather from the day when the Hashimites brought light to the life in this world, rather from the day when the Hashimites vied in nobility with the Umayyads so that the latter escaped to Sham (Syria).

Mu'awiya would be able to take other well- woven measures to destroy the Shi'a after the killing of al-Husayn and to trick those who were deceived by his leadership from the generation that helped him to usurp government.

Mu'awiya took measures to curse the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt) and to accuse 'Ali of killing `Uthman so that he was ready to take the third measure to destroy Shiism materially and spiritually.

Inside the high palaces of Mu`awiya in Sham (Syria) were consciences for sale and hireling pens. So it was natural for such kinds of people to fabricate traditions and ascribe them to the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. Also it was natural for them to violate the Alid doctrines, to distort them, and to disdain them to the extent that they uprooted their existence from the people.

Then they would be able, when the atmosphere was empty of the family of Muhammad (may Allah bless him and his family), to create another apostasy from Islam through their fabricated traditions so that they would destroy the true Islam and legislate another Islam that was appropriate for Mu'awiya's ambitions and far away from the inspiration of the sky.

This was what al-Hasan, peace be on him, meant when he said: "You do not know what I have done. By Allah, what I have done is better for my Shi'a than what the sun rises over."

There is nothing of what the sun rises over better than protecting the faith and immortalizing the doctrine.

Also this was what Imam Muhammad al-Baqir b. 'Ali b. al Husayn b. 'Ali b. Abu Talib, peace be on him, meant when he was asked about the Peace Treaty of al-Hasan, peace be on him, so he said: "Indeed he (i.e., al-Hasan) was more knowledgeable of what he had done. Were it not for what he had done, there would be a great affair."

Conclusions

We think that the steps for these three stages have helped the gentle reader understand our purpose in this study before we will explain it clearly. Also these gradual steps have helped him discover much of the vagueness that prepared the atmosphere for this inherited criticism.

We have already mentioned that the door to martyrdom was closed at the face of al-Hasan, peace be on him. In other words martyrdom refrained from al-Hasan, not he who refrained from it. To indicate this, we say: If al-Hasan had tried to shed his pure blood during his critical situation to resist the aggression of sixty thousand Syrian fighters and to choose martyrdom and its glorious position, he would have not achieved what he had wanted. Besides he would have been killed and his blood would have been in vain. Moreover, his friends in history would have not regarded him as a martyr in the full sense of the world.

That is because the vanguards of al-Mada'in created a sorrowful situation through their foolish chaos. The traitorous Kufans maintained an attitude when they deserted al-Hasan through their letters, which al-Hasan himself read, to Mu'awiya to kill the former or to hand him over. This forces us to think that a group of the great figures at the camp decided to take part in the greatest crime against Imam al-Hasan, peace be on him. Thus it waited for the opportunity to commit that great abominable crime.

The order at the camp of al-Mada'in was over because of fear, the discords, the news of the camp of Maskan, and the artificial chaos. Thus that group of the great figures seized the opportunity to impose a fatal blow upon al-Hasan. This was the aim of the Kharijites during their fighting against him, and was the purpose of the Umayyad party when it made an agreement with Mu'awiya. We must not forget that Mu'awiya himself had referred to that through his early letters to al-Hasan, peace be on him, to make him feel the threat of this hostile plan from the beginning. Don't these words of Mu'awiya indicate that: "Beware that your death will be done by the rabble from the people."

The attitude was very critical and the situation was very intense during the last moments at the camp of al-Mada'in. So every movement issued from Imam al-Hasan, peace be on him, whether in the way of waging war or in the way of making peace or in the way of joining the front at Maskan or in the way of coming back to Kufa, turned into dangerous disagreement, then into a wide ranging mutiny, and then into a reckless armed revolt. This was all what Mu'awiya had wanted, and for which he devoted his gold and his treasuries.

So nothing would have extinguished the fire of the discord if its firebrand had burnt but the pure blood of al-Hasan.

Unruly revolutions have their own severe rules and results. So the objectives of such revolutions are obtained through sacrificing many people regardless of their great position among the people.

Doesn't the stab of al-Hasan at Mazlam Sabat in al-Mada'in indicate what we say? Didn't those who stabbed him volunteer to kill him with will and intention? It is worth mentioning that al-Hasan went out of his tent on that day when he was stabbed to arrive at the tent of his governor over the camp of al-Mada'in. He went there to avoid the noise of the people and to be able to take measures to treat the situation when necessary.

In this connection the historians say: "Groups of his close associates and of his Shi'a surrounded him (i.e., al-Hasan) and prevented those who sought him from (reaching to) him." In another text is the following : "So they encompassed him and pushed the people away from him." I (i.e., the author) say: Why did they push the people away from him? Why did they prevent those who sought him from (reaching to) him? Doesn't this indicate that al-Hasan's life was in danger, and those who went out with him as fighters (mujahidin) to defend him became enemies after a while and began rushing towards him?

Doesn't al-Hasan's going to the tent of Sa'd b. Mas'ud indicate that he wanted to be far away from the deceived people who were getting ready to declare a revolution that would achieve nothing but atrocities? Al-Hasan saw with his own eye his fighters coming successively into his own tent to plunder what was in it even his prayer mat. He heard them abusing him and accusing him of unbelief. He understood their bad treatment towards him and towards his great position. For this reason he knew that they were unable to see him, and that his existence among them would move their evil mutiny so that he moved away from them. This movement of his was means to treat the attitude.

It is unquestionable that there was no one in all the world more eager than al-Hasan himself to win victory for his affair. There was no one more than he was in act, care, vitality, and sacrifice.

Also it is unquestionable that the idea that does not escape us did not escape al-Hasan, and that the measure that does not escape us did not escape him. Moreover, all his stages have indicated that he was the intelligent man who overcame all his problems then he chose the best solutions for them during his war and his peace, during the stages of his jihad and the treaties of his peace, in the capital of his government (i.e., Kufa), and the capital of his Imamate (i.e., al-Medina).

I (i.e., the author) wonder: Was it possible for the death during the last moments at the camp of al-Mada'in to make life or was it the death that would make death forever? This is why the great selves do not die but to enliven a sunna (practice) or to save a community.

Again I wonder, so was it possible for al-Hasan to die a martyr?

When the person who loves al-Hasan imagined those evil disasters which were imposed on him successively during his critical moments, he will be full of sorrow and sadness.

Mind may accept the events that result from a personal enmity or a tribal dispute or a theoretical disagreement such as the enmity of Mu'awiya towards al-Hasan, the quarrel of the Umayyads towards the Hashimites or the disagreement of the Kharijites towards 'Ali and his sons, peace be on them. As for the events that result from ignoble wishes, they are from the most painful things from which man suffers because of the irregularity of the people.

Do you think that it was possible for a Shi'ite person who believed in the Imamate of al-Hasan as he believed in the Prophethood of the Prophet and lived in the favor of al-Hasan as he lived in his father's favor to desert his Imam and benefactor during the most critical moments when he was in an urgent need of his loyal Shi'a?

Yes, it was the mean plot that resulted from the attitude towards al Hasan when he was in the white tent in al-Mada'in.

Now, consider carefully the corrupt manners of those persons whom al-Hasan prepared to wage war against his enemy.

The person sometimes belongs to a high-born family, but he becomes weak when the people desert him. Such a person, in spite of the weakness deep- rooted in him, feels bravery when he takes part in a certain event and when the eager people around him encourage and help him. In other words the teamwork will move him to think and act. Besides he will oppose his natural feelings and repent painfully when the event abates and the conditions change.

In this manner the critical situation in al-Mada'in discouraged the weak Shi'ite person, so he forgot his Shiism, his tribal qualities, and even his simple Arab morale that had no relationship with the religion.

So if al-Hasan was not the Imam of such persons, he was their benefactor. If he was not their benefactor, he was at least a generous wronged man.

The historians have mentioned an example to show the attitudes of some of al-Hasan's Shi'a towards him, then what do you think about the Kharijites, the Umayyads, the doubters, the Hamra', and the like?

They adopted many attitudes towards al-Hasan, but the historians have forgotten or tried to forget them.

Another Meaning

Al-Hasan referred to this meaning when he answered his Shi'a who blamed him for making peace with Mu'awiya. He (al-Hasan) said: "Through my making peace with Mu'awiya, I wanted to push death away from you."11

Many words similar to this in meaning have been reported on the authority of al-Hasan, peace be on him.

We must understand this fact in detail to be satisfied with the foregoing brief words of the Imam. We say: the actual dispute between al-Hasan and Mu'awiya was not for the throne, rather it was between their two doctrines that competed with each other for existence and immortality. Thus winning victory during this dispute means that one of the two doctrines would immortalize one of the disputing parties. Such was the war of doctrines. It did not achieve its victory through the weapon, rather through the steadfastness of the faith and the immortality of the doctrine. The doctrine may obtain immortality but under the banner that is apparently overcome.

At that time, because al-Hasan and Mu'awiya were in disagreement on the doctrines, the Muslims divided into two parties. Each party protected its own doctrine and was ready to die for it with all its power and might.

The provoking roles which Mu'awiya played under the pretext of`Uthman's blood moved the Shi'a of 'Ali and of his sons, peace be on them, in the Syrian Camp. So it was necessary for them to join their camp in Kufa and its districts without fear and pursuit.

After that, all the Shi'a of the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt) peace be on them, gathered in Kufa, Basrah, al-Madaiin, Hijaz, and the Yemen.

Besides the great Muslim figures and the rest of the muhajrin (emigrants) and the Ansar (helpers) arrived in the capital of the Imam from all Muslim countries. So during the Hashimite Caliphate, Kufa was the shelter of the Muslims and the center that preserved the heritage of the Islamic message with faithfulness, patience, and belief.

It was natural for this chosen group to respond to al-Hasan's summons to wage the final battle between the two doctrines, for they were the remaining choice in Kufa after the death of his father, peace be on him. In other words they were from his Shi'a (followers), the Shi'a of his father, and the Companions of his grandfather, may Allah bless him and his family. So they joined the army that was getting ready at al-Nukhayla to wage war against Mu'awiya.

In the entire world, there were no abilities to preserve the Islamic heritage in the right manner like the abilities which the flank of this army had when these noble groups joined it. Among them were the members of the pure families from the Hashimites.

Apart from these noble groups, the units of al-Nukhayla included the mixed bands which we have already mentioned in detail. Also we have mentioned their ambitions and the results of their acts.

To continue waging war against Mu'awiya was necessary due to the accidental condition, as we have mentioned before.

Very few days passed. Then all parts of the army at the two camps in al-Madain and Maskan became organized. At each of these two camps were groups from the top class in behavior, morale, and loyalty; in addition to these groups were other groups from the mixed classes.

The desertion of `Ubayd Allah b. `Abbas and his associates to Mu'awiya was a necessary operation for purifying the army of al-Hasan. That is because such an operation purified the Camp of Maskan, that fought against the enemy face to face, from the mixed groups that represented the corrupt organ in the army. Unfortunately, this operation of desertion was accompanied by similar desertions.

As for the Camp of al-Mada'in, it included al-Hasan and his loyal companions. However, this group was surrounded by the defeated like persons who were unable to join Mu'awiya's camp, nor were they able to carry out their obligations. So in the near future, they were the means of the historical disaster when they prevented al-Hasan from achieving his objectives during this war. That is because they prevented him from obtaining martyrdom, and spoiled all his affairs, as we have previously mentioned.

Now, let us suppose that there was one thing at the hand of al-Hasan to go on waging war against Mu'awiya or to refrain from making peace with him.

That thing was that al-Hasan had to issue his commands, while he was besieged at the Camp of al-Mada'in, to his followers at the Camp of Maskan to start the war under the leadership of the new commander, namely Qays b. Sa'd b. `Abbada al-Ansari, the great man who preferred war to peace even if Imam al-Hasan inclined to make peace (with Mu'awiya).12Though the revolt of the disobedient persons at the Camp of al-Madain prevented al-Hasan from preparing this army to fight against Mu'awiya, it did not prevent him from issuing his commands secretly or openly to his loyal followers at the Camp of Maskan to start fighting.

It is possible that many helpless persons from the loyal mujahidin (holy fighters) at the Camp of al-Mada'in were able to join the Camp of Maskan to help the fighting forces there. That would have happened if they had found that al-Hasan had been ready to accept this idea or at least to encourage it.

Also it was possible that Imam al-Hasan was able, after short patience through which he waited for the abating of the disturbances that surrounded him at the Camp of al-Madain, to hasten to the Camp of Maskan to win the final victory or to obtain glorious martyrdom in the full sense of the word in the way of Allah and history.

So why did al-Hasan incline to make peace with Mu'awiya while he was able to take such measures?

We (i.e., the author) say: Maybe al-Hasan was able to issue these commands at the Camp of al-Mada'in during the last moments, and maybe he was unable to do that.

According to these two suppositions, it is not necessary to put into effect every alternative that refers to a certain success. That is because a certain measure during a certain condition may cause critical situations in the conditions that follow. Then this is the rule which should be taken into consideration when the person wants to adopt a certain choice during every critical situation.

Also, here, has the person who suggested this measure thought about the period of time when four thousand fighters, the army of al-Hasan at the Camp of Maskan, were supposed to fight against sixty or sixty eight thousand fighters, who were the army of Mu'awiya? I (i.e., the author) ask Allah's forgiveness! Rather it was a group of the army that was supposed to fight against a group of the army that was forty-five times more than the former. (See the analysis of the numerical ratio between the two parties, namely the army of Sham (Syria) and the army of Maskan, in chapter 11.)

Has the person who has suggested this alternative thought about al Hasan's attitude when the short moments of this war were over, and when the eager ones from his supporters sacrificed their lives for him?

Indeed, without a doubt, the attitude would force al-Hasan, if he remained alive, to yield to Mu'awiya without any condition.

Without a doubt, it would be the new opportunity for which Mu'awiya was waiting to take the final steps between Kufa and Sham (Syria), namely the steps that were nothing more than the military occupation accompanied by Mu'awiya's limitless destruction and wrath against the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, and their followers (Shi'a). It was possible for such an occupation to endanger the hopes of the country, its excellent rites, and its doctrines which were built on the skulls of tens of thousands from the best martyrs who strove in the way of Allah.

I (i.e., the author) think that the person who realizes these certain results will decide that this alternative that contradicts itself is unsuccessful. The most prominent mistake in this choice is that it makes al-Hasan, who wanted to fight against enemy who tried to impose his conditions on his enemy, a defeated fighter who would surely surrender to his enemy without any condition.

This would have happened if the war had ended before it broke out and if al-Hasan remained alive and did not take part in it.

However, if this short war had broken out and al-Hasan had been able to join the Camp of Maskan to take part in it and to die a martyr, while this step did not match the course of the events there as you have just known, then this martyrdom would have not been successful means in the way of Allah and history, for it would have destroyed the doctrine forever.

Besides history, which would be entrusted to mention this war and its sorrowful results after the martyrdom of al-Hasan, would tell generations about the affairs of al-Hasan and his battles in the manner that shows them that he was nothing but a mere rebel. This is what we wanted to refer to when we talked about the `Plan of Mu'awiya towards the Aims of al-Hasan' in this chapter.

To mention more details about this brief idea, we say: As we have said earlier the choice from those who knew the Qur'an by heart, the rest of the pious Companions, and the prominent people from the sincere Shi'a gathered together under the leadership of al-Hasan when he decided to advance against Mu'awiya. We firmly believe that no one of this top class was slow willingly when al-Hasan summoned them to wage holy war (jihad) against Mu'awiya.

So the attitude during that critical moment between al-Hasan and Mu'awiya was similar to that between al-Hasan's grandfather, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, and Mu'awiya's father on the day when all belief advanced against all polytheism.

In the entire world, there was no group like this group that gathered together under the leadership of al-Hasan. That is because this group was entrusted to preserve the laws of Islam and the ideal doctrines.

So if al-Hasan had carried out the idea of war and involved this group with violent fighting, he would have neglected the Qur'an which no one in the world had memorized by heart but it.

If he had neglected the Qur'an, the relation between 'Ali, his sons, who were Imams, and generations there would have been cut off till the Day of Judgment.

Then the matter of al-Hasan would have been like that of those Alid Sharifs who rose many times during the Islamic government who summoned the people to righteousness through their close relationship to the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. Then they were overcome so that nothing of their summons has remained in history and lineage books except their names.

Suppose that the Umayyads had thoroughly destroyed the family of Muhammad. In other words they had killed al-Hasan, all members of his family, and the prominent people from the loyal servants of Allah. Moreover, Islam of Muhammad had turned into Umayyad Islam. In this case, which of Muhammad's memories, may Allah bless him and his family, would have remained in history? Which of the Islamic ideals, which these great figures protected, would have remained? Besides, wouldn't al-Hasan's prominent people been cut into pieces by the Syrian swords during this war?

From what we have said before, we have known that Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan was full of tribal spites and selfishness. At the end of this supposed massacre, we are sure that 'Ali and his sons would not be mentioned but with evil words. Then would the people mention Muhammad (may Allah bless him and his family), his teachings, and his authentic doctrines in a good manner?

The victorious enemy at this battle would be Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan. Thus he would be unable to hear the people mention the brother of Hashim (i.e., the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family) five times a day as the Islamic Sunna (practice) decided at the adhan (call to prayer). So he said to al-Mughira b. Shu'ba: "May your mother lose you, every practice remains after this (adhan) will bury us thoroughly.13

His victorious men were: his illegal brother (i.e., Ziyad b. Abih), the old companion (i.e., 'Amru b. al-'As), the dishonest cunning one (i.e., al-Mughira b. Shu'ba), and the one who attacked Mecca and Medina (i.e., Muslim b. 'Aqaba), and the like of these persons who destroyed the spirits of Muslims.

We firmly believe that these persons destroyed the Islamic heritage, the Islamic sanctuaries, and the interests of Muslims. That is because Ziyad committed massacres in Kufa, 'Amra made discords at Siffin and Doumat al-Jandal, al-Mughira b. Shu'ba (the first to be bribed in Islam) spared no effort to appoint Yazid caliph after his father Mu'awiya added Ziyad to him, and Muslim b. 'Aqaba attacked Mecca and Medina.

These persons did what they had done. Their deeds were seen by the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, the remaining choice from his students, and from his followers who enjoined the people to do good and prevented them from doing evil, and who were ready to fight against such kinds of people.

So what do you think that these persons would have done if the world had been empty of the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, and the righteous servants of Allah?

The obvious final result is that if al-Hasan, peace be on him, had sacrificed his life and the lives of his Shi'a, as we have already supposed that he was able to join his camp at Maskan, then he would have subjected his life to death to the extent that even his name would have not been mentioned but in lineage books. He would have subjected his holy doctrine to destruction to the extent that even a word of it would have not been heard in the earth. His glorious history and the outstanding history of his family would have been a mere distorted fable. Thus Mu'awiya would have dictated the fable to others as he had wanted. Besides Marwan and his family would have explained it as they had wanted.

That would have been the end of the history of Islamic spiritualism and the beginning of Umayyad history with certain known features, which there is no need to explain.

This holy tradition affirms that: "If there was no one of the banu (children) of Umayyad but a toothless old woman, she would make the religion of Allah crooked."

I (i.e., the author) wonder: Was it possible for al-Hasan to do more than what he had done?

If we consider carefully al-Hasan's plan, we will conclude that he had used the best way (the way of making peace with Mu'awiya) to decrease the violence of the expected results.

When al-Hasan was sure of these results, he used this way (i.e., the way of making peace with Mu'awiya). For he wanted to continue the lines of his communication with generations, rather the lines of his father and his grandfather, blessing and peace be on them, through preserving his Shi'a. Through this way he was able to save his doctrine from sure destruction, and his history from distortion, forgery, corruption, and contempt.

Also through this way, he was able to gain a bright victory in spite of the desertion that surrounded him during his lifetime. Thus he was able to enliven his doctrine, his faith, and his next life.

In this way, al-Hasan abandoned the life in this world to preserve the religion.

Such was the nature of the Imamate headed by this blessed group from Allah's servants.

  • 1. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 12.
  • 2. Al-Tubrisi, al-Ihtijaj, p. 151.
  • 3. Ibn Khaldun. Ibn al-Athir. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar. We have already mentioned the first part of this oration within the declarations of the historians in this chapter.
  • 4. He was the leader at the Battle of al-Hurra, which took place at the City of the Apostle of Allah (i.e., Medina), may Allah bless him and his family. He violated the sanctity of the City for three days. He demolished the Holy Kaaba with his mangonels. Mu'awiya advised his son Yazid, after he had paved the affairs for him, to appoint Muslim b. 'Aqaba as a governor over Medina. He said to him: "You will face a day (a battle) headed by the Medinans. If they did that, then punish them with Muslim b. 'Aqaba, for he is the man whose advice I have known." See al-Tabari, al-Bayhaqi, and Ibn al-Athir.
  • 5. In his book al-Mahasan wa al-Masawi', al-Bayhaqi told us: "AlMughira was the first to be bribed. He (i.e., al-Mughira) was the mediator in the matter of adding Ziyad (to Abu Sufyan) regardless of the Islamic laws. He was the first to nominate Yazid b. Mu'awiya to the Caliphate. It was he who said in this respect: `I have put Mu'awiya's leg in the leather stirrup which is far away from the intention of the community of Muhammad, and I have made a rip for them (i.e., the Community of Muhammad), which can never be mended.'"
    In his book al-Mahasan wa al-Masawi', al-Bayhaqi told us: "AlMughira was the first to be bribed. He (i.e., al-Mughira) was the mediator in the matter of adding Ziyad (to Abu Sufyan) regardless of the Islamic laws. He was the first to nominate Yazid b. Mu'awiya to the Caliphate. It was he who said in this respect: `I have put Mu'awiya's leg in the leather stirrup which is far away from the intention of the community of Muhammad, and I have made a rip for them (i.e., the Community of Muhammad), which can never be mended.'"

    It was he whom Hasan b. Thabit ( a poet) meant when he said:

    If ignobility was ascribed, it would be a one- eyed

    Slave with an ugly face from Thaqif.

    I have left the religion and belief because of ignorance

    In the early morning when I met the associate of al-Nasif.

    I resorted to youth, and I remembered from inside the bowels

    Play and the fine waist.

  • 6. He was very famous. His boy Wardan, concerning him, said: "Here and the hereafter quarreled with each other to control his heart." So he preferred the life in this world to the next life. He followed Mu'awiya provided that the latter should appoint him a governor over Egypt. So may the hand of the seller be unsuccessful and the trust of the buyer be disgraceful!

    Ibn `Abd Rabbih has reported the following on the authority of al-Hasan al-Basri, who said: "By Allah, Mu'awiya knew that he would not control government completely unless `Amr pledged allegiance to him. So he said to him:' `Amru, follow me.' `Amr said: `Why? For the hereafter? By Allah, there will, be no hereafter with you. Or for the life in this world? By Allah, I will not follow you unless I be your partner in it.' `Then you are my partner in it,' said Mu'awiya. `So give me Egypt and her districts,' said `Amru. So Mu'awiya gave him Egypt and her districts, and wrote at the end of the letter: `Amr should listen and obey.' `And write that listening and obedience should change nothing of his condition,' said `Amru. `No, we will consider this carefully,' said Mu'awiya. `Till you write that,' said `Amru."

    The old companion (i.e., `Amru) who died at the age of 98 was pleased to end his long age with such an evil trickery in the religion and began saying without attention: "Were it not for Egypt and her districts, I would escape from it, for I know that 'Ali b. `Abu Talib was right but I opposed him."

    As for the early life of `Amr b. al-`As, it harmed Islam and the Prophet of Islam, may Allah bless him and his family, very much. That is because he was one of the two persons who tried to kill the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, on the Night of the Bed in Mecca. (i.e., the night when the latter asked 'Ali to sleep in his bed to emigrate from Mecca to Medina).

    It was `Amra who was the childless (al-abtar) person whom Allah, the Exalted, meant by His Words: "Indeed your enemy is the childless."

    He was among those who provoked the people to kill `Uthman. He did not go to Palestine till he opened the ulcer as he said concerning himself on the day when he heard of the killing of `Uthman.

    At last he joined Mu'awiya's camp according to the above- mentioned shameful bargaining. He got rid of the sure killing at (the battle of) Siffin through the ugliest means which history has known.

    Copies of the Qur'an were raised in answer to his idea through which he was able to divide the unity of the Muslims.

    When `Amr was about to die, he said to his son: "I had entered affairs. I do not know what my proof for them will be with Allah."

    Then he looked at his plentiful property and said: "I wish it was dung. I wish I died thirty years before this time. I reformed Mu'awiya's life in this world and I corrupted my religion. I preferred my life in this world to my next life. My reason became blind till my death came to me." The property he left behind him was three hundred thousand gold dinars and a million silver dirhams in addition to his country estates.

    Al-Tabarani and Ibn `Asakir have reported the following tradition of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, concerning `Amr and Mu'awiya: "They do not meet each other but for perfidy."

    In their two books called `al-Musnad', Ahmad and Abu Ya`la have mentioned the following tradition on the authority of Abu Barza, who said: "We were with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, so he (i.e., the Prophet) heard someone singing and said: `Look! Who is this?' I (i.e., Abu Barza) ascended. Suddenly, it was Mu'awiya and Amru b. al-`As. They were singing. So I came back and told the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: `O Allah, sink them into the seduction thoroughly. O Allah, leave them in the fire forever.'"

    In his book 'Tathir al-Jinan', b. Hajr has narrated the following traditions: "Indeed `Amr went up on the pulpit and cursed 'Ali. Then al Mughira b. Shu'ba did as he (`Amra) did. So it was said to al-Hasan: `Go up on the pulpit to answer them.' However, he refused to do that unless they promised to believe him when he said the truth and to accuse him of lying when he said falsehood. They accepted that, so he went up on the pulpit, praised Allah, lauded Him, and said:' 'Amra and Mughira, I want you to swear by Allah, do you know that the Apostle of Allah had cursed the driver and the leader; one of them was so- and- so (i.e., Mu'awiya)?' `Yes,' they said. Then he (the Prophet) said: `Mu'awiya and Mughira, I ask you to swear by Allah, don't you know that the Prophet had cursed `Amra?' 'Yes,'they said. Then he said: "Amra and Mu'awiya, I ask you to swear by Allah, don't you know that the Prophet had cursed the people of this (i.e., al-Mughira)?' Then al-Hasan said: `Indeed I thank Allah who has made you from those who renounced this (i.e., 'Ali)."'

    It was 'Amra b. al-`As whom the great companion 'Ammar b. Yasir, may Allah be pleased with him, meant when he said to the mujahidin (holy fighters) at (the Battle of Siffin) : "Do you not want to look at him who showed enmity towards Allah and His Apostle and fought against them, wronged the Muslims, and supported the polytheist, and when he saw that Allah, the Great and Almighty, had strengthened his religion and supported His Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, he became Muslim, as we think, unwillingly?. Then Allah made his Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, to die. By Allah, 'Amra removed a good deed after Allah's Apostle when he showed enmity towards the Muslims and bargained the criminal. So resist him and fight against him, for he will extinguish the light of Allah and help the enemies of Allah, the Great and Almighty." See: alTabari, Ibn Abu al-Hadid, al-Mas'adi, and the like.

  • 7. Al-Zamakhshari, Rabi` al-Abrar. Ibn al-Sa'ib, al-Mathalib. Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani, al-Aghani. Ibn al-Samman, Mathalib bani Umayya. Ja`far b. Muhammad al-Hamadani, Bahjat al-Mustafid. Then the gentle reader will be free to ascribe Mu'awiya to any of his four fathers whose names have been mentioned there. In his book `Nahj al Balagha', the lord of Arabs (i.e., Imam 'Ali) referred to that: "The original one is unlike the associate."
  • 8. Al-Mas'udi, Muruj al-Dhahab, vol. 2, 72. Also other references have reported that.
  • 9. Al-Mas`udi, Muruj al-Dhahab, vol. 2, p. 72. Here we must remember that 'Ali, peace be on him, heard a group of people abusing the Syrians at the Battle of Siffin, he prevented them from that and said to them: "I dislike you to start abusing them but if you describe their deeds and recount their conditions that would be a better mode of speaking and more convincing way of arguing. Instead of abusing them you should say: `O Allah, save our blood and their blood, produce reconciliation between us and them, and lead them out of their misguidance so that he who is ignorant of truth may know it and he who is inclining to rebellion and revolt may turn away from it.'" Nahj al-Balagha, pp. 420 and 421.

    One day Mu'awiya's messenger came to al-Hasan, peace be on him, and said to him: "I ask Allah to protect you and destroy these people." So al Hasan said to him: "Be kind! Do not betray him who trusts you. It is enough for you to love me for the love of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, of my father and mother. It is an act of treason that a certain group of people trust you and you show enmity towards them and invoke Allah against them." See al-Malahim wa al-Fitan, p. 143 (Najaf).

  • 10. Hashim al-Daftardar, al-Islam bayna al-Sunna wa al-Shi'a, p. 20.
  • 11. Ibn Qutayba al-Dinawari, al-Ma'arif, p. 303.
  • 12. Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 3, p. 162.
  • 13. Al-Mas'udi, Muruj al-Dhahab, vol. 2, p. 343. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 2, p. 357. Matraf b. al-Mughira b. Shu'ba said: "My father al-Mughira and I went to visit Mu'awiya. My father came to him, talked with him, then he returned to me. So he mentioned Mu'awiya and his intellect, and admired what he had seen of him. One night he came and refrained from having his supper. He looked sad so that I waited him for an hour. I thought that (he was sad) because of a thing had befallen us or our work. So I said to him:' Why do you look sad this night?' 'My son, I came from the worst of all people,' he replied. 'Who is it?,' I said.

    He said: 'When I was alone with him (Mu'awiya), I said to him: Commander of the faithful, you have achieved your wish, then you have to show justice and spread good. You have become an old man, so you have to think of your brothers from Hashim's children and take care of them. By Allah, they have nothing that makes you afraid of them'.

    He said to me: 'How far! How far! The brother of Taym (i.e., Abu Bakr) ruled, showed justice, and did what he had done. However, when he perished his reputation perished, except his name. Then the brother of 'Adi (i.e., 'Umar) ruled and did his best for ten years. By Allah, when he perished, his fame perished, except his name. Then our brother 'Uthman ruled, while no one was like him in lineage.

    He did what he had done, but he was killed. By Allah, when he perished, his reputation perished, and what had been done towards him has been mentioned. However, the brother of Hashim (i.e., the Prophet) is mentioned five times a day: I testify that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah. May your mother lose you, every practice remains after this will bury us thoroughly.'"

Part 3: Peacemaking

The Motives Of The Two Parties For Making Peace

No wonder Mu'awiya was the first to ask al-Hasan for making peace.1 So he accepted al-Hasan's conditions to take one thing from him, that was government.

Mu'awiya made this plan of his when the two parties were getting ready to wage war against each other. He paid attention to carry out this plan. more than he paid attention to organizing his armies and managing war affairs. He thought that it was better for him to be the first to ask al-Hasan for making peace with him. If al-Hasan accepted his request, it would be okay; other wise he would force him to do that without meeting him at a battle.

First of all, to pave the way for his purpose, Mu'awiya did his best to create an appropriate atmosphere through drawing the attention of his opponents to recall peace making.

From here Mu'awiya sent his men to pass false rumors through the camps of al-Hasan, peace be on him. He bribed some military commanders. For example, he bribed one of them with one million dirhams, as we have already mentioned when we talked about `Ubayd Allah b. `Abbas. Moreover, he tempted some leaders through making promises such as supreme command, authority over a certain country,and arranging marriages between them and the Umayyad princesses.

