The Imamat, promised to Abraham
The imamat or the Guidance or the Leadership first bestowed upon Abraham, and promised by the Lord to be continued in his seed, was fulfilled in the immediate succession to the Holy Prophet:
“And when his Lord tried Abraham with certain words, he fulfilled them. He said “Verily I make thee an Imam (Guide) for mankind.” Said (Abraham):'And of my offspring? Said He (God) 'And My covenant reacheth not the 'Zalimeen”(i.e., the iniquitous.).” (2:24)
The wording of the reply to Abraham in the above verse is clear that the Imamat conferred on him will reach the offsprings of Abraham who are not Zalims (iniquitous).
The above saying agrees with the declaration in the Old Testament. When Abraham prayed for Ishmael, the Lord said:
“And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; Twelve Princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.” (Old Testament, Genesis 88:20)
The greatest 'Zulm' or iniquity according to the Holy Qur'an is 'Shirk' i.e., polytheism or idolatry:
“Verily ' Shirk' (ascribing partners to God) is the greatest 'Zulm'(iniquity).” (31:13)
It is a hard fact of history that besides the Holy Prophet Muhammad, in the lineage of Abraham through Ishmael, there is only one and that is Ali Ibn Abi Talib whom the 'Zulm' the iniquity of 'Shirk' polytheism (i.e., idolatry) never touched, who never bowed before any one besides God. It is for this fact the general Muslim world mention the name of Ali with the suffix 'Karramallaho Wajhaho' (i.e., he whose face God has graced not to bow to any one besides Him). All the others of the companions of the Holy Prophet had once been idolaters. The members of his House and his lineage including Abu-Talib (the father of Ali, the first Holy Imam), all had been free from this most abhorrent abominable pollution.
About Abu-Talib, suffice it to say that if Abu-Talib had not adopted 'Taqiah’ so successfully as he did, he would not have been able to give the asylum of safety and security to the Holy Prophet and Islam, against the hostile pagan world in Mecca. The very wordings of his sermon on the occasion of the wedding of the Holy Prophet with Lady Khadija, his commanding his son Ali to abide by the Holy Prophet's faith, and his suffering the historic privation known as the Sheb al-Abu Talib for the sake of the Holy Prophet and his faith and the Holy Prophet declaring the year of Abu-Talib's death as the 'Aamul- Huzn' i.e., the Year of Grief, is sufficient to indicate as to what Abu Talib was, at heart. The similitude of Abu-Talib is the similitude of 'Ezkeil' the ‘Momine Aale Firaun' the Believer of the people of Pharaoh. Thus Abu Talib was the 'Momine -Quraysh' the Believer among the Quraysh.
The Logical Identification of an Imam
The all-merciful Lord has not spared any point of guidance, necessary to lead man to the right path. The Gracious Lord has mercifully promised guidance to every one who sincerely seeks it:
“(What!) Is he then who leadeth to the Truth more worth to be followed, or he who findeth not the way unless he is guided (by some one else)? What is the matter with you? How do ye judge? 10:33 '(What!) Is then, he who goeth prone upon his face, better guided or he who walketh upright on the straight path?” (67:21)
The above verses of the Holy Qur'an give the clearest indication that only the Holy Prophet and his Ahlul Bayt, who never had any education from any mortal in the world and yet were the fountain- heads of learning and knowledge, are those who could be the 'Imams' or guides or the leaders for mankind.
Only about Ali, the Holy Prophet had said:
“I am the City of Knowledge and Ali is its Gate.”
“I am the City of 'Hikmat' (Wisdom) and Ali is its Gate.”
“The Truth is with Ali and Ali is with Truth.”
It is needless to stress much upon the position of Ali in the divinely gifted knowledge, for the Muslim world as a whole knows it that there is none to match Ali in this regard besides the Holy Prophet. There are innumerable sayings of the Hoy Prophet about Ali's unique position as the 'Imam' immediately succeeding him.
The Importance of the Choice of the Right Imam
According to the declaration of the Holy Qur’an every individual man and woman, is individually charged with the responsibility of choosing an 'Imam' or guide for himself or herself in this life for it has been clearly announced that every people will be called on the Day of Judgment along with his or her 'Imam':
“On the day (of Resurrection) We shall call every people witht their (respective) 'Imam' (Guide).” (17:71)
Confirming the above announcement and warning mankind particularly the Muslims against any failure in this regard, the Holy Prophet had said:
“He who died and did not know the Imam of his age, had died the death of ignorance.”
The above apostolic saying, besides giving out the importance of the significance of knowing by every one, the 'Imam' of his age, discloses the fact that in every age there will be an 'Imam' and no age until the end of the world can be without an 'Imam' in it.
Every Individual Responsible for His Own Choice
Having shown man the right course and giving a additional guiding notes directing him to the right path, man has been left to be gratefully guided aright or ungratefully get astray, rejecting all the divine guidance:
“Verily We have shown man the Way, be he thankful or be he unthankful.” (76:3)
Since the truth has been made clearly manifest against false-hood, it has been declared that there shall be no compulsion in faith:-
“There is no compulsion in religion; the right way has been made clearly manifest from the error.” (2:256)
Man has also been repeatedly warned against the unwarranted undertaking by the false leaders of the faith, to bear the burden of the sins of their followers:
“No bearer shall bear the burden of the other.” (2:48, 6:165, 36:18, 39:7, 53:38)
Every individual has bcen warned that the least vice will be punished and the least virtue will be rewarded:-
“So he who doeth an atom weight of good shall see it.And he who doeth an atom weight of evil shall see it.” (99:7, 8)
The Door of Pardon for Sincere Repentance open
Having harnessed the brute or the self in man with the heavy responsibilities, and the individual accounting for the choice of the right course and faithfully following it, the All- Merciful let the door of His Merciful Pardon, open for those who sincerely repent and amend their mistaken conduct:
“Say (O’ Our Apostle Muhammad!) O’ My servants who have been prodigal to their own selves, despair ye not of the mercy of God. Verily God forgiveth sins altogether. Verily He is Forgiving Mercful.” (39:53)
A sinner when assured of some one else having paid the price of the sins of the world, as is preached by the Christian church, get freely licentious with the surety that his sins have been paid for. But man with the individual, responsibility of being good, and being assured of pardon against any unintentional failures, remains cautious and at the same time attached to the Lord for the mercy he hopes for from Him. When one is totally disappointed against his sins not being pardoned at all, gets desperate and when he is assured of the pardon against a sincere repentance, naturally one, some time or the other gets mindful of giving up the wrong course in the hope of the promised pardon for his past and return to the right path.
Redemption or Intercession through the Right means Possible
If the holy Qur'an has said that neither intercession will be accepted, nor any ransom, it does not mean that redemption or intercession is totally ruled out. It needs only a proper and intelligent recital of the Word of God. Intercession or ransom which will not he accepted is that of the man's own fancied false leaders of the faith whom man unwarrantedly followed, and the false god the disbeliever wrongly worshipped with the false hope of having any intercession on his behalf for his sins. Otherwise man has been clearly informed of the intercession through the right course accepted by God or through those permitted by him:-
“Who is he that can intercede with Him (God) but by His permission?” (2:255)
“There is no intercessor except after His (God's) permission.” (10:3)
“On the day when no intercession avails except of him whom the Beneficent (God) allows, and whose word He is pleased with.” (20: 109)
The above verses of the Holy Qur'an clearly declare the availability of intercession but only through those permitted by God and those whose word God is pleased with. Mere common sense is sufficient to say that those permitted or those whose words God is pleased with, can be no others than those whom God Himself purified (33:33) i.e., 'Ahlul Bayt '. Those who are impure to any degree, less or more can never even be imagined to be of any use at all for they themselves will be held up in accounting for their own pollutions.
What is Imamat?
'Imamat' is the 'Khilafate-Ilahiah' or the vieegerency of God on earth. 'Imamat' is the heart and soul of 'Risalat' Prophethood, or 'Nubowwat', i. e., Apostleship. The Holy Prophet Muhammad was a 'Rasool', Prophet, 'Nabi' (Apostle) as well as an 'Imam' (the Guide or the Leader) i.e. 'Khilafatullah,' i.e., the Vicegerent of God on earth.
‘Imamat' or the 'Khilafate-Ilahiah,' i.e., vicegerency of God is not a thing for men jointly or severally to award it to or bestow it on any one. It is an office which is not given to any one after his getting qualified there in this world, but to the one who is already chosen by God Himself for the purpose and is sent into the world duly conditioned for it.
The demonstrative instance of Abraham's being given the 'Imamat' after the trial and the verse of the reply to Abraham's prayer for his offspring about the 'Imamat' awarded to him, if studied intelligently, gives the important factors about the significance of Imamat and as to what actually it is.
