Al-Ḥasan ibn ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib
Arabic: الحسن ابن علي ابن أبي طالب
Quraysh (Banu Hashim)
Al-Ḥasan ibn Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib (Arabic: الحسن ابن
علي ابن أبي طالب, 624–670 CE), commonly known as
Hasan or Hassan, is the eldest son of Muhammad's daughter
of Ali, and the older brother to Husayn.
Muslims respect him as a
grandson of the Islamic
Prophet Muhammad. Among Shia Muslims, Hasan is
revered as the 2nd
Twelvers and Zaydis, and as the 1st
Musta'li Isma'ilis. Hasan claimed the caliphate after his father's
death, but abdicated after six or seven months to Muawiyah I, the
second of the
Umayyad caliphs after Uthman, and founder of the Umayyad
dynasty. Al-Hasan was known for donating to the poor, his
kindness to the poor and bondmen, and for his knowledge, tolerance and
bravery. For the rest of his life, Hasan lived in Medina, until he
died at the age of 45 and was buried in the
Jannat al-Baqi cemetery in
Medina. His wife, Ja'da bint al-Ash'at, is commonly accused of having
1 Birth and early life
1.1 The incident of the Mubahalah
2 Life under the first four Caliphs
2.1 Ali's justification for the succession of Hasan
3.1 Hasan and Muawiyah
3.1.1 Facing the Troops
3.1.2 Hasan's Sermon and its Aftermath
3.1.3 Hasan's Vanguard at Al-Maskin
3.1.4 Treaty with Muawiyah
4 Abdication and retirement
5 Family life
5.1.1 During the lifetime of Ali
5.1.2 After the lifetime of Ali
6 Death and aftermath
7 See also
10 External links
Birth and early life
Calligraphic representation of Ḥasan ibn
Ali in Hagia Sophia,
The verse of purification
The verse of purification and The verse of
When Al-Hasan was born in the year 624 CE,
Muhammad slaughtered a ram
for the poor on the occasion of his birth, and chose the name
"Al-Ḥasan" for him.
Fatimah shaved his head and gave the weight of
his hair in silver as alms. According to Shi'ite belief, theirs
was the only house that archangel
Gabriel allowed to have a door to
the courtyard of al-Masjid an-Nabawi (الـمـسـجـد
الـنّـبـوي, "the Mosque of the Prophet"). Both Shi‘ite
Muslims consider Al-Hasan to belong to the Bayt (Arabic:
بـيـت, 'Household') of Muhammad, Ahl al-Kisa’ (أهـل
الـكـسـاء, "People of the Cloak"), and participants of the
Event of Mubahalah.
There are many narrations showing the respect of
Muhammad toward his
grandsons, including the statements that his two grandsons would be
"sayyedā šabāb (masters of youth) of Paradise", and that they were
Imams "whether they stand up or sit down".[a] He also
reportedly predicted that Hasan would make peace between two factions
The incident of the Mubahalah
Main article: Event of Mubahala
In the year AH 10 (631/32 CE) a
Christian envoy from
Najran (now in
northern Yemen) came to
Muhammad to argue which of the two parties
erred in its doctrine concerning ‘Isa (Arabic: عـيـسى,
Jesus). After likening Jesus' miraculous birth to Adam's
creation,[b]—who was born to neither a mother nor a father — and
when the Christians did not accept the Islamic doctrine about Jesus,
Muhammad was instructed to call them to Mubahalah where each party
God to destroy the false party and their families.
"If anyone dispute with you in this matter (concerning Jesus) after
the knowledge which has come to you, say: Come let us call our sons
and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves,
then let us swear an oath and place the curse of
God on those who
lie."[c] Except for al-Tabari, who did not name the
Sunni historians mention Muhammad, Fatimah, Al-Hasan and
Al-Husayn as having participated in the Mubahalah, and some agree with
the Shi'ite tradition that ‘
Ali was among them. Accordingly, in the
Shi'ite perspective, in the verse of Mubahalah, the phrase "our sons"
would refer to Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn, "our women" refers to Fatimah,
and "ourselves" refers to ‘Ali.
It is said that one day, the ‘
Caliph Harun al-Rashid
questioned the seventh
Twelver Shi‘ite Imam, Musa al-Kadhim, saying
why he had permitted people to call him "Son of the Apostle of Allah",
while he and his forefathers were Muhammad's daughter's children, and
that "the progeny belongs to the male (‘Ali) and not to the female
(Fatimah)". In response al-Kadhim recited the verses Quran, 6:84
and Quran, 6:85 and then asked "Who is Jesus' father, O Commander of
the faithful?". "
Jesus had no father", said Harun. Al-Kadhim argued
that God, in these verses, had ascribed
Jesus to descendants of
Prophets, through Mary, saying "similarly, we have been ascribed to
the descendants of the
Prophet through our mother Fatimah". It is
related that Harun asked Musa to give him more evidence and proof.
Al-Kadhim thus recited the verse of Mubahalah, and argued "None claims
Prophet made someone enter under the cloak when he challenged
the Christians to a contest of prayer to
God (the Mubahalah), except
‘Ali, Fatimah, Al-Hasan, and Al-Husayn. So in the verse, "Our sons"
refers to Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn.
Life under the first four Caliphs
The Battle of Siffin, in which followers of
Caliph ‘Ali, including
Al-Hasan, fought the party of Mu‘awiyah.
Al-Hasan was one of the guards defending ‘
Uthman ibn ‘Affan when
the attackers went round the latter and killed him.