Mu'awiya used all his abilities, all his talents, and all his experiences to fulfill this idea. Many of those who sold their consciences, and who showed apparent friendship towards al-Hasan responded to him. So they became Mu'awiya's secret spies, his working fingers, and his hirelings who spared no effort to carry out his aims.

Besides, Mu'awiya used other ways to urge al-Hasan to make peace with him such as sending armies and weapons to the camps, logistic movements, and the like. However, he did not want to be the first to attack Iraq with these armies and weapons. In other words he did not want to meet al-Hasan, peace be on him, at a battle except when all his ways went in vain. Worth mentioning, Mu'awiya's ways were quite different from that of the people and the religion.

It is an act of truthfulness to say: Indeed, in this field, Mu'awiya's ways were well- woven. He was very successful in preparing special atmospheres to make his enemy accept reconciliation.

The commander of the Iraqi front and his close associates sold their consciences to Mu'awiya for false promises.

The two camps in al-Mada'in and Maskan were full of false rumors that filled the soldiers with fear.

Al-Hasan himself was unable to impose his orders on his army because of the false rumors -that passed through them.

He was unable to appear before many of his soldiers because they would kill him. Accordingly, was there a way other than reconciliation?

It was difficult to reform the condition because the people were corrupt during it. So no one is able to blame al-Hasan when the people became corrupt during that time. That is because they were deviated from the truth by nature. Thus even Islam was unable to reform them.

Al-Hasan lost his first battle because of the treason of his soldiers or because of the skillful discords his enemy used. So he had to face his second battle which the treason of the soldiers did not affect, the deviation of their natures did not harm, and the tricks of the enemy and his skillful discords did not increase but steadfastness, influence, and victory in the course of days.

This was the way which al-Hasan used in an excellent manner to exploit Mu'awiya though the latter was very careful of the former.

Al-Hasan responded to Mu'awiya's request for making peace. However, he made him bind himself by conditions which he would break one by one. So if Mu'awiya did that, the people would declare their wrath and protest against him. Thus peacemaking was the beginning of the wrath that has lasted for generations. Also this wrath was the beginning of the revolutions that happened successively to remove that usurping regime from history.

This was the political plan through which al-Hasan accepted making peace with Mu'awiya. Also this was the way through which he exploited Mu'awiya. Accordingly, this plan and this way were among the meanings of the oppressed genius of the oppressed Imam.

Therefore, no one is able to blame al-Hasan, peace be on him, for making peace with Mu'awiya. That is because al-Hasan made peace with him according to a drawn plan.

The critical situation at the camps and the expected results encouraged al-Hasan to make peace with Mu'awiya. For example, this act would reform the community, prevent bloodshed, preserve the holy places, achieve the Islamic viewpoint, and so on.

Those months were not as equal as the ten forgers, but they were full of disasters and hardships as many as the stars. They were a period of time that filled the heart with love and admiration. The manners of the Prophet and the qualities of the truthful Imams appeared during them. They (the months) showed many facts about the people in both sides. During them the best reformatory acts were concluded. On their virtuous end, the interest of the world was connected with the interest of the sky.

Suddenly, al-Hasan b. 'Ali became a great reformer. He embodied the good news his grandfather the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, gave in the tradition which we have mentioned before: "Indeed this (grand) son of mine is a lord, and Allah will make peace between two great groups from the Muslims through him."

Allah, the Exalted, has preserved the high honor of the members of this House in all fields: victory, holy martyrdom in the way of Allah and history, and peacemaking.

Enough for honor is peacemaking. Enough for victory is immortal honor. Immortal honor guarantees the lasting fame. The fame is a continuous motive that develops life and sovereignty.

Now, it is easy for us to understand the motives that urged al-Hasan, peace be on him, to make peace with Mu'awiya.

As for the motives that urged Mu'awiya to ask al-Hasan to make peace with him, they were quite different from those of al-Hasan. They do not indicate that Mu'awiya was unable to fight against al Hasan, nor do they indicate that he had a religious viewpoint concerning reconciliation and preventing bloodshed. So neither peace nor preventing bloodshed were the motives of Mu'awiya. He vas indifferent to them. He wanted to achieve his ambitions through conquering the Muslim countries. The proofs for that are his attacks against Medina, Mecca, and the Yemen. Besides he adopted impudent attitudes at the Battle of Siffin. Therefore the pure opportunist ambitions urged him to make his fable- like history through making peace with al-Hasan.

Al-Hasan abdicated his right to authority before the public opinion. Thus Mu'awiya thought that he would abdicate his right to the succession. According to this idea he thought that he would be the legal successor over the Muslims!2

Government was the sweet dream for which Mu'awiya sacrificed every dear thing. He did not know that Islam refused unlawful ways and did not hand over government to the freed prisoners and their children.

Moreover, we think that Mu'awiya had other motives. Thus he stretched out his hand for reconciliation. Then he took an oath, and underlined the covenants. However, when we consider carefully his other motives, we will understand that the sweet dream (i.e., supreme authority) is the greatest of them all.

The following occasions indicate some of the motives that urged Mu'awiya to make peace with al-Hasan, peace be on him:

1. Mu'awiya thought that al-Hasan, peace be on him, had the right to assume power. So the former had no way to take the reins of government but through making al-Hasan keep silent even if apparently, and he had no way to make him keep silent but through reconciliation.

As for Mu'awiya's idea concerning al-Hasan's right to authority, it is clear in the letter which the former sent to the latter before their movement to fight each other at Maskan. In his letter, he said: "You are worthier of authority than me." Also it is clear in what Mu'awiya said to his son Yazid when he mentioned the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them: "My son, indeed authority is their right."3 Also it is clear in what Mu'awiya wrote to Ziyad b. Abih when he mentioned al-Hasan, peace be on him: "As for that al-Hasan has gained power over you, he has the right to do that."4

Also we have seen that Mu'awiya asked the religious opinion of al Hasan when he faced difficulties. It is as if that he recognized his Imamate.5

Also Mu'awiya recognized that al-Hasan was "the Lord of Muslims."6 Wouldn't the Lord of Muslims be their Imam?

2. Mu'awiya, in spite of his many obedient men, was very afraid of the results of his fighting against al-Hasan. This can be clearly understood from the words which he said concerning his Iraqi opponents: "By Allah, when I remember their eyes under the armors (al-maghafir) at the Battle of Siffin, my reason become confused."7 Also concerning them, he said: "May Allah make them angry with evil. Their hearts are like the heart of one man."8 So he thought that making peace with al-Hasan would be better than fighting those whose eyes were under the armors (al-maghafir).

3. Mu'awiya was afraid of the social position of al-Hasan, the (grand) son of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. Also he was afraid of his unique spiritual position in the Islamic faith so that he wanted to avoid these two positions through making peace with him.

Mu'awiya thought that it was possible for Allah to send someone to the Syrian Camp to draw the attention of the people to the true authority of al-Hasan and to their ugly attitude towards him so that they would revolt against him (i.e., Mu'awiya).

While Mu'awiya was advancing against al-Hasan, he remembered the words which al-Nu'man b. Jibllah al-Tanwakhi said to him at the Battle of Siffin. It's worth mentioning that al-Nu'man was among the commanders of the fighting soldiers of Mu'awiya. The former talked openly to the latter in the manner which no Syrian had done before or after him, and mocked at him to the extent that no subject mocked at him. For this reason Mu'awiya thought that the people would someday have the same feelings which the helpless al-Tanwakhi had.

Among the words al-Tanwakhi said to Mu'awiya at the Battle of Siffin are: "By Allah, I was sincere to you. I preferred your authority to my religion. I left right guidance for your desire, while I knew that. I deviated from the truth, while I understood that. I have not been granted success since I fought against the cousin of the Apostle of Allah (i.e., Imam 'Ali), may Allah bless him and his family, who was the first to believe in him, and then emigrated (to Mecca to join) him (there). If we had given him what we have given you, he would have been more kinder (than you) to the people and given (them) more than (you do). However, we have given you the authority, and it is necessary to complete it whether it is right or wrong. Far be it to be right! We will fight for the fig of al-Ghouta and its olives if we are deprived of the fruit of the garden and its rivers."'9

Among the political acts of Mu'awiya was that he prevented the Syrians from knowing the Muslim great figures outside Sham (Syria) lest they should refuse him or mutiny against him. For this reason we do not know how this Syrian man (i.e., al-Nu'man b. Jibllah al Tanwakhi) was able to have knowledge of the cousin of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, his priority to believe in him, his kindness to the people, his generosity in giving, and his right to authority.

Mu`awiya went on making the Syrians ignorant of the great Muslim figures till the end of his lifetime. This policy of his was the means which he used to gather large groups of people and dispatch them to fight against Imam 'Ali at Siffin, and then to fight against al Hasan at Maskan.

You can easily understand the policy of ignorance when you read the following words which Mu'awiya said, though they indicate his weak character, to `Amr b. al-`As: "By Allah, you want nothing but to disgrace me, for the Syrians thought that there was no one like me till they heard from al-Hasan what they have heard."'10

4. Among the political acts which Mu'awiya used to achieve his selfish ambitions was that he summoned al-Hasan, peace be on him, to make peace with him. In the meantime he summoned many people from Iraq and Sham (Syria) and other Muslim countries to bear witness for that. From this summons he wanted nothing but to pave the way to achieve his future objectives through the war between him and al-Hasan.

There were two possible facets: either Sham (Syria) would be ruled by Kufa or the war would destroy al-Hasan, al Husayn, their family, and their Shi'a (followers). Then Mu'awiya would place the responsibility on al-Hasan himself and said to the people: "Indeed I had summoned al-Hasan to peacemaking. However, al-Hasan refused (everything) except the war. I wanted life for him. However, he wanted death for me. I wanted to prevent blood from shedding. However, he wanted to destroy the people between me and him."

Through this excellent act, Mu'awiya would fulfill his aims. In other words he would destroy the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family. Meanwhile, he would pretend justice. Moreover, the people whom he summoned to attend peacemaking would confirm his justice.

As for al-Hasan, peace be on him, he was aware of this political plan. Thus he was cleverer and more skillful than his enemy in making use of the conditions and seizing the opportunities to please Allah and to achieve the interests of the Muslims. Accordingly, the critical situations and the evil intentions of Mu'awiya forced him, peace be on him, to accept the idea of making peace with the former.

Al-Hasan intended to destroy Mu'awiya's plans and to prevent him from putting them into effect. Rather he made a wise plan to destroy his opponents in the name of reconciliation. In the chapters that follow, we will mention some explanations appropriate for this subject.

In history there are many stories that indicate that the Syrians had no knowledge of the great figures of Islam. Some of them are: A Syrian asked one of this leaders: "Who is Abu Turab (i.e., Imam 'Ali) whom the Imam (i.e., Mu'awiya) curse on the pulpit?" "I think he is among the thieves of the discords," replied the leader" Also a Syrian asked a friend of his when he heard him mentioning Muhammad: "What do you think of this Muhammad? Is he our Lord?"

When `Abd Allah b. 'Ali conquered Sham (Syria), he sent some Syrian old men from the rich leading people to Abu al-`Abbas al-Saffah. The old men swore by Allah before al-Saff-ah to denote that they did not know that the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, had relatives nor members of a House to inherit him except the banu (sons) of Umayya till you have taken the reins of government." See al-Mas'udi, Muruj al-Dhahab, pp. 107-9.

I (i.e., the author) say: This indicates that all the Umayyad kings followed this policy to make the people ignorant of their great figures, especially the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, and to prevent their names from entering Sham. Also this indicates that the Syrians took care of their Islam very much. We think that Sham (Syria) during the Umayyad dynasty was still full of the non- Muslim majority that belonged to Rome and Armenia.

  • 1. This is the right idea which al-Hasan's speech indicates when he asked the advice of his companions in al-Mada'in: "Indeed Mu'awiya has summoned us to an affair in which there is neither dignity nor justice." Other references indicate that, too.
  • 2. In this connection, al-Hasan al-Basri said good words. You will read them in chapter 17, `Mu'awiya and the Succession’. Ahmad (in his book called 'al-Musnad'), Abu Ya`la, al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Hayyan, Abu Dauwwd, and al-Hakim have narrated the following tradition on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, who said: "The succession (Khilafa) after me will last for thirty (years), then a king (will come) after that."

    Abu Nu'aym (in his book called `al-Fitan'), and al-Bayhaqi (in his book called 'al-Dala'il) have narrated this tradition in this way: "Then a biting king (will come) after that." The Sunni traditionists have regarded the tradition authentic according to their condition. One of them commented on the tradition: "The thirty years after the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, ended when al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on them, became a successor."

    Abu Said reported on the authority of `Abd al-Rahman b. Abzi on the authority of `Umar, who said: "This matter is concerning the people (who took part at the Battle of) Badr. No one of them has remained (alive). Then it concerns the people (who took part at the Battle of) Uhud. No one of them has remained (alive). Then it concerns so and so. It (the tradition) does not concern the freed prisoner, nor the son of the freed prisoner, nor those who became Muslim after the Conquest (of Mecca)."

    I (i.e., the author) say: As for the pledge of allegiance which Mu'awiya imposed on the people with his known ways, it made the unlawful lawful.

  • 3. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, pp., 4 and 5 and 13 and 74.
  • 4. Ibid.
  • 5. Al-Ya'qubi, Ta'rikh, vol. 2, pp. 201- 2. Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa al Nahaya, vol. 8, p. 40. Al-Majlisi, Biharal-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 98.
  • 6. Ibn Qutayba al-Dinawari, al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, pp. 159- 60.
  • 7. Al-Mas'udi, Hamish b. al-Athir, vol. 6, p. 67.
  • 8. Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 3.
  • 9. Al-Mas'udi, Hashim b. al-Athir, vol. 5, p. 216.
  • 10. Al-Bayhaqi, al-Mahasin wa al-Masawi', vol. 1, p. 64.

Peace Treaty

A group of the historians such as al-Tabari and Ibn al-Athir has narrated the following: "Indeed Mu'awiya had sent al-Hasan a blank page. In the bottom of the page, there were his stamps." Then Mu'awiya wrote al-Hasan the following: "In this page, whose bottom I have stamped, stipulate whatever you want, for that will be for you."1

Then the historians have not mentioned the tradition thoroughly, for they have not mentioned what al-Hasan, peace be on him, had written on Mu'awiya's page. We have studied the available reference books but we have not found the complete stipulations of al-Hasan, peace be on him, except separated bits. The narrators have admitted that these bits are part of a complete subject. Only one writer has mentioned a text with a beginning and an end. He has said that the text is the complete Peace Treaty. However, other reports have refuted many items of this text. Worth mentioning is that, these reports are better in Asnad (chain of narrators) and more in number than this reference.

To be acquainted with the contents of the Peace Treaty, we have the right to be satisfied, if we wanted satisfaction, with the narration of the Blank Page (al-Sahifa al-Bayda), as the previous narrators did. That is because they have narrated it briefly. Thus they were satisfied with the summing up instead of the details. That is because carrying out reconciliation was according to this rule: "Stipulate whatever you want, for that will be for you." This means that al-Hasan, peace be on him, filled the page, which was stamped in the bottom, with various stipulations which he wanted, namely with the conditions that were useful for him or his family or his Shi'a (followers) or his objectives. So the page had nothing other than these conditions.

If it is impossible, today, for us to know those conditions in details, at least, we know that they were in the interest of al-Hasan. That was a certain result, for al-Hasan, peace be on him, was free to make conditions.

Unfortunately, we have not found what al-Hasan had written on the Blank Page. So it is necessary for us to collect the separated items from various books to give the most correct and most import form of all reports concerning this Treaty. We have divided the form into items and added each phrase to the appropriate item to be nearer to the reality.

The form of the Peace Treaty the two parties signed is as follows:

Item One:

Handing over authority to Mu'awiya provided that he should act according to the Book of Allah, the Sunna (practices) of His Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family,2 and the Sire (behavior) of the righteous Caliphs.3

Item Two:

Authority should be for al-Hasan after him.4 If an accident happened to him, authority should be for his brother al-Husayn.5 Mu'awiya has no right to entrust anybody to it.6

Item Three:

He (Mu`awiya) should abandon cursing the Commander of the faithful and the practice of using the personal prayer (qunut) in the ritual formal prayer (salat) (as prayer) against him,7 and that he should not mention 'Ali except in a good manner.8

Item Four:

He (Mu'awiya) should excluded what is in the treasury of Kufa, that is five million (dirhams). So handing over authority does not include it (i.e., this sum of money). Mu'awiya should send al-Husayn one million dirhams a year, he should prefer the banu (children) of Hashim in giving and gifts to the banu `Abd Shams, and should divide one million (dirhams) among the sons of those who were killed with the Commander of the faithful at the Battle of the Camel and the Battle of Siffin, and should spend that from the taxes of Dar Abjard.9

Item Five:

"The people should be safe wherever they are in the earth of Allah; in Sham (Syria), Iraq, Hijaz, the Yemen, etc. He should give security to the black and the red (ones). He (Mu'awiya) should bear their slips, should not follow some of them for the bygone nor should he punish the Iraqis for their hostility."10

"The companions of 'Ali should be given security wherever they are, that he (Mu'awiya) should not expose the Shi'a of 'Ali to any evil, that the companions and the Shi'a of 'Ali should be given security over their lives, their properties, their women, and their children, nor should he pursue them for a certain thing, nor should he expose them to any evil, and that he should give them their rights.11

"He (i.e., Mu'awiya) should not seek a calamity secretly or openly for al-Hasan b. 'Ali, nor for his brother al-Husayn, nor for anyone from the family of the Apostle of Allah, nor should he frighten them in any country of the countries."12

The End

Ibn Qutayba al-Dinawari said: "Then `Abd Allah b. `Amir (i.e., Mu'awiya's messenger to al-Hasan, peace be on him) wrote to Mu'awiya all the conditions which al-Hasan dictated to him. So Mu'awiya wrote all that with his own writing and stamped them with his own stamp, confirmed them with certain covenants and strong oath, and made all the leaders of the Syrians bear witness for that. Then he handed them (i.e., the conditions) to `Abd Allah b. `Amir to send them to al-Hasan."13

Historians other than b. Qutayba al-Dinawari have mentioned the form of the text which Mu`awiya wrote at the end of the Peace Treaty. In the meantime Mu`awiya made a covenant with Allah to fulfill al Hasan's conditions.

This form is as follows: "Concerning that, Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan is obliged to fulfill the covenant of Allah and His promise, what Allah obligated His creatures to fulfill, and what Allah has given of Himself."14

That was in the middle of the month of Jamadi al-UIa, in the year 41 A.H. according to the most authentic reports.

  • 1. Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 93. Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 3, p. 162.
  • 2. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 6.
  • 3. Ibn `Aqil, al-Nasa'ih al-Kafiya, p. 156. Al-Majfsi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 115.
  • 4. Al-Sayuf, Ta'rikh al-Khulafa', p. 194. Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa alNahaya, vol. 8, p. 41. Ahmad Shahab al-Din al-`Asqalani, al-Isaba fi Tamiiz al-Sahaba, vol. 2, pp. 12- 13. Ibn Qutayba al-Dinawari, al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, p. 150. Farid Wajdi, Da'irat al-Ma'arif al-Islamiya, vol. 3, p. 443.
  • 5. Ibn al-Muhanna, `Umdat al-Talib, p. 52.
  • 6. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 8
    Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 115. Ibn al-Sabbagh, al-FusW al Muhimma.
  • 7. Muhsin al-Amin al-`Amili, A'yan al-Shi'a, vol. 4, p. 43.
  • 8. Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani, Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p. 26. Ibn Abu al Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 15.
    Other than these two authors said: "Indeed, al-Hasan asked Mu'awiya not to curse 'Ali. However, Mu'awiya disagreed with him on refraining from cursing him, and agreed with him on that 'Ali should not be cursed while he (i.e., Mu'awiya) hears that." Ibn al-Athir said: "Then Mu'awiya broke that, too."
  • 9. Ibn Qutayba al-Dinawari, al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, p. 200. Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 92. Ibn Babawayh, `Ilal al-Sharaiya`, p. 81. Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 8, p. 14.
    Dar Abjard is a town on the borders of Ahwaz in Persia (Iran).
  • 10. Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani, Maqata al-Talibiyyin, p. 26. Ibn Abu al Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 15. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, pp. 101 and 115. Ibn Qutayba al-Dinawari, al-Imama wa al Siyasa, p. 200. We have quoted each paragraph letter by letter from its source.
  • 11. Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 97. Ibn al-Aft, al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 3, p. 166. Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani, Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p. 26. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 15. Al-Majlisi, Bihar alAnwir, vol. 10, p. 115. Muhammad b. 'Ali b. Babawayh, 'Ilal al-Sharaiya', p. 81. Muhammad b. 'Aqil, al-Nasa'ih al-Kafiya, p. 115.
  • 12. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 115. Muhammad b. `Aqil, al-Nasa'ih al-Kufiya, p. 156.
  • 13. Ibn Qutayba al-Dinawari, al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, p. 200.
  • 14. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, VOL 10, p. 115.

Prominent Texts In The Peace Treaty

The form of the Peace Treaty, whose objective elements are religiously and politically important, is a new proof for the success which al-Hasan achieved. In the meantime it indicates that he had a high politico- religious viewpoint.

In the light of what has been narrated on the authority of al-Hasan such as arrangements and laws that were the best of the political acts during his time, it is an act of truthfulness to admit that al-Hasan had excellent political abilities. If he had been allowed to put his outstanding political abilities into effect, he would have been the most brilliant Muslim politician. Moreover, deprivation of authority and failure in a certain field due to certain conditions are not proofs for showing weakness or criticism. For there are many undoubtful and unquestionable proofs that indicate that al-Hasan had careful consideration, strong arrangements, and high opinions.

Personal abilities play an important role in the practical field even though they are exposed to deprivation and failure. This great man (i.e., al-Hasan) was full of these abilities. Thus he was able to preserve the life of all the community in present and future times. That is because these abilities helped him, peace be on him, to make a plan with conditions in an excellent manner to face his opponents.

From the eloquence of the Peace Treaty and its five items, you understand that al-Hasan did not treat his matter at random, nor did he deal with it part-by-part or section-by-section. Rather he put an idea with coherent parts and regular dimensions. Also you understand that al-Hasan did his best to find the most practical conditions as precautionary steps to maintain his legal right to authority and to preserve his position and the position of his brother, and to facilitate the affairs of his family.

In the Peace Treaty, al-Hasan asked Mu'awiya to give security to his Shi'a (followers) and the Shi'a of his father. Also he asked him to spend one million dirhams on the orphans who belonged to his Shi'a. With this sum of money, al-Hasan wanted to reward them for their steadfastness with him and their loyalty to his father. He wanted to keep them as trustees for his doctrine and as loyal supporters to strengthen his position and the position of his brother on the day when the situation would return to normal.

Through the Peace Treaty, al-Hasan handed authority to Mu'awiya provided that the latter should act according to the Book of Allah, the Sunna (practices) of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and the Sira (practices) of the Orthodox Caliphs. In this way, al-Hasan was able to reduce the authority of his enemy. In other words he reduced the violations of his enemy through the foregoing conditions. That is because the violations of Mu'awiya cannot be counted and were severe in punishment. This indicates that al-Hasan was the most knowledgeable of all people in Mu'awiya and his moral abilities towards these conditions.

Moreover, the Peace Treaty was the document which the two parties (i.e., al-Hasan and Mu'awiya) signed to conform to the conditions where in. Accordingly, the Peace Treaty was at most the matter of limited material things which one of the two parties (i.e., Mu'awiya) wanted to get. In the meantime it was the matter of limitless spiritual things which the second party (i.e., al-Hasan) obtained.

Through his reconciliation with al-Hasan, peace be on him, Mu'awiya did not intend to get anything but to take the reins of government. However, when al-Hasan handed over authority to Mu'awiya, he intended to safeguard his doctrine from distortion and his Shi'a from destruction, and to underline that the usurped right (to authority) should be returned on the day when Mu'awiya would die.

It is an act of correctness that we do not understand the meaning of the Peace Treaty but through this facet.

To understand clearly the aims of the two parties, we have to analyze their words on the day when they made peace with each other.

1. The Declarations of the two Parties

It is enough for us to mention the words which Mu'awiya said concerning the Peace Treaty with al-Hasan, peace be on him. Many historians have narrated these words on his authority. Among them is b. Kathir, who has reported these words of Mu'awiya: "We are satisfied with it (i.e., the Peace Treaty) (to take the reins of) government.1

When Mu'awiya exchanged letters with al-Hasan to pave the way to the Peace Treaty, he said: "It is for you that you are not ruled with wrong, the affairs are not executed without you, and you are not disobeyed in any affair."2

It is enough for us to mention the declarations which al-Hasan said to make his Shi'a understand the backgrounds of his reconciliation with Mu'awiya: "You do not know what I have done. By Allah, what I have done for my Shi'a is better than what the sun rises over." Also what he said one day to Bashir al-Hamadani who was among the chiefs of his Shi'a in Kufa: "With my reconciliation I wanted nothing but to drive killing away from you.3Also what he said in his speech after peacemaking: "Men, Allah has guided you (to belief) with the foremost one of us, and prevented your blood from shedding with the last one of us. I have made peace with Mu'awiya while I know that it may be a tribulation and a provision till a time."4

These declarations and the many ones similar to them, whether they belonged to a1- Hasan, peace be on him, or to Mu'awiya help us understand the document signed by the two parties. The two parties intended to achieve the aims which we have already mentioned: Mu'awiya intended to achieve his ambition through assuming power, while al-Hasan made a plan to save his Shi'a from killing, to preserve

his religious doctrines that were better than what the sun rose over, and to make peace with Mu'awiya for a fixed time.

Now, there is no wonder when we mention the truth as it is and refer to the deviation (from the truth) of many historians who distorted the aims of the two parties and misunderstood their words. You may find that the Peace Treaty itself and the declarations of the two parties have never mentioned a pledge of allegiance, nor Imamate, nor caliphate (succession). So why have some historians claimed that? For example, b. Qutayba al-Dinawari said that al-Hasan pledged allegiance to Mu'awiya for the Imamate.

Before we discuss this matter or those who believe in it, it is better for us to shed light upon the Islamic caliphate which was attributed to Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan and the Islamic Law that prevented the people from pledging allegiance to those who were like him. In this connection, we say:

Mu'awiya and the Succession

We have already mentioned that the succession in Islam after the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, should be for those who were similar to him in all his outstanding qualities and that neither the freed prisoner, nor his son, nor those who became Muslims after the Conquest of Mecca had the right to succeed the Prophet as `Umar b. al-Khattab said. Also we have previously said that the caliphate (succession) after the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, would last for thirty years, and then a biting king would take it. (The Sunnis have a corrected tradition).

We have also said that the Imamate was concluded through the textual nomination (as the Shi'a and the Mu'tazilites believe) and that the victory and force made the unlawful thing lawful. Therefore it is not correct to take the Caliphate by force. Also it is not correct to impose it on the Muslims by force.

Besides the person who succeeded the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, had no right to oppose his (the Prophet's) rules openly and secretly, while Mu'awiya had violated them openly and secretly when he committed ugly deeds such as adding the adulterer to his lineage, performing Friday prayer on Wednesday, and breaking the pledge he made with Allah.

Moreover, from the time of Mu'awiya till this time, the learned people in the Islamic community have not regarded Mu'awiya's authority over the Muslims as succession, in the full sense of the word. They have not regarded him as successor after the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. Noteworthy the Umayyad nominal successors and their followers volunteered to propagate that for one thousand months. That was the period of their dynasty in Islam. During this period of time, they spent bribes generously, and fabricated traditions and stories according to their plans and desires. Still Mu'awiya was a mere worldly king and nominal caliph.

After Mu'awiya had taken the reins of government, Sa'd b. Abu Waqqas came to him and said: "oh King, as- salamu `alayka!" Mu'awiya smiled at him and said: "Abu Ishaq, what prevent you from saying: `Commander of the faithful’?" Sa'd said: "Do you say this cheerfully? By Allah, I dislike to call you the Commander of the faithful as I called him (i.e., 'Ali) with it."5

In a long speech, b. `Abbas said to Abu Musa al Ash'ari: "Mu'awiya has no quality to be a successor."6

To oppose Mu'awiya's succession, Abu Hurayra has narrated the following on the authority of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, "The successor (Khilafa) is in Medina and the king is in Syria (Sham)."7

Ibn Abu Shayba has narrated: "Sufayna, the servant of the Apostle of Allah (may Allah bless him and his family), was asked about the worthiness of the banu (sons) of `Umayya of the succession (Khilafa), so he said: `The banu of al-Zarqa' (i.e., the Umayyads) have told lies.

Rather they are kings from the evil kings. Mu'awiya is the first of them.'"8

`A'isha was astonished to hear that Mu'awiya claimed that he was the successor (Khalifa). He heard of that, so he said: "How wonderful! `A'isha claims that I am inappropriate for the Caliphate. May Allah forgive her. Why does she oppose that?"9

Abu Bakra (Ziyad's half brother, on his mother's side) attended the meeting of Mu'awiya. The latter said to him: "Abu Bakra, tell us." Abu Bakra (as b. Sa'd narrated) said: "I heard the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family saying: `The succession (Khilafa) will (last for) thirty (years), then the king (will come).'" `Abd al-Rahman b. Abu Bakra said: "I was with my father, so Mu'awiya ordered us to be pushed in the back till we were taken out."10

Mu'awiya asked Sa'sa'a b. Sawhan al-`Abdi: "Which of the caliphs do you regard me?"

Sa'sa'a said: "What do you think of the caliph who have ruled the people by force, subjugated them with haughtiness, and assumed power through false ways (such as) telling lies and cunning? Indeed, by Allah, you had neither a sword nor a spear at (the Battle of) Badr. You and your father were in the war and the trade. You were from those who provoked (the people) against the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. Indeed, you are a freed prisoner and the son of a freed prisoner. The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, released you. So is the succession to authority appropriate for the freed prisoner?"11

Al-Mughira b. Shu'ba came to Mu'awiya, then he left him and said to his son: "I have come from the most evil of all people."12

Mu'awiya's governor Samra cursed him on the day when he removed him from the authority of Basrah. He (Samra) said: "My Allah curse Mu'awiya, by Allah, if I had obeyed Allah as I obeyed him (Mu'awiya), He (Allah) would have never tortured me." 13

Al-Hasan al-Basri said: "Mu'awiya had four qualities. If he had only one of them, it would have been a grave sin: he controlled this community with the foolish, so he assumed power without asking its advise, while among it was the rest of the Companions (of the Prophet) and the virtuous. He appointed his son as successor, while he was drunkard, wore silk, played on the mandolins. He claimed that Ziyad was (his brother), while the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: "The child is for bed and the prostitute is stoned."'14 Moreover, he killed Hujr, woe unto him from Hujr and the Companions of Hujr!"

After the Peace Treaty, the Mu'tazilites refused to pledge allegiance to Mu'awiya. They isolated themselves from both al-Hasan and Mu'awiya. For this reason they called themselves the Mu'tazilites.15

Then the days of Mu'awiya passed, so the jurists of the Four Schools have regarded him as an example of the oppressive ruler.16

Also he became the aggressor against whom fighting was obligatory according to the idea of Abu Hanifa al-Nu'man b. Thabit.17

So I (i.e., the author) wonder: where is the succession (Khilafa)?

