The Life of Imam Al-hasan Al-mujtaba
Chapter Xxii : To Yathrib (medina)
Imam al-Hasan remained in Kufa for some days. He was heavy-hearted. Cares and pain appeared on him. He met from his followers bitter words and rude criticism. Likewise, he met from Mu’awiya and his party making light of his high position. Nevertheless, he was patient anticipating Allah’s reward. He restrained his anger and entrusted his affair to Allah. He decided to leave Iraq-the country that deserted him and had deserted his father before-for the city of his grandfather. He showed his determination and intention to his companions. When that was announced, al-Musayyab bin Nujba al-Fazari and Zabyan bin ‘Ammarah al-Tamimi[^1] went to see him off. He turned to them while his sacred soul was full of pain and sorrow at what the Muslims had reached. He said to them: “Praise belongs to Allah Who is Master of His affair! If all the creatures had agreed on that which was not to be, they could not (do it).”
From his speech we understand that he submitted to Allah’s decree. He was sad and distressed for losing his legal right. Al-Musayyab saw that sadness appeared on the faces of al-Hasan and al-Husayn out of fear that their followers would be wronged during the time of this tyrant (Mu’awiya). So he turned to them, calmed their fear, and said to them: “By Allah, this affair is not great to us except that you will be wronged and disparaged. As for us, they will request our affection as far as possible.”
Imam al-Husayn thanked him for his allegiance and loyalty, saying: “O Musayyab, we know that you love us.” Imam al-Hasan turned to him and gave him good news of his love for them, saying: “Whoever loves some people is with them.” Al-Musayyab and Zabyan asked Imam al-Hasan to stay in Kufa, but he refused to respond to them, saying: “There is no way to that.”[^2]
[^1] Zabyan bin ‘Ammarah al-Tamimi narrated traditions on the authority of Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. Al-Bukhari has mentioned him as among his companions. Ibn Hatam and Ibn Habban have regarded him as among the successors. This has been mentioned in (the book) al-Isaba, vol. 2, p. 232. In the book Lisan al-Mizan, vol.3, p. 215, it has been mentioned: “Ibn Habban has regarded Zabyan as among the trustworthy. Ibn Hatam has not criticized him.” [^2] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p.6.
Imam al-Hasan (a.s) got ready to travel. Then he and his household headed for the capital of his grandfather (Medina). The people of Kufa, of all classes, went out to see him off. Some of them wept, and some of them felt sorry (for his departure).[^1] They wept for their miserable luck and their lost happiness that they had destroyed with their own hands. The caliphate and the public treasury were moved from their country to Damascus. That deprived them of sleep, but it was too late. They were the leaders of the state. Suddenly their country, after their deserting Imam al-Hasan and refraining from supporting him, became one like any other city. The Syrian military units entered their country and controlled them. A terrorist, violent, merciless government was established in their country.
Imam al-Hasan, his household, along with Abu Rafi‘, the treasurer, departed Kufa. Depression and sadness dominated Kufa. Unhappiness, plague, and destruction befell it. Allah let down upon them plague after the departure of Imam al-Hasan. The plague put an end to many Kufans. Al-Mughira bin Shu‘ba, the governor of Kufa, escaped from Kufa, and then he returned to it after a time. When he arrived in it, the plague swept him away, and he died of that.[^2]
The Imam’s caravan walked and covered the desert. When it arrived in Deir Hind[^3] , the Imam looked at his capital with sorrow and agony. Then recited a poetry line from which we understand that he was displeased and sad. He said:
Not because of hate I have left the house of my associates, who had protected my possessions and my sacred things.[^4] Imam al-Hasan said farewell to Kufa with sorrow and sighs. He did not mention the desertion and treason he met from its inhabitants. Therefore, what an angelic this soul was! He met an opposition and misfortunes from this city. Then he said farewell to it through this verse of poetry. He mentioned nothing of its long, wide history but the faithfulness of the faithful, “who protected his possessions and his sacred things,” protected him from those who attacked him in al-Mada’in, and obeyed him on the hard day at Maskan. So they were truthful brothers and good supporters though they were few in number.
