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Hasan ibn Ali

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Hasan ibn Ali
Template:Native phrase

1st Imam of Taiyabi-Mustaali Shia
2nd Imam of Sevener, Twelver, and Zaydi
Calligraphic representation of Hasan ibn Ali in Hagia Sophia Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
Born c. (625-03-04)4 March 625 Common Era
(15 Ramadhan 3 AH)[1][2]
Died c. 9 March 670(670-03-09) (aged 45)
(7 or 28 Safar 50 AH)[3][4]
Medina, Umayyad Empire
Cause of death
allegedly death by poisoning
Resting place

Jannatul Baqi, Saudi Arabia
24°28′1″N 39°36′50.21″E / 24.46694°N 39.6139472°E / 24.46694; 39.6139472{{#coordinates:24|28|1|N|39|36|50.21|E|type:landmark | |name=

Ethnicity Arab (Quraysh)
Term 661 – 670 CE
Predecessor Ali ibn Abu Talib
Successor Husayn ibn Ali
Religion Islam
Parent(s) Ali

Hasan ibn `Ali ibn Abi Ṭalib (Arabic: الحسن بن علي بن أبي طالب ‎, 625–670 CE), commonly called Hasan, was the second Shiite Imam, succeeding his father Ali and preceding his younger brother Husayn ibn Ali. He was the elder son of Ali and Muhammad's daughter, Fatimah. Muslims respect him as the grandson of Muhammad and a member of Ahl al-Bayt and Ahl al-Kisa. After the death of his father, Hasan also succeeded him as Rashidun Caliph. He abdicated after six or seven months, and Muawiyah, who became the first Umayyad Caliph, succeeded him.[7][8] For the rest of his life, Hasan lived in Medina in seclusion until he died at the age of 45 or 46, and was buried in the Al-Baqi' cemetery in Medina. His wife, Ja'da is commonly accused of having poisoned him at the instigation of Muawiyah.[7][8][9][10][11][12]

Birth and Early life

Hasan was born in the year 625 and grew up in Medina with his parents. According to Shiite belief theirs was the only house that archangel Gabriel allowed to have a door to the courtyard of the Al-Masjid al-Nabawi, the Mosque of the Prophet.[7] Both Shia and Sunni Muslims consider Hasan to belong to the Ahl al-Bayt (literally: People of the House), the family of Muhammad, and to the Ahl al-Kisa (literally: People of the Cloak), the participants of the Event of Mubahala.[12]

It is said that Muhammad slaughtered a ram for the poor on the occasion of Hasan's birth, and chose the name Hasan for him. Fatimah shaved his head and gave the weight of his hair in silver as alms.[7][13]

There are many narrations showing the respect of Muhammad toward his grandsons, among which where his statement that his two grandsons would be the lords of the youth (sayyedā šabāb) of Paradise and that they were Imams "whether they stand up or sit down",[a][13][12][14] and also his prediction that Hasan would make peace between two factions of Muslims.[7] In his later years Hasan was one of the guards defending Uthman ibn Affan when the attackers went around him and killed him[citation needed], and also participant of Battle of Siffin and Nahrawan alongside his father.[7][13][15]

Ahl al-Kisa

Main article: Event of Mubahala

In the year 10 AH (631/32 CE) a Christian envoy from Najran (currently in northern Yemen) came to Muhammad to argue which of the two parties erred in its doctrine concerning Isa (Jesus). After likening Jesus' miraculous birth to Adam's Adam's (Adem) creation,[b] — who was born to neither a mother nor a father — and when the Christians did not accept the Islamic doctrine about Jesus, Muhammad was instructed to call them to Mubahala where each party should ask God to destroy the false party and their families.[12][16] If anyone dispute with you in this matter [concerning Jesus] after the knowledge which has come to you, say: Come let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves, then let us swear an oath and place the curse of God on those who lie.[c][12][17] Sunnite historians, except Tabari who do not name the participants, mention Muhammad, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn, and some agree with the Shiite tradition that Ali was also among the participants of this event on the side of Muhammad. Accordingly in the verse of Mubahala the words "Our sons" is representative of Hasan and Husayn; "our women" would refer to Fatimah; and "ourselves" would be "Ali".[12][17]