During the reign of ‘Ali, he was a participant in the Battles of
Siffin, Nahrawan and Jamal.
Ali's justification for the succession of Hasan
According to Donaldson there was not a significant difference
between the idea of Imamate, or divine right, expressed by each Imam
designating his successor and other ideas of succession at first.
Ali had apparently failed to nominate a successor before he died,
however, on several occasions, reportedly expressed his idea that
"only the Prophet's Bayt were entitled to rule the Community", and
Hasan, whom he had appointed his inheritor, must have been the obvious
choice, as he would eventually be chosen by people to be the next
Sunnis, on the other hand, reject Imamate on the basis of their
interpretation of verse 33:40 of the Qur'an[d] which says that
Muhammad, as the
Khatam an-Nabiyyin (Arabic: خـاتـم
الـنّـبـيّـيـن, "Seal of the Prophets"), "is not the
father of any of your men"; and that is why
God let Muhammad's sons
die in infancy.[e] This is why
Muhammad did not nominate a successor,
as he wanted to leave the succession to be resolved "by the Muslim
Community on the basis of the Qur’anic principle of consultation
(Shura)". The question Madelung proposes here is why the family
Muhammad should not inherit other (other than prophethood)
aspects of Muhammad's character such as Hukm (Arabic: حُـكـم,
Hikmah (Arabic: حِـكـمـة, Wisdom), and Imamah
(Arabic: إمـامـة, Leadership). Since the
Sunni concept of
the "true caliphate" itself defines it as a "succession of the Prophet
in every respect except his prophethood", Madelung further asks "If
God really wanted to indicate that he should not be succeeded by any
of his family, why did He not let his grandsons and other kin die like
See also: Imamah (Shia doctrine)
Ali was assassinated, Al-Hasan became the caliph of the
Ummah, in a manner which followed the custom established by Abu Bakr.
He made a speech at al-Masjid al-Mu‘azzam bil-Kufah (Arabic:
بِـالـكـوفـة, "the Great Mosque in Al-Kufah") in which
he praised the merits of his family, quoting verses of the
the matter: "I am of the family of the
Prophet from whom
removed filth and whom He has purified, whose love He has made
obligatory in ًHis Book when He said: "Whosoever performs a good act,
We shall increase the good in it."[f] Performing a good act is love
for us, the family of the Prophet."
Qays ibn Sa'd was the first
to give allegiance to him. Qays then stipulated the condition that the
Bay'ah (Arabic: بَـيْـعَـة, Pledge of Allegiance) should
be based on: on the Qur’an, the
Sunnah (Arabic: سُـنَّـة,
Deeds, Sayings, etc.) of Muhammad, and on the condition of a Jihad
(Arabic: جِـهَـاد, Struggle) against those who declared
Halal (Arabic: حَـلَال, Lawful) that which was Haram
(Arabic: حَـرَام, Unlawful). Hasan, however, tried to avoid
the last condition by saying that it was implicitly included in the
first two, as if he knew, as Jafri put it, from the very beginning,
the Iraqis' lack of resolution in time of trials, and thus Hasan
wanted to "avoid commitment to an extreme stand which might lead to
Hasan and Muawiyah
As soon as the news of Hasan's selection reached Muawiyah, who had
been fighting ‘
Ali for the caliphate, he condemned the selection,
and declared his decision not to recognise him. Letters exchanged
between Al-Hasan and Mu‘awiyah before their troops faced each other
were to no avail. However, these letters, which are recorded in
Madelung and Jafri's books, provide useful arguments concerning
the rights of caliphate which will lead to the origin of the Shi‘ah
(Arabic: شـيـعـة, Party) (of ‘
Ali and the Household of
Muhammad). In one of his long letters to Muawiyah in which he summoned
him to pledge allegiance to him, Hasan made use of the argument of his
father, Ali, which the latter had advanced against
Abu Bakr after the
death of Muhammad.
Ali had said: "If
Quraysh could claim the
leadership over the Ansar on the grounds that the
Prophet belonged to
Quraysh, then the members of his family, who were the nearest to him
in every respect, were better qualified for the leadership of the
Muawiyah's response to this argument is also interesting. For
Muawiyah, while recognising the excellence of Muhammad's family,
further asserted that he would willingly follow Al-Hasan's request
were it not for his own superior experience in governing:"…You are
asking me to settle the matter peacefully and surrender, but the
situation concerning you and me today is like the one between you
[your family] and
Abu Bakr after the death of the
Prophet … I have a
longer period of reign [probably referring to his governorship], and I
am more experienced, better in policies, and older in age than you …
If you enter into obedience to me now, you will accede to the
caliphate after me."
In his book, The Origins and Early Development of Shi‘a Islam, Jafri
comes to the conclusion that the majority of the Muslims, who became
known as Sunnis afterwards, "placed the religious leadership in the
totality of the community (Ahl al-
Sunnah wal Jamaah), represented by
the Ulama, as the custodian of religion and the exponent of the
Qur’an and the
Sunnah of the Muhammad, while accepting state
authority as binding… A minority of the Muslims, on the other hand,
could not find satisfaction for their religious aspirations except in
the charismatic leadership from among the people of the house of the
Prophet, the Ahl al-Bayt, as the sole exponents of the Qur’an and
the Prophetic Sunnah, although this minority too had to accept the
state's authority. This group was called the Shi‘ah."
Facing the Troops
There was more corresponding with no result, so as negotiations
stalled, Mu‘awiyah summoned all the commanders of his forces in
Ash-Sham (Arabic: اَلـشَّـام, the region that stretches
Syria and southern
Anatolia in the north, to Palestine and
Transjordan in the south), and began preparations for war.
