The Life of Imam Al-hasan Al-mujtaba
Chapter Xxv : His Wives and Children
Some people ask about the reason why Imam al-Hasan (a.s) married many women. Some ignorant people are so spiteful and ill-intentioned that they say: “He (Imam al-Hasan) married many women in response to the requirement of inclination and satisfaction of libido.” But they do not know that the Imam was very far away from yielding to this instinct, for he is the master of the youth of the Garden and among the people whose infallibility and purity the Qur’an has mentioned. We will mention the text of the speech of those who maintain that and we will explain that their speech is invalid and corrupt. As there are doubts, suspicions, accusations, and criticism about this matter, there is no escape from that we should research it and explain its reality even if in brief. I (the author) say that some men of knowledge maintain that it is correct and does not contradict the Imam’s behavior and his line of conduct. Some other people have maintained that it is fabricated and incorrect. It is good to mention the proofs of both parties. As for those who think that it is correct, they have indicated it as follows:
- According to the Islamic sacred law, it is not forbidden for man to marry many women, for Islam has made it recommended for one to marry many women. The statement of the great Savior (Prophet Muhammad) as to urging the Muslims to marry many women is famous. He, may Allah bless him and his family, has said: “Intermarry and reproduce even if through a miscarried fetus in order that I may vie in you with the nations on the Day of Resurrection.” Sufyan al-Thouri has said: “There is no extravagance in marrying many women.” The Second Caliph Umar bin al-Khattab has said: “Surely I marry a woman while I have no purpose toward her. I sleep with her while I have no libido toward her.” He was asked: “So why do you marry her?” He replied: “That those through whom the Prophet say ‘I have many followers’ might come out of me.” Al-Mughira bin Shu‘ba married a thousand women.[^1] Imam Ali (a.s) married four women and had nineteen children.[^2] This was in Islam. At the time before Islam Sulayman bin Dawud had seven hundred free women and three hundred bondmaids. His father Dawud (David) (a.s) married a hundred free women and three hundred bondmaids. Therefore, according to the Islamic law and other than it, it is not forbidden to marry many women. So why is Imam al-Hasan criticized for that?
[^1] Al-Isti‘ab, vol. 4, p. 370. [^2] Ali al-Qari’, Sharh al-Shafa’, vol. 1, p. 208.
Imam al-Hasan married many women to be strong enough to face the Umayyads, who spared no effort to put an end to the Hashimites, to destroy their entity, and to efface their name.
Surely the fathers of the women asked Imam al-Hasan and insisted on him to marry their daughters, that they might be honored with and seek nearness to him, for he was the grandson of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and the master of the youths of the Garden. Besides they came to know that Abu Baker was of a middle honor among Quraysh, but he occupied a remarkable position in the Islamic world after the Prophet had married his daughter A’isha. For this reason the people asked Imam al-Hasan and insisted on him to marry their daughters that they might enjoy glory and honor through the Imam’s relationship with them by marriage. These are the proofs of those who maintain that it was correct that Imam al-Hasan married many women. As for those who maintain that it was incorrect that he married many women, they have depended on the following affairs:
Divorce is reprehensible according to the Islamic law. Those who maintained that Imam al-Hasan married many women proved that he always divorced women and that he parted with them shortly after he had married them. It is well known that divorce is the most reprehensible of all things in Islam. Many lines of transmission have ensured the traditions about its reprehensibility. It has been narrated from the Prophet (a.s) that he said when Abu Ayyub wanted to divorce his wife: “Surely divorcing Umm Ayyub is a sin.” Imam Abu Abdullah al-Sadiq (a.s) has said: “Surely Allah loves the house where there is a wedding and detests the house where there is a divorce. Nothing is more detestable to Allah, the Great and Almighty, than divorce.” Abu Abdullah (a.s) has said: “Nothing of the things made lawful by Allah is more detestable to Him than divorce. Surely Allah, the Great and Almighty, detests the moody one who divorces very much.” He (a.s) has said: “Marry and do not divorce. That is because the Throne (of Allah) shakes because of divorce.”[^1] As divorce is very reprehensible, how did Imam al-Hasan (a.s) commit it and go too far in it?
Divorce contradicts Imam al-Hasan’s conduct of life. It has been established that Imam al-Hasan was the most clement of the Muslims and was a model for noble moral traits. It is well known that divorce contradicts clemency because it breaks the woman’s heart and humiliates her. This does not agree with Imam al-Hasan who took great care of delighting the people, turned away from treating them badly and hurting their feelings.
[^1] Wasa’il al-Shia, vol. 15, p. 15, pp. 267-268.
