Chapter Four: The Era of Hassan

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Chapter Four: The Era of Hassan

In the foregoing pages we briefly mentioned certain incidents which took place during the time of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. After the martyrdom of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in Ramadan 40 A.H., the Caliphate of Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu began. As we mentioned recently, the people of Kufah pledged allegiance to Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu and accepted him as the Khalifah.

 

Talaq (divorce) upon congratulations of Caliphate

An incident which occurred in the initial period of Sayyidina Hassan’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu Caliphate as recorded by Hafiz al Dhahabi is as follows:

 

عن سويد بن غفلة قال كانت الخثعمية تحت الحسن فلما قتل علي و بويع الحسن دخل عليها فقالت لتهنئك الخلافة فقال اظهرت الشماتة بقتل علي انت طالق ثلاثا فقالت ما اردت هذا ثم بعث اليها بعشرين الفا فقالت متاع قليل من حبيب مفارق

Suwaid ibn Ghafalah reports, “(Aisha bint Khalifah) who belonged to the tribe of Khath’am was married to Hassan. After ‘Ali was martyred and the people pledged allegiance to Hassan, he entered her presence and she congratulated him saying: ‘Congratulations on becoming Khalifah.’

Hassan became angry and responded, ‘You have expressed happiness at the killing of ‘Ali! You are divorced thrice.’

She explained, ‘I did not intend this.’

Hassan thereafter sent to her twenty thousand dirhams.

On this she regrettably uttered:  ‘This is a small amount from the beloved who is leaving me.’[1]

 

Many other historians have recorded this incident.

For the benefit of our readers, we will like to quote this incident from Mukhtasar Tarikh Ibn Asakir by Ibn Manzur:

 

قال سويد بن غفلة كانت عائشة الخثعمية عند الحسن بن علي فلما قتل علي قالت لتهنئك الخلافة قال بقتل علي تظهرين الشماتة اذهبي فانت طالق ثلاثا قال فتلعفت بثيابها و قالت و الله ما اردت هذا و قعدت حتى انقضت عدتها فبعث اليها ببقية من صداقها و بمتعة عشرين الف درهم فلما جاءها الرسول و رات المال قالت متاع قليل من حبيب مفارق فاخبر الرسول الحسن بن علي فبكى و قال لولا اني سمعت ابي يحدث عن جدي النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم انه قال  من طلق امراته ثلاثا لم تحل له حتى تنكح زوجا غيره لراجعتها

Suwaid ibn Ghafalah reports:

Aisha al Khath’amiyyah was married to Hassan ibn ‘Ali. After ‘Ali was martyred she congratulated him saying: ‘Congratulations on becoming Khalifah.’

Hassan responded, ‘You have expressed happiness at the killing of ‘Ali! You are divorced thrice.’

She covered herself with her clothes and explained, ‘By Allah, I did not intend this.’

She then sat (in ‘iddah) until her waiting period ended. Hassan sent to her the remainder of her dowry coupled with twenty thousand dirhams extra. When the messenger came to her and she saw the money, she uttered:  ‘This is a small amount from the beloved who is separating from me.’

The messenger informed Hassan ibn ‘Ali of this, who cried and said, ‘I would have taken her back, but I have heard my father quoting my grandfather (Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) as follows: The man who issues three talaqs to his wife, she is not halal for him, until she marries another man.”[2]

 

NB: From the above narration, a fiqhi rule is also understood. If the husband issues his wife with three talaqs at once (in one utterance), then too it is regarded as three talaqs, not as one. The divorced woman is now not halal for the husband who issued the divorce until she marries another man and is divorced or widowed. The senior ‘Ulama’ of the Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah are unanimous on this fact.

The Shia differ on this matter by stating that talaq issued in this manner would only be considered as one talaq. There is some direction and guidance for them in this incident, since the declaration of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is being quoted and is confirmed by the statement of his grandchild. Hence, it is compulsory to practice on it.

 

Hassan expresses his displeasure with the people of Iraq

After Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu took the pledge of allegiance, there was stability and calm for only a few months. Thereafter, Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu got news of the people of Sham making military preparations and advancing. Owing to this, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amir was sent to Mada’in.

The generals of Sayyidina Hassan’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu army and his advisors wanted him to fight the people of Sham, but Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not approve of the idea of Muslims fighting Muslims. Due to the situation, he was forced to move forward to face and confront the people of Sham. He moved to Mada’in where his military headquarters were.

At this point we find various narrations given by the historians, which all boil down to this that some from amongst the followers of Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu tried to harm him and treated him in an unbecoming manner, due to which Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu became disheartened and decided on reconciling with the opposition.

A narration of ‘Ammar al Dahni is given:

 

عن عمار الدهني قال نزل الحسن بن علي المدائن و كان قيس بن سعد على مقدمته و نزل الانبار فطعنوا حسنا و انتهبوا سرادقه

‘Ammar al Dahni reports, “Hassan ibn ‘Ali arrived at al Mada’in.  Qais ibn Sa’d was leading the front of the army. Thereafter he went to Anbar, where some of his army members pierced him with spears and looted his personal wealth. [3]

 

 

عون بن موسى قال سمعت هلال بن خباب ،حبان، يقول جمع الحسن بن علي رؤؤس اصحابه في قصر مدائن فقال يا اهل العراق لو لم تذهل نفسي عنكم الا لثلاث خصال لذهلت بقتلكم ابي و مطعنكم بغلتي و انتهابكم ثقلي او قال ردائي عن عاتقي و انكم قد بايعتموني على ان تسالموا من سالمت و تحاربوا من حاربت و اني قد بايعت معاوية فاسمعوا له و اطيعوا قال ثم نزل فدخل القصر

‘Awn ibn Musa says that he heard Hilal ibn Khabbab saying, “Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu gathered his senior officers in the fort at Mada’in and addressed them as follows: ‘O people of Iraq! I wish to forget about you and turn a blind eye to you, but there are three things which prevent me from doing so. Firstly, you killed my father. Secondly, you stabbed my mule. And thirdly, you looted my personal wealth and even snatched my shawl off my shoulder. Whereas you had pledged allegiance to me on this condition that you shall make peace with whomsoever I make peace with and you shall declare war upon whomsoever I declare war upon. I have intended pledging allegiance to Muawiyah. Therefore, you should obey and follow him.’

He then came down and entered the fort.”[4]

 

From the foregoing narration, it is clear that at Mada’in Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu became disheartened from his companions and expressed anger at them. He also expressed his intention of reconciling and taking bay’ah to Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and advised his followers to also obey and follow Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

Reconciliation with Muawiyah

Thereafter, due to the situation, Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu was prepared to pledge allegiance to those who were politically opposed to him, Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his group.

Here the narrations of the historians differ considerably, but we will present a narration of the Muhaddithin which throws light on the reality of the situation.

