The Life of Imam Al-hasan Al-mujtaba
Imam Al-hasan’s Speech
When the painful news of the deposing of Imam Ali by Abu Musa was announced before the Iraqis, the discord increased, and disagreement among them became greater. They disowned and cursed each another. As for Imam Ali, he thought that the dangerous situation required some men from among his household to address the people and tell them about the real condition, and explain to them that the arbitration was corrupt. Accordingly, he said to al-Hasan: “Rise, O my little son, and speak in respect of these two men; Abdullah bin Qays and Amr bin al-Aas.” Imam al-Hasan ascended the pulpit. He said: “O people, you have said too much about these two men. They were sent to act according to the Book against the mean desire but they acted according to the mean desire against the Book. Whoever is such is not called [^1] Al-Mas‘udi has in detail written that in his book Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 1, p. 277.
an arbitrator, but a convict. Abdullah bin Qays has made a mistake when he entrusted it (the caliphate) to Abdullah bin Umar. Abdullah bin Umar has made a mistake in three qualities. The first, he (Abu Musa) opposed his (Abdulla bin Umar) father (the caliph Umar), and he was not satisfied with him to be entrusted with the caliphate, nor did he appoint him as one of the members of the Consultative Committee. The second, he did not appoint him as a commander. The third is that the Muhajireen and the Ansar, who decided the authority and ruled the people through it, had not unanimously agreed on him. As for the arbitration, it is that the Prophet (a.s) appointed Sa’d bin Mu‘ath[^1] as an arbitrator over the Banu Qurayda, and he decided according to
[^1] Sa‘d bin Mu’ath bin al-Nu‘man al-Ansari was from al-Aws Tribe. He became Muslim at the hand of Mus‘ab bin Umayr. That was when the Prophet sent him to teach the Muslims in Medina (to read and write). When Sa‘d became Muslim, he said to the Banu al-Ashhal: “It is forbidden for me to speak to your men and women unless you should be Muslim.” They became Muslims and so he was from the greatest blessed in Islam. He fought beside the Prophet at the Battle of Badr. When the Prophet headed for Badr, the news came to him that the Quraysh were ready to fight against him. The Prophet (a.s.) consulted his companions in respect of the affair. Al-Miqdad and Abu Bakr announced their obedience to him.
However, he (a.s.) thought of the Ansar, for the majority of his Army were from them. As for Sa‘d, he came to know that he meant the Ansar through his consultation. So he said to him: “It seems that you mean us, O Allah’s Apostle?” “Yes,” he (a.s.) replied. Sa‘d said: “O Allah’s Apostle, we have believed in you, believed you, borne witness that what you have brought is the truth, and given to you our covenants for listening and obeying. Therefore, go, O Allah’s Apostle, to what you want. We are with you. By Him Who has sent you with the truth, if you reviewed this sea through us, we would wade into it along with you. None of us will remain behind, nor do we hate to meet our enemy tomorrow. We are patient during battle and truthful during meeting. May Allah show you through us that which delights you. So make us walk through Allah’s blessing.” The Prophet (a.s.) was pleased and delighted with his speech, and was active to meet the polytheists. When the Battle of al-Khandaq took place, Sa‘d went out wearing a narrow breastplate of which his arm was out. There was a sword in his hand, and he was saying:
A camel stayed for a while that he might join the battle.
There is no fear of death when the moment of death comes!
His mother said to him: “Hurry up, O my son! By Allah, you have become late!” On that, day an arrow hit him on the ankle and wounded it. When the Banu Qurayda yielded to Sa‘d’s judgment, he came back while he was wounded. The Prophet (a.s.) said to his companions: “Get up for your master or the best of you!” When Sa‘d sat down, Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) said: “O Sa‘d, decide among them!” Sa‘d said: “My judgment in respect of them is that you kill their fighters and take the rest as captives.” The Prophet (a.s.) said: “You have judged according to Allah’s judgment!” When he finished the arbitration, his wound bled. So the Allah’s Apostle embraced him. The blood flowed on him, and he died because of his wound. Allah’s Apostle and his old companions wept for him. His mother elegized him, saying:
Woe unto Sa‘d’s mother, Sa‘d is skill and help!
what pleased Allah. Without doubt, if he opposed, Allah’s Apostle (a.s) would not be pleased with him.” Then he went down the pulpit.