Imam al-Hasan was distracted from that. He was distracted from such affairs by serving Allah, clinging to Him, his constant action in the field of reform, granting the needs of the people, brining good to them, and driving evil and unhappiness away from them. Therefore he did not think of anything except the reformative affairs, nor did he have a leisure time to spend it on such things. These are the proofs of those who maintained that Imam al-Hasan did not marry many women, though some of them are weak. As for me ( the author), I think that saying that Imam al-Hasan had married many women was fabricated and very far from the reality. This cannot be explained except through showing the narrations and considering their chain of authorities carefully, which is a condition for accepting the narration. I say that the traditionists have greatly differed on the number of Imam al-Hasan’s wives. They have said that they are:
Two hundred and fifty.
Numbers other than these have also been narrated but they are very irregular. The most important thing is the research on the chain of the authorities of the narrations, for it indicates whether the narrations are correct or not. So I say:
As for the first narration, it has been reported by Ibn Abi al-Haddeed and the like[^1] . He narrated it on the authority of Ali bin Abdullah al-Basri, known as al-Mada’ini. The latter died in the year 225 A. H. He is among the weak narrators on whose narrations none depends. Muslim refused to narrate on his authority in his book al-Saheeh.[^2] In his book al-Kamil, Ibn Adiy has regarded him as weak. Concerning him, he has said: “He is not strong in tradition. He has rare traceable narrations.”[^3] Al-Asma‘i has said to him: “By Allah, you will leave Islam behind you.”[^4] He (Ali bin Abdullah al-Mada’ini) was among the sincere companions of Abu Ishaq al-Mousili. He made friends with him for his properties and wealth. Ahmed bin Abi Khuthayma has narrated, saying: “My father, Yahya bin Ma‘een, and Mus‘ab al-Zubayri used to sit down at the door of Mus‘ab. A man passed by them. The man was riding a mule and wearing good clothes. He greeted and singled out Yahya with his [^1] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p.8. [^2] Mizan al-I‘tidal, vol. 3, p. 138. Printed by Daar Ihya’ al-Kutub al-‘Arabiya. [^3] Lisan al-Mizan, vol. 4, p. 252. [^4] Mizan al-I‘tidal, vol. 3, p. 139.
greeting, who said to him: ‘O Abu al-Hasan, where are you going?’ The man replied: ‘To the house of Ishaq al-Mousili, the generous one who fills my sleeve with dinars and dirhams.’ When he went away, Yahya said: ‘He is trustworthy, trustworthy, trustworthy!’ So I asked my father: ‘Who is this man?’ He answered: ‘He is al-Mada’ini.’”[^1] He (al-Mada’ini) narrated traditions on the authority of ‘Awwana bin al-Hakam, who died in the year 158 A. H., was a follower of ‘Uthman, and he fabricated traditions for the Umayyads.[^2] Al-Mada’ini lauded the Umayyads and went too far in glorifying them. Besides, he was the retainer of Samra bin Habeeb al-Umawi. [^3] Most likely retainers follow their masters’ inclinations and tendencies. As for al-Mada’ini, he was impressed by Samra. So he was an Umayyad in tendency and among those who deviated from the Prophet’s household. After this, we do not trust his narrations and traditions.
As for the second narration, it was narrated by al-Shabalanji only.[^4] He has narrated it as an incompletely transmitted hadith. Therefore, it is not correct to rely on it because it is an incompletely transmitted hadith.
As for the third and forth narrations, they were narrated by al-Majlsi[^5] and Ibn Shahrashub[^6] . Each of them has mentioned that he has quoted it from the book Qoot al-Quloob by Abu Talib al-Makki, who died in the year 380 A. H. I have read the book and found that he has mentioned it (the tradition). This is the text of what he has mentioned in it: “Al-Hasan bin Ali (a.s) married 250 women; and it was said (that he married) three hundred women. (Imam) Ali was bored with that and hated it out of shame of their families when he divorced them. He said: ‘Al-Hasan divorces (your daughters), so do not marry (them to him).’ A man from Hamadan said to him: ‘By Allah, O Commander of the faithful, we will marry him (women) whatever he wishes. He can cling to whomever he loves and can divorce whomever he hates.’ So Ali was pleased with that and recited: ‘If I was a gatekeeper at the gate of the Garden, I would say to (the people of) Hamadan : ‘Enter it with peace!’
“This is one of the qualities in which Imam al-Hasan was similar to Allah’s Apostle, peace be on him. He was similar to him in form and manner. Allah’s
[^1] Lisan al-Mizan, vol. 4, p. 253. Mu‘jam al-Udaba’, vol. 12, p. 126. [^2] Lisan al-Mizan, vol. 4, p. 386. [^3] Mu‘jam al-Udaba’, vol. 14, p. 124. In the book Lisan al-Mizan, vol. 4, p. 253, it has been mentioned: “He (al-Mada‘ini) was the retainer of ‘Abd al-Rahman bin Samra.” [^4] Noor al-Absar, p. 111. [^5] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 137. [^6] Al-Manaqib, vol. 2, p. 246.
Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, said to him: ‘You are similar to me in form and manner.’ He also said: ‘Al-Hasan belongs to me, and al-Husayn belongs to Ali.’ Perhaps al-Hasan married four (women) or perhaps he divorced four (women).”[^1]
None relies on the books of Abu Talib al-Mekki. In his biography it has been mentioned that he ate so much roots of papyrus that his skin became green. He suffered from hysteria. He went to Baghdad to preach (to its inhabitants). The people of Baghdad surrounded him but they came to know that there was in his speech delirium and deviation from the criteria of straightness; so they left and turned away from him. Among his delirium and irregularity is his statement: “There is nothing more harmful to the creatures than the Creator!” He permitted listening to singing. He invited ‘Abd al-Samad bin Ali. The latter came in to him and blamed him. So Abu Talib said:
O night, how much enjoyment do you have? O morning, would that you did not approach!
So ‘Abd al-Samad left him while he was displeased with him. Yet another example of his abnormality is that when he was about to die, a companion of his came in to him. Abu Talib said to his companion: “If my end is good, then scatter almonds and sugar over my corpse.” His companion asked him: “What is the sign of that?” He replied: “When I held your hand.” When his death came, he strongly took hold of the hand of his companion.
Accordingly, his companion carried that out. He scattered over his corpse almonds and sugar.[^2] Biographers have mentioned that he has mentioned traditions without chain of authorities.
According to this, how can one rely on his narrations and follow them? As for those who narrated on his authority, they had no knowledge about his condition. Anyway the record that Imam al-Hasan married many women was taken from him. As he had irregularity and deviation, we cannot depend on what he mentioned. Anyhow we have no proof that Imam al-Hasan married many women except these reports. It is incorrect to depend on such narrations because they face many suspicions and criticisms. The following points indicate that Imam al-Hasan married many women was fabricated:
[^1] Qoot al-Quloob, vol. 2, p. 246. [^2] Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 11, p. 319. Lisan al-Mizan, vol. 5, p. 300. Al-Kuna wa al-Alqaab, vol. 1, p. 106. Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Muntazam, vol. 7, p. 190.
If the narrations were correct, then Imam al-Hasan would have many children suitable to the number of the women he had married, while the genealogists and the narrators have not mentioned that the Imam had many children. They have mentioned that Imam al-Hasan had twenty-two children both male and female. This number does not suit that Imam al-Hasan had married many women.
The thing that clearly indicates that the narrations are fabricated is the debates that took place between Imam al-Hasan and his opponents in Damascus and other than that. His opponents spared no effort and spent a lot of time looking for a thing to disgrace the Imam, that they might use it as a means to have audacity to him and to defame him. However, they had found no way to that, just as we have mentioned when we have shown his debates. If the Imam had married many women and divorced them, as they said, they would have said to him: “You are not appropriate for the caliphate because you are busy marrying women.”, they would have spread that, used it as a means to slander him, and faced him with it when they met with him. That they kept silent toward it and did not mention it indicates that the narrations are untrue and incorrect.
Among the things confirming that the narrations are incorrect is that Abu Ja‘far, died 245 A. H., has mentioned in his book al-Mihbar that Imam al-Hasan had three sons-in-law. They are Imam Ali bin al-Husayn (a.s) being married to Umm Abdullah, Abdullah bin al-Zubayr, being married to Umm al-Hasan, and Amr bin al-Mundhir, being married to Umm Salama.[^1] He has not mentioned anything more than that. If Imam al-Hasan had had many wives, then he would have had many sons-in-law suitable to their numbers. Besides, Abu Ja‘far was among those who took care of such researches. That is because he has mentioned in his al-Mihbar many examples of rare marriages. He would have mentioned that if the Imam had had many wives.
Among the things clearly indicating that the narrations are incorrect and untrue is what has been narrated that Imam Ali (a.s) ascended the pulpit and said: “Do not marry (your daughters to) al-Hasan because he divorces (them).” This has been narrated by Abu Talib and other than him. On the Pulpit, Imam Ali (a.s), prohibited the people from marrying their daughters to al-Hasan. This means that either he (a.s) had prohibited his son from that, and he did not respond to him, so that he (a.s) was forced to say that openly and to prohibit the people from marrying their daughters to him, or he prohibited him from that for the first time without making his son al-Hasan (a.s) know that he had detested and hated that. Both possibilities are untrue.
[^1] Al-Mihbar, p. 57.