Al-Mu'tazid al-`Abbasi came (to power). He propagated again the deeds of Mu'awiya, his great disasters, what was said concerning him, and what was narrated regarding him. He summoned the Muslims to curse him through the royal decree which was announced to the people in the year 284 A.H.18

Having mentioned the succession of al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on them, al-Ghazali said: "The Caliphate reached the people who assumed it without worthiness.19

The most wonderful words said concerning Mu'awiya in the sixth century A.H., were those of the chief of Basrah: "Mu'awiya was like the false dirham."20

Ibn Kathir declared that Mu'awiya was not the successor according to the previous tradition (of the Prophet): "We have already mentioned that the succession after him (i.e., the Prophets peace be on him, would (last) for thirty years, then a king (would come). Surely, the thirty years were over in (the beginning) of the succession of al Hasan b. 'Ali, so the days of Mu'awiya were the beginning (of the authority) of the king."21

After al-Dimyari (died 808 A.H.) had mentioned the period of the succession of al-Hasan, peace be on him, he said: "It (i.e., the period of the succession of al-Hasan) was the end of what the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said concerning the period of the succession, then it (the Caliphate) would be (assumed by) a biting king, then it would be tyranny and corruption in the earth, that occurred as the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his. family, said."22

At last, Muhammad b. `Aqil wrote his valuable book `al-Nasa'ih al-Kafiya liman yatawalld Mu'awiya.' Indeed, the book is the decisive idea concerning the matter of Mu'awiya. The book was printed twice. Please, see the book.

The Islamic Law refuses such a kind of succession. Mu'awiya clearly disobeyed the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. The learned people blamed him for that. Therefore we think that there is no need to go on discussing the subject: Mu'awiya and the Succession.

Like the other Muslim leaders, al-Hasan himself, after he had handed over the authority to Mu'awiya, was clear in denying Mu'awiya's succession. In his speech on the day when he held a meeting in Kufa, al-Hasan said: "Mu'awiya has claimed that I have seen him worthy of the succession, and I have not seen myself worthy of it. Mu'awiya has told lies. We are the worthiest of all people of the Book of Allah, the Great and Almighty, as His Apostle said." (We will mention his speech in chapter 18.)

In another speech, after the Peace Treaty, al-Hasan said in the presence of Mu'awiya: "The caliph is not he who believes in oppression, stops the laws, and regards the life in this world as father and mother. However, that is a king who obtains supreme authority to enjoy it, hastens towards its pleasure, and pays no attention to its final consequence. So he is as Allah, the Great and Almighty, said: `And I do not know of this may be a trial for you and a provision till a time.' "23

2. Ideas on the Pledge of Allegiance

In his book `Usul al-Kafi, p. 61', Muhammad b. Ya'qub al Kulayni, may Allah have mercy on him, has narrated: "Indeed al Hasan stipulated that he should not call Mu'awiya Commander of the faithful (Amir al-mu'minin)."

In his book ` `Ilal al-Shard' p. 81', Muhammad b. 'Ali b. Babawayh said: "Indeed al-Hasan stipulated that he should not testify that he called Mu'awiya the Commander of the faithful."

These two reports are cautious of recognizing the correctness of the succession of Mu'awiya and of the pledge of allegiance to him. Therefore al-Hasan handed over government to Mu'awiya, not the succession to authority.

As for the words of al-Dinawari in his book `al-Imama wa al Siyasa' that al-Hasan pledged allegiance to Mu'awiya for the Imamate, they oppose, first of all, Mu'awiya's abilities which we have already mentioned to show the relationship between him and the succession and the competence of the pledge of allegiance over the Muslims. Also these words oppose the declarations of al-Hasan who refused the succession of Mu'awiya, whether in his previous sermons or in his clear reservations in these two reports.

Concerning the matters of al-Hasan and Mu'awiya, al-Dinawari indicates plain partiality that was inappropriate for such a historian who lived in the third century when there was neither Mu'awiya nor his bribes nor his claims. However, these words resulted from the emotional motives that urged most of our historians. So al-Dinawari said again: "Neither al-Hasan nor al-Husayn saw evil or misfortune throughout Mu'awiya's lifetime." I (i.e., the author) say: Which evil is more horrible than usurping the throne unjustly? Again I wonder: are these the criteria of al-Dinawari?

If we want to look for an excuse for those who hastened to mention the pledge of allegiance (to Mu'awiya), we will say that they were affected by the propagation which was still heard. In the history of Islam there is no matter more prominent than transferring authority from the grandson of the Prophet to a freed prisoner from the freed prisoners who were known for their near history. For this reason, love controlled those who denied the Peace Treaty to the extent that they elaborated its annotations and footnotes. So they distorted what happened and forged that which did not happen. They used their imagination to give ideas of the pledge of allegiance to Mu'awiya.

Through these fabricated ideas, the Umayyads were able to take the reins of government after the event of peacemaking.

That is because the Peace Treaty was the pillar on which their claims for the worthiness of the claimed succession was based. For this reason the Muslims thought that Umayyads were not worthy of the succession nor was the succession appropriate for them.

Concerning that the Muslims depend on the words of Sufayna the servant of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family: "The banu (sons) of al-Zarqa' have told lies. Rather they are kings. Mu'awiya is the first of them."

Then the superficial knowledge of our Muslim historians of the history of Islam played an important role in this respect. So they regarded this made- up story as an actual fact. Very few of them refrained from curiosity in speech. Moreover, some of them exceeded the fact, so they mixed the ideas to the extent that they said that al Hasan recognized openly the pledge of allegiance to Mu'awiya. These mixed ideas made some of them go into fabrication and loss that are inappropriate for the manhood of the Muslim person who writes about a grandson of his great Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. Besides these mixed ideas endangered historical honesty. Accordingly, some of such kinds of historians have claimed that al Hasan sold the succession to authority for money.

Now, we are in no need to answer the claims of the liars.

If we want to understand the reconciliation which the two parties (i.e., al-Hasan and Mu'awiya) accepted, first we must depend on the meaning of the pledge of allegiance and the meaning of the Imamate as they are, and then we must depend on the reports of the event and the declarations of those who are specialists in the matter.

There are many proofs for this fact, so it leaves no room for doubt.

In the past the people resorted to the sayings of the old historians to understand the past events, namely they resorted to the historians who were contemporary with those events or came after them in a short period of time. This way led the later generations to different ideas and various parties. That happened in Muslim society and religion.

That is because the authorities of this history were under the influence of the ideas and the parties which they were unable to avoid during their times. At that time it was difficult for a certain author to avoid, in what he wrote, the emotional effects that took part in forming his literary works and in managing his social acts and interests. From here the sorrowful sensible worry appeared in many matters of Islamic history.

It is an act of truthfulness to say that the story of the pledge of allegiance with which the matter of al-Hasan was defamed was the result of that influence under which the historians had written their ideas. So they were either partial in writing down this story as a real truth to gain an immediate interest or they were ignorant of the reality.

Thus they thought that the declaration of handing over the authority in the text of the Peace of Treaty would permit them or help them enlarge the claim of the yielding to the pledge of allegiance. However, the historians did not know that the succession, as a Divine office, was not liable to any bargaining or handing over. Also the times could not change it through peacemaking or arbitration.

To understand clearly `handing over the authority' which has been mentioned in the first item in the Peace Treaty, we must depend on our method to conclude seriousness from the joking of the historians. So we must study this brief explanation through the two parties themselves.

3. Handing over the Authority

From what we have already mentioned, we have understood that Mu'awiya said to his son Yazid concerning the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them: "Indeed the right is their right."

Also we have known that Mu'awiya wrote to al-Hasan to pave the way to peacemaking: "The matters are not settled without you, and you are not disobeyed in a certain matter."

Also we have understood that Mu'awiya said after the Peace Treaty: "We have accepted it for authority."

Also we have known that Mu'awiya addressed the people from the pulpit of Kufa on the day when he arrived in it: "I have not fought against you to make you pray, nor to fast„ nor to make the pilgrimage, nor to pay Zakat (alms). Rather I have fought against you so that I might have power over you."

Also we have understood that al-Hasan b. 'Ali denied the succession to authority before Mu'awiya, so the latter kept silent and did not answer the former.

Therefore we must know that when Mu'awiya accepted the Peace Treaty for authority, he denied it to be succession for himself. That was when he said: "I have not fought against you to make you pray, nor to pay Zakat (alms)." Here Mu'awiya indicated that he was not the successor of religion. However, he was a king in the life in this world. He was indifferent to performing prayers and paying Zakat.

Rather he intended to plot against the people. Mu'awiya said to al-Hasan "The matters are not settled without you." Also he said to his son Yazid: "The right is their right." Thus he recognized the high position of al-Hasan and his authority which was not disobeyed in a certain matter. That was the position of the succession to authority. At that time it was necessary for Mu'awiya to keep silent when al-Hasan denied his succession clearly and accused him of lying when he claimed it for himself without worthiness.

Accordingly, where is the handing over of the succession to authority which the historians claimed?

There is another thing that indicates clearly that Mu'awiya was not the successor. That was when he smiled at Sa'd b. Abu Waqqas on the day when the latter came to the former and said to him: "King, Assalamu `alayka!," and did not say: "Commander of the faithful." The deep meaning of this phrase indicates clearly that Mu'awiya wanted to admit his error when he wanted to take the authority as war booty, not as means between the Muslims and their Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family.

For this reason Mu'awiya was worthy of the words of Sa'd, whom Mu'awiya was unable to trick, when he said to him: "By Allah, I dislike to call Mu'awiya the Commander of the faithful as I called him (i.e., 'Ali) with that." He meant that Mu'awiya was inappropriate for this title that grew on the prohibited blood, the black discords, and the corrupt times.

In accordance with this explanation, Sa'd understood that al-Hasan handed government to Mu'awiya and nothing else. This should be understood according to the language of the Qur'an (i.e., the Arabic language) on the succession or the language of the two contracting parties (i.e., al-Hasan and Mu'awiya) in the Peace Treaty. When the great Muslim researcher, Sayyid Amir 'Ali al-Hindi, may Allah have mercy on him, studied the Peace Treaty, he called it `the abdication from authority.'24

Some of what al-Hasan, peace be on him, said to those who blamed him for making peace with Mu'awiya is: "Abu `Amir, don't say that I have humiliated the believers. Rather I had hated to kill them for the authority."25

Also al-Hasan said to another companion of his: "I have made these (the Umayyads) quarrel with each other over the authority of the world, of which I am in no need."'26

In this way we see that the two parties (i.e., al-Hasan and Mu'awiya) agreed on that the battle for which they advanced against each other with their two armies was for the authority. This means that the peace which they concluded in their treaty was for the authority. For they made peace today with each other for what they differed over yesterday. In the viewpoint that was standing between the two parties, through these declarations or on the day when they made peace with each other, there is no mentioning of the succession to authority whether concerning handing it over or receiving it.

Then, in these declarations, we find them (i.e., al-Hasan and Mu'awiya) agreed on preferring one of them to the other for the position without which the matters would not be decided. It was the position that permitted al-Hasan to say the following words concerning Mu'awiya, namely, it was as if that al-Hasan appointed Mu'awiya to an office while the latter was at that time present at the meeting of the former: "He (i.e., Mu'awiya) is more knowledgeable in his affair and more thankful (to us) for appointing him to this matter."27 He meant the matter of the authority.

I (i.e., the author) wonder: Do you see the great difference between this position of al-Hasan and what the pedantic ones imagined when they explained handing over the authority as handing over the succession to authority (Khilafa)?

We think that this idea was a mistake which an author made with intention. Then the authors learned it from him without intention. In such a way many mistakes have been made in history. These mistakes have distorted the facts of history, changed some of its splendor, and doubled the efforts of the researchers. Then if you take care of your subject through checking its references, you will find that it belongs to one origin, and then if you check the origin, you will find it belongs to one origin.

As for the nominal succession, we don't oppose it even it was taken by Mu'awiya and those who claimed it for themselves or took it by weapon or inherited it from those who claimed and took it.

If it is true that the community permitted Mu'awiya to derive the succession to authority from the claim and the power of the weapon, then there will be no doubt in the term.

According to this idea, no wonder when Mu'awiya was the successor of the influence and authority, and al-Hasan b. 'Ali was the successor of the Prophet and the partner of the Qur'an.

No wonder when what has been mentioned in some texts, if we suppose that the narration is correct and safe from distortion, is the practical usage of the word (al-Khilafa) in its new meaning!

4. The Fate of the Succession to Authority after Mu'awiya

Mu'awiya sent letters to al-Hasan to pave the way to make peace with him. In these letters the fate of the Succession to authority was clearly limited. For example, Mu'awiya asked al-Hasan to hand over the authority for his lifetime. Thus he said: "The authority will be for you after me."28 "You are the worthiest of all people of it."

In this way the text has been mentioned in the Peace Treaty.

In such a way the people understood the reconciliation, namely, they understood it as taking the authority by force throughout the lifetime of Mu'awiya who was about thirty years older than al-Hasan. It was expected that Mu'awiya would die before al-Hasan. In this way the truth would return to its proper place. It is noteworthy that al-Hasan was still at the beginning of his middle age or at the end of his youth.

However, the evil plans had certain considerations that did not depend on the criteria. The plain item concerning the worthiness of al-Hasan of the succession to authority after Mu'awiya was the most prominent of all items of the Peace Treaty. The people knew that for ten years. However, the hostile propagation covered it. Besides the historians distorted it. Thus some of them said: "Mu'awiya had no right to appoint anyone (to the succession to authority)." The others were so kind that they formed it according to their own ideas when they said: "The succession to authority after Mu'awiya would be a Muslim consultative committee."

As for the truthful historians, they have narrated it (the Peace Treaty) as it is. The professional historians have forgotten that distorting the fact in the text does not avail them in changing the reality during the practical stage. That is because it was impossible for the Muslims, whether through the consultative committee or the like, to ignore the grandson of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. Of course, that would have happened if al-Hasan had remained alive on the day when Mu'awiya died and the Muslims had been free to elect the successor or to exchange views freely. Accordingly, the authentic narration and the distorted one, rather the three claimed forms of the one narration would have been practically limited if al-Hasan had remained alive.

Therefore to evade the historical honesty was for nothing but for the cooperation with the ruling authority to pave the way to pledge allegiance to Yazid.

The skillful historian has abolished the textual nomination of al Hasan and changed it into the consultative committee. He had adopted the best way of fabrication and distortion. However, he forgot that he added nothing to the aims which he wished for his friend (i.e., Mu'awiya) who abolished them both. That is because the consultative committee which the historian meant does not concern the election of the successor to authority, rather it concerns the affairs which the caliph or the head of the Muslims manages. Such was the first legislation of the consultative committee on the day when Allah, the Glorified, said: "And take counsel with them in the affair." For this reason Allah praised the Muslims when He said: "And their rule is to take counsel among themselves."

The verse is clear in negating leadership which the people made or rather it does not impose it on the people.

This historian and the other historians used their imagination when they thought that the matter of election depended on the Book (i.e., the Qur'an). For this reason `A'isha, the Prophet's wife, summoned the people to the consultative committee she did not attribute it to Allah, the Great and Almighty. Rather she attributed it to `Umar b. al Khattab. Besides if she had found a way to ascribe it to Allah, she would have followed it, for that would have supported her proof very much. So when she entered Basrah, she said: "I think that you should look for those who had killed `Uthman to kill them as they had killed him."29

At last many definite contexts do not accept this text (i.e., the subject of the study) but the authentic narration which we have mentioned in the second item in the form of the Peace Treaty. That is because:

1. The letters of Mu'awiya to al-Hasan, peace be on him, have indicated that as we have said before.

2. It is appropriate for the conditions which al-Hasan himself had made as we have mentioned in the Blank Page.

3. It is the most famous report, for it has been narrated many times.

4. The second item with the clear text was very famous throughout the lifetime of al-Hasan, peace be on him, to the extent that it became the proof in many sermons and speeches.

For example, Sulayman b. Sirt referred to it in what he had mentioned to al-Hasan after the Peace Treaty. Jariya b. Qaddama had mentioned it to Mu'awiya to denote that it was a well- known decree concerning the right of al-Hasan to the authority after him. Al-Ahnaf b. Qays had mentioned it as an axiomatic thing when he delivered a speech to refute the pledge of allegiance to Yazid. At that time, through this speech, he addressed Mu'awiya himself before a large gathering.

He (i.e., al-Ahnaf b. Qays) said: "You have known that you had not conquered Iraq by force, nor had you overcome it. However, you have made pledges with al-Hasan b. 'Ali before Allah to hand over the authority to him after you. So if you fulfill (your pledges), then you are appropriate for fulfillment. If you break (your pledges), then you will do wrong to (al-Hasan). By Allah, behind al-Hasan there are quick horses, strong arms, and sharp swords. Indeed if you approach him in a single span of perfidy, you will find behind him a span of the outstretched arms of victory. You know that the Iraqis have not loved you since they hated you."30 There are many examples similar to this one.

5. The Rest of the Items

You may see, till now, that our study on the prominent points in the items of the Peace Treaty have not exceed two items, namely the first and the second items.

As for the third item, in chapter 14, we discussed with Mu'awiya about its subject. So see that chapter. Also we have discussed the Blank Page which Mu'awiya had sent to al-Hasan, peace be on him to write on it whatever he wanted of conditions. In chapter 16, the speech about this Page is the context that indicates that the reports of the Peace Treaty are in the interest of al-Hasan more than they are in the interest of his opponents.

In accordance with this, the third item means nothing but that it prevents Mu'awiya absolutely from cursing the Commander of the faithful (i.e., Imam 'Ali), peace be on him, whether al-Hasan is present or absent. What some historians added to it, such as that the Commander of the faithful should not be cursed when al Hasan was present or heard that,31 is not taken into consideration, nor is it appropriate for the essence of the Peace Treaty. That is because the two parties (i.e., al-Hasan and Mu'awiya) were making real peace and permanent mutual understanding.

As for the fourth item, it was, in fact, a connected exception of the material things which should be handed to Mu'awiya according to the Peace Treaty. This means that the Peace Treaty gave Mu'awiya whatever he wanted of property with the exception of the sums of money which have been mentioned in this item. Al-Hasan chose to take these sums of money for himself, his brother, and his Shi'a (followers). These sums of money were from his rights. He disposed them according to the authorization of Allah, the Most High. He chose these sums of money from the legal land taxes, namely from the land taxes of Dar Abjard.32 For he did not want to subject himself to suspicions.

I (i.e., the author) say: This explanation is different from that of those who unjustly treated the position of al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on them, when they misunderstood the reality of these sums of money. So they regarded them as a cost of the succession to authority, al Hasan as a seller, and Mu'awiya as a buyer. It is better for such narrow- minded people not to discuss the matters that show the reader their narrow-mindedness, so they wrong themselves before they wrong their subjects.

We have already mentioned the meaning of the succession to authority and Mu'awiya's abilities. Thus it is enough for us to say that this prattle is impossible. So there is no need to repeat it again.

As for the fifth item, it will be explained in the chapters that follow.

  • 1. Ibn Kathir, al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 220.
  • 2. Ibn Abd al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 13.
  • 3. Ibn Qutayba al-Dinawari, al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, p. 203.
  • 4. Al-Ya'qubi, Ta'rikh, vol. 2, p. 192.
  • 5. Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 3, p. 163. Muhammad b. `Aqil, al-Nasa'ih al-Kafiya, p. 158.
  • 6. Al-Mas'udi, Hamish b. al-Athir, vol. 6, p. 7.
  • 7. Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 6, p. 321.
  • 8. Muhammad b. `Aqil, al-Nasa' ih al-Kafiya (Iran), p. 153.
  • 9. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 5.
  • 10. Muhammad b. `Aqil, al-Nasa'ih al-Kafiya, p. 159.
  • 11. Al-Mas'udi, Hamish b. al-Athir, vol. 6, p. 7.
  • 12. Al-Mas'udi, Muruj al-Dhahab, vol. 2, p. 342. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 2. p. 357.
  • 13. Muhammad b. `Aqil, al-Nasa'ih al-Kafiya, p. 9.
  • 14. Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, vol. b, p. 157.
  • 15. Muhammad b. Ahmad (died 377 A.H.), al-Tanbih wa al-Radd 'ala Ahl al-Ahwa' wa al-Buda', p. 28.
  • 16. That is because they have agreed on that it is permitted for the oppressive ruler to assume judgeship according to the act of the Companions who permitted Mu'awiya assume judgeship.
  • 17. Abu Hanifa said: "Do you know why the Syrians hate us?" "No," they answered. He said: "That is because we think that if we had joined the Camp of 'Ali b. Abu Talib may Allah honor him, we would have help him against Mu'awiya and fought the latter for the former. For this reason they hate us." See, Muhammad b. `Aqil, al-Nasa'ih al-Kafiya, p. 36, in what he has narrated on the authority of Abu Shaker in his book `al-Tamhid fi Bayan al Tawhid.
  • 18. Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, vol. 11, p. 355.
  • 19. Farid Wajdi, Da'irat Ma'arif al-Qarn al-`Ishrin, vol. 3, p. 231.
  • 20. Dr. Mustafa Jawad, Abu Ja`far al-Naqib (Baghdad), p. 41.
  • 21. Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 8, p. 19.
  • 22. Al-Dimyari, Hayht al-Hayawan al-Kubra, vol. 1, p. 58.
  • 23. Al-Bayhaqi, al-Mahasin wa al-Masawi', vol. 2, p. 63. Other authors have mentioned this speech.
  • 24. Amir 'Ali al-Hindi, Mukhtasar Ta'rikh al-'Arab wa al-Tamaddin al-Islami, p. 61.
  • 25. Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 8, p. 19. ' Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin al-'Amili, A'yan al-Shi'a, vol. 4, p. 52. Al Hakim, al-Mustadrak.
  • 26. Ahmad Shahab al-Din al-'Asqalani, al-Isaba fi Tamyiz al-Shahaba, vol. 2, p. 12.
  • 27. Al-Bayhaqi, al-Mahasin wa al-Masawi', vol. 1, p. 64.
  • 28. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 13.
  • 29. Farid Wajdi, Da'irat Ma'arif al-Qarn al-`Ishrin, vol.4, p.535.
  • 30. You find all this sermon and the references concerning it in chapter 20 when we will mention the way that facilitated the pledge of allegiance to Yazid.
  • 31. Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 3, p. 162. After that he said: "Then he (i.e., Mu'awiya) did not fulfill it, either."
  • 32. In his book (al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 3, p. 162), Ibn al-Athir said: "As for the land taxes of Dar Abjard, the people of Basrah stopped them." They said: "These land taxes are ours. We do not give them to anyone." Also he said: "They stopped them according to Mu'awiya's order."

Meeting In Kufa

The two Parties (i.e., al-Hasan and Mu'awiya) had adopted the idea of peacemaking. Thus it was natural for them to appoint a certain place to declare the Peace Treaty. In other words the two sides wanted to hold their meeting at one place to be a practical way of the peacemaking which history witnessed, and to admit before the people the conditions which they had to fulfill. So they had chosen Kufa and went there. Large groups of people went with them. So the great capital (i.e., Kufa) was full of them. They were- at most- the soldiers of the two parties, who left their camps and hurried to witness that historical day when Kufa was expected to witness willingly or unwillingly.

For the first time, the Iraqi capital was full of thousands of red Syrian soldiers, who were Muslims and Christians. These two camps (i.e., Kufa and Syria) suffered from a series of historical enmities and bloody battles beginning from the events of Salman al Bahili and Habib b. Muslima al-Fahri, during the lifetime of `Uthman b. `Affan, to this day of peacemaking. Then what do you think about the loyal Kufan soldier who was expected to lay down his arms during the great wave of noise which the Syrian soldiers made in al-Masjid al-Jami` which was founded on piety from Allah?

The deadly disaster hit the loyal group from the supporters of the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. Also it hit those supporters who ignored the aims of al-Hasan through making peace with Mu'awiya or ignored the real motives that forced the former to make peace with the latter. As for the traitorous majority. They clearly showed their treason. Groups of the Kufans were seen among the masses of the Syrians. They wanted to take part in the cheated happiness of the Syrians during their cold festivals and to take part in their overcome victory.

The people were summoned to al-Masjid al-Jami' to listen to the two orators (i.e., al-Hasan and Mu'awiya) who had signed the Peace Treaty.

It was necessary for Mu'awiya to compete with al-Hasan for the pulpit, so the former got ahead of the latter and went up on it.1 Then Mu'awiya addressed the people with his long speech which the references have not narrated except some prominent paragraphs.

Among them, as al-Ya'qubi has narrated, is: "Now then, indeed, if a community differs in opinion after its prophet, its falsehood will overcome its truth." He (i.e., al-Ya'qubi) said: "Then Mu'awiya paid attention to what he had said, so he said: `Except what this community has done.2

Also among them is what al-Mada'ni has narrated: "Kufans, do you think that I have fought against you to make you pray and fast and pay zakat and perform the pilgrimage? Indeed I know that you pray, pay zakat, and perform the pilgrimage. However, I have fought against you to have power over you and to twist your necks and Allah has given that to me while you are reluctant (to that).

Indeed every blood which has been shed in this discord is postponed and every condition I have given to al-Hasan is under these two feet of mine. Nothing reforms the people but three (things): taking out the giving at its proper time, returning the soldiers at their suitable time, and attacking the enemy in his homeland. Indeed if you do not attack them, they will attack you."

On the authority of Habib b. Abu Thabit, Abu al-Faraj al Isfahani has narrated that Mu'awiya mentioned 'Ali in this oration and defamed him, then he defamed al-Hasan.3

Abu Ishaq al-Subay'i4 has added the following words to what he has narrated of Mu'awiya's oration: "Indeed everything which I have given to al-Hasan b. 'Ali is under these two feet of mine. I will not fulfill it."

Abu Ishaq said: "By Allah, he (i.e., Mu'awiya) was traitorous."

Then the people looked forward to al-Hasan. Suddenly, they saw the grandson of the Apostle of Allah, who was the most similar of them all to him in form, manners, dignity, and correctness, coming from the direction of the mihrab (prayer niche) of his father in the great mosque to go up on his pulpit. The mobs were fond of curiosity. They were eager to conclude the obscure things from the affairs of the great figures. So they remembered the stammering Mu'awiya made in his speech. They understood the plentiful self- possession of al-Hasan when he went up on the pulpit and began looking at the large gatherings of people who crowded in the wide mosque. They were eager to hear al-Hasan's answer to Mu'awiya who refused the conditions of the Peace Treaty, broke the covenants, shed blood, and attacked the innocent. Al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on them, was a clever orator. He made a speech during that critical situation. His long eloquent speech was a wonderful document.

Through this speech, al Hasan was able to explain the situation standing between the people and the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, after the death of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. At the beginning of the speech, al-Hasan preached and advised the Muslims. Then he summoned them to conform to love, satisfaction, and unity. In the middle of the speech, he reminded them of the attitudes of his family, rather the attitudes of prophets. At the end of the speech, he answered Mu'awiya without any abusing or cursing. However, through his eloquent style, he was the most painful curser and abuser.

In his speech, al-Hasan said: "Praise belongs to Allah whenever a man praises Him. I testify that there is no god but Allah whenever a man testifies Him. I testify that Muhammad is His servant and His apostle whom He sent with the truth and whom He entrusted with revelation, may Allah bless him and his family.

Now then, by Allah, I hope that I shall always be with Allah's praise and kindness. I am the sincerest of Allah's creatures in giving advice to them. I do not bear malice to any Muslim, nor do I wish evil misfortune for him. Indeed unity (jama `a) is better than division. I take care of you more than you take care of yourselves. Therefore do not oppose my commands and do not reject my judgment. My Allah forgive both me and you. May He guide me and you to that in which there is love and satisfaction. 5

"Men, indeed, Allah has guided you through the foremost one of us and spared your blood through the last one of us. Indeed there is a period of time for this authority, and the world changes. Allah, the Great and Almighty, said to his Apostle: `I do not know whether what you are threatened with is near or far. Surely He knows what is spoken openly and He knows what you hide. And I do not know if this may be a trial for you and a provision till a time.'6

"Indeed Mu'awiya has told you that I see him appropriate for the succession to authority, and I do not see myself appropriate for it. So Mu'awiya has told you lie. We are worthier of the succession to authority than the people in the Book of Allah, the Great and Almighty, and on the tongue of His prophet. We, the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), have been oppressed since Allah made His prophet to die.

So Allah is between him and us, who oppressed us, controlled us, provoked the people against us, deprived us of our share of booty, and deprived our mother of what the Apostle of Allah had allotted to her. I swear by Allah, if the people had pledged allegiance to my father when the Apostle of Allah left them, the sky would have given them its rain and the earth its boon, and you, Mu'awiya, would have not wished for it (the authority). When it (i.e., the authority) came out of its origin, Quraysh differed over it. So the freed prisoners and their sons, you and your friends, wished for it. Indeed the Apostle of Allah said: `If a community appoints a man over its authority and among it there is the one who is more knowledgeable than him (i.e., the man), their authority will come to nothing till they return to him whom they have left.' Indeed the children of Israel had left Harun (Aaron) while they knew that he was the successor of Musa (Moses) and they followed al-Samiri (Samaritan). This community had left my father while it certainly heard the Apostle of Allah say: `You are in the same position with respect to me as Harun (Aaron) to Musa (Moses) except prophethood.'

Indeed they (the community) saw the Apostle of Allah appointing my father on the day of Ghadir Khum and ordered the present to convey his order to the absent. The Apostle of Allah left his people while he was summoning them to (believe) in Allah so that he entered the Cave. If he had found supporters, he would have not left them. My father sufficed him (the Prophet) when he summoned and called them for help, but he was not helped. So Allah made Aaron at ease when they considered him weak and were about to kill him. Allah made the Prophet at ease when he entered the Cave and found no helpers. Also my father (was) and I am at ease from Allah when this community has deserted us. Indeed the (Divine) laws and the examples follow each other.7

"By Him Who sent Muhammad with the truth, if someone decreases our right, we the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), Allah will decrease his act. When oppression befalls us, the final result will be for us, surely you will know its news after a time."8

Then al-Hasan turned to Mu'awiya again to refute the defamation which Mu'awiya ascribed to his father. So he said wonderful words: "O you who mention 'Ali, I am al-Hasan and 'Ali was my father. You are Mu'awiya and your father was Sakhr (Abu Sufyan).

My mother was Fatima and your mother was Hind. My grandfather was the Apostle of Allah and your grandfather was Harb. My grandmother was Khadija and your grandmother was Futayla. May Allah 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."

The narrator said: "Groups of the people in the mosque shouted out: `Amen, Amen!' "Al-Fadl b. al-Hasan said: Yahya b. Main said: "I say: Amen!" Abu al-Faraj said: Abu `Ubayd said: Al-Fadl said: "I say: Amen!" 'Ali b. al-Husayn al-Isfahani (i.e., Abu alFaraj) said: Ibn Abu al-Hadid said: "Amen!" I said: `Abd al-Hamid b. Abu al-Hadid, the author of this book, (i.e., Sharh Nahj al Balagha) said: "Amen!"'9

I (i.e., the author) say: Also we say: "Amen!"

In the history of world speeches, this is the only speech that finds favor with generations throughout history.

Such is the true speech. It ascends and nothing ascends over it!

After that, al-Hasan got ready to go to Medina.

The leaders of the Shi'a came to al-Hasan to see him off. Among them were al-Musayyab b. Nujayya al-Fazari and Zabyan b. `Ammara al Tamimi. So al-Hasan said: "Praise belongs to Allah Who overcomes His affair. If all creatures came together to prevent something from occurring, they would be unable to do that." Then al-Musayyab talked and showed his loyalty to the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. So al-Hasan, peace be on him, said to him: "Musayyab, we know that you love us."