In his wonderful speech, Imam al-Hasan has mentioned the most important points that were the pivot of the conflict and source of the discord. He has in detail mentioned them and clearly explained them to the crowded people that he left no gap through which the rebels could pass. He (a.s) has explained that the opinion of the chosen arbitrator would have been followed and been a sound judgment if he had judged according to the truth and not yielded to the corrupt disputes and desires. As for Abu Musa, he, in his arbitration, did not yield to the truth; rather, he followed his low desires and inclinations. Accordingly, he nominated for the caliphate Abdullah bin Umar while his father had not seen that he was worthy of it. If he thought that he was worthy of the caliphate, he would nominate him for it or appointed him as one of the members of the Consultative Committee. Besides, the basic condition in the election was that the Muhajireen and the Ansar had to agree on the elected one. This did not happen to him. In his speech, Imam al-Hasan (a.s) has expressed that the arbitration was legal while the Kharijites denied it. He has indicated that saying that the Prophet (a.s) had appointed Sa’d bin Mu’ath as an arbitrator over the Banu Qurayda. If the arbitration had been illegal, the great Prophet (a.s) would not have followed it.
After Imam al-Hasan, Abdullah bin Abbas rose. He lauded and praised Allah, and then he said: “O people, some people have hit the truth through success and consent. Some are satisfied with it (the truth) and some are dissatisfied with it. As for Abu Musa, he went with guidance to deviation, and as for Amr, he went with deviation to guidance. When they met, Abu Musa withdrew his guidance, and Amr went on his deviation. By Allah, if they had judged due to the Qur’an …Abu Musa walked, and Ali was his Imam and Amr walked while his Imam was Mu’awiya.”
After Abdullah bin Abbas had finished his speech, Imam Ali commanded Abdullah bin Ja‘far to deliver a speech. The later went up the pulpit and said: “O people, this is a matter that Ali is decide on and others are to be satisfied. You had brought Abu Musa and said: ‘We are satisfied with this man; therefore, be satisfied with him.’ By Allah, they did not reform Sham through what they made, nor did they corrupt Iraq, nor did they deaden Ali’s right, or enlivened Mu’awiya’s falsehood. The little followers and Satan’s incitement Woe unto Sa‘d’s mother, Sa‘d is strictness and seriousness!
When the Prophet heard her, he said: “Every mourner is a liar except the one who mourns for Sa‘d!” This has been mentioned in the book Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 2, p. 296.
do not remove the truth. Today, we follow Ali just as we followed him yesterday.” Then he went down the pulpit.[^1]
The Mutiny of the Kharijites
When the arbitration failed and the delegation of Kufa came back with disappointment and failure, Imam Ali spared no effort to urge the people to fight against the rebellious forces. The people responded to that. However, the Kharijites made mischief in the land. They left Kufa and camped at al-Nahrawan.[^2] They asked Abdullah bin Khabbab bin al-Arat[^3] , a great companion of the Prophet, who passed by them:
-Who are you? -A believing man! -What do you think of Ali bin Abi Talib?
- he is Ameerul Mo’minin (commander of the believers); the first of the Muslims to believe in Allah and His Apostle. -What is your name? -Abdullah bin Khabbab bin al-Arat, the companion of Allah’s Apostle. -Have we terrified you? -Yes.
[^1] Al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, vol. 1, p. 144. [^2] Al-Nahrawan was a district between Baghdad and Wasit from the eastern side. Its border was connected to Baghdad. It had many towns like Iskaf, al-Safiya, and others. The battle between Imam Ali and the Kharijites took place there. There was a great river in it. However, the river was destroyed. The reason for its destruction was that the kings differed and fought against each other during the days of the Seljuks. All the kings did not take care of it, and the river was in the way of the troops. All these reasons required the inhabitants to leave it, that destruction dominated it. This has been mentioned in the book Mu‘jam al-Buldan.