As for the first possibility, it is untrue. That is because Imam al-Hasan was among the Prophet’s household from whom Allah had driven uncleanness away and was one of those through whom the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, had challenged (the Christians of Najran) to a contest of prayer to Allah. Therefore, it was impossible for him to oppose his father and to disobey his command.
As for the second possibility, it is false because Imam Ali (a.s), had to make his son know that he had detested and hated that and he had not to say that openly on the pulpit before the crowded people. The affair is not void of that he had harbored hatred against his son, his guardian, and his partner in the verse of al-Tatt’heer. Besides, the affair is either lawfully permissible or not permissible. If it is permissible, then why did Imam Ali (a.s) prohibit his son from it? If it was not permissible, then why did Imam al-Hasan commit it? I have no doubt that this speech is fabricated and that it was the opponents of the Imam who had fabricated it, for they wanted to defame his excellent line of conduct, which was similar to that of his grandfather, Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, and similar to that of his father Imam Ali(a.s).
- Yet among the fabricated proofs for that Imam al-Hasan married many women is that when death came to Imam al-Hasan (a.s) many women went out while they were barefooted and bareheaded behind his coffin and saying: “We are Imam al-Hasan’s wives!”[^1] It is clear and plain that this statement is fabricated. I think that there is no justification for that these women went out in front of the people while they were barefooted and bareheaded and were saying that they were the Imam’s wives. If they wanted to show sadness and sorrow (at the death of the Imam), then there would be no justification for that they introduced themselves and walked among the procession full of men while they had been commanded to cover themselves and not to leave their houses. Certainly this statement and the like were fabricated by the Umayyad and Abbasid opponents of Imam al-Hasan to degrade his value and to decrease his importance.
Among the fabricated reports similar to these ones is that which reported by Muhammad bin Sireen, who said: “Imam al-Hasan married a woman and sent her as a dowry a hundred slave girls with each of them there was a thousand dirhams.”[^2] I think that it is impossible for the Imam to give this plentiful a mount of money as a dowry to one of his wives. That is because this is a kind of wastefulness and extravagance. Islam has prohibited the Muslims for
[^1] Bihar al-Anwar. [^2] Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 8, p. 38. Al-Shaheed al-Thani, al-Masalik.
giving such a kind of dowry. It has ordered them to confine themselves to the dowry of the Sunna. It regards it as reprehensible to exceed it. It has been narrated from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, that he has said: “The best of the women of my community is the least of them in dowry.” He married his wives according to the dowry of the Sunna. Imam Ali (a.s), married according to it and did not exceed it. The reason for that is that Islam wants to make easy the affair of marriage lest people should find it difficult to get married. Certainly Imam al-Hasan (a.s) did not turn away from the Sunna of his grandfather nor did he follow any way opposing his law. Surely this account and the like of it from among the fabricated ones clearly and plainly confirm that it is false that Imam al-Hasan had married many women.
Anyway there is no proof showing that Imam al-Hasan married many women except these narrations. The narrations face much criticism; therefore, they cannot be used as a proof to establish the subject matter.
Al-Mansur’s fabricated Lies
It is most likely that Abu Ja‘far al-Mansur was the first to fabricate this affair, and then the historians took it from him. The reason behind that was that the Hasanids (al-Hasan’s progeny) made a revolt, and the revolt was about to overthrow his government, and because of that he ordered Abdullah bin al-Hasan to be captured. Then he addressed the people of Khurasan with a speech in which he cursed and abused Imam Ali (a.s), and his children and fabricated that al-Hasan had married many women. This is the text of his speech: “By Him other than Whom there is no god, we left the children of the family of Abu Talib with the caliphate. We never interfered in their affairs. Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s) undertook the caliphate but he did not succeed. Then he appointed two persons as arbitrators, so the community differed on him and their unity was divided. Then his followers, supporters, and trustworthy companions attacked and killed him. Then, after him, al-Hasan bin Ali undertook (the caliphate). By Allah, he was not a man. Properties were offered to him and he accepted them. Mu’awiya schemed against him (and said to him that) he would appoint him as his heir apparent but he deposed him. He (al-Hasan) withdrew from that which belonged to him and handed it over to him (Mu’awiya). Then he occupied himself with women. He married a woman today and divorced another tomorrow. He was so until he died on his bed.”[^1]
[^1] Al-Mas‘udi, Murujj al-Dhahab, vol. 3, p. 226.
Al-Mansur’s speech is full of fallacies and lies. He has mentioned:
Imam Ali (a.s) appointed two persons as arbitrators. This is a pure fabricated lie. That is because it was the rebels from among the Imam’s army who appointed the two arbitrators. They insisted on that and forced the Imam to accept them, and he (a.s) was forced to respond to them, as we have previously mentioned.