Soon after he marched his army of sixty thousand men through
Mesopotamia to Maskin, on the
Tigris boundary of Mosul, towards the
Sawad. Meanwhile, he attempted to negotiate with Al-Hasan, sending the
young heir letters asking him to give up his claim. According
to Jafri, Muawiyah hoped to either force Hasan to come to terms; or
attack the Iraqi forces before they had time to strengthen their
location. However, Jafri says, Muawiyah knew if Hasan was defeated and
killed, he was still a threat; for, another member of the clan of
Hashim could simply claim to be his successor. Should he abdicate in
favour of Mu‘awiyah, however, such claims would have no weight and
Mu‘awiya's position would be guaranteed. According to Jafri this
policy proved to be correct, for even ten years later, after the death
of Al-Hasan, when ‘Iraqis turned to his younger brother, Al-Husayn,
concerning an uprising, Al-Husayn instructed them to wait as long as
Mu‘awiyah was alive due to Al-Hasan's peace treaty with him.
As the news of Muawiyah's army reached Hasan, he sent someone to his
local governors ordering them to get ready to set out, then addressed
the people of Kufah with a war speech: "
God had prescribed the Jihad
for his creation and called it a loathsome duty."[g] There was no
response at first, as some tribal chiefs, paid by Muawiyah, were
reluctant to move. Hasan's companions scolded them, asking whether
they won't answer to the son of the Prophet's daughter? Turning to
Hasan they assured him of their obedience, and immediately left for
the war camp. Al-Hasan admired them and later joined them at
An-Nukhayla, where people were coming together in large groups.
Hasan appointed ‘Ubayd
Allah ibn al-Abbas as the commander of his
vanguard of twelve thousand men to move to Maskin. There he was told
to keep back Mu‘awiyah until Al-Hasan arrived with the main army. He
was advised not to fight, unless attacked, and that he should consult
Qays ibn Sa'd who was appointed as second in command if he were
Hasan's Sermon and its Aftermath
While Al-Hasan's vanguard was waiting for his arrival at Maskin, Hasan
himself was facing a serious problem at Sabat near Al-Mada'in, where
he gave a sermon after morning prayer in which he declared that he
God to be the most sincere of His creation to His creation;
that he bore no resentment nor hatred against any Muslim, nor did he
want evil and harm to anyone; and that "whatever they hated in
community was better than what they loved in schism." He was,
he continued, looking after their best interest, better than they
themselves; and instructed them not to disobey "whatever orders he
Some of the troops, taking this as a sign that Al-Hasan was preparing
to give up battle, rebelled against him, looted his tent, seizing even
the prayer rug from underneath him. Hasan shouted for his horse and
rode off surrounded by his partisans who kept back those who were
trying to reach him. While they were passing by Sabat, however,
al-Jarrah ibn Sinan, a Kharijite, managed to ambush Hasan and wounded
him in the thigh with a dagger, while he was shouting: "
God is the
Greatest! You have become a
Kafir (Arabic: كـافـر, Infidel)
like your father before you." Abd
Allah ibn al-Hisl jumped upon him,
and as others joined in, al-Jarrah was overpowered, and he died. Hasan
was taken to Al-Mada'in where he was cared for by his governor, Sa'd
ibn Mas'ud al-Thaqafi The news of this attack, having been
spread by Mu‘awiyah, further demoralised the already discouraged
army of Al-Hasan, and led to extensive desertion from his troops.
Hasan's Vanguard at Al-Maskin
Allah with the Kufan vanguard arrived al-Maskin where
Muawiyah had already reached, the latter sent an envoy to tell them
that he had received letters from Hasan asking for an armistice and
that he asked the Kufans not to attack until he finished his
negotiations with Hasan. Muawiyyah's claim was probably untrue; but he
had good reason to think that he could make Hasan to give in.
The Kufans, however, insulted Muawiyah's envoy and reviled him. Next
Muawiya sent the envoy to visit Ubayd
Allah in private, and to swear
to him that Hasan had requested Muawiyah for a truce, and that
Muawiyah was offering Ubayd
Allah 1,000,000 dirhams, half of which to
be paid at once, the other half in Kufa, provided he went over to him.
Allah accepted and deserted at night to Muawiyah's camp.
Muawiyah was extremely pleased and fulfilled his promise to
The next morning, the Kufans waited for Ubayd
Allah to emerge and lead
the morning prayer. Then
Qays ibn Sa'd took charge and, in his sermon,
severely denounced Ubayd Allah, his father and his brother. The people
shouted: "Praise be to
God that He has removed him from us; stand up
with us against our enemy." Believing that the desertion of
Allah had broken the spirit of his enemy, Mu‘awiyah sent
Busr with a troop to make them give up. Qays attacked and drove him
back. The next day Busr attacked with a larger troop but was kept back
again. Muawiyah now sent a letter to Qays offering bribes but Qays
replied that he "would never meet him except with a lance between
them." As the news of the riot against Hasan and of his having
been wounded arrived, however, both sides abstained from fighting to
wait for further news.
Treaty with Muawiyah
See also: Hasan–Muawiya treaty
Muawiyah, who had already started negotiations with Al-Hasan, now sent
high-level envoys, while committing himself in a witnessed letter to
appoint Hasan his successor and give him whatever he wished. Hasan
accepted the offer in principle and sent ‘Amr ibn Salima al-Hamdani
al-Arhabl and his own brother-in-law
Muhammad ibn al-Ash'ath back to
Mu'awiyah as his negotiators, together with the envoys of the latter.
