The Life of Imam Al-hasan Al-mujtaba
Chapter V : the Great Tragedy
Al-Hasan (a.s) spent a part of his childhood with his grandfather Allah’s Apostle (a.s) until his mental powers expanded, and his faculties grew. He was tranquil and delighted. Every day he received life with smiling mouth, bliss, and happiness. He received love and affection from his grandfather (a.s). He was magnified and honored by the old companions of his grandfather. He saw the expansion of Islam and many forays. He saw the people entering the religion of Allah in groups. During that time the thrones of polytheism were destroyed, and the forces of the infidels were defeated. The Islamic troops invaded Mecca, which was the strongest and the most fortified city in the Arab Peninsula. Islam became strong and widespread. It had a high entity. The waves of conquest included most peoples on earth. Delight covered the hearts of the Muslims because of this victory through which Allah made them strong and supported them. Ahlul Bayt were the most delighted and happy with these victories accomplished by Islam.
However, this tranquil state did not last long, for the time frowned and darkened at their (the Ahlul Bayt) faces. It invaded their hearts with vague fear and black fears. That was because it was time for the Prophet (a.s) to depart to Allah and to move to His Holy Presence. The vanguards and signs of departure appeared before him. They are as follows:
- The first sign of his leaving the world was that the Revelation came down to him and brought him this verse (surely you shall die and they (too) shall surely die).[^1] The verse moved the hidden apprehension in his soul; so, the Muslims heard him announcing his death, saying: “I wish I knew when that would be!” After this verse the Sura of al-Nasr came down to him; so, he kept silent between takbir (saying Allah is great!) and the recitation. He would say: “Glory be to Allah and praise belongs to Him! I seek forgiveness of Allah and turn towards Him!”
Fear and impatience overcame the hearts of the Muslims; so, their hearts before their tongues rushed to ask him about that terrible state. He (a.s) answered them, saying: “My death has been announced!”[^2] When the Muslims heard that, their hearts were cut into pieces, their strength collapsed, their eyes were covered with a flow of tears, a tremor shook their entity and spread
[^1] Qur’an, 39, 30. [^2] Ibn Shahrashub, al-Manaqib, vol. 1, p. 127.
among them impatience and fear.
- The Qur’an was revealed to him twice during that year; so, he felt the inevitable death[^1], and then he began announcing his death and his leaving the world. Due to this news the hearts were cracked; the bitterest kinds of ordeals and misfortunes prevailed the Muslims.
The Farewell Pilgrimage
The Prophet (a.s) spared no effort to guide the Muslims to the right path. When he (a.s) came to know about his departure to the Abode of Immortality, he thought that he had to complete his sacred message and to put a sound plan that would guarantee, after him, his community happiness and success. For this reason he (a.s) made his last pilgrimage, better known as the Farewell Pilgrimage, in the year 10 A. H. He spread among those who went to the Sacred House of Allah (the Kaaba) that his meeting with them would be the last time. He said to them: “I do not know; perhaps, I will never meet you at this standing place after this year!” Then he went around the masses and made them know that which would guarantee their happiness and success, saying: “O People! I am leaving with you the Two Weighty Things-that is the Book of Allah and my family, my household.”[^2]
He compared his pure family to the Book. He regarded clinging to them as salvation against afflictions and deviation. If the community had followed his words and cleaved to them, inclinations and misfortunes would not have befallen them, abasement and disgrace would not have afflicted them, and they would not disagreed. The nation would not have branched into sects and parties; every sect rejoicing in what they had with them.[^3]
The Declaration at Ghadir Khum
After the Prophet (a.s) had finished the rituals of the hajj, he headed for Medina. When his procession reached Ghadir Khum, Gabriel came down and ordered him to halt at the desert and to appoint Imam Ali as a successor after him and as an authority over his community. The Command of the Heaven had an affair of great importance. The Revelation came down to him carrying this verse: O Apostle, make known what has been revealed to you from your Lord. If you do not do it, you will not have made known His message. Allah will protect you from the people.[^4] The Prophet became confused due to this
[^1] Al-Khasa’is al-Kubra, vol. 2, p. 368. [^2] Al-Turmidhi, Saheeh, vol. 2, p. 308. [^3] Qur’an, 30, 32. [^4] Ibid., 5, 67. This verse was revealed on the Day of al-Ghadir. This has been
warning and this threat. If he had not carried out what Allah had intended in respect of appointing Imam Ali, he would not have made known Allah’s message, and all his efforts would have been lost. So he (a.s) undertook carrying out that even if he would anger those craving after the caliphate and those turned away from the Imam (a.s). He (a.s) put the burdens of the journey and stopped at that desert place. It was a day of intense heat, to the extent that the travelers wrapped their cloaks around their feet because of the scorching hot ground. Then he (a.s) ordered the masses to come together. When they gathered, he led them in prayer. When he had finished his prayers, he ordered them to gather the saddles of the camels, that he might use them as a pulpit. They did to him what he wanted, and he went up on them. The number of those present was one hundred thousand or more. They turned to him through their hearts before their ears, that they might listen to that which he would say to them. Firstly, the Prophet (a.s) explained to them his holy jihad and his arduous efforts in respect of guiding them and saving them from polytheism and slavery. Secondly, he reminded them of a group of Islamic precepts and religious manners. He ordered them to put them into practice. After that he said to them: “Therefore, see how you would obey me in respect of the Two Weighty Things (Allah’s Book, and the Prophet’s family).”