His Imamate/ Caliphate

According to Donaldson[7] there was not a distinguished different between the idea of Imamate, or divine right, expressed by each Imam designating his successor and other ideas of succession at first.[7] Ali had apparently failed to nominate a successor before he died, however, on several occasions expressed his idea that "only the Prophet's Ahl al-Bayt (the members of the house) were entitled to rule the Community"; and Hasan, whom he had appointed his inheritor, must have been the obvious choice, as he was also chosen by the people as the next Caliph.[12][18] Sunnites, on the other hand, reject Imamate on the basis of Quran[d] which says Muhammad, as the last of the Prophets, was not to be succeeded by any of his family; and that is why God let Muhammad's sons to die in infancy.[e] And that is why Muhammad did not nominate a successor, as he wanted to leave the succession to be resolved "by the Muslim Community on the basis of the Quranic principle of consultation (Shura)."[19] The question Madelung propose here is that why the family members of Muhammad should not inherit other (other than prophethood) aspects of Muhammad's character such as rule (hukm) wisdom (Hikmah),and the Imamate. Since The Sunnite concept of the "true caliphate" itself defines it as a "succession of the Prophet in every respect except his prophethood". Madelung further asks "If God really wanted to indicate that he should not be succeeded by any of his family, why did He not let his grandsons and other kin die like his sons?"[19]

It is said that one day the Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid questioned the seventh Shiite Imam, Musa al-Kadhim, saying why he had permitted people to call him "Son of Allah's Apostle," while he and his forefathers were Muhammad's daughter's children. And that "the progeny belongs to the male (Ali) and not to the female (Fatimah)".[20] In response al-Kadhim recited the verses Quran, 6:84 and Quran, 6:85 and then asked "Who is Jesus's father, O Commander of the faithful?". "Jesus had no father." Said Harun. Al-kadhim argued that God in these verses had ascribed Jesus to the descendants of the prophets through Mary; "similarly, we have been ascribed to the descendants of the Prophet through our mother Fatimah," Said al-Kadhim.[20] It is related that Harun asked Musa to give him more evidence and proof. Al-Kadhim, thus, recited the verse of Mubahala arguing that "None claims that the Prophet made someone enter under the cloak when he challenged the Christians to a contest of prayer to God (mubahala) except Ali, Fatimah, Hasan, and Husayn. So in the verse: "Our sons" refers to Hasan and Husayn.[20]

File:Balami - Tarikhnama - Battle of Siffin.jpg
Hasan ibn Ali served his father Ali during the Battle of Siffin.

In any case, after Ali was assassinated and died, and following the custom established by Abu Bakr, Hasan made a speech at the mosque of Kufa praised the merits of his family quoting the verses of the Quran which exalt the special position of the Ahl al-Bayt, and said "I am of the family of the Prophet from whom God has removed filth and whom He has purified, whose love He has made obligatory in ًHis Book when He said: Whosoever performs a good act, We shall increase the good in it.[f] Performing a good act is love for us, the Family of the Prophet."[8][21] Qays ibn Sa'd, was the first to give allegiance to him and then stipulated the condition that the Bay'ah should be based on: on the Quran, the Sunnah of Muhammad, and on the condition of the war (Jihad) against those who declared lawful (Halal) that which is sinful (Haram). Hasan, however, tried to avoid the last condition by saying that it was implicitly included in the first two, as if he knew, as Jafri[8] put it, from the very beginning of the Iraqis' lack of resolution in time of trials; and thus Hasan wanted to "avoid commitment to an extreme stand which might lead to complete disaster".[8]

With Muawiya


As soon as the news of Hasan's selection reached Muawiyah, who had been fighting Ali for the caliphate, he condemned the selection, and declared his decision not to recognize him. Letters exchanged between Hasan and Muawiyah before facing their troops which had no result, however, these letters which are recorded in Madelung and Jafri's books,[8][22] provides useful arguments concerning the right of Caliphate which, will lead readers to the origin of Shiism. In one of his long letters to Muawiya, summoning him to pledge allegiance to him, Hasan made use of the argument of his father, Ali, which the latter had advanced against Abu Bakr after the death of Muhammad. Ali had said: "If Quraysh could claim the leadership over the Ansar on the grounds that the Prophet belonged to Quraysh, then the members of his family, who were the nearest to him in every respect, were better qualified for the leadership of the community."[8][12][23]

Mu'awiya's response, to this argument is also interesting, for Muawiyah, while recognizing the excellence of the Muhammad’s family, further asserted that he would willingly follow Hasan's request were it not for his own superior experience in governing:"…You are asking me to settle the matter peacefully and surrender, but the situation concerning you and me today is like the one between you [your family] and Abu Bakr after the death of the Prophet…I have a longer period of reign [probably referring to his governorship], and am more experienced, better in policies, and older in age than you. …if you enter into obedience to me now, you will accede to the caliphate after me." Wrote back Muawiyya.[8][12][24]