Mu'awiyah then wrote a letter saying that he was making peace with
Hasan on the basis that Hasan would inherit the reign after him. He
swore that he would not seek to harm him; and that he would give him
1,000,000 dirhams from the treasury (Bayt al-mal) annually, along with
the land tax of Fasa and Darabjird, which Hasan was to send his own
tax agents to collect. The letter was witnessed by the four envoys and
dated in August 661.
When Hasan read the letter he commented: "He is trying to appeal to my
greed for a matter which, if I desired it, I would not surrender to
him." Then he sent Abd
Allah ibn al-Harith, whose mother, Hind,
was Muawiyah's sister, to Muawiyah, instructing him: "Go to your uncle
and tell him: If you grant safety to the people I shall pledge
allegiance to you." After which, Muawiyah gave him a blank paper with
his seal at the bottom, inviting Hasan to write on it whatever he
According to Jafri, historians like
Al-Masudi do not
mention the terms of peace treaty at all. Other historians such as
Dinawari, Ibn Abd al-Barr and Ibn al-Athir record different accounts
of the conditions, and the timing of the black sheet sent by Mu'awiyah
to Hasan was confusing in Tabari's account. The most comprehensive
account, which explains the different ambiguous accounts of other
sources, according to Jafri, is given by Ahmad ibn A'tham, which must
have taken it from al-Mada'ini. Madelung's view is close to that of
Jafri when he stipulates that Hasan surrendered the reign over the
Muslims to Mu'awiyah on the basis that "he act according to the Book
of God, the
Sunnah of His
Prophet and the conduct of the righteous
caliphs. Mu'awiyah should not be entitled to appoint his successor but
that there should be an electoral council (Shura); the people would be
safe, wherever they were, with respect to their person, their property
and their offspring; Mu'awiyah would not seek any wrong against Hasan
secretly or openly, and would not intimidate any of his
companions." The letter was testified by Abd
al-Harith, and Amr ibn Salima and transmitted by them to Mu'awiyah for
him to take recognition of its contents and to confirm his acceptance.
Hasan, thus, surrendered his control of
Iraq in Rabi II 41/August 661
after a reign of seven months.
Abdication and retirement
After the peace treaty with Al-Hasan, Mu‘awiyah set out with his
troops to Kufa, where at a public surrender ceremony Hasan rose and
reminded the people that he and Al-Husayn were the only grandsons of
Muhammad, and that he had surrendered the reign to Mu'awiyah in the
best interest of the community: "O people, surely it was
God who led
you by the first of us and Who has spared you bloodshed by the last of
us. I have made peace with Mu‘awiyah, and I know not whether haply
this be not for your trial, and that ye may enjoy yourselves for a
time,"[h] declared Hasan.
In his own speech Muawiyah told them that the reason why he had fought
them was not to make them pray, fast, perform the pilgrimage, and give
alms, considering that they had been already doing those, but to be
Amir (Commander or Leader), and
God had bestowed him that
against their will.[i] According to some sources, he also said
"The agreement I made with Hasan is null and void. It lies trampled
under my feet."[j] Then he shouted: "God's protection is dissolved
from anyone who does not come forth and pledge allegiance. Surely, I
have sought revenge for the blood of Uthman, may
God kill his
murderers, and have returned the reign to those to whom it belongs in
spite of the rancour of some people. We grant respite of three nights.
Whoever has not pledged allegiance by then will have no protection and
no pardon." The people rushed from every direction to vow
While still camping outside Kufah, Muawiyah faced a Kharijite revolt.
He sent a cavalry troop against them, but they were beaten back.
Mu'awiyah now sent after Hasan, who had already left for Medinah, and
commanded him to return and fight against the Kharijites. Hasan, who
had reached al-Qadisiyyah, wrote back: "I have abandoned the fight
against you, even though it was my legal right, for the sake of peace
and reconciliation of the Community. Do you think I shall fight
together with you?"
In the nine-year period between Hasan's abdication in AH 41 (661 CE)
and his death in AH 50 (670 CE), Al-Hasan retired in Al-Medinah,
trying to keep aloof from political involvement for or against
Muawiyah. In spite of that, however, he was considered the chief of
Muhammad's household, by
Banu Hashim themselves and the partisans of
Ali, who pinned their hopes on his final succession to
Mu‘awiyah. Occasionally, Shi'ites, mostly from Kufah, went to
Hasan and Husayn in small groups, and asked them to be their leaders,
a request to which they declined to respond. Hasan has been quoted
as commenting "If Muawiyah was the rightful successor to the
Caliphate, he has received it. And if I had that right, I, too, have
passed it on to him; so the matter ends there."
Madelung has quoted Al-Baladhuri,[k] as saying that Hasan, on the
basis of his peace terms with Mu‘awiyah, sent his tax collectors to
Fasa and Darabjird. The caliph had, however, instructed Abdullah ibn
Aamir, now again governor of Al-Basrah, to incite the Basrans to
protest that this money belonged to them by right of their conquest.
And that they chased Hasan's tax collectors out of the two provinces.
According to Madelung, however, that Hasan would send tax collectors
from Al-Medinah to Iran, after just having made plain that he would
not join Mu‘awiyah in fighting the Kharijites, is entirely
incredible. In any case as Mu‘awiyah came to know that Hasan
would not help his government, relations between them became worse.