There is a narration of Hassan Basri rahimahu Llah recorded in Sahih al Bukhari under the chapter entitled kitab al sulh (reconciliation), the crux of which is as follows:

The armies of Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, which were like two mountains, were facing each other. ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu, on seeing this, remarked: “There is no way out except that these two armies attack and fight each other.”

Hassan al Basri rahimahu Llah says: “I swear by Allah, Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the better of the two, i.e., he was better than ‘Amr ibn al ‘As. He told ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu: ‘If both armies have to fight and kill each other, than who will be left to see to the affairs of the people? Who will look after the women, children, and the weak?’”

Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu then sent two persons from the Banu ‘Abd Shams tribe, ‘Abdul Rahman ibn Samurah and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amir, to approach Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu and present before him the option of reconciling and encourage him to opt for the same. They met Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu and discussed the issue.

Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied, “We are the Banu ‘Abdul Muttalib (it is part of our nature to look after and spend on our families, relatives, and servants, and we fulfil all of their rights from this wealth). A lot of dissension has come into the Ummah due to the situation which has arose.”

The two envoys assured him that his needs will be fulfilled and his demands will be met. Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu asked as to who will guarantee the fulfilment of these promises, to which they replied that they will stand as guarantee for its fulfilment.

After this, Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu reconciled with Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu on the issue of Caliphate.

 

Prophecy of this reconciliation

Hassan Basri rahimahu Llah says:

 

لقد سمعت ابا بكرة يقول رايت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم على المنبر و الحسن بن علي الى جنبه و هو يقبل على الناس مرة و عليه اخرى و يقول ان ابني هذا سيد و لعل الله ان يصلح به بين فئتين عظيمتين من المسلمين

I heard Abu Bakrah saying, “I saw Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on the pulpit and Hassan ibn ‘Ali was sitting next to him. At times Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would glance at the audience and at times towards Hassan. Then Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam mentioned: ‘This grandson of mine is a Sayed (leader) and probably Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala will use him to reconcile two major groups of the Muslims.’”[5]

 

The terms and conditions of reconciliation

In the aforementioned lines, we were discussing the reconciliation between Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. The commentators of hadith have mentioned the details of this reconciliation which we will, for the benefit of our readers, reproduce.

Hafiz ibn Hajar rahimahu Llah has written:

 

قال ابن بطال سلم الحسن لمعاوية الامر و بايعه على اقامة كتاب الله و سنة نبيه و دخل معاوية الكوفة و بايعه الناس فسميت سنة الجماعة لاجتماع الناس و انقطاع الحرب و بايع معاوية كل من كان معتزلا للقتال كابن عمر و سعد بن ابي وقاص و محمد بن مسلمة و اجاز معاوية الحسن بثلاث مائة الف و الف ثوب و ثلاثين عبدا و مائة جمل

Ibn Battal has written that Hassan handed over to Muawiyah the matters of Caliphate and he pledged allegiance to him on condition that the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam be upheld.

Muawiyah entered Kufah and the people pledged allegiance to him. Due to the fighting and wars coming to an end and unity coming about, this year was called ‘am al jamaah (the year of unity).

Those who had remained aloof and did not side with anyone before this, like ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, Muhammad ibn Maslamah, and others, also took the bay’ah at the hands of Muawiyah.

Muawiyah gave Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu 300 000 dirhams, 1 000 sets of clothing, 30 slaves and 100 camels.[6]

 

Hassan returns to Madinah Munawwarah

 

و انصرف الى المدينة و ولى معاوية الكوفة المغيرة بن شعبة و البصرة عبد الله بن عامر و رجع الى دمشق

Hassan returned to Madinah. Muawiyah appointed Mughirah ibn Shu’bah as the governor of Kufah and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amir as the governed of Basrah, and he himself returned to Damascus.[7]

 

This has also been recorded by Hafiz al Dhahabi in Siyar Alam al Nubala’[8].

From these terms and conditions laid down by Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu at the time of reconciliation we come to understand that Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, both, believed in the same Qur’an, and the Sunnah they followed was also one.

If Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu had a different Qur’an which was gathered according to the sequence in which the verses were revealed, then Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu would have invited Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu to act according to this Qur’an.

 

Date of reconciliation

The senior ‘Ulama’ have written that, according to the famous view, this reconciliation between Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma took place towards the end of Rabi’ al Akhir 41 A.H:

 

و تسلم معاوية الخلافة في اخر ربيع الاخر و سمي عام الجماعة لاجتماعهم على امام و هو عام واحد و اربعين

Muawiyah was handed the Caliphate towards the ending of Rabi’ al Akhir. This year became known as the year of unity owing to the Ummah uniting on one Imam. This happened in the year 41 A.H.[9]

 

The objectives and results of the reconciliation

This reconciliation is regarded as a major event in Islamic history and is recorded as a great achievement of Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu which was undertaken keeping in view the general benefit of the Muslims.

  1. Due to this reconciliation, the fighting between two major groups of the Muslims which was carrying on for some time came to an end.
  2. The Muslims regained their strength which was lost due to the incidents which transpired before this.
  3. The opposition amongst the Muslims regarding the issue of Caliphate was done away with.

These great achievements were achieved due to the disposition of Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his inclination to reconcile. The prophecy of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam materialized and the miracle of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam became manifest.

Below we will reproduce a few historical narrations which clarify the stance of Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The mahfuz narration is that this last speech of Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu took place after the reconciliation and unity as documented by Sa’id ibn Mansur and al Bayhaqi in al Dala’il from his chain and other leadings up to al Sha’bi who reports:

 

لما صالح الحسن بن علي معاوية قال له معاوية قم  فتكلم فقام فحمد الله و اثنى عليه ثم قال اما بعد فان اكيس الكيس التقى و ان اعجز العجز الفجور الا و ان هذا الامر الذي اختلفت فيه انا و معاوية حق لامرئ كان احق به مني او حق لي تركته لارادة اصلاح المسلمين و حقن دمائهم و ان ادري لعله فتنة لكم ومتاع الى حين ثم استغفر و نزل

Once Hassan ibn ‘Ali reconciled with Muawiyah, the latter instructed him to stand up and speak. Accordingly, he stood up, praised, and glorified Allah and then said: The most intelligent one is he who fears Allah the most. The most helpless is the one who transgresses the commands of Allah. There was differences between myself and Muawiyah regarding the issue of Caliphate, whether I am more befitting or whether he is. Anyhow, I relinquish my right in order to bring about peace amongst the Muslims and to prevent any further bloodshed. I do not know perhaps it is a trial for you and enjoyment for a time.” Hassan then recited istighfar and descended from the pulpit. [10]

 

 

فلما قدم الحسن بن علي على الكوفة قال له رجل منا يقال له ابو عامرسفيان بن ليلى و قال ابن الفضل سفيان بن الليل السلام عليك يا مذل المؤمنين قال لا تقل ذاك يا ابا عامر لست بمذل المؤمنين و لكني كرهت ان اقتلهم على الملك

When Hassan ibn ‘Ali arrived at Kufah, a person from us known as Abu ‘Amir Sufyan ibn Layla―Ibn al Fadl said: Sufyan ibn al Layl― addressed him by saying, “Peace be upon you, O ye who disgraced the Muslims!”

