Allegations against Hassan al Muthanna

Trials and Demise
August 5, 2019
Allegations against ‘Abdullah al Mahd
August 5, 2019

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Allegations and its Refutation


Ignorance, jealousy, and personal motives have resulted in a number of false allegations being cast upon these two illustrious stars of the Ahlul Bayt. We will begin by first refuting those allegations that have been made against Sayyidina Hassan al Muthanna rahimahu Llah and thereafter those about his son, Sayyidina ‘Abdullah al Mahd rahimahu Llah.


Allegations against Hassan al Muthanna


A few allegations have been made against Hassan al Muthanna rahimahu Llah, amongst which are:

  1. Hassan al Muthanna rahimahu Llah (allegedly) cursed Sayyidina ‘Ali ibn Hussain rahimahu Llah, thus tarnishing his reliability—according to the Shia—and rendering him disparaged according to them.
  2. It has been attributed to Jafar al Sadiq rahimahu Llah that he said concerning Hassan al Muthanna rahimahu Llah, “He is better suited for Judaism,” and that he drinks wine. It is also claimed that he said, “If Hassan ibn Hassan were to die while fornicating or consuming wine and riba, it would still be better than what he will die upon.”

These are a few of the false allegations made against this illustrious Imam. The response to it is as follows:


The alleged dispute between Hassan al Muthanna and ‘Ali ibn Hussain

The alleged dispute between Hassan al Muthanna rahimahu Llah and ‘Ali ibn Hussain rahimahu Llah—as reported by al Mufid—is as follows:


وقف على الإمام علي بن الحسين عليهما السلام رجل فأسمعه وشتمه، فلم يكلمه فلما انصرف قال لجلسائه: قد سمعتم ما قال هذا الرجل، وأنا أحب أن تبلغوا معي إليه حتى تسمعوا ردي عليه قالوا له نفعل ولقد كنا نحب أن تقول له ونقول قال فأخذ نعليه ومشى وهو يقول وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ وَاللّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ سورة آل عمران: 134، فعلمنا أنه لا يقول له شيئاً فخرج حتى أتى منزل الرجل فصرخ به فقال قولوا له هذا علي بن الحسين قال فخرج إلينا متوثباً للشر وهو لا يشك أنه إنما جاءه مكافئاً له على بعض ما كان منه فقال له علي بن الحسين عليهما السلام يا أخي إنك كنت قد وقفت عليّ آنفاً فقلت وقلت فإن كنت قلت ما فيَّ فاستغفر الله منه وإن كنت قلت ما ليس فيَّ فغفر الله لك فقبّل الرجل بين عينيه وقال بل قلت فيك ما ليس فيك وأنا أحق به

قال الراوي للحديث والرجل هو الحسن بن علي يعني الحسن المثنى

A man came to Imam ‘Ali ibn Hussain and began rebuking him and cursing him, but ‘Ali ibn Hussain did not reply.

When the man left, ‘Ali ibn Hussain said to those sitting with him, “You heard what this man said, and I would like you to accompany me to him so that you may hear my response to him.”

They said, “Go ahead, we would love for you to respond to him, and we too say something to him.”

So he wore his shoes and began walking while reciting the verse:

وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ وَاللّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

Who restrain anger and who pardon the people—and Allah loves the doers of good.[1]

And we knew he would not respond to him. The man came out to us expecting trouble, having no doubt that he had come to retaliate for what he had done to him earlier. However, ‘Ali ibn Hussain said to him, “O my brother, You came to me earlier and you said things and said things; if what you said about me is true then I repent from it and if you attributed to me that which is not in me then may Allah forgive you.”

So the man kissed him between his eyes and said, “Rather, I attributed to you what you do not possess, and I am more deserving [of being described that way].”

The narrator says, “The man was Hassan ibn ‘Ali[2], i.e. Hassan al Muthanna.”


All we can say is this is the long and short of the disagreement between these two first cousins; do you think it is sufficient for eternal damnation?