In his book, The Origins and Early Development of Shi’a Islam, Jafri comes to the conclusion that the majority of the Muslims who became known as Sunnis afterwards "placed the religious leadership in the totality of the community (Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jamaah), represented by the Ulama, as the custodian of religion and the exponent of the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet, while accepting state authority as binding… A minority of the Muslims, on the other hand, could not find satisfaction for their religious aspirations except in the charismatic leadership from among the people of the house of the Prophet, the Ahl al-Bayt, as the sole exponents of the Quran and the Prophetic Sunnah, although this minority too had to accept the state's authority. This group was called the Shiite."[8]

Facing the Troops

There was more corresponding with no result so as negotiations stalled, and Muawiyah summoned all the commanders of his forces in Syria, Palestine, and Transjordan, and began preparations for war. Soon later he marched his army of sixty thousand men through Mesopotamia to Maskin, on the Tigris boundary of Mosul towards the Sawad. Meanwhile he attempted to negotiate with Hassan, sending the young heir letters asking him to give up his claim.[25][26] According to Jafri, Muawiyah hoped to either force Hasan to come to terms; or attack the Iraqi forces before they had time to strengthen their location. However, jafri says, Muawiyah knew if Hasan was defeated and killed still was a threat; for, another member of the clan of Hashim could simply claim to be his successor. Should he abdicate in favor of Muawiyah, however, such claims would have no weight and Muawiyya's position would be guaranteed. According to Jafri this policy proved to be correct, for even ten years later, after the death of Hasan, when Iraqis turned to his younger brother, Husayn, concerning an uprising, Husayn instructed them to wait so long as Muawiyah was alive due to Hasan's peace treaty with him.[8]

As the news of Muawiyya's army reached Hasan, he sent someone to his local governors ordering them to get ready to set out, then addressed the people of the Kufa with a lukewarm war speech: "God had prescribed the jihad for his creation and called it a loathsome duty."[g] There was no response at first, as some tribal chiefs, paid by Muawiyah, were reluctant to move. Hasan's companions scolded them, asking whether they won't answer to the son of the Prophet's daughter? Turning to Hasan they assured him of their obedience, and immediately left for the war camp. Hasan admired them and later joined them at al-Nukhayla, where people were coming together in large groups.[7][27]

Hasan appointed Ubayd Allah ibn al-Abbas as the commander of his vanguard of twelve thousand men to move to Maskin. There he should keep back Muawiya until Hasan arrived with the main army. Ubayd Allah was advised not to fight unless attacked and should consult with Qays ibn Sa'd who was appointed as second in command if he were killed.[8][28]

Hasan's Sermone and its Aftermath

While Hasan's vanguard was waiting for his arrival at Maskin, Hasan himself was facing a serious problem at Sabat near al-Mada'in, where he gave a sermon after morning prayer in which he declared that he prayed to God to be the most sincere of His creation to His creation; that he bore no resentment nor hatred against any Muslim, nor did he want evil and harm to anyone; and that "whatever they hated in community was better than what they loved in schism."[7][28] He was, he continued, looking after their best interest, better than they themselves; and instructed them not to disobey "whatever orders he gave them."[8][29] Some of the troops, taking this as a sign that Hasan was preparing to give up battle, rebelled against him, looted his tent, seizing even the prayer rug from underneath him. Hasan shouted for his horse and rode off surrounded by his partisans who kept back those who were trying to reach him. While they were passing by Sabat, however, al-Jarrah ibn Sinan, a die-hard Kharijite, managed to ambush Hasan and wounded him in the thigh with a dagger, while he was shouting: "God is the Greatest! You have become an infidel (Kafir) like your father before you." Abd Allah ibn al-Hisl jumped upon him, and as others joined in, al-Jarrah was overpowered and died. Al-Hasan was carried al-Mada'in where he was cared for by his governor, Sa'd ibn Mas'ud al-Thaqafi [7][27] The news of this attack, having been spread by Muawiyah, further demoralized the already discouraged army of Hasan and led to extensive desertion from his troops.[8]

Hasan's Vanguard at Al-Maskin

When Ubayd Allah with the Kufan vanguard arrived al-Maskin where Muawiyah had already reached, the latter sent an envoy to tell them that he had received letters from Hasan asking for an armistice and that he asked the Kufans not to attack until he finish his negotiations with Hasan. Muawiyyah's claim was probably untrue; but he had good reason to think that he could make Hasan to give in.[8][30] The Kufans, however, insulted Muawiyah's envoy and reviled him. Next Muawiya sent the envoy to visit Ubayd Allah in private, and to swore to him that Hasan had requested Muawiyah for a truce, and that Muawiyah was offering Ubayd Allah 1,000,000 dirhams, half of which to be paid at once, the other half in Kufa, provided he went over to him. Ubayd Allah accepted and abandoned at night to Muawiyah's camp. Muawiyah was extremely pleased and fulfilled his promise to him.[11][12][30]