“And when his Lord tried Abraham with certain words, he fulfilled them. He (God) said: Verily I make thee an Imam for mankind. Said (Abraham) 'And my offiprings?' Said He (God) 'My Covenant reacketh not the 'Zalimeen' (the Iniquitous).” (2:124)
The following is the verbal and meaningful analysis of the above verse:-
'Imamat': even to an apostle of God, like Abraham is given only after a trial and his passing it successfully.
'Imamat':is not an automatic product of any success in any trial, until it is awarded by the divine will.
'Imamat': is awarded by none but God Himself.
'Imamat: is a Covenant of the Lord.
'Imaat': does not automatically pass on as a hereditary right, irrespective of the heir to an Imam, being equitous or iniquitous.
'Imamat': is awarded only to the equitous.
'Imamat': is a gracious award only to Abraham and to the equitous ones in the seed of Abraham and not to any one or every one, even if he be equitous.
'Imamat': is an independent award of the Lord only to His Chosen ones.
It may be asked, if an apostle or an 'Imam' is sent into the world already purified and conditioned by God Himself, what is meant by putting him once again to trial in his earthly life? The answer is that the trial is not for God to know the mettle or the calibre or the native endowment in him which He himself has affected but it is to show to the world the degree of his personal excellence and his devotion and absolute submission to the will of his Lord.
The Start of the Imamat of Ali
The apostolic declaration at the historic assembly at 'Ghadeer al-Khum' in compliance with the will of the Lord, declared through the verse 6:67 by which the Holy Prophet declared Ali as the 'Maula' or the Lord or the Master of the Faithful, in his own place, Ali became the 'Maula' of the Faithful. And it must also be remembered that while felicitating Ali, Umar was asked by the Holy Prophet to address Ali as the 'Ameerul-Momineen', i.e., the Commander or the Ruler of the Faithful and it was only at the declaration of Ali as the 'Maula' in the place of the Holy Prophet, by the verse 6:3 the religion Islam was declared to be complete and to be the creed accepted by God.
God had commanded the Holy Prophet to appoint the one already nominated by Him, in his place, before he leaves the world and then only to return unto his Lord and the Holy Prophet acted accordingly in response to verse 6:67:
“So when thou (O’ Our Apostle Muhammad) has finished (completed the ministry) appoint- And unto thy Lord incline.” (94:7, 8)
Thus in pursuance of the declared will of the Lord, with the departure of the Holy Prophet from this world, started the 'Imamat of Ali’ or the 'Khilafate-Ilahiah' or the Vicegerency of God on earth.
The Caliphate started at the 'Saqeef al-Bani Sa'ada' with the dispute for it, between the Mohajirs (the Emigrants) and the Ansars (the helpers) was the Caliphate or the rulership of the people and not the 'Khilafat al-Rasool' or the succession to the Holy Prophet in his apostolic office. It was only the succession to the Prophet as the ruler of the state. It could not be the spiritual leadership in the place of the Holy Prophet for it passed through characters like Yazeed Ibn Mu’awiyyah and the several others of the Umayyids and the ‘Abbasides whose personal qualities, history has already reported to the world.
Thus the Caliphate should not be confused with the 'Imamat' for the Imam, the Vicegerent of God on earth, cannot be but one like Abraham and the Holy Prophet which the physical and the spiritual or the external and the internal excellence possessed by these Chosen Ones of God. God's Vicegerent can never be the debauchees, the drunkards, the assassins and the murderers even of their own kith and kin. The 'Imamat' i.e., the 'lmam' has to remain until the end of the world, but the world knows the historic fact that the man-made Caliphate started by man in the 'Saqeefa' could not survive long; it was annihilated or dismissed by another man the Ataturk at Constantinople. The 'Khilafat al-Ilahiah' or the Vicegerency which is bestowed by God Himself on His apostles or through His apostles, remains and to remain as long as lasts the world.
Ali as the Imam
Ali was neglected and ignored by the people as any apostle of God suffered at the hands of his people but it never affected the divine or the heavenly position of the apostle and the apostle always played his role as assigned to him by His Lord. If the people got benefited by his ministry it was for them and if not, it was also against them:
“If they reject thee, already did reject before them, the people of Noah and ' Ad and Thamood did reject (the prophets).” (22:42)
“If ye do good, ye do good unto your own selves. And if ye do evil, then it shall be for the self (itself). Similarly did Ali act.” (17:7)
The Position of an Imam
The position of an Imam and the duty assigned to Imamat is to act as the Vicegerent of God for the guidance of those who seek it, towards the already revealed course of life and not to go on canvassing support for him. The conveyance of any message is the duty of a Messenger or an Apostle, and Imam has no new message to convey but he is the custodian and the Guardian of the already delivered message and a Guide towards it, for those who seek a way towards the truth. The position of Imam is the position of the 'Ka'ba', the Hajies go to it and it does not go to any one requesting him to be its Haji. It was the lookout of the people to seek a way to the Imam and get duly guided, if they desired to have the correct guidance.
Tenure of the Caliphate started at the Saqeefa
Abu bakr ruled as Caliph for about two years, i.e., from 11 A.H. to 13 A.H, and handed over the charge of the Caliphate without any election or nomination from the public or from any one else. Umar ruled from 11 A.H. to 24 A.H., about 11 years. Umar nominated a committee with Abdur Rahman Ibn Auf as its chairman with a veto, and Uthman became the third ruler or the third Caliph. Uthman ruled from 24 A.H. to 35 A.H., i.e., about 11 years.
What was the lot of the Ahlul Bayt during this period is a matter which could better be had in its details from history. Any sincere seeker of the truth about the lot of the godly ones of the House of the Holy Prophet, may better refer to history and then shed tears for the sufferings of the Holy souls at the hands of the people for whose guidance they had been sent into the world, and know the lot they suffercd at the hands of those who called themselves Muslims.
Ali Resembles the Holy Prophet
Having lost the paternal love of the Holy Prophet and the godly partnership in life, of Lady Fatimah, Ali resembled exactly the same as was the Holy Prophet after losing the paternal protection of Abu Talib and the faithful partner in life, Lady Khadija. As the Holy Prophet was surrounded with the enemies from all sides in Mecca, after the demise of the Great Protector Abu Talib, Ali was also left all alone deserted, ignored, neglected and pushed to seclusion by the atmosphere which had turned treacherous and immediately following the departure of the Holy Prophet from the midst of the people.
It is a historic fact that Ali was the greatest protector of the Holy Prophet and Islam. It was Ali's sword which,defending the faith and the faithful against the unprovoked aggression from the pagans of Mecca, that had killed many of the heathen veterans who aimed at killing the Holy Prophet and annihilating the faith for ever, particularly at Badr, and Khandaq. Most of the pagan Meccans had yielded only to the fast rising power of Islam and just to fall in line with the march of time, and had embraced Islam without any conviction of the truth at heart. This fact is borne out by the Qur'anic declaration:-
“The dwellers of the desert say: 'We believe, Say thou (O' Our Apostle Muhammad )' Ye believe not, but say ye 'We submit'; and faith hath not yet entered into your hearts.” (94:14)
Besides, the above disclosure of the hypocrisy of the people, there is the Chapter as a whole on the hypocrites of the time (Chapter 63).
Thus those who had joined the ranks of Islam only succumbing to the circumstances, having professed the faith, got busy in all sorts of subversive activities mentioned in the Holy Qur'an of teasing the believers and obstructing others joining the faith. They worked as the fifth-columnists against the progress of the faith and its power. Remaining in the ranks, the hypocrites tried the worst possible for them, by deserting the Holy Prophet and running away from the battlefields, creating the possibility and the opportunities of defeat for Islam so that the field may be open to them and to the others to return to their original faith and power. But God had not allowed them to succeed in their plots. And now having joined the faith and the faith having been strongly established and the opposition to it having been crushed and annihilated for ever, their interest of the leadership and power lay in their posing as the staunchest of the believers so that they maybe the leaders of the faithful though they may not actually like it.
There is a Persian couplet:
Car gonaahi bakoni dar shab- e- Aadeena bakon
Taake az Sadr nasheenaane Jahannam baashi
If thou commit any sin, commit it on the 'Shab al-Juma' (the Thursday night)
So that even in Hell you may be of the Chiefs of it.
Thus all the opportunists who had joined the ranks of Islam and who were the relatives of the pagan veterans killed by Ali at Badr and Ohod and Khandaq, and who now had gained power, had decided to wreak vengeance on Ali and his issues, revenging their pagan elders and relatives killed by him in the onslaughts against Islam. The fact about this attitude of the people was leaked out by Yazeed son of Mu’awiyyah, son of Abu Sufyan, while seated fully drunk on his throne at Damascus, with the heads of Husayn and his devotees, placed under his throne, before him, and the ladies and the children of the holy family of the Holy Prophet, including the ailing son, Ali son of Husayn, standing fettered in heavy chains, sang the verses in Arabic saying:-
“Had my elders who died at Badr and Ohod been alive they would have seen how well I have revenged their blood.”