Also al-Hasan, peace be on him, said: "I have heard my father say: I have heard the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, say: Whoever loves ( a group of) people is with them." Then al-Musayyab and Zabyan asked him to return with them. So he said: "There is no way for that." Early in the morning, he left Kufa. The people saw him off while they were weeping. After the Peace Treaty, he stayed in Kufa for some days.

When al-Hasan arrived at Dir Hind10 (al-Hira), he looked at Kufa and said:

I have left the house of my folks not because of hate

It is they who defended my possessions and my family.11

I (i.e., the author) say: How wonderful this angelic self is! Though al-Hasan suffered from the disobedience and disasters of this city (i.e., Kufa), he left it reciting this line of poetry. He remembered nothing of the long history of Kufa but the loyalty of the loyal who defended his possessions and his family, who protected him from those who attacked him at al-Mada'in, and who obeyed him when he faced hardships at Maskan. So they were sincere companions and good supporters though they were few in number.

Then the great caravan moved carrying the rest of the servants of Allah in the earth and the heritage of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, in Islam. They were unable to bear the situation in Kufa so that they headed for their homeland to seek protection in the grave of their grandfather against the adversities of the traitorous time.

After Muhammad's household had left Kufa, Allah punished the Kufans with plague. It was their immediate punishment because of their attitude towards these righteous ones. Al-Mughira b. Shu'ba, the Umayyad governor of Kufa, fled Kufa because he was afraid of plague. Then he returned to it, but was infected with plague and died.12

  • 1. Jabir b. Sammra said: "I have not seen the Apostle of Allah delivering a speech but he was standing. So whoever tells you that he delivered a speech and he was sitting, then accuses him of lying." Al-Jaza'iri has narrated this tradition in his book `Ayat al-Ahkam', p. 75.
  • 2. Al-Ya'qubi, Ta'rikh, vol. 2, p. 192.
  • 3. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 16.
  • 4. He was `Amr b. `Abd Allah al-Hamadani al-Tabi'i. Concerning him, it is said that he performed the noon prayer with the darkness ablution (Wudu' al-`Atama) for forty years. He ended the Qur'an in every night. No one worshipped Allah more than he did, and no one was more reliable than him in the tradition.
  • 5. Shaykh al-Mufid, al-Irshad (Iran), p. 169.
  • 6. Al-Mas'udi, Ilamish b. al-Athir, vol. 6, p. 61- 2. Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 8, p. 18. Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 93.
  • 7. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 114.
  • 8. Al-Mas'udi, Hamish b. al-Athir, vol. b, pp. 61- 2.
  • 9. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 6.
  • 10. Hind was the daughter of al-Nu'man b. al-Mundhir. She was a nun in this abbey of her in al-Hira
  • 11. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 6.
  • 12. Al-Mas'udi, Hamish b. al-Athir, vol. 6, p. 97.

New Field

I hope you will agree with me that there are accurate criteria to evaluate the character of men when they are worried during their attempts. These criteria are their attitudes towards their stipulations. Rather they bind themselves to fulfill their stipulations willingly and voluntarily. Every man who takes care of his humanity should fulfill his stipulations of his own accord. For if he breaks them, he will defame his character, his reputation, and his right. It is easy for us to imagine the person who makes desperate efforts to keep his words and his promises. That is because such a persons dies for an ideal manner through which he loses the limited life to win the limitless life. Also he adds a new value to ideal humanitarian society.

As for the person who breaks his promise, violates his oath, does not keep his words, smiles at his friend and deceives him during certain conditions, then he frowns at his friend, turns away from him, and repents of what he has given him, he is not regarded as a human being. Rather he is the enemy of humanity. That is because he destroys the rules of humanity and paralyzes its decisions.

Moreover, such a person is the enemy of his character, for he subjects it to wrath, scorn, bad reputation, and deprivation of the trust of the society. After that, it does not avail him when he says or when the people say concerning him: "The end justifies the means." That is because this excuse itself is a perfect crime which the forgiving heart cannot bear. The ends, though different, must have the moral value on which the people have agreed. Therefore every end should have moral means. Besides the end is never moral unless it depends on moral means.

It is an act of kindness that all people, since the beginning of society, have agreed on the morality of the oath and of the promise to guarantee mutual interests. Apart from this all Divine religions have agreed on fulfilling the covenant.

It may be better for us to read, here, what the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, wrote to Malik al-Ashtar al-Nakha'i concerning this matter. He said: "Do not reject the peace to which your enemy may call you and wherein there is pleasure of Allah, because peace brings rest to your army and relief of your worries and safety for your country. However, after peace there is great apprehension from the enemy because often the enemy offers peace to benefit by your negligence. Therefore be cautious and do not act by wistfulness in this matter. If you conclude an agreement between yourself and your enemy or enter into a pledge with him, then fulfill your agreement and discharge your pledge faithfully.

Place yourself as a shield against whatever you have pledged because among the obligations of Allah there is nothing on which people are more strongly united despite the difference of their ideas and variation of their views than respect for fulfilling the pledges. Besides Muslims even unbelievers have abided by the agreements because they realized the dangers to come in the wake of violation (there of). Therefore do not deceive your enemy, because no one can offend against Allah save the ignorant and the wicked. Allah made agreement and pledge the sign of security which He has spread over his creatures through His mercy and an asylum in which they stay in His protection and seek benefit of His neighborhood. Therefore there should be no deceit, cunning or duplicity in it.

Do not enter into an agreement that may admit different interpretations and do not change the interpretation of vague words after the conclusion and confirmation (of the agreement). If an agreement of Allah involves you in hardship do not seek its repudiation without justification, because bearing of hardships through which you expect relief and handsome result is better than violation whose consequence you fear, and you apprehend that you will be called upon by Allah to account for it and you will be unable to seek forgiveness for it in this world or the next."

I (i.e., the author) say: If we return to our subject, we will see that the stipulations which al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on him, imposed on Mu'awiya in the Peace Treaty were certain pledges and strong oaths which history had never witnessed before. Moreover, Mu'awiya himself had written their final copy with his pen and stamped them with his stamp.

Therefore no wonder when the Islamic public opinion at that time looked forward to fulfilling these conditions because they were obligatory according to these pledges and oaths, and because their fulfillment would be appropriate for two figures of such kind in Islam.

As for that strange surprise which Mu'awiya started within a week after concluding the Peace Treaty, it shook the Muslim society. As we have already mentioned, Mu'awiya (according to al-Mada'ini's narration) said: "The conditions which I have made with al-Hasan are under these two feet of mine." Also he (according to the narration of Abu Ishaq al-Subay'i) said: "Indeed everything which I have given to al-Hasan b. 'Ali is under these two feet of mine. From now on I will not fulfill anything." Then al-Husayn b. al-Mundhir al-Raqqash bore witness against Mu'awiya when he said: "Mu'awiya did not fulfill what he had given to al-Hasan. He killed Hujr and his companions, pledged allegiance to his son, and poisoned al-Hasan."1

In this way, this man (i.e., Mu'awiya) with large possessions and narrow talents became the worst of all people in trust, and the least of them in importance according to the moral criteria on which the people had agreed. That is because he broke openly his oath and his pledge. That was a suitable punishment. For most of those who were deceived by him denied him as he denied his pledges and covenants. They put him at the place where he had put his conditions.

We do not know. We may be at the crossroads between the overcome past and the victorious future through which the historical struggle between al-Hasan and Mu'awiya will appear. Now, we are about to understand the great plan through which al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on him, made peace with Mu'awiya and imposed his will on him, though the latter was known for his cleverness in avoiding the failure in the plans he made to achieve his interests.

As we know, al-Hasan was the most knowledgeable of people in the truthfulness and loyalty of Mu'awiya. For this reason al-Hasan made Mu'awiya give strong forms of oath and pledges to be sure of his truthfulness and honesty and to show the stupid his abilities in his religion, his covenant, and his honor.

Al-Hasan took the initiative to start his movement towards his second field. From here he was able to add a new value to the matter of the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. Then the time passed. So the successful steps appeared one by one.

The most prominent steps which al-Hasan, peace be on him, accomplished through his plan to defame Mu'awiya, whether dead or alive, and the Umayyads are as follows:

1. He incited a large number of the great figures in the Islamic countries against Mu'awiya at the beginning of his independent period. So some of them cursed him openly; some of them regarded him as a wicked person; some of them blamed him face to face; some of them abandoned him; some of them said concerning him: "By Allah, he (i.e., Mu'awiya) was traitorous"; and some of them said concerning him: "Mu'awiya had four qualities. If he had only one of them, it would have been a grave sin."'2 Besides many men and women treated him in such a way. Now we do not intend to mention their number and their words.

2. He made some classes oppose Mu'awiya. That is because the items of the Peace Treaty included them whether concerning the security imposed in the items or the textual financial rights. So a great group of people regarded him as a mortal enemy, for he broke the conditions regarding their lives and belongings.

3. Through breaking al-Hasan's Peace Treaty, Mu'awiya thought that he would be able to create a formal situation for the pledge of allegiance to his son Yazid. In other words, with this situation, he wanted to destroy the Islamic laws which the Muslims adopted for the pledge of allegiance and the powers of the successor.

Immediately, the accomplished fact prevented Mu'awiya from achieving his aims. For this new pledge. of allegiance to his son Yazid incited all Muslims against the objectives of the Umayyads towards Islam. That was from the day when Mu'awiya nominated Yazid as a successor after him.

4. Mu'awiya killed good Muslims from the early companions and the later companions (of the Prophet) without any guilt. So these bloody disasters, which he committed openly after he had broken the Peace Treaty, were other factors to defame him and to destroy his claimed spirits. That took place according to the firm plan which Imam al-Hasan, peace be on him, wanted from the day when he decided to make peace with Mu'awiya.

5. The matter of al-Husayn in Karbala' in the year 61 A.H. was the greatest of al-Hasan's matters, for the latter paved the way to the former to fight against their mutual enemy who was the enemy of their father before.

We must not forget that al-Hasan said to al-Husayn on the day when he was about to die: "Abu `Abd Allah, there is no day (battle) like your day."

Though these words are short, they were the only symbol which was heard from al-Hasan, peace be on him, when he referred to the secret plan whose six dimensions obscurity covered from the day when he made peace with Mu'awiya to the day when he said these words. From these words you understand the language of the supreme commander who distributed the leaders according to the battles, and the days according to the occasions, then he distinguished his brother and the day of his brother when he said: "Abu Abd Allah, there is no day like your day."

Surely, the time occasions showed the steps of the plan one by one. It was necessary for one step to wake the other, the latter step to hire the former one, the first step to burn the firebrand of the second one, and so on. Also al-Hasan considered theses steps carefully from the day when he intended to make peace with Mu'awiya. Apart from this, he studied the psychological features of his opponents who were displeased with him, his brother, his Shi'a (followers), and all his objectives. These wide scale studies were the base on which al Hasan built his future steps that were necessary for both himself and his enemy. Certainly, al-Husayn would have adopted these steps if al Hasan himself had been unable to achieve them. This is what we wanted at the beginning of this chapter.

In this manner the immortal uprising of al-Husayn was the greatest step in the plan of his great genius brother.

The tragedy of Karbala', which all the languages in the earth have contained, is still the black stain that dyed the history of the Umayyads with shame as long as there is a mark for Karbala' and a name for the Umayyads.

6. In the historical periods after the tragedy of al-Husayn, peace be on him, in Karbala', the plan with strategic goals was still denoting a series of bloody events resulted from the core of the Umayyad situation with similar features to the period between the time of Mu'awiya and the time of his cousin called al-Himar (the donkey).3

Those who were interested in their Islam regarded the Ummayyads as an unjust government. Also they regarded them as the ones who overcame the people with oppression, extravagance, and deviation from the religious laws. In the course of time, the people were very indignant with the Umayyads and were read to sacrifice their lives to fight against them.

Therefore the Peace Treaty was concluded in the interest of Islam, the interest of the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them, and the interest of the Islamic mission. Moreover, less than one century, al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on them, became the victorious winner over his opponents who were defeated in history.

Al-Hasan's steps were successful. His policy was above all policies. He had done all that with silence, humbleness, and patience. Therefore he achieved righteousness, peace, and sparing the blood of the Muslims.

Accordingly, I (i.e., the author) wonder: Is greatness a thing other than this?

  • 1. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, pp. 6, 7, and 16.
  • 2. His friend Samra cursed him. His friend al-Mughira described him as the most evil of all people. `A'isha and others blamed him face to face. Malik b. Hubayra al-Sikuni abandoned him. Al-Rabi` b. Ziyad al-Harithi died of sadness because of his (Mu’awiya’s) acts. Abu Ishaq al-Subay'i said concerning him (By Allah, he was traitorous), and al-Hasan al-Basri said: "Mu'awiya had four qualities ...." Concerning these words see these books: Nahj al-Balagha, al-Kamil fi Ta'rikh, and Muruj al-Dhahab.
  • 3. His name was Marwan. He belonged to the Umayyads. The Umayyad dynasty ended during his lifetime. He was called al-Himar (i.e.,, the donkey) and al-Ju'di, for he was attributed to his teacher al-Ju'di b. Dirham. Ibn Dirham was an atheist, so he taught Marwan his doctrine. The people dispraised Marwan, for he belonged to al-Ju'di b. Dirham. The `Abbasid conquerors defeated Marwan and followed him, but he sought protection in the church at Bousir. I (i.e., the author) wonder: Why did Marwan not seek protection in the Mosques? See Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 5, pp. 159- 60.

Fulfilling The Stipulations

From the previous chapters, we have known the objectives that urged the two sides (i.e., al-Hasan and Mu'awiya) to make peace with each other and the conditions which both sides regarded as guarantees for their objectives.

After that, we have known that the two sides inclined practically to make peace with each other so that they held a meeting in Kufa. At that historical meeting, they were about to conclude an agreement, while they were unable to conclude such an agreement through their written documents and official letters when they intended to make peace with each other. However, it was Mu'awiya who made all those efforts go in vain though he was facing the most critical situation in his policy and his character as a king who wanted to rule the people who had not loved him since they hated him, as al-Ahnaf b. Qays said. So Mu'awiya met al-Hasan, but it was as b. Abu Sufyan met the son of the conqueror of Mecca, not as two fighters who laid their arms and exchanged the documents of peace. This was the firm manner of Mu'awiya though he sometimes affected much patience. Al-Hasan took advantage of this manner of Mu'awiya during the organized campaign which he launched against him in his second field as we have mentioned at the end of the previous chapter.

We have known all that in the near previous chapters so that we must understand whether both sides fulfilled their stipulations or broke them. Now, in this stage, we are facing the most sensitive point which has been studied very much in history.

We do not want to study this subject in detail, for such details will move memories. Some of these memories are painful; some of them are obvious scandals; and some of them disagree with the glories in history. In this book I have taken upon myself that I must depend on a clear analytical study about the matter of al-Hasan and Mu'awiya. So I must not ignore the elements of the subject. For they had the most wonderful effect on the results which al-Hasan b. 'Ali wanted to achieve through his Peace Treaty with Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan. As these details are very important for my subject, it is necessary for me to follow this subject step by step till I conclude clear results from the axiomatic premises, for these results will indicate the glory of the oppressed one (who was victorious) and the disgrace of the oppressive one (who was defeated). In this connection we say:

1. Fulfilling the first Stipulation

This was the only stipulation with which al-Hasan bound himself to fulfill for Mu'awiya.

This was the only condition which found fulfillment, while the other conditions were never fulfilled.

It was impossible for al-Hasan, after he had signed the Peace Treaty, to attempt to break this condition of his, not to talk about that, nor to accept any talk concerning that.

After Mu'awiya had declared that he would not fulfill his conditions, the leaders of the Shi'a went to al-Hasan, when he had returned to Medina, and told him that they and their followers were ready to wage holy war (jihad) under his leadership against Mu'awiya. In the meantime the Kufans promised that they would dismiss the Umayyad governor from Kufa, and that they would provide al Hasan with men and weapons to attack Sham (Syria) again. However, all these suggestions of the zealous supporters did not shake al-Hasan.

For example, Sulayman b. Sirt, who was the lord and chief of the Iraqis (as b. Qutayba said concerning him), said to al-Hasan: "He (i.e., Mu'awiya) said openly to the people what you have heard: `I have made conditions for the people, made promises to them, and made them desire (for that). Indeed all that is under these two feet of mine.' By Allah, with that, he meant nothing but that he has violated what is between you and him, so turn the war into a trick, and permit me to go to Kufa to dismiss its governor, and to declare his dismissal in it. Indeed Allah does not guide the cunning of traitors.

"Then b. Sirt kept silent, so all those who attended al-Hasan's meeting spoke as he did. All of them said: `Send Sulayman b. Sirt and send us with him. Then follow us when you know that we have dismissed his (Mu'awiya's) governor and declared his dismissal."1

Also Hujr b. `Adi al-Kindi whose strong position was in Iraq went to al-Hasan, as you will know very soon.

Al-Musayyab b. Nujayya went to him, too. Worth mentioning, al Musayyab was the only hero at Mudar, the red (al-Hamra'). If ten of its noble men were counted, he would be among them, as Zafr b. al Harith al-Kilabi said concerning him.

Others like these great figures went to him. All of them found nothing with al-Hasan except a good answer and asking to wait till Mu'awiya's death. That is because al-Hasan was unable to break the promise which he made with Mu'awiya. Moreover, he made use of the Kufans attitude towards him so that he was in no need of any other experience.

Al-Hasan's final answer to his companions was: "Every man of you should sit in his house as long as Mu'awiya is living. If Mu'awiya perished and you and I were alive, we would ask Allah for a decision to guide us, to help us in our matter, and not to leave us alone. Indeed Allah is with those who fear (Him) and who do good deeds."2

2. Fulfilling the second Stipulation

The neutral and the partial historians have unanimously agreed on that the condition which Mu'awiya gave to al-Hasan within the conditions of the Peace Treaty was that the former should not hand over the authority to anyone after him. This means that he had to hand it over to its legal owner, namely al-Hasan b. 'Ali. If al-Hasan died, the authority had to be handed over to his brother al-Husayn according to the condition that said that handing over the authority to Mu'awiya was limited to his lifetime, and that he had no right to hand it over to anyone after him.

Also the historians have unanimously agreed on that Mu'awiya violated this condition openly and appointed his son Yazid as a successor after him.

Now, we do not intend to discuss with Mu'awiya about the stipulation which he made, and then violated. However, he added this error to his errors which the Peace Treaty indicated whether he knew that or not. We have discussed the attitude of Mu'awiya towards his promises several times, so there is no need to discuss the most dangerous error which Mu'awiya made when he appointed his son Yazid as a successor after him.

In this connection we say: Through this ugly act, Mu'awiya committed the gravest sin in his religion, and the most horrible crime towards the public interest. Because of this impudent improvised act of Mu'awiya, the leadership of Islam deviated from its righteous way, the subjects lost their practical example, selfishness prevailed that society, the individuals and the groups mistreated each other, and the relationship between the leaders and their followers ended.

Accordingly, the people's inclinations became various and their aims became different. Besides the Umayyad authority was leading them to corruption so that they got ready to declare their bloody revolts and their internal uprising that were necessary to correct the errors and to warn the others against the dangers. Apart from this, the person must know what has been said about Yazid, and about his personal and moral abilities with which history is abound from his day to this day of ours, and which had obvious results during his authority. We do not want to write in detail about Yazid. However, we want to draw the attention of the gentle reader to the great error which Mu'awiya made, and through which he took the reins of the Islamic authority and violated all Islamic rules freely. Mu'awiya used strange ways to appoint his son as a successor over the Muslims. The friends and the enemies of Mu'awiya have narrated all these ways that are enough for us to be sure of his behavior as a Muslim and caliph.

These ways were the worst of all ways in history, and the farthest of them from the essence of Islam and its meaning and objectives. The results of these ways indicate the character of Mu'awiya and of the people who lived during his lifetime. If they were not among the sources of our wide research through which we want to explain the reason why al-Hasan made peace with Mu'awiya, we would not mention them. Rather we would cover them though they have been exposed for thirteen centuries.

Now, we will mention some texts of the historians without any explanation or comment, for these texts themselves are in no need of explanation and comment.

In this Manner Mu'awiya pledged Allegiance to Yazid

Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani said: "Mu'awiya wanted the pledge of allegiance to his son Yazid. Nothing was heavier with him than the matter of al-Hasan and Sa'd b. Abu Waqqas. So he gave them poison (to drink). Then they died of it."3

Ibn Qutayba al-Dinawari said: "In a short time after the death of al Hasan, Mu'awiya pledged allegiance to Yazid in Sham (Syria), and wrote to the cities concerning the pledge of allegiance to him."4

Ibn al-Athir said: "He (i.e., Mu'awiya) started that (i.e., the pledge of allegiance to his son). Al-Mughira b. Shu'ba was the first (to suggest) that. That is because Mu'awiya wanted to remove him from Kufa and to appoint Said b. al-`As instead of him. So he (i.e., al Mughira) heard of that and said: `I think that I had better go to Mu'awiya and tender my resignation to show the people that I hate the authority.' So he went to him and said to his companion when he reached him: `Now, if I do not make you win an authority or an emirate, I will never do that.' Then he went till he came to Yazid and said to him: `Indeed the notables from the companions of the Apostle

of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, and the chiefs and the old men of Quraysh died.5No one but their children has remained (alive). You are the best of them! You are the best of them in opinion, and the most knowledgeable of them in Sunna and policy! I do not know what prevents the Commander of the faithful (i.e., Mu'awiya) from pledging allegiance to you.' He (i.e., Yazid) said: `Do you think that (this suggestion) will happen?' `Yes', replied al-Mughira. So Yazid went to his father and told him about what al-Mughira had said. So Mu'awiya summoned al-Mughira and said to him: `What has Yazid said?' So al-Mughira said: `Commander of the faithful, you have seen the bloodshed and the differences after `Uthman. Yazid should be a successor. Pledge allegiance to him. If a certain accident happens to you, Yazid will be a shelter for the people and your successor. So do not shed blood. Do not create discord.' Mu'awiya said: `Who will help me with that?' Al-Mughira said: `I will help you against the people of Kufa, and Ziyad will help you against the people of Basrah. After these two cities, no one shall oppose you.' Mu'awiya said: "Return to your work, talk with him whom you have confidence in about that. You will see and we will see."

"Then al-Mughira saw off Mu'awiya and returned to his companions. His companions asked him: "What?" al-Mughira replied: `I have put Mu'awiya's leg in a stitch that is far from the objective of the community of Muhammad, and I have made a tear for them, which will never be mended.6

"Mu'awiya acted in collusion with the heads of the delegations who advised him (to appoint his son a successor) to deliver speeches and mention the qualities of Yazid. When the delegations, among them was al Ahnaf b. Qays, met Mu'awiya, the latter summoned al Dahhak b. Qays al-Fihri and said to him: `When I sit on the pulpit and end some of my sermon and speech, then you ask permission to stand up.

When they permit you, then you praise Allah, the Most High, and mention Yazid, praise him, then ask me to appoint him as a successor.' Then Mu'awiya summoned `Abd al-Rahman b. `Uthman al-Thaqafi, `Ubayd Allah b. Mis'ida al-Fazari, Thour b. Ma'an al Salami, and `Abd Allah b. `Isam al-Ash'ari. He ordered them to stand up when al Dahhak ended (his speech) and to confirm his words. These persons stood up and delivered speeches to praise Yazid. Then al-Ahnaf b. Qays, who was not among the actors, whom Mu`awiya prepared this scenario, and said: `May Allah reform the Emir, indeed, the people lived in the abominable past time and they have lived in the kind present time.

You have tried the times and experienced the affairs. So know him to whom you entrust the authority after you. Then you disobey him who orders you. He who advises you and does not look at you should not tempt you, though the Syrians and the Iraqis do not accept this and do not pledge allegiance to Yazid as long as al-Hasan is living.'"

Al-Ahnaf added: "Mu`awiya, you know that you have not conquered Iraq by force, nor had you influence on it. However, you have given al-Hasan b. 'Ali some promises which you know. 7 Indeed if you fulfill (your) promises, then you are appropriate for fulfillment. If you break (your conditions), then you will wrong (al-Hasan). By Allah, behind al-Hasan there are quick horses, strong arms, and sharp swords.

If you approach him through a span of treason, you will find a span of the outstretched arms of victory behind him. You know that the Iraqis have not loved you since they hated you, nor have they hated 'Ali and al-Hasan since they loved them. Nothing other than that has come down from the sky to them. The swords which they drew against you when they were with 'Ali at (the Battle of) Siffin are on their shoulders, and the hearts with which they hate you are among their rips."8

I (i.e., the author) say: This speech of al-Ahnaf indicates clearly that Mu'awiya tried to take the pledge of allegiance to his son Yazid during al-Hasan's lifetime, while other authors have declared that the pledge of allegiance to Yazid occurred after the death of al-Hasan. Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani has denoted that when he said: "Indeed Mu'awiya poisoned al-Hasan and Sa'd b. Abu Waqqas to pave the way to the pledge of allegiance to his son Yazid."

We have already mentioned that. Therefore Mu'awiya had two attempts to carry out this plan: one of them was during al-Hasan's lifetime in spite of the promises, the oath, and the covenants. This attempt failed, for al Hasan was still alive. The other attempt was after the death of al Hasan, peace be on him. This attempt was achieved through the unjust ways, which most historians have mentioned.

"Mu'awiya removed Marwan from Medina when the latter was unable to take the pledge of allegiance to Yazid from the Medinans. Then Mu'awiya appointed Said b. al-`As as a governor over Medina. So Sa'd showed rudeness, treated them with resolution and violence, and attacked all those who were slow in pledging allegiance to Yazid. Nevertheless the people were slow in paying homage (to Yazid), except very few (of them), especially the banu of Hashim. Indeed no one of them answered him."

"As for Marwan, he went to Sham (Syria) angrily. He met Mu'awiya through a long speech in which he said: `Ibn Abu Sufyan, reform the authority, and refrain from appointing the boys as rulers. Know that you have peers in your people. They help each other to show enmity towards you."'

However, Marwan kept silent, for Mu'awiya gave him one thousand dinars a month.

"Mu'awiya wrote to `Abd Allah b. `Abbas, `Abd Allah b. al Zubayr, `Abd Allah b. Ja'far, and al-Husayn b. 'Ali. He summoned them to pledge allegiance to Yazid."

Mu'awiya's letter to al-Hasan, peace be on him, is as follows: "Now then, affairs from you have come to my knowledge. I had not thought that they (the affairs) would issue from you, for you dislike them. Indeed the worthiest of all people in faithfulness is he who is like you in your importance, your honor, and your position in which Allah has installed you. Therefore do not dispute (with me) for your abandonment, and fear Allah. Do not lead this community to a discord. Think of yourself, your religion, and the community of Muhammad. Do not let those who are not sure (of Allah) disdain you."

In answer to Mu'awiya's letter, al-Husayn wrote the following: "Now then, your letter has come to me, in which you have mentioned that affairs (issued) from me have come to your knowledge, and that you had thought that they would not (issue) from me, for I dislike them, and that no one except Allah, the Most High, guides (people) to good deeds. As for what you have mentioned that (affairs issued) from me have come to your knowledge, they have been informed by the cajolers who inform against (the people) and sow dissension among the community.

The seducers and the apostates have told lies. I have wanted neither war nor disagreement. I fear Allah in leaving that because of you and your unjust party, the party of oppression and the helper of the cursed Satan. Aren't you who killed Hujr and his companions who were humble worshippers, and who regarded heresies as ugly (acts), enjoined (the people) to do good and prevented (them) from doing evil? You killed them because of oppression and enmity after you had given them strong covenants and certain promises showing impudence towards Allah and disdaining His covenant. Aren't you who killed `Amr b. al-Hamaq whose face of worship wore out? You killed him after you had given him pledges which if the white footed antelopes understood, they would come down from the tops of the mountains. Aren't you he who claims that Ziyad is the son of Abu Sufyan, (while) the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, has decided that the baby is to the bed (i.e., the baby is attributed to his father) and the prostitute is stoned?

Then you have empowered Ziyad over the Muslims to kill them, to cut off their hands and their legs on opposite sides, and to hang them on the trunks of the date-palms. Mu'awiya, glory be to Allah, it is as if that you do not belong to this community, nor does it belong to you. Aren't you who killed al-Hadrami about whom Ziyad wrote to you that he followed the religion of 'Ali?

The religion of 'Ali is the religion of his paternal cousin, may Allah bless him and his family, who has installed you in the position in which you are. Were it not for that, your best honor and the honor of your grandfathers would suffer from the two journeys: the winter and the summer journey. However, Allah has relieved you of them through us as a favor for you.

"You have said: `Do not lead this community to a discord.' Indeed I do not know that there is a discord greater than your authority over it."

"You have said: `Think of yourself, your religion, and the community of Muhammad.' Indeed, by Allah, I do not know that there is a thing better than waging holy war against you. Indeed if I did (that), it would be (an act) to please my Lord. If I did not do (that), I would ask Allah to forgive me my sin, and I ask Him (to grant me) success to what He loves and accepts."

"You have said: `When you plot against me, I will plot against you.' Therefore, Mu'awiya, plot against me through what has appeared to you. By my life, in the past (the people) plotted against the righteous ones. Indeed I hope that you will harm (no one) but yourself, and destroy (no act) except yours. Therefore plot against me through what has seemed to you!"

"Mu'awiya, fear Allah! Know that Allah has a book that counts every small and big (act)! Know that Allah has not forgotten (the persons whom) you killed due to doubt, (whom) you punished because of accusation, and the boy (i.e., Yazid) whom you have appointed as emir, who drinks wine and plays with the dogs! I do not see but that you have degraded yourself, destroyed your religion, and ruined the subjects, greetings!"9

After that, Mu'awiya went to Medina. Many Syrian people were with him. Ibn al-Athir estimated them at one thousand horsemen. He (i.e., Ibn al-Athir) said: "Then Mu'awiya went to `A'isha, who had heard that the former mentioned al-Husayn and his companions, and said: `If they do not pledge allegiance (to Yazid), I will kill them.' So she (i.e., `A'isha) said: Treat them with kindness. They will achieve what you like, Allah willing.'"10

Having mentioned Mu'awiya's going to Medina, b. Qutayba al Dinawari said: "Then Mu'awiya sat down in the morning of the second day. He ordered his clerks to sit where they were able to here his orders. Also he ordered his chamberlain not to permit anyone of the people even if he was a close relative. Then he sent for al-Husayn b. 'Ali and `Abd Allah b. `Abbas. Ibn `Abbas preceded (al-Husayn in coming). So Mu'awiya seated him on his left hand and made him busy with talking till al-Hasan came and entered. So Mu'awiya seated him on his right hand and asked him about the banu (sons) of al-Hasan and their old ones. So al-Husayn told him about them."

Then Mu'awiya delivered a sermon in which he praised Allah and His Apostle, and he mentioned the two Shaykhs (i.e., `Umar and Abu Bakr) and `Uthman. Then he mentioned the matter of Yazid. He mentioned his knowledge in the Qur'an and the Sunna (the Prophet's practices), and his clemency.

(Then he mentioned) that Yazid was the best of them in policy and debate though they were older than him and better (than him) in relationship (to the Prophet). 11 Then he mentioned that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, appointed `Amr b. al-`As as commander over Abu Bakr, `Umar, and the elder Companions at the Campaign of Dhat al-Salasil. Then he asked them about what he had mentioned.

"So b. `Abbas got ready to speak. However, al-Husayn said to him: `Slowly! He means me, 12 and my share in the accusation is more.'"