Next morning The Kufans waited for Ubayd Allah to emerge and lead the morning prayer. Then Qays ibn Sa'd took charge and, in his sermon, severely denounced Ubayd Allah, his father and his brother, from whom nothing good had ever come. The people shouted: "Praise be to God that He has removed him from us; stand up with us against our enemy."[7][31] Muawiyah believing that the abandonment of Ubayd Allah had broken the spirit of his enemy, sent Busr with a troop to make them give up. Qays attacked and drove him back. The next day Busr attacked with a larger troop but was kept back again. Muawiyah now sent a letter to Qays offering bribes but Qays replied that he "would never meet him except with a lance between them."[8][31] As the news of the riot against Hasan and of his having been wounded arrived, however, both sides abstained from fighting to wait for further news.[7][32]

Abdicating to Muawiya

Muawiyah who had already started negotiations with Hasan, now sent high-level envoys, committing himself in a witnessed letter to appoint Hasan his successor and give him whatever he wished. Hasan accepted the offer in principle and sent Amr ibn Salima al-Hamdani al-Arhabl and his own brother-in-law Muhammad ibn al-Ash'ath back to Muawiyah as his negotiators, together with the envoys of the latter. Muawiyah then wrote a letter saying that he was making peace with Hasan on the basis that Hasan would inherit the rein after him. He swore that he would not seek to harm him; and that he would give him 1,000,000 dirhams from the treasury (Bayt al-mal) annually, along with the land tax of Fasa and Darabjird; to which Hasan was to send his own tax agents to collect it. The letter was witnessed by the four envoys and dated in August 661.[12][32]

When al-Hasan read the letter he commented: "He is trying to appeal to my greed for a matter which, if I desired it, I would not surrender to him."[13] Then he sent Abd Allah ibn al-Harith, whose mother Hind was Muawiyah's sister, to Muawiyah, instructing him: "Go to your uncle and tell him: If you grant safety to the people I shall pledge allegiance to you." After which, Mu'awiyah gave him a blank paper with his seal at the bottom, inviting Hasan to write on it whatever he desired.[8][32] According to Jafri, historians like Ya'qubi and Al-Masudi do not mention the terms of peace treaty at all. Other historians such as Dinawari, Ibn Abd al-Barr and Ibn al-Athir records different accounts of the conditions. And the timing of the black sheet sent by Muawiyah to Hasan was confusing in Tabari's account.[8] The most comprehensive account, which explains the different ambiguous accounts of other sources, according to Jafri, is given by Ahmad ibn A'tham, which must have been taken it from al-Mada'ini.[8] Madelung's view is close to that of Jafri when he stipulates that Hasan surrendered the reign over the Muslims to Muawiya on the basis that "he act in according to the Book of God, the Sunnah of His Prophet and the conduct of the righteous caliphs. Muawiyah should not be entitled to appoint his successor but that there should be an electoral council (Shura); the people would be safe, wherever they were, with respect to their person, their property and their offspring; Muawiyah would not seek any wrong against Hasan secretly or openly, and would not intimidate any of his companions."[12][33] The letter was testified by Abd Allah ibn al-Harith, and Amr ibn Salima and transmitted by them to Muawiyah for him to take recognition of its contents and to confirm his acceptance. Hasan, thus, surrendered his control of Iraq in Rabi II 41/August 661 after a reign of seven months.[13][7]

Surrender Ceremony at Kufa

After the peace treaty with Hasan, Muawiyah set out with his troops to Kufa, where at a public surrender ceremony Hasan rose and reminded the people that he and Husayn were the only grandsons of Muhammad. And that he had surrendered the rein to Muawiyah in the best interest of the community: "0 people, surely it was God who led you by the first of us and Who has spared you bloodshed by the last of us. I have made peace with Mu'awiyah, and I know not whether haply this be not for your trial, and that ye may enjoy yourselves for a time.[h]"[7] declared Hasan.[8]

In his own speech Muawiyah told them, he had not fought them that they might pray, fast, perform the pilgrimage, and give alms, since they were doing that already. Rather, he had fought them so as to command them as their ruler (Amir), and God had bestowed him that against their will.[i][14][34] According to some sources he also said "The agreement I made with Hasan is null and void. It lies trampled under my feet."[j][14] Then he shouted: "God's protection is dissolved from anyone who does not come forth and pledge allegiance. Surely, I have sought revenge for the blood of Uthman, may God kill his murderers, and have returned the reign to those to whom it belongs in spite of the rancor of some people. We grant respite of three nights. Whoever has not pledged allegiance by then will have no protection and no pardon."[30] The people rushed from every direction to vow allegiance.[8][30]