Thus the Ahlul Bayt, particularly Ali, was now in an atmosphere wholly hostile and treacherous with avowed enemies determined to wreak vengeance on the House of the Holy Prophet.
Ali during the age of the three Caliphates
Unconcerned with the matters of the state with no aspiration to own any political power, fully contented with his resignation to the will of the Lord, Ali was busy releasing the streams of knowledge through his sermons to those few who, mindful of God and the life hereafter, had gathered around him and remained attached to him. Those sermons of Ali, put together, are today called the 'Nahjul- Balagha', i.e., the Course of Eloquence, which is nothing but a Treasury of the Highest knowledge of the Qur'anic Truth and the Highest treatise of the the spirit of Islamic Philosophy.
Ali has supplied to the world of devout faith many beautifully and masterly worded supplications (prayers); Firstly, they have been found cent percent effective in invoking the divine mercy, in getting the prayers of the sincere supplicants readily heard and secondly, they are such pieces of divinely worded literature that even the greatest master minds since then till today, could only say that the matter is 'Below the Word of God and above the word of man.'
Ali is unanimously recognised by all the mystic schools in Islam, as their First Leader or Guide or the Generator of the Mystic Knowledge. All the various schools of mysticism revert only to Ali for their origin. Whenever any problematic difficulty arose even the courts of the Caliphate sought Ali's help and Ali always helped every seeker of knowledge, irrespective of the seeker being his friend or a foe.
There is a famous saying of Umar:-
'Lau la allyyin lahalakal Umar'
Had Ali not been there, Umar would have been lost.
The Religious Landmarks of the age- Ali witnessed
Fatimah's House was set on fire.
Ali was arrested and carried as a captive.
Fatimah's property was confiscated.
Fatimah was killed.
The two Muta's, the Muta al-Nisa and the Muta al-Hajj ordained by the Holy Qur'an and valid during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet and during the time of the first Caliph and even for years during Umar's time, were abolished by Umar.
The use of 'Haiya ala Khairil amal' was removed from 'Azan'- by Umar and instead of it, the use of 'As- Salaato khaira minan naum' was inserted by him.
Umar started the 'Taraweh.'
Mu’awiyyah was given the governorship of Syria, by Omar.
The banishment by Uthman of the aged faithful Companion of the Holy Prophet Abu Dharr Ghaffari to wilderness, where, in the desert, he died a miserable death.
What all passed on during the long period of the rule of the three Caliphs, is not concerned with the subject of this work, and nor can all that happened affecting the interest of the Ahlul Bayt be accommodated in this brief work. Only some relevant incidents which show, through what kinds of channels passed the holy soul of Husayn the King of Martyrs, the significance of the Imamat and the circumstances under which it worked, had necessarily to be given for without the prerequisite knowledge of the men and the matters concerned, a mere narration of the isolated event of Karbala, will not serve any purpose of giving out its significance or importance to human life on earth.
In short, the life of Ali, after the Holy Prophet, was that of an apostle, though he was not an apostle, for apostleship had concluded and ended with the Holy Prophet and no other apostle or prophet was to come.
To speak of any aspiration on the part of Ali for any political power or authority, will be sheer foolishness or the betrayal of one's bankruptcy of the knowledge about Ali's godly personality. Ali's aspiring for any temporal power on earth will be equal to owning the kingdom of the whole of a vast dominion and to yet aspire for a petty landlordship of a small strip of barren useless land, in it. As the Vicegerent of God on earth, what is the other power or authority left over, for Ali to aspire?
Ali was he who could pluck out the huge iron gate of the fortress of Khaibar by his one hand and make it the bridge over the ditch, holding the huge heavy iron door-frame on his palm and making the whole of the Muslim army pass over it,crossing the ditch and entering the fortress captured by him, Ali was the one who could be present at several places at one and the same time and he could by God's given power to him, do and undo things for which he is even today popularly called both by his friends and focs alike as the 'Mazharul-Ajaib' and he who, when in power, as the 'Caliph' in charge of the Treasury, stood in the treasury room and addressing the heaps of gold and silver, said ' O' yellow, O' white, go! Beguile, and prouden any one else other than me! Ali has divorced ye two thrice. There can be no return for you unto me!
It is said that once when he was the Caliph, Ali was mending his own shoes which were totally worn out and Salman the faithful devotee of the 'Ahlul- Bait' remarked 'O' Ameertul Mominneen! What is left in them that thou mendest them? Ali asked Salman! What thinkest thou that this torn or worn out shoe worths? Salman replied. 'O' Ameerul Momineen! Only God and thou knowest it.' Ali smiled and said 'Salman! know thou that this torn away and worn out shoe is to me of more worth and value than the Caliphate’.
Aspiration for any worldly power on the part of such a divine is unimaginable. And if Ali had ever accepted to rule, it was in the interest of the welfare of the people themselves, to give them the blessings of a godly kingdom on earth. If the world had accepted Ali, at the very first instance, it would have saved itself of all the chaos and confusion which ended the life of the Third Caliph. The opinion of a non-Muslim writer on the history of the Muslims, Mr. Sédillot (René Sédillot, French Historian), quoted by Mr. Justice Ameer Ali in his famous work 'the Spirit of Islam' will give out the truth in the above statement which, a dispassionate and unprejudiced mind of even a non-Muslim scholar realised:-
“Had,”says Sédillot: “the principles of hereditary succession in favour of Ali, been recognised at the outset, it would have prevented the rise of those disastrous pretentions which engulfed Islam in the blood of Muslims. The husband of Fatimah, united in his person the right of succession as the lawful heir of the prophet as well as the right by election. It might have been thought that all would submit themselves before his glory, so pure and so grand.” (SI by AA)
Ali Weds Lady Ummul-Baneen
The world around the Holy Prophet witnessed and history has vouched the fact that the gap in the domestic life and the happiness of the Prophet, created by the demise of Lady Khadija doubtlessly proved as irreparable for no other woman fittingly filled it up to give the Apostle of God the happiness at home or the harmony in his domestic life, and it is only about the good Lady Umm Salema that the Holy Prophet said: 'Ante alal Khair’, i.e., Thou art on goodness, which the good Lady proved true by not leaving the house of the Holy Prophet even after his departure from this world, and remaining as attached to his Ahlul Bayt as she was during his lifetime.
The same was the case with Ali the First Imam, the Vice- gerent of God on earth, succeeding the Holy Prophet. After the martyrdom of the Holy Lady Fatimah, there was none in the world to take her holy place in the house of Ali and the good Lady Ummul- Baneen served Ali after Holy Lady Fatimah as did Umm Salema to the Holy Prophet after the demise of Lady Khadija.
The Alliance for a Holy Cause
The prophecy from the Holy Prophet about the impending 'Zibhe Azeem' or the Great Martyrdom of Husayn, had gained so much currency and had become a matter of such a conviction and concern to the Ahlul Bayt that after the departure of Lady Fatimah,Ali called his brother Aqeel who was known for his knowledge about the tribal geneologies and told him to find out a respectable lady of a noble family, known for its bravery, for him to wed for he wanted to have a brave son from her to be his own representative there at Karbala to serve Husayn the son of the Holy Prophet and help him in the calamitous situation against his enemies and lay his life defending Husayn on his own behalf, for Hasan and Husayn were hailed as the sons of the Holy Prophet and each one was addressed as 'Ibn Rasoolullah' (son of the Holy Prophet).
Ali expressly and particularly stressed when he told Aqeel for the selection of a lady, that he wanted the determined issue from the lady to be the bravest one in the world, to serve Husayn at Karbala on his own behalf. Aqeel said:
“Marry thou, Ummul-Baneen al-Kalbi, the daughter of Hazm bin Khalid- e- Kalbi, for braver than her father, there was none in the tribes.”
‘Abbas the Standard-Bearer of Husayn arrives
The desire of Ali was readily granted by the Lord. Ali wanted one issue, to serve on his behalf at Karbala, God gave him three more along with the one desired by him and the Lady Ummul- Baneen gave four Sons to Ali:
- ‘Abbas 2. Jaffar 3. Uthman 4. Abdullah.
The birth of ‘Abbas has been given by God, certain similarities with the birth of his father Ali. When Ali was born, he did not open his eyes until came to him the Holy Prophet and took him in his lap and on the apostolic hands Ali opened his eyes for the first time in the world and looked first at the holy face of the Apostle of God and smiled. Similarly did ‘Abbas for lie opened his eyes first when Husayn came and took him in his lap and ‘Abbas opened his eyes and looked first at the holy face of Husayn and smiled.