One of the people asked him: “What are the Two Weighty Things, O Allah’s Apostle?”
The Prophet (a.s) answered him, saying: “The great weighty thing is the Book of Allah. One end of it is in the hand of Allah, the Great and Almighty, and the other end is in your hand; therefore cling to it lest you should go astray. The other small (weighty thing) is my family. The Sublime and Omniscient has informed me that they shall never part from each other till they reach me by the Pool. So I asked my Lord to do that for them; therefore, do not go ahead of them lest you should perish, and do not lag behind them lest you should perish.”
Then he took Ali’s hand and lifted it, to the extent that the whiteness of their armpits appeared. He informed all the people, saying: “O People, am I not worthier of you than yourselves?”
They answered him: “Allah and His Apostle know best!”
So he (a.s) said: “Most surely, Allah is my Guardian, and I am the guardian of the believers, and I am worthier of them than themselves; therefore, whoever mentioned by al-Wahidi in his Asbab al-Nuzool, and by al-Fakhr al-Razi in his al-Tafseer al-Kabeer, and by others.
I am his guardian, Ali is his guardian.” He said that three or four times. Then he said: “O Allah, befriend whoever befriends him, love whoever loves him, hate whoever hates him, support whoever supports him, desert whoever deserts him, and turn the truth with him wherever he turns! Those present should inform those absent!”[^1]
In his sermon, the Prophet greatly honored Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful (a.s) and entrusted him with the great office of the caliphate. After he (a.s) had ended his holy speech, Hassaan bin Thabit asked him to allow him to recite before him one of his wonderful poems on that immortal occasion. The Prophet permitted him, and he rushed, saying:
On the day of al-Ghadir he summoned them and made them answer at Khumm. Listen to the Apostle as he calls. He said: Who is your master and friend?”
They answered without showing any signs of opposition:
“Allah is our master and you are our friend. You will never find any disobedience from us to you.” He said to him: “Arise, Ali, I am content that you should be Imam and guide after me.” Whomsoever I am his guardian, this man is his guardian. Therefore, be faithful helpers and followers of him.” There he prayed: “O Allah, befriend his friend and be hostile to whoever opposes Ali.” [^2]
Then all the Muslims pledged allegiance to Imam Ali and congratulated him on his being the Commander of the faithful. The Prophet (a.s) ordered his wives to go to and to congratulate him (Imam Ali).[^3] Among those who congratulated him was Umar bin al-Khattab. He shook hands with him and said to him: “Well done! Well done, O Ibn Abi Talib, you have become my
[^1] The Declaration at Ghadir Khum is among the authentic traditions ensured by many ways of transmission. The Muslims have unanimously agreed on narrating it. Its chain of authorities and its meaning were searched by the genius of Islam, His Eminence, al-Hujjah al-Amini, may Allah protect him, in his immortal encyclopedia al-Ghadir. He has limited the first volume of his book to the research on that. In the rest volumes he has mentioned a large group of the poets who lauded the declaration at Ghadir Khumm. He has written their biographies and mentioned their literary and scientific works.
[^2] Al-Ghadir, vol. 2, p. 34. [^3] Ibid., vol. 1, p. 271. Quoted from Roudat al-Safa, vol. 2, p. 273, by Khawand Shah, a historian.
master and the master of every believing man and believing women.”[^1] On that day, which was immortal in the world of the truth and virtue, this sacred verse was revealed: This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion.[^2]
The great favor was perfected and the religion was completed through appointing Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful and the Imam of the pious, as a successor. With that the Prophet (a.s) took the final step to keep the Islamic society and the Islamic law. He did not leave the community to remain perplexed and to be prevailed by chaos and corruption; rather, he appointed over it a great figure (Imam Ali) to guide it to the straight path.
Most surely the pledge of allegiance (to Imam Ali) at Ghadir Khumm was among the most reliable proofs (for his Imamate), and it was the most manifest of them in explaining that the office of the succession and the Imamate was entrusted to Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful (a.s). Imam al-Hasan used it as a proof on his father’s right of the succession. That was during his sermon he delivered after his making peace with Mu‘awiya. In the sermon he has mentioned: “Allah has honored us, we the Ahlul Bayt; He has selected and chosen us, taken away the uncleanness from us, and thoroughly purified us. When the people divided into two sects, Allah placed us among the better one from Adam to my grandfather (a.s). When Allah appointed him for the prophethood, chose him for the message, revealed His Book to him, and commanded him to ask people to believe in Allah, my father was the first to respond to Allah and His Messenger.