While still camping outside Kufa, Muawiyah faced a Kharijite revolt. He sent a cavalry troop against them, but they were beaten back. Muawiyah now sent after Hasan, who had already left for Medina, and commanded him to return and fight against the Kharijites. Hasan, who had reached al-Qadissiya, wrote back: "I have abandoned the fight against you, even though it was my legal right, for the sake of peace and reconciliation of the Community. Do you think I shall fight together with you?"[8][35]

Retirement to Medina

In the nine-year period between Hasan's abdication in 41/660 and his death in 49/669, Hasan retired in Medina trying to keep aloof from political involvement for or against Muawiyah. In spite of that, however, he was considered the chief of Muhammad's house by the Banu Hashim and the partisans of Ali, who pinned their hopes on his final succession to the Muawiyah.[8][36]

Shiite feelings, however, though not visible above the surface, occasionally emerged in the form of small groups, mostly from Kufa, visiting Hasan and Husayn asking them to be their leaders - a request to which they declined to respond.[12] Hasan has been quoted as commenting "If Muawiyah was the rightful successor to the caliphate, he has received it. And if I had that right, I, too, have passed it on to him; so the matter ends there."[8][26] Madelung has quoted Al-Baladhuri,[k] as saying that Hasan, on the basis of his peace terms with Muawiyah, sent his tax collectors to Fasa and Darabjird. The caliph had, however, instructed Abdullah ibn Aamir, now again governor of Basra, to incite the Basrans to protest that this money belonged to them by right of their conquest. And that they chased Hasan's tax collectors out of the two provinces. According to Madelung, however, that Hasan would send tax collectors from Medina to Iran, after just having made plain that he would not join Muawiyah in fighting the Kharijites, is entirely incredible.[8][37] In any case as Muawiyah came to know that Hasan would not help his government, relations between them became worst. Hasan rarely, if ever, visited Muawiyah in Damascus, though he is said to have accepted gifts from him.[13]

Family Life

It is related that Hasan spent most of his youth in "making and unmaking marriages", so that "these easy morals gained him the title mitlaq, the divorcer, which involved Ali in serious enmities".[7] According to his grandson Abdullah ibn Ḥasan, he usually had four free wives, the limit allowed by the law.[l] Stories spread out on this subject and have led to the suggestions that he had 70 or 90 wives in his lifetime,[m] along with a harem of 300 concubines. According to Madelung, however, These reports and descriptions are "for the most part vague, lacking in names, concrete specifics and verifiable detail; they appear to be spun out of the reputation of al-Hasan as a mitlaq, now interpreted as a habitual and prodigious divorcer, some clearly with a defamatory intent." living in his father's household,"Ḥasan was in no position to enter into any marriages not arranged or approved by him." Says Madelung.[38] According to Ebn Saa'd (pp. 27–28), whose information seems to be more reliable, however, Hasan had 15 sons and 9 daughters from six wives and three named concubines. Many of these children died in their early years. It is said that most of these marriages had a political intent in his father's interest, for he gave the name of his Kunya (nickname), Muḥammad, to the first son from his first freely chosen wife after Ali's death, Ḵawla bint Manẓur, daughter of a Fazāra chief and previously married to Muhammad ibn Talha. He evidently wanted to make this son his primary heir. When Muḥammad died, Ḥasan chose his second son from Ḵawla, called Ḥasan, as his heir.[39]


In his book The Succession to Muhammad, Madelung manages to give a detailed account of Hasan's marriages, a summary of which goes as follows:[39]

In his Father's Lifetime

  • The first marriage of Hasan was probably with Salma, or Zaynab, daughter of the renowned Kalbite chief Imru' ul-Qays who was appointed by Umar as commander over a region who would accept Islam. Ali together with his sons Hasan and Husayn came forth to meet him and proposed establishing marriage ties. Born in the years 3/624—5 and 4/626, Hasan and Husayn, were too young for the wedding to have taken place immediately. In the later years of Ali's reign, Hasan may never actually have married Salma, or may have divorced her before this time.
  • Probably soon after Ali's arrival in Kufa, Hasan married Ja'da, daughter of the Kinda chief al-Ash'at (Ali evidently was eager at this time to establish an alliance with the powerful Yemenite tribal coalition in Kufa.) Madelung relates two different accounts concerning how Ja'da's father or Hasan's father made them marry together. Although childless, she evidently was not divorced by him. She is commonly accused of having poisoned Hasan at the instigation of Muawiyah.
  • Probably also soon after his arrival in Kufa, before the battle of Siffin, Hasan married Umm Bashir (in some sources Umm Bishr), daughter of Abu Mas'ud who had settled in Kufa at an early stage and was among those opposed to the Kufan rebellion against Uthman. Ali evidently hoped to draw him to his side and presumably arranged the marriage of his daughter to Hasan. Then he appointed him governor of Kufa during his absence for the campaign to Siffin.