When Ali was born, he was given to the Holy Prophet who adopted him as his son and Ali remained with the Apostle of God and was brought up by him. Similarly, ‘Abbas was given to Husayn and remained closely attached to Husayn, and ‘Abbas prided treating himself as the slave of Husayn addressing Husayn not as brother, though he was a brother, but as 'Syed wo Maula' My Chief and my Master.
In short, if the Holy Prophet had come into the world to present Islam and if Ali was given to him as an assistant and helper in the apostolic mission, Husayn, had been sent by the Lord to save Isalm and re-establish it at Karbala and ‘Abbas was given to Husayn to assist him and to help him in the godly mission of apostolic nature.
In response to the desire of Ali the First Holy Imam or the Vicegercnt of God on earth, God had sent ‘Abbas for Husayn, as was sent Ali for the Holy Prophet, to exhibit exactly the same matchless bravery, wonderful valour, irresistible prowess and the amazing and the inimitable and ideal faithfulness to defend Husayn and the truth at Karbala.
For the marked resemblance with his father, ‘Abbas was popularly known as 'Haider al-Thani', i.e., Haider (Ali) the Second; and for his extraordinary handsome features, he was fittingly called the 'Qamar al-Bani Hashim', i.e., The Moon of the Hashimites.
‘Abbas is reported to be of such a well built and a tall stature that historians report that when he mounted a horse, his knees touched the ears of the steed and that the animal would proudly bear the commanding personality of its majestic rider.
All his life, right from his infancy, ‘Abbas moved most closely with Husayn, practically as a faithful slave to his loving master, or a dutiful son to a respectable father, exactly as Ali moved with the Holy Prophet.
The ways of heaven are obvious but to the awakened minds of those who believe in Him, His Might, His Wisdom and His Ever-Fulfilled Will. When God wants His will to be fulfilled on earth, He sends down His own agencies, be they angels or men, duly fitted by Himself to serve His purpose. Apostles of God when assigned any taskful allotment of any mission, ware given the help by another one like them to assist them. Moses was commended to proceed against Pharaoh and he was given an assistant in his brother Aaron. The Help Prophet Muhammed was to deal with the pagan and the heathen world and he was given en assistant in his brother Ali and Husayn now having been sent to face the devils in human frames and to re-establish God's Religion, offering the Greatest Sacrifice (the 'Zibhe Azeem') ever offered on earth, he was given ‘Abbas his brother duly fitted with all the qualities necessary to fulfil the divine purpose at Karbala.
The Caliphate thrust upon Ali
The third caliphate ended in chaos, turmoil and the murder of the khalif Uthman. There was unrest among the people all over the empire. Mu’awiyyah the governor of Syria appointed by Umar 30 A.H., took full advantage of the patronage of the Umayyids by the third Caliph and had astablishad himself stongly at Damascus and had made the place a stronghold of his own.
An amazing situation was created that the Caliphate after which people ran and for which there was so much of dispute and tension, now was running after Ali imploring him to accept it. There was no question of any election, nomination or co-optation now; the whole nation was now at Ali's door, imploring him to be gracious enough to accept their Caliphate. Ali repeatedly refused but the public as a whole would not accept any excuse from him. The great historian Oakly in his famous work the History of the Saracens and other historians too, say that Ali said:
“If you excuse me and elect another, whomsoever you may think fit choose, shall most submissively yield obedience to him, if not, and I must with your wish to accept the offer, I must say frankly at the outset that I shall conduct the administration quite indepcndently and I shall deal with all of you according to the Holy Book of the Lord and to the best of knowledge and judgment.” (History of Saracens, p. 289.)
The people unhesitatingly and unanimously assented to the condition and gladly extended their hands in token of their fealty to Ali, but he refused to accept their assent unless it be in public, in order that none might have any doubt about the offer being from the people and none might have any cause to grumble thereafter.
The next day, the Mosque of the Holy Prophet was so fully packed that none could cross through the crowd and the multitude of those who could not get into the Mosque were thronging around the holy edifice to hear about Ali’s consent to their offer and last of them all, arrived the Vicegerent of the Holy Prophet and mounting the pulpit making plain and clear to every one, his condition for accepting the offer, assented to it. People, who on the previous occasions were running away from paying their fealty to the Caliphate and who had to be forced, coerced, threatened, encouraged and purchased to pay it, now were rushing to have the honour of kissing the holy hand of Ali.
The state of affairs—Ali was offered
People and the state of affairs Ali had been offered to rule, cannot be depicted in this brief work. Readers interested to know about the details of the historic chaos, confusion and turmoil and the unrest that prevailed when Ali was forced to undertake the Caliphate, may refer to Tabari or the other detailed works on the History of the Muslims after the departure of the Holy Prophet.The following quotation from the famous and the popular work the ‘Spirit of Islam’ by Justice Amir Ali will suffice to give a rough idea of the situation:—
“Under Uthman there was complete reversal of the policy and the administration. Merit and faithful services were wholly disregarded. All offices of trust and emolument were seized by the Umayyids. The governorships of the provinces were bestowed on men who proved themselves most inimical to Islam, and the treasury was emptied in their favour.” (Spirit of Islam)
People had mostly been naturalised in corruption and accustomed to bribing bargains. Some of the opportunists were labouring under some false expectations. The corrupt ones thinking Ali to have been disappointed all the while until the Third Caliph, for not getting the chance to rule, and now having got it, expected Ali also to canvas support and the unearned and illegal popularity at a higher scale to maintain his position by the same favouritism and bribes.
To rule a wicked people, strictly by the Word of God with the strict maintenance of the scale of justice, is quoting unpopularity and troubles. Thus Ali had always to face intrigues and revolts against his godly rule with his uncompromising love of truth, pure justice, fair play, strict discipline and, impartial treatment totally void of any kind of nepotism or favourtism which were unknown to him, and to every one of the Ahlul Bayt.
Justice Amir Ali remarks: -
“Had Ali been allowed to reign in peace, his virtues, his firmness and his ascendancy of character would have perpetuated the old republic and its simple manners.” (Spirit of Islam)
In fact, if Ali had been allowed to have his own ways in the rule and administration of the affairs of the state and of the people, even after the chaos and the confusion which ruled the state when he received the reigns of the rule after the Third Caliph, the world would have enjoyed the godly kingdom on earth. There would not have been any trouble at all if the Umayyids the declared enemies of Islam and the Holy Prophet had not been given the opportunity to rule over the destiny of the Muslims. The trouble started with Mu’awiyyah and was perpetuated by him in the start of the Umayyid dynasty of the assassins of the holy ones of the Ahlul Bayt, who also murdered their own kith and kin, and was the debauchees and the drunkards who had broken the records of all kinds of licentiousness.
The first to revolt against the Caliphate of Ali unanimously set up by the people as a whole was Mu’awiyyah. The Muslim world very well knows as to whom Mu’awiyyah was and of what calibre he was of. He was the son of Abu-Sufyan the Arch-enemy of Islam, who was the causative factor behind every battle that was forced on the Holy Prophet. Mu’awiyyah had gathered strength sufficient to establish his independence in Syria. Thus Ali had to meet Mu’awiyyah in a battle at Siffin. The treachery and the deceit with which ended this battle, is there in the history.
After Mu’awiyyah, Ali was forced to meet the army under the command of Ayesha in the battle at Basra, called the Battle of the Camel (Jange Jamal).
After the battle of Jamal, Ali had to meet the forces of the hypocrites at Naharvan, in which Ali had prophecied that only nine will be killed on his side and only nine will escape death, on the other side and it happened exactly so. The godly rule of the Muslim empire, by Ali, the Vicegerent of God, was not allowed to continue beyond 40 A.H., (i.e., for about four years).
The unique position of Ali
Ali's departure from this world was actually the departure of the Holy Prophet, for both of them, were the personification or the manifestations of one and the same Divine Light.
“I and Ali are of one and the same Divine Light.”(SM)
The Holy Prophet Muhammad had come to conclude the apostleship and Ali was sent to inaugurate the Imamat, i.e., the serial of the divinely commissioned Guides, the Imams, himself being the First of them.
Though the apostleship had concluded with the Holy Prophet, the guidance from God for mankind is an evercontinuous process of the divine grace which has to remain until the end of the world. God has never allowed any gap to be in the continuity of his guidance Prophets were sent in all parts of the world, one after another; where one prophet was called back, another one in his place was sent, as a prophet or a vicegerent or the Wasi of the retiring one.