He was the first to believe in Allah and His Apostle (a.s). In His Book Allah has revealed to His appointed Prophet: Is he then who has with him clear proof from his Lord, and a witness from Him recites it…? Therefore, it was my grandfather who had a clear proof from his Lord, and it was my father who recited it, and he was a witness from Him.” He added: “This community heard my grandfather say: ‘If a community entrusts its affair to a man while there is one more knowledgeable than he is, its affair is in vain unless it resorts to him whom it has left.’ And it heard him say to my father: ‘You are to me as Harun was to Musa except that there is no prophet after me.’ It saw and heard him when he took my father by the hand and said to him: ‘Whoever I am his guardian, Ali is to be his guardian. O Allah, befriend whoever befriends him, and be hostile
[^1] Ahmed, Musnad, vol. 4, p. 281. [^2] Qur’an, 5, 3. The revelation of the Sura on the Day of Ghadir Khum has been mentioned by al-Sayuti in his al-Durr al-Manthur, and by al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi in his al-Tarikh, vol. 8, p. 290. Other historians have mentioned that.
to whoever opposes him.’ Then he ordered those present to inform those absent.”[^1]
Books of history are full of the proofs of the Ahlul Bayt, peace be on them, and of their leading followers about the pledge of allegiance to Imam Ali (a.s) at Ghadir Khum, where he was entrusted with the Islamic caliphate. However, the people turned away from the tradition and interpreted it according to their tendencies and wishes.
The Prophet seeks Forgiveness for the dead in the Cemetery of al-Baqee’
When Allah’s Apostle (a.s) had performed the hajj, he returned to Medina. He resided in it for some days. Suspicions and worries surrounded him, and he was sleepless. He sent for Abu Muhayba[^2] in the dark night. When Abu Muhayba came, the Prophet ordered him to accompany him to the cemetery of al-Baqee’. He said to him: “I have been commanded to ask Allah to forgive the dead at the cemetery of al-Baqee‘. For this reason I sent for you to go with me.”
The Prophet (a.s) walked until he reached the cemetery of al-Baqee‘. He greeted the dead and congratulated them on that they had. Then he told them about the black afflictions that would befall his community after him. He said: “Assalamu ‘alaykum, O people of the graves. I want to tell you about what the people will face; the afflictions have come like the the black night. Their last follows their first. The last is more wicked than the first!”
Then the Prophet began telling Abu Muhayba about his leaving the world, saying to him: “I have been given the keys of the treasuries in the world and immortality therein and the Garden after that, but I have chosen meeting my Lord and the Garden.”
“May my father and mother die for you,” retorted Abu Muhayba, “why do you not take the keys of the treasuries in the world and be immortal therein and the Garden after that?”
However the Prophet (a.s) explained to him his urgent wish for meeting Allah, saying: “No, by Allah, I have chosen to meet my Lord.” Then he asked Allah to forgive the dead at the cemetery of al-Baqee, and then he went home.[^3]
[^1] Al-Ghadir, vol. 1, p. 197. [^2] Abu Muhayba was the Prophet’s retainer. The Prophet had bought and released him. [^3] Ibn Hisham, Syrah, vol. 3, p. 93. Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 3, p. 190. In his Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 6, p. 121, al-Majlisi has mentioned: “When Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) felt the illness, he took Ali, peace be on him, by the hand and headed for the cemetery of al-Baqee‘ and asked Allah to forgive the dead wherein. He was accompanied by a group.
The Regiment of Usama
When the Prophet (a.s) came to know that his meeting with his Lord was close at hand, he tried to reinforce the caliphate of Imam Ali (a.s) that he had declared at Ghadir Khum. Likewise, he tried to put an end to the riot and the mutiny, that the affairs might go well with the Imam (a.s) after his (the Prophet) death. As a result he thought that the best way to carry that out was through making his capital empty of all those opposing the Imam (a.s) and sending them to the field of jihad to invade the Romans. Accordingly, he ordered his companions to get ready for that. He did not permit any of his companions to stay even Abu Bakr, Umar, Abu Ubayda, and Basheer bin Sa’d.[^1] He appointed Usama as a commander over them.[^2] That was on Safar 26th, the year 11 A. H. He said to Usama: “Go to the place where your father had been killed. Let the horses walk on them. I have appointed you as a commander over this regiment. In the morning invade the people of Ubna[^3]. Destroy them by fire. Go quickly, that you may precede the news. If Allah grants you a victory over them, then stay with them for a short time. Take guides with you, and advance the spies and the vanguards.”
On the 28th of Safar, the Prophet’s condition became critical. He suffered from intense fever and headache. It was said that they resulted from the food he had had at Khaybar. He would say: “I am still having pain due to the food I had had at Khaybar.”[^4]
On the 29th of Safar, the Prophet came to know that his companions mutinied (against Usama) and deserted (him). So he, though ill, went out and urged of people.”
[^1] Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 5, p. 312. Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat, vol. 4, p. 46. Tarikh al-Khamees. [^2] His full name is Usama bin Zayd bin Haritha bin Sharajil bin Ka‘b bin ‘Abd al-‘Uzza al-Kalbi. His mother was Umm Ayman, whose name was Baraka. She was the retainer and nursemaid of Allah’s Apostle (a.s.). (The historians) have differed over Usama’s age on the day when Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) died. It was said that he was twenty years old. It was said that he was nineteen years old; and it was said that he was eighteen years old. After the death of the Prophet (a.s.) he lived in Wadi al-Qura, and then he returned to Medina. He died at al-Jurf at the end of the caliphate of Mu‘awiya. The year of his death was fifty-eight or fifty nine A. H. It was said that it was fifty-four A. H. This has been mentioned in the book al-Isti‘ab, vol. 1, pp. 34-35. Unfortunately, Usama deviated from the truth. The reason for that is that he did not pledge allegiance to Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful, when the caliphate returned to him. He deviated from the Commander of the faithful due to the gifts and the plentiful money the Umayyad gave to him. [^3] Ubna is a district of al-Balqa’ of the land of Syria, between ‘Asqalan and al-Ramla. It is neighboring Mu’ta, where Zayd bin Harith and Ja’far bin Abi Talib were martyred. [^4] Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 58.
them to go. Then he himself handed the standard to Usama and said to him: “Invade in the name of Allah, and in the way of Allah, and fight against those who disbelieve in Allah!”