Hasan rarely, if ever, visited Mu‘awiyah in Damascus, Al-Sham,
though he is said to have accepted gifts from him.
Hasan's closeness to
Muhammad was such that, for example, when
Muhammad wanted to curse with the Najrani Christians, Hasan was with
Muhammad also said: "who worries him, has
worried me," or "Hasan is from me, and I am from him."
It is related that Hasan spent most of his youth in "making and
unmaking marriages", so that "these easy morals gained him the title
mitlaq, the divorcer, which involved ‘
Ali in serious enmities."
According to his grandson, Abdullah ibn Ḥasan, he usually had four
free wives, the limit allowed by the law.[l] Stories spread out on
this subject and have led to the suggestions that he had 70 or 90
wives in his lifetime,[m] along with a harem of 300 concubines.
According to Madelung, however, these reports and descriptions are
"for the most part vague, lacking in names, concrete specifics and
verifiable detail; they appear to be spun out of the reputation of
al-Hasan as a mitlaq, now interpreted as a habitual and prodigious
divorcer, some clearly with a defamatory intent." Living in his
father's household, "Ḥasan was in no position to enter into any
marriages not arranged or approved by him," says Madelung.
According to Ebn Saa'd (pp. 27–28), whose information seems to
be more reliable, however, Hasan had 15 sons and 9 daughters from six
wives and three named concubines. Many of these children died in their
early years. It is said that most of these marriages had a political
intent in his father's interest, for he gave a part of his Kunya
(Arabic: كُـنـيـة, Nickname), "Abu Muḥammad" (Arabic:
أبـو مـحـمّـد, "Father of Muhammad"), to the first son
from his first freely chosen wife after ‘Ali's death, Ḵawla bint
Manẓur, daughter of a Fazāra chief and former wife of
Talhah. He evidently wanted to make this son his primary heir.
Muhammad died, Al-Ḥasan chose his second son from
Ḵawla, called 'Ḥasan', as his heir.
It is implied that frequently divorcing women was contrary to Hasan's
wisdom, therefore, that the accusation that he did so was false.
"Al-Nijah al-Taii" in "Al-Sirat an-Nabawiyyah" says that one of
politics of Muawiyah was to destroy the image of ‘
Ali and his
family, in the eyes of Muslims.
In his book The Succession to Muhammad, Madelung manages to give a
detailed account of Hasan's marriages, a summary of which goes as
During the lifetime of Ali
The first marriage of Hasan was probably with Salma or Zaynab,
daughter of the renowned Kalbite chief Imru' ul-Qays who was appointed
Umar as commander over a region who would accept Islam. ‘Ali,
together with his sons Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn, came forth to meet him
and proposed establishing marriage ties. Born in the years 3/624—5
and 4/626, Hasan and Husayn were too young for the wedding to have
taken place immediately. In the later years of Ali's reign, Hasan may
never actually have married Salma, or may have divorced her before.
Probably soon after Ali's arrival in Kufa, Hasan married Ja'da,
daughter of the Kinda chief al-Ash'at (‘
Ali evidently was eager at
this time to establish an alliance with the powerful Yemenite tribal
coalition in Kufa). Madelung relates two different accounts concerning
how Ja'da's father or Hasan's father made them marry together.
Although childless, she evidently was not divorced by him. She is
commonly accused of having poisoned Hasan at the instigation of
Probably also soon after his arrival in Kufa, before the battle of
Siffin, Al-Hasan married Umm Bashir (in some sources Umm Bishr),
daughter of Abu Mas'ud who had settled in
Kufa at an early stage and
was among those opposed to the Kufan rebellion against Uthman. Ali
evidently hoped to draw him to his side and presumably arranged the
marriage of his daughter to Hasan. Then he appointed him governor of
Kufa during his absence for the campaign to Siffin.
After the lifetime of Ali
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After his abdication and return to Medinah, Hasan married Khawla,
daughter of the Fazara chief Manzur ibn Zabban (Fazara belonged to the
large northern Arab tribal association claiming descent from Qays).
Previously she had been married to Talha's pious son Muhammad, who was
killed in the Battle of the Camel, and had two sons and a daughter by
him. She is said either to have been given in marriage to Hasan by Abd
Allah ibn al-Zubayr, who was married to her sister Tumadir, or to have
herself given the choice to Hasan, who then married her. Upon hearing
this, her father declared that he was not someone to be ignored with
respect to his daughter. He came to
Medina and planted a black flag in
Al-Masjid an-Nabawi. All Qaysites (descent from Qays) present in
Medina assembled under it in solidarity with him. Hasan now
surrendered her to him, and he took her away to Quba'. She reproached
him, quoting the hadith: "Al-Hasan ibn
Ali will be the lord of the
youth among the inmates of paradise." He told her: "Wait here, if the
man is in need of you, he will join us here." Hasan came to them
accompanied by his brother Husayn, his cousins
Abdullah ibn Ja'far
Abdullah ibn Ja'far and
Allah ibn Abbas and took her back, marrying her this time with the
approval of her father. Khawla bore Hasan his son al-Hasan, from whom
the Najafi dynasty of Bengal claim direct descent.
In Medinah, Hasan married Hafsah the daughter of Abdul-Rahman ibn Abi
Bakr. Al-Mundhir ibn al-Zubayr was in love with her, and spread a
false rumour about her. As a result, Hasan divorced her. The report
characterises him in this context as Mitlaq, evidently meaning here:
ready to divorce on insubstantial grounds. Next Asim, the son of Umar,
married her. Al-Mundhir falsely accused her before him, and he also
divorced her. Then al-Mundhir proposed marriage to her, but she
refused, saying: "He has tried to destroy my reputation." He pursued
her with further proposals, and she was advised to marry him so that
it would become patent to everybody that he had falsely accused her.