[^1] Al-Fakhuri, Tuhfat al-Anam, p. 67. [^2] Al-Mas‘udi, vol. 6, p. 97. [^3] Deer Hind is a place at al-Hira. Hind, daughter of al-Nu‘man bin al-Mundhir, became a nun at it, and it was called by her name. [^4] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p.6.
The procession of the Imam walked. Shortly after that Mu’awiya’s messenger came and asked the Imam to come back to fight against a group of the Kharijites who revolted against Mu’awiya. However the Imam (a.s) refused to return. He wrote to Mu’awiya: “If I preferred to fight against any of the men of the qibla (the Muslims), I would start with fighting you. Surely I have left you to reform the community and to spare its blood.”[^1]
Then the Imam went away and paid no attention to Mu’awiya. When his procession moved through a district or a village, its people hurried to receive him and to have the honor of meeting him. In the first place they asked him about his affair with Mu’awiya. So he (a.s) told them immediately. They expressed displeasure, grumble, and dissatisfaction, for they were afraid of Mu’awiya’s authority. However, what would the Imam do at the time when his army and his people were afflicted with mutiny and desertion, to the extent that they forced him to make peace with Mu’awiya?
The caravan of Imam al-Hasan arrived in Yathrib (Medina). When its people knew about his arrival, all of them hurried to receive him, for they thought that good came to them, happiness and mercy halted at them, and the good that ceased from them when Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful (a.s) left them, returned to them. Imam al-Hasan came to Yathrib and resided therein for ten years. He filled its districts with his flowing mercy, gentle affection, and clemency. We will give a brief account of the Imam’s works and affairs when he resided there.
Imam al-Hasan established his great school in Yathrib. He worked hard to spread the Islamic culture, direct the Muslims towards the religion, and to make them understand the Islamic rulings. The great, religious scholars, the traditionists, and the narrators joined his school. He found them good helpers in delivering his immortal, reformative message that crystallized the minds of the people and awakened them from the inattentiveness and inactivity. The historians have mentioned some of his prominent students and the narrators of his traditions. They are as follows: His son al-Hasan al-Muthanna, al-Musayyab bin Nujba, Swayd bin Ghafla, al-‘Alaa’ bin Abdurrahman, al-Sha‘bi, Hubayra bin Barkam, al-Asbagh bin Nabata, Jabir bin Khuld, Abu al-Jawza’, ‘Isa bin Ma’mun bin Zurara, Nufala bin al-Ma’mum, Abu Yahya ‘Umayr bin Sa‘eed al-Nakh‘i, Abu Maryam Qays al-Thaqafi, Tuhrub al-‘Ijjli, Ishaq bin Yasar (the father of Muhammad bin Ishaq), Abdurrahman bin ‘Awf, [^1] Al-Kamil, vol. 3, p. 208.
and Amr bin Qays.[^1] Yathrib flourished through this group of religious scholars and narrators. It was the richest of the Islamic cities in knowledge, literature, and culture. Imam al-Hasan undertook spreading knowledge in Yathrib. In the meantime he summoned the people to follow noble, moral traits, good manners, and the Sunna of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. He hoisted the signpost of the morals his grandfather, the Apostle, had brought to reform the people and to educate them. An example of his high moral traits is that he did favors to his enemies and his opponents. He heard that al-Waleed bin ‘Aqaba was ill. He went to visit him though he had come to know that al-Waleed was famous for harboring malice and enmity against Ahl al-Bayt. After the Imam had sat down, al-Waleed turned to him and said: “I will turn to Allah in repentance of that which is between me and all the people except that which was between me and your father. I will not repent of it.”[^2]
The Imam turned away from him and did not reply to him. Perhaps he gave him some gifts and did him some favors.