Usama took the standard and handed it over to Burayda. He camped at al-Jurf. However, the people refused to follow him. They mutinied against him and deserted him. Umar said to him: “Allah’s Apostle (a.s) has died while you are a commander over me!”[^1] The people bitterly criticized the Prophet (a.s) for appointing Usama as a commander over them. They refused to join his regiment. The Prophet, who suffered from severe fever and headache, heard of that, and he became angry. He tied his head with a head cloth and went out wearing his cloak. He was sad because he came to know that the means he prepared for his purpose failed and was unsuccessful. So he went up on the pulpit. That was on the 5th of Rabee‘ al-Awal. He showed his serious displeasure and strong anger towards those who did not carry out his orders, saying: “O people, what is the statement of some of you in respect of my appointing Usama as a commander (over you)? If you criticize me for my appointing Usama as a commander, then you will criticize me for my appointing his father as a commander before him. By Allah, he was worthy of the leadership, and his son, after him, is worthy of it.”
He came down the pulpit and went into his house.[^2] Then he commanded the people to join the regiment of Usama, saying: “Supply the regiment of Usama. Carry out the regiment of Usama. May Allah curse whoever lags behind the regiment of Usama!”
These strict orders did not move them; and this great care from the Prophet (a.s) did not change their determination, though they came to know that he was in his last hours. They were slow in going out. They lagged behind the regiment, and apologized to the Prophet (a.s) with different excuse. The Prophet (a.s) did not excuse them and showed toward them anger and displeasure. Whoever carefully considers this important event concludes the following:
[^1] Al-Sirah al-Halabiya, vol. 3, p. 34. Other traditionists and historians have mentioned that. [^2] Ibid., vol. 3, p. 34.
The Prophet (a.s) took great care of sending the people out of Medina (Yathrib) and cursed those who were slow to join the regiment of Usama. This clearly indicates his long-desired objective, which is that he intended to make his capital empty of the party opposing Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful (a.s) that the affairs might go well with him, and that he might undertake the succession calmly and peacefully.
The people lagged behind the regiment and criticized the Prophet for his appointing Usama. This means nothing except that they intended to win the authority and the government, and to strengthen the rules of their policy. If they had gone to invading and left the capital of the Prophet (a.s), the caliphate would have escaped them, and they had had no room to declare their mutiny and their disagreement.
The Prophet (a.s) did not entrust the leadership of the regiment to the old, prominent men from among his companions, for he intended to take care of the future, to protect it from the disorders and the afflictions after him. If he had entrusted the leadership to them, they would have used it as means for their right of the caliphate and of their demanding the government. As a result he (a.s) closed this window before them, lest the unity of the community should crack and its security become disordered.
Usama was then seventeen years old or more. As for the reasons that the Prophet (a.s) appointed him as a commander while he was still young, they are as follows:
A. He closed all doors to disagreement and criticizing (him for) appointing Imam Ali (a.s) as a successor, for he was still young, because Usama was younger than Imam ali; nevertheless, the Prophet entrusted him with the most important military office in his troops.
B. He abrogated the advance in years and paid no attention to deserving high offices through it, for it would deprive those with qualifications and talents. He wanted the affairs of the community and the leadership over it to be undertaken by those who had qualifications, determination, and administration. He (a.s) declared this reformative idea, saying: “Whoever heads a group of the Muslims while he sees that there is among them someone better than he is, betrays Allah, His Apostle, and the Muslims.”[^1] He has also said: “Whoever employs someone as a governor over the Muslims and he sees that there is someone more appropriate for that than he is among them, most surely betrays Allah, His Apostle, and the Muslims.”[^2]
[^1] Al-Bayqahi, Sunan, vol. 10, p. 111. Majjma‘ al-Zawa’id. [^2] Al-Baqlani, Tamhid, p. 190.
Certainly, Islam takes great care of appointing the best of people and greatest of them in qualifications over the government, for one should put the public interests before his eyes and be honest in collecting taxes from people, and in what he spends on public utilities. He should behave toward people with behavior based on pure justice. That can not be carried out through advance in years; rather it could be carried out through knowledge of what the community needs in all public fields.[^1]
C. Through his appointing Usama as a commander, the Prophet (a.s) held back the caprice of those opposing Imam Ali, subjugated them, destroyed their morale, and sent them far away. However, they realized what he (a.s) had planned through appointing Usama as a commander. Accordingly, they lagged behind his regiment and went on staying at al-Jurf until Allah’s Apostle (a.s) joined the High Comrade.
These are some points man can conclude if he carefully considers the regiment of Usama. They clearly indicate the objective of the Prophet (a.s) when he calmly and peacefully intended to pave the way to Imam Ali (a.s) after his death.[^2] They also clearly indicate the dangerous plot that people made against his successor and guardian (Imam Ali). We will mention that in detail in the chapters that follow.