Al-Husayn rose. He thanked Allah, the Most High, and asked Him to bless the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and said:

"Mu'awiya, though the sayer elaborates on the outstanding merits of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, he cannot mention them all. I have understood what you have coated the successors after the Apostle of Allah, such as the brief quality and turning away from mentioning the pledge of allegiance.13 Mu'awiya, how far! How far! The morning has exposed the darkness of night, and the sun has dazzled the lights of the lamps.

You have preferred (some people to others) till you went too far. You have appropriated (the authority) to the extent that you have become unjust. You have prevented (the people from taking their rights) to the extent that you have become miserly. You have wronged (the people) to the extent that you have exceeded (the proper limits). You have not given the people their shares of their rights so that the Satan has taken his perfect share. 14

"I have understood what you have mentioned concerning Yazid, (namely concerning) his perfect (qualities) and his policy for the community of Muhammad. You want to deceive the people in Yazid. It is as if that you are describing a hidden one or qualifying an absent one or telling (us) about certain knowledge which you have contained, while Yazid himself has indicated his real idea. Then take to Yazid what he has taken for himself (such as) following the quarreling dogs, the pigeons that precede their mates of the same age, the songsters with stringed instruments, and the various amusement centers. (In these things) you will find him a helper.

"Put aside what you attempt. That you will meet Allah with sin of these creatures does not suffice you more than what you will meet Him with. By Allah, you are still strike falsehood with oppression, and rage with injustice to the extent that you have filled the (water) skins. There is (nothing) between you and death except a wink. So you will see your act kept on the Day of Resurrection, then it will be to late to escape.

"You have reminded the people of the leadership of the man (i.e., `Umru b. al-`As) during the time of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. When `Amr had assumed that at that time, the people disdained his leadership, hated his priority (over them), and counted his acts against him.

So the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him end his family, said: `Group of Emigrants (muhajirin), without a doubt, he (i.e., `Umru b. al-`As) shall not be a commander over you from today.' Therefore how do you advance the certain abrogated practice of the Prophet as a plea? Or how do you match through a later companion (while) there are, around you, (people) who are honest in their companionship and reliable in their religion and kinship? You (want) to abandon them (and depend on) a wasteful, fascinated one. You want to coat the people with a suspicion with which the living one is happy, and with which you will be unhappy in your next life. Indeed this is the obvious loss. I ask Allah's forgiveness for both me and you."

"So Mu'awiya looked at b. `Abbas and said: `Ibn `Abbas, what is this? Indeed what you have is stronger and more disastrous.' Then b. `Abbas said: `By Allah, he (al-Husayn) is among the progeny of the Prophet, among the people whom the Prophet covered with his cloak (ashab al-kisa), and among the purified House. So ask him about what you want, for you are satisfied with the people till Allah judges with His order and He is the best of all judges."'15

Then Mu'awiya went to Mecca as Ibn al-Athir and other historians tell us. He (i.e., Ibn al-Athir) said: "Al-Husayn b. 'Ali, `Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr, `Abd al-Rahman b. Abu Bakr, and b. `Umar preceded Mu'awiya to Mecca. As it was his last days in Mecca, he summoned these (persons) and said to them: `I wished to come to you. He who warns is excused. When I addressed you, some of you rose and accused me of lying openly. I bore that and forgave (you). I am going to make a speech. I swear by Allah, if any one of you opposes me with a word during this speech of mine, the sword shall hit his head before he says his second word. Therefore, the man should keep (no self) except his own self.'"

Then Mu'awiya summoned the commander of his guards and said to him: "Behind each of these (persons), make two men with two swords stand. If any one of them opposes me with a true or false word, then they (i.e., the swordsmen) should hit him with their own swords."

Then Mu'awiya went out and they went out with him till he went up on the pulpit. He praised Allah and lauded Him, and then he said: "Those persons are the lords of the Muslims and the good ones from them. Every matter shall be decided according to their own advice. Moreover, they have agreed to pledge allegiance to Yazid. Therefore pledge allegiance (to him) in the Name of Allah. Accordingly, the people pledged allegiance (to Yazid)."

After many hardships, this abominable pledge of allegiance was born. It was born while the swords were drawn over the heads of the men. In other words, it was the rest of plots, maneuvers, and terrorism!

If this was the succession to authority in Islam, then peace be on Islam.

In his book `al-Sahih', al-Bukhari has narrated the following tradition on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family: "Every ruler who has power over subjects from the Muslims and dies (while) he has deceived them, Allah shall deprive him of Paradise."

3. Fulfilling the third Stipulation

Ibn al-Athir said: "Indeed when Mu'awiya performed the special prayers (qunut), he cursed 'Ali, b. `Abbas, al-Hasan, al-Husayn, and (Malik) al-Ashtar."16 In his book `al-Radd `ala al-Imamiya', Abu `Uthman al-Jahiz has narrated: "Indeed Mu'awiya said at the end of his sermon: `O Allah, indeed, Abu Turab (i.e., 'Ali) disbelieved in your religion, and prevented (the people) from Your way. Therefore curse him very much, and torture him painfully.' Concerning that, he wrote to the cities. So these words were mentioned from on pulpits."17

It was said to Marwan: "Why do you curse him ('Ali) on the pulpits? He said: `The authority will not continue for us but through that.'"

History and the biographies are full of Mu'awiya's efforts concerning cursing 'Ali. According to this, Mu'awiya was the first to curse openly the Companions of the Prophet, and the first to open the door widely to those who came after him. We think that there was no person before Mu'awiya had cursed the Companions of the Prophet except `A'isha when she said: "Kill Na'thal (i.e., `Uthman), for he has disbelieved (in Allah)."

Also we think that no one of the Muslim scholars has called A'isha an unbeliever and Mu'awiya an apostate from the religion, for they deemed it lawful to curse the Companions of the Prophet or for they cursed them to the extent that they intended to accuse them of unbelief. Without a doubt the rule of the similar things is one that does not change due to the time. For this reason we find no justification to judge those who defame Mu'awiya or any other Companion of the Prophet but through the justification with which the Muslim scholars have judged Mu'awiya and A'isha when they defamed 'Ali and 'Uthman.

As for the claimed tradition that says: "If you follow anyone of them (the Muslims), you are guided," it has been limited to a certain group of the Companions, so it generality cannot be used as a proof. Otherwise those who cursed the Companions of the Prophet would be more appropriate than the others in putting it into effect. Mu'awiya would prevent his tongue from cursing the brilliant figures from the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, while it was incumbent on him (Mu'awiya) to follow them to be guided. The people would prevent their tongue from cursing Mu'awiya and those oppressive ones who were like him. Religious fanaticism would die, and peace would occur through reforming the Muslims.

However, it was the evil seed that the man (i.e., Mu'awiya) planted intentionally. Then he and his kinship watered it. So it has become the tree of the boxthom in the history of Islam. With it the Umayyads made the simple people heedless and confused the minds of the ignorant. The Umayyads made cursing 'Ali a sunna (practice) in history. So the Muslims followed it, cerebrated it, and protested against those who left it.

Mu'awiya had no hoped excuse in what he had rendered to himself from these remaining acts, nor had he glory for which he was envied or flattered in what he had delayed for his history. Moreover, if cleverness is the failure of the man in what he had advanced and delayed, then Mu'awiya was the cleverest of all the clever!

Among the most wonderful aspects of the cleverness of Mu'awiya was his attitude towards peace, which he made with al-Hasan, peace be on him. That is because this Peace Treaty brought upon him spiritual and historical disasters during his lifetime and after his death.

In the opinion of the people, the meaning of peacemaking (I mean the peace on which Mu'awiya insisted) was that he had to break his spearhead, to muzzle his mouth, and to leave al-Hasan alone, according to the items which the two sides decided when they signed the Peace Treaty. So the third item of their agreement was clear in refraining from cursing. Accordingly, Mu'awiya had to refrain from that if he had wanted real peace or if he had wanted to fulfill the stipulations that were obligatory due to the protection, the covenant, and the oath.

However, Mu'awiya insisted on making peace with al-Hasan to disband his soldiers and to be safe from the disaster of his war against al-Hasan, the grandson of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, as we have already mentioned. He did not want to conform to the decisions of the Peace Treaty, nor did he pay attention to the agreements. He signed the Peace Treaty, but it was mere ink on paper.

He took an oath and made covenants, but they were in vain. He went to Kufa, went up on the pulpit, mentioned 'Ali and al-Hasan and defamed them. Al-Husayn rose to refute him, so al-Hasan took him by the hand and made him sit. Then al-Hasan got up, and said wise words to summon Mu'awiya to the straight path, as we have said in chapter 18.

Mu'awiya was dissatisfied when the people hailed the speech which al-Hasan made before him. At that time Mu'awiya was pleased with his imaginary victory. So he thought that it was better for him to resort to cursing and defaming the people. Noteworthy, the Islamic ideal manners oppose such kind of behavior, prevent the people from adopting it, and order them to have mercy on each other, to love each other, and to associate as brothers in the religion. For example, some of the Islamic ideal manners are: "The believer does not abuse, does not say obscene words, does not defame, and does not curse."

"In his book `al-Ahdath, Abu al-Hasan 'Ali b. Muhammad b. Abu Yousif al-Mada'ini said: After the Year of al-Jama'a (a unified group of people), Mu'awiya wrote a letter. In the letter he said: I am innocent of him who narrates something concerning the outstanding qualities of Abu Turab (i.e., 'Ali, peace be on him and his family). So in every district and on every pulpit, the orators cursed 'Ali, renounced him, and defamed him and his household. At that time, the tribulation of Kufa was more difficult than that of the other (cities), for it had many Shi'a of 'Ali, peace be on him.'" 18

After the Peace Treaty, Mu'awiya decided to appoint al-Mu'ghira b. Shu'ba as a governor over Kufa. So he summoned him and said to him: "Now then, before this day, the stick had not been beat for the clement one. The clement one does not replace you without teaching. I had wanted to recommend to you many things. I will leave them to depend on your idea. However, I will not leave recommending you one quality. Do not leave cursing and dispraising 'Ali."19

Then Ziyad became the governor over Kufa after al Mughira:"Ziyad gathered the people at the gate of his palace and provoked them to curse 'Ali. Whoever refused (to do that), he (i.e., Ziyad) exposed him to the sword." 20

As for Basrah, Mu'awiya appointed Bisr b. Artat over it. So he made speeches on its pulpit and cursed 'Ali, saying: "I will make every man swear by Allah to believe me when I am truthful and to accuse me of lying when I am a liar." In his book `Ta'rikh', al-Tabari said: "So Abu Bakra said to Ziyad: `By Allah, we do not know you but a liar.' He (i.e., al-Tabari) said: Zyydd ordered him to be brought, so he strangled him, then they (i.e., the people) saved Abu Bakra from him."21

As for Medina, Mu'awiya appointed Marwan b. al-Hakam as a governor over it. So the latter cursed 'Ali on the pulpit every Friday. Ibn Hajar al-Maliki said: "Al-Hasan knew of that. So he did not enter the mosque except during the establishment of the regular prayers (iqama). Marwan refused to accept that. For this reason, he sent (some men) to al-Hasan's house to curse his father and him strongly."

After the Peace Treaty, Mu'awiya went to Mecca to perform the hajj. He circumambulated the Kaaba. Sa'd b. Abu Waqqas was with him. When he ended that, he went to the House of the Council (dar alnadwa). Mu'awiya seated Sa'd beside him on his bed and began to curse and defame 'Ali. So Sa'd moved aside, and then he said: `You have seated me by you on your bed and began cursing 'Ali! By Allah, if I had a quality of 'Ali's qualities, it would be better for me than what the sun rises over! By Allah, if I was the son- in- law of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and had sons as 'Ali had, it would be better for me than what the sun rises over! By Allah, if the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, had said to me what he said at the campaign against Khaybar: "Indeed, tomorrow, I will give the standard to a man whom Allah and His Apostle love, and who loves Allah and His Apostle.

He does not escape. Allah will make a conquest through him," it would have been better for me than what the sun rises over! By Allah, if the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, had said to me what he said at the Campaign of Tabuk: "You are in the same position with respect to me as Aaron (Harun) was to Moses (Musa) except that there is no prophet after me," it would have been better for me than what the sun rises over. By Allah, I will not enter a house belongs to you as long as you are living."22

Al-Mas'udi has narrated Mu'awiya's answer to Sa'd b. Abu Waqqas. However, we think that it is not appropriate for us to mention his answer, for it is ugly. Still it is a new proof for Mu'awiya's lowliness in morals, decencies, and compliments.

4. Fulfilling the forth Stipulation

In his book `Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 95.' al-Tabari said: "The people of Basrah prevented him (i.e., al-Hasan) from receiving the land tax of Dar Abjard, and they said: ‘It is our booty (fayy').'"

In his book `al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 3, p. 162.’ Ibn al-Athir said: "Their prevention (i.e., the prevention of the people of Basrah) was according to Mu'awiya's order, too."

5. Fulfilling the fifth Stipulation

As you have known, this condition was concerning the covenant of security for people in general, and the Shi'a of 'Ali in particular, and concerning that Mu'awiya had to avoid doing any disaster secretly and openly towards al-Hasan, al-Husayn, and their household.

The historians have many texts concerning the. matter of this condition: some of these texts concern the evil disasters which the Umayyad rulers committed against the Shi'a during the time of Mu'awiya; some of them concern the disasters which Mu'awiya himself committed against the excellent figures from the Companions of the Commander of the faithful; some of them concern Mu'awiya's treason towards al-Hasan and al-Husayn in particular. For this reason, we will present these texts according to this order, too.

  • 1. Ibn Qutayba al-Dinawari, al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, vol. 1, p. 151.
  • 2. Ibid, p. 152.
  • 3. Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani, Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p. 29.
  • 4. Ibn Qutayba al-Dinawari, al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, vol. 1, p. 160.
  • 5. In his book (al-Mahasin wa al-Masawi', vol. 1, p. 108) al-Bayhaqi has mention the opinion of al-Mughira b. Shu'ba. However, he has narrated that al-Mughira offered his opinion to Mu'awiya first, and that when the latter was sure of the former, he returned him to his work and said to him: "Go to your work and strengthen the matter for the son of your friend."
  • 6. Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 3, p. 198- 201.
    In this text is what makes you feel the spirit of al-Mughira b. Shu'ba and the extent of this companion who made a tear for the community of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family.
  • 7. Many writers have misunderstood this period of time. For example, (in his book al-Dawla al-Amawiya, p. 70) Hasan Murad said: "From here we see that it was unexpected change when Mu'awiya pledged allegiance to his son Yazid." From the words of al-Ahnaf and from our foregoing studies you have known that it was unexpected change.
  • 8. Ibn Qutayba al-Dinawari, al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, vol. 1, pp. 156- 8. Al-Mas'udi, Hamish b. al Athir, vol. 6, pp. 100- 102.
  • 9. Ibn Qutayba al-Dinawari, al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, vol. 1, pp. 63- 5.
  • 10. I (i.e., the author) say: From these words we must understand that the mother of the believers (i.e., `A'isha) achieved what Mu'awiya wanted when she pledged allegiance to Yazid.
  • 11. We have already mentioned that Mu'awiya claimed that he was more appropriate for the succession to authority than al Hasan, for he was older than him.
  • 12. That is because he was the successor to authority after al-Hasan: first, his grandfather the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, nominated him. Second, the Peace Treaty nominated him, too.
  • 13. Al-Husayn refers to Mu`awiya's turning away from mentioning the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, when he mention those who succeeded the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family.
  • 14. He means that this intentional inequity is the wish of Satan in setting people against each other.
  • 15. Ibn Qutayba al-Dinawari, al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, vol. 1, pp. 168172.
  • 16. Muhammad b. `Aqil, al-Nasa'ih al-Kafiya, pp. 19- 20.
  • 17. Ibid.
  • 18. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 3, p. 15.
  • 19. Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 3, p. 187. Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 141.
  • 20. Al-Mas'udi, Hamish b. al-Athir, vol. 6, p. 99.
  • 21. Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 96. Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 3, p. 105.
  • 22. Al-Mas'udi, Hamish b. al-Athir, vol. 6, pp. 81- 2.

Mu'awiya And The Shi`a Of 'Ali, Peace Be On Him

Mu'awiya designed an Umayyad policy. The Umayyad rules after him followed that policy. They (i.e., the Umayyads) wanted to make themselves lords. They wanted to show the people that they had all laudable qualities. So generosity, clemency, cleverness, bravery, and eloquence belonged to them, not to the people. In other words the Umayyads wanted to denote that these qualities were some of their special talents. The Umayyads did their best to fix this intentional policy. Thus they made a false history that was full of a series of fabricated traditions, made- up stories, various lies, and baseless claims.

Moreover, they ordered the hireling preachers and the teachers of the schools in all Muslim countries to study the Umayyad hopes including false praise or fake slander. The Umayyads did their best to make the Syrian youth love and obey them absolutely. So the Syrian youth were ready to sacrifice their innocent lives to serve the aims of Umayyads. Also they were ready to dye the areas of the earth with their own blood to be servants and hirelings in the land of the victorious lords.

The Umayyads had no aim other than government, wealth, and worldly cheap desires. This disturbed those who took care of their religion, namely those who were from the progeny of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, and from the Muslims who were loyal to Islam to please Allah. From here the continuous disagreement between the Umayyad Muslims and those who were loyal to Islam started.

In his book (Ta'rikh, vol. 7, p. 104), al-Tabari has mentioned the following brief tradition on the authority of Zayd b. Anas concerning the general condition when the Shi'ite groups lived during Mu'awiya's lifetime. A Shi'ite addressed the Shi'ites: "You were killed. Your hands and your legs were cut off. Your eyes were knocked out. You were raised on the trunks of the date-palms. (You suffered from all these persecutions) for the love of the household of your Prophet. Nevertheless you were staying in your houses and obeying your enemy!"

Though this tradition is brief, it contains strange details and terrible presentation. However, al-Mas'udi has not mentioned it in detail.

As for al-Mada'ini (died 225 A.H.) and Sulaym b. Qays (died 70 A.H.), they have displayed a full picture about these terrible and sorrowful tragedies. Sulaym b. Qays was among those who witnessed these tragedies and suffered from them, for he lived during Mu'awiya's lifetime and died ten years after him. No witness is like the eyewitness. For this reason we have chosen his words that are similar to al-Mada'ini's. Sulaym b. Qays said: "Mu'awiya came (to perform) the hajj during his Caliphate.

That was after the killing of the Commander of the faithful (i.e., Imam 'Ali), and (after) the Peace Treaty with al-Hasan. The Medinans received him. Among them was Qays b. Sa'd, who was the chief of the Ansar (helpers) and the son of their chief. So a talk took place between them (i.e., Qays b. Sa'd and Mu'awiya). So Qays said: "By my life, no one of the Ansar, of Quraysh, of the Arabs, and of non- Arabs has the right to the succession to authority (Khilafa) except 'Ali and his sons after him (i.e., 'Ali). Mu'awiya became angry.

Thus he wrote one copy (letter) concerning that to all his governors: "Indeed I will not give security to him who narrates a tradition concerning the laudable deeds of 'Ali and his household." At every town and place, the orators cursed 'Ali b. Abu Talib, renounced him, and backbit his household. Then Mu'awiya passed by a group from Quraysh. When they saw him they stood for him except b. `Abbas. So Mu'awiya said: `Bin `Abbas, nothing has prevented you from standing for me but that I fought against you at the Battle of Siffin. Bin `Abbas, my cousin `Uthman was unjustly killed.' Ibn `Abbas said: `Also `Umar b. al-Khattab was unjustly killed, but he handed over the authority to his son, and this is his son.' `Indeed a polytheist killed `Umar,' said Mu'awiya. `Who killed `Uthman?' asked b. `Abbas. `The Muslims killed him', replied Mu'awiya.

`Then that refutes your proof. If the Muslims killed and abandoned him, then they killed him justly,' answered b. `Abbas.. Mu'awiya said: `Surely we have written to the distant regions to prevent the people from mentioning the laudable deeds of 'Ali and of his household. Then stop your tongue, b. `Abbas.' `Do you prevent us from reading the Qur'an?' asked b. `Abbas. `No,' Mu'awiya replied. `Do you prevent us from explaining it?' asked b. `Abbas. `Yes,' answered Mu'awiya. `Do we read it and do not ask about what Allah has meant in it?' asked b. `Abbas. `Yes,' replied Mu'awiya. `Which is incumbent on us, to read it or to act according to it?' asked b. `Abbas. `To act according to it,' answered Mu'awiya. `How do we act according to it while we do not know what Allah has meant in what He has sent down to us?' asked b. `Abbas. `About that, ask him who explains it other than what you and your household explain,' replied Mu'awiya. `Indeed the Qur'an was sent down to my household shall we ask the family of Abu Sufyan or the family of Abu Mi'yat about it?' asked b. `Abbas.

`Read the Qur'an and do not narrate what Allah has revealed and what the Apostle of Allah said concerning you,' answered Mu'awiya, `and narrate other than that.' Ibn `Abbas said: Allah, the Exalted, said: They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah will not consent save to perfect His light, though the unbelievers are averse.' Mu'awiya said: `Bin `Abbas, that is enough! Hold back your tongue! If it is necessary for you to do that, then that should be secret. Do not make anyone hear it openly.'

Then Mu'awiya came back home. In all cities the tribulation became intense against 'Ali's Shi'a and his household. Kufa was liable to intense persecutions, for it had many Shi'a. He appointed Ziyad as a governor over it. He (Mu'awiya) gathered the Iraqis for him (Ziyad). He (Ziyad) followed the Shi'a. He was acquainted with their condition, for he was among them. So he killed them everywhere. He whipped and frightened them, cut off their hands and legs, hanged them on the trunks of the date palms, knocked out their eyes, dismissed them, and made them homeless. Mu'awiya wrote to his judges and his governors in the cities to prevent them from accepting the witness of those Shi'a who narrated his ('Ali's) outstanding merits and spread his laudable deeds. He (i.e., Mu'awiya) wrote to his governors: Look for the Shi`a of `Uthman, who narrate his qualities and talk about his laudable deeds, so honor them.

Write to me the full name of the person who narrates about `Uthman. Then he sent them gifts and clothes. He gave the Arabs and the non- Arab supporters many country estates. So they became many and competed with each other for the houses and the country estates. For this reason they became rich. Then he (i.e., Mu'awiya) wrote to his governors: Indeed the traditions concerning `Uthman have become numerous. So when this letter of mine comes to you, then summon them (i.e., the Arabs and non-Arab supporters) to report traditions about Abu Bakr and `Umar. So every judge or emir read Mu'awiya's letter to the people.

"Then he (i.e., Mu'awiya) wrote a letter in which he collected all what was reported concerning Abu Bakr and `Uthman. Then he sent the letter to his governors and ordered them to read it on the pulpits, in every city, and at every mosque. Also he ordered them to send the letter to the teachers of the schools to teach it to their boys to narrate it and learn it as they learned the Qur'an. Moreover, they taught the letter to their daughters, their wives, and their servants. Then Mu'awiya wrote one copy (i.e., a letter) (to his governors):`When you prove that someone loves 'Ali and his household, then omit him from the register.' Then he wrote another letter: `Whomever you accuse and do not prove (his innocence), then kill him.' So they killed the Shi'a of 'Ali everywhere because of accusation, doubt, and suspicion to the extent that the man (of them) was beheaded because of a certain word. Mu'awiya made the situation very dangerous.

The followers of the Umayyads increased in number. They fabricated many traditions. So the people followed them and learned traditions from them only. The most dangerous of all people in that were the hypocrite readers (of the Qur'an) who affected sadness, piety, and asceticism while they told lies to find (an important position) with their rulers and to obtain, through that, money, country estates, and houses. Some people thought that their traditions were true, so they learned them, narrated them, and taught them (to the people). Also the religious persons who thought that falsehood was illegal learned (their traditions). They accepted the traditions and thought that they were true. If they had known that the traditions were false, they would have not narrated them, nor would have they adopted them. When al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on him, died, the discord and the tribulation became greater and more intense."

I (i.e., the author) say: Abu al-Hasan al-Mada'ini has narrated a full text similar to the above- mentioned one. Ibn Abu al-Hadid has reported the account on his authority in his book called (`Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 3, pp. 15- 16). He (i.e., Abu al-Hasan al-Mada'ini) has said at the end of the account: "The situation went on that manner till al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on him, died. So the tribulation and the discord increased so that everybody of this kind (i.e., of 'Ali's Shi'a and his household) were afraid of killing or homelessness in the earth."

The comparison between the conditions of the two sides (i.e., al Hasan and Mu'awiya) accepts this method of the events, and the historical coordination in the succession of the events confirms it. The things the other historians omitted do not harm this method, for they, and we forgive them, wrote for the standing policy or at least for what did not harm it.

We have already mentioned that al-Tabari and al-Mas'udi have briefly referred to that. According to this, the sources of this matter are: Sulaym b. Qays, al-Mada'ini, b. Abu al-Hadid, al-Tabari, and al Mas'udi.

In the way of Allah, there were bloody remaining bodily parts, scattered families, and the ruins of the houses whose dwellers were driven to the ice lands as the cattle were driven. So some of them died; some of them waited (for their death), but they never changed (their doctrine).

This was the mobilization of Mu'awiya who wanted to take the succession to authority in Islam for his own self and for his own children!

This was his early method in fulfilling the pledges of Allah and His covenants!

After that, Sulaym b. Qays added: "One year before the death of Mu'awiya, al-Husayn b. 'Ali, `Abd Allah b. `Abbas, and `Abd Allah b. Ja'far performed the hajj. Then al-Husayn gathered the banu (sons) of Hashim, their men folk, their womenfolk, and their supporters. Besides he gathered the Ansar whom he, peace be on him and his family, knew. Then he summoned messengers (and said to them): `Gather to me the righteous Companions of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family.' So more than seven hundred men met him at Mina. Most of them were later (Companions of the Prophet). About two hundred men from the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, (met him there, too.). Then al-Husayn addressed them.

"He praised Allah and lauded Him, and then he said: `Now then, indeed, this tyrant (i.e., Mu'awiya) has done towards us and towards our Shi'a what you have seen, known, and borne witness for. Indeed I want to ask you about a thing. So indeed, if I say the truth, then believe me. If I tell lies, then accuse me of lying. Hear my words and write down my speech. Then you return to your homelands and your tribes. Summon those from the people whom you trust to what you know of our right. That is because I am afraid that this matter will be obliterated, and the truth will be removed and overcome. (Still) Allah shall complete His Light even if the unbelievers hate (that).'

"He left nothing of what Allah has revealed in the Qur'an concerning them but he read it and explained it, nor did he leave a thing of what the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said concerning his father, his brother, his mother, himself, and his household but he narrated it. Moreover, his companions said: `O Allah, yes. Indeed we have heard and seen (that).' The later Companion said `O Allah, he whom I believe and trust from the Companions of (the Prophet) told me about it.'

"Then he (i.e., al-Husayn) said: `I implore Allah for you to tell him whose religion you trust."'

Mu'awiya and the Leaders of the Shi'a

After his Peace Treaty with al-Hasan, Mu'awiya adopted a spiteful attitude towards the leaders of the Shi'a. Through that attitude he showed neither mercy, nor conscience, nor covenant. He hurt the leaders of the Shi'a, banished them, tortured them, and killed them. That is because he was afraid of their effective propagation. Now, we do not intend to count what Mu'awiya had done towards the Shi'ite leader, nor do we intend to mention his strategic plans towards them. However, we, to indicate the extent of the honesty of this Umayyad (i.e., Mu'awiya) towards his stipulations, will mention, in this chapter, some of his intentions and practices towards them. We have preferred few examples to many ones which we have chosen to leave or of which we have no knowledge. The history of these Shi'ite figures has suffered until now from the paucity of the justice of the historians.
The dispraised fanaticism plays an important role in distorting the facts of this history that is full of prominent matters, which are regarded as lessons for all generations. Moreover, the rulers spare no effort to direct the historians to write events and traditions as they want even if those events and traditions are concerning the Imams of the Shi'a, the Shi'ite leaders, and the common Shi'a.

In his book `Ta'rikh', b. `Arafa known as Naftawayh, who was a great traditionist, said :"( A group of people) fabricated most traditions concerning the outstanding merits of the Companions (of the Prophet) during the days of the Umayyads to approach them. Through that they (i.e., the Umayyads) thought that they would defeat the Hashimites."

Concerning the time of Mu'awiya, al-Mada'ini said: "Many fabricated traditions appeared, and false accusations spread. The jurists, the judges, and the governors adopted that."

"The most dangerous of all people in that were the hypocrite readers (of the Qur'an), and those, whom were deemed weak, who pretended piety, and asceticism. So they fabricated traditions to find favor with their governors, to approach their board, and to get money, country estates, and houses. Then those reports and traditions were transmitted to the religious persons who regarded lying and false accusations as illegal. So they accepted them and narrated them. They thought that they (i.e., the reports and the traditions) were true. If they had known that they were untrue, they would have not narrated them, nor would they have adopted them."1

Ibn Abu al-Hadid said: "Our Shaykh Abu Ja'far al-Iskafi mentioned that Mu'awiya had appointed a group from the Companions (of the Prophet) and a group from the later (Companions of the Prophet) to narrate obscene traditions concerning 'Ali, peace be on him, to defame him and to renounce him. Mu'awiya fixed wages for them to (achieve) that. So they fabricated what pleased him. Among them were Abu Hurayra, `Amr b. al-`As, and al-Mughira b. Shu'ba. Among the later (companions of the Prophet) was `Urwa b. al-Zubayr."2

I (i.e., the author) say: A neutral quick look and an accurate conclusion are enough for us to be satisfied with the various, wide range, and arbitrary practices that destroyed both the Islamic traditions and the historical events in Islam to the extent that it is difficult for the person who studies the early Islamic events to find an event safe from doubt. That is because these events were liable to the ambitions of the opposing trends.

Therefore we are in no need of collecting proofs and declarations concerning the spread of fabrication and many fabricators.3 That is because the best witnesses are those who bear direct witness to the thing. The matter of al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on them, with its conditions and results was among those matters that were liable to the play of those who have written about them. These matters have lost their early wonderful reality because of the effect of this regretful play with or without intention. So the people had different ideas concerning these matters. Therefore the matter of al-Hasan was an example of many matters in the history of Islam. History has wronged this matter and covered it with darkness.

When they (i.e., the historians) write about the matter of al-Hasan, they know his position in history, and they know that they write about one of the two unique persons (i.e., al-Hasan and al-Husayn) in the entire world.

No wonder when the historians leave this important matter and write about matters that are not as important as the matter of Imam al Hasan!

Concerning the topic `Mu'awiya and the Leaders of the Shi'a', we do not think that we will get enough facts that satisfy the need of the researcher, nor will we find exact figures that enrich the range of the subject. In other words all these facts and figures do not suite the speech of al-Mada'ini and the details of Sulaym b. Qays.

That is because the opposing manners and the hireling fabrications have dominated throughout history everything of this type and everything of the authentic history of Shi'a.

Now, it is necessary for us to collect reports from here and there to show a historical picture, though horrible, about the crimes of the Umayyads.

The following is the sad list that contains the names of the Shi'a from the Companions and the later Companions (of the Prophet). In the light of this list, we will study the answer of Mu'awiya to the fifth stipulation from the Stipulations of the Peace Treaty. Then we will study gradually the clauses of this stipulation in the chapters that follow.