In his speech he has mentioned that Imam Ali was attacked and killed by his followers, supporters, and trustworthy companions. Through that he contradicted the reality. It was the Kharijites (rebels) who killed him. They were neither from his followers nor from his supporters. Rather they were his enemies and opponents.
He has mentioned that Imam al-Hasan (a.s) had occupied himself with women, that he married a woman today and divorced another tomorrow. This is very untrue. None said that except him. He intentionally fabricated these lies to strengthen his rule and his authority, to destroy al-Hasan’s followers, and to degrade them. That is because he had pledge allegiance to Muhammad Dhu al-Nafs al-Zakiyya twice. He had no hope for the caliphate and had no position with the people. He was poor and miserable. He walked through the villages and country-sides. He praised the Prophet’s pure family, so the Muslims gave him something as alms. Neither he nor his family had rendered a service to the community so that he was not worthy of this important office (the caliphate).
Among the fabricated lies of this tyrant (Abu Ja‘far) against the grandson of Allah’s Apostle (Imam al-Hasan) was what he mentioned in the letter he sent to Muhammad Dhu al-Nafs al-Zakiyya. This is the text of the letter: “The rule of your grandfather (Imam Ali) reached al-Hasan but he sold it to Mu’awiya for some rags and dirhams. Then he joined al-Hijaz. He handed over his followers to Mu’awiya, handed over the caliphate to those who were not worthy of it, and took money unlawfully. If you had had something as to it (the caliphate), then you had sold it and taken its value.”[^1]
Al-Mansur intentionally spread these fabricated lies and fallacies that he might justify his usurping the caliphate. It is worth mentioning that he unjustly took the caliphate, for it was the ‘Alawids who revolted against the Umayyads and overthrew their government to regain their usurped right. As for the Abbasids, they did not take any part in the revolt. [^1] Subh al-A‘sha, vol. 1, p. 233. Jamharat Rasa’il al-‘Arab, vol. 3, p. 92.
Lamens often challenged the dignity of Islam. He ascribed accusations to it, and defamed its men and protectors. In the reasons for the peacemaking we have mentioned some of his fabricated lies against Imam al-Hasan. In his researches he has written about the Imam’s wives. This is the text of what he has written: “When he (Imam al-Hasan) exceeded youth, he spent the best of his youth marrying and divorcing. It was counted that he had married about a hundred women. These abandoned manners were fastened on him and threw Ali into violent disputes. Also al-Hasan proved that he was wasteful and extravagant. He specified for each of his wives a house with servants and retinue. In this manner we see how he wasted the property during the days of Ali’s caliphate when poverty became intense.”[^1]
In his speech ‘Imam al-Hasan married and divorced too much’, Lamens has depended on the writings of al-Mada’ini and the like of him from among those who followed the ruling authority, so they wrote for rulers and not for history. The orientalists who schemed against Islam in their researches took their information from those historians who supported the unjust governments that opposed the Prophet’s Household and spared no effort to defame their reality and degrade their dignity. As for Lamens, he has exceeded them. He has said fabricated lies which none has ever said except him. He has said:
He (Imam al-Hasan) threw his father into violent disputes because he married and divorced too much. However none of those who wrote Imam al-Hasan’s biography has mentioned these disputes Lamens has claimed.
He has mentioned that Imam al-Hasan specified for each of his wives a house with servants and retinue. Certainly all the historians have not narrated that. Therefore, this is a flagrant lie and a pure slander.
Surely this has been spread by the Christian missionary committees that have warred against Islam and transgressed against it. They have provoked such mercenaries and involved them to damage Islam, defame its reality, and degrade the value of its men and its great figures who have lightened the way for mankind and hoisted the flag of civilization in the world.
With this we will end our speech about the Imam’s many wives together with the criticisms and doubts about them. Then we have to mention the names of his wives the historians have mentioned along with explaining what we have mentioned as to their biographies. That is as follows:
[^1] Da’irat al-Ma‘arif, vol. 7, p. 400.
- Khawla al-Fazariyya
Khawla al-Fazariyya, daughter of Manzur, was among the great ladies in her abundant reason and her perfection. Imam al-Hasan married her. On the night when he married her he spent the night with her on the housetop. She tied one part of her veil to his leg and tied the other part to her anklet. When he woke up, he found that. He asked her about that, and she expressed her loyalty to him and her taking care of his life, saying: “I feared that you would wake up and fall down, so I would be the most ill-omened one to the Arabs.”
