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The Life of Imam Ali ('a)

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Published on 3rd May, 2003

The Martyrdom of Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba ('a)
A Man Qualified for Tough Missions

Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Fadhlullah

Allah says in His Glorious Book: 

“Allah’s wish is but to remove uncleanness far from you, 
O folk of the Household and cleanse you with a through cleansing.”
 

This Ayat refers to Ahl-al-Bayt (members of the household) who are Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husayn ('a) while they were with the Messenger, covered by the same cover, united by the same religion, and honored by their love to Allah (swt), their commitment to His worshippers and their strive to serve His Message. The Ayat affirms the infallibility of Ahl-al-Bayt ('a) as they were purified from doing or saying anything wrong.

Raised by The Prophet

One of the members of Ahl-al-Bayt ('a) is Imam Hasan bin Ali bin Abi Talib ('a) whose death anniversary is on the 28th of the month of Safar. He was the first born son of Ali ('a) and Fatima ('a) after the immigration to Medina and he is the first grandson of the Prophet ('s). He enjoyed, along with his brother Imam Husayn ('a), the best upbringing a human could ever have, because it did not only provide love and physical care but it also nurtured the mind and the soul.

The Messenger ('s) raised his grandsons as he raised both their father and mother before them thus, they were fortunate enough to enjoy the care and love of the Messenger twice, once directly and the other by inheritance. They lived their early childhood with the Messenger ('s) And it was the first time the Muslims saw the Messenger playing with children, something he did not do with any of his children before. He used to carry them on his back and play with them. He used to tell Muslims that he loves them and used to pray for them saying:

 “O, God, I love them and I ask You to love them and love those who love them”. 

They also enjoyed the love and care of their parents at home. It was an upbringing of nobleness and purity under the sponsorship of the Prophet ('s) who planted in them all the seeds of spiritual values that were nurtured and grown by Imam Ali and Fatima Al-Zahra ('a). Imam Hasan ('a) lived all the events, and tragedies his mother faced following the death of Muhammad ('s). 

He kept them in his mind but they did not fill him with despair. Rather he became aware of the flows and shortcomings of Muslims who lived at that time. After the death of his mother he was taken care of by his father who filled his mind and that of his brother with knowledge and filled their hearts with love for Allah, the Prophet and all people. He also taught them that they should dedicate their lives to serve the message.

Thus Imam Hasan ('a) grew up to be as if he were a copy of the Messenger. For it was said that he looked like the Messenger in both his looks and his manners. He also resembled Imam Ali ('a) because the Commander of the Faithful gave Hasan ('a) all of his traits. Thus he grew up to be strong in his faith in God and knowledgeable of His message. He was also so firm in his stands that he was one of those who talked with Abu Zhar when he was exiled although the caliph banned the Muslims from saying farewell to him.

A Man Qualified for Tough Missions

Thus, when Imam Ali ('a) became the caliph and was opposed by some of the people who were sick in their hearts, he sent his son to the city of Kufa to solve this problem. He proved to be very wise and firm at the same time. Moreover the speeches and sermons he gave there were among the most pious and guiding speeches.
..
We also saw him helping his father in all his affairs and fighting all his wars and battles. Imam Ali used to refer to him so that the people will learn that he was the Imam to follow him. When Imam Ali ('a) was martyred, Imam Hasan ('a) became the Imam by God’s command, as it was evident by the saying of His prophet: 

"Al –Hasan and Al-Husayn are Imams whether they chose to stand or sit" and 

"Al –Hasan and Al–Husayn are the masters of the youth of Heaven".

Who among all Muslims of that age was awarded this medal, especially in view of the fact that Muhammad ('s) does not follow his own passions? When he says something then surely it was revealed to him from God, especially when he is taking about such a significant issue as a rank in Heaven. Who else besides Hasan ('a) and Husayn ('a) were awarded such a medal by a man who says nothing but truth and who is believed in everything he says. 

