Al-Hasan Ibn 'Ali Al-Mujtaba
( Peace be on him )
Agnomen: Abu Muhammad.
Father's name: 'All Amir al-Mu'minin.
Mother's name: Fatimah (daughter of the Holy Prophet).
Birth: In Medina on Tuesday, 15th Ramadan 3 AH.
Death: Died at the age of 46, in Medina on Thursday, 28th
Safar 50 AH; buried in Jannatu 'I-Baqi, in Medina.
IMAM HASAN was the eldest son of Imam 'Ali and
Hadrat Fatimah. When the Holy Prophet received the happy
news of the birth of his grandson, he came to the house of his
beloved daughter, took the newly born child in his arms, recited
adhan and iqamah in his right and left ears respectively, and in
compliance with Allah's command named him al-Hasan.
The first phase of seven years of his infancy was blessed with
the gracious patronage of the Holy Prophet, who gifted him all his
great qualities and adorned him with Divine knowledge,
tolerance, intelligence, bounty and valour. Being infallible by birth
and decorated with heavenly knowledge by Allah, his insight had
an access to al-lawhu'I-mahfuz ( the Guarded Tablet on which the
transactions of mankind have been written by Allah for all
The Holy Imam immediately became conversant with all the
contents of any wahy (Qur'anic verses) revealed when the Holy
Prophet would disclose it to his associates. To the great surprise
of the Holy Prophet, Hadrat Fatimah would often recite the exact
text of a newly revealed wahy before he disclosed it personally to
her. When he inquired, she would inform him that it was Hasan
through whom she had learned the Revelation.
Remembrance of Allah:
The Holy Imam devoted himself to prayers in such
abundance, that all the limbs employed in prostration bore scars
and impressions of his Sajdah (prostration). Most of the nights
were spent on the prayer-carpet. The sense of his absorption and
humiliation in prayers to Allah were in such earnest that he would
shed tears profusely out of fear of Allah. While performing
ablution, he trembled with the fear of Allah and his face grew
pale at the time of prayers. His earnest meditation in the offering
of prayers and his extreme absorption in communion with
Allah would render him entirely unconscious of his environments.
His Piousness and Contentment:
Imam Hasan had the worldly possessions at his disposal
and could have well enjoyed a luxurious life, but he utilized all of
it in the betterment of the condition of the poor.
He was so courteous and humble that he never hesitated to
sit along with the beggars in the lanes and on the thoroughfares of
Medina to reply to some of their religious queries. Through his
cordial attitude and hospitality he never let the poor and the
humble feel inferior to him when they visited his abode.
The demise of the Holy Prophet was followed by an eventful
era when the Islamic world (under the false ruling bodies) came
in the grip of the fever of expansionism and conquest. But even
under such a revolutionary phase, Imam Hasan kept devoting
himself to the sacred mission of peacefully propagating Islam and
the teachings of the Holy Prophet along with his great father
The martyrdom of Imam 'All on the 21st Ramadan marked
the inception of Imam Hasan's Imamate. The majority of Muslims
pledged their allegiance to him and finalized the formality of
bay'ah (oath of allegiance). No sooner had he taken the reins of
leadership into his hands than he had to meet the challenge of
Mu'awiyah, the Governor of Syria, who declared a war against
him. In compliance with the Will of Allah and with a view to
refrain from causing the massacre of Muslims however, he
entered into a piece treaty with Mu'awiyah on terms (though not
totally respected and carried out by Mu'awiyah), yet saved Islam
and stopped a civil war. But this peace treaty was never meant as
a surrender by him of the permanent leadership to Mu'awiyah. It
was meant only as an interim transfer of the administration of the
Islamic kingdom, subject to the condition that the ad- ministration
would be surrendered back to Imam Hasan after Mu'awiyah's
death and then it would in turn be inherited by Imam Husayn.
Having relieved himself of the administrative responsibilities,
Imam Hasan kept the religious leadership with himself and
devoted his life to the propagation of Islam and the teachings of
the Holy Prophet in Medina.
Mu'awiyah's malice against Imam Hasan led him to conspire
with the Imam's wife Ja'dah, the daughter of Ash'ath. She was
made to give the Imam some poison which affected his liver.
Imam Hasan thus succumbed to Mu'awiyah's fatal mischief and
attained his martyrdom on 28th Safar 50 AH. His funeral was
attended by Imam Husayn and the members of the Hashimite
family. His bier while being taken for burial to the Holy Prophet's
tomb was shot at with arrows by his enemies, (under direct
supervision and consent of 'A'ishah), and it had to be diverted for
burial to the Jannatu 'I-Baq;' at Medina. His tomb was
demolished along with others on 8th Shawwal 1344 (21st April
1926) by the Saudi rulers when they came to power in .Hijaz.