Being kind to the Poor
Imam al-Hasan (a.s) did good and kindness to the poor and the miserable. He spent all what he had on them. He filled their hearts with delight through his charity and favors. An example of his generosity was that a needy man came to him. The Imam said to the man: “Write down your need on a parchment and hand it over to us.” The man wrote down his need and handed it over to him. The Imam (a.s) ordered his need to be doubled. One of those who were present said to him: “How great the blessing of this parchment is, O son of Allah’s Apostle!”
The Imam (a.s) answered him: “Its blessing toward us is greater when we have been made qualified for favor. Did you not know that favor is that which is done before begging? As for him whom you give after begging, you make him lose face. Perhaps he spends his night restless and sleepless. He inclines between despair and hope. He does not know that which he would return in his need, with depression or with the delight of the success. He comes to you shaking with fear, and his heart beating. If you meet his need through that with which he may lose face, then that would be greater than that which he obtains of your favor.”
[^1] Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh, vol. 12. A photograph available in the Library of Imam (Ali), Amir al-Mu’minin. [^2] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol.1, p.364.
Imam al-Hasan was a refuge for the poor, the deprived, the widows, and the orphans. In the first part of the book we have mentioned some examples of his generosity and favor which were cited as an example for generosity and liberality.
Seeking Protection with him
In the capital of his grandfather, Imam al-Hasan (a.s) was an impregnable cave for those who resorted to him, and a well-fortified shelter for those who sought refuge with him. He dedicated his time for granting the people’s needs and driving oppression way from them. Sa‘eed bin Abi Sarh escaped from Ziyad bin Abeeh. He sought protection with the Imam, and the imam protected him. The narrators have mentioned that Sa‘eed was famous for his obedience to Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them. For this reason Ziyad summoned him. Sa‘eed escaped to Yathrib and sought refuge with the Imam. When Ziyad knew that, he imprisoned his children and his wife, demolished his house, and confiscated his properties.
When Imam al-Hasan heard of that, he became displeased. So he wrote a letter to Ziyad. In the letter he ordered him to give security to Sa‘eed, to release his children and his wife, to rebuild his house, and to return his properties. This is the text of his letter: “You summoned a man from among the Muslims. He (the man) has what they have and on him there is that which is on them. You have demolished his house, taken his property, and imprisoned his children and wife. When this letter of mine reaches you, rebuild his house, return his property, and accept my intercession concerning him, for I have protected him. With Greetings.”
In this letter Imam al-Hasan ordered Ziyad to do good and prohibited him from practicing evil. He advised him to return to Sa‘eed what he had taken from him and not to punish him, for he had made no mischief in the land in order that he might deserve torture and punishment. When Ziyad read this letter, he became angry, because the Imam did not ascribe him to Abu Sufyan. So he answered the Imam with an answer indicating his wickedness and his ignoble race. This is the text of the letter: “From Ziyad bin Abi Sufyan to al-Hasan bin Fatima. Your letter has reached me. In it you have started with yourself before me, while you are a seeker of a need. I am a sultan while you are from among the common people. In it you have commanded me with the command of someone obeyed and has power over his subjects. You have written to me concerning a sinner to whom you have given a residence according to your bad opinion and satisfaction with that. By Allah, you will not precede me to him even if he is between your skin and your flesh. If I obtained some of you, I would not be gentle to you. Surely the most lovable flesh to me to eat is that in which you are. Therefore hand him over (to me) because of his guilt towards those who are more appropriate than you for him. If I pardoned him, I would not accept your intercession regarding him. If I killed him, I would not kill him but because of his love for your father, the sinner. With Greetings.”
This letter indicates that Ziyad was impudent, shameless, and ungrateful. He forgot that Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful, and his son al-Hasan, peace be on them, did him a favor through appointing him a governor over Persia. However he returned the favor with an offense, and the blessing with ingratitude. Ugh be upon you, O time! Woe to you, O time! Sumayya’s son (Ziyad) had the audacity to the Prophet’s grandson and disparaged him. Nothing made him turn up his nose at him except the authority he enjoyed. He had neither excellence nor laudable deeds through which he had to pride himself on him. When Imam al-Hasan received Ziyad’s letter, he read it and smiled. He came to know the secret for his anger and excitement. It was because he did not ascribe him to Abu Sufyan, the head of the hypocrites and leader of the parties that opposed Islam.