After his Father

  • After his abdication and return to Medina, Hasan married Khawla, daughter of the Fazara chief Manzur ibn Zabban (Fazara belonged to the large Northern Arab tribal association claiming descent from Qays) . Previously she had been married to Talha's pious son Muhammad, who was killed in the Battle of the Camel, and had two sons and a daughter by him. She is said either to have been given in marriage to Hasan by Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, who was married to her sister Tumadir, or to have herself given the choice to Hasan, who then married her. Upon hearing this, her father declared that he was not someone to be ignored with respect to his daughter. He came to Medina and planted a black flag in the mosque of the Prophet. All Qaysites (descent from Qays ) present in Medina assembled under it in solidarity with him. Hasan now surrendered her to him, and he took her away to Quba'. She reproached him, quoting the hadith: "Al-Hasan ibn Ali will be the lord of the youth among the inmates of paradise." He told her: "Wait here, if the man is in need of you, he will join us here." Hasan came to them accompanied by his brother Husayn, his cousin Abdullah ibn Ja'far and his uncle Abd Allah ibn Abbas and took her back, marrying her this time with the approval of her father. Khawla bore Hasan his son al-Hasan.
  • In Medina Hasan married Hafsa, the daughter of Abdul-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr. Al-Mundhir ibn al-Zubayr was in love with her, and spread a false rumor about her. As a result, Hasan divorced her. The report characterizes him in this context as Mitlaq, evidently meaning here: ready to divorce on insubstantial grounds. Next Asim, the son of Umar, married her. Al-Mundhir falsely accused her before him, and he also divorced her. Then al-Mundhir proposed marriage to her, but she refused, saying: "He has tried to destroy my reputation." He pursued her with further proposals, and she was advised to marry him so that it would become patent to everybody that he had falsely accused her. She did so, and the people realized that he had lied about her and what his motive had been.
  • Hasan married also in Medina, Talha's daughter Umm Ishaq. Muawiyah had asked her brother Ishaq ibn Talha in Damascus to give her in marriage to his son Yazid. Ishaq told him that he was going to Medina; if Muawiyah sent a messenger to him there, he would conclude the marriage contract. After Ishaq had left, his brother Isa ibn Talha visited Muawiyah. When the caliph told him about Ishaq's promise, Isa offered to give Umm Ishaq immediately in marriage. He concluded the marriage contract with Yazid without consulting her. In the meantime Ishaq had arrived in Medina and contracted her marriage to Hasan. It was not exactly known which of the two contracts was earlier, and Muawiyah advised his son to leave the matter. Her marriage with Hasan was now consummated, and she bore him his son Talha, who later died childless.Before his death, Hasan recommended to his brother Husayn that he marry her. She bore Husayn's daughter Fatima. Presumably still later she was married to Abu Bakr's great-grandson Ibn Abi Atiq Abd Allah, to whom she also bore a daughter, Amina.
  • Al-Hasan further married in Medina Hind, daughter of Suhayl ibn Amr. She had been married first to the Umayyad Abd al-Rahman ibn Attab, who was killed in the Battle of the Camel, and then to Abd Allah ibn Amir ibn Kurayz. When the latter divorced her, Muawiyah wrote to Abu Hurairah in Medina to contract her marriage with his son Yazid I. On his way to meet her, Abu Hurayra met Hasan who inquired where he was going. When Abu Hurayra explained his mission, Hasan suggested that he mention him, Hasan, to her. Abu Hurayra did so, and Hind asked him to make the choice for her; Abu Hurayra chose Hasan. Some time later Abd Allah ibn Amir came to Medina and complained to Hasan that his former wife had a deposit belonging to him in her possession. Hasan allowed him to see her in his presence. As Ibn Amir looked at her sitting in front of him, he softened up towards her, and Hasan suggested: "Shall I relinquish her to you? I think you could not find a better husband to make remarriage licit (muhallil) for you than myself." Ibn Amir insisted: "My deposit." She produced two boxes filled with jewels. Ibn Amir took a handful out of each one and left the rest to her. Later she would comment about her three husbands: "The lord (Sayyid) of all of them was al-Hasan; the most generous of them was Ibn 'Amir; and the one dearest to me was 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Attab."