Hassan replied: O Abu ‘Amir! Do not speak like this. I have not disgraced the Muslims, rather I disliked the killing of Muslims for the sake of leadership.”[11]

 

Clarifying a misconception or removing a doubt

In a hadith we read some prophecies about certain future events which are described in the following words:

 

هدنة على دخن

There will be a reconciliation based upon deception.

 

Based upon this prophecy, some people relate it to the reconciliation between Sayyidina Muawiyah and Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, and therefore remark that this reconciliation was a deception and the objective was treachery.

Regarding this misconception, we would like to briefly mention that no name of any party is mentioned in any of the narrations, neither is the era and place stipulated. Allah knows best in which era this type of reconciliation will take place and who it refers to. Since the narrations are silent about these details, it would be highly inappropriate to paste it on to that reconciliation which Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam praised and spoke highly about.

It should be remembered that the reconciliation between Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma was the fulfilment of a prophecy of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

ابني هذا سيد لعل الله ان يصلح به بين فئتين عظيمتين من المسلمين

This grandson of mine is a Sayed (leader) and probably Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala will use him to reconcile two major groups of the Muslims.[12]

 

Here Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam expressed his hope on a commendable reconciliation which will be true. If the narration which mentions the reconciliation based upon deception applies to this reconciliation, then the great hopes pinned by Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would not have been realized. This will then lead to contradiction between these narrations.

What is also worth mentioning is that senior personalities of the Banu Hashim and other senior Sahabah were present on the occasion of this reconciliation. If this reconciliation was based upon deception, would they not have realized it? Were they so naïve that they could not notice the deception of the opposition?

Moreover, this is also worth considering that those senior members of the Banu Hashim, including Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, enjoyed extremely good relations with Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu until the end of their lives. This proves that this reconciliation was not based upon deception and there was no ill feelings between them.

Therefore there is absolutely no scope for such a doubt or misconception being entertained.

 

Return from Iraq to Madinah Munawwarah

After this great reconciliation took place between Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, and dissention amongst the Muslims had come to an end, each one returned to his base with his group of followers.

Hafiz Ibn Kathir writes:

 

ترحل الحسن بن علي و معه اخوه الحسين و بقية اخوتهم و ابن عمهم عبد الله بن جعفر من ارض العراق الى ارض المدينة النبوية على ساكنها افضل الصلاة و السلام و جعل كلما مر بحي من شيعتهم يبكتونه على ماصنع من نزوله عن الامر لمعاوية و هو في ذلك هو البار الراشد الممدوح و ليس يجد في صدره حرجا و لا لوما و لا ندما بل هو راض بذلك مستبشر به

Hassan ibn ‘Ali, together with his brother, Hussain, his other brothers and his cousin, ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar left Iraq and proceeded towards Madinah (May the best of salutations and peace be upon its resident).

En route, as they passed their supporters, some of them taunted or rebuked Hassan on handed over the Caliphate to Muawiyah. Hassan however was pious, upright, and praiseworthy for this action of his and he did not feel ashamed or regret over what he did, rather he was pleased at what had transpired.[13]

 

Livelihood and financial well being

From the beginning, Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu was financially well off. During the era of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, when allowances were stipulated for the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was allocated 5000 dirhams annually. Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, due to their relationship with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, were each also allocated 5000 dirhams annually. During the era of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu this amount was left the same, without any reduction. This has been discussed briefly in the second chapter of this book. Thereafter Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was appointed the Khalifah. He kept these stipends as is. The references for the above can be found in the second (Faruqi) and third (Uthmani) part of our book Ruhama’ Baynahum.

 

Bequests for Hassan

Besides the above, the historians have recorded that some of the senior Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum had made bequests in favour of Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.

One of them was Sayyidina Miqdad ibn al Aswad radiya Llahu ‘anhu who was a famous Sahabi and is counted amongst the initial persons to accept Islam. He joined Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in all the battles and expeditions and spent his entire life serving the cause of Islam. He passed away during the era of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu in 33 A.H. at a place near Madinah Munawwarah called Jaraf. He was brought to and buried in Madinah Munawwarah. Just before passing away, he made a few bequests, one of them is reproduced below.

 

و عن كريمة بنت المقداد ان المقداد اوصى للحسن و الحسين بستة و ثلاثين الفا و لامهات المؤمنين لكل واحد بسبعة آلاف درهم

Karimah bint al Miqdad reports:

Miqdad made a bequest of 36 000 dirhams in favour of Hassan and Hussain and 7000 dirhams for each of the Ummahat al Mu’minin (the wives of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). [14]

 

This incident also points to the fact that there were no differences in ‘aqidah (beliefs) between Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain and the Ummahat al Mu’minin radiya Llahu ‘anhum, therefore bequests were made to both at once.

From this incident it is clear how some of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum monetarily assisted Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma by means of bequests, so that they may live comfortably.

 

Gifts and allowances

After relinquishing his right of the Caliphate to Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu resided in Madinah Munawwarah till his demise. The stipend allocated to them were sent to them timeously by Sayyidina Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, from 41 A.H. till their demise. There was no deficiency in this regard, and never was any amount missed. The details of this can be found in our book Mas’alah Aqriba’ Nawazi[15] and in our other book Sirat Hadrat Amir Muawiyah[16].

We will suffice with reproducing the following two references

Ibn ‘Asakir rahimahu Llah has mentioned in his famous book Tarikh Dimashq:

 

فاعطاه اربع مائة الف درهم و روى المبرد ان الحسن كان يفد كل سنة على معاوية فيصله بمائة الف درهم

Muawiyah (at times) gifted 400 000 dirhams to Hassan.

 

Thereafter, he narrated from Mubarrad that every year, Hassan would visit Muawiyah, who used to favour him with 100 000 dirhams.[17]

 

كان له جائزة و كان يفد اليه فربما اجازه باربعمائة الف درهم و راتبه في سنة مائة الف

He had a stipend which was allocated to him. At times, he would favour him with 400 000 dirhams and follow it up with 100 000 the same year.[18]

 

From the above narrations, we realise that Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu passed the various stages of his life comfortably and was not faced with any monetary difficulties.

From these incidents it is clear that the propaganda and misgivings which some people entertain regarding the first three Khalifas, that they had not fulfilled the monetary rights of Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, rather they usurped what was due to them, etc., are all baseless.

 

‘Ibadah

The worship of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala was the object of their lives and was one of the most beloved actions to them. A major portion of their lives were spent in ‘ibadah. In fact, ‘ibadah is the object of every Muslim’s life, and the ummah has learnt the various habits and stages of ‘ibadah from the teachings and practices of these personalities.