His Illness becomes more critical
His fever became so intense that he felt a flame in his body because of that. He was covered with velvet. When one of his wives or of those who came to visit him put his hand on the velvet, she or he felt the heat.[^3] They put a container of cool water by him. He put his hand into the container and put it on his face. The Muslims hurried to visit him while they were impatient and perplexed. His room was full of them. So he announced his death to them and advised them to follow that which would guarantee their happiness and success. He said to them: “O People, I feel I am going to die very soon, and I had previously informed you as my duty, and to leave no excuse for you, that: I am leaving with you the book of Allah, the Great and Almighty, and my family, my household.”
[^1] We have in detail explained this subject-matter in our book Nizam al-Hukum wa al-Idara fi al-Islam. [^2] Imam Sharaf al-Deen, al-Muraja‘at wa al-Nas wa al-Ijtihad. He has wonderfully analyzed the Regiment of Usama. [^3] Haykal, Hayat Muhammed, p. 484.
Then he took Ali’s hand and said: “This is Ali. Ali is with the Qur’an, and the Qur’an is with Ali. They shall never separate from one another till they will come to me by the Pool.”[^1]
The community had to follow the words and the viewpoints of the Prophet (a.s) concerning Imam Ali. Muslims had to hand the leadership to the Imam, for he would follow the way of the Qur’an and would rule according to what Allah had revealed. If Muslims had done that after the death of Allah’s Apostle (a.s), they would have been safe from all setbacks, afflictions, and misfortunes, and Islam would have advanced with balance and firm steps, and the principles of truth and justice would have prevailed the world.
The Prophet (a.s) was critically ill; nevertheless, he wore his turban and went out to announce the justice he brought through asking the people to retaliate if he had aggressed against any of them. He went up on the pulpit and explained to the Muslims the arduous efforts he rendered to direct and guide them. And then he said: “Most surely my Lord decided and took an oath that no injustice of a wrongdoer would escape Him; therefore, I adjure you before Allah, if any man of you has got any kind of injustice from Muhammad, then let him rise and punish me! Retaliation in this world is more lovable to me than that in the hereafter in the presence of the angels and the prophets!”
Those present fell silent and gave no answer. They became astonished and forgot their own selves. A terrible silence prevailed over them. Which one of them had got injustice from Allah’s Apostle (a.s) or right against him, while he was the legislator of the great justice and model of Divine kindness? The people became sad because they came to know that his words showed that he would leave the world. However, a man called Sawada bin Qays claimed that Allah’s Apostle (a.s) had flogged him and he wanted to retaliate. Accordingly, the Prophet (a.s) ordered Bilal to bring him the whip, that Sawada might punish him. Bilal set out and was out of breath, for such a kind of justice controlled his feelings. He walked through the streets of Medina shouting at the top of his voice: “O people, settle retaliations with each other in this world, for Allah’s Apostle (a.s) had given (you) retaliation from his own soul.”
Then he went to the house of the Prophet (a.s). He took the whip to the Prophet (a.s). The Prophet ordered Bilal to give the whip to Sawada to punish him (the Prophet). It is worth mentioning that the Prophet was terribly ill.
[^1] Ibn Hajar, al-Sawa‘iq al-Muhriqa.
Sawada walked towards the Prophet with shaking legs. The greatness and dignity of the Prophet covered him, so he said to him: “O Allah’s Apostle, uncover your belly!”
The Prophet (a.s) uncovered his belly, and Sawada said to him in a weak voice: “O Allah’s Apostle, will you permit me to put my mouth on your belly (to kiss it)?”
The Prophet (a.s) gave him a permission, and he put his mouth on the belly of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) while his tears were flowing down his cheeks. He said: “I seek protection with the place of the retaliation of Allah’s Apostle from the fire on the Day of the Fire!” Thus the Prophet (a.s) asked him: “Sawada, will you retaliate or pardon me?” “I will pardon you, O Allah’s Apostle,” retorted Sawada.
So the Prophet (a.s) raised his hands towards the heaven and invoked Allah for him, saying: “O Allah, pardon Sawada just as he has pardoned Your Prophet!”[^1]
Fatima feels Sorrow
Grief encompassed the Prophet’s daughter, misfortune befell her, and sadness harmed her tender, tortured heart. She saw her father suffering from the severest pain and anguish, and she heard him saying: “Oh! What anguish!” Her heart was full of agony and sadness, so she answered him: “Oh! What agony I have due to your agony!”
He looked at her and saw her eyes filled with tears. He had pity on her and said: “There will be no anguish on your father after this day!” When his condition became worse, the condition of al-Zahra’ changed. She became pale, weak, and confused. Cares, troubles, pain, and sadness surrounded her. When he saw her, his heart cracked. He wanted to remove sadness from her heart, so he made her sit by him. He whispered to her something. When she heard his saying, she burst into tears. Then he (a.s) whispered to her something else, and she received it with similes, cheerfulness, and content. A’isha, the Prophet’s wife, was astonished at this deed, and she said: “I have never seen (a day) like this day when rejoicing is similar to sadness!”
[^1] Bihar al-Anwar, vol.6, p. 1035.
She asked her about what Allah’s Apostle (a.s) had said to her, and she refused to answer her. When the days passed, Fatima told A’isha about the reason for that weeping and rejoicing, saying: “Allah’s Apostle said: “Gabriel used to revise the Qur’an with me once a year. This year he has revised it with me twice. I can only consider that death is at hand.”