[^3] Abdullah bin Khabbab bin al-Arat al-Mada’ini was the ally of Banu Zahra. He narrated traditions on the authority of his father and Ubay bin Abi Ka‘ab. Some traditionists reported on his authority such as Abdullah bin al-Harith, ‘Abdurrahman bin Abzi, a companion of the Prophet. In respect of him al-‘Ijli has said: “He is trustworthy. He was among the second generation. The Harawrits killed him. Imam Ali sent him to them, but they killed him. Ibn Hayyan has mentioned him as among the trustworthy. Al-Ghalabi has said: “Abdullah was among the Muslim masters.” This has been mentioned in the book Tahthib al-Tahthib, vol. 5, p. 196. I say: “The books of history and biography have not mentioned that Imam Ali sent Abdullah to the Kharijites.” Only al-‘Ijli has mentioned that. It has been mentioned in the book al-Isaba, vol. 2, p. 302: “The Kharijites killed Abdullah when he was going to Kufa to meet Imam Ali.”
-Do not be afraid.
-Relate to us from your father a tradition he had heard from Allah’s Apostle, that may Allah benefit us with it. -Yes. Allah’s Apostle (a.s) has said: “After me there will be a sedition during which man’s heart dies just as his body dies. In the evening, he is a believer and in the morning he will be an unbeliever.” -We have asked you about this tradition. By Allah, we will kill you in a way that we have never killed anyone in.
Then they tied him. They brought him along with his wife, who was pregnant and about to give birth. They put them beside a date palm. A fresh date fell down. One of them hurried to it and put it into his mouth. Another one said to him: “You have unlawfully eaten it.” He immediately spat it out. One of them drew his sword, struck with it a pig belonging to a non-Muslim man and killed it. One of them shouted at him, saying: “This is of the mischief in the land!”
The man hurried to the owner of the pig and satisfied him. When Abdullah bin Khabbab saw that, he said to them: “If you are truthful in what I see, then I feel no fear of you. By Allah, I have made no mistake in Islam. I am a believer, and you have given me security. You have said: ‘There is no harm on you!’” However, they paid no attention to his speech. They brought him along with his wife. They made him lie down at the bank of the river. They put him on that pig which they had killed. Then they killed him. Then they walked towards his wife, who was shaking with fear. She knew that the ghost of death dominated her. She was looking at her killed husband. She asked them for mercy and begged them, saying: “I am mere a woman! Do you not fear Allah!”
However, they paid no attention to her asking for mercy and beseeching. They hurried towards her as dogs. They killed her and split her belly open. Then they went to three women and killed them. Among them there was Umm Sinan al-Saydawiya, who was a companion of the Prophet (a.s). The evil of the Kharijites did not stop at this limit. They previewed the people, spread terror among them, and made corruption in the land.
The Battle of al-Nahrawan
Imam Ali sent to the Kharijites al-Harith bin Murrah al-‘Abdi to ask them about the reason for their terrifying against innocent people and their spreading of terror in the land. When he reached them, they killed him. When the news of his murder reached Imam Ali, some of his companions said to him: “O Ameerul Mo’minin, why you let these (Kharijites) remain after us to succeed us in our properties and families? Take us to them and when we finish that which is between us and them, take us to our enemy from the people of Sham.” The Imam agreed with them. He knew that the danger coming form the Kharijites was greater than the danger of Mu’awiya, because of their nearness to his capital. Without doubt, they would have made disorders if he had gone to fight against Mu’awiya. The Imam decided to go to them. His caller called among the troops: “The departure! O Servants of Allah, the departure!”
The Imam’s troops moved. The Islamic thought urged them to fight against those rebelled against the religion and played with the security of people. When they reached the Kharijites, Imam Ali sent them a messenger to ask them to hand him those who killed Abdullah bin Khabbab and al-Harith bin Murrah. However, they all gave one answer: “We all killed them! We all regard the shedding of your and their bloods as lawful!”
Then, the Imam himself walked towards them and delivered a speech saying: “O group of people, I warn you that the nation will curse you tomorrow when you will be killed near this river while you have neither clear excuse nor proof. Did you not know that I had prohibited you from the arbitration, told you that the request of the people (of Mu’awiya) was a trick, informed you that the people were neither the men of religion nor of the Qur’an, and that I was more aware of them than you? I realized them when they were children and grown-ups. They were the wickedest grown-ups and children. They are the men of cunning and treachery. If you parted with me and my opinion, you would part with good and determination. However, you disobeyed me and forced me until I accepted the arbitration. When I did that, I stipulated, made sure, and required the two arbitrators that they should enliven what the Qur’an has enlivened and deaden what the Qur’an has deadened. However, they differed and opposed the judgment of the Book and the Sunna and acted according to the mean desire. So we left their command. We are still on our first affair. Therefore, what is your news? And from where did you come?”