She did so, and the people realised that he had lied about her and
what his motive had been.
Hasan also married Talhah's daughter Umm Ishaq in Al-Medinah. Muawiyah
had asked her brother Ishaq ibn
Damascus to give her in
marriage to his son Yazid. Ishaq told him that he was going to Medina;
if Muawiyah sent a messenger to him there, he would conclude the
marriage contract. After Ishaq had left, his brother Isa ibn Talha
visited Muawiyah. When the caliph told him about Ishaq's promise, Isa
offered to give Umm Ishaq immediately in marriage. He concluded the
marriage contract with Yazid without consulting her. In the meantime,
Ishaq had arrived in
Medina and contracted her marriage to Hasan. It
was not exactly known which of the two contracts was earlier, and
Muawiyah advised his son to leave the matter. Her marriage with Hasan
was now consummated, and she bore him his son Talha, who later died
childless. Before his death, Hasan recommended to his brother Husayn
that he marry her. She bore Husayn's daughter Fatima. Presumably still
later she was married to Abu Bakr's great-grandson Ibn Abi Atiq Abd
Allah, to whom she also bore a daughter, Amina.
Hasan further married Hind the daughter of Suhayl ibn Amr, in
Al-Medinah. She had been married first to the
Umayyad Abd al-Rahman
ibn Attab, who was killed in the Battle of the Camel, and then to Abd
Amir ibn Kurayz. When the latter divorced her, Muawiyah
Abu Hurairah in
Medina to contract her marriage with his son
Yazid I. On his way to meet her, Abu Hurayra met Hasan who inquired
where he was going. When Abu Hurayra explained his mission, Hasan
suggested that he mention him, Hasan, to her. Abu Hurayra did so, and
Hind asked him to make the choice for her; Abu Hurayra chose Hasan.
Some time later Abd
Amir came to
Medina and complained to
Hasan that his former wife had a deposit belonging to him in her
possession. Hasan allowed him to see her in his presence. As Ibn Amir
looked at her sitting in front of him, he softened up towards her, and
Hasan suggested: "Shall I relinquish her to you? I think you could not
find a better husband to make remarriage licit (muhallil) for you than
Amir insisted: "My deposit." She produced two boxes
filled with jewels. Ibn
Amir took a handful out of each one and left
the rest to her. Later she would comment about her three husbands:
"The lord (Sayyid) of all of them was al-Hasan; the most generous of
them was Ibn 'Amir; and the one dearest to me was Abd al-Rahman b.
Death and aftermath
The historical tomb of Al-Baqi, which stood over the qabr (Arabic:
قَـبـر, grave) of Al-Hasan, and was destroyed in 1925.
The qubur (Arabic: قُـبـور, graves) of Al-Hasan (background,
left), his nephew and son-in-law
Ali Zaynal-Abidin, grandson Muhammad
al-Baqir, and great-grandson Ja'far al-Sadiq, at
Al-Medinah, besides others.
The early sources are nearly in agreement that Hasan was poisoned by
his wife, Ja'da bint al-Ash'at, at the instigation of Muawiyah and
died in the year 670 CE.[n][o] Madelung and Donaldson
further relate other versions of this story, suggesting that Al-Hasan
may have been poisoned by another wife, the daughter of Suhayl ibn
‘Amr, or perhaps by one of his servants, citing early historians
Al-Waqidi and Al-Mada'ini. Madelung believes that the
famous early Islamic historian al-Tabari suppressed this tale out of
concern for the faith of the common people. Al-Hasan is said to
have refused to name his suspect to Al-Husayn, for fear that the wrong
person would be killed in revenge. He was 38 years old when he
abdicated the reign to Mu‘awiyah, who was 58 years old at the time.
This difference in age indicates a serious obstacle for Mu‘awiyah,
who wanted to nominate his son Yazid as his heir-apparent. This was
unlikely due to the terms on which Al-Hasan had abdicated to
Mu‘awiyah; and considering the big difference in age, Mu‘awiyah
would not have hoped that Al-Hasan would naturally die before him.
Hence, Mu‘awiyah would naturally be suspected of having a hand in a
killing that removed an obstacle to the succession of his son
The burial of Hasan's body near that of his grandfather, Muhammad, was
another problem which could have led to bloodshed. Hasan had
instructed his brothers to bury him near his grandfather, but that if
they feared evil, then they were to bury him in the Cemetery of
Umayyad governor, Saʿid ibn al-ʿĀṣ, did not
interfere, but Marwan swore that he would not permit Al-Hasan to be
Abu Bakr and Umar, while
Uthman was buried
in the Cemetery of Al-Baqi.
Banu Hashim and Banu Umayyah were on the
verge of a fight, with their supporters brandishing their weapons. At
this point, Abu Hurairah, who was on the side of Banu Hashim, despite
having previously served Mu‘awiyah on a mission to ask for the
surrender of the killers of Uthman, tried to reason with Marwan,
telling him how
Muhammad had highly regarded Hasan and Husayn.