This was the reason for her agony and weeping. As for the reason for her delight, she said: “He told me that I would be the first of his family to join him and that it would be not a long time for me after him before I would be with him. That made the grief go from me…He said to me, ‘Are you not satisfied to be the principal of the women of this community?”
The Prophet (a.s) removed from his beloved daughter sorrow through telling her that the separation between them would not be long. When she came to know that the meeting of her father with his Lord would be at hand, she set off to her house and brought her two sons while she was weeping bitterly. She said to him: “Father, these are your two sons. Give them some thing as inheritance.”
“As for al-Hasan,” he replied, “he has my form and nobility. As for al-Husayn, he has my generosity and bravery.” Al-Hasan left him while he inherited from him his form and nobility; and the master of martyrs inherited from him his generosity and bravery. Is there an inheritance on the earth better than this inheritance that had the perfection and nobility of the prophethood? According to his inheritance, al-Hasan was a symbol of Prophet Muhammad’s dignity and a model of the prophetic nobility. It has been narrated that he had the signs of prophets and radiance of kings.
The Prophet gives what he has as Alms
Before his illness, the Prophet (a.s) had seven dinars. He feared that he would die while he still had them. So he ordered his family to give the dinars as alms. As they were busy taking care of him and looking after him, they forgot to carry out his order. When he recovered consciousness, he asked them about what they had done regarding the money. They said that the dinars were still with them. He asked them to bring those dinars. When they brought them, he put them on the palm of his hand and said: “What shall Muhammad say to his Lord when he meets Him and they are still with him?” Then he gave the dinars to the poor as alms, and he had nothing of them.
The great Disaster
The Prophet (a.s) looked through the unseen and gathered that his community after him would be afflicted with discords like the dark night and with black misfortunes, and that it would renegade after faith. He regarded that as too great. He became sad and sorrowful while he was living his last hours when he came to know about the great plot schemed against his guardian, his successor, and the gate of the city of his knowledge (Imam Ali). That was when he came to know that the people lagged behind the Army of Usama and were slow to join it. So, he (a.s) thought that he had to follow another way to save his community from going astray and to protect his nation from discords and errors. He (a.s) said: “Bring me ink and parchment so that I may write a document for you, after which you will never go astray.”[^1]
What great this favor was! What a valuable chance it was! If the people had seized it and hurried to carry it out, they would have protected themselves and the following generations from going astray. But they deprived themselves of happiness, closed the windows of mercy and guidance before them and before the following generations. The life in this world had deceived them, and they rushed upon authority. They knew the objective of the Prophet (a.s). They came to know that he would appoint Ali as his guardian. Through that they realized that their goals and their interests would be lost, so one of them said to the Prophet (a.s) with impudence and vainglory: “Allah’s Book is sufficient for us!”
Whoever carefully considers this answer understands their plot and their plans aiming at removing Imam Ali from the personnel of government. If they had thought that Allah’s Apostle (a.s) would not entrust him with the caliphate or that he would entrust him with protecting the borders and religious rites, they would not have given him such an imprudent answer and would not have refused his request. However, they came to know his objective, so they did their best to destroy and corrupt it. Anyway, many disagreements and disputes took place among them. Accordingly, the women who were behind the curtain said to the men: “Do you not hear what Allah’s Apostle say?”
Umar became excited and shouted at them lest the affair should escape him, saying: “Indeed you are like the mistresses of Yusuf (Prophet Joseph). If he becomes ill, you press your eyes; and when he gets well, you ride his neck!”
Allah’s Apostle (a.s) looked at Umar because his speech had annoyed him. He said to him: “Leave them, for they are better than you.”
[^1] Ahmed, Musnad, vol. 1, p. 355. Other than him has mentioned the tradition.
The people who wanted to carry out the Prophet’s request were about to be successful, but one of the opponents spoiled their affairs through saying terrible words: “Most surely the Prophet is delirious!”[^1]
Which mishap like this one that befell Islam? Which misfortune like this one that afflicted the Muslims? Is it right to decide that the Prophet (a.s) was delirious? Indeed, the people returned to the pre-Islamic times. They forgot the position of the Prophet (a.s) and said to him bad, rude words. We belong to Allah and to Him is our return! Surely it was the greatest misfortune whose terror caused hearts to melt. They came between the Muslims and their happiness and sent good far from them. When Ibn Abbas remembered the event, his tears poured down his face. He sighed and said: “Thursday! Thursday! Allah’s Apostle (a.s) said: ‘Bring me ink and parchment so that I may write a document for you, after which you will never go astray.’ But they said that Allah’s Apostle was delirious!”[^2]
They did not hear the verses of the Qur’an while they were recited to them by day and night and were proof of the infallibility of the Prophet (a.s). Allah, the Most High, has said: “Your companion does not err, nor does he go astray; nor does speak of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed; the Lord of Mighty Power has taught him.” [^3] He, the Exalted, has also said: “Most surely it is the word of an honored messenger, the possessor of strength having an honorable place with the Lord of the Dominion, One (to be obeyed), and faithful in trust. And your companion has not gone mad.” [^4] There are other verses indicating that he was not delirious. However, the life in this world deceived the people, and they admired its embellishment. Accordingly, they deviated from the right way, turned away from the laws of justice, made the community get worse and worse in the fields of ignorance and deception, and closed before them the doors of mercy and guidance.