In his speech, Imam Ali (a.s) has explained that they forced him to accept the arbitration, accepted it unwillingly and his life was liable to danger, and that he required the two arbitrators to judge according to the Qur’an and the Sunna of the Prophet. As they did not judge according to that and did not follow the truth, their judgment was refused. However, these wicked people, who did not understand the Imam’s speech, answered the Imam in a way indicating that they went too far in ignorance. They said: “When we appointed the two men as arbitrators, we were mistaken in that and were infidels. We have repented of that. If you bear witness against yourself that you were an infidel and you repent as we repented, then we will be with you and belong to you; otherwise, you should be away from us. If you refuse, we will part with you.”
The Imam said to them: “Shall I say and bear witness against myself that I am an infidel after my faith in Allah, and after my emigration and jihad with Allah’s Apostle (a.s)? If I do, then I have gone astray, and I am not among the rightly- guided. Woe unto you! Why have you permitted killing us and the mutiny against our community? The people chose two men and said to them: ‘Reflect through the truth on that which sets right the community, that a man may be deposed and one may replace another.’ Is it lawful for you to put your swords on your shoulders and strike with them the people’s heads and shed their blood; this is the clear loss!”[^1] When they knew that they were unable to refute the Imam’s argument, they called each other: “Do not address them and do not speak with them! Get ready for the battle! The departure, the departure to the Paradise!”
When the Imam was hopeless of guiding them or taking them back to the way of the truth, he mobilized his troops and commanded them not to start fighting until they fought against them. When the Kharijites saw that readiness, they got ready too. As their souls and hearts were full of yearning for fighting as the thirsty yearned for water, they called each other: “Is there anyone who wants to go to the Paradise?”
They all responded to that and strongly attacked Imam Ali’s troops, saying: “No judgment except Allah’s!” The Imam’s horsemen formed two parties. One party went to the right wing and the other went to the left wing. As for the Kharijites, they were rushing between the two parties. The Imam’s companions received them with arrows. It was only an hour and they all were killed. None escaped death except nine persons.[^2] When the battle came to an end, the Imam asked his companions to look for Thu al-Thadya[^3] among the killed. They carefully looked for him but they did
[^1] Al-Imam wa al-Siyasa, vol. 1, p. 155. [^2] Al-Shahristani, al-Milal wa al-Nihal, vol. 1, p. 159. He has mentioned: “Two of them escaped to Oman, two of them to Kirman, two of them to Sajistan, two of them to al-Jazirah, and one of them to Tal Mouzoon. They spread their beliefs in these places where their heresies appeared.” [^3] In respect of Thi al-Thadya, Anas bin Malik has said: “We admired the worship of a man during the time of Allah’s Apostle (a.s.). We mentioned that to Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) and gave him the man’s name, but he did not recognize him. While we were mentioning him, a man came towards us. We said to him: ‘O Allah’s Apostle: ‘That not find him. They returned to Imam Ali (a.s) and told him that they had not found the man. He asked them to look for him, saying: “I have never said a lie nor have I been accused of lying. May Allah have mercy on you! Look for the man! He is among the killed!”
They went and looked for him. One of the Imam’s companions found him, and so he hurried to the Imam running and told him that. The Imam said: “Allah is great! I have not fabricated a lie against Muhammad! He (Thi al-Thadya) has a defective hand that has no bone. At the end of it there is a nipple like that of a woman’s breast and there are five or seven hairs on it whose ends are crooked.” The Imam ordered the corpse of Thi al-Thidiya to be brought. It was brought before him. He looked at his arm and found on it a breast like that of a woman and there were black hairs on it. When the Imam saw that, he prostrated himself before Allah. Then he divided among his companions the Kharijites’ weapons and animals. He returned the equipment and the servants to their owners.