Nevertheless, Marwan, who was a cousin of Uthman, was unconvinced, and
Aisha, while sitting on a mule surrounded by her supporters, seeing
the parties and their weapons, decided not to permit Hasan to be
buried near his grandfather, fearing evil would occur. She said: "The
apartment is mine; I shall not permit anyone to be buried in
it." Ibn Abbas, who was also present at the burial, condemned
A'ishah by comparing her sitting on the mule at the funeral to her
sitting on a camel in a war against Al-Hasan's father at the Battle of
Jamal. Her refusal to allow Hasan to be buried next to his
grandfather, despite allowing her father, Abu Bakr, and
Umar to be
buried there, offended the supporters of Ali. Then
Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah reminded Husayn that Hasan made the matter
conditional by saying "unless you fear evil." Ibn al-Hanafiyyah
further asked "What evil could be greater than what you see?" And so
the body was carried to the Cemetery of Al-Baqi. Marwan joined
the carriers, and, when questioned about it, said that he gave his
respect to a man "whose hilm (Arabic: حِـلـم, forbearance)
weighed mountains." Governor Sa‘id ibn al-‘As led the funeral
The shrine containing Hasan's tomb was destroyed once[clarification
needed] in 1925 during the conquest of
Medina as part of a general
destruction of memorials in cemeteries for religious reasons. "In the
eyes of Wahabis, historical sites and shrines encourage "shirk" –
the sin of idolatry or polytheism – and should be destroyed."
Wikisource has the text of the 1905 New International Encyclopedia
article Hasan and Hosein.
Shia Islam portal
Sayyed Ibn Tawus
^ Allusion to whether they occupy the external function of caliphate
or not. See also Irshad, p.181; Ithbat al-hudat, vol. V, pp- 129 and
^ Quran, 3: 59.
^ Quran, 3: 61.
^ Quran, 33:40
^ See Goldziher, Muhammedanische Studien, II, 105-6; Y. Friedmann,
'Finality of Prophethood in
Sunni Islam', JSAI, 7 (1986), 177-215, at
^ Quran, 42:23
^ Quran, 2:216
^ Quran, 21:111
^ See also Ibn Abi l-Hadld, Shark, XVI, 15; Abu al-Faraj, Maqdtil,
^ See Ya'qubi; vol.ll, p.192; Abu'l-Fida, vol.l, p.183.
^ Al-Baladhuri, Ansab, III, 47.
^ See also Ebn Saa'd, p. 68.
^ See al-Madāʾeni, in Ebn Abi'l-Ḥadid, XVI, pp. 21-22.
^ See Mas'oodi, Vol 2: Page 47, Tāreekh - Abul Fidā Vol 1 :
Page 182, Iqdul Fareed - Ibn Abd Rabbāh Vol 2, Page 11, Rawzatul
Manazir - Ibne Shahnah Vol 2, Page 133, Tāreekhul Khamees, Husayn
Dayarbakri Vol 2, Page 238, Akbarut Tiwal - Dinawari Pg 400,
Mawātilat Talibeyeen - Abul Faraj Isfahāni, Isti'ab - Ibne Abdul
^ These reports are also accepted by the major Sunnite historians
Al-Waqidi, Al-Mada'ini, ‘
Umar ibn Shabba,
al-Haytham ibn ‘Adi.
Imam Hassan as". Duas.org.
^ Shabbar, S.M.R. (1997). Story of the Holy Ka’aba. Muhammadi Trust
of Great Britain. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
^ Shaykh Mufid. Kitab Al Irshad. p.279-289.
^ Hasan b. '
Ali b. Abi Taleb, Encyclopedia Iranica.
^ a b Suyuti, Jalaluddin. تاریخ الخلفاء.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Donaldson, Dwight M. (1933).
The Shi'ite Religion: A History of Islam in Persia and Irak. BURLEIGH
PRESS. pp. 66–78.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Jafri, Syed Husain
Mohammad (2002). The Origins and Early Development of Shi’a Islam;
Chapter 6. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195793871.
^ Baghdad history 34/6,tahzib-al-tahzib 298/2,al-bidaya-va-al-nihaya
^ Madelung 1997.
Muhammad Husayn (1981). A Shi'ite Anthology.
Selected and with a Foreword by
Muhammad Husayn Tabataba'i; Translated
with Explanatory Notes by William Chittick; Under the Direction of and
with an Introduction by Hossein Nasr. State University of New York
Press. p. 137. ISBN 9780585078182.
^ a b Lalani, Arzina R. (March 9, 2001). Early Shi'i Thought: The
Muhammad Al-Baqir. I. B. Tauris. p. 4.
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Momen, Moojan (1985). An Introduction
to Shi'i Islam. Yale University Press. pp. 14, 26, 27.
^ a b c d e f Madelung 2003.
^ a b c d e f Tabatabai,
Muhammad Husayn (1997). Shi'ite Islam.
Translated by Seyyed Hossein Nasr. SUNY press. pp. 65, 172–173.
^ Madelung 1997, pp. 15–16.
^ a b Madelung 1997, p. 16.
^ a b c Sharif al-Qarashi2, Baqir (2000). The Life Of
Imam Musa Bin
Ja'far aL-Kazim (PDF). Translated by Jasim al-Rasheed. Iraq: Ansarian.
^ Madelung 1997, pp. 166–167.
^ Madelung 1997, p. 311.
^ a b c Madelung 1997, p. 17.
^ Madelung 1997, pp. 311–312.
^ Madelung 1997, pp. 314–318.
^ Madelung 1997, p. 314.
^ Madelung 1997, pp. 316–317.
^ Article "AL-SHĀM" by C.E. Bosworth, Encyclopaedia of Islam, Volume
9 (1997), page 261.