A. Patient Martyrs

1. Hujr bin `Adi al-Kindi

He was known as Hujr al-Khayr. His Kunya was Abu `Abd al Rahman b. `Adi b. al-Harth b. `Amr b. Hujr. He was given the nickname (i.e., laqab) of Akil al-Mirar. He was the king of the Kindis. It was said that he was the son of `Adi b. Mu'awiya b. Jubla b. `Adi b. Rabi'a b. Mu'awiya al-Akramin. He belonged to Kinda 4

Hujr was a notable companion from the Companions of 'Ali and his son al-Hasan, peace be on them. He was a lord from the lords of the Muslims in Kufa.

Hujr and his brother Hani' b. `Adi came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. In his book `al-Isti'ab', b. `Abd al-Bir al Maliki said: "Hujr was among the excellent Companions, and his age was less than their old ones." In his book `Asad al-Ghaba fi Tamyiz al-Sahaba', Ibn al-Athir has mentioned him with words similar to these ones. In his book `al-Mustadrak', al-Hakim has described him as: "the monk of the Companions of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family."

Hujr worshipped (Allah) to the extent that when he made ritual impurity, he performed the ritual ablution; when he performed the ritual ablution, he prayed. He performed one thousand rak`as a day. His religious piety was apparent, and his supplication was accepted.5 He was among the chosen reliable figures. He preferred the hereafter to the life in this world to the extent that he subjected his life to killing, refusing to renounce his Imam. He had a high social position.

Hujr was in the army that conquered Sham (Syria), and in the army that conquered Qadisiya ( a city in Iraq). He took part in the Battle of the Camel headed by 'Ali. He was the commander of Kinda at the Battle of Siffin, and the commander of the left wing of the army at the Battle of al-Nahrwan. He was the brave man who defeated al-Dahhak b. Qays in the western part of Tadmur. It was he who said: "We are the children of war and appropriate for it. We start it and end it. We have known it (i.e., war) and it has known us."

Hujr was the first patient martyr in Islam.

Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan killed Hujr and six of his companions at Marj `Athra' twelve miles away from Damascus in the year 51 A.H. Up till now, Hujr's grave is apparent and famous. There is a firm dome on it. old marks can be seen on the dome that is beside a wide mosque. Hujr's companions who were killed with him are in his shrine. We will mention them one by one.

Ziyad b. Abih demolished Hujr's house in Kufa.

The Cause of his Killing

Hujr opposed al-Mughira b. Shu'ba and Ziyad b. Abih when they cursed 'Ali, peace be on him. In this connection he said to them: "I testify that whom you dispraise is worthier of the outstanding merit, and whom you praise is worthier of dispraise." When Hujr said openly these words of his, most people agreed with him on that and said: "By Allah, Hujr has said the truth and kept his words"

As for al-Mughira b. Shu'ba, he knew the high spirits that made Hujr as an excellent companion, as a leader from the great figures of 'Ali in Kufa, and as an Arab Emir who inherited the crown from his close grandfathers. Al-Mu'ghira had heard with his own ear when the people supported Hujr's summons paying no attention to any force, nor were they afraid of the wrath of the ruler. So he thought that it was better for him to be slow towards the affair of Hujr and to apologize to his advisers who provoked him to punish Hujr. Then al-Mughira said to his advisers: "I have killed Hujr." How have you done that?" asked the advisers." Al-Mughira answered: "An emir will come after me. Hujr will think that the emir is similar to me. Hujr will say to him similar to what you have heard. So the emir will punish him immediately, and then will kill him through an evil way."

During his attitude towards Hujr, al-Mughira pretended to be wise. Also he pretended to be wise towards Sa'sa'a b. Sawhan during the discord, which was created by al-Mustawrad b. `Alafa al-Khariji (i.e., the Kharijite) in the year 43 A.H. Al-Mu'ghira said to Sa'sa'a: "Be careful! I have heard that you spread openly the outstanding merits of 'Ali. That is because I know all the excellent qualities of 'Ali. Rather I know them more than you do. However, this ruler (i.e., Mu'awiya) has appeared. He has forced us to show the people 'Ali's defects. We leave many things from what he has ordered us (to mention). We mention the thing which we regard as precautionary stimulation (taqiya) to save our lives from these people (i.e., the Umayyads)."6

When al-Mu`ghira b. Shu'ba died in the year 50 or 51 A.H., b. Sumayya (i.e., Ziyad b. Abih) became the governor of Kufa. So the latter wanted to serve his claimed Umayyad lineage through killing Hujr b. `Adi to relieve the Umayyads of the greatest of all troublemakers against them. However, he forgot that the blood of Hujr would go on making troubles to the Umayyads throughout their history as long as the people knew these two names (i.e.,Hujr's name and Mu'awiya's name).

The new governor (i.e., b. Sumayya) elaborated Friday sermon to the extent that there was no time for Friday prayers that had a limited time. So Hujr, who always attended their (i.e., the Umayyad's) Friday sermon and prayers, said: "The prayers!" Still Ziyad continued his sermon. Hujr was afraid that the obligatory prayers would escape him, so he took a handful of stones. Then he rose to perform the prayers and the people rose with him.

Abu `Abd al-Rahman (i.e., Hujr b. `Adi) who had a high social position, and worshipping ascetic spirit- refused to bargain with the Umayyads or flatter them concerning his religion. He thought that there were the rest of the companions of al-Hasan among the people. He reminded them of al-Hasan and opposed the Umayyads before them to make them follow his example. In this way he opposed the Umayyads to support the usurped right to authority, and he struggled against them through his tongue to defend his religion, his Imam, and his prayers as he did against them through his sword during the Islamic conquests.

Hujr's crime list, according to the Umayyads' custom, contained: he opposes cursing 'Ali, peace be on him. He wants the prayers to be performed at their exact times, and nothing more than that.

Ziyad summoned his obedient servants who sold their consciences for pleasures. Among them were `Umar b. Sa'd (who killed al-Husayn, peace be on him), al-Mundhir b. al-Zubayr, Shimr b. Dhi al-Jawshan al-`Amiri, Isma`il and Ishaq (the two sons of Talha b. `Abd Allah), Khalid b. `Arfata, Shibth b. Rib'i, Hajjar b. Abjard, `Amr b. al Hajjaj, Zajr b. Qays, and the like of these persons who divorced manhood three times. They were seventy men. In his book `Ta'rikh, vol.6,pp.150-I', al-Tabari counted them one by one. He distinguished Abu Burda b. Abu Musa al-Ash'ari from them; for the latter was the weakest of them with him (i.e., al-Tabari) or he was the strongest of them with Mu'awiya who ordered him to write:

"In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. This is what Abu Burda b. Abu Musa al-Ash'ari has testified for Allah the Lord of the worlds. I (i.e., Abu Burda) testify that Hujr b. `Adi has refused obedience, left the united people (jama`a), cursed the Caliph, summoned (the people to wage) war (against him), gathered groups of people and summoned them to break the pledge of allegiance, and disbelieved openly in Allah (the Great and Almighty)."

Then Ziyad said to the seventy persons: "Confirm this testimony. Indeed, by Allah, I will do my best to cut off the thread (of hope) of this foolish traitor!" Seventy persons from the notables and the children of the houses in Kufa testified this traitorous foolish document. Then Ziyad wrote many letters to Mu'awiya concerning Hujr. So Mu`awiya wrote to him: "Tie him (i.e., Hujr) up with the iron and send him to me."

It is necessary for us to remember now the backgrounds of this group of people, who belonged to the houses in Kufa, towards the matter of al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on them, during the days of his succession to authority. It was they who deserted from the Camp of Maskan, provoked the people at the Camp of al-Mada'ini (against al Hasan), and wrote to Mu'awiya to desert al-Hasan and to hand him over. Therefore who refused obedience, left the united people, and broke the pledge of allegiance- Hujr b. `Adi or they?

Then we have to remember the attitudes of these persons themselves during the tragedy of al-Husayn, peace be on him, at the Battle of Karbala'. They were then the swords of the Umayyad tyrants who were responsible for those painful events whose atrocities have no limit in the history of Arabs and Islam.

The Attitude of the Kufans towards the Event of Hujr

If Hujr had wanted to resist with the weapon, he would have been able to ignite the fire of the revolution that would be strong enough to shake the position of Mu'awiya in Kufa. Mu'awiya understood that when he said after the killing of Hujr: "If Hujr had remained alive, he would have created another war." Also Ziyad understood that when he sent his postman to Mu'awiya and said to him:" Go quickly to Mu'awiya and say to him: `If you need your authority, then save me from Hujr.'"

However, the Shi'ite leader (i.e., Hujr), who had taken lessons from the valuable sacrifices of al-Hasan b. 'Ali (peace be on them) prevented bloodshed, and prevented his people from waging war openly (against Mu'awiya).

Still a group of Hujr's companions clashed with the police of Ziyad at the gates of Kinda. Another group of them clashed with Ziyad's policemen at the door of his house near the cemetery of Kinda. Among the heroes of these two events were `Abd Allah b. Khalifa al Ta'i, `Umru b. al-Hamaq al-Khaza'i (We will mention them both in the chapters that follow), `Abd al-Rahman b. Muhriz al-Tamhi, `A'idh b. Hamla al-Tamimi, Qays b. Yazid, `Ubayda b. `Amru, Qays b. Shimr, and `Umayr b. Yazid al-Kindi known as (Abu al-`Umrrata). They said: "The sword of Abu al-`Umrrata was the first sword to be used in Kufa on the day when Hujr (was killed)." Qays b. Fahdan al-Kindi went out riding his own donkey walking through the meetings of Kinda to urge them to wage war (against Mu'awiya).

Ziyad dominated the people of Kufa. That was his legal inheritance from his mother Sumayya.7

As for Hujr himself, he always ordered his people to scabbard their swords and said to them: "Do not fight (against Mu'awiya), for I hate to expose you to destruction. As for me, I will follow some of these ways."

The spies of Ziyad were unable to capture Hujr, for most people protected him from them.

In this manner Ziyad was unable to bear Hujr and his companions.

So he gathered the notables of Kufa and said to them: "O people of Kufa don't be sad! Your bodies are with me, and your desires are with Hujr. You are with me while your brothers, your children, and your tribes are with him. By Allah, this is some of your cheat. By Allah, you should renounce Hujr; otherwise I will bring a group of people through whom I will reform your deviation and your wry faces." Then he added: "Each man of you should help this group of people against Hujr. Moreover, each man of you should summon his brother, his son, his relatives, and those who obey him from his tribe, to the extent that you are able to provoke all people against him (i.e., Hujr)."

Then Ziyad ordered the commander of his police, Saddad b. al Haytham al-Hilali to capture Hujr. Ziyad knew that his police would be unable to arrest Hujr. So he summoned Muhammad b. al-Ash'ath al-Kindi and said to him: "Abu Maytha', by Allah, you should bring me Hujr; otherwise I will uproot your date-palms, demolish your houses, and tear you to pieces." Shaddad said to him: "Give me time to look for him." Ziyad said: "I will give you three days. You should bring him; otherwise you must regard yourself as one of the perished!"

I (i.e., the author) say: Why was Ziyad full of rage? Was he full of rage for the religion?

Certainly not! For b. Sumayya (i.e., Ziyad) was not worthier of religion than the worshipping Companion (i.e., Hujr), who performed one thousand ruk `as a day, and who had no crime but that he wanted to forbid (the people) from doing evil deeds, and wanted the ritual prayers to be performed during their fixed times. Or was Ziyad full of rage for the life in this world? Surely not! For he lost his glory in history when he killed Hujr b. `Adi.

Ziyad intended to make the Kindis kill each other when he ordered al-Ash'ath al-Kindi to capture Hujr. This was among the evil ways which rulers have used to dominate helpless peoples.

Hujr knew what Ziyad intended towards the Kindis. So he said: "However, I listen and obey."

The policemen went about to arrest the prominent figures who supported Hujr. They arrest nine Kufans and four non- Kufans, according to the narration of al-Mas'udi.

Ibn al-Athir has counted them in this way: "Hujr b. `Adi al-Kindi, al-Arqam b. `Abd Allah al-Kindi, Shurayk b. Shadddd al-Hadrami, Sayfi b. Fasil al-Shaybani, Qubaysa b. Dubay'a al-`Absi, Karim b. `Afiif al-Khath'ami, `Asim b. `Awf al-Bajali, Warqa' b. Sumay al Bajali, Kaddam b. Hayyan, `Abd al-Rahman b. Hassan al-`Anzayan, Muhriz b. Shahab al-Tamimi, and `Abd Allah b. Hawba al-Sa'di alTamimi." Ibn al-Athir said: "These are twelve men. Then Ziyad added two men to them. They were `Utba b. al-Akhnas b. Sa'd b. Bakr, and Sa'd b. Nimran al-Hamadani. So they were fourteen men."

At that time the slanderers became active and numerous in that unfortunate city (i.e., Kufa).

Hujr remained in the prison of Kufa for ten days till the policemen of Ziyad gathered his above- mentioned companions. Then Ziyad ordered them to be sent to Sham (Syria). So all that was in Kufa indicated that the situation would result in an uprising. No one knew the tribulation of that uprising against the ruler and the subjects.

However, Ziyad paid attention to that, so he ordered them to be sent during the night to make use of darkness and to decrease the violence of this obvious oppression.

Qubaysa b. Dubay'a, one of Hujr's companions, looked left and right. He found himself walking by his house near the graveyard of `Arzam. Also he found his daughters looking at him and weeping over him. So he spoke to them and preached them, and then he went away. We will mention that in his biography.

A daughter of Hujr's feared for him. So she recited the following lines of poetry during one of her black nights when she addressed the moon. It was said that Hind bint (the daughter of) Zayd al-Ansari recited these lines to bewail Hujr:

O bright moon, go higher

So that you may see Hujr walking!

He is walking to Mu'awiya b. Harb.

(Mu'awiya will) kill him as the Emir has claimed.

(He will) hang him on the gate of Damascus.

So the eagles will eat from his charms.

The tyrants have become haughty after Hujr.

Al-Khwarnaq and al-Sidir (two palaces) have delighted them.

The country has become faded

As if no rain had enlivened it.

O Hujr, Hujr b. `Adi,

May safety and joy receive you.

I fear that you will be killed as 'Ali had been killed.

(There is) a Shaykh in Damascus with roar.

If you perish, then every chief of people

Moves from this world to destruction.

His Killing

They (i.e., the police men) took them (i.e., Hujr and his companions) to `Adhra', that was a village twelve miles far from Damascus. They were imprisoned there. Mu'awiya and Ziyad exchanged letters. The delay increased them nothing but torture. The one- eyed man of Mu'awiya and a group of his companions came to them. They brought Mu'awiya's order to kill Hujr and his companions. Also they brought shrouds with them. He (i.e., the one- eyed man of Mu'awiya) said to Hujr: "Indeed the Commander of the faithful (i.e., Mu'awiya) has ordered me to kill you, for you are the head of error, the origin of unbelief and tyranny, and the supporter of Abu Turab (i.e., Imam 'Ali).

Also he has ordered me to kill your companions except when you withdraw from your unbelief, curse your leader (i.e., Imam 'Ali) and renounce him." So Hujr and his companions said to him: "Indeed patience towards the punishment of the sword is easier for us than what you summon us to. Then meeting Allah, His Apostle, and his (i.e., the Prophet's) trustee of authority (wasi) is more lovable for us than entering the fire."

The graves were dug. Hujr and his companions began performing prayers throughout the night. When the morning came, they (i.e., the police men) brought them to kill them, so Hujr said to them: "Let me perform the ritual ablution and say prayers. For when I perform the ritual ablution, I say prayers." They let him (pray). He prayed, and then went away. By Allah, I had not performed a prayer lighter than it (i.e., this prayer). Were it not for that you think that I am impatient of death, I would increase it."

Then Hujr said: "O Allah, we ask you to show enmity towards our people. Indeed the Kufans had testified against us, and the Syrians have come to kill us. By Allah, If you kill me at it (i.e., the village of `Adhra'), I will be the first Muslim horseman to be killed in its valley, and the first Muslim man at whom its dogs will bark.

Then Hudba b. Fayyad al-Quda'i walked forward Hujr carrying his own sword. The former trembled and said to the latter: "You have claimed that you are patient towards death. Therefore renounce your leader (i.e., Imam 'Ali), and we will let you (go)."

So Hujr said: "Of course, I am patient towards death. For I see a dug grave, a spread shroud, and a drawn sword. Indeed, by Allah, even if I am impatient towards death, I will not say what displeases the Lord!"

Some close associates of Mu'awiya interceded for seven companions of Hujr.

The rest of Hujr's companions were exposed to the sword. Hujr's final words were: "leave me shackled with the iron and stained with the blood. For I will meet Mu'awiya on the straight path tomorrow (i.e., on the judgment Day). I will bring suit (against him before Allah). Mu'awiya mentioned these words of Hujr. So when he was about to die, he said: "Hujr, my day will be long because of you."

The Muslims' Reactions towards Hujr's killing

After he had killed Hujr, Mu'awiya performed the hajj. Then he passed by `A'isha. "He asked permission (to enter her house). She permitted him. When he sat down, she said to him: `Did you not fear Allah when you killed Hujr and his companions?'"8 Then she added: "Were it not for the critical situation, we would change the killing of Hujr. By Allah, he performed the greater and the lesser hajj.9

Shurayh b. Hani' wrote to Mu'awiya concerning Hujr. He gave him a religious opinion in which he denoted that it was forbidden (for Mu'awiya) to shed the blood of Hujr and to take his possessions. Concerning Hujr, Shurayh said: "He was among those who performed the ritual prayers, pay zakat, performed frequently the lesser and the greater hajj, enjoyed (the people) to do good deeds and prevented them from doing evil deeds. It was forbidden to shed his blood and to take his property."10

Ibn `Umar began asking the people about Hujr from the day when the latter was captured. While b. `Umar was walking in the market, he was told that Hujr had been killed. So he burst into tears and went away.11

`Abd al-Rahman b. al-Harith b. Hisham came to Mu'awiya, after the latter had killed Hujr, and said to him: "When did the clemency of Abu Sufyan leave you?" Mu'awiya replied: "It left me when those who were like you in clemency left me. Ibn Sumayya (i.e., Ziyad b. Abih) provoked me, so I carried that out." Then He (i.e., `Abd al-Rahman) said: "By Allah, the Arabs will never regard you as the one who has clemency and an opinion. You killed the people whom the prisoners from the Muslims sent to you."

Many people from kinda, al-Sikun, and the Yemen supported Malik b. Hubayra al-Sikuni. So Malik was able to say to Mu'awiya the following words when the latter refused to release Hujr: "By Allah, we are in no need of Mu'awiya more than Mu'awiya is in no need of us. We have alternates among his peoples,12 while he has no successor from us among the people.

It was said to Abu Ishaq al-Subay'i: "When did the people become low?" He replied: "When al-Hasan died, Ziyad was claimed, and Hujr b. `Adi was killed."13

Al-Hasan al-Basri said: "Mu'awiya had four qualities. If he had only one of them, it would have been a grave sin: he dominated this community through the foolish to the extent that he usurped its affair (i.e., the succession) without any advice from it (i.e., the community), while among it were the rest of the Companions (of the Prophet) and the virtuous ones. He appointed his son to the succession to authority while he drank wine, wore silk (clothes), and played on the lutes. He claimed Ziyad while the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said: `The baby is to bed and the prostitute is stoned.' He killed Hujr. Woe unto him (i.e., Mu'awiya) from Hujr and his companions."14

Al-Rabi` b. Ziyad al-Harithi died of sadness when Hujr was killed. He was the governor of Mu'awiya over Khurasan. In his book (al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 3, p. 195) Ibn al-Athir said: "The reason for his death was that he was indignant when Hujr b. `Adi was killed, so he said: `The Arabs will be killed because of patience after Hujr. If they had revolted (against Mu'awiya) when he killed Hujr, no one of them would have been killed because of patience. However, they accepted that, so they became low.' After this speech, he (i.e., al Rabi`) remained one Friday. Then he went out on Friday and said: "O people, indeed, I am tired of life. So I will ask (Allah for something) through a supplication, so be safe.' Then he raised his hands after the prayers and said: `O Allah, if I have good with you, then make me die soon.' The people became safe. Then he went out. Before his garments disappeared, he fell (over the ground)."15

Al-Husayn, peace be on him, wrote a letter to Mu'awiya: "Aren't you he who killed Hujr the brother of Kinda and the worshipping prayers who refused oppression and regarded heresies as great and did not fear the blame of the blamer concerning Allah. You killed them because of oppression and enmity after you had given them strong oath and certain covenants (al-Husayn refers to the clauses of the fifth item in the Peace Treaty.) so that you should not punish them due to an event between you and them or a spite you bear in yourself against them."16

Then the role of history came so that many historians have written books about Hujr and his companions. For example, Nasr b. Muzahim al-Minqari and Lut b. Yahya b. Said al-Azdi17 have written two books about the killing of Hujr. Hisham b. Muhammad b. al-Sa'ib has written two books: one concerning the killing of Hujr; the other is about the killing of his companions such as Rashid, Maytham, and Juwayriya b. Mishhir.18

Traditions concerning Hujr and his Companions

Ibn `Asakir said: "After `A'isha had blamed Mu'awiya for killing Hujr and his companions, she said: `I heard the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, say: At (the Marj of) `Adhra', the place where Hujr and his companions were killed, people will be killed so that Allah and the people of the sky will be angry for them.'"

He (i.e., Ibn `Asakir) has narrated traditions similar to this one through another way on the authority of `A'isha.

Al-Bayhaqi (in his book `al-Dala'il') and Ya'qub b. Sufyan (in his book `Ta'rikh') have narrated the following tradition on the authority of `Abd Allah b. Zurayr al-Ghafiqi, who said: "I heard 'Ali b. Abu Talib, peace be on him, say: `O people of Iraq, seven people from you will be killed at (the Marj of) `Adhra'. Their likeness is like the Companions of the furrow (ikhdud)."

The Martyrs from Hujr's Companions

From what we have mentioned, we understand that the companions of Hujr were a choice from the few men of Allah. Also we have known that al-Husayn, peace be on him, wrote a letter to Mu'awiya concerning them, in which he said:"... and the worshipping prayers who refused oppression and regarded heresies as great and did not fear the blame of the blamer concerning Allah."

Also we have known that the great Muslim figures mentioned them as long as they mentioned Hujr.

Though the Umayyads did their best to hide the stories of Hujr's companions, they (i.e., Hujr's companions) have become the martyrs of the principles and victims of the usurped right to authority. That is enough for them to be virtuous, glorious, and prominent in history.

After he had killed this honorable group of people, and after he had performed his (accepted) hajj, Mu'awiya met al-Husayn b. 'Ali, peace be on them, in Mecca and said to him proudly: "Have you heard what we have done for Hujr, his companions, and his Shi'a (followers) who were the Shi'a of your father?" Al-Husayn asked: "What have you done for them?" Mu'awiya replied: "We have killed them, shrouded them, prayed over them, and buried them." Al-Husayn, peace be on him, smiled, and then he said:" Mu'awiya, the people will bring suit against you (before Allah). If we killed your followers, we would not shroud them, nor would we pray over them, nor would we bury them. 19

The following are the martyrs from Hujr's companions:

A. Shurayk b. Shaddad or Thaddad al-Hadrami

Another (historian) has called him `Urak b. Shaddad.

B. Sayfi b. Fasil al-Shaybani

He was a leading companion of Hujr. He had an iron heart, a strong belief, and correct words. He was captured and brought before Ziyad who said to him: "O enemy of Allah, what do you think of Abu Turab (i.e., Imam 'Ali)?" "I do not know Abu Turab," replied Sayfi.

"You know him very well," said Ziyad. "I do not know him," answered Sayfi. "Do you not know 'Ali b. Abu Talib?" asked Ziyad. "Yes," answered Sayfi.

"That is Abu Turab," said Ziyad. "No, that is Abu al-Hasan and al-Husayn," said Sayfi. So the commander of the police of Ziyad said to Sayfi: "The Emir say to you: He is Abu Turab, and you say: No." Do you want me to tell lies as the Emir does or do you want me to testify falsehood as the Emir does?" asked Sayfi. "This is some of your sin, too. Bring me the rod," said Ziyad. The rod was brought to Ziyad, and then he said to Sayfi: "What do you say?" "These are the best words which I have said concerning a servant from the believing servants of Allah," replied Sayfi. "Hit his shoulder with the rod till he stick to the ground," said Ziyad. So Sayfi was hit till he stuck to the ground.

Then Ziyad said: "leave him. What do you think of 'Ali?" "By Allah, even, if you cut me to pieces with razors and knifes, I will not say except what you have heard from me," answered Sayfi.

"You should curse him (i.e., Imam 'Ali); otherwise I will cut off your neck," said Ziyad. "Therefore cut it off, and Allah accepts that. If you refuse (anything) but to cut it off, then I am satisfied with Allah, (while) you are unhappy," said Sayfi. "Push him in the neck. Tie him up with the shackles, and throw him into prison," shouted Ziyad.

Then Sayfi joined the caravan of death with Hujr, and was among those blessed people who died martyrs at (the Marj of) `Adhra'.

C. `Abd al-Rahman b. Hasan al-`Anzi

He was among Hujr's companions. He was sent with Hujr while he was shackled. When he arrived at (the Marj of) `Adhra, he asked (the police men) to send him to Mu'awiya, for he thought that Mu'awiya would be better than b. Sumayya (i.e., Ziyad). When he came to Mu'awiya, the latter said to him: "Brother of Rabi'a, what do you say concerning 'Ali?" "Leave me and do not ask me (about him), for that is better for you," replied `Abd al-Rahman. "By Allah, I will not leave you," said Mu'awiya. Abd al-Rahman said: "I testify that he was among those who remembered Allah very much, enjoined (the people to follow) the truth, undertook justice, and forgave the people." "What do you say concerning `Uthman?" asked Mu'awiya. "He was the first to open the door of injustice and to close the door of the truth," answered `Abd al-Rahman. "You have killed yourself," said Mu'awiya. "Rather, you have killed yourself," said `Abd al-Rahman. Then Mu'awiya returned him to Ziyad in Kufa and ordered him to kill him in an evil manner.

It was `Abd al-Rahman who said the following words on the day when the police men of Mu'awiya imprisoned him along with his companions (at the Marj of) `Adhra': "O Allah, make me among those whom You honor through their (i.e., the Umayyads') disgrace, and You are pleased with me. I subjected myself to killing many times, but Allah refused (that) except what He willed."

In his book (Ta'rikh al-Kufa, p. 274), Habbata al-`Arani has mentioned `Abd al-Rahman as follows: "Abd al-Rahman b. Hassan al-`Anzi was among the companions of 'Ali, peace be on him. He lived in Kufa to provoke the people against the banu (sons) of Umayya. So Ziyad captured him and sent him to Sham (Syria). (There) Mu'awiya summoned him to renounce 'Ali, peace be on him. So `Abd al-Rahman answered Mu'awiya rudely. Then Mu'awiya returned him to Ziyad, so he (i.e., Ziyad) killed him."

Ibn al-Athir (in his book `al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 3, p. 192.) and al-Tabari (in his book `Ta'rikh', vol. 6, p. 155.) said that Ziyad buried `Abd al-Rahman alive at the Qis of al-Natif.20

I (i.e., the author) say: If Mu'awiya had known the ways which Ziyad used to kill the Shi'a of 'Ali in Kufa, and if he had known that Ziyad cut off their legs, their hands, and their tongues, and knocked out their eyes, he would have not suggested any way when he ordered him to kill `Abd al-Rahman through an evil way. Is there a way worst of these ways of killing and punishment? However, Ziyad carried out Mu'awiya's suggestion, so he created a way through which he buried `Abd al-Rahman alive to kill him. 21

Do you know which punishment Mu'awiya and Ziyad will face on the Judgment Day because of these ways of killing?

D. Qubaysa bin Rabi `a al-`Abasi

Some historians have called him Qubaysa b. Dubay'a. He was the brave man who decided to resist the Umayyads with his weapon and his people. However, the commander of the police gave him security over his blood and his property. So he put his hand in their hands depending on security covenant which the Arabs before and after Islam followed. However, it seems that the Umayyads abandoned the Arabic and the Islamic morals or that they understood that such morals were mere means for victory and violence.

Accordingly, (Qubaysa) b. Dubay'a al-`Abasi was brought before Ziyad who said to him: "By Allah, I will do (something) for you to distract you from creating discords and revolting against the governors." Qubaysa said: "I have come to you according to the security covenant." "Take him to prison," said Ziyad.

Then Qubaysa was among the shackled persons who were driven to death because of patience. In this connection the tradition says: "Whoever gives security to a man over his blood and kills him, therefore I (i.e., the Prophet) renounce the killer even if the killed one is unbeliever." 22

Before the policemen took the prisoners (i.e., Hujr and his companions), they had passed by Qubaysa's house. Qubaysa saw his daughters looking at him and weeping over him. So he said to the two police men (i.e., Wa'il and Kathir):"Permit me to recommend my family. When he approached his daughters who were weeping, he kept silent for an hour, and then he said to them: "Be silent." So they kept silent. Then he said to them: "Fear Allah, the Great and Almighty. Be patient. Indeed I hope that Allah, my Lord, will grant me one of the two good things during this going of mine: either martyrdom that is happiness or coming back to you in good condition. It is Allah, the Most 'High, Who gives You your provisions. He is Living, and never dies. I hope that He will not leave you. Rather I hope that He will protect me for you." Then Qubaysa went away.

The hopeless family spent that night weeping and praying, as Mu'awiya wanted. There were then many daughters similar to Dubaya's ones in tragedy.

Al-Tabari said: "Qubaysa b. Dubay'a fell into the hands of Abu Sharif al-Baddi. So Qubaysa said to him:`Indeed there is no evil between my people and your people. Thus let other than you kill me.' Abu Sharif said: `kinship is obedient to you.' Then al-Quda` i killed Qubaysa."

E. Kaddam bin Hayyan al-`Anzi

F. Muhriz bin Shahab bin Bujayr bin Sufyan bin Khalid bin Munqir al-Tamimi23

He was among the chiefs of the people, and from the pure Shi'ites who were known for their Shi'ism. Muhriz was the commander of the left wing of the army headed by Ma'qal b. Qays who waged war against the Kharijites in the year 43 A.H. During those three battles the army of Ma'qal was three thousand people from the loyal Shi'ites and their horsemen, as al-Tabari described them in his book (Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 108).

2. `Amr bin al-Hamaq al-Khaza'i

He was b. (son of) al-Kahil b. Habib b. `Amr b. al-Qayn b. Dhrrah b. `Amr b. Sa'd b. Ka'b b. Rabi'a al-Khaza'i.

He became Muslim before the Conquest (of Mecca), and immigrated to Medina. He was a loyal companion. Thus the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, prayed for Allah to make him (i.e., `Amru) enjoy his youth. So eighty years passed and no one saw a white hair among his hair, in addition to this, there was handsomeness on his face, that increased his splendor.

After the Prophet, `Amr became a companion of the Commander of the faithful (i.e., 'Ali), peace be on him. Thus he was the sincere companion to whom 'Ali said: "I wish I had a hundred people like you in my army." `Amr witnessed the Battles headed by 'Ali such as the Camel, Siffin, and al-Nahrwan.