The horrible consequences
Great ordeals and troubles followed the battles of Siffin and al-Nahrawan. They drowned the country into events and misfortunes. They brought about a desertion to Imam Ali and his son al-Hasan. We will mention some of them as follows:
is the man!’ When he (a.s.) looked at him, he said: ‘You are telling me about a man on whose face there is one of Satan’s signs.’ The man came towards us and stopped without greeting us. Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) said to him: ‘I adjure you before Allah, did you say to yourself when you stopped in front of the gathering: ‘None among the people is better than me?’ ‘Yes, by Allah,’ he replied. Then he (the man) came in to perform the prayer. However, Allah’s Apostle said: ‘Who can kill the man?’ ‘I,’ replied Abu Bakr. He went to him and found him praying, so he said: ‘Glory belongs to Allah! Shall I kill the man while he is praying and Allah’s Apostle had prohibited from killing worshipers?’ He went out, and Allah’s Apostle asked him: ‘What have you done?’ He replied: ‘I hated to kill him while he is praying, and you had prohibited from killing worshipers.’ The Prophet (a.s.) asked his companions: ‘Who can kill the man?’ ‘I,’ Umar replied. He went to him and found him putting his forehead on the ground. So Umar said: ‘Abu Bakr is better than me.’ Then he went out. ‘What have you done?’ asked Allah’s Apostle. ‘I found him putting his face on the ground for Allah, so I hated to kill him,’ replied Umar. The Prophet asked: ‘Who can kill the man?’ ‘I,’ replied Imam Ali. The Apostle said to him: ‘You are sufficient to him if you found him!’ The Imam went to him but he did not find him. He returned to Allah’s Apostle and told him what hapened, and the Prophet (a.s.) said: ‘If he is killed, no two men of my community will disagree! Their first and last will be the same!’” This has been mention in the book al-Isaba, vol. 1, p. 484.
- The Mutiny of the Troops
After the two battles, the Iraqi troops were afflicted with division, mutiny, weakness, and tiredness of war. The reason was that many men were killed, and the killed ones belonged to those military regiments. Therefore, mourning, impatience, and grumbling spread among them. Because of that the military forces were tired of fighting. They liked peace, and preferred tranquility. That clearly appeared when Imam Ali wanted to go to fight against Mu’awiya after the Battle of al-Nahrawan. They did not respond to him. For example, al-Ash‘ath bin Qays said to him: “O Ameerul Mo’minin, our arrows are over, our swords are tired, and our spearheads are blunt. Let us return to our headquarters to supply ourselves with the best equipments. Perhaps, Ameerul Mo’minin can recompense the number of those who were killed, for that will be sufficient to us against our enemy!”
Because of the speech of this cunning, wicked person, the fighters left their camps. They escaped and entered the nearby cities. The Imam was sure that they mutinied against him and showed no obedience to him. He was forced to return to his capital (Kufa). From this case, we understand that the troops were desirous for peace and were tired of war. After that the Imam tried to repair the conditions but he could not.
- Losing his prominent Companions
At the Battle of Siffin, Imam Ali lost his most important companions who were very faithful and loyal to him. They were the righteous remainder from among the Muhajireen and the Ansar, who struggled for the dignity of Islam and built its edifices. If they had been alive, the Imam’s troops would not have mutinied. He showed great sorrow at their death and he bitterly wept for them. He remembered them when he was delivering a speech from above the pulpit of Kufa. He deeply sighed and said: “It is no harm for our brothers whose bloods were shed at (the Battle) of Siffin that they are not alive today to suffer pangs and meet offences! By Allah, they have met Allah, and He has given them their rewards! And He has made them live in the Abode of Security after their fear! Where are my brothers who walked in the way and followed the truth? Where is Ammar? And where is Ibn al-Tayhan?[^1] And [^1] Ibn al-Tayhan is Malik bin al-Tayhan bin Malik al-Awsi. He was among the six persons who met Allah’s Apostle. He was the first of the Ansar to meet him and was the first to pledge allegiance to him on the night of al-Aqaba. It was said that he was not the first to pay homage. Malik and Usayd bin Khudayr were the chiefs of the Banu Abdil Ashhal. He was present at the battles of Badr, Uhd, and all of the battles. It was said that he died during the reign of Umar in the year 20 A. H. And it was said that he fought on behalf of Imam Ali at the Battle of Siffin and died shortly after that. In the book al-Isti‘ab it has been mentioned: “Most surely he fought on behalf where is Thu al-Shahadatayn (the one of two testimonies)?[^1] And where are their equals from among their brothers who made a contract for the intention and whose heads were sent to the sinners?”
