The Eleventh Narration
Hassan al Basri narrated:
استقبل والله الحسن بن علي معاوية بكتائب أمثال الجبال فقال عمرو بن العاص إني لأرى كتائب لا تولي حتى تقتل أقرانها فقال له معاوية وكان والله خير الرجلين أي عمرو إن قتل هؤلاء هؤلاء وهؤلاء هؤلاء من لي بأمور الناس من لي بنسائهم من لي بضيعتهم فبعث إليه رجلين من قريش من بني عبد شمس عبد الرحمن بن سمرة وعبد الله بن عامر بن كريز فقال اذهبا إلى هذا الرجل فاعرضا عليه وقولا له واطلبا إليه فأتياه فدخلا عليه فتكلما وقالا له فطلبا إليه فقال لهما الحسن بن علي إنا بنو عبد المطلب قد أصبنا من هذا المال وإن هذه الأمة قد عاثت في دمائها قالا فإنه يعرض عليك كذا وكذا ويطلب إليك ويسألك قال فمن لي بهذا قالا نحن لك به فما سألهما شيئا إلا قالا نحن لك به فصالحه فقال الحسن ولقد سمعت أبا بكرة يقول رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم على المنبر والحسن بن علي إلى جنبه وهو يقبل على الناس مرة وعليه أخرى ويقول إن ابني هذا سيد ولعل الله أن يصلح به بين فئتين عظيمتين من المسلمين
Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu faced Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu with military squadrons like mountains. ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, “By Allah! I see military squadrons that will not turn back until they kill their opponents.”
Then Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, – and by Allah he was the better of the two – “O ‘Amr! If these people are killed then who will assist me with governing the people, who will assist me with their women, who will assist me with their vulnerable?”
Then he sent to him two men from the Quraysh, from Banu ‘Abdul Shams (tribe); ‘Abdul Rahman al Samurah and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘‘Amir ibn Kurayz. He said (to them), “Go to this man and present (the option of a peace treaty to him), request him, and plea to him!”
They went to him, got his audience and pleaded with him and requested from him.
Hassan ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, “We are the Banu ‘Abdul Muttalib, we have acquired some of this wealth and this Ummah has squandered a lot of its blood.”
They said, “He offers you ‘this and that’ and requests from you ‘this and that’.”
He said, “Who will guarantee for me this (the fulfilment of this agreement)?”
They said, “We guarantee you that.”
He did not ask them anything except that they said, “We guarantee you that.”
He then entered into a peace treaty with him.
Hassan says, I heard Abu Bakrah radiya Llahu ‘anhu saying, “I saw the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on the pulpit, and Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu was with him. He would turn to the people sometime and turn to him (Hassan) sometimes, and he said, ‘This son of mine is a leader (Sayed) and Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala may make peace between two large groups of Muslims through him.’”
The statement of Hassan al Basri rahimahu Llah, ‘And by Allah he was the better of the two,’ refers to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu being better than ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
Commentary and Lessons Learnt from this Narration:
1. There is great virtue for Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu recorded in this narration as one to reconcile between two groups, both claiming right to the khilafah. The Islamic principle of unity cannot be stressed enough just as the disdain for disunity cannot be clear enough. Those who cause disunity receive no praise from any sacred texts as opposed to those who champion the cause of harmony.
2. Imam Abu Hafs ibn Shahin says, “This virtue is specific to Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, no one from amongst the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum has been afforded the title of ‘Sayed’ by Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam besides Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu.”
The title of ‘Sayed/Leader’ here is not applicable in every sense of the word at every occasion as there are other instances where the same word was used to describe other Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. For example, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instructed the Ansar to stand for their ‘Sayed’; Sa’d ibn Muaz.
3. Abu Bakr al Bayhaqi says in al I’tiqad, “Sufyan says, ‘The portion of the narration, two large groups of Muslims, pleases us to no end.’” The Sheikh says, “The reason it pleased him so much was that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam called both opposing groups Muslims. In this narration there is a prophecy that predicts Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu giving over the right of khilafah to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.”
4. The greater the right a person gives up the greater recompense will be. Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu gave up his right to khilafah in this world which raised him to be the leader of the youth in Paradise.
الجزاء من جنس العمل
Actions are recompensed by the like thereof.
5. This narration teaches us to mention the feats and achievements of the Ahlul Bayt in the khutbah.
6. This narration is a sign of the true prophethood of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He prophesied the event that took place thirty years later.
7. The narration states, “squandered a lot of its blood” meaning much killing has taken place amongst the ummah. The wisdom of Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu shines through here, he pacified the uncertainty of the masses by empowering them and distributing wealth amongst them.
8. Subhan Allah! Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu is undoubtedly a leader of greatness. The leader of unity and love. The books of history will forever remember him as someone who played an integral role in uniting the ummah in what has come to be known as ‘Am al Jama’ah (the year of reconciliation). The Muslims were overjoyed by this unification after having split into groups, bringing back the Muslim armies as one, conquering lands and fighting the enemies of Islam.
9. This narration shows the permissibility of electing a leader whilst there are others worthier of the position.
10. Ibn al Hajar says:
وفيه إطلاق الابن على بن البنت وقد انعقد الإجماع على ان امرأة الجد والد الأم محرمة على بن بنته وان امرأة بن البنت محرمة على جده وان اختلفوا في التوارث
The general usage of the word ‘son’ can be for the ‘grandson’ (Daughters son). And there has been consensus that the wife of the grandfather, i.e. father of the mother, will be haram on the grandson (i.e. the son of his (the grandfather’s) daughter (who is the mother). And similarly, the wife of the grandson will be haram upon his maternal grandfather. (One cannot marry his mother’s father’s wife, and the maternal grandfather cannot marry the grandson’s wife.)
11. Abu Dawood has recorded the following addition to this narration, “Mahdi, who will emerge at the end of times will be from the progeny of Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu.” This added portion is considered weak. If it is established as authentic though, it would raise a pertinent point; Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu gave up the khilafah for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, he was therefore recompensed with it returning to his progeny at the end of times. This reign at the end of times will be of the whole earth, spreading peace and justice throughout, just as oppression and anarchy had been widespread.
12. Following the traditions of the Ahlul Bayt in securing peace is by firstly resorting to reconciliation. Those that claim to follow them but have no intent of reconciliation are false in their claims.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 2557.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 5907.
 Fath al Bari, vol. 13 pg. 72.