Imam al-Hasan wrote a letter to Mu’awiya. In the letter he made him know his task. He enclosed with it Ziyad’s letter. He (a.s) wrote Ziyad another letter in which he destroyed his entity, repelled his excessiveness, and spoiled his joining Abu Sufyan. We have previously mentioned the letter.
When Mu’awiya received the Imam’s letter and saw Ziyad’s impudence, recklessness, and his making light of the Imam’s position, he immediately wrote him a letter. This is the text of the letter: “Al-Hasan bin Ali sent me your letter to him (which was) an answer to a letter he had written to you concerning (Sa‘eed) bin Abi Sarh. I am very astonished at you. I have known that you have two opinions. One of them belongs to Abu Sufyan, and the other belongs to Sumayya. As for the opinion belongs to Abu Sufyan, it is clemency and determination. As for that which belongs to Sumayya, it is similar to her opinion. Of that is your letter to al-Hasan (in which) you have cursed his father and accused him of sin. By my life, you are more appropriate for sin than his father is. As for that al-Hasan has started with himself to be far above you, that does not disparage you if you understand.
As for that he has gained power over you, it is right for the like of al-Hasan to gain power. As for your leaving his intercession for the man whom he interceded with you, that is a luck you pushed from yourself to him who is more appropriate for it than you. When my letter reaches you, release Sa‘eed bin Abi Sarh, rebuild his house, return his property, and do not interfere with him. I have written to al-Hasan (peace be on him) to tell him (Sa’eed): ‘If he willed to reside with him (he could do), and if he willed to return to his city (he could do). You have no authority over him neither with a hand nor with a tongue. As for your letter to al-Hasan (peace be on him) in his name and his mother’s name, and you have not ascribed him to his father, surely al-Hasan, woe unto you, is glorious. With which mother have you entrusted him? May you have no mother! Did you not know that she was Fatima, daughter of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family? That is greater to him in pride if you knew and understood it.”
At the bottom of the letter Mu’awiya wrote the following poetry lines:
As for al-Hasan, he is the son of him who was before him. If he walks, death walks where he walks. Does the lion beget aught but its like. This is al-Hasan, who is his like and equal.[^1] In this letter Mu’awiya has confessed Imam al-Hasan’s talents, honor, great position, and great clemency. Therefore woe to the time that made Ziyad dare to disparage Imam al-Hasan (a.s) and aggress against him!
With Habeeb Bin Maslama
Habeeb bin Maslama al-Fihri[^2] was among the Qurayshi rogues and one of Mu’awiya’s hirelings who harbored malice against Ahl al-Bayt. Imam al-Husayn (a.s) met him during circumambulating the Kaaba and said to him: “O Habeeb, you may make a journey for something other than obedience to Allah!” Habeeb said with mockery: “As for my journey from your father is not of that!”
The Imam refuted his statement, saying: “Yes, by Allah, but you have obeyed Mu’awiya for the little, transient life in the world. If he has undertaken you in your present life, he will desert you in your next life. If you, when you did, said good, that would be as Allah, the Most High, said: ‘And others have confessed their faults, they have mingled a good deed and an evil one.’[^3] But you are as Allah, glory to Him, said: ‘Nay! Rather, what they used to do has become like rust upon their hearts.’”[^4] Then he left him and went away.
[^1] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 72. [^2] Habeeb bin Maslama bin Malik al-Qarashi al-Fihri was called the lover of the Romans. That is because he always went to them and obtained from them. He was the most loyal of the people to Mo’awiya. He did not part with him at the Battle of Siffin, and the like. Mo’awiya appointed him as a governor over Armenia, and he died in it in the year 42 A. H. This has been mentioned in (the book) al-Isti‘ab, vol. 1, p. 327. [^3] Qur’an, 9, 102. [^4] Ibid., 83, 14.