Then he put his hand on his holy beard. He wept for a long time, and then said: “Ah for my brothers, who recited the Qur’an and mastered it, reflected on the religious duty and performed it, enlivened the Sunna, deadened the innovation, were summoned to jihad and they responded, and trusted in the leader and followed him!”[^2]
He was very sad for losing the choice of his people whose high position was well known, who understood his objectives, and followed his valuable instructions and teachings, to the extent that they became models of perfection and faith. When the Battle of Siffin destroyed these ideal people, the Imam became helpless. He found none in that defective society to support and help him achieve what he wanted in this life such as reforming the society, and spreading the standards of justice and equality among people. As for his opponent Mu’awiya, he did not lose at the Battle of Siffin any of his followers who were loyal to him; rather, many of those, who sold him their consciences and followed after the pleasures of this world, joined him.
- Occupation and Invasion
Mu’awiya studied the psyche of the Iraqi troops and understood their weakness and their disobedience to Imam Ali. He occupied the Muslim countries one by one. He sent huge troops to Egypt, which was the hope and wish of Amr bin al-Aas. They occupied it and killed its governor the good one, Muhammad bin Abi Bakr in a terrible way. As for the Iraqis, they were of Imam Ali at the Battle of Siffin and was killed at it. The Imam’s clearly speech indicates that.”
[^1] Thu al-Shahadatayn was Khuzayma bin Thabit bin al-Fakih al-Ansari, al-Awsi. He was given the kunya of Abu Imarah. Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) made his testimony as equal to that of two men. Once, the Prophet bought a horse from Sawa’ bin Qays al-Muharibi. Sawa’ denied the purchase. Khuzayma bore witness for the Prophet. Allah’s Apostle asked him: “What has made you bear witness while you were not present with us?” He replied: “I have believed you in respect of what you have brought and come to know that you say but the truth. So how do I not believe you in respect of this matter?” So Allah’s Apostle said: “For or against whomever Khuzayma bears witness is sufficient to him.” Khuzayma fought on behalf of Allah’s Apostle at the battles of Badr, Uhd and all the battles. He fought on behalf of Imam Ali at the battles of al-Jamal and Siffin. When Ammar bin Yasir was killed at the Battle of Siffin, Khuzayma said: “I heard Allah’s Apostle say: ‘The oppressive party will kill Ammar.’” Then he drew his own sword and fought until he was killed. This has been mentioned in the book Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 2, p. 114. [^2] Muhammad Abda, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 2, p. 130.
laggard to respond to the Imam and rise with him to resist this aggression. Then, Mu’awiya sent other troops under the leadership of the sinful rogue, Bisr bin Abi Arta’a[^1] . This rude leader headed for Medina whose governor was Abu Ayyub al-Ansari[^2] , who felt fear and escaped. Bisr entered Medina and he made terror and fear enter the hearts. He made a speech before its people and his speech was full of rudeness and severity. He said through speech: “O people of Medina, were it not for Mu’awiya’s promise, I would kill all the adults.”
When this sinner (Busr) controlled Medina, he headed for Mecca and occupied it. He, by force, took the pledge of allegiance (to Mu’awiya). Then he went to Yemen whose governor was Ubaydillah bin al-Abbas, who escaped and saved himself from Bisr’s evil, and headed for Kufa to inform Imam Ali of that. When Bisr entered Yemen, he took from its people the pledge of allegiance (to Mu’awiya). He looked for two children of Ubaydillah. When he found them, he killed them.[^3] When their news reached their mother, she was shocked, and was about to lose her mind because of her great sorrow for them.
When the terrible news reached Imam Ali, he went to his companions while he was so distressed for the continuous mutiny in his troops. He addressed [^1] His full name is Bisr bin Abi Arta’a al-Qurashi. The name of Abi Arta’a is Umayr. It was said that his name was Uwaymir al-Aamiri. This rude person committed crimes and sins which none had committed. For example, he killed the two sons of Ubaydillah bin al-Abbas. The two sons were Abdurrahman and Qatham. They were children. Bisr did not pay attention to their kinship to Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) and their being too children. He attacked Hamadan and took the women therein as captives, and they were the first Muslim women to be taken as captives. He killed many people from the Banu Sa‘d. He also committed other similar crimes. This sinful person fought against Imam Ali at the Battle of Siffin. The Imam stabbed him, and he fell on the ground and showed his private parts, so the Imam left him.