The Muhaddithin have written that at times when Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu used to perform salah, he used to wrap a sheet or big shawl over himself.

عن ابي العلاء قال رايت الحسن بن علي يصلي مقنعا راسه

Abu al ‘Ala reports, “I saw Hassan ibn ‘Ali performing salah with his head wrapped with a large shawl. [19]

 

To perform salah in this manner is preferred.

The ‘Ulama’ have recorded a practice of Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu in Masjid al Nabawi:

 

كان اذاصلى الغداة جلس في مصدره حتى تطلع الشمس ثم يسند ظهره فلا يبقى في مسجد رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم رجل له شرف الا اتاه فيتحدثون حتى يرتفع النهار فاذا ارتفع صلى ركعتين فنهض ثم ياتي امهات المؤمنين فيسلم عليهن فربما اتحفنه ثم ينصرف الى منزله ثم يروح فيصنع مثل ذلك …

After performing Salat al Fajr (with jama’ah), Hassan used to remain seated in his place, involved in the dhikr of Allah until sunrise. He then used to lean his back (on a cushion). Thereafter the noble members of the community used to come and gather around him. Discussions regarding religious and academic matters used to take place. This used to continue till the sun had risen quite a bit. Thereafter, he used to perform two rak’at of Salat al Duha. After completing his salah, he would go to the homes of the Ummahat al Mu’minin to greet them. At times the Ummahat al Mu’minin would present a gift to him which he would happily accept. (This was the wonderful relationship and love they had for each other.) He would then return home and do the same in the evening.[20]

 

Taqwa

The ‘Ulama’ have written regarding the taqwa (piety) of Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma the following:

 

عن محمد بن علي قال كان الحسن و الحسين لا يريان امهات المؤمنين قال ابن عباس و ان رؤيتهن لهما حلال

Muhammad (Baqir) ibn ‘Ali narrates that Hassan and Hussain, exercising the laws of hijab, never used to look at the Ummahat al Mu’minin.

When Ibn ‘Abbas heard of this, he remarked that it was permissible for them to look at the Ummahat al Mu’minin.[21]

 

Exercising hijab from the Ummahat al Mu’minin was an act based on taqwa, and the statement of Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma was according to the shar’i law, i.e. in this instance hijab is not compulsory.

 

Hassan’s routine and practices while in Makkah Mukarramah

In the foregoing pages mention was made of Sayyidina Hassan’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu ‘ibadah and practices in Masjid al Nabawi. Here we will mention, in brief, his ‘ibadah in Makkah Mukarramah.

 

و قال ابو سعيد رايت الحسن و الحسين صليا مع الامام العصر ثم اتيا الحجر فاستلماه ثم طاف اسبوعا و صليا ركعتين فقال الناس هذان ابنا بنت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فحطهما الناس حتى لا يستطيعا ان يمضيا و معهما رجل من الركانات فاخذ الحسن بيد الركاني و رد الناس عن الحسين…

Abu Sa’id narrates: I saw Hassan and Hussain (in Makkah Mukarramah) performing Salat al ‘Asr behind the imam after which they proceeded to the al hajar al aswad, kissed it, performed seven circuits of tawaf around the Ka’bah and performed two rak’at after that.

When the people came to know that these are the grandchildren of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, out of love and admiration they gathered around them to such an extent that the pathway was totally blocked, and they could not walk any further. A person from Rukanat was with them. Hassan caught hold of the hand of the man and he cleared the people away from Hussain.[22]

 

Qiyam al Layl (Tahajjud/worship at night)

 

روى مغيرة بن مقسم عن ام موسى كان الحسن بن عليا اذا آوى الى فراشه قرأ الكهف

Mughirah ibn Maqsim narrates from Umm Musa that when Hassan would lie down at night, (then besides all his other practices,) he would recite Surah al Kahf.[23]

 

He was punctual on awakening at night and spending the night in the worship of Allah, which has always been the practice of the special servants of Allah.

The Muhaddithin have recorded that their practice of enlivening the night with ‘ibadah was that Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu would spend the first part of the night in ‘ibadah and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu would spend the latter part in ‘ibadah.

 

قالت كان الحسن بن علي ياخذ نصيبه من قيام الليل  اول الليل و كان الحسين ياخذ نصيبه من آخر الليل

Hassan ibn ‘Ali would complete his qiyam al layl in the first portion of the night and Hussain would do the same in the last portion of the night.[24]

 

Performing Salah behind the Khalifas

Here we wish to mention a certain beneficial aspect related to the salah of Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.

 

عن جعفر عن ابيه قال كان الحسن بن علي و الحسين يصليان خلف مروان قال فقيل له اما كان ابوك يصلي اذا رجع الى البيت قال فيقول لا والله ما كانوا يزيدون على صلاة الائمة

Imam Jafar al Sadiq narrates from his father, Imam Muhammad al Baqir, “Hassan ibn ‘Ali and Hussain would perform salah behind Marwan.”

Somebody asked him: “Would your father repeat those salah performed behind Marwan upon returning home?”

He replied: “No, by Allah. They would not add onto the salah of the imams.”[25]

 

جعفر بن محمد عن ابيه كان الحسن و الحسين يصليان خلف مروان و لا يعيدانه

Jafar ibn Muhammad reports from his father, “Hassan and Hussain used to perform salah behind Marwan, and they never used to repeat their salah afterwards. [26]

 

The research of the Shia scholars

The research of the Shia scholars on this aspect is just as we have mentioned.

 

عن موسى بن جعفر عن ابيه قال كان الحسن و الحسين يصليان خلف مروان بن الحكم فقالوا لاحدهما ما كان ابوك يصلي اذا رجع الى البيت فقال لا والله ما كان يزيد على صلاة

Musa ibn Jafar al Sadiq narrates from his father “Hassan ibn ‘Ali and Hussain would perform salah behind Marwan ibn al Hakam.”

They asked him: “Would your father repeat that salah upon returning home?”

He replied: “No, by Allah. He would not perform more than one salah (i.e. he would not repeat it).”[27]

 

From the above quotations it is clear that Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma used to perform the five daily salah behind the Khalifas, without practicing any form of taqiyyah, and they would not repeat those salah upon returning home.

From the practice of these noble personalities it is understood that performing salah in jama’ah behind the Khalifah of the time is an important aspect of Islam, and this has been the practice of the Muslims throughout the ages.

 

Hajj

Hajj is one of the pillars of Islam and its virtues and laws are explained in detail in the glorious Qur’an and the ahadith of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. All Muslims, according to their ability and capacity, make untold efforts in order to fulfil this great ‘ibadah of Hajj.

Below we will mention in brief certain aspects of the Hajj of Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, whilst residing in Madinah Munawwarah, went on foot to Makkah Mukarramah many a times in order to perform Hajj.