Imam al-Hasan refuses to be related by Marriage to the Umayyads
Mu’awiya wanted to be related by marriage to the Hashimites that he might, through that, obtain honor and glory. He wrote a letter to his governor over Medina, Marwan bin al-Hakam, to marry Yazid to Zaynab, daughter of Abdullah bin Ja‘far, according to her father’s decision regarding dowry. He intended to pay her father’s debts whatever they were, and to reconcile the two families; the Hashimites and the Umayyads. Marwan sent for Abdullah. Abdullah came, and Marwan negotiated with him about the affair of his daughter. Abdullah answered him: “Surely the affair of our womenfolk is in the hand of al-Hasan bin Ali; therefore, go and ask him for that.”
Marwan went to the Imam and asked him for Abdullah’s daughter. The Imam said to him: “Gather whomever you want!” Marwan set out and gathered the Hashimites and the Umayyads in one place. Then he addressed them, saying: “The Commander of the faithful, Mu’awiya, has commanded me to marry Zaynab, daughter of Abdullah bin Ja‘far, to Yazid. That is according to her father’s decision regarding dowry. (He has decided) to pay his debts whatever they are, and to reconcile the two families; the Hashimites and the Umayyads. Yazid bin Mu’awiya is well-qualified, and none is equal to him. By my life, one envies you Yazid more than he envies Yazid for you. Yazid is among those through whom the prayer for rain is said.”
In his speech, Marwan expressed his foolishness and ignorance. Imam al-Hasan refuted his false things and commented on all the paragraphs of his speech. He praised and lauded Allah, and then he said: “As for what you have mentioned about her father’s decision regarding dowry, we do not turn away from the Sunna of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, with regard to his family and his daughters.”[^1]
“As for paying the debt of her father, when did our womenfolk pay the debts of their fathers through their dowries?” “As for reconciling the two tribes, we have shown enmity toward you for Allah and in Allah; therefore, we do not make peace with you for the life in the world.”
“As for your statement, ‘Yazid is well-qualified, none is equal to him,’ his today equals are his yesterday equals. His authority has increased him nothing.” [^1] The Sunna of Allah’s Apostle, (a.s.) with regard to the dowry of his wives and his daughters was four hundred dirhams.
“As for your speech, ‘one envies us for Yazid more than he envies him for us,’ if the caliphate led the prophethood, then we were envied. If the prophethood led the caliphate, then he was envied through us.” “As for your speech, ‘surely rain is asked through Yazid’s face,’ that does not happen but through the family of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family.”
Through his speech Imam al-Hasan refuted Marwan’s claims and slanders. Then he (a.s) frustrated his efforts and destroyed his hopes, saying: “We have seen that we have to marry her (Zaynab) to her cousin al-Qasim, Muhammad bin Ja‘far. I have married her to him. I have specified my country estate in Medina as a dowry for her. Mu’awiya has asked me to sell it to him for ten thousand dinars.”
When Marwan heard of that, he lost his mind and unwillingly shouted out: “You have betrayed us, O Banu Hashim!” Surely Marwan was more appropriate for betrayal and wickedness. Imam al-Hasan did well when he refused to be related by marriage to Yazid, the sinner, the dissolute. Marwan immediately wrote a letter to Mu’awiya and told him about the matter. When the letter reached Mu’awiya, he said with displeasure: “We proposed to their daughter, but they did not do. If they proposed to our daughter, we would not refuse them.”[^1]
Imam al-Hasan had come to know Mu’awiya’s objectives and what he wanted from among building his family and creating glory for it. So the Imam did his best to frustrate his means. He heard that Mu’awiya said: “The Hashimite must be generous, the Umayyad must be clement, al-Zubayri must be brave, and al-Makhzumi must be haughty.”