“We abrogate not a sign or cause it to be bypassed but We bring one better than it or one like it; knowest thou not that God over all things as powerful.” (2: 106)
The wordings of the above verse of the Holy Qur'an need a careful study. It clearly says that when one sign God is removed, another better than it or the like of it is brought in its place. An apostle was sent in the place of the apostle retiring from this world and each succeeding one, came with a superior message and with a higher status:-
"And these apostles, We have exalted some of them over the others. Of them are some unto whom God hath spoken and some He hath raised in degrees." (2:253)
The Last one of God's apostles, under the principle laid down in the above verse, must naturally be the one with the superior-most message and with the highest degree in status among the community of the apostles of God. And when the Holy Prophet Muhammad the Superior-most and the Best of God's creation, has already come, the one that would be brought under verse (2:106) could not be the better than the Best for the term is meaningless and hence, he would be the equal to his predecessor the Holy Prophet, and the verse 2:106 has the provision for it, in its words 'or the one like him.' Thus when the Holy Prophet was withdrawn from the people, Ali the one equal to him in his purity (33:33) and excellence, as of one and the same divine light and the 'Nafse' or the self or the soul of the Holy Prophet shown at 'Mobahila' under the verse (3 :60) was brought and declared to the world, under the command of the verse 5:67, as the 'Maula', i.e., the Master or the Lord or the Commander or the Ruler or the Governor in the place of the Holy Prophet, as was the Holy Prophet himself.
What is said above is the truth and it is quite a different thing altogether if any one accepts it or not and truth can never be wiped out even if the human world as a whole jointly endeavours to do it, for it is the challenge of the Lord that His Light, the Truth, none shall put out:-
“They desire to put out the Light of God with their mouths, but God perfecteth His Light, though the disbelievers may be averse to it.”(61:8)
Comparing Ali to others
Before thinking of comparing Ali to any one besides the Holy Prophet, one should first get himself informed of the unique position of Ali and the glorious height of his position in divinity identical with the Holy Prophet, as depicted by the Holy Qur'an the Word of God and as open declaration by the Holy Prophet, about him.
In what sense can any one be compared to the one who was of one and the same Light with the Holy Prophet?
How could the Brother of the Holy Prophet be equal to any one else?
What comparison could any one have with the one who was the Head of the Body of Muhammad, who was the Soul to the Body of the Apostle of God, who was of the same blood and flesh of the Holy Prophet? (Lahmoka Lahmi, Damoka Dami).
How could any one be compared to the 'Asadullah,' i.e., Lion of God who stood fast with the cause of God, along with the Holy Prophet on the trying occasions when every one even the closest companions had taken to their heels and had disappeared for days together.
Ali was declared the Gate of the City of Knowledge. How the Treasurer of knowledge could be compared to the ignorant ones:
“Are those who know and who know not, alike?”(36:9)
The Holy Prophet had told Ali: “O' Ali thou seest what I see and thou heareth what I hear”- How could the one who had the divine sight and insight as had the Holy Prophet, be compared to any one who owns not this gift of the Lord.
“Are the blind and the seeing alike? Or, are darkness and light equal?” (13:16)
How could Ali, who though wrongly, was doubted by some people (the 'Nusairie's) to be God Himself, be compared to any one of those whose bonafide about the sincerity of their faith itself is questionable?
To go into the details of the exclusive distinctions of Ali in his excellence which was doubtlessly divine and certainly incomparable with any other mortal save the Holy Prophet; will need a separate volume of its own. In short it could be said that to attempt to compare Ali to any one else besides the Holy Prophet, will be nothing short of the bankruptcy of the intellect or the betrayal of one's ignorance of the position of this Holy one in the human race. The same is the position of Lady Fatimah in her personal excellence, and the divinity of her soul, cannot be compared to any other Lady in the world.
Husayn intercedes for Shimr
It is reported that once, in Kufa, Shimr was convicted and imprisoned during the rule of Ali. Through the window of the prison, Shimr saw Husayn passing by, and cried aloud:
“O Son of the Apostle of God; I intercede on my behalf to thy Father Ali and get me free from this prison.”
Husayn went straight to his Father Ali and appealed for mercy for Shimr.
Ali asked: “Dost thou know, Husayn, that this is Shimr, he would be the murderer of thine and the Torturer of Thy family at Karbala?”
Husayn said: “Father! I am the Son of the Apostle of God who is the mercy unto the worlds and thy Son who is Commander of the faithful and the Reliever of the distressed ones and the Son of Fatimah the Lady of Paradise and the Liberator of the sinners Shimr has appealed for mercy throngh me - Father! I will act as I should, and let Shimr act as he liketh.”
Thus Shimr was granted mercy and the same Shimr was the one who severed the head of Husayn in Karbala and raised it on his lance, and tortured his family and children.
Hasan receives the Imamat
When Fatimah had left this world suffering the treachery of the followers of her father, and Ali had shed the blood of his head, in prayer in the niche of the Mosque in Kufa and had departed from this world, Hasan and Husayn were left alone amidst an atmosphcre totally hostile and murderous to the Ahlul Bayt.
After Ali, Hasan his eldest son became the Second Imam and along with the Imamat, he received also the Caliphate or the Rule of the Muslim Empire. But Mu’awiyyah the son of Abu Sufyan the Governor of Syria, appointed by Umar and strengthened by Uthman, had by this time been adding strength to his strength and had firmly established himself as an independent monarch at Damascus, making the place a powerful stronghold to execute his rebellious plans against the central authority, and had assumed for himself the sole indefiable paramount power of a despot.
The Ahlul Bayt and the Temporal Power
There is the famous saying of Ali which gives out the actual attitude of the holy ones of the Ahlul Bayt towards this world and its enjoyments:
Ad-donya jeefaton wa tullaboha Kilab
'The world is a corpse and its seekers are dogs.'
Neither the Holy Prophet, nor Ali nor any one of the other holy Imams was ever inclined towards the least enjoyment of this world. They were the rays of one and the same Divine Light destined to enlighten the world during their own respective times, in their respectively assigned ways to guide humanity on the right path to raise itself from the abyss of the material degradation to the glorious heights of the heavenly bliss. None of these holy ones ever thought of any secular power or any worldly kingdom. The God's given kingdom to them was ever with every one of them. Their throne was the hearts of the believers and they had come to exercise the godly authority over the sincere believers in God. They had nothing to do with any enjoyment on earth. The one and the only object of their life-mission on earth, was service to the Lord in total submission to Him towards the fulfilment of His will.
Hasan as an lmam received the reins of the godly kingdom of the faith and only as a convention had received the Caliphate after his father. As Ali, his father, Hasan had accepted to be a Caliph only in the interest of the people and his being the Caliph was an honour to the Caliphate and not any additional distinction or honour to his holy self. The real 'Khilafat' or the Vicegerency of God, succeeding the Holy Prophet, was now with Hasan and what else could be greater and grander than, the godly office which he now held.
The Age of Political intrigucs and murderous plots
With the Umayyid Caliphate, started the age of political intrigues and murderous plots against the House of the Holy Prophet. History has made known to us of what loins Mu’awiyyah had come into this wor1d. His father Abu Sufyan had made a mark and earned a special distinction in the enmity against Islam and the Holy Prophet, and Mu’awiyyah's mother Hind was the woman who tore open the corpse of Hamza the uncle of the Holy Prophet, martyred in the battle of Ohod, and she was the woman who minced under her teeth the liver of Hamza and taking out the other internal parts of the corpse, she put them on, around her neck. The factor of heredity both from his father and mother, had its full play in the issue of Abu Sufyan and Hind, and Mu’awiyyah, now after the departure of Ali from this world, had become an open enemy of the Ahlul Bayt.
We are not here to go into the dirty details of the political history of the age, and all the intrigues and the crafty moves of the ruling authorities, employed to strengthen their hold on the state and the people. Only a few events directly connected with the miseries of the Ahlul Bayt, are referred to, to indicate the treachery of the people against the House of the Apostle of God and the attitude of the Holy Ones during the calamitous age, towards the guidance of the people at the cost of their own lives. Hasan was the eldest son of Ali and Fatimah, and the First grandson of the Holy Prophet. The Muslim world in Madina had seen Hasan and Husayn on the shoulders of the Apostle of God on the morn of the festival day, and in the lap of the Holy Prophet on the occasion of the historic 'Mobahila', had declared “Hasan and Husayn are the Chiefs of the youth of Paradise” and these were the two for whom had been sent festive robes from heaven. Inspite of all that the Holy Prophet had declared about these two holy souls, the world had turned totally hostile to them, and was bent on putting an end to their godly lives on earth.
Not only did Mu’awiyyah aim at owning the paramount power of the Caliphate or the rule of the Muslim empire as a whole, exclusively for himself, but wanted also to have his way cleared off the holy ones of the Ahlul Bayt to perpetuate the kingdom in his family, passing the throne of the Caliphate to his son Yazeed, for which he employed several kinds of crafty means and men. Mu’awiyyah, now being openly hostile to the House of the Apostle of God, hired mercenaries to cause mischief in the different parts of the empire. The intelligentsia among the subjects including the jurists had been purchased by the state, hence the question of winning over the general masses was not a problem. Corruption began to rule the destiny of man.