Some narrations mention that Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu performed Hajj on foot twenty times from Madinah Munawwarah. He used to say:

اني لاستحيي من ربي ان القاه و لم امش الى بيته فمشى عشرين مرة من المدينة على رجليه

“I feel ashamed that I am presenting myself before my Rabb and I don’t go walking.” So he walked on foot from Madinah 20 times.[28]

 

In some narrations mention is made:

و لقد حج الحسن بن علي خمسا و عشرين حجة ماشيا و ان النجائب لتقاد معه

Hassan performed Hajj twenty five times on foot, whilst his conveyances were moving together with him. [29]

 

In other words, the riding conveyances were available, but Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu chose to walk on foot, to achieve rewards and to please Allah.

 

Envy of Ibn ‘Abbas

The ‘Ulama’ have recorded a very surprising statement of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma:

 

ما ندمت على شيء فاتني في شبابي الا اني لم احج ماشيا و لقد حج الحسن بن علي خمسا و عشرين حجة ماشيا

I have not regretted over any action I did not perform when I was young, except that I have not performed Hajj on foot, whereas Hassan went 25 times on foot (from Madinah to Makkah) to perform Hajj.[30]

 

Charity

The details of the various categories of charity are mentioned in the Islamic books, and the merits and rewards of almsgiving are tremendous in the Qur’an and ahadith. In the ensuing pages we will mention briefly the charity of Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, which is worth emulating. Giving charity was a salient characteristic of their family.

 

و لقد قاسم لله ماله ثلاث مرات حتى انه يعطي الخف و يمسك النعل

Hassan distributed half of his wealth for the sake of Allah on three occasions, so much so that he even gave away his khuff (leather socks) and kept his sandal.[31]

 

قال سعد بن عبد العزيز  سمع الحسن بن علي رجلا الى جنبه يسال الله ان يرزقه عشرة الاف درهم فانصرف فبعث بها اليه

Sa’d ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz relates:

Once, Hassan ibn ‘Ali heard a person to his flank supplicating to Allah to bless him with 10 000 dirhams. He went home and sent the money to the person.[32]

 

In the previous chapter, an incident regarding the generosity of Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu and how he saw to the needs of the poor had already been mentioned. Many other such incidents are recorded in the books dealing with biographies of the narrators.

 

Charity after the passing away of ‘Ali

After the passing away of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma continued giving charity on behalf of their father.

عن ابي جعفر ان الحسن و الحسين كانا يعتقان عن علي بعد موته

Abu Jafar (Muhammad al Baqir rahimahu Llah) relates that Hassan and Hussain used to set free slaves on behalf of ‘Ali after his demise.[33]

 

In Islam, setting free slaves is an extremely meritorious act and in accordance to the Sunnah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. From this narration we understand that giving charity, according to the methods prescribed by Shari’ah, on behalf of a person after he passes away, is an act of virtue and the deceased benefits from it in the next world.

 

Generosity

Ibn ‘Asakir has quoted from Abu Harun, who says:

 

انطلقنا حجاجا فدخلنا المدينة فقلنا لو دخلنا على ابن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم الحسن فسلمنا عليه فدخلنا عليه فحدثناه بمسيرنا و حالنا فلما خرجنا من عنده بعث الى كل رجل منا باربع مائة فقلنا للرسول انا اغنياء و ليس بنا حاجة فقال لا تردوا عليه معروفه فرجعنا اليه فاخبرناه بيسارنا و حالنا فقال لا تردوا علي معروفي فلو كنت على غير هذا الحال كان هذا لكم يسيرا اما اني مزودكم

We were on our way for Hajj when we stopped over in Madinah. We thought, “Why do we not visit Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam grandson Hassan.” So we went and greeted him and mentioned to him our intention of performing Hajj, etc. After departing from his gathering, Hassan sent a person to give each one of us 400 dirhams. We explained to the messenger that we are well off and are not in need of this money, but he replied, “Do not turn down this good action of his.” We then went ourselves to meet him and explained to him that we are in a well off position and not in need of the money. Hassan pleaded, “Please do not reject my act of kindness. If I was in another state I would have given you much more. This is just a small provision I have given to you for your journey.” [34]

 

Forbearance and Tolerance

Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu was extremely tolerant and forbearing. If someone spoke harshly to him, he responded in a soft and polite manner. Just as reconciling and making peace was part of his nature, being tolerant and forbearing was also part of him. Many incidents draw attention to this quality of his.

An amazing incident which took place with a bedouin has been related by Sheikh Sayed ‘Ali ibn ‘Uthman al Hajwiri in Kashf al Mahjub:

 

A Bedouin approached Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu when he was at his residence in Kufah and began swearing him and his parents as well. Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu stood up and asked the bedouin: “Perhaps you are hungry and thirsty? Or is there some other problem?” The bedouin again swore at Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu told his servant to bring a bag of silver and give it to the bedouin. When the bag was presented to the bedouin, Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu excused himself, saying: “This is the only silver coins we have in our house at the moment. If we had more, we would have given you more.”

When the Bedouin heard this and saw the character of Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, he said: “I testify that you are the grandchild of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. I had done this merely to test you.”

 

Sheikh Hajwiri, commenting on this incident, writes:

 

This is one of the qualities of the great Awliya’ (friends of Allah). The praises and insults of the creation are equal to them. They are not angered at the evil speech of others.[35]

 

Fulfilling the Rights of Others

According to Islam, fulfilling the rights of others is amongst the obligatory acts. These august personalities also regarded the fulfilment of others rights as extremely important, and they paid special importance to it.

The Muhaddithin and historians have recorded an incident which depicts how particular they were when it came to others rights.

 

عن اسمعيل بن ابي خالد عن ابيه قال اتيت الحسن بن علي فوجدته قد خرج من الحمام و جارية له تحل اثر الحناء باظفاره بقارورة و اتيت الحسن بن علي اتقاضاه قال فقال يا جارية هلم فاتته بدراهم في قعب فقال اعددها فاعددت حتى اخذت حقي قال فبقيت في يدي ثمانين درهما فقال هي لك قلت ادع لي بالبركة فدعا لي بالبركة في مالي و ولدي و اهلي

Ismail ibn Abi Khalid narrates from his father:

(I lend Sayyidina Hassan ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma some money which he had to repay so) I came to him in this regard and found that he had just exited from a hot spa and his female servant was removing the remains of henna from his fingertips with a bottle.

I approached Hassan ibn ‘Ali and asked for my money. He told his female servant to come and she brought a container filled with dirhams. He said, “Count them.” I counted them and took what was due to me. 80 dirhams remained in my hands. He said to me, “It is yours.”

I submitted, “Make du’a’ for Barakah for me.” Accordingly he prayed for blessings in my wealth, children, and family.[36]

 

NB: This has always been the practice amongst the Muslims that they request their seniors and pious people to supplicate for blessings for them. The above narration is just one of the many proofs for this practice.