[^1] Al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn, vol. 1, p. 124. In the book Majjma‘ al-Zawa’id, vol. 4, p. 278, it has been mentioned on the authority of Mo’awiya bin Khudayj, who said: “Mo’awiya bin Abi Sufyan sent me to al-Hasan bin Ali to marry Yazid to a daughter of his or a sister of his. I went to him and mentioned Yazid to him, but he said: ‘We do not marry our womenfolk unless we ask them.’ So I went to her and mentioned Yazid to her, but she said: ‘By Allah, that will not be until your leader leads us as Fir‘oun led the children of Israel; he slaughtered their sons and let their women live.’ I came back to al-Hasan and said to him: ‘You sent me to a restless woman. She calls the Commander of the faithful Fir‘oun.’ He, al-Hasan, peace be on him, said: ‘O Mo’awiya, beware of detesting us. That is because Allah’s Apostle, (a.s.) said: ‘If someone detests and envies us, he will be driven away from the pond with whips of fire on the Resurrection Day.’”
Imam al-Hasan (a.s) came to know that Mu’awiya aimed at destroying the Hashimite family and building his family. So he refuted his statement, saying: “May Allah fight him! He wants the Hashimites to be generous so that what is in their hands may run out. He wants the Umayyads to be clement so that they show love to the people. He wants the family of al-Zubayr to be brave so that they perish. And he wants the Banu Makhzum to be haughty so that the people detest them.”[^1]
In this manner Imam al-Hasan exposed Mu’awiya’s wickedness and bad intention. He indicated that Mu’awiya did nothing good to the people through any of his ways.
With Mu’awiya in Yathrib
Al-Khawarizmi narrated: “Mu’awiya traveled to Yathrib. He saw the people welcome and admire Imam al-Hasan. That displeased him so he summoned Abu al-Aswad al-Du’ali and al-Dhahhak bin Qays al-Fihri. He consulted with them about the affair of al-Hasan and about how he could disgrace him, that he might use that as a means to degrade his position and decrease his importance before the people. Abu al-Aswad advised him to leave that, saying: ‘The opinion of the Commander of the faithful is better. I think he has not to do so. If the Commander of the faithful says a statement with regard to him, those who hear it from him regard it as envy, and they promote him. Al-Hasan, O Commander of the faithful, is moderate in his youth; the most present of all things is his answer.
I fear that he refutes your speech with penetrating (words) that deter your arrows. So, through that, he strikes your shinbone and shows your defects. For surely your speech about him will be an excellence for him and fatigue against you except that you know that he has a defect in (his) good manners or a slander in (his) lineage. And most surely he is well-mannered. He has become from the pure Arabs in their mighty essence, noble origin, and their good race. Therefore, do not do, O Commander of the faithful.”
Abu al-Aswad gave him a good advice. Which shortcoming or defect did Imam al-Hasan have that Mu’awiya might disgrace him with? Imam al-Hasan was purified from all kinds of uncleanness and defect, as the Holy Qur’an says. However al-Dahhak bin Qays advised Mu’awiya to do something contrary to that. He urged him to disparage the Imam and to have the audacity to him. He said to him: “Use your opinion with regard to him and do not turn away from him through your malady. If you shoot him with your biting speech and your firm answer, he will yield to you as the old camel does.” [^1] Ibn Qutayba, ‘Uyun al-Akhbar, vol. 1, p. 196.
Mu’awiya responded to al-Dahhak’s viewpoint. On Friday he ascended the pulpit. He praised Allah and lauded him, and called down blessings upon His Prophet. He disparaged Imam Ali bin ‘Abi Talib, the Commander of the faithful and Master of the Muslims, peace be on him. Then he said: “O people, the fates have tired some Qurayshi boys with foolishness, recklessness, and troubled life. Satan has used their heads as seats and their tongues as files. He has stayed and multiplied in their hearts and walked through their throats. He has made them commit slips, made nonsense fair-seeming to them, made blind the ways to them, guided them to wrong, aggression, falsehood, and slander. Therefore they are his partners, and he is their associate; and as for him whose associate is the Shaitan, an evil associate is he! Enough for educator is He, and Allah is He Whose help is sought.”