Events Surrounding his Death

File:Baghi tomb.jpg
The historical tomb of Al-Baqi' was destroyed in 1925. Hasan ibn Ali was one of four shia Imams buried here.

The early sources are nearly in agreement that Hasan was poisoned by his wife, Ja'da bint al-Ash'at at the instigation of Muawiyah and died in the year 670.[n][o][7][12][40] Madelung and Donaldson further relate other versions of this story, suggesting that Hasan may have been poisoned by another wife, the daughter of Suhayl ibn Amr, or perhaps by one of his servants, citing early historians such as Al-Waqidi and Al-Mada'ini.[7] Madelung believes that the famous early Islamic historian al-Tabari suppressed this tale out of concern for the faith of the common people.[41] Hasan is said to have refused to name his suspect to Husayn for fear that the wrong person be killed in revenge. He was 38 years old when he abdicated the rein to Muawiyah who was at the age of 58 at the time. This difference in age indicates a serious obstacle for him who wanted to nominate his son Yazid as his heir-apparent. This was not possible due to the terms on which Hasan had abdicated to Muawiyah; and considering the big difference in age, Muawiyah had not hoped that Hasan would die before him.[8] Hence, Muawiyah would naturally be suspected of having a hand in a killing that removed an obstacle to the succession of his son Yazid.[12][40]

Hasan's burial was another problem which was going to lead to a bloodshed. Hasan had instructed his brothers to bury him near his grandfather, Muhammad, but if they feared evil, they were to bury him in Al-Baqi' cemetery. The Umayyad governor, Saʿid b. al-ʿĀṣ, did not interfere, but Marwan I swore that he would not permit Hasan to be buried near Muhammad with Abu Bakr and Umar whereas Uthman was buried in Al-Baqi' cemetery. As the parties were about to fight, Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah reminded Husayn of Hasan who made it conditional saying "unless you fear evil". "What evil could be greater than what you see?" Said Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah. And so the body was carried to Al-Baqi'.[7][41] Marwan now joined those carrying the coffin and, when questioned, he said he gave his respect to a man "whose forbearance (hilm) weighed mountains."[42] The Umayyad governor Sa'd b. al-As led the funeral prayer.[43]

The shrine containing Hasan's tomb was destroyed once in 1925 during the conquest of Medina as part of a general destruction of memorials in cemeteries for religious reasons. "In the eyes of Wahabis, historical sites and shrines encourage "shirq" – the sin of idolatry or polytheism – and should be destroyed."[44]

See also

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  1. ^ Allusion to whether they occupy the external function of caliphate or not. See also Irshad, p.181; Ithbat al-hudat, vol. V, pp- 129 and 134.[14]
  2. ^ Quran, 3: 59
  3. ^ Quran, 3: 61
  4. ^ Quran, 33:40
  5. ^ See Goldziher, Muhammedanische Studien, II, 105-6; Y. Friedmann, 'Finality of Prophethood in Sunni Islam', JSAI, 7 (1986), 177-215, at 187-9.[19]
  6. ^ Quran, 42:23
  7. ^ Quran, 2:216
  8. ^ Quran, 21:111
  9. ^ See also Ibn Abi l-Hadld, Shark, XVI, 15; Abu al-Faraj, Maqdtil, 70.[14][34]
  10. ^ See Ya'qubi; vol.ll, p.192; Abu'l-Fida, vol.l, p.183.[14]
  11. ^ Al-Baladhuri, Ansab, III, 47.
  12. ^ See also Ebn Saa'd, p. 68.
  13. ^ See al-Madāʾeni, in Ebn Abi'l-Ḥadid, XVI, pp. 21-22
  14. ^ See Mas'oodi, Vol 2: Page 47, Tāreekh - Abul Fidā Vol 1 : Page 182, Iqdul Fareed - Ibn Abd Rabbāh Vol 2, Page 11, Rawzatul Manazir - Ibne Shahnah Vol 2, Page 133, Tāreekhul Khamees, Husayn Dayarbakri Vol2, Page 238, Akbarut Tiwal - Dinawari Pg 400, Mawātilat Talibeyeen - Abul Faraj Isfahāni, Isti'ab - Ibne Abdul Birr
  15. ^ These reports are also accepted by the major Sunnite historians Al-Waqidi, Al-Mada'ini, Umar ibn Shabba, Al-Baladhuri and al-Haytham ibn 'Adi.[40]