The Peace Treaty of Imam Hasan ('a)

At that time, the Muslim community was plagued by various sorts of complications: intimidations, temptations and fanaticism as a result of the schemes and plots of Muawiah who managed to destabilize the rule of Imam Ali ('a) by his various wars, whether actual fighting or the wars of deception and money. After Imam Ali’s death, Muawiah continued these wars with Imam Hasan ('a) and was able to destabilize his army, for he managed to buy some of heads of tribes and other weak people. Some of those wrote to Muawiah saying: “If we want, we can hand you Al-Hasan ('a), dead or alive." In this period the Imam survived several attempts on his life. Thus, the Imam studied the situation and concluded that circumstances were not favourable to continue to fight with such a divided army for it will only lead to the victory of Muawiah, who would take advantage of such a victory to eliminate all leaders of opposition of the companions of Imam Ali, leaving no voice that will rise to stand for what is right. He also wanted to pave the way for Imam Hussein’s movement. For Imam Husayn’s revolution is an echo of Hasan’s truce, since it was by no means a recognition of the legitimacy of Muawiah’s rule, but a truce in which he imposed his own conditions. One of these conditions was that he will be the next caliph once Muawiah dies. Needless to say that the Umayyad ruler did not respect these conditions and planned to assassinate Imam Hasan ('a) to ensure that his son,Yazid, will succeed him. He seduced Hasan’s wife with a large sum of money and promised to marry her to Yazid. She gave the Imam some poisoned food and he was martyred.

Concern for the Welfare of the Nation

Jannat ul Baqi in Medina. By S.AbidinThe Imam wanted no blood shed at his funeral. He knew that the Umayyads would not allow his body to be buried near his grandfather, therefore told his brother Husayn (a') in his will that he wanted to be buried at Baqi’, and expressed his wish that he did not want any blood shed at his funeral.

But the Imam ('a) wanted his body to visit the prophet’s grave before he was taken to his final destination.

This was opposed by Aisha and some of her followers who started to cry: Hasan ('a) would not be buried with his grandfather. But when Banu Hashim tried to fight them, Imam Husayn ('a) stopped them, following his brother’s will.

The Role Model

The Imam was a role model in his manners and generosity and he was greatly respected by all his contemporaries. He performed pilgrimage on foot 25 times. He was also a very charitable man whose money was dedicated for the poor and the needy. Moreover, he was also a great speaker who used to take every chance he got to guide people in his sermons, speeches and sayings for the good and the cause of Allah.

In our meeting today, I would like to take a speech by Hasan ('a) that gives us the basic components that a good personality of a pious believer is composed of. The Imam ('a), describing a pious brother of his said: 

"He was in my view one of the greatest people. What made him such was above all that this life did not mean much to him. He did not consider the pleasures of this world as his first concern in a way that he will sell himself for these pleasures.  His only concern was the hereafter and if this world meant anything it was to do good to ensure his place in the other world. He did not complain. He was patient when he encountered difficulties. He used to spend most of his time in silence but this is not because he was unable to speak, but because he decided not speak unless it was necessary, but when he spoke he would outdo all others. He used not to say what he did not do or do what he did not say. If he had to chose between two things he did not know which was nearer to God, he used to leave out what he thought was nearer to his desires. He did not to blame anyone for doing anything that there could be an excuse for".

Describing “council”, the Imam said: 

“If people debate the issue among them they will surely find the right way”. The Holy Quran says that Allah wants His Messenger, despite the fact the he is infallible, to consult with them upon the conduct of affairs. And when thou art resolved, then put thy trust in Allah. Allah also described the community of believers as one {whose affairs are a matter of counsel}. Some traditions have it: “He who consults with others shares them their minds”. The Imam ('a)  also wanted the people to be grateful for Allah’s grace’s because when you are thankful, Allah will increase what He bestows on you . Moreover, you should also thank other people when they do good because this will encourage them to be more charitable; that is why he says: It is mean not to be grateful.

He also said: 

“He who wants to be powerful and respected without being a member of a tribe or a ruler should move from the disgrace of disobeying Allah to the greatness of obeying Him”. 
.
Your obedience to Allah gives you pride and respect. His nephew, Imam Zayn Al-Abideen ('a), reaffirms the same meaning in his supplication when he says: 
..
"O God prevent me from thinking that those who are poor are low or those who are rich are honourable, for the honourable is he who is honoured by obeying you."

Praise be Imam Hasan ('a)  the day he was born, the day he was martyred and the day he will be brought back to life. O God let us be of his consistent followers in this world and of those whom he will recede for in the Hereafter. You are Hearing and answering.

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