Imam al-Husayn enthusiastically refuted Mu’awiya’s falsehood. He said: “O people, whoever recognizes me knows me, and whoever does not, (let me tell him who I am and to what family I belong): I am al-Hasan bin Ali bin Abi Talib. I am the (grand) son of Allah’s Prophet. I am the son of him to whom the earth has been made as a prayer place and purity. I am the son of the light-giving torch. I am the son of the bearer of good news, the warner. I am the son of the last of the prophets, master of the apostles, Imam of the pious, the Apostle of the Lord of the worlds. I am the son of him who was sent to the jinn and men. I am the son of him who was sent to people as mercy.”
Imam al-Hasan’s speech was difficult to Mu’awiya, so he interrupted it, saying: “O Hasan, stick to describing ripe dates!” The Imam (a.s) said: “The wind pollinates them, heat makes them ripe, night cools them and makes them good, in spite of you, O Mu’awiya!”
Then the Imam went on introducing himself, saying: “I am the son of the obeyed intercessor. I am the son of the first to shake dust off his head and to knock on the gate of the Garden. I am the son of him with whom the angels fought, and had not fought with a prophet before him. I am the son of him who was granted victory over the allies. I am the son of him to whom Quraysh yielded in spite of them.”
Mu’awiya became angry and shouted out: “You are talking yourself into the caliphate!”
The Imam (a.s) answered him about one who was worthy of the caliphate, saying: “As for the caliphate, it belongs to one who acts according to Allah’s Book and the Sunna of His Prophet. The caliphate does not belong to him who opposes Allah’s Book and stops the Sunna. That (man) is like the man who obtains a dominion and enjoys it. Then he withdraws from it, but its consequences last against him.” Mu’awiya dodged, and his pride was degraded. Then he said: “We have done favors to all the men from Quraysh.” The Imam refuted him, saying: “Yes, those through whom you have become powerful after the abasement and become many after the fewness.” “Who are those, O Hasan?” asked Mu’awiya.
“Those who divert you from knowing them,” replied al-Hasan. Then Imam al-Hasan (a.s) went on introducing himself to the people, saying: “I am the son of him who ruled Quraysh when young and middle-aged. I am the son of him who governed the people with generosity and nobility. I am the son of him who ruled the people of the world through the true munificence, the tall branch, and the preceding excellence. I am the son of him whose pleasure is Allah’s pleasure, and whose displeasure is His displeasure.”
“Can you compete with him for highness, O Mu’awiya?” asked the Imam. “I say ‘no’ as confirmation to your speech,” replied Mu’awiya. Al-Hasan said: “The truth has shone, and the falsehood has stammered. Whoever follows the truth does not regret, and whoever follows falsehood fails. The possessors of reason know the truth.”
As usual Mu’awiya dodged and said: “No welcome to him who treats you badly!”
The Political Party
Dr. Taha Husayn thought that Imam al-Hasan, during his residence in Medina, formed a political party and undertook its leadership. It is an act of good to mention his speech. He said: “I think that one day al-Hasan met the delegation from among the people of Kufa, heard from them what he heard, said to them what he said, and drew to them their plan. On that day he formed to Ali’s followers and his children a political, organized party. The party was organized during that assembly and al-Hasan became the head of it. The noble from among the people of Kufa returned to their followers and told them about the new regulation and the drawn plan. They prepared them for this timely peacemaking and for the war which would be moved when the command of moving it came from the Imam residing in Yathrib.
“At the beginning of its formation, the program of the party was, as you see, clear and easy; there was neither difficulty nor complication in it. (It included) the obedience to the Imam from among Ali’s sons and waiting in peace and ease until they would be ordered (to move) the war, and they would move it.”
Dr. Taha’s opinion is firm. Imam al-Hasan traveled to Damascus to criticize Mu’awiya and to spread his evil deeds and his defects in his capital and royal court. Among the objectives of that travel was that Imam al-Hasan propagated the party he had formed to overthrow the Umayyad government and to return the Islamic state to its just regime.