Busr doted at the end of his life and died in Medina. It was said that he died in al-Sham during the last days of Mu’awiya’s rule. (This has been mentioned in the book) al-Isti‘ab, vol. 1, pp. 154-163.
[^2] Abu Ayyub is Khalid bin Zayd bin Kulayb al-Ansari. He belonged to the Banu al-Najjar. He was known for his name and kunya. He was present with the Prophet at al-Aqaba, the Battle of Badr, and the battles after it. When the Prophet arrived in Medina, he stopped at his house until he built his houses and his mosque. The Prophet made him associate as brother with Mus’ab bin Umayr. Imam Ali appointed him as a governor over Medina when he went to Iraq. Then he (Abu Ayyub) joined him. He fought with Imam Ali against the Kharijites. He kept on jihad after the Prophet until he died in Constantinople. He died in the year 50 A. H., and it was said that he was died in the year 52 A. H. This has been mentioned in (the book) al-Isaba, vol. 1, p. 405.
[^3] Abi al-Fida, Tarikh, vol. 1, p. 180.
them, saying: “I have been informed that Bisr has overpowered Yemen. By Allah, I think that those will overcome you by their unity on their falsehood and your disunity on your truth, and separation, your disobedience to your Imam in the truth, and their obedience to their leader in falsehood, their fulfillment of the trust in favor of their master and your betrayal, and their righteousness in their countries and your mischief. If I entrust one of you with a bowl, I fear that he may steal its handle.
“O Allah, I am bored of them and they are bored of me. Change them for me with better than them, and change me for them with worse than me. O Allah, melt their hearts as salt melts in water. By Allah, I wish I had a thousand horsemen from Bani Faras bin Ghanam.”[^1] Then Imam Ali came down the pulpit.[^2]
From this speech we can conclude that the Imam’s troops were corrupt and treacherous; therefore, there is no wonder when Imam al-Hasan refused them and let Mu’awiya rule them. The people who do not support the truth and do not defend their dignity are worthy of being subservient to tyrants. Mu’awiya was not satisfied with that. He sent huge troops under the leadership of Sufyan bin Awf to attack the Iraqis in their own country. His troops invaded Heet[^3] and Anbar[^4] . He horribly killed their inhabitants and inflicted heavy damages on their properties. When their news reached Imam Ali, he became very sad, for he knew that falsehood had become firm, that he was unable to destroy and put an end to it, when he saw his companions whose hearts were full of fear, abasement, and cowardice. He (a.s) ascended the pulpit and addressed them with a wonderful speech that showed what was in his soul of continuous worries and sorrows, and pictured what was in the souls of his companions such as subservience, weakness, and feebleness. He said: “Beware! I called you insistently to fight these people night and day, secretly and openly and exhorted you to attack them before they would attack
[^1] The Banu Faras were a tribe famous for bravery. Among them there was Alqama, who was delighted when he stabbed. Among them was Rabee‘a bin Makdam, the protector of his womenfolk dead and alive. None other than him protected his womenfolk. [^2] Muhammad Abda, Sharh Nahj al-Belagha, vol. 1, p. 60. [^3] It was a village near Baghdad and to the north of al-Anbar. It had a lot of date palms and boons. This has been mentioned in (the book) Mu‘jam al-Buldan, vol. 8, p. 486. [^4] It is a city at the bank of the Euphrates. It is situated in the western part of Baghdad. There are ten leagues between them. Sabur bin Hurmuz Thul Aktaf, was the first to build it. Then Abu al-Abbas al-Saffah, the first Abbasid caliph, renewed it, built palaces therein, and resided in it until he died. (This has been mentioned in the book) Mu‘jam al-Buldan, vol. 1, p. 340.
you, for, by Allah, every people are attacked in their own home, they meet disgrace. However, you put it off to others and forsook it till destruction befell you and till your cities were occupied. This is the man from (the Banu) Ghamid whose horsemen have reached al-Anbar, killed Hassaan bin Hassaan al-Bakri, and removed your horsemen from their garrisons.