The terms of the peace treaty were soon violated, but
earned only a short-lived glory for Mu'awiyah. Its aftermath
proved disastrous and doomed the fate of his son Yzid and dealt
a fatal blow to the entire family of Umayyads. After the death of
Mu'awiyah, Imam Husayn emerged as the insurmountable
mountain of truth and determination. In the gruesome tragedy of
Karbala', by sheer force of numbers, and by isolating the
seventy-two members of Imam Husayn' s party and stopping them
from even getting water to drink for three days, Yazid succeeded
in annihilating the seventy-two persons including members of the
Imam's family who were with him.
This dastardly success of Yazid was, however, short-lived.
The Muslims turned against him on learning of the
heinous act he had committed and this resulted in the
downfall of Yazid and the extinction of the Umayyad
power from the face of the earth.
Allamah Tabatabai writes:
Imam Hasan Mujtaba, upon whom be peace, was the
second Imam. He and his brother Imam Husayn were the two
sons of Amir al-Mu'minin 'Ali and Hadrat Fatimah, the daughter
of the Prophet. Many times the Prophet had said, "Hasan and
Husayn are my children." Because of these same words 'Ali would
say to his other children, "You are my children and Hasan and
Husayn are the children of the Prophet."
Imam Hasan was born in the year 3 AH, in Medina and
shared in the life of the Prophet for somewhat over seven years,
growing up during that time under his loving care. After the death
of the Prophet which was no more than three, or according to
some, six months earlier than the death of Hadrat Fatimah,
Hasan was placed directly under the care of his noble father.
After the death of his father, through Divine Command and
according to the will of his father, Imam Hasan became Imam; he
also occupied the outward function of caliph for about six months,
during which time he administered the affairs of the Muslims.
During that time Mu'awiyah, who was a bitter enemy of 'Ali and
his family and had fought for years with the ambition of capturing
the caliphate, first on the pretext of avenging the death of the
third caliph and finally with an open claim to the caliphate,
marched his army to Iraq, the seat of Imam Hasan's caliphate.
War ensued during which Mu'awiyah gradually subverted the
generals and commanders of Imam Hasan' s army with large sums
of money and deceiving promises until the army rebelled against
Imam Hasan. Finally, the Imam was forced to make peace and to
yield the caliphate to Mu'awiyah, provided it would again return
to Imam Hasan after Mu'awiyah's death and the Imam's
Household and partisans would be protected in every way.
In this way Mu'awiyah captured the Islamic caliphate and
entered Iraq. In a public speech he officially made null and void
all the peace conditions and in every way possible placed the
severest pressure upon the members of the Household of the
Prophet and the Shi'ah. During all the ten years of his Imamate,
Imam Hasan lived in conditions of extreme hardship and under
persecution, with no security even in his own house. In the year 50
AH, he was poisoned and martyred by one of his own House-
hold who, as has been accounted by historians, had been
motivated by Mu'awiyah.
In human perfection Imam Hasan was reminiscent of his
father and a perfect example of his noble grand- father. In fact, as
long as the Prophet was alive, he and his brother were always in
the company of the Prophet who even sometimes would carry
them on his shoulders. Both Sunni and Shl'ite sources have
transmitted this saying of the Holy Prophet concerning Hasan and
Husayn: "These two children of mine are Imams (leaders)
whether they stand up or sit down" ( allusion to whether they
occupy the external function of caliphate or not). Also, there are
many traditions of the Holy Prophet and 'Al concerning the fact
that Imam Hasan would gain the function of Imamate after his
noble father. (Shi'ite Islam).
قال الامام الحسن بن على عليهماالسلام :
- اجعل ما طلبت من الدنيا فلم تظفر به بمنزله مالم يخطر ببالك .
- ما تشاور قوم الا هدوا الى رشدهم .
- القريب من قربته الموده و ان بعد نسبه ، و البعيد من باعدته الموده
و ان قرب نسبه .
- الفرصه سريعه الفوت بعيده العود.
al-Imam al-Hasan ibn 'Ali', peace be on him, said:
If you fail to obtain something of worldly benefit, take it
as if the thought of it had never crossed your mind at all.
Never did a nation resort to mutual counsel except that
they were guided by it towards maturity.
It is love which brings closer those who are remote by
ancestry, and it is (the absence of) love which causes dissociation
between those who are related by ancestry.
Opportunity is something which is quick to vanish
and late to return.
A Brief History of The Fourteen Infallibles, p. 87-93