People opposing the corruption were plundered and mercilessly massacred. There was no safety or security of life or property particularly of those who were loyal to the House of the Holy Prophet, who called themselves the Shias or the devotees of the Ahlul-Bait. Preachers were ordered to curse Ali openly in their sermons from the pulpits. The mischievous move from Mu’awiyyah became more and more intolerable. The people employed to create mischief, acted as devils in human frames. There was regular bloodshed caused by the agents employed for the purpose. The Holy Imam Hasan knew full well that all the troubles were for the seat of the Caliphate which he then most reluctantly occupied. The public which had begged his father Ameerul-Momineen Ali to accept the Caliphate and rule the state, by the crafty campaign of Mu’awiyyah, had turned disloyal, deceitful, hostile and treacherous.
Hasan the Holy Imam the Vicegerent of God on earth, the Successor to the Holy Prophet, whose first concern was the peace and safety of the people, did not need any contested throne to excereise his divine rights. Ultimately in the interest of the welfare of the people, the safety of the public life and property, and the security of the chastity of the gentle womanhood Hasan relinquished the Caliphate to Mu’awiyyah under a written and a signed treaty with the following terms:
Mu’awiyyah should rule over the state strictly according to the word of God the Holy Qur'an as depicted by the traditions of the Holy Prophet.
The people should he allowed to enjoy perfect peace and seourity of life and property.
The persecution of the Shias, i.e. the devotees of Ali, should at once be stopped and they should no more be harassed.
Mu’awiyyah should not in any way interfere with Hasan and Husayn or any one of the Ahlul Bayt.
The cursing of Ali on the pulpits be at once stopped.
All prisoners, particularly the Shias of Ali, the devotees of the House of the Holy Prophet who had been unlawfully put into prisons and mercilessly tortured therein should at once be released.
Mu’awiyyah should not appoint any heir to the throne of the Caliphate but leave it to the decision of the Muslim public.
With the above terms of the treaty agreed to and signed by Mu’awiyyah, Hasan relinquished the rule of the state to Mu’awiyyah and retired into complete seclusion, having no concern whatsoever with politics or any affairs of the state and yet he was not left to live in peace even to spend his life in devotion to God and guiding the people to a godly life on earth. Mu’awiyyah's main object was to make the way for his son Yazeed to succeed him to the throne of his monarchica1 Caliphate and hence he was devising plans to see that Hasan is once for all done with by putting an end to his life.
Justice Amir Ali in his famous work the Spirit of Islam, quotes Osborn in depicting the personality of Mu’awiyyah:
“Astute, unscrupulons and pitiless, says Osborn the first Caliph of the Umayyids (Mu’awiyyah) shrank from no crime necessary to secure his position. Murder was his accustomed mode of removing a formidable opponent. The grandson of the Prophet he caused to be poisoned. Malek-al-Ashtar, the heroic lieutenant of Ali, was destroyed in the like way. To secure the succession of Yazeed, Mu’awiyyah hesitated not to break the word he had pledged.”
Though the Holy Imam bad retired into complete seclusion and did not at all interfere in any matters of the people in general, totally unconcerned with the matters of the state, the Umayyid enmity would not allow him to live even in seclusion. Several attempts on the godly life of the Holy Imam were madc through poison and somehow the attempts did not prove successful. Ultimately, Mu’awiyyah succeeded in hiring a wicked woman who was a wife of Hasan, tempting her with the promise to get her remarried to his son Yazeed the heir to the throne and with rich presents in cash, to poison Hasan fatally.
Hasan's advice to Husayn
The poison was administered through the drinking water and it was so strong that no sooner did Hasan drink the water, than he began vomiting blood and the bits of his liver and knowing the ultimate result of the drink he had, Hasan called his brother Husayn and advised him saving:
“Brother Husayn! I am going. Be thou patient in the will of the Lord being done. Let my body be interred beside my Grandfather but if that be objected, let there be no fight for my sake. Then let it lay beside my Mother in the Baqi.”
It is said that the departing Holy Imam even prophesied as to who will object to his burial beside his Grandfather.
Hasan's Body shot at
As the funeral proceeded towards the grave of the Holy Prophet, some Umayyids mounted on horses obstructed and Ayesha appeared mounting a mule, shouting that the grave of the Holy Prophet was in her house and she would not allow the grandson of Khadija to be buried beside the Holy Prophet. With the shouts from Ayesha a shower of arrows fell on the coffin. Husayn in the fulfilment of the last wish of his departed brother, turned the procession of the funeral towards 'Baqi' and when the body was taken out of the coffin to be laid to rest in the grave, Husayn finding some of the arrows which were showered at the coffin, had struck holy body of his martyred brother, cried addressing the body saying:
“I am ashamed of thee O' Brother that Husayn is alive and seest thy body wounded and cannot do anything.”
Oakley, the well-known historian Scholar in his famous work, the History of the Saracens, reports:
“Mu’awiyyah, therefore, being desirous of leaving the Caliphate to his son Yazeed, and thinking that he could not bring his design about, so long as Hasan was alive, determined to get rid of him! And at last Ayesha said it was her house and she would not allow him (Hasan) to be buried there'.”
The fate of the devotees of the House of the Holy Prophet
Mu’awiyyah did not, in the least honour the treaty he had signed. The Shias or the faithful devotees of the House of the Holy Prophet were vigorously persecuted and mercilessly put to death. Those who professed faith and loyalty to the House of the Holy Prophet, particularly to Ali, or any one found reciting any traditions of the Holy Prophet in the praise of Ali, were caught and mercilessly killed. Meytham al-Tammar, for refusing to curse Ali, met a brutal death his limbs were severed, and his body was put on the trunk of a tree; nailed to it, and when found still praising Ali, his tongue was cut off.
When the man came to cut his tongue, Messam himself offered his tongue extending it out of his mouth saying that the prophecy about his meeting the calamity and the end of it, had been given to him by Ali, and he was glad that the prophecy of Ameerul-Momineen was being fulfilled. Hajar al-Kandi met a similar fate for his faithfulness to Ali. The fate of poor Muhammad, son of Abu Bakr, the faithful devotee of Ali and the Ahlul Bayt was most horrible, for after his murder, his body was packed into the belly of an ass killed for the purpose and the corpse of the poor animal with the body of Muhammad Ibn Abu Bakr in its belly was thrown into a flaming fire prepared for the purpose.
The reign of Mu’awiyyah, particularly after the Martyrdom of Hasan,had become the age of plunder, pilage, pitiless killings and heartless murders and inhuman acts or ruthless persecution of the true Muslims and particularly those who were attached to the House of the Holy Prophet. Thousands of those who professed devotion to the House of the Holy Prophet were mercilessly butchered, and thousands of families migrated to various places outside the jurisdiction of the Umayyid rule.
Not only was the praise of Ali and the Ahlul Bayt, totally banned but at the same time a free and uncontrolled manufacture of counterfeit traditions were in full swing praising the enemies of the House of the Holy Prophet.
The Fate of the Faith
Under the Umayyid desire of establishing an independent Umayyid dynasty with the paramount power over the Muslim empire, not only the deceitful intriguers and crafty agents were hired but also the Muslim jurists were purchased to adulterate the doctrines of the faith in favour of the ruling authority and its supporters. Thus the Islam-Original was left only with the Ahlul Bayt with whom the Holy Prophet had left the Holy Qur'an and according to his saying if any one wanted the faith Islam, in its Original form and the Holy Qur'an with its true interpretation, could have only from his Ahlul Bayt About the attachment to his Holy House, the Holy Prophet had said:
“The likeness of my Ahlul Bayt is that of the Ark of Noah. Whosoever got into it, got saved and whosoever turned away from it, got drowned and lost.”
It is the same Islam-Original which is called Shiasm, distinguished from the Islam-general corrupted at the hands of the Umayyid fortune hunters. Shiasm is nothing but the Original Islam as preached by the Holy Prophet and preserved by his Ahlut-Bayt without any unwarranted additions to it or substraetions from it and nothing else besides the pure, strict and the original Qur'anic faith.
Hasan's Services and Sufferings
Hasan the second Holy Imam was the Fourth of the Martyrs among the Holy ones of the House of the Holy Prophet who are popularly called by the Muslim world as the 'Panjetane-Pak' or 'the Holy Five.' (Muhammad, Ali Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn.) The sufferings of this Holy Imam were of special intensity and the calamitous and the murderous situation he had to face was peculiar in its gravity and the patience and the fortitude the holy one, displayed was divinely superb and exemplary.
Immediately as the Umayyids gained the paramount power over the Muslim empire, their first effort was to endeavour as much as they could, to find fault with some aspect or the other of the practical lives of the holy members of the Ahlul Bayt and when they could not all succeed in their wicked venture, they hired corrupt scholars of the age, to fabricate traditions in favour of their enemies.