[^1] Al-Bukhari has mentioned the event several times in his book (al-Saheeh), vol. 4, pp. 69-99, vol. 6, p. 8. But he has hidden the name of the person who said these words. In his book Gharib al-Hadith, Ibn al-Athir has mentioned that it was ‘Umar bin al-Khattab who said these words. During his speech with Ibn Abbas, ‘Umar admitted that he had prevented the Prophet (a.s.) from writing (some thing) concerning Ali and his family. This has been mentioned in the book Sharh Nahjj al-Balagha, vol. 3, p. 114, by Ibn Abi al-Hadeed.
[^2] Ahmed, Musnad, vol. 1, p. 355. [^3] Qur’an, 53, 2-5. [^4] Ibid., 81, 19-22.
To the High Comrade
When the Prophet (a.s) was about to die, Allah sent him the Angel of Death to raise his pure soul to the Garden and to the farthest nabk-tree. The Angel of Death came and asked permission from the Household of the Revelation to come in to Allah’s Apostle (a.s). However, Fatima al-Zahra’ told him that the Prophet (a.s) was distracted from him because he had fainted due to his intense illness. After a while, he repeated his request, so Allah’s Apostle (a.s) recovered consciousness and said to his daughter: “Do you know him?” “No, O Allah’s Apostle,” replied Fatima. “He is the one who builds graves, destroys houses, and makes people separate from each other,” he retorted.
Fatima’s entity collapsed; perplexity surrounded her. She wept with bitter tears. She said in a weak voice with sad tones: “Woe! The last of the prophets has died! What a misfortune! The best of the pious has died! The master of the chosen ones has been separated (from us)! Alas! The Revelation has ceased from the Heaven! Indeed, today, I have been deprived of speaking with you!”
Allah’s Apostle (a.s) had mercy on his daughter, so he sent her words of comfort, saying: “Do not weep, for most surely you will be the first of my family to follow me.”[^1]
The Prophet (a.s) permitted the Angel of Death to enter. When he stood before him, he said: “O Allah’s Apostle (a.s) most surely Allah has sent me to you and ordered me to obey you in all that which you command me. If you command me to take your soul, I will take it, and if you command me to leave it, I will leave it.”
“Will you do that, O Angel of Death?” asked the Prophet (a.s). “I have been commanded to obey you in all that which you command me of.” Then Gabriel entered and said “O Ahmed, indeed Allah has yearned for you!”[^2]
When the household of the Prophet (a.s) came to know that the Prophet would leave them in those moments, the misfortune astounded them, and they became very sad. Al-Hasan and al-Husayn came and bent down to the Prophet to bid farewell to him. They shed tears. They kissed him, and he kissed them. Imam Ali (a.s) tried to put them aside, but the Prophet (a.s) said to him: “Let them enjoy me, and let me enjoy them, for they will face a misfortune after me.”
[^1] Durrat al-Nasiheen, p. 66. [^2] Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat, vol. 2, p. 48.
Then the Prophet turned to those who came to visit him and said to them: “Indeed I have left with you Allah’s Book and my family, my household. Whoever loses Allah’s Book is like one who loses my Sunna (my sayings and practices), and whoever loses my Sunna is like one who loses my family; most surely they shall never separate from each other until they reach me by the Pool.”[^1]
Then he summoned his guardian and successor and said to him: “Ali, put my head in your lap, for the order of Allah (of my death) has come. When my soul departs, take it with your hand and rub your face with it. Then turn me toward the qibla. Carry out my command and pray over me as the first of the people. Do not leave me until you have buried me in my grave. Seek the help of Allah, the Great and Almighty.”
Imam Ali (a.s) took the head of the Prophet (a.s) and put it in his lap and put his right hand under his jaw. The Prophet (a.s) permitted the Angel of Death to receive his Holy Soul. When the Prophet’s soul was going out, the Imam took it with his hand and rubbed his face with it.[^2] He announced the Prophet’s death to those present.
On that day immortal in the world of sadness, the standards of justice were folded, the lamps of perfection and virtue were extinguished, and the humanity was not afflicted with a disaster like that one before. The great Savior died; the Light that enlightened the way to man and guided him to the straight path was veiled. The dreams of the Muslims dispersed before that terrible misfortune, for the people had no comfort after Allah’s Apostle (a.s), and sorrow had neither limit nor end due to missing him. Muhammad went away from this world, and the light of his face departed too. So the tongues set out to lament over him, the eyes wept for him; the crying and lamentation from the house of the Prophet (a.s) became loud. The greatest of his household in agony and
[^1] Al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn, vol. 1, p. 144. [^2] Al-Manaqib, vol. 1, p. 29. Traditions ensured by many lines of transmission have been reported on that Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) died in the lap of Ali, peace be on him. It has been mentioned in the book Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 4, p. 55, that Abu Ghatafan said: “I asked Ibn Abbas: In whose lap did the Prophet (a.s.) die? And he answered: ‘He died while he was leaning on Ali’s chest.’ Then I said to him that ‘Urwa related to me on the authority of Aa’isha, who said that Allah’s Apostle (a.s.) died (while his head) was between her chest and her neck. ‘Do you believe that?,’ he asked me, ‘by Allah, Allah’s Apostle, died (while he was leaning) on Ali’s chest. It was he (Ali) who washed him.’” This narration has also been mentioned by Ibn Sa‘d, in his Tabaqat, vol. 2, p. 51.