 

Inviting and Accepting the Invitation of Others

To accept an invitation to partake of food is a meritorious act, which incurs rewards. Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu practiced on this in an excellent manner. The historians record:

 

مر الحسن بالمساكين ياكلون في الصفة فقالوا الغداء فنزل و قال ان الله لا يحب المتكبرين فتغدى ثم قال لهم قد اجبتكم فاجيبوني قالوا نعم فمضى بهم الى منزله فقال للرباب اخرجي ما كنت تدخرين

Hassan passed by the poor people of suffah who were eating the little food they had. They requested him to join them in their morning meal. Hassan dismounted from his conveyance and joined them commenting, “Allah does not love those who are proud.” He thereafter told the people of suffah, “I have accepted your invitation, so you should also accept my invitation.” They accepted his invitation. Hassan took them home and told his servant Rabab to bring whatever food was available and present before them.[37]

 

From the above incident we learn that

  • Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not proud, but rather he was humble.
  • He was kind to the poor and tried to please them.
  • He showed us a method of treating pride, engaging with the poor and treating them with kindness.

 

Fulfilling the Needs of Others

  1. Ibn ‘Asakir rahimahu Llah narrates:

و عن علي بن الحسين قال خرج الحسن يطوف بالكعبة فقام اليه رجل فقال يا ابا محمد اذهب معي في حاجتي الى فلان فترك الطواف و ذهب معه فلما ذهب قام اليه رجل حاسد للرجل الذي ذهب معه فقال يا ابا محمد اتركت الطواف و ذهبت مع فلان الى حاجته قال فقال له الحسن و كيف لا اذهب معه و رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال من ذهب في حاجة اخيه المسلم فقضيت حاجته كتبت له حجة و عمرة و ان لم تقض له كتبت له عمرة فقد اكتسبت حجة و عمرة و رجعت الى طوافي

From Zayn al ‘Abidin ‘Ali ibn Hussain rahimahu Llah:

Once whilst performing tawaf of the Ka’bah, a person approached Hassan pleading, “O Abu Muhammad! Please accompany me to so-and-so in order that my need be fulfilled.” Hassan left his tawaf and accompanied him.

A person who was jealous of that person remarked, “O Abu Muhammad! You have abandoned your tawaf and went with this person?”

Hassan replied, “Why should I have not went when Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam declared: ‘He who goes to fulfil the need of a brother Muslim, and his need gets fulfilled, he will receive the reward of a Hajj and ‘Umrah, and if the need is not fulfilled, he will receive the reward of an ‘Umrah.’ I have received the reward of a Hajj and ‘Umrah, and here I have returned to perform tawaf.[38]

 

From this incident we learn that good character and altruism were found to the highest degree in these noble personalities. They used to even postpone their nafl ‘ibadah in order to fulfil the needs of others.

We also come to learn that fulfilling the needs of others and being altruistic towards them is superior to nafl ‘ibadah.

 

  1. Muhammad al Baqir rahimahu Llah, the son of Zayn al ‘Abidin rahimahu Llah, narrates:

جاء رجل الى حسين بن علي فاستعان به على حاجة فوجده معتكفا فقال لولا اعتكافي لخرجت معك فقضيت حاجتك. ثم خرج من عنده فاتى الحسن بن علي فذكر له حاجته فخرج معه لحاجته فقال اما اني قد كرهت ان اعينك في حاجتي و لقد بدات بحسين فقال لولا اعتكافي لخرجت معك فقال الحسن لقضاء حاجة اخ لي في الله احب من اعتكاف شهر

Once a person approached Hussain ibn ‘Ali for the fulfilment of his need. He found him observing i’tikaf at that time. He excused himself due to being in i’tikaf, saying, “If I was not in i’tikaf, I would have accompanied you to fulfil your need.”

The person thereafter left his presence and came to Hassan ibn ‘Ali and presented his need before him. Hassan accompanied the man, who remarked, “I did not want to ask you to assist me in the fulfilment of my need, but I approached Hussain who excused himself due to being in i’tikaf.”

Hassan remarked, “For me to fulfil the need of my Muslim brother for the sake of Allah is more beloved to me than observing a month’s (optional) i’tikaf.”[39]

 

‘Ilmi (academic) excellence

With regards to issuing of fatawa (legal verdicts), the ‘Ulama’ have categorized the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhu into three categories

  1. Kathir al Fatawa: Those Sahabah who issued plenty fatawa, which means that people used to turn to them for their religious laws in abundance. Sayyidina ‘Umar, Sayyidina ‘Ali, and Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhum and others are from this category.
  2. Mutawassit al Fatawa: Those who issued a fair amount of fatawa. Sayyidina Abu Bakr, Sayyidina ‘Uthman, Sayyidah Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and others belong to this category.
  3. Qalil al Fatawa: Those Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum who had issued a small amount of fatawa. Sayyidina Abu al Darda’, Sayyidina Nu’man ibn Bashir, Sayyidina Sa’d ibn Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhum and others belong to this category.  Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma are also included in this category.[40]

NB: Just in order to remove any doubt which might crop up in the mind of the readers, we will like to clarify that this categorization of the Muhaddithin is not based on the superiority of lineage or family. Rather, it is based upon reality. Therefore, those Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum who had accepted Islam earlier, had spent more time in the company of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and had learnt and narrated numerous injunctions have been put in the first category. Those who accepted Islam later on, or those who were much younger in age, and had the opportunity of being in the blessed company of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for a shorter while, were placed in the second or third category in accordance to the amount they transmitted.

Being categorized as such is not a demerit or does not negatively affect their status. In their own right they were mines of knowledge, and the Ummah has benefitted tremendously from their vast knowledge and virtues.

 

Narrating of Ahadith

The ‘Ulama’ who discuss the biographies of the narrators have mentioned that Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu had narrated ahadith from some Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and in this way passed it on to the Ummah. Narrating of ahadith is a great act of reward and Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu enjoys a lofty status amongst the narrators of hadith.

Hafiz ibn Hajar rahimahu Llah has mentioned in Tahdhib al Tahdhib:

 

روى عن جده رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم و ابيه علي و اخيه حسين و خاله هند بن ابي هالة

Hassan narrated ahadith directly from his grandfather Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, his father, his brother Hussain, and his maternal uncle Hind ibn Abi Halah.[41]

 

Hafiz al Dhahabi has written in Siyar Alam al Nubala’ that Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu and another Hashimi, Harith ibn Nawfal narrated ahadith from Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. From this we understand that these great personalities had an academic link with Umm al Mu’minin Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha and they benefitted from her by narrating ahadith from her. There was no aversion between them. Instead, they benefitted from her knowledge.

Previously, while discussing their ‘ibadah we mentioned the good relationship Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma had with Umm al Mu’minin Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. We specifically mentioned how Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, after performing salat al duha in Masjid al Nabawi, would visit the Ummahat al Mu’minin, greet them and enquire of their well-being. Sometimes he used to accept the gifts they presented to him. This was their mutual relationship, full of kindness, compassion, and concern for each other.

