Trials and Tribulations

A few sayings of Hassan al Muthanna
August 2, 2019
Demise of Hassan al Muthanna
August 2, 2019

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Trials and Tribulations


This illustrious Imam had to also face severe trials and tribulations, which is the wont of the pious believers and scholars of din. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:


أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَكُوْا أَن يَقُوْلُوْا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُوْنَ

Do the people think that they will be left to say, “We believe” and they will not be tried?[1]


The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has been reported to have said:


ما يزال البلاء بالمؤمن والمؤمنة في نفسه وولده ة وماله حتى يلقى الله تعالى وما عليه خطيئة‏

A Muslim, male or female, continues to remain under trial in respect of his life, property, and offspring until he faces Allah, the Exalted, with no sin in his record.[2]


The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam also said:


عظم الجزاء مع عظم البلاء وإن الله إذا أحب قوما ابتلاهم فمن رضي فله الرضا ومن سخط فله السخط

The greatest reward comes with the greatest trial. When Allah loves a people He tests them. Whoever accepts that wins His pleasure but whoever is discontent with that earns His wrath.[3]


The first amongst the trials that he faced was the tragic event of Karbala’ and the killing of his uncle Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu and many illustrious personalities of the Ahlul Bayt and others.[4] His life was spared either due to his young age or due to the intercession of his maternal uncle Asma’ ibn Kharijah. He was subsequently freed and his wounds treated. It has also been said that he was released due to him suffering from an illness.

Also among the trials that he faced, as reported by al Dhahabi in his Tarikh al Islam:


كان الحسن وصي ابيه و ولي صدقة علي فقال له الحَجّاج يوماً وهو يسايره في موكبه بالمدينة اذ كان امير المدينة ادخل عمك عمر بن علي معك في صدقة علي فانه عمك و بقية اهلك قال لا اغير شرط علي قال اذا ادخله معك فسافر الى عبد الملك بن مروان فرحب به و وصله و كتب الى الحجاج كتابا لا يجاوزه

Hassan [al Muthanna] was the executor of his father’s will and the custodian over ‘Ali’s endowments. Hajjaj said to him one day, while riding alongside him during his procession in Madinah and Hajjaj was governor of Madinah then, “Add your uncle ‘Umar ibn ‘Ali also as custodian over the endowments of ‘Ali as he is your paternal uncle and the remnants of your family.”

Hassan rahimahu Llah replied, “I will not change the conditions of ‘Ali.”

Hajjaj replied, “If that is the case, I include him with you!”

So Hassan rahimahu Llah journeyed to meet ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan who received him graciously and conferred it to him. ‘Abdul Malik then wrote to Hajjaj instructing him to relinquish it.[5]


In this manner did Allah save him from the clutches of Hajjaj and his oppression. The endowments were first entrusted to ‘Ali and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, and thereafter to Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, then Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu, then ‘Ali ibn Hussain and Hassan ibn Hassan, and then to Zaid ibn Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhum.[6] These were the endowments of Fadak, a portion of the spoils of Banu Qurayzah, Khaybar, and other lands.

Al Bayhaqi reports in Shu’b al Iman another trial which he had to face:


ان عبد الملك بن مروان كتب إلى عامله بالمدينة هشام بن إسماعيل إنه بلغني أن الحسن بن الحسن يكاتب أهل العراق فإذا جاءك كتابي هذا فابعث إليه ليؤت به قال فجئ به إليه وشغله شئ قال فقام إليه علي بن حسين فقال يا ابن عم قل كلمات الفرج لا إله إلا الله الحليم الكريم لا إله إلا الله العلي العظيم سبحان رب السماوات السبع ورب العرش العظيم الحمد لله رب العالمين قال فجلا للآخر وجهه، فنظر إليه فقال أرى وجها قد قشب بكذبة خلوا سبيله ولنراجع فيه أمير المؤمنين

‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan wrote to his governor of Madinah, Hisham ibn Ismail, “It has reached me that Hassan ibn Hassan is corresponding with the people of Iraq, so when this letter reaches you have him summoned so that he can be brought.”

So he Hassan was brought before him, but he got distracted by something.

‘Ali ibn Hussain stood and said to him, “O my cousin, recite the Kalimat al Faraj:

لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ الْحَلِيْمُ الْكَرِيْمُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيْمُ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّ السَمَاوَاتِ السَّبْعِِ رَبِّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيْمِ اَلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْن

He then uncovered his face.

Hisham looked towards him and said, “I see a face that has been attributed with falsehood, let him free, and write to the Amir al Mu’minin.”[7]


In this manner did Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala save this pious servant through his sincere supplications to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, and by entrusting his affairs to Allah only Who has no partner. Verily it is as the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:


الدعاء هو العبادة

Supplication (du’a’) is itself worship.[8]


This incident informs us of the amicable relationship that existed between ‘Ali ibn Hussain rahimahu Llah and Hassan al Muthanna rahimahu Llah; why should this not be the case when they are paternal cousins, who stood alongside each other at Karbala’ and were from the few who survived? Furthermore they were brothers-in-law as well, Hassan al Muthanna married to Fatimah, sister of ‘Ali ibn Hussain, and ‘Ali ibn Hussain wed to Umm ‘Abdullah, sister of Hassan al Muthanna.


NEXT⇒ Demise of Hassan al Muthanna

[1] Surah al Ankabut: 2.

[2] Al Tirmidhi, #2399. Al Albani declared it Sahih.

[3] Al Tirmidhi, #2396. Al Albani declared it Sahih.

[4] Al Kamil fi al Tarikh, 2/183.

[5] Tarajim Tabaqat al ‘Ashir, pg. 328, # 236. The report itself is from Zubair al Bakkar in Nasb Quraysh, 2/46. Also see Al Mufid: al Irshad, 2/24.

[6] Fath al Bari, # 3091-3094; al Irshad, 2/23.

[7] Shu’b al Iman, 1/433.

[8] Sunan Abi Dawood, # 1479; al Tirmidhi, # 2169.

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