The Sixth Allegation

The Seventh Allegation
January 19, 2016
The Fifth Allegation
January 19, 2016

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The Sixth Allegation


Muawiyah Poisoned Hassan ibn ‘Ali


This is one of the most famous fables that have been attributed to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[1]

Ibn ‘Asakir reported it in his Tarikh (13/284) — from Muhammad ibn Khalaf ibn Marzuban — from Abu ‘Abdullah al Thumami[2] — from Muhammad ibn Salam al Jumahi — from Ibn Ja’dubah[3] — who said:


Ja’dah ibn al Ash’ath ibn al Qais was married to Hassan; so Yazid wrote secretly to her to poison Hassan and he promised to marry her thereafter. So she fulfilled his request and after the demise of Hassan and the expiry of her ‘iddah she wrote to him; asking him to fulfil his part of the agreement and he responded that she could not be trusted with Hassan, how could he trust her for himself.[4]


This has also been narrated by Ibn al Jowzi in al Muntazam (5/226). See also al Wafi by al Safadi (4/162), Tarikh al Khulafa’ of al Suyuti (169) — who mentioned it without a chain. Ibn ‘Abdul Barr in al Isti’ab (389), Ibn Khallikan in Wafiyyat al A’yan (6612), Ibn al Athir in al Kamil (3/315) and al Dhahabi in Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ (5/267) have all mentioned that his wife Ja’dah ibn al Ash’ath is the one who poisoned him.


To respond to this lie I say:

  1. If this incident can be established, it applies to Yazid and not Muawiyah.
  2. Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu willingly handed over the khilafah to Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, what need was there to poison him if there was no fear of harm from him?

Ibn al ‘Arabi said in al ‘Awasim min al Qawasim (214):


If it is said he secretly conspired to have Hassan poisoned we say that this claim is far-fetched for two reasons, one of them was the fact that Hassan handed over the khilafah willingly and there was no incentive for Muawiyah to have Hassan killed. Secondly the narration regarding it is unreliable and a number of scholars have identified flaws in the narration.


He states further in al ‘Awasim min al Qawasim (214) regarding the allegation that Muawiyah poisoned Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhuma:


It is a matter of the unseen known only to Allah. How can you place the blame on Muawiyah without any proof; especially after such a long time? We cannot rely on a spurious report that has been transmitted among people of innovation; especially during a time of fitnah when each party ascribes to the next that which is inappropriate. So nothing will be accepted of (such reports) except that which is evidently clear, and it will not be heard (taken) except from one with great moral integrity.


Ibn Khaldun states in his Tarikh (2/187):


As for what has been reported that Muawiyah secretly conspired with his wife, Ja’dah bint al Ash’ath, for him to be poisoned; it is from the narrations of the Shia and how far Muawiyah is from doing such a terrible act!


Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr al Barri states in his book al Jowharah (282):


This matter is not known to anyone besides Allah. It is highly unlikely that Muawiyah would be responsible for it. It has been said that Yazid was the one who conspired with his wife; and both narratives have been transmitted by the historians.


Ibn Taymiyyah, in his Minhaj al Sunnah (4/469), in refutation of Ibn al Mutahhar says:


As for his statement that Muawiyah had Hassan poisoned then this is what some people have said, but is not proven with reliable evidence or reasonable admission, nor any report which can be trusted. So this is a matter that cannot be known and any statement regarding it would be a statement without sound knowledge… and in general cannot be admissible in terms of the shari’ah by consensus.


Al Baladhuri in his Ansab (3/295) narrates in a passive voice (indicating weakness of the narration) and mentions it without a chain:


… and it has been said that Muawiyah secretly conspired with Ja’dah bint al Ash’ath ibn Qais, the wife of Hassan, to have him poisoned. He encouraged her until she used to ridicule him.[5]


Al Dhahabi said in Tarikh al Islam:


This is a matter that is not correct; who was there to see it?


Ibn Kathir says in al Bidayah wa l-Nihayah (11/208):


Some of them have narrated that Yazid ibn Muawiyah wrote to Ja’dah to poison Hassan and he will marry her afterwards. So she carried it out, and after Hassan passed away she sent a message to him (Yazid) and he replied, “we could not trust you with Hassan; do you think we could trust you for ourselves?” In my opinion this is not authentic; and it being incorrect regarding his father, Muawiyah, is even more appropriate.


NEXT⇒ The Seventh Allegation

[1]  See al Suhbah wa al Sahabah of al Maliki (pg. 132)

[2]  In al Muntazam of Ibn al Jowzi (5/226) the name is given as Abu ‘Abdullah al Yemani [the script is very close of both names – Translator]

[3]  In al Muntazam (5/226) the name is given as Ibn Ja’dah, this is an error.

[4]  See Tahdhib al Kamal (6/253)

[5]  Al Mas’udi narrates it without any discretion in Muruj al Dhahab (1/346) and Abu al Faraj al Isfahani in Muqatil al Talibin (13) and both of them are accused (of fabrication).

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