misfortune was his daughter Fatima al-Zahra. She came down to his body. She was astonished-minded due to the intense sorrow and sadness. She wept bitterly and said: “O father! I am announcing your death to Gabriel! O father! Paradise is your shelter! O father! You have responded to your Lord’s invitation!”[^1]
The tragic news spread all over the City of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) and made it move from side to side in sadness. The Muslims gathered and were perplexed. The misfortune silenced them, and the terrible event befell them. They were either silent, crying, astonished, or lamenting. They faced endless pain.
Imam Ali (a.s) who was surrounded by pain and sadness, rose and began preparing the Prophet (a.s) for burial. He washed him[^2] and said: “May my father and mother be sacrificed for you! How good you are dead or alive!”[^3]
After Imam Ali (a.s) had prepared the Prophet (a.s) for burial, he put him down. It was Allah who was the first to pray over him, then Gabriel, then Mikaiel, then Israfiel, and then the angels group by group.[^4] Then the Muslims came in to bid farewell to the Prophet and to pray over him.[^5] After performing
[^1] Ibn Maja, Sunan. In it he has been mentioned: “Hammad bin Zayd said: ‘I have seen Thabit, who related the tradition. When he related it, he wept to the extent that his ribs differed.’”
[^2] Wafa’ al-Wafa’, vol. 1, p. 227. In Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 4, p. 53, it has been mentioned: “(Iman) Ali washed Allah’s Apostle (a.s.). Al-Fadhl and Usama were giving him water from behind a curtain.” In the book it has also been mentioned: “The people have differed over his shroud. It was said that he was shrouded with three garments. It was said that he was shrouded in a Yemeni garment (shroud) and shirt. They have also mentioned other narrations on his shroud.” It has been narrated that Aba Qalla‘a would say: “Do you not wonder at their differing over the shroud of Allah’s Apostle (a.s.)?”
[^3] Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat, vol. 2, part 2, p. 63. [^4] Hulyat al-Awliya’, vol. 4, p. 77. [^5] Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 4, p. 54. In it he has been mentioned: “When Imam (Ali), the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, put the great body on the bed to pray over it, he said to the Muslims: ‘None should lead you in prayer, for he (the Prophet) is your Imam (Whether he is) dead or alive.’ Accordingly, the people came in group by group and prayed over him in ranks. There was no Imam before them. (Imam Ali), the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, was standing beside the corpse and saying: ‘assalamu ‘alayka O Prophet, Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you! O Allah, we bear witness that he has made known what was revealed to him, showed sincerity towards his community, struggled in the way of Allah until Allah made dear His religion and His words became perfect. O Allah, place us among those who follow that which been revealed to him, make us firm after him, and let us gather with him.’ The people said: ‘Amen! Amen!’ The men, the women, and the boys prayed over him.” (The historians) have differed over the date of his death (a.s.). It was said that he died on Rabee‘ al-Awal 12th. This has been mentioned in the book the prayer over him, Imam Ali dug the grave. When he had finished diggingthe grave, al-Mughira threw his ring into it and said to Imam Ali (a.s):
“My ring!” The Imam (a.s) said to his son al-Hasan: “Go down and give him the ring.” Al-Hasan (a.s) did that. Al-Mughira intended to enter the Sacred Grave after the Commander of the faithful had gone out of it. He intended to pride himself on his companions that he was the last of the people to bid farewell to Allah’s Apostle. However, Imam Ali (a.s) knew his purpose, and thus he ordered al-Hasan to enter the grave, and he was the last of the people to bid farewell to Allah’s Apostle (a.s).[^1]
Imam Ali (a.s) and buried the great body in its final-resting place. Then he stood by the grave to water it with the tears of his eyes. He said some words indicating his deep sadness: “Patience is good (toward all things) except toward you! Impatience (toward all things) is ugly except toward you! The misfortune is great! Misfortunes before and after you are not important!”[^2]
The great terror and painful misfortune melted the heart of al-Hasan (a.s) while he was still young. His beautiful bloom of youth withered. He saw the Prophet, who was kind to him, being buried in his grave. He saw his parents astonished and sorrowful at the death of the great Prophet. This event left in his soul severe pain and strong sadness. The Prophet (a.s) went to the High Comrade while al-Hasan was at the age of seven years.[^3] At this age the mental powers of a child grow. At it the mind of a child is like a camera conveying in the inner soul many views and pictures and planting in it sadness and happiness passing by it. Besides, some clever children may have abilities and readiness for understanding deeds and attitudes. At that time some important events accompanied al-Hasan. They took place before the death of his grandfather, the Apostle (a.s). Among them is that the people refused to join the regiment of Usama, did not respond to the Prophet (a.s) when he requested ink and parchment to write for his community a document that would protect them from discords and going astray. Without doubt al-Hasan understood the purpose of that. He came to know of the plots that people schemed against his father. This attitude left in his soul hidden sadness, and he criticized the people for their usurping the rights of his father. We will explain that in the Time of the two Sheikhs.