When he understood that from her, he stayed with her for seven days.[^1] She stayed with him for a year without putting on make-up or using an eyeliner until she born him the great Sayyid al-Hasan. Then she used cosmetics. She stayed with him until he (a.s) passed away. She showed strong sadness at his death, so her father consoled her, saying:
Yesterday I was informed that Khawla became impatient with that the misfortunes of the time would befall her. Do not be impatient, O Khawla, and be patient. Surely the generous have been built on patience.[^2]
Zaynab al-Amiliyya, daughter of Ali, has said in the biography of Khawla: “When she (Khawla) came of age, some Qurayshi great figures and notables proposed to her, but her father refused to respond to them because they were not equal to her. Then he divorced her mother Makkiya, daughter of Kharija. Talha bin Abdullah married her after him. His son Muhammad married Khawla, and she born him Ibrahim, Dawud, and Umm al-Qasim. When her husband Muhammad was killed in the Battle of the Camel, some men proposed to her, but she entrusted her affair to al-Hasan, peace be on him. So he married her. When the Imam went to Yathrib, he took her with him. Her father heard of that. So he came to the Mosque of Allah’s Apostle. There was a banner in his hand. He planted the banner in the Mosque, and all the people from the tribe of Qays joined him. He called out to his people and asked them for help to take his daughter from the Imam. When Imam al-Hasan heard of that, he divorced her. Her father took her and went away. Khawla begged him to return her to Imam al-Hasan, condemned him for his action, and mentioned to him the Imam’s excellence. He repented of his action and said to her: ‘Stay here! If the man (al-Hasan) was in need of you, he would follow you.’ Imam al-Hasan, his brother al-Husayn, and Abdullah bin Abbas followed him. When they reached him, he welcomed and honored them, and then he returned her to
[^1] Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh, vol. 4, p. 216. [^2] Al-Zajjajj, al-Amali, p. 7.
the Imam.” Then she remained with Imam al-Hasan until she became old. When the Imam died, she did not get married. It was said that she married Abdullah bin al-Zubayr. Al-Nawar, al-Farazdaq’s wife, came in to her and asked her to intercede for her with her husband. Khawla responded to her and spoke to Abdullah, and he responded to her.
I think that this story is a kind of imagination and has no portion of the reality, because it is not appropriate for the Imam’s dignity that he married her without consulting her father. It was impossible for the Imam to marry her without asking her father for her hand and asking for his opinion. Therefore, it is impossible that her father had no knowledge of the murder of her first husband during that long period of time until the Imam married her. It is also impossible that he went to Yathrib and asked his people to help him take his daughter from the Imam, while he intended to be related by marriage to the noble and the great. He refused some of the noble who proposed to his daughter because they were not equal to her, so why was he not satisfied at being related by marriage to Imam al-Hasan, who was the most brilliant personality in the Islamic world? I have no doubt that this story was fabricated and was untrue.
- Ja’dah, daughter of al-Ash‘ath
The historians have differed over her name. It was said that her name was Sukayna, and was said Sha‘tha’, and was said A’isha. The correct name is Ja’dah, as most of historians have mentioned.[^1] As for the reason that Imam al-Hasan married her, it was that Imam Ali (a.s), asked Sa‘eed bin Qays al-Hamadani for his daughter’s hand (Umm ‘Uran) and wanted to marry her to his son al-Hasan. Sa‘eed said to him: “O Commander of the faithful, give me a time that I may consult (her mother).” Then he left him. Al-Ash‘ath met Sa‘eed and asked him about his coming, and he told him about the affair. This hypocrite (Ash‘ath) tried to deceive him saying: “How will you marry (your daughter) to al-Hasan while he will pride himself on her, will not treat her with justice and will wrong her? He will say to her: ‘I am the grandson of Allah’s Apostle and son of the Commander of the faithful (Imam Ali), while she does not have such excellence.’ Why do you not marry her to her cousin? She belongs to him, and he belongs to her.”
“Who is he?” asked Sa‘eed? “Muhammad bin al-Ash‘ath,” replied al-Ash‘ath. So this stupid (Sa‘eed) was deceived by al-Ash‘ath’s statement and said: “I accept to marry my daughter to him.” [^1] Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p. 33. Other sources have mentioned that.
Then al-Ash‘ath quickly went to Imam Ali (a.s), and asked him: -Have you proposed to Sa‘eed’s daughter (to marry her to) al-Hasan? -Yes. -Do you want (another woman) more honorable than her in house, nobler than her in lineage, more beautiful than her, and greater than her in property? -Who is she? -Ja’dah, daughter of al-Ash‘th bin Qays. -We have negotiated with a man. (He meant Sa‘eed al-Hamadani). -There is no way to the man with whom you have negotiated. -He had left me to consult her mother -He had married her to Muhammad bin al-Ash‘ath. -When? -Before I came to you.
Accordingly, Imam Ali (a.s), agreed on that. When Sa‘eed came to know that al-Ash‘ath had seduced and deceived him, he quickly went to him and said: -O one-eyed, you have deceived me!