The historians of the Shia mention this as follows:

 

و كان اصحاب علي الذين يحملون عنه العلم الحارث الاعور  ابو الطفيل  عامر بن واثلة  حبة العرني  رشيد الهجري  حويزة بن مسهر   الاصبغ بن نباته  ميثم التمار  الحسن بن علي

(Here they refer to those who narrated or learnt from Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as the companions of ‘Ali.)

The companions of ‘Ali are: Harith al A’war, Abu al Tufayl ‘Amir ibn Wathilah, Hubbah al ‘Urani, Rashid al Hijri, Huwayzah ibn Mus-hir, Asbagh ibn Nabatah, Maytham al Tammar, and Hassan ibn ‘Ali.[42]

 

From here we understand that Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, like the other companions of ‘Ali, had sought knowledge from Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and passed it on to the Ummah.

 

Competing in ‘Ilm

Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu says:

I had acquired the knowledge of the physical features and appearance of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, his manner of walking, sitting and talking, and also how his gatherings used to be. For some time I hid these facts and information from my brother Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Eventually when I decided to inform him about it, I realized that he had already asked my father, Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, regarding these aspects. He had beaten me to acquiring them.[43]

 

An Important Sermon

Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu was an orator par excellence. Many of his sermons and speeches are to be found in the books on biographies. Here we will reproduce one of his sermons which was quoted by al Hirmazi, from which Sayyidina Hassan’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu expertize in the field may be gauged.

خطب الحسن بن علي بالكوفة فقال ان الحلم زينة و الوقار مروة و العجلة سفه و السفه ضعف و مجالسة اهل الدناءة شين و مخالطة الفساق ريبة

Hassan ibn ‘Ali delivered a sermon in Kufah. He said, “Undoubteldy, forbearnace beautifies a person, dignity is part of manhood, hastiness is a sign of foolishness, foolishness (and lack of tolerance) is a weakness, associating with the lowly is a blemish, and associating with the transgressors causes misgivings and an opportunity for accusations.” [44]

 

The historian al Mubarrad recorded the following incident:

 

قيل للحسن بن علي ان ابا ذر يقول الفقر احب الي من الغنى و السقم احب الي من الصحة فقال رحم الله ابا ذر اما انا فاقول من اتكل على حسن اختيار الله له لم يتمن شيئا و هذا حد الوقوف على الرضا بما تصرف به القضاء

It was said to Hassan ibn ‘Ali that Abu Dhar said, “Poverty is more pleasing to me than riches, and sickness is more beloved to me than health.” On hearing this, Hassan remarked, “May Allah shower His mercy on Abu Dhar! I declare that whoever puts his trust and reliance on the choice of Allah regarding him and does not desire any other condition, this is the highest degree of being pleased with the decision of Allah.[45]

 

Guidelines for giving ghusl to the mayyit (deceased)

 

و نزل الكوفة و ابتنى بها دارا في كندة و مات بها والحسن يومئذ بالكوفة حين صالح معاوية و هو صلى عليه … عن حكيم بن جابر قال لما مات اشعث بن قيس و كانت ابنته تحت الحسن بن علي قال الحسن اذا اغسلتموه فلا تهيجوه حتى توذونني فاذنوه فجاء فوضاه بالحنوط وضوءا

(Ash’ath ibn Qais al Kindi: a supporter of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu) had taken up residence in Kufah, although he had built a house also in Kindah. After the reconciliation between Hassan and Muawiyah took place and the former was still in Kufah, Ash’ath passed away in Kindah.

His daughter, Ja’dah was married to Hassan. When Hassan was informed of his demise, he told the persons giving the ghusl: “When you are done with the ghusl, do not move him until you inform me.”

Accordingly, Hassan was informed once the ghusl was done. He came and applied perfume to the limbs of wudu’. [46]

 

After giving ghusl to the mayyit (deceased), it is Sunnah to apply perfume to those limbs which touch the ground when performing sajdah. Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu acted according to this practice.

 

Applying Henna

There are various narrations regarding dyeing the hair and there are a few narrations which mention the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum using black dye.

The ‘Ulama’ of tarajim (biographies) have written that Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu dyed his blessed beard black.[47]

 

Wearing a Ring

Wearing a ring is permissible and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam also wore a ring. Jafar al Sadiq narrates from his father, Muhammad al Baqir:

ان حسنا و حسينا كانا يتختمان في يسارهما و كانا ينقشان في خواتيمهما ذكر الله

Hassan Hussain used to wear their rings on their left hand. Dhikr of Allah was inscribed on their rings.[48]

 

Abstention from Obscene Speech

Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a man of noble character. He was never obscene in speech, nor was he harsh when talking.

Muhammad ibn Ishaq reports the following incident:

 

ما تكلم عندي احد كان احب الي اذا تكلم ان لا يسكت من الحسن بن علي و ما سمعت منه كلمة فحش قط الا مرة فانه كان بينه و بين عمرو بن عثمان خصومة فقال ليس له عندنا الا رغم انفه فهذه اشد كلمة فحش سمعتها منه قط

No one spoke in my presence and it was more pleasing to me that he continues speaking and does not keep silent like Hassan ibn ‘Ali. I never heard him uttering an obscene word except once. There was a dispute between him and ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman. (Hassan presented a solution which ‘Amr did not accept so the former became angry and) he said, “We do not have anything sales for him except ‘that his nose is rubbed in dust’.” These were the harshest words I ever heard from him.”[49]

 

Reconciling after an Argument

Abu al Hassan al Mada’ini, the famous historian, relates:

 

جرى بين الحسن بن علي و اخيه الحسين كلام حتى تهاجرا فلما اتى على الحسن ثلاثة ايام تاثم من هجر اخيه فاقبل الى الحسين و هو جالس فاكب على راسه فقبله فلما جلس الحسن قال له الحسين ان الذي منعني من ابتدائك و القيام اليك انك احق بالفضل مني فكرهت ان انازعك ما انت احق به مني

Once there was some quarrel between Hassan ibn ‘Ali and his brother Hussain, due to which they stopped speaking to each other. After three days had passed, Hassan felt it a sin to stop speaking to his brother so he came to Hussain who was sitting, bent over and kissed him on his forehead. When Hassan said down, Hussain submitted, “The only thing that prevented me from initiating this reconciliation and standing up to you is you are more worthy to achieve this virtue than me. Thus, I disliked in snatching away from you something you are more deserving of.”[50]

 

Some ‘Ulama’ have recorded this incident from Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu which gives much more details. For the benefit of the readers we will reproduce this detailed version as well.