  1. ^ Shabbar, S.M.R. (1997). Story of the Holy Ka’aba. Muhammadi Trust of Great Britain. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Shaykh Mufid. Kitab Al Irshad. p.279-289
  3. ^ a b Al-Yasin, Shaykh Radi. "1". Sulh al-Hasan. Jasim al-Rasheed. Qum: Ansariyan Publications. p. 4. 
  4. ^ Yousuf N. Lalljee. Know Your Islam.
  5. ^ a b c d e Al-Yasin, Shaykh Radi. "1". Sulh al-Hasan. Jasim al-Rasheed. Qum: Ansariyan Publications. p. 4.  ; al-Qurashi, Baqir Shareef. "2". The Life of Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba. Jasim al-Rasheed. Qum: Ansariyan Publications. p. 59. 
  6. ^ Tirmidhi, Vol. II, p. 221 ; تاريخ الخلفاء، ص189
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Donaldson, Dwight M. (1933). The Shi'ite Religion: A History of Islam in Persia and Irak. BURLEIGH PRESS. pp. 66–78. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Jafri, Syed Husain Mohammad (2002). The Origins and Early Development of Shi’a Islam; Chapter 6. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195793871. 
  9. ^ Madelung 1997
  10. ^ Tabåatabåa'åi, Muhammad Husayn (1981). A Shi'ite Anthology. Selected and with a Foreword by Muhammad Husayn Tabataba'i; Translated with Explanatory Notes by William Chittick; Under the Direction of and with an Introduction by Hossein Nasr. State University of New York Press. p. 137. ISBN 9780585078182. 
  11. ^ a b Lalani, Arzina R. (March 9, 2001). Early Shi'i Thought: The Teachings of Imam Muhammad Al-Baqir. I. B. Tauris. p. 4. ISBN 978-1860644344. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Momen, Moojan (1985). An Introduction to Shi'i Islam. Yale University Press. p. 14,26,27. ISBN 978-0-300-03531-5. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f Madelung 2003.
  14. ^ a b c d e f Tabatabai, Sayyid Muhammad Husayn (1997). Shi'ite Islam. Translated by Seyyed Hossein Nasr. SUNY press. pp. 65,172–173. ISBN 0-87395-272-3. 
  15. ^ Madelung 1997, pp. 166–167.
  16. ^ Madelung 1997, pp. 15–16
  17. ^ a b Madelung 1997, p. 16
  18. ^ Madelung 1997, p. 311
  19. ^ a b c Madelung 1997, p. 17
  20. ^ a b c Sharif al-Qarashi2, Baqir (2000). The Life Of Imam Musa Bin Ja'far aL-Kazim (PDF). Translated by Jasim al-Rasheed. Iraq: Ansarian. pp. 200–202. 
  21. ^ Madelung 1997, pp. 311–312
  22. ^ Madelung 1997, pp. 314–318
  23. ^ Madelung 1997, p. 314
  24. ^ Madelung 1997, pp. 316–317
  25. ^ Madelung 1997, p. 317
  26. ^ a b Ahmad, Israr (2003), The Tragedy of Karbala (2nd ed.), Society of the Servants of Al-Quran, pp. 13, 15  (in English, translated from Urdu)
  27. ^ a b Madelung 1997, pp. 117–118
  28. ^ a b Madelung 1997, p. 318
  29. ^ Madelung 1997, p. 319
  30. ^ a b c d Madelung 1997, p. 320
  31. ^ a b Madelung 1997, p. 321
  32. ^ a b c Madelung 1997, p. 322
  33. ^ Madelung 1997, pp. 322–323
  34. ^ a b Madelung 1997, p. 325
  35. ^ Madelung 1997, pp. 324–325
  36. ^ Madelung 1997, p. 327
  37. ^ Madelung 1997, p. 328
  38. ^ Madelung 1997, p. 385
  39. ^ a b Madelung 1997, pp. 380–387
  40. ^ a b c Madelung 1997, p. 331
  41. ^ a b Madelung 1997, p. 332
  42. ^ Madelung 1997, pp. 332–333
  43. ^ Madelung 1997, p. 333
  44. ^ Taylor, Jerome. "Mecca for the rich: Islam's holiest site 'turning into Vegas' , by , 24 September 2011.". The Independent. 


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Hasan ibn Ali
of the Ahl al-Bayt
Clan of the Banu Quraish
Born: 15th Ramadhān 3 AH 4 March 625 CE Died: 28th Safar 50 AH 30 March 670 CE

Shia Islam titles
Preceded by
Ali ibn Abu Talib
1st Imam of Taiyabi-Mustaali Shia
2nd Imam of Sevener, Twelver, and Zaydi
Succeeded by
Hussein ibn Ali
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Ali ibn Abu Talib
5th Rashidun Caliph of Sunni Islam
661 – 661
Succeeded by
Muawiyah I

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