The Truth underlying the Sex difference in the Creation
The native endowment of the sex urge in the animated species of the creation, is itself, eloquently evident that the object of the Alwise Creator of the universe, is to maintain the wheel of procreation going, in the fulfilment of His Omnipotent will to effect the continuation of life on earth for an ever progressive development up to a term unknown to man. The physical world is classified in four commonly known realms viz., the Mineral, the Vegetable, the Animal and the Human. Of these four general classes of the physical existence on earth, excepting the granite of the minerals, every other specie expands itself, either through development in itself or by procreation. The botanist scholars will vouch that sex is not restricted only to the animal and the human realms but it is also found in the vegetable world. Even among the minerals there are species which expand themselves through the process of crystallisation.
The sex urge is a native endowment in every living species, more apparently evident in the animal and the human kinds. The love of multiplication is enacted through the sex urge as a divinely devised course for the continuity and the development of the specie on earth.
The lack of this urge in any individual is a want, not commendable but deplorable. A fruitless tree is first selected for fuel, a barren animal is first chosen for slaughter and an impotent man is not counted among the males for any manly service, and an issueless man or woman always prayerfully longs for an issue.
The commendability among the human beings regarding the use of this native endowment is not as to how less it is used or how much it is neglected but how best and how healthily and to what maximum it has been utilised in the fulfilment of the will of the Almerciful Donor of the great gift. The beauty lies not in the total or a partial suppression of this urge but in the maximum desirable use of it, avoiding successfully the misuse of the gift.
If this divine gift is used just for the timely sensual enjoyment, it is a sin and a crime and if the same is used for the healthy procreation of healthy souls to serve the will of the Lord, i.e., for the development and the progress of human life on earth, is a rewardable virtue.
The apostles of God, like Solomon, the saints and the sages in the various parts of the earth, had several wives at a time, not for the lust of any sexual enjoyment but to supply the souls desired by the Lord for the continuation and the expansion of humanity on earth.
The Holy Prophet Jesus, for want of a male partner in the parental process of his advent into this world, might not have been given this urge, for the main purpose of his creation was only to manifest the omnipotent creative power of the Originator of the universe to prove that He is not subject to the laws of nature which are known to man but the same laws being subservient to His Omnipotent will. Our Christian brethren exploit the want of this native endowment in Jesus, to prove his godhead or his being the son of God.
The lack or the absence of this urge, is a want and weakness and a want or a weakness is a defect, and none with any want or a defect can ever be imagined to be God Who is the Omnipotent Perfection Absolute, and impotency is a defect in nature and hence unnatural, and anything unnatural or defective, cannot be godliness or a commendable virtue.
When God had given the urge for the continuity of His creative will, to restrain the use of it, or to neglect it, or suppress it altogether, can never be righteousness. It will be ingratitude to reject the gift of the Lord and it will be rebellion to act against His object in His vesting the native endowments in the individual. If any one gifted with sight destroys his eyes or spends his life without his using sight, it will be sheer foolishness and not a virtue. Thus polygamy desired by God if correctly used, will not be a sin but a commendable virtue and monogamy if undesirably restricted defying the will of the Lord, or if Celibacy is unnecessarily imposed, it will be no virtue but a self-imposed deprivation, prone to sinful resorts of unhealthy and criminal outlets for the native urge.
It is some modern adultrous people, to cheat the innocent women, their legal wives, which pretend to be monogamous and condemn polygamy, while in practice, without the knowledge of their wives, they are ultra-polygamous in their private lives, not minding even if their wives also become polyandrous behind them. Whereas the godfearing righteous ones, who keeping their wives happy and honoured, are polygamous only as God has permitted and even that, only when necessary and otherwise remain contentedly monogamous.
It was one of the wicked moves of Mu’awiyyah that a talk was set afloat among the public that Hasan had a large number of wives, frequently marrying the women and divorcing them, and had scores of children. This is such a falsehood that the enemy could easily fabricate hut none of them could ever substantiate the allegation through any historic records. This was one of the Umayyid moves to cast prejudice in the minds of the public against the Holy Imam and to divert the attention of the people away from him, and the holy ones of the House of the Holy Prophet.
The modern day writers quote the narrations about this allegation about Hasan from the Great Shia traditionist Mullah Baqir-Majlisi and the others. Before resorting to quote anything on the authority of the great learned Mullah, one should know that the great Mullah had never said that whatever he has quoted is a gospel truth. The collection of the traditions, he has made, is a store of food for the thought of those busy in the scrutiny of the traditions of the Holy Prophet, and it is up to the seekers of the knowledge of the Ahadees (traditions), to pick out the genuine ones from the collection, and from the false ones to know the turn of the minds which effected the counterfeit sayings. It is a fact universally acknowledged by all scholars that the great work of the collection of the traditions by Mullah Baqir al-Majlisi named 'Bihar-ul- Anwar' or the Oceans of Lights contain in its traditions:
Saheeh- correct Ghalat- wrong or false
M'otabar- reliable Ghaira M'otabar- unreliable
Mustanad-certified Ghaira Mustanad-uncertified
Musalsal- continuously related Ghaira Musalsal-not continuously related
Ah'haad- The Lonely- related by only one person and not supported by any one else and so on-
The narration about the number of wives is nothing but a false allegation against the Holy Imam to make him unpopular for none of the reports, gives the names of all the wives and the names of all his children. The stories are mere folklore fabricated and purposefully made current to level a calumny against the Holy Imam.
If the Holy Imam Hasan had in fact married such a large number of wives, it is also said at the same time that he divorced also a large number. Hasan being the Vicegerent of God on earth would never have been unjust to have married unnecessarily and to have divorced any women unreasonably. It clearly indicates that as he is reported to resemble his Grandfather the Holy Prophet, his private life in his household also resembled that of the Holy Prophet, in having unfaithful wives as had the apostle of God, whom he had to discard for about a month until the revelation of the Sura al-Tahreem (Sura No. 66). The fact that Hasan was poisoned by none else other than one of his wives hired by Mu’awiyyah, proves the kind of women, some of his wives were.
The Sulhe-Hudaibiah Repeated
The historic sulh (or Truce) was concluded at Hudaibiah by the Holy Prophet who having gone to Mecca had to return content with the Treaty. People taking it to be a defeat of the purpose of the Holy Prophet, doubted even in the bonafide of his being the apostle of God.Even the one like Umar could not resist giving vent to his doubting about the bonafide of his claim to the apostleship, saying:
“Never did I doubt about the apostleship of the Holy Prophet as I did at Hudaibiah.”
But the Treats of Hudaibiah later proved to be one of the greatest stratagems which only a divine, like the Holy Prophet could have struck, and it proved to be of invaluable worth and value to the establishment and the progress of Islam and without which Islam could not have preceded further.
The same thing happened with Hasan. People doubted the wisdom in the Truce or the Treaty he had entered into with Mu’awiyyah. The Treaty of Hasan with Mu’awiyyah proved of the same value and worth as did the Sulhe Hudaibiah concluded, by his Grandfather the Holy Prophet. Without the Sulhe or the Truce which Hasan concluded, the Shias of Ali, the devotees of the Ahlul Bayt, the advocates of the Original Islam would have been totally wiped out and there could have been no opportunity for the Holy Imam and his devotees to preserve the Original Faith and to carry it further, upto this day, which today is identified with the caption of 'Shia'ism.' Besides, there would not have been the least peace and security in the land for life and the property of the gentle public, and the gentle womanhood would have suffered the worst at the hands of the dcvilish forces let loose to gain the paramount power of the Caliphate.
It must be remembered that the aim or the object of the lives of the men of God, particularly the apostles, is not to own any temporal power in earth. Their first and the foremost concern is to guide man on the right path of thought and action, and to do the best possible to establish peace in earth and maintain it. Men of God had been on the earth to act as demanded by the circumstances:-
Zul-Qarnain: Was sent to conquer some mischief-mongering and blood-shedding nations.
Job: To manifest divine patience and submission to the divine will.
David: To show the standard of justice.
Solomon: To own power and dominion as a godly monarch.
Zachariah and John: As the sincere supplicants to the Lord.
Moses: The National Leader of the Israelites to lead them out of the clutches of Pharaoh and put them on the path of godliness.
Jesus: To re-establish the Mosaic Law and manifest passive resistance to aggression.
Muhammad (The Last Apostle): To consolidate the religious Truth and give the Final Code for faith and its practice.
Ali (The First Imam): To help the Last Apostle of God in establishing Islam and to dissipate the highest knowledge of the Qur'anic Philosophy and the Divine Truth.
Hasan (The 2nd Imam): To preserve the faith by Ideal patience.
Husayn (The 3rd Imam): To re-establish Islam with his matchless sacrifice the 'Zibhe-Azeem’.