The Commander of the faithful invoked Allah for `Umru with these words: "O Allah, enlighten his heart with piety, and guide him to Your straight path." Moreover, he said to him: "Amru, you will be killed after me. Indeed, your head will be moved (from one place to another). It will be the first head to be moved in Islam. Woe unto him who will kill you!" 24

Ibn al-Athir said in his book (al-Kamil fi Ta'rikh, vol. 3, p. 183): "When Ziyad came to Kufa, `Ammara b. 'Aqaba b. Abu Mi'yat said to him:`Indeed `Amr b. al-Hamq has gathered the Shi'ites of Abu Turab (i.e., Imam 'Ali)."' Thus Ziyad sent for him (and said to him):"What are these groups which you have gathered? Whomever you want to speak to, (you should speak to him) in the mosque. 25

"Then `Amr was still (as al-Tabari has narrated) afraid and expecting till the event of Hujr b. `Adi occurred. Then he proved himself brave. A man called Bakr b. `Ubayd from al-Hamra' (i.e., the police of Ziyad) hit `Umru on the head with an iron bar. Thus `Amr fell over the ground. The Shi'ites carried him and hid him in the house of a man from the Azd. Then `Amr went out to leave (Kufa). The other leader, Rifa'a b. Shaddad, accompanied him. So they headed for al-Mada'in. Then they departed till they arrived at the land of Mousil. They hid in a mountain there. The governor of al-Rustaq condemned that. So he went to them with the horses.

As for `Amru, he reached Mousil while he was ill. As for Rifa'a b. Shaddad, who was a strong young man, he jumped on his quick horse and said to `Amru: `I will fight on behalf of you.' `It does not avail me that you fight on behalf of me. Save yourself if you can.' Thus Rifa'a attacked them, so they let him go. Then he went out while his horse was bolting. The horsemen went out looking for him. He was a sharp shooter so that he wounded or killed those horsemen who followed him. Thus they left him and went away. Then they asked `Amru: "Who are you?" "It is him whom if you leave, it will be safer for you, and whom if you kill, it will be more harmful for you," replied `Amru. Again they asked him, but he refused to tell them. Thus b. Abu Balta'a, the governor of al-Rustaq, sent him to `Abd al-Rahman b. `Abd Allah b. `Uthman al Thaqafi, the governor of Mousil. When the latter saw `Amr b. al Hamaq, he knew him, and then he wrote to Mu'awiya concerning him. So Mu'awiya ordered `Abd al-Rahman to stab `Amr nine times as he (i.e., `Amru) stabbed `Uthman."

Ibn Kathir opposed the above- mentioned account of al-Tabari. He said: "Indeed the companions of Mu'awiya found `Amr dead in a cave. They cut off his head and sent it to Mu'awiya. Thus it was the first head to be moved in Islam. Then Mu'awiya sent his head to his (i.e., `Amru's) wife, Amina bint al-Sharid, who was in the prison of Mu'awiya. The head was put on her lap. She put her hand on his forehead and kissed his mouth, and then she said: `You had concealed him for a long time, then you have offered him to me and he is dead. Therefore welcome to this lovable gift.'

"Then he was in what al-Husayn, peace be on him, wrote to Mu'awiya: Aren't you who killed `Amr b. al-Hamaq, the Companion of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family? He was the righteous person whom worship wore out to the extent that it made his body weak and his color yellow. You had given him security. You had given him some of the covenants of Allah and His pledges. If you had given them to a bird, it would have come down from the top of the mountain for you. Then you killed him showing impudence towards your Lord and disdaining His covenant through that."

I (i.e., the author) say: Through this covenant, al-Husayn refers to the clauses of the fifth item in the Peace Treaty.

In his book `Safiinat al-Bihar,' `Abbas al-Qummi said: "His (i.e., `Amru's) grave was in the outskirts of Mousil. Abu `Abd Allah (i.e., Said b. Hamdan), the cousin of Saif al-Dawla, was the first to build the grave in the month of Sha'ban in the year 336 A.H."

In the book (`Usul al-Ta'rikh wa al-Adab, vol. 9, p.2) it has been mentioned: "Abu al-Hasan 'Ali b. Abu Bakr al-Harawi said in the book `al-Ziyarat (i.e., visitations): `The shrine of `Amr b. al-Hamaq was on the highest elevation at the outskirts of Mousil. His body was buried (there) and his head was carried to Damascus. It was said that it was the first head to be carried in Islam. In the shrine were some Sheriffs from the children of al-Husayn, peace be on him.'"

3. `Abd Allah bin Yahya al-Hadrami and his Companions

In his book (al-Furuq bayna al-Abatil wa al-Huquq), Muhammad b. Bahr al-Shaybani has mentioned the following on the authority of al-Qasim b. Mujayma:" Mu'awiya did not fulfill anything of the covenant he made with al-Hasan. I (i.e., al-Qasim b. Mujayma) have read the letter of al-Hasan to Mu'awiya, in which he counted the crimes Mu'awiya committed against him and the Shi'ites of 'Ali, peace be on him. Al-Hasan mentioned `Abd Allah b. Yahya al Hadrami and those whom Mu'awiya killed with him."26

I (i.e., the author) say: We do not know now anything about the conditions of al-Hadrami, the event of his killing, and the number of his martyred companions. However, we know that this man (i.e., `Abd Allah b. Yahya) was among the men of the Commander of the faithful who said to him at the Battle of the Camel: "O bin Yahya, you and your father be cheerful."

We have known the reasons why al-Hasan mentioned `Abd Allah before the Shi'ites whom Mu'awiya killed. Among these reasons is that he was the farthest of them from the life of this world and the nearest of them to the life of asceticism.

They (i.e., the historians) said:" Mu'awiya knew that (`Abd Allah) b. Yahya and his companions were full of sadness when the Commander of the faithful (i.e., 'Ali) died, and that they loved him and mentioned his outstanding qualities very much. Thus Mu'awiya brought them and cut off their heads because of patience.

The one who brings down a monk from his cell to kill him without a crime (issues) from him towards his killer is more wonderful than the one who takes out a priest from an abbey and kills him, for the owner of the abbey (i.e., the priest) is nearer to the stretching of the hand than the owner of the cell (i.e., the monk) who is between the sky and the earth. Therefore no wonder when al-Hasan counted Mu'awiya's crimes, preferred servants to servants, ascetics to ascetics, and the lamps of the country (i.e., the brilliant figures) to the lamps of the country. Rather, it is a wonder if he had preferred a neglectful one to the one who was humble (before Allah), and a moderate one to a hardworking one."27

The tragedy of `Abd Allah b. Yahya was similar to the tragedy of Hujr b. `Adi. For they both were killed because of patience. Companions were killed with them both. Moreover, they both were killed without any crime except the crime that was the title of their outstanding virtues.

4. Rushayd al-Hajri28

He was the student of 'Ali, peace be on him, and his companion who devoted himself to him. He was a religious scholar. He was famous for the knowledge of deaths and disasters. Many people narrated accounts on his authority. However, they all refrained from mentioning his name because they were afraid of the Umayyad rulers. No one narrated stories openly on his authority except his only daughter who attended him when he was killed. It was she who gathered his limbs (i.e., his hands and his legs) which b. Sumayya (i.e., Ziyad) cut off.

When his limbs were cut off, his daughter asked him: "O my father! Do you feel pain because of what has hit you? "No, my little daughter, but (it is) like the crowd among the people!"

Rushayd was brought before Ziyad who said to him: "What had your companion (i.e., 'Ali, peace be on him) told you about what we would do for you?"

"You would cut off my hand, my leg, and would hang me," said Rushayd. "By Allah, I will refute his (i.e., `Ali's) words. Release him!" When Rushayd wanted to go out, Ziyad said: "Return him! We find nothing more appropriate for you than what your companion had said to you. For you still intend to do evil for us if you remain (alive). Cut off his hands and his legs!" They (i.e., the police men) cut them off while Rushayd was still speaking! Thus Ziyad said: "Hang him!" "A thing for me is with you. I do not think that you have done it yet," said Rushayd. "Cut off his tongue!" shouted Ziyad. When they took out Rushayd's tongue, he said: "Release me to say one word." So they released him, and he said: "By Allah, this confirms what the Commander of the faithful had told me. He had told me that my tongue would be cut off."

Rushayd was brought out of the palace while he was tom to pieces. The people gathered around him. He, may Allah be pleased with him, died on the same night.

His daughter said: "I said to my father: `How hard your struggle is!"' "My little daughter, people will come after us. Their insights will be for their religion. Thus (their struggle) will be better than ours," he answered.

Also he said to her: "My little daughter, make the speech die through concealment, and make the heart an abode for trust."29

5. Juwayriya bin Mashar al-`Abdi

Ibn Abu al-Hadid said: "One day, 'Ali, peace be on him, looked at Juwayriya and called him: `Juwayriya, follow me. For when I see you, I love you.' Then he told him about some affairs secretly. His last words to him were: `Juwayriya, love the person whom we love as long as he loves us, and hate the one whom we hate as long as he hates us. However, if he loves us, then love him. If he hates us, then hate him.' Juwayriya devoted himself to 'Ali, peace be on him. Thus he came one day to him, peace be on him, while he was sleeping and there were people from his companions with him, and called him: "0 you who is sleeping, get up. Indeed you will be hit on the top of your head so that your beard will be colored because of that hit.'

He (i.e., Juwayriya) said: `Thus the Commander of the faithful smiled,' and then he said: `Juwayriya, I will tell you about your fate. By Him in whose hand is my soul, you will be taken by force to the rude bastard (i.e., Ziyad). He will cut off your hand and your leg, and will kill you beside a short trunk.' He (i.e., the narrator) said: `By Allah, only few days after that, Ziyad took Juwayriya, cut off his hand and his leg, and killed him beside the trunk of b. Ma'kbar. It was a long trunk so that he hanged him on a short trunk beside it."

I (i.e., the author) say: Habbata al-`Arani, may Allah be pleased with, has narrated this story, too. Moreover, he added the following words: "Ziyad b. Abih was among those who showed enmity towards the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. He followed the companions of 'Ali while he (i.e., Ziyad) knew them very well. Still he killed them everywhere."

6. Awfa bin Hisn

He was among the victims of the Umayyad injustice. Ziyad summoned him, but he refused to meet him. Ziyad reviewed the people so that he passed by Awfa and said: "who is this?" It was said to him: "Awfa b. Hisn." Thus Ziyad said: "His two legs have brought you a traitorous (deed)." Then he said to Awfa: "What do you think of `Uthman?" "The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, married his (i.e., `Uthman's) two daughters," replied Awfa. Then Ziyad asked him: "What do you think of Mu'awiya?" "(He is) generous and clement," answered Awfa.

Awfa was smart in his language and his style so that Ziyad was unable to find a justification to kill him.

Again Ziyad came back to Awfa and asked him: "What is your opinion concerning me?" Awfa replied: "I have heard that you said in Basrah: By Allah, I will punish the innocent one because of the guilty one and the comer because of the runaway." "I said that" said Ziyad. "You mixed them at random," said Awfa.

I (i.e., the author) say: Some of the smartness of this wise man (i.e., Awfa) was that he gave gradual answers to Ziyad to draw his attention to his errors. Do not forget that Awfa was at that time between the leather rug and the sword (i.e., he was about to be killed), and between the right and the wrong. These attitudes increase our admiration towards these heroes from the students of 'Ali. However, all his preachment went in vain. That is because Ziyad said concerning him: "The blower is not the worst of the group." Then Ziyad ordered Awfa to be killed'.30

I (i.e., the author) do not know, and I do not think that Ziyad himself knew the reason why he shed the blood of Awfa, while the Prophetic tradition says: "It is forbidden for the Muslim to (shed) the blood of the Muslim, (to violate) his honor, and (to confiscate) his property."

In all his answers, the man (i.e., Awfa), as you have seen, did not reveal a secret, nor did he violate an affair. Rather the one who opposed the Qur'an openly when he punished the innocent because of the guilty and the comer because of the runaway did not understand the above mentioned tradition and the Words of Allah that say: "And no bearer of burden shall bear the burden of another."

Ziyad adhered to his immoderation. Thus the people around him suffered from the strongest ordeals in the world: some of them were driven to prisons; some of them were chased, and hundreds of them were brought before him every day so that their eyes could be knocked out, their limbs were cut off, and their ribs were destroyed.31 Other shackled victims were between Kufa and Sham (Syria). There was nothing in Kufa except dreadful terrorism, and there was nothing in Sham but horrible death.

Kufa, which was full of plots and opposition, submitted as the broken wing did because of the oppression of the Umayyad rulers. Thus the people who plotted against the Umayyads yesterday began to practice oppression today when they became rulers over the Kufans. Thus the Kufans became various groups and took to flight.

Mu'awiya, Ziyad b. Abih, and the men of their school were heedless. They did not think that violence would result in finding an ideal leader who was able to fight against the violent ruler, and that violence was unable to destroy that opinion that has become immortal in history.

For this reason hundreds of millions of people took part in the opinion of the Kufans, and were ready to send Mu'awiya and his men its echo which the days were unable to wear out.

Torture without killing

The Umayyads had methods other than killing, homelessness, demolishing houses, confiscating properties, and muzzling mouths.

When Ibn al-Athir mentioned the tragedy of Awfa b. Hisn, he said: "He (i.e., Awfa) was the first to be killed by Ziyad after the event of the thirty or the eighty (people) whose hands Ziyad cut off.

Mu'awiya knew thoroughly the internal affairs of Basrah and Kufa. Thus he attacked the chiefs of the people, the swordsmen, the notable orators, and the Shi'ite talented poets. He irritated them, imprisoned them, shackled them, made them homeless, and shed their blood.

The following are some examples of the tragedies that Abu Yazid (i.e., Mu`awiya) committed then against the prominent figures from the Shi'ite leaders.

B. Terrified Shi'ite Leaders

1. `Abd Allah bin Hashim al-Mirqal

He was the chief of Quraysh in Basrah and head of the Shi'ites there.

His father, Hashim (al-Mirqal) b. `Uttba b. Abu Waqqas was the brave leader of the left wing of the army of 'Ali, peace be on him. He defeated Mu'awiya in a dreadful way at the Battle of Siffin.

Mu'awiya wrote to his governor, Ziyad,: "Now then, look for `Abd Allah b. Hashim b. `Uttba. Tie his hand to his neck, and then send him to me."

Thus Ziyad came to `Abd Allah's house by night. He shackled him, and then sent him to Damascus. `Abd Allah was brought before Mu'awiya. `Amr b. al-`As was with Mu'awiya. Mu'awiya said to `Amru: "Do you know this?" `Amr replied: "This is (the man) whose father said at the Battle of Siffin..." He read his lines of poetry that he memorized, and then he recited this line of poetry:

"The pasture may grow on the dunghill.

Thus the spites of the selves remain as they are."

Then `Amr went on saying: "Commander of the faithful, take this tricky one. Cut off his jugular veins and his shoulders. Do not return him to Iraq, for he always plays the hypocrite. They (i.e., the Iraqis) are the people of hypocrisy and discord, and the party of Iblis when he becomes excited. His (i.e., `Abd Allah's) desire moves him, his opinion makes him tyrant, and his retinues make him strong. So an evil deed is for an evil deed.

Such a report and such discrimination against Iraq and the Iraqis were from the famous habits of `Amru. We do not think that there was a person who had described the Iraqis in such a hostile manner before him.

As for `Abd Allah b. Hashim al-Mirqal, he was so brave that he said to `Amr b. al-`As:" `Amru, if I am killed, then I am the man whose people have deserted, and whose death has come. Aren't you who turned away from fighting when we summoned you to encounter? (Aren't you who) sought protection in the compact stones? You were like the black female slave and the tractable ewe. You were unable to push the hand of a toucher."

Thus `Amr said: "By Allah, I do not think that you will escape from the claws of the Commander of the faithful (i.e., Mu'awiya)."

`Abd Allah said: "By Allah, b. al-`As, You are ungrateful in ease, cowardly during the encounter, unjust during authority, fainthearted during battles. You are not important in all circumstances. Didn't these attitudes issue from you when the people met you? You know that the people did not become violent when they were youngsters, nor did they renounce (their own faith) when they became grownups. They had strong hands and sharp tongues. They reformed the deviation (from the truth), removed the sin, increased the little (thing), quenched thirst, and supported the weak."

Then `Amr said: "By Allah, I saw your father at the time when his bowels split apart, his intestines remained, and the middle parts of his back became restless."

So `Abd Allah said:" `Amru, we have tested you and your speech. So we have found that you have a lying disloyal tongue. You are alone with the people who do not know you, and with the soldiers who do not bargain with you. If you wanted to speak to other than the Syrians, your reason would be confused, your tongue would be stammering, and your two thighs would shake like the young camel whose load has burdened it."

Thus Mu'awiya said: "Stop quarreling!" Then he ordered `Abd Allah to be released. `Amr went on blaming Mu'awiya for releasing `Abd Allah, saying:

"I have given you a resolute order.

It was an act of success to kill b. Hashim.

Wasn't his father, Mu'awiya, who helped 'Ali When he (i.e., 'Ali) cut off the heads?

He did not leave (us) till our blood

at (the Battle of) Siffin flew like overflowing seas. This is his son, and the person is like his

Shaykh, and you are about to gnash

the tooth of a repentant because of him."

2. `Adi bin Hatam al-Ta' i

He was a noble Companion (of the Prophet). The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, honored him when he (i.e., `Adi) came to him. He was a great leader, skillful orator, and fearful hero. He became Muslim in the year 9 A.H., and his Islam became well. `Adi said: "When I came to Medina, the people received me and said:' `Adi b. Hatam!' The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, said to me:` `Adi, be Muslim and you are safe.' I (i.e., `Adi) said: `I have religion.' `I am more knowledgeable than you in your,' said the Prophet, `I think that the shortcoming which you see from those who are around me prevent you (from adopting Islam), and you see that the people have gathered against us.'

He (i.e., the Prophet) said: `Have you seen al-Hira.' `No, I haven't', I said, `but I know where it is.' `You are about to take the howdah (al-Za`ina) out of it without neighborhood till you circumambulate the Kaaba, and you will conquer for us the treasures of Kasra b. Hurmoz,' he said. `Kasra b. Hurmoz?' I asked. `Yes,' he said, `and the property will be very much to the extent that the man will worry who will accept his alms.' `Adi said: `Thus I have seen two (things): the howdah (al-Za`ina), and

I was among the first horsemen who attacked the treasures of Kasra. I swear by Allah, the third (thing) will come."32

Also he (i.e., `Adi) said: `A group of my people and I came to `Umar. He allotted (money) for all persons and turned away from me. Thus I met him face-to-face and said: `Do you know me?' He (i.e., `Umar) said: `Yes, you believed (in Allah) when they disbelieved (in Him), you knew (Him) when they denied (Him), you were loyal when they deserted, and you walked forward (the enemy) when they turned away (from him). Indeed the first alms that made happy the Companions of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, was the alms of Tay.'"33 He (i.e., `Adi) said: "From the day when I became Muslim, I had performed the ritual ablution before the prayers were established. 34

At the Battle of Siffin, `A'idh b. Qays al-Hazmari al-Ta'i disputed with `Adi over the standard. The banu of Hazmar were more in number than the banu of `Adi,35 the tribe of Hatam.

Thus `Abd Allah b. Khalifa al-Ta'i addressed them before 'Ali, peace be on him: "Banu Hazmar, do you want to compete with `Adi unjustly? Is there a person like `Adi among you or is there a person like his father among your fathers? Wasn't he the protector of the water-skin? Wasn't he the son of the one who took the fourth of booty and son of the one who was the most generous of all the Arabs? Wasn't he the son of the one whose horse was very quick, and who protected his neighbor? Wasn't he the one who did not betray, was not ignorant, was not miserly, was not dissolute, did not remind anyone of a favor, and was not cowardly?

Give me an example of your fathers like his father! Or give me an example of yourselves like him! Isn't he (i.e., `Adi) the best of you in Islam? Wasn't he your representative who came to the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family? Wasn't he your commander at the Battle of al-Nukhayla, the Battle of al-Qadisiya, the Battle of al-Mada'in, the Battle of Jalawla', the Battle of Nahawand, and the Battle of Taster? There is a great deference between you and him! By Allah, no one of your people requests like what you have requested."

So 'Ali, peace be on him, said to `Abd Allah b. Khalifa alTa'i: "Bin Khalifa, that is enough. O people, come to me! Let the group of Tay come to me, too. Thus they all came to him. Then 'Ali, peace be on him, asked: `Who was your chief during these battles?' `Adi,' they replied. So b. Khalifa said to `Ali: `Commander of the faithful, ask them: Aren't they satisfied to hand over the leadership to `Adi? 'Ali did (that). `Yes,' they answered. Therefore 'Ali said to them: ` `Adi is the most appropriate of you (for carrying) the standard. Thus hand it over to him.'"36

Ziyad sent for `Adi in the year 51 A.H. `Adi was in his mosque called the mosque of `Adi in Kufa. Thus he was brought out of the mosque and was imprisoned. So all the Kufans, who belonged to the Yemen, Rabi'a, and Mudar, rushed to support `Adi b. Hatam. They came to Ziyad and spoke to him concerning `Adi. They said (to Ziyad): "Why have you done this towards `Adi b. Hatam, the Companion of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family?"

Ziyad asked `Adi to bring him `Abd Allah b. Khalifa al-Ta'i. For he was a companion of `Adi's, and for the police of Ziyad (al Hamra') suffered from him very much. However, `Adi refused that. Then Ziyad agreed with `Adi on banishing b. Khalifa from Kufa.37

`Adi b. Hatam came to Mu'awiya. The latter respected the former, knew his wise patience during critical discords, his keen practice during adversities, his penetrating insight, and his many past experiences. Thus Mu'awiya held a talk with `Adi, depending on his own (private talent) to which he resorted when he debated with the great figures from his opponents.

He (i.e., Mu'awiya) asked `Adi:" `Adi, where are the Tarafat (i.e., 'Adi's sons: Tarif, Tarif, and Tarafa)?" "They were killed before 'Ali b. Abu Talib at the Battle of Siffin," replied `Adi. "Bin Abu Talib (i.e., 'Ali) did not treat you with justice, for he advanced your sons and delayed his sons," said Mu'awiya. "Rather, I did not treat 'Ali with justice, for he was killed, and I have remained (alive) after him," said `Adi. "Indeed a drop of the blood of `Uthman has remained. Nothing removes it but the blood of a nobleman from the noblemen of the Yemen," said Mu'awiya.

Thus `Adi said: "By Allah, our hearts with which we have hated you are still in our chests, our swords with which we fought against you are on our shoulders. If you approached us through a small span of treason, we would approach you through a span of evil! Indeed the cutting of the throat and the rattle of the middle of the chest are easier for us than hearing the insult towards 'Ali. Therefore, Mu'awiya, hand over the sword to him who has sent it."

"These words were as a crushing defeat. Still he went on talking with `Adi as if he had addressed him with nothing."38

"There is no good in clemency that has no gestures that protects its clearness from cloudiness."

Then Mu'awiya said to `Adi: "Describe 'Ali for me." "I think it is better to forgive me," said `Adi. "I will not forgive you," said Mu'awiya. Thus `Adi said the following concerning 'Ali, peace be on him:

"By Allah, he was a discerning (man) with strong abilities. His words were just, and his judgment was sound. Wisdom gushed out of his sides, and knowledge (gushed out) of his standpoints. He felt lonely because of the life in this world and its embellishment. He associated with night and its calmness. He reckoned himself when he was alone, and thought over what had passed. Short clothes and hoarse living pleased him. He was among us like one of us. He answered us when we asked him. He approached us to him when we came to him.

Though he brought us nearer to him, and though he was near to us, we did not speak to him because of his prestige, nor did we look at him because of his greatness. When he smiled, (his teeth) were like the well- organized pearl. He regarded the people of religion as great. He had affection for the needy. The powerful one was not afraid of his (i.e., `Ali's) oppression, nor was the weak one hopeless of his justice. I (i.e., `Adi) swear (by Allah) that I saw him one night at his prayer niche (mihrab) when the night had spread and when its stars appeared down. His tears were following on his beard. He was moving restlessly as the sick one does and was weeping as the sad one does. It is as if I hear him now say:

"O world! O world! Get away from me. Why do you present yourself to me? Or are you eager for me? You may not get that opportunity to impress me. Deceive some other person. I have no concern with you. I have divorced you thrice where after there is no restitution. Your life is short, your importance is little and your liking is humble. Alas! The provision is little, the way is long, the journey is far, extending and the goal is hard to get to."

When Mu'awiya heard these words of `Adi, his eyes were full of tears and he said: "May Allah have mercy on Abu al-Hasan. He was really so." Then he turned to `Adi and said: "How do you feel in his absence?" "My grief is like that of a woman whose only child is butchered on her lap. Thus her tear does not cease, nor does her wailing become calm," said `Adi. "How do you remember him?" asked Mu'awiya. "Does the time let me forget him?" asked `Adi.39

I (i.e., the author) say: `Adi b. Hatam died at the age of 120 years during the time of al-Mukhtar b. Abu `Ubayd in the year 68 A.H. 40Thus a noble self which is not created except in an angel died with him. A wise opinion that does not become ripe except with a wise man, and truthful faith which is not known but with a friend (of Allah) died with him, too.

3. Sa'sa'a bin Sawhan

Sa'sa'a was among the Arab chiefs. He was among the virtuous highborn figures. He became Muslim during the lifetime of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. However, he did not meet the Prophet, for he was still little. During the days of his caliphate, `Umar faced a difficult problem.

Thus he addressed the people and asked them about an answer for the problem. Sa'sa'a, who was still young, rose. He gave an excellent answer. So the Muslims put his opinion into practice. Sa'sa'a was among the planners in Kufa. He took part at the Battle of the Camel and the Battle of Siffin headed by the Commander of the faithful (i.e., Imam 'Ali). "Indeed al Mughira banished Sa'sa'a from Kufa to the island (al-jazira) or to Bahrain. It was said that he was exiled to the island of bin Kafan (jazirat bin Kafan). Thus he died there."41

"Mu'awiya imprisoned Sa'sa'a b. Sawhan al-`Abdi,42`Abd Allah b. al-Kauwa' al-Yashkuri, a group of 'Ali's companions, and a group of Quraysh. One day, Mu'awiya came to them and asked them: `Swear by Allah to say the truth. Which of the Caliphs have you seen me?' Thus b. al-Kauwa' said: `Were it not for that you asked us, we would not say, for you are a stubborn tyrant. You do not fear Allah when you kill the good ones. Still we say: Your life in this world, as we know, is wide, and your next life will be narrow. You are near to the ground and far from the pasture. You make darkness light and light darkness.'

Then Mu'awiya said: `Indeed Allah has honored this matter (i.e., the authority) through the Syrians who defend His entity, and who avoid what He has forbidden. The Syrians are unlike the Iraqis who violate what Allah has forbidden, make lawful what Allah has forbidden, and make unlawful what Allah has made lawful.'

Thus b. al-Kauwa' said: `Bin Abu Sufyan, there is an answer for every speech. We are afraid of your might. If you released our tongues, we would defend the Iraqis with sharp tongues that do not fear the blame of a blamer concerning Allah; otherwise we will be patient till Allah judges and shows us His ease.' `By Allah, your tongue will not be released,' said Mu'awiya.

Then Sa'sa'a said: `Bin Abu Sufyan, you have exaggerated, and have not abbreviated what you have wanted. The matter is not as you have mentioned. Does the successor rule the people by force, subjugate them with haughtiness, and dominate (them) with the false ways (such as) lying and cunning? Verily, by Allah, you had neither a sword nor a spear at the Battle of Badr. You and your father were (busy) in trade and war. You were among those who gathered against the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. You were a freed prisoner (of war). The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, had released you. Then, is the succession (Khilafa) appropriate for a freed prisoner (of war)?' Thus Mu'awiya said: `Were it not for that I resort to the words of Abu Talib who said:

(I met his ignorance with clemency and forgiveness and forgiveness is a type of generosity.), I would kill you.' Then Mu'awiya asked Sa'sa'a: `Who are the pious, and who are the sinners?' `Whoever unveils (the facts) leaves deception. 'Ali and his Companions were from the pious Imams. You and your companions are from those (i.e., the sinners)' said Sa'sa'a. Then Mu'awiya asked him about Hisham. Thus Sa'sa'a said: `He (i.e., Hisham) was the most obedient of all people to a creature, and the most disobedient of them to the Creator. He has disobeyed the Almighty (Allah) and followed the evil.

May destruction befall him, and the evil abode be his.' `Bin Sawhan, by Allah, you have carried your knife for a long time. However, it is the clemency of b. Abu Sufyan that prevents me from (killing) you,' said Mu'awiya. `Rather the decree of Allah and His power have stopped you from killing me. Indeed Allah's decree is certain.'"

Al-Mas'udi said: "Sa'sa'a b. Sawhan had good stories and clear eloquent words concerning the meanings though they are brief."

Sa'sa'a was a prominent figure from the companions of the Commander of the faithful. The Commander of the faithful described him as a miserly orator. Then al-Jahiz described him as the most eloquent of all the people. When Mu'awiya entered Kufa after the Peace Treaty, he said to Sa'sa'a: "Indeed, by Allah, I had hated to give you security." Thus Sa'sa'a said:" By Allah, I hate to call you with this title (i.e., the Commander of the faithful)."

Then Sa'sa'a greeted Mu'awiya during his succession. So Mu'awiya said to him: "If you are truthful, then go up on the pulpit and curse 'Ali." Thus Sa'sa'a went up on the pulpit. He praised Allah and lauded him, and then he said: "O men, I have come to you from a man who has advanced his evil and delayed his good. He has ordered me to curse 'Ali. Therefore curse him (i.e., Mu'awiya), may Allah curse him."

Thus the people of the mosque shouted: "Amen!" When Sa'sa'a came back to Mu'awiya and told him about what he had said, the latter said: "No, by Allah, you have meant me. Go back and mention his name." Sa'sa'a went back, went up on the pulpit, and said: "O people, the Commander of the faithful (i.e., Mu'awiya) has ordered me to curse 'Ali b. Abu Talib. Therefore curse him (i.e., Mu'awiya). When Mu'awiya was told about that, he said: "By Allah, he has meant no one except me. Take him out. He should not live with me in a certain country." Thus the people took him out (of the country where Mu'awiya lived).43

Ibn `Abd Rabbih said: "Sa'sa'a b. Sawhan came to Mu'awiya when `Amr b. al-`As was with him (i.e., Mu'awiya) and was sitting on his (i.e., Mu'awiya's) bed. Thus Mu'awiya said (to `Amra b. al`As):"Make room for him (i.e., Sa'sa'a) in spite of his (tirabiya)"44 "By Allah, I am a (tirabi) (i.e., I was created from dust), I was created from it, too it I will return, and from it I will be raised from the dead. However, you were created from a flame of fire."

The delegation of the Iraqis came to Mu'awiya. `Adi b. Hatam was among the delegation of Kufa. Al-Ahnaf b. Qays and Sa'sa'a b. Sawhan was among the delegation of Basrah. Thus `Amr b. al-`As said to Mu'awiya: "These are the men of the life in this world. They are the Shi'ites of 'Ali who led them at the Battle of the Camel, and the Battle of Siffin. Therefore be careful of them."

Sayyid `Abd al-Qays wrote at length about Sa'sa'a b. Sawhan to the extent that his details are not appropriate for our brief intention. In other words we have intended to give a brief idea about the history of Sa'sa'a, and about the attitudes of Mu'awiya towards him.

4. `Abd Allah bin Khalifa al-Ta'i

`Abd Allah kindled war. He took part at the Battle of al-`Adhib, the Battle of Jalawla', the Battle of Nahrwan, the Battle of Taster, and the Battle of Siffin. He proved himself brave at all these battles. He was the orator who refuted the Ta'is when they competed with `Adi b. Hatam for carrying the standard at the Battle of Siffin, as we have said before.

`Abd Allah supported the strong attitude of Hujr b. `Adi al-Kindi when the latter defended the Commander of the faithful (i.e., Imam 'Ali), peace be on him.