^ Kamal S. Salibi (2003). A House of Many Mansions: The History of
Lebanon Reconsidered. I.B.Tauris. pp. 61–62.
ISBN 978-1-86064-912-7. To the Arabs, this same territory, which
the Romans considered Arabian, formed part of what they called Bilad
al-Sham, which was their own name for Syria. From the classical
perspective however Syria, including Palestine, formed no more than
the western fringes of what was reckoned to be
Arabia between the
first line of cities and the coast. Since there is no clear dividing
line between what are called today the Syrian and Arabian deserts,
which actually form one stretch of arid tableland, the classical
concept of what actually constituted
Syria had more to its credit
geographically than the vaguer Arab concept of
Syria as Bilad al-Sham.
Under the Romans, there was actually a province of Syria, with its
capital at Antioch, which carried the name of the territory.
Otherwise, down the centuries,
no more than a geographic expression. In Islamic times, the Arab
geographers used the name arabicized as Suriyah, to denote one special
region of Bilad al-Sham, which was the middle section of the valley of
the Orontes river, in the vicinity of the towns of
Homs and Hama. They
also noted that it was an old name for the whole of Bilad al-Sham
which had gone out of use. As a geographic expression, however, the
Syria survived in its original classical sense in
Western European usage, and also in the Syriac literature of some of
Christian churches, from which it occasionally found its
Christian Arabic usage. It was only in the nineteenth century
that the use of the name was revived in its modern Arabic form,
frequently as Suriyya rather than the older Suriyah, to denote the
whole of Bilad al-Sham: first of all in the
literature of the period, and under the influence of Western Europe.
By the end of that century it had already replaced the name of Bilad
al-Sham even in Muslim Arabic usage.
^ Madelung 1997, p. 317.
^ a b Ahmad, Israr (2003), The Tragedy of Karbala (2nd ed.), Society
of the Servants of Al-Quran, pp. 13, 15 (in English,
translated from Urdu).
^ a b Madelung 1997, pp. 117–118.
^ a b Madelung 1997, p. 318.
^ Madelung 1997, p. 319.
^ a b c d Madelung 1997, p. 320.
^ a b Madelung 1997, p. 321.
^ a b c Madelung 1997, p. 322.
^ Madelung 1997, pp. 322–323.
^ a b Madelung 1997, p. 325.
^ Madelung 1997, pp. 324–325.
^ Madelung 1997, p. 327.
^ Madelung 1997, p. 328.
^ Kanz al-Ummal.
^ Tabari history 145-123/4.
^ Madelung 1997, p. 385.
^ a b Madelung 1997, pp. 380–387.
^ al-sirah-ton-nabawiia, 1/342.
^ a b c Madelung 1997, p. 331.
^ a b Madelung 1997, p. 332.
^ Madelung, Wilferd (1998). The Succession to Muhammad. Cambridge
University Press. p. 287. ISBN 9780521646963.
^ a b Madelung, Wilferd (1997). The Succession to Muhammad: A Study of
the Early Caliphate. Cambridge University Press.
^ Madelung, Wilferd (1998). The Succession to Muhammad. Cambridge
University Press. p. 332. ISBN 9780521646963.
^ Tomass, Mark (2016). The Religious Roots of the Syrian Conflict.
Springer. p. 68. ISBN 9781137525710.
^ Tomass, Mark (2016). The Religious Roots of the Syrian Conflict.
Springer. p. 67. ISBN 9781137525710.
^ "الموسوعة الشاملة - بهجة المجالس وأنس
^ Ibn Abd al-Barr. بهجة المجالس وأنس المجالس.
^ Madelung 1997, pp. 332–333.
^ Madelung 1997, p. 333.
^ Taylor, Jerome (24 September 2011). "Mecca for the rich: Islam's
holiest site 'turning into Vegas'". The Independent. Retrieved 17 June
Madelung, Wilferd (1997). The Succession to Muhammad: A Study of the
Early Caliphate. Cambridge University Press.
Madelung, Wilferd (2003). ḤASAN B. ʿALI B. ABI ṬĀLEB.
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Hasan ibn Ali
of the Ahl al-Bayt
Clan of the Banu Quraish
Born: 15 Ramadhān AH 3 1 December 624 CE Died: 5 Rabi' al-awwal
AH 50 1 April 670 CE
Shia Islam titles
Ali ibn Abu Talib
Imam of Taiyabi-
Imam of Sevener, Twelver, and Zaydi
Husayn ibn Ali
Sunni Islam titles
Ali ibn Abu Talib
Hasan ibn Ali
Husayn Ibn Ali
Ali ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin
Ali ("Asās" or "Wāsih" of Nabi Muhammad)
Abadullāh (Wāfi Ahmad)
Ahmad (Tāqi Muhammad)
Husayn (Rādhi Abdullāh)
Husayn ibn Ali
Ali ibn Husayn Zayn al-Abidin
Isma'il ibn Jafar
Muhammad ibn Isma'il
Abdullah al-Mahdi Billah
al-Qa'im bi-Amr Allah
Al-Mu'izz li-Din Allah
Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah
‘Alā’ ad-Dīn Muḥammad III
Rukn al-Din Khurshah
Muḥammad ibn Islām Shāh
al-Mustanṣir billāh II
ʿAbdu s-Salām Shāh
Abū Dharr ʻAlī
Nūru d-Dīn ʻAlī
Khalīlullāh II ʻAlī
Shāh Khalīlullāh III
Aga Khan I
Aga Khan II
Aga Khan III
Aga Khan IV
ISNI: 0000 0000 1368 5628