A Liar has no Memory
It is a well-known fact that liars cannot remember their own lies The fabulous stories about the number of the wives Hasan had married and divorced, prove the truth in the proverb that Liars have no memory. The reports about the number of the wives of Hasan are so funny and fabulous that even a schoolboy will laugh at the self-contradictory stories, and the ridiculous number reported. One says that Hasan had married fifteen wives, the other says no, Seventy-five, another one says humdred and seventy, the fourth one says they were two hundred and fifty and the sixth one says three hundred. Any one will only be puzzled and none would ever believe such cock and hull stories. It is quite evident that those who were bribed with a greater sum gave a greater number and those who were given less money gave the lesser number.
Had Womanhood gone Mad
It is not difficult but impossible to believe that womanhood as a whole, in Kufa had gone mad to rush to Hasan continuously inspite of knowing the fate of the hundreds of the divorced ones of their own sex.Or was it that history repeated the state of affairs with the Holy Prophet after the departure of Lady Khadija, when though he had crossed the age of fifty girls of even the tender age of nine and eleven were offered to him and ladies who were far advanced in age coveted to be the wives of the Holy Prophet and he could not refuse them the privilege they craved for. Ali had become the Fourth Caliph and people knew that Hasan would succeed his father as the Fifth Caliph, was it that woman in order to be the wife i.e., the quecns of the ruler of the Muslim Empire, coveted to gain the royal positions. In fact all the allegations are merely the vicious fabrications of the corrupt ingenuity employed for the wicked purpose to blackmail the Holy Imam.
The False Allegation against Hasan as well as Ali
The fabrication has gone to the extent of saying that Hasan had married so many and divorced so many women that Ali preached in the Bazaars of Kufa advising women not to marry his son Hasan, for he is the greatest divorcer of women, and not content with the Bazaar preachings of his against his own son, Ali even went to the extent of preaching openly from the pulpit the same thing. It must be remembered that Ali was openly cursed from the pulpits and any one who refused to curse Ali was put to death. The heartless treatment meted out to Meytham has already been given above, and this story of Ali's preaching against his son, Hasan's conduct, is only in continuation of the same propaganda against Ali, for an intelligent reasoning mind will say that the preaching of Ali against Hasan is not in fact so much against Hasan as it is against Ali himself, for knowing the moral defect in Hasan and himself making it known to the public his own knowledge of it, Ali handed over the charge of the Imamat to Hasan.
It is for the readers now to think how far and in what all ways the propaganda against the holy ones of the House of the Holy Prophet was carried on and how patiently the holy ones suffered all the calamities against the divine purity of their godly selves.
None in the Muslim world as a whole can deny the fact that Hasan is one of the Holy Ahlul Bayt who has been purified by God (33:33). He is one of those Holy Five of the historic mysterious event of the Kisa (or the Mantle) whose perfect purity was employed On occasion of the historic Mubahila the Spiritual contest with the Christian disbelievers of Najran.
Inspite of all the efforts to do the worst possible to blackmail these holy ones, every attempt failed and only proved like throwing dust to cover the sun, or spitting on the sun which brings back the spit on the face of the spitter himself. Though the people had turned hostile to these holy Ones, but the stamp of their personal divinity on the hearts of the people could not be removed. And when Hasan was martyred, even the worst of his enemies shed tears and were struck with sorrow. But Mu’awiyyah on getting the news of Hasan's passing away was jubilant.
Hasan the Third 'Muhammad'
If the following is in fact the Word of God:
“Muhammad is but an apostle.” (3:143)
and if the following Word of God bears any truth in it:
“He (the Holy Prophet), speaketh not of his own inclination but a revelation, revealed (unto him).” (53:3)
The Holy Prophet's word as well as action, his conduct and character, his love and hatred, his life personal and private as well as social and public, must necessarily and essentially be apostolic and divine, and his word must be the revealed will of the Lord, given expression through the words uttered by him.
Similarly, if it is true that the Holy Prophet had said that the First, the Middle, the Last and Every one of his 'Ahlul Bayt' was Muhammad, undoubtedly Hasan was the Third Muhammad and Husayn was the Fourth and so on until the Last of the Holy Imams of the Holy House.
It is certainly true that God has created a wonderful House, of His own chosen ones of the family of Abraham with Personalities of amazing purity of body and soul for the guidance of mankind on earth and certainly such perfected ones of His Own, must have been the First and the Foremost of His Creative Will, i.e., the Objects of His creation, in the Arc of Descent and the Last in the Arc of Ascent as the Greatest Luminaries of His Creative Art:
“Verily the First House appointed for the guidance of men is the one at 'Bakka' (Mecca) blessed and a guidance f or the worlds.” (3:95)
The next verse identifies the houses of the members of the above House:
“(These are) the houses in which God has permitted to be exalted and His name glorified. Therein do (they) glorify Him in mornings and evenings, the men whom neither merchandise nor selling diverts them from the remembrance of God.” (24:36, 37)
lt is about the members of His Own appointed House that God has announced:
“God only willeth to keep away uncleanliness from you O' people of the House and to purify you a (thorough) purification.” (33:33)
And certainly none else but only Ali, as belonging to those mentioned in verse 24:37, could keep himself undisturbed in his supplication to the Lord while the Jarrah, i.e., the surgeon cut open his foot and took out the point of the arrow stuck into it. Similarly did Hasan and Husayn remain undisturbed in their godliness while facing the worst persecution and the wholesale murder of their dear ones and their faithful devotees.
The Holy Prophet had told Ali:
“Thou hearest whatevcr I hear and thou seest whatever I see.”
Hasan proved his being of the same quality of the calibre of his father and possessed the same divine excellence, for it is reported that Hasan used to hear what was revealed to his Grandfather the Holy Prophet, by the Messenger Angel, and used to come to his mother, the Lady of Light, and relate the revelation before it was disclosed to any one. The Holy Lady would smile and relate it to her father the Holy Prophet who would embrace Hasan and kiss him and say: 'He is of me and I am of him.'
This was Hasan the Second Imam and the Brother of Husayn.
Hasan's Patience-the Reason for it
It is asked why did not Hasan handle the sword as did Husayn and why did not Husayn exercise patience as did his elder brother Hasan?
The answer is: that Mu’awiyyah though a rebel against the established Caliphate which was only a temporal power, and to own it, he had played havoc, and though religion was continuously undergoing corruption and adulteration, but the ruling authority had not stooped to the deliberate Yazidian infidelity and the open disbelief in the bonafide of the Holy Prophet and the truthfulness of Islam.
Be it known that neither the Holy Prophet nor the godly Ahlul Bayt had come into the world to wield their swords for any territorial ambition or to own any temporal power by force. The sword and the strength God had given to these the Holy ones, was for use in the cause of God, on the occasions divinely destined for the purpose, which they knew beforehand.
As Husayn re-established Islam rescuing it when it was on the verge of being annihilated for ever, Hasan maintained it, in an cqually effective way, from getting wiped out, by avoiding the true and the faithful devotees of the faith the Shias being totally wiped out of existence and the faith getting extinct with them If Hasan had not pulled on with his ideal godly patience he would have witnessed the end of Islam with his own eyes through the wholesale slaughter of the faithful devotees and the advocates of the faith through whose existence the Islam-Original could be maintained and spread in the world, though it was done under the most hostile and the murderous persecutions.
According to the situations, did act the two holy Imams, Hasan and Husayn. Hasan should not have used the sword and Husayn could not remain patient, both the holy ones acted as they did, in the interest, of the Religion of God and godliness on earth. Ali, the Asadullah, the Lion of God, the Ever Triumphant Matchless Hero of Islam, who had no match for his godly strength, prowess and bravery, when occasion demanded it to save Islam, allowed himself to be tied in ropes and dragged by the cowards of the people, Hasan followed the footsteps of his father to do the same. If any occasion had only demanded it, Hasan would certainly have risen equal to the occasion as did his father during the time of the Holy Prophet.
The Holy Prophet being the Apostle of God the greatest godly advocate of Peace on earth who had come to establish peace in the true meaning of the word, had to use the sword when it was unavoidable to save the religion of God from being wiped out by the disbelievers. Husayn followed the footsteps of his Grandfather in this regard as in any other, to re-establish the same faith when infidelity intended to destroy it for ever and when the Muslim World was being misled and taken far astray from the right path, with the open declaration of the disbelief in the apostleship of the Holy Prophet and the Holy Qur'an being the revealed Word of God.
Both the Holy Imams, Hasan and Husayn, had acted duly according to their respectivc divine assignments.
Before doubting in the divine wisdom in Hasan's patience and his treaty with Mu’awiyyah, one should remember that the people doubted even in the bonafide of the Holy Prophet when he concluded the Sulhe Hudaibiah (the Treaty of Hudaibiah). The godly ones only know the will of the Lord they executed and man always criticised it.