The police of Ziyad (al-Hammra') chased `Abd Allah. However, they were unable to capture him. In the meantime, he was able to defeat them through his people. His sister al-Nauwar went out and said: "People of Tay, do you want to hand over your spearhead and your tongue (i.e., `Abd Allah b. Khalifa)?" Thus the Ta'is attacked the police and defeated them. Ziyad was unable to capture `Abd Allah so that he captured the leader of his tribe (`Adi b. Hatam). He imprisoned the leader to force him to bring `Abd Allah. `Adi refused to bring `Abd Allah, for he was sure that Ziyad would kill him. Thus Ziyad agreed with `Adi on banishing `Abd Allah from Kufa.

`Adi advised `Abd Allah to leave Kufa and promised him that he would do his best to return him to it. For this reason, `Abd Allah went to the two mountains (al-jabalayn).45 It was said that he went to San'a'. He was still homeless there. Thus he longed very much for his homeland.

`Abd Allah remained there for a long time so that he wrote to `Adi to urge him to fulfill his promise. He was a poet with an ability to describe things well. He had many poems through which he reminded `Adi of his (i.e., `Abd Allah's) backgrounds, his estrangement, and his longing. However, the conditions did not permit `Adi to help him. So `Abd Allah remained there till he died. His death was a little time before the death of Ziyad. May Allah have mercy on `Abd Allah."46

  • 1. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 3, p. 161.
  • 2. Ibid. vol. 1, p. 358.
  • 3. In his book (al-Ghadir, vol. 5, pp. 185- 329), the religious scholar al Amini al-Najafi has collected six hundred and twenty fabricators from those whom the people have regarded as narrators of traditions and history.
  • 4. (The tribe of) Kinda belonged to the band of Kahlan. Their homeland was the Yemen. Then many of their leaders moved to Iraq. Kahlan and Himyar were the two sons of Saba'. Saba' was the name which brought both tribes together. It was said: "The Arabs regarded the houses with glory and honor after the house of Hashim b. `Abd Manaf as four houses.

    They were the house of Qays al-Fazazi, (the house of) the Darimiyyin, (the house of) band Shayn, and the house of the Yemen, who belonged to the bane of al Harith b. Ka'b." As for Kinda, they are not regarded as some of the people of the houses. Rather they were kings. Among them was al-Malik al-Dilil (i.e., `Umru' al-Qays). They had authority in the Yemen and al-Hijaz. The glory of Kinda lasted during the time of Islam.

    Some of the Kindis took part in the conquests and the revolts; some of them were governors; some of them were judges such as Husayn b. Hasan al-Hujri; some of them were poets such as Ja'far b. `Affan al-Makfuf, the poet of the Shi'a. Hani b. al-Wad b. `Adi, the nephew of Hujr, was among the noble figures in Kufa. Ja'far b. al Ash'ath and his son al-'Abbas b. Ja'far were among the Shi'a of Imam Abu al-Hasan (i.e., Musa b. Ja'far) and his son al-Rida, peace be on them. As for al-Ash'ath b. Qays al-Kindi, he was the greatest of all the hypocrites in Kufa. He became Muslim, then he renounced Islam after the Prophet. Then he became Muslim, and Abu Bakr accepted his Islam. Abu Bakr married him his sister who was the mother of Muhammad b. al-Ash'ath. Imam al-Hasan married al-Ash'ath's daughter whom Mu'awiya provoked to give al-Hasan poison to drink.

  • 5. In his book 'al-Isaba fi Tamyiz al-Sahaba', Ibn al-Athir said: "Major ritual impurity hit him (i.e., Hujr) while he was a prisoner. So he said to the guard: `Give me my water to pure myself with it.' `I am afraid that you will die of thirst, so Mu'awiya will kill me, said the guard.' He (i.e., Ibn al-Athir) said: `Hujr prayed to Allah (for rain), so the rain came down from a cloud. Then he took what he needed from (the rain).' His companions said to him: 'Ask Allah to save us.' So he said: `O Allah, save us.'"
  • 6. Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 108.
  • 7. In his book `Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 132', al-Tabari said: "From that day he took a compartment."
  • 8. Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 156.
  • 9. Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 3, p. 193.
  • 10. Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 153.
  • 11. Ibid.
  • 12. He meant the banu (sons) of Hashim.
  • 13. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 18.
  • 14. Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 157.
  • 15. See also: Ibn `Abd al-Bir al-Maliki, al-Isti'ab. Ibn al-Athir, Asad al-Ghaba fi Tamyiz al-Sahaba. 'Ali Khan, al-Darajat al-Rafii'a. Al-Shaykh al-Tusi, al-Amali.
  • 16. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 149.
  • 17. Ibn al-Nadim, al-Fihrast, p. 136.
  • 18. Al-Najashi, Fihrast al-Rijal, p. 306.
  • 19. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar. Al-Tabari has narrated a tradition similar to this one on the authority of al-Hasan. That is incorrect for the tragedy of Hujr and his companions were two years after the death of al-Hasan. A similar tradition has been narrated by Ibn al-Athir on the authority of al Hasan al-Basri who said: "By the Lord of the Kaaba, they have instituted a proof against them."
  • 20. A place near Kufa. It was on the eastern bank of the Euphrates. Al-Marwaha faced it on the western bank of the Euphrates. The battle of Abu `Ubayd the father of al-Mukhtar al-Thaqafi took place at it.
  • 21. Then this kind of killing became the bad practice (Sunna), which the tyrants after Ziyad followed. When the Umayyads were angry with `Umar al-Maqsus, the educator of Mu'awiya b. Yazid b. Mu`awiya, who resigned from their succession as protest against them, they took him and buried him alive. This has been narrated by al-Dimyari in his book `Hayat al-Hayawan, p. 62. In the book, he has narrated the speech which Mu'awiya made concerning the backgrounds of 'Umar's resignation, which makes one feel that `Umar was a follower of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them.
  • 22. Ahmad Shahab al-Din al-`Asqalani, al-Isaba fi Tamyiz al-Sahaba, vol. 4, p. 294.
  • 23. See the following references about what we have written concerning Hujr and his companions: Al-Dinawari, Ibn al-Athir, al-Tabari, b. Abu al Hadid, al-Isti'ab, al-Nasa'ih al-Kafiya, and Ta'rikh Baghdad.
  • 24. `Abbas al-Qummi, Safiinat al-Bihar, vol. 2, p. 360.
  • 25. Al-Tabari has mentioned the slander of `Ammara b. 'Aqaba, and then he said: "It is said that it was Yazid b. Ruwaym who slandered `Amr b. al Hamq, and said: `He (i.e., `Amru) has provoked the two cities (i.e., Basrah and Kufa`
  • 26. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 101.
  • 27. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 102.
  • 28. He was attributed to Hajr (i.e., Bahrain).
  • 29. 'Abbas al-Qummi, Safiinat al-Bihar, vol. 1, p. 522.
  • 30. Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 3, p. 183. Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, pp. 130- 32.
  • 31. In his book (Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 147), al-Tabari said:" `Umayr b. Yazid (a companion of Hujr b. `Adi's) was brought before Ziyad. He had been given security over his blood and his property. Ziyad ordered him to be shackled. Then the men began to lift him to the highest point and let him fall over the ground many times."
  • 32. Ahmad Shahab al-Din al-`Asqalani, al-Isaba fi Tamiz al-Sahaba, vol. 4, p. 228- 29.
  • 33. Ibid.
  • 34. Ibid.
  • 35. He was the fifth grandfather of `Adi. Thus `Adi, the Companion (of the Prophet) was b. Hatam b. `Abd Allah b. Sa'd b. al-Hashraj b. `Umru' al Qays b. `Adi.
  • 36. Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 5.
  • 37. Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh, vol. 3, p. 189.
  • 38. Al-Mas'udi, Hamish b. al-Athir, vol. 6, p. 65.
  • 39. Al-Bayhaqi, al-Mahasin wa al-Masawi', vol. 1, p. 33.
  • 40. Husayn al-Buraqi, Ta'rikh al-Kufa, p. 388. Ahmad Shahab al-Din al`Asqalani, al-Isaba fi Tamyiz al-Sahaba, vol. 4, p. 119.
  • 41. Ahmad Shahab al-Din al-`Asqalani, al-Isaba fi Tamyiz al-Sahaba, vol. 3, p. 23.
  • 42. Al-Mas'udi, Hamish b. al-Athir, vol. 6, p. 117.
  • 43. `Abbas al-Qummi, Safiinat al-Bihar, vol. 2, 31.
  • 44. his love for Abu Turab (i.e., 'Ali, peace be on him).
  • 45. They were the two mountains of Tay: they were called Aja and Sahna. There was one day between them and Fadak, five nights between them and Khaybar, and three stages between them and Medina.
  • 46. Al-Tabari, Ta'rikh, vol. 6, p. 5 and pp. 157- 60.

Conclusion

A noticeable space has remained among these gaps in history. The references we have are not able to fill this space with studies that suite those events.

Up to this topic, we have understood that Mu'awiya violated all the conditions with which he bound himself.

We have known, up to here that Mu'awiya did not take care of the Peace Treaty with five items. In other words his care did not suite those covenants, agreements, and the oath with which he bound himself.

When Mu'awiya took the reins of government, he did not act according to the Book of Allah, the Sunna (i.e., practices) of His Apostle, and the practices (Sira) of the Orthodox Caliphs, nor did he leave the authority after him to the Consultative Committee or to the Owner of the right (i.e., al-Hasan), nor did he refrain from cursing 'Ali, nor did he give (al-Hasan) the land taxes, nor did he give security to 'Ali's Shi'ites and companions. In spite of these stipulations and pledges, he increased cursing 'Ali to the extent that he ordered his orators to curse him everywhere. Moreover, he committed horrible crimes against the Shi'ites of 'Ali:

Thus the first head to be roamed in Islam was from them. He (i.e., Mu'awiya) ordered it to be roamed.

The first man to be buried alive in Islam was from them. He ordered him to be buried alive.

The first woman to be imprisoned in Islam was from them. He ordered her to be imprisoned.

The first patient martyrs were from them. It was he who killed them.

Mu'awiya violated all the items of the Peace Treaty, broke his strong oath, and opposed his certain pledges which he made before Allah, the Most High.

Therefore I (i.e., the author) wonder: Is this the religious succession?

Mu'awiya protected himself from the last stipulation in the Peace

Treaty, for it was the most sensitive of all the stipulations and the strongest of them all. If he had broken this condition, then he would have challenged the Qur'an openly, and the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, directly.

Thus Mu'awiya was patient towards this condition for eight years. Then he was unable to bear it. For his Umayyad lineage moved him to make his children inherit the authority. In this way he underlined that he was b. (the son of) Hind and Abu Sufyan.

Wasn't there a great difference between b. Abu Sufyan (i.e., Mu'awiya) and the Apostle of Allah? Wasn't there a great difference between b. Hind (i.e., Mu'awiya) and the Book of Allah?

Then it (i.e., the pledge of allegiance to his son Yazid) was the first malice that came to the Arabs, as b. `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said.

Rather it was the first malice that came to the people, as Abu Ishaq al-Subay'i, may Allah be pleased with him, said.

It (i.e., the succession to authority) was, in its nature, -the farthest of all the items of the Peace Treaty from treason. Also it was, in its conditions, the worthiest of them all of care. It was the most horrible crime in Mu'awiya's life full of crimes. For it (i.e., the Peace Treaty) occurred when the soldiers were disarmed, the standard war wrapped, and the enemy bound himself to fulfill the conditions.

Neither in Medina (the homeland of al-Hasan, peace be on him) nor among the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them) nor among the Shi'ites of al-Hasan and his relatives was a justification to make Mu'awiya fear for his life in this world.

Therefore what is this deception? What is the excuse?

Weren't those covenants, agreements, and oath the strongest and the most certain words in the dictionaries of the Arabic language?

I (i.e., the author) wonder: Shall we apologize on behalf of Mu'awiya as those honorable ones who are attributed to Islam apologize on behalf of his son Yazid who killed al-Husayn, the grandson of the Apostle of Allah, the best blessing and peace be on him and his grandfather, when they said: "He (i.e., Yazid) was a self conceited young man. The monkeys distracted him. Wine and dissoluteness controlled him?"

Therefore where was the experience of Mu'awiya and his claimed cleverness? Where was his old age and his experience in the matters?

This deed of the father (i.e., Mu'awiya) urged the son (i.e., Yazid) to follow his father's example to achieve his ambitions. Thus they cooperated with each other to accomplish the greatest crime in the history of Islam. That was the killing of the two Lords of the youth of Heaven, the two ones of whom there was no third. Also they cooperated with each other to cut the only means to which the progeny of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, was limited. The crime, in this meaning, is direct killing to the historical continuity of the life of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family!

Yes, nevertheless, the two killers were two caliphs in Islam!

What a great loss Islam suffered from when its caliphs were of such a kind!

It was the claimed cleverness that urged Mu'awiya to follow such a kind of killing, which his son Yazid was unable to accomplish. Thus this (i.e., Yazid) was "a self-conceited young man and that (i.e., Mu'awiya) was experienced in managing the affairs!

If Abu Sufyan had lived for a longer time, he would have been sure that these two sons of his (i.e., his son Mu'awiya and his grandson Yazid) were able to achieve the game, which he hoped for the children of his father.

Accordingly, Mu'awiya ordered Marwan b. al-Hakam1 to convince Ju'da bint al-Ash'ath b. Qays al-Kindi, who was one of the wives of al-Hasan, peace be on him, to give poison, which was a drink of honey mixed with Rome water, to drink. If al-Hasan died, Mu'awiya would marry her to his son Yazid, and would send her a hundred thousand dirhams.

As Ju'da was the daughter of al-Ash'ath b. Qays, the known hypocrite who became Muslim twice and there was atrocious apostasy between them, she was the nearest of all people to accept this abominable bargaining.

Imam Ja'far b. Muhammad al-Sadiq, peace be on him said: "Indeed al-Ash'ath took part in killing the Commander of the faithful (i.e., Imam 'Ali), peace be on him. His daughter Ju'da poisoned al-Hasan. Moreover, his son Muhammad took part in killing al-Husayn."

I (i.e., the author) say: In this manner Mu'awiya accomplished what he wanted.

Through this plot Mu'awiya was able to control the affairs of all the community. Thus he subjected the community to many disasters. Moreover, he filled himself and his children with spites so that they were liable to many battles and coups.

Through this plot Mu'awiya was able to abolish all items of the Peace Treaty.

When al-Hasan, peace be on him, was about to die, he said:" Mu'awiya's drink (of poison) has acted upon (me). He has obtained his wish. By Allah, he has not fulfilled what he promised, nor has he been truthful in what he said."2

Marwan's letter concerning carrying out the evil plan came to Mu'awiya. So the latter said: "How wonderful! Al-Hasan took a drink of honey (mixed with) Rome water, so he died."3

Then Mu'awiya was unable to restrain his happiness when al Hasan, peace be on him, died.

"Mu'awiya was at al-Khadra'. Thus he exclaimed: `Allah is Great!' The people of al-Khadra' exclaimed: `Allah is Great!' with him. Then the people of the mosque exclaimed: `Allah is Great' when the people of al-Khadra' did that. So Fakhta (Mu'awiya's wife) bint (daughter of) Qarza b. `Amr b. Nawfa b. `Abd Munaf came out of her wicket and said: `Commander of the faithful, may Allah delight you.' What has made you happy? 'The death of al-Hasan,' he said. `To Allah we belong and to Him is our return,' she said. Then she wept and said: `The Lord of the Muslims and son of the daughter of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, died.' `By Allah, what you have done is excellent. He was so. He is worthy of weeping over him,' he said."

A part from this, b. Qutayba said: "When the news (of the death of al-Hasan) came to Mu'awiya, he showed rejoice and pleasure to the extent that he and those who were with him bowed down. `Abd Allah b. 'Abbas, who was then in Sham (Syria), heard of that, so he came to Mu'awiya. When he sat down, Mu`awiya said: `Bin `Abbas, al-Hasan b. 'Ali perished.' Thus b. 'Abbas said: `Yes, he perished. To Allah we belong and to Him is our return. I have heard that you showed rejoice and pleasure when he died. Indeed, by Allah, his body has not taken the place of your grave, nor has the decrease of (the period of) his death increased your life. He died while he was better than you. If we have been afflicted by him, then we had been afflicted by him who was better than him, his grandfather the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. Thus Allah comforted his disaster and appointed the best successor over us after him.

"Then b. `Abbas wept. Those who attended the meeting wept. Mu'awiya wept. The narrator said: `I have never seen weepers as many as those who were present on that day.' `How old was al-Hasan?' Mu'awiya asked. `Al-Hasan's birthday is very famous that everybody knows it,' replied b. `Abbas. He (i.e., the narrator) said: Mu'awiya kept silent for a while, and then he said: `Bin `Abbas, you have become the lord of your people after him.' `(I am not the lord of my people) as long as Allah has kept Abu `Abd Allah al-Husayn alive', said b. `Abbas."4

Al-Ya'qubi (Ta'rikh, vol. 2, p. 203.) has mentioned a description about the great sadness of the Kufans when they heard of the death of al-Hasan, peace be on him. Thus the leaders of the Shi'ites there held a meeting in the house of their chief Sulayman b. Sirt ak Khuza'i. Moreover, they condoled al-Husayn through a painful eloquent letter.

The news of the death of al-Hasan reached the ears of the people in Basrah which Ziyad b. Sumayya governed. So the people wept loudly. Thus Abu Bakra, Ziyad's half brother (on his mother's side), who was then ill in his house, heard that and said: "Allah has relieved him of much evil. The people have lost much good because of his death. May Allah have mercy on al-Hasan."5

His (i.e., al-Hasan's) brother Muhammad b. al-Hanafiya praised him when he stood by his holy body. The following is his praise: "Abu Muhammad (i.e., al-Hasan), may Allah have mercy on you. By Allah, indeed if your life was valuable, your death has undermined (us). The excellent soul was that through which your body lived. The excellent body is that which your shroud has covered. Of course, you are so. For you are the descendant of guidance, the ally of the pious, and the fifth (person) of those who were covered with the cloak (ashab al-Kisa). The hand of the truth fed you. You grew in the lap of Islam. The two breasts of belief suckled you. You are good whether you are alive or dead. Therefore peace and Allah's mercy be on you even though we did not hate you nor did they doubt that the choice was for you.6

The texts denoting that Mu'awiya poisoned al-Hasan are very obvious in history. These texts have been mentioned in the following books:

1) al-Isti'ab by `Abd al-Bir al-Maliki,

2) al-Isaba fi Tamyiz al Sahaba by Ahmad Shahab al-Din al-`Asqalani,

3) Maqatil al-Talibiyyin by Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani,

4) al-Furuq bayna al-Abatil wa al-Huquq by al-Shaybani,

5) Ta'rikh by al-Ya'qubi,

6) al-Tabaqat by b. Sa'd,

7) alAhdath by al-Mada'ini,

8) Ta'rikh Dimashq by Ibn `Asakir,

9) Asad al Ghaba fi Tamyiz al-Sahaba by Ibn al-Athir,

10) Muruj al-Dhahab by al Mas'udi,

11) Sharh Nahj al-Balagha by b. Abu al-Hadid,

12) Tanzih al Anbiya' by al-Murtada,

13) al-Amali by al-Tusi,

14) al-Diwan by al-Sharif al-Radi,

15) al-Mustadrak by al-Hakim,

16) al-Irshad by al-Mufid,

17) Tadhkirat al-Khawas by al-Dhahabi,

18) Dala'il al-Imama by al-Tabari, ...

And the like.

In his book `al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya Ibn Kathir said: "Al-Hasan died in the year 49 A.H. Ju'da bint al-Ash'ath poisoned him with what Mu'awiya had sent to her. He arranged for her to marry his son Yazid. Then he broke his promise."

In his book `al-Tabaqat,' b. Sa'd said: "Mu'awiya poisoned al Hasan several times."

Al-Mada'ini said: "Al-Hasan was given poison to drink four times."

In his book `al-Mustadrak', al-Hakim said: "Indeed al-Hasan b. 'Ali was given poison to drink several times. He was safe during these times except the last time when he died. Indeed he spewed his liver."7

Al-Ya'qubi said: "When death was close to al-Hasan, he said to his brother al-Husayn: `My brother, these are the last three times when I have been given poison to drink but I have never been given poison like this time. I will die on this day of mine. When I die, then bury me beside the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. For there is nobody worthier of him than me. When you are prevented from that, then do not shed blood into the cupping-glass in (carrying) it (out)."

Ibn `Abd al-Bir said: "Al-Husayn came to al-Hasan. Thus al Hasan said: `My brother, I have been give poison to drink three times but I have never been given poison like this. I am going to spew my liver.' So al-Husayn said: `Who gave you the poison to drink?' `Why do you ask about that? Do you want to fight against them?" asked al Hasan. "Oppose them before Allah."

Al-Tabari said in Dala'il al-Imama: "The cause of the death of al Hasan was that Mu'awiya poisoned him seventy times. However, the poison did not act upon him. Then he sent (someone) to his (i.e., al Hasan's) wife Ju'da bint Muhammad b. al-Ash'ath b. Qays al-Kindi and gave her twenty thousand dinars, and ten estates from Iraq. Also he ensured her to marry her to his son Yazid. Thus she gave al-Hasan poison to drink. The poison was (mixed with) sweetened flour in a gold bowl."8

فَهَلْ عَسَيْتُمْ إِنْ تَوَلَّيْتُمْ أَنْ تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَتُقَطِّعُوا أَرْحَامَكُمْ

Allah, the Great and Almighty said: "However, if you held command, you were sure to make mischief in the land and cut off the ties of kinship!" (Qur'an 47:22)

  • 1. Al-Mas'udi (Hamish b. al-Athir, vol. 5, p. 198) and al-Bayhaqi (al Mahasin wa al-Masawi', vol. 1, p. 64) have mentioned: "Al-Hasan, peace be on him, strove (to take) security for Marwan when he was captured at the Battle of the Camel. It was said that Marwan hid in the house of a woman in Basrah.

    In Nahj al-Balagha (vol. 1, p. 121), al-Sharif al-Radi said: "When Marwan was taken prisoner at the Battle of the Camel, he asked al-Husayn, peace be on them, to intercede for him with the Commander of the faithful. Thus the latter released him. Then they said: `Commander of the faithful, he (i.e., Marwan) desires to pledge allegiance to you.' Thus he, peace be on him, said: `Did he not pledge allegiance to me after the killing of `Uthman? I am in no need of his pledge of allegiance. For (his hand) is a Jewish hand. If he pledge allegiance to me with his hand, he would violate it after awhile. Well, he is to get power (as short) as the dog licks its nose. He is the father of the four sons. The people will face hard days because of him and his sons.'"

    I (i.e., the author) say: Marwan was ungrateful for al-Hasan when he tried to convince Ju'da to poison him. He was as they say: "A tree is known by its fruit."

  • 2. Al-Mas'udi, Hamish b. al-Athir, vol. 6, p. 55- 56.
  • 3. Ibn `Abd al-Bir al-Maliki, al-Isti'ab.
  • 4. Ibn Qutayba al-Dinawari (died 276), al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, pp. 159- 60. Al-Ya'qubi and al-Mas'udi have mentioned words similar to these.
  • 5. Ibn Abu al-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 6, p. 57.
  • 6. Al-Ya'qubi, Ta'rikh, vol. 2, p. 200. Al-Mas'udi, Hamish b. al-Athir, vol. 6, p. 57.
  • 7. Al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak (Kufa), vol. 6, p. 5.
  • 8. Al-Tabari, Dala'il al-Imama, p. 61.

Appendix: Comparison Between The Conditions Of Al- Hasan And The Conditions Of Al- Husayn

Many people think that the Hashimite pride, which always resulted from honorable attitudes, was more appropriate for the attitude of al Husayn, peace be on him, than the attitude of al-Hasan, peace be on him.

This is a primary viewpoint that suffers from the paucity of an innermost analysis and accuracy.

Al-Hasan was a Hashimite with high glory during all his attitudes. He was similar to his father and his brother in glory. Thus they were all an example to the original reformers in history. However, each one of them had a special jihad (armed struggle), message, and attitudes which he derived from the core of the conditions that surrounded him. These conditions were early examples of jihad, glory, supporting the usurped right to authority.

Al-Husayn faced death through killing during his condition, and al-Hasan retained his life through making peace (with Mu'awiya) during his condition. With these two ways they were able to continue their doctrine and to condemn their enemies. In the meantime these two ways were the necessary logical solutions for the problems of both conditions.

These solutions were the best means, which al-Hasan and al-Husayn followed to please Allah, the Most High, not to win the life in this world. They (i.e., the solutions) are the real victory that last throughout history though al-Hasan and al-Husayn were apparently deprived of their rights and their succession to authority.

The two sacrifices (i.e., al-Husayn's sacrifice in his life and al Hasan's sacrifice in his succession) are the utmost degrees to which the original leaders aspire during their human revolutionary attitudes.

The time factors accompanied both al-Hasan and al-Husayn during their succession. They created for each of them a private condition towards his supporters, and a private condition towards his enemy. In other words the two brothers had two different conditions. As their conditions were different, their ways of jihad were different. Therefore their ends were different.

The following are the conditions their supporters and their enemies caused:

1. The Conditions their Supporters caused

For al-Husayn, peace be on him, he suffered from the treason of his Kufan companions. Such a kind of treason helped al-Husayn take a step to pave the way for his glorious success in history. That is because the people had broken their pledge of allegiance to al-Husayn before he declared war mobilization. Thus his little army was empty of any traitorous person on the day when he stood to fight against his enemies to achieve his ideal objectives.

However, the treason from which al-Hasan, peace be on him, suffered at the Camp of Maskan and the Camp of al-Mada'in was quite different from that which al-Husayn suffered. That is because al-Hasan declared war mobilization, and then his army moved to the mentioned camps. However, the enemy rumors played an important role in scattering the army. Thus chaos, plots, and treason spread all over it. Accordingly, al-Hasan was unable to wage holy war (jihad) against his enemies. In other words this was the army through which al-Hasan lost hope of winning victory in that war.

From here we understand that Al-Hasan's supporters pledged allegiance to him, and accompanied him to his camps as holy fighters (mujahidin). However, they broke their allegiance to al-Hasan, disobeyed him, and joined his enemies. Thus they were worse than those who had broken their allegiance to al-Husayn before he met his enemies.

In this manner al-Husayn paved the way to fight against his enemies when the events of treason before the battle helped him form the most wonderful army in history in loyalty and obedience though his army was few in number.

As for al-Hasan, he was unable to retain supporters even from his sincere Shi'ites. For he was not sure that he would gather them and direct their movements because of the chaos which his enemies spread.

Therefore, isn't there a great difference between their two conditions towards their supporters?

2. The Conditions their Enemies caused

The enemy of al-Hasan was Mu'awiya, and the enemy of al Husayn was Yazid b. Mu'awiya. History is full of differences between Mu'awiya and Yazid. For example, the son (i.e., Yazid) had plain dullness, while the father (i.e., Mu'awiya) had a deep viewpoint that the people regard as smartness.

The enmity of these two men (i.e., Mu'awiya and Yazid) towards al-Hasan and al-Husayn did not result from an accidental condition. Rather it was a past historical enmity between banu Hashim and banu Umayya.

The Umayyads did not match the Hashimites one day. Rather the Umayyads showed enmity towards the Hashimites, for the former feared that the latter would take their authority. This is the reason why the people and the historians mention the Umayyads face to face with the Hashimites. Now we have the right to ask: Isn't there a great difference between those who follow desires and those who follow ideals?

Isn't there a clear difference between those who had corrupt lineages and those whom Allah purified completely as it is in the Qur'an? Isn't there an obvious difference between the corrupt people and those who adopted intellectual talents, good manners, pure race, and sciences that have played an important role in developing man in all cultural fields? Such were the Hashimites who brought light to the world.1

How different they are!

What al-Hasan b. 'Ali anticipated was likely. For if he had waged a hopeless war against his historical enemy Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan b. Harb, the war would have led to the greatest disaster against Islam. Also it would have destroyed all Shi'ites of the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), peace be on them. In this connection Mu'awiya had excellent abilities to carry out this plan to end that long historical enmity towards 'Ali, his sons, and their Shi'ites.

We have already mentioned this subject. Thus there is no need to mention it again.

However, such a possibility was enough for al-Husayn when the young man (i.e., Yazid) antagonized him. That is because Yazid was luxurious. He was unable to solve problems nor was he able to mobilize the trends nor was he able to make plans: Moreover, his ambition was to be a king with many treasuries, even though he faced al-Akhtal the poet whose words al-Bayhaqi has narrated:

"Your religion, indeed, is like the religion of the donkey

Rather you are more unbelieving (person) than Hurmuz."

This possibility was sufficient for al-Husayn when the sword of terrorism (i.e., Yazid) began to chase the Shi'ites everywhere, made them homeless and imprisoned those great figures who followed the doctrines of the members of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), and to whom these doctrines were entrusted to convey them to the generations after them.

Thus al-Husayn thought that it was better for him to go on carrying out his decision. He was sure of his plan, his objectives, and their future towards his enemies.

As for al-Hasan, he was not as sure as his brother al-Husayn. That is because al-Hasan suffered from the spiritual backgrounds of his army. Moreover, among his enemies were Mu'awiya and his fearful servants who made spiteful hostile plans.

Finally, al-Husayn made use of Mu'awiya's mistakes such as his attacks against the peaceful Muslim cities, his attitude towards the conditions of the Peace Treaty of al-Hasan, his killing al-Hasan with poison, his pledge of allegiance to his son Yazid, and so on. All these errors of Mu'awiya, in addition to the support of the Muslim public opinion urged al-Husayn to take steps against the Umayyads.

In the meantime al-Husayn made us of the errors of Yazid, Mu'awiya's successor, who was fond of monkeys and wine. All these things were appropriate factors for al-Husayn to carry out his plan.

Al-Husayn's conditions towards his enemies, and his conditions towards his supporters agreed with each other on supporting his movement, carrying out his task, and leading him to the glorious victory through which he succeeded with Allah and in history.

As for al-Hasan, as we have already mentioned, he was tired of the conditions which his companions caused. Thus these conditions prevented him from obtaining martyrdom. Also he suffered from the conditions which his enemies caused. So these conditions prevented him from waging war against them though he was aware that such a kind of war would destroy his doctrines.

For this reason al-Hasan thought that it was necessary for him to develop his way of jihad, and to start his battle through making peace with Mu'awiya.

The objectives which al-Hasan wanted to accomplish through his Peace Treaty with Mu'awiya forced Mu'awiya and his party to face a quick failure in history.

Indeed, after this study, it is difficult for us to distinguish which of the two brothers (i.e., al-Hasan and al-Husayn), peace be on them, had a greater effect in his jihad, more intense influence on his objectives, and a more careful opinion in defeating his enemies.

It is obvious that the Umayyads faced many hardships after the Peace Treaty. That was because of al-Hasan's plans and his directions. Indeed all these hardships took place due to this successful plan which al-Hasan's enemies supported, whether they knew that or not.

  • 1. In reply to Mu'awiya, the Commander of the faithful said: "Inspite of our old established honor and our well- known superiority over your people, we did not keep away mixing with you and married and got married (among you) like equals although you were not so. How could you be so when (the position is that) from us is the Prophet while from you is the liar, from us the Lion of Allah while from you is the Lion of the allies, from us is the two Lords of the youth of Heaven while from you are the children of the fire, from us is the mistress of the women of the worlds while from you is the bearer of firewood, and there are many distinctions between you and us."