-You are one-eyed and wicked! You wanted to consult (your wife) as to the grandson of Allah’s Apostle, are you not foolish? Then al-Ash‘ath came quickly to Imam al-Hasan and said to him: “O Abu Muhammad, do you not want to visit your wife?” He was quick in carrying out the affair lest he should miss it. Then he spread carpets from the door of his house to the Imam’s house, and then he carried home his daughter in procession.[^1]
- A’isha al-Khath‘amiyya
From Among the wives of Imam al-Hasan was A’isha al-Khath‘amiyya. He married her during the lifetime of Imam Ali (a.s). When Imam Ali (a.s) was killed, she went to Imam al-Hasan. She gloated over the death of his father, saying: “I congratulate on the caliphate!” When Imam al-Hasan came to know that she gloated over his father death, he said to her: “Have you gloated over the murder of Ali? Go away for you are divorced!” She wrapped herself with her clothes until her waiting period was over. Then Imam al-Hasan sent her
[^1] Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Adhkiya’, p. 27.
the rest of her dowry along with ten thousand dinars, that she might satisfy her needs with. When the money reached her, she said: “Little provision from a parting lover!” [^1] History has not mentioned that Imam al-Hasan had divorced a woman except her, Umm Kulthum, and a woman from the Banu Shayban. So how did the Imam marry and divorce too many women, as some historians say? As for the rest of the Imam’s wives whose biographies we have not found, they are as follows:
- Umm Kulthoom, daughter of al-Fadhl bin Abbas
Imam al-Hasan (a.s) married her, and then he divorced her. Abu Musa al-Ash‘ari married her after him.[^2]
- Umm Ishaq, daughter of Talha bin Abdullah al-Tamimi
She born him a male baby, and he named the baby Talha.
- Umm Basheer, daughter of Mas‘ud al-Ansari
She born him a male baby, and he named the baby Zayd.
Hind, daughter of Abdurrahman bin Abi Bakr
A woman from the daughters of Amr bin Ahyam al-Manqari
A woman from (the tribe of) Thaqif
She born him a male baby, and he named the baby Umar.
A woman from Zarara’s daughters
A woman from the Banu Shayban, from the family of Hammam bin Murra
It was said to Imam al-Hasan (a.s): “She maintains the beliefs of the Kharijites.” So he divorced her and said: “I dislike marrying a woman who is a brand of hell.”[^3]
Umm Abdullah, daughter of al-Shaleel bin Abdullah, the brother of Jareer al-Bajali
She was a slave woman. It was said that her name was Nufayla, and said that it was Ramla. This is the number of the women Imam al-Hasan had married which is too different from that which some historians had claimed. With this we will end our speech about Imam al-Hasan’s wives. Now, we have to mention the number of his children both male and female. The historians have differed on [^1] Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh, vol. 4, p. 216. [^2] Al-Isti‘ab, vol. 3, p. 204. [^3] Ibn Abi al-Hadeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p.8.
that very much. They have narrated that there number is:
- Twelve: eight males and four females.[^1]
- Fifteen: eleven males and four females.[^2]
- Sixteen: eleven males and five females. [^3]
- Nineteen: thirteen males and six females.[^4]
- Twenty: sixteen males and four females.[^5]
- Twenty-two: fourteen males and eight females.[^6]
Numbers other than these have also been mentioned. The historians have unanimously agreed on that none of al-Hasan’s children had children except al-Hasan and Zayd. As for his prominent sons, they are as follows:
Al-Qasim was on top of the children of Imam al-Hasan. He was martyred with his paternal uncle Imam al-Husayn, the master of martyrs, at the Battle of Karbala’. He was then in the prime of youth. He looked like the moon in beauty, and freshness. He took part in the Battle of Karbala’. That was when he saw that his uncle al-Husayn (a.s) was alone, the choice of his house had been martyred. The womenfolk of the Prophet were crying and lamenting loudly. He could not stand that sight. So he went to his uncle Imam al-Husayn, kissed his hands his feet, and asked him to permit him to defend him, and the Imam permitted him. As for how he was martyred, it is very sorrowful. The historians and biographers have mentioned it in detail.