Furthermore, the narration itself—if we assume it to be authentic—mentions that they reconciled and ‘Ali ibn Hussain rahimahu Llah forgave him, to the extent that Hassan al Muthanna even kissed him between his eyes. Would it be justified after this to still disparage him? In fact, deliberately forget the blood relations between them—first cousins and brothers-in-law—as we have alluded to earlier,[3] not forgetting the fact that they stood side by side at Karbala’ [and were among the few survivors]. Would all this be forgotten now due to a single quarrel—assuming that it did occur—and no longer be regarded as an Imam from the Ahlul Bayt or an esteemed scholar from the erudite. No adherent of the truth having sound mental capacity will accept that!

How can we accept this narration when Abu Muhammad Hassan ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya—the narrator of this incident—is a Kadhab (profound liar) who brazenly fabricates narrations; as stated by Ibn al Ghada’iri[4]. Abu al Qasim al Khu’i said about him in Mujam Rijal al Hadith


فلا ينبغي الريب في ضعف الرجل

There should be no doubt in declaring him weak.[5]


When this is the state of this report, can it ever be used to besmear the pure eminent leaders of the Ahlul Bayt?


The allegation of consuming wine and the alleged disparagement of Jafar al Sadiq

As for the second allegation, al Tabarsi states in his al Itijaj:


عن أبي يعقوب، قال: لقيت أنا والمعلى بن خنيس الحسن بن الحسن بن علي بن أبي طالب (عليهم السلام)، فقال لي: يا يهودي فأخبرنا بما قال فينا، جعفر بن محمد (عليه السلام)، فقال (عليه السلام): هو والله أولى باليهودية منكما إن اليهودي من شرب الخمر

It is reported from Abu Yaqub that he said: Al Mu’alla ibn Khunays and I met Hassan ibn Hassan ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib and he said to me, “O Jew!” So we related what he said to Jafar ibn Muhammad ‘alayh al Salam, who said, “By Allah, he is closer to Judaism than the two of you; verily one who consumes wine is a Jew.”


It is also reported that he said:

لو توفي الحسن ابن الحسن على الزنا والربا وشرب الخمر كان خيرا له مما توفي عليه

If Hassan ibn Hassan were to have died while fornicating, taking interest, and consuming wine; it still would have been better than what he died upon.[6]


Responding to the allegation of consuming wine and the alleged disparagement of Jafar al Sadiq

The narration reported by al Tabarsi in al Ihtijaj has been reported without a isnad (chain of narration), as mentioned himself in the introduction of his book. The importance of an isnad needs no elucidation; ‘Abdullah ibn Mubarak would say:


إن الإسناد من الدين، ولولا الإسناد لقال من شاء ما شاء

Isnad is part of din, had there been no such thing as an isnad then anyone would be able to say whatever he wished.[7]


Abu ‘Ali al Jiyani said:

بلغني أن الله خص هذه الأمة بثلاثة أشياء، لم يعطها من قبلها من الأمم: الإسناد والأنساب والإعراب

It has reached me that Allah has favoured this Ummah with three specialities that were not granted to any other: Isnad, Ansab (genealogy), and I’rab (diacritics).”[8]


Thus we can see that without the chains of transmission the very foundations of Islam would have been eroded and those seeking to destroy it would have been capable of fabricating whatever they desired. Hence we say that any tradition that is void of an isnad is worthless and would result in all forms of falsities and oddities being attributed to the din and its illustrious personalities. It is indeed the favour of Allah that this is one of the specialities of this Ummah.

In addition to this report having no isnad—and discarded as a result—we know for a fact that Hassan al Muthanna is Thiqah (reliable) and Ma’mun (trustworthy)[9]; how then is it possible for him to be also described with these deplorable characteristics?

It is also known that Hassan al Muthanna passed away in the year 97 A.H which is before Jafar al Sadiq was even born, as he was only born in the year 116 A.H.[10]

In addition, Jafar al Sadiq is far too virtuous to have described a person from the illustrious family of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as a Jew, let alone still accusing him of consuming wine and dying on falsehood merely on account of diverse views.