“I have come to know that everyone of them entered upon Muslim and non-Muslim women and took away their ornaments from their legs, arms, necks, and ears. No woman could but saying: To Allah we belong and to Him is our return!
“Then they went back laden with wealth while losing no drop of blood. If any Muslim dies of grief after that, he is not to be blamed but rather he will be preferred near me.
“How wonder! By Allah, it kills the heart and causes grief that is to see the unity of these people (Mu’awiya’s people) on their wrong and your dispersion from your right. Woe and grief unto you! You have become the target at which arrows are shot. You are being killed and you do not kill. You are being attacked but you do not attack. Allah is being disobeyed and you are satisfied. When I ask you to march against them in summer, you say: it is hot. Respite us till heat subsides from us. When I command you to march in winter, you say: it is severely cold; give us time till cold clears from us. Is all that escaping from heat and cold? By Allah, your escaping from the sword is greater. O you semi-men and no men! O you children’s minds and women’s reasons! I wish I had not seen you, nor had I known you! By Allah, this acquaintance has brought about regret and grief. May Allah fight you! You have filled my heart with pus, loaded my bosom with rage, made me drink grief a dose after another, and destroyed my determination by your disobeying and disappointing.”
This wonderful, enthusiastic speech did not move them, nor did it remove the spirit of weakness and mutiny from them. They had surrendered to the armed aggression. Mu’awiya took from their properties and their souls whatever he wanted.
- Sedition of al-Khurayt
The tribulation of the Imam was not confined to his companions and his opponent Mu’awiya. The tribulation and the evil exceeded to that which was greater and more intense. It was the thought of the Kharijites which was not finished off at the Battle of al-Nahrawan, but some of its adopters were killed. It grew wider and its supporters became more. They created the most horrible problems in the Muslim society. They summoned people to mutiny against the Imam’s government. The most important one of them was al-Khurayt[^1] who, with a group of his companions, revolted against the imam. Imam Ali (a.s) sent to them an army to make them come back to obedience and or fight them if they refused.
There were debates and arguments between them. When al-Khurayt refused to return to obedience, a violent battle happened between the two parties, but they did not defeat each other. Then al-Khurayt and a group of his companions escaped to Basra. The Imam’s troop returned without winning anything. The Imam sent other troops greater in number and power. He commanded them to follow after the rebels. In the meantime, he wrote a letter to Abdullah bin Abbas, his governor of Basra, to supply the troops with what they needed. Abdullah bin Abbas responded.
The two parties met and a violent battle happened between them. The signs of weakness and feebleness appeared in al-Khurayt’s troops, but he was able to flee with his companions during the dark night and go to Ahwaz. There he sowed discord and propagated his thought among those simple-minded people who did not understand the Islamic thought, nor did they reflect on its objectives and reality. They responded to him, and he made them refrain from Islam. He prevented the Arabs from giving alms and the Christians from giving poll taxes, that many Christians, who had been Muslims, renounced Islam. Many of those stupid followed him, and his case became manifest and his power became strong. However, the Imam’s troop followed them until they found them. Then a battle took place between them and led to the murder of al-Khurayt and a group of his party. The commander of the Imam’s troops took the rest of al-Khurayt’s troops as captives. He was kind to those who became Muslim and asked the apostates to turn to Allah in repentance. He took as captives those who refused to be Muslim.
In this manner, the troubles widened and increased in the Muslim capital, which was under the Imam’s control. They brought about betraying and then killing the Imam, betraying his son al-Hasan, causing many damages to the Muslim society, and making it sink into griefs and distresses. The horrible results after the Battle of Siffin brought about a collapse and weakness to the Muslims. The rebellious forces overcame the forces of the truth and Islam, paved the way for the Umayyads to govern the Muslims, possess alone their properties and abilities, and spare no effort to fight against righteousness and all good tendencies. The Muslims complained of their tyranny, dictatorship, and oppression.
[^1] Al-Khurayt bin Rashid al-Naaji was the leader of all the tribe of Mudhar at the Battle of al-Jamal. He was appointed as a governor by Abdullah bin Aamir over a Persian district. He was with Imam Ali until the arbitration took place. So he opposed him, parted with him, and went to Persia. Al-Isaba, vol. 1, p. 422.