[^1] Al-Mufid, al-Irshad. [^2] Al-Nafha al-‘Ambariya. [^3] Al-‘Abdali, Zaynab wa al-Zaynabiyyat. Al-Maqrizi, Itti‘ad al-Hunafa’ fi Akhbar al-Khulafa’. Al-Majjdi. He (al-Majdi) has mentioned their names. The males are Zayd, al-Hasan, al-Hasan al-Athram, Talha, Isma‘il, Abdullah, Hamza, Ya‘qub, ‘Abd al-Rahman, Abu Bakr, and ‘Umar. As for the females, they are Umm al-Khayr, Ramla, Umm al-Hasan, Umm Salama, Umm Abdullah. In the book it has been mentioned that the mother of Zayd, Umm al-Khayr, and Umm al-Hasan was from the tribe of al-Khazrajj. The mother of al-Hasan was Khawla al-Fazariya, daughter of Manzur. His paternal uncle al-Husayn married him to his daughter Fatima. The mother of ‘Umar was a slave wife. The mother of al-Husayn was a slave wife. The mother of Talha was from Taym, from Quraysh. He (al-Majjdi) has mentioned that ‘Abd al-Rahman, Imam al-Hasan’s son, died at al-Abwa’ while he was in the state of ritual consecration. So his paternal uncle shrouded him. He did not rub him with camphor nor did he cover his face. [^4] Abu Nasr al-Bukhari, Sir al-Silsila al-‘Alawiya. [^5] Ibn al-Jawzi, Tadhkirat al-Khawas. [^6] Al-Hada’iq al-Wardiya, p. 107.
- Abu Bakr
His name was Abdullah. His mother was a bondmaid[^1] whose name was Ramla.[^2] At the Battle of Karbala’ Abdullah came out against the enemies to protect the religion of Allah and to defend Imam al-Hasan and he was martyred in that battle.
He was martyred with his uncle Imam al-Husayn in the Battle of Karbala’. He was then twenty-one years old. He looked at his uncle when the Umayyad troops surrounded him. So he rushed forward to defend him. Abjar bin Ka‘ab rushed towards al-Husayn carrying a sword in his hand. The young lad said to him: “Woe upon you, O son of an impure woman! Are you trying to kill my uncle?” Abjar struck at him with his sword. The boy tried to fend off the blow with his arm. The sword cut through his arm to the skin on the other side. The arm was hanging by the skin. The boy asked his uncle for help. Imam al-Husayn hurried to him and embraced him.[^3] While the boy was in his uncle’s lap, Harmala bin Kahil shot an arrow at him and killed him.[^4] In the past and present history of mankind there is no one similar to those young lads in their manhood, nobility, and heroism.
His mother was from the tribe of al-Khazrajj. He was noble in worth, generous in character, and great in piety. The people came to him from far and wide to seek his favor. He was in charge of the (proportion of) taxes (sadaqat) given to the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. However, when Sulayman bin ‘Abdul Melik came to authority, he removed him from that. When he died and ‘Umar bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz came to authority, he returned it to him. Muhammad bin Bashir al-Khariji praised him:
When the son of the chosen one comes down the valley-stream, he drives away its drought and makes its sticks green with vegetation. Zayd is the spring of the people in every winter season when their rains and thunder have come.
(He is) meek before those who seek the blood-price just as if he was a sun amid darkness as if its stars were joined to him.[^5]
[^1] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 6, p. 269.
[^2] Al-Hada’iq al-Wardiya, p. 107. [^3] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 6, p. 259. [^4] Al-Luhuf, p. 68. [^5] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 180.
He rode (his horse) and came to the market of al-Zahar. He stopped, and the people crowded to look at him. They admired his manners. They said: “He is similar to his grandfather, Allah’s Apostle.”[^1] He died in the year 120 A. H. He was then ninety years of age. A group of poets composed elegies for him, mentioning their loss of him and his outstanding merits.
Al-Hasan was noble leader of high merits and piety. He was the guardian of his father and was in charge of the charities (zakat and khuma) given to his father.[^2] He had been present with his uncle, al-Husayn, at the Battle of Karbala’. He fought beside him until he received a wound and fell down to the ground. When the rogues from among the people of Kufa came to the battlefield to cut off the heads of the martyrs, they found that al-Hasan was still alive. Asma’ bin Kharija, who was an uncle of his, came and interceded for him with them, and they accepted his intercession. He took al-Hasan with him to Kufa and treated him. After al-Hasan had got well, he went to Medina. He was in charge of the charities of his grandfather Imam Ali, peace be on him. He married the Fatima, daughter of his uncle al-Husayn. When he died, she showed too much sorrow at his death. She pitched a tent at his tomb and used to offer prayers at night and fast during the day.[^3] He died of poison when he was thirty-five years of age. It was al-Waleed bin ‘Abdul Melik who gave him poison to drink.[^4]
With this we will end our talk about Imam al-Hasan’s children. We have mentioned an outline on each of them. I ask Allah to grant me success to have the honor of writing a research on their manners and the reformative revolts of their grandsons against the oppressors and dictators of the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs.
[^1] Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat, vol. 10, p. 34. [^2] Al-Hada’iq al-Wardiya, p. 107. [^3] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 138. Tanqeeh al-Maqal, vol. 1, p. 272. [^4] ‘Umdat al-Talib, p. 78.