Furthermore, al Tusturi has reported:


و المراد بشر به الخمر النبيذ الّذي خمر عند أئمّتنا -عليهم السّلام-و يحلّه غيرهم في الأكثر

The meaning of drinking wine is the consumption of Nabidh which has fermented; it is considered as Haram by our Imams and many others deem it Halal.[11]


This will be discussed further when dealing with the same accusation made against ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan. Al Tusturi has attempted to respond to this allegation in Qamus al Rijal but did not do so successfully, as he just attributed this claim to Hassan al Muthallath ibn Hassan al Muthanna instead, who is also an esteemed, devout, scholar of the Ahlul Bayt. We have already mentioned that he passed away while being imprisoned with his brothers at the age of 68. Ibn Hibban says about him in Mashahir ‘Ulama’ al Amsar:


من قراء أهل البيت و عبادهم

Amongst the Qurra’ of the Ahlul Bayt, and their ascetics.[12]


It is obligatory to love all of the Ahlul Bayt, in keeping with the bequest of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the right he has upon us. We should not disparage these esteemed personalities based upon assumptions and hearsay, as one whose virtue is established with certainty will not be disparaged by fallacies. More so, when al Tabarsi is well-known for extremism and prejudice; such that he has not left even the Book of Allah without disparagement and claiming it to be distorted, Allah forbid. In fact, his arrows were directed to the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum themselves and the general populace of the Muslims as well; how then can anyone rely upon his narrations? Al Tabarsi believes that whenever Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala mentioned a sin in the Qur’an He also mentioned alongside it the names of those who would perpetrate that sin. However, the Sahabah erased these names leaving only the story in its place. He says:


إن الكناية عن أسماء أصحاب الجرائر العظيمة من المنافقين في القرآن، ليست من فعله تعالى، وإنها من فعل المغيرين والمبدلين الذين جعلوا القرآن عضين، واعتاضوا الدنيا من الدين

The indirect reference to the names of the criminals responsible for the aghast crimes—from the hypocrites—is not the act of Allah, the Exalted. It is the act of those who distorted and altered (the Qur’an) and chose the transitory world over the din.[13]


He continues warning that Taqiyyah demands that this not be proliferated:


وليس يسوغ مع عموم التقية التصريح بأسماء المبدلين، ولا الزيادة في آياته على ما أثبتوه من تلقائهم في الكتاب، لما في ذلك من تقوية حجج أهل التعطيل، والكفر، والملل المنحرفة عن قبلتنا، وإبطال هذا العلم الظاهر، الذي قد استكان له الموافق والمخالف بوقوع الاصطلاح على الائتمار لهم والرضا بهم، ولأن أهل الباطل في القديم والحديث أكثر عددا من أهل الحق

It is inappropriate—due to the generality of Taqiyyah—to explicitly mention the names of the distorters or add on to the verses which they have established in the Book as this will strengthen the proofs of those who wish to annihilate (Islam), the disbelievers, and those who do not adhere to our Qiblah. It will also lead to the elimination of this outward knowledge, which has been accepted by those who agree as well as the opposition, as some kind of agreement has been reached as far as obeying them and being happy with them. Also because the deviants—previously and in the future—are more in number than the adherents of the truth.[14]


NEXT⇒ Allegations against ‘Abdullah al Mahd

[1] Surah Al ‘Imran: 134.

[2] Mufid: Al Irshad, 2/145-146.

[3] We have already mentioned that Hassan al Muthanna was married to Fatimah bint Hussain, sister of ‘Ali ibn Hussain, and in turn Umm ‘Abdullah—the sister of Hassan al Muthanna—was married to ‘Ali ibn Hussain, making them brothers-in-law twice.

[4] Rijal Ibn al Ghada’iri, pg. 54, biography: 41.

[5] Mujam Rijal al Hadith, # 3132.

[6] Al Ihtijaj, pg. 375; Qamus al Rijal, 3/214-215.

[7] Sahih Muslim, introduction, pg. 32.

[8] Khatib al Baghdadi: Sharaf Ashab al Hadith, pg. 40, # 69.

[9] Al Irshad, 2/23.

[10] Qamus al Rijal, 3/215.

[11] Qamus al Rijal, 3/215. The same has been attributed to Hassan al Muthallath by al Khu’i in Mujam Rijal al Hadith, 5/289, after which he states, “Both these narrations due to the break in its chain cannot be relied upon.”

[12] Mashahir ‘Ulama’ al Amsar, 1/62.

[13] Al Ihtijaj, 1/371.

[14] Ibid.