 

عن ابي هريرة قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم لا يحل لمسلم ان يهجر اخاه فوق ثلاث ليل و السابق السابق الى الجنة قال فبلغني انه كان بين الحسن والحسين هجران و تشاجر فقلت للحسين الناس يقتدون بكما فلا تتهاجرا و اقصد اخاك الحسن و ادخل عليه  و كلمه فانك اصغر سنا منه فقال لولا اني سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يقول السابق السابقالى الجنة لقصدته و لكن اكره ان اسبقه الى الجنة فذهبت الى الحسن فاخبرته بذلك فقال صدق اخي و قام و قصد اخاه الحسين و كلمه و اصطلحا

Abu Hurairah narrates that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “It is not permissible for a Muslim to cut off ties with his brother for more than three days. Whoever makes up first will enter into Jannat first.”

He continues, “I was informed that there was some dispute between Hassan and Hussain due to which they were not conversing with each other. I said to Hussain, ‘People follow you and your brother therefore you should not break off ties with each other. Go to your brother Hassan and speak to him since you are younger than him.

Hussain remarked, “Had I not heard from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that the one who starts speaking first will be first to enter Jannat, I would have gone to him. However, I do not wish that I be ahead of him in entering Jannat.’

So I went to Hassan and related what had transpired. He remarked, ‘What my brother said is correct.’ He thus stood up and went up to his brother Hussain and reconciled and they began speaking to each other.[51]

 

Respect of the elders and granting them their due

The historians have written that Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma had an orchard in which he, Sayyidina Hassan, and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma once met. They partook of whatever fruit was available. The narration continues:

 

ثم قدمت دابة الحسن فامسك له ابن عباس بالركاب و سوى عليه ثم جيء بدابة الحسين فامسك له ابن عباس بالركاب و سوى عليه فلما مضيا قلت انت اكبر منهما تمسك لهما و تسوي عليهما فقال يا لكع اتدري من هذان هذان ابنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم اوليس هذا مما انعم الله علي به ان امسك لهما و اسوي لهما

Then a riding animal was brought for Hassan. Ibn ‘Abbas held the stirrup and respectfully allowed Hassan to mount it. Then Hussain’s animal was brought and Ibn ‘Abbas did the same. After they had departed someone asked Ibn ‘Abbas, “You are elder than them and yet you held their stirrups and allowed them to mount?” He replied, “O Luka’! Do you not know who these two august personalities are? They are the children of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This is a great favour of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala upon me that he allowed me to hold their stirrup for them and let them mount.”[52]

 

NEXT⇒  Chapter 4 Continued – The Journey to the Afterlife


[1] Siyar Alam al Nubala’, 3/174; al Isabah, 1/456.

[2] Mukhtasar Tarikh Ibn ‘Asakir, 7/28.

[3] Kitab al Marifah wa al Tarikh, pg. 755, 756; Tarikh Baghdad, 1/178; Siyar Alam al Nubala’, 3/96.

[4] Tarikh Baghdad, 1/139; Kitab al Ma’rifat wa al Tarikh, 3/317; al Isabah, 1/330.

[5] Sahih al Bukhari, 1/272; Sirat Hadrat Amir Muawiyah, 1/313.

[6] Fath al Bari 13/53.

[7] Fath al Bari, 13/53.

[8] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, 3/91.

[9] Siyar Alam al Nubala’, 3/96; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 8/41; Tarikh Khalifah ibn Khayyat, 1/186.

[10] Fath al Bari, 13/53; Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, 15/100; Mukhtasar Tarikh Ibn Asakir, 7/36; Siyar Alam al Nubala’, 1/181; Hilyat al Awliya’, 2/37; al Sunan al Kubra, 8/173.

[11] Kitab al Marifah wa al Tarikh, 3/317; Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, 11/940; Mukhtasar Tarikh Ibn Asakir, 7/35; Siyar Alam al Nubala’, 3/182; Sirat Hadrat Amir Muawiyah, 1/333.

[12] Sahih al Bukhari, 1/272; Sirat Hadrat Amir Muawiyah, 1/313.

[13] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 8/19.

[14] Siyar Alam al Nubala’, 1/280.

[15] Mas’alah Aqriba’ Nawazi, pg. 201 – 204.

[16] Sirat Hadrat Amir Muawiyah, 1/548-559.

[17] Tahdhib Tarikh Dimashq, 4/200.

[18] Al Isabah, 1/329; al Bidayah, 8/37, 41 – 44.

[19] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, 8/563.

[20] Tahdhib Tarikh Ibn ‘Asakir, 4/213; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 7/37; Mukhtasar Tarikh Ibn ‘Asakir, 7/23.

[21] Kitab al Sunan, 3/234.

[22] Tahdhib Tarikh Ibn ‘Asakir, 4/212; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 8/37; Majma’ al Zawa’id, 3/245.

[23] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, 3/173.

[24] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, 2/272.

[25] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, 2/378; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 8/258.

[26] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, 3/315.

[27] Al Ash’athiyyat, pg. 52; Bihar al Anwar, 10/141; Mas’alat Aqriba Nawazi, pg. 276.

[28] Hilyat al Awliya’, 2/37.

[29] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, 3/173; al Sawa’iq al Muhriqah, pg. 139; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 8/37.

[30] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, 3/173; al Sawa’iq al Muhriqah, pg. 139.

[31] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, 3/173; al Sawa’iq al Muhriqah, pg. 139; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 8/37.

[32] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, 3/173; Dhakha’ir al Uqba, pg. 137; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 8/37, 38.

[33] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, 3/388.

[34] Mukhtasar Tarikh Ibn ‘Asakir, 7/27.

[35] Kashf al Mahjub, pg. 56, 57.

[36] Kitab al Ma’rifah wa al Tarikh, 2/188-190; Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, 6/587.

[37] Mukhtasar Tarikh Ibn ‘Asakir, 7/129.

[38] Mukhtasar Tarikh Ibn ‘Asakir, 7/27.

[39] Al Zuhd wa al Raqa’iq, pg. 258 Hadith: 746.

[40] A’lam al Muqi’in, 1/5.

[41] Tahdhib al Tahdhib, 2/295.

[42] Tarikh Ya’qubi, 2/214.

[43] Kitab al Ma’rifah wa al Tarikh, 3/285.

[44] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, 3/175.

[45] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, 2/175; Mukhtasar Tarikh Dimashq, 7/29.

[46] Tabaqat ibn Sa’d, 6/375; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, 2/28.

[47] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, 3/179.

[48] Tarikh Jurjan, pg. 329.

[49] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 8/39; al Sawa’iq al Muhriqah, pg. 139; Mukhtasar Tarikh Dimashq, 7/ 29; Tarikh Ya’qubi, 2/227.

[50] Mukhtasar Tarikh Ibn ‘Asakir, 7/129; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 8/208.

[51] Dhakha’ir al ‘Uqba, pg. 137, 138.

[52] Mukhtasar Tarikh Dimashq, 7/22, 128; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 8/37.