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Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Hasan al-Mujtabā
Imams of Shi'a Islam
A depiction by a Muslim artist.
Rank Second Twelver/Mustaali/Zaydi Imām
Name Hasan ibn ‘Alī
Kunya Abu Muhammad[1]
Birth 15th Ramadhān 3 AH[2]
March 1, 625 C.E.
Death 7th[3] or 28th[4] Safar 50 AH
March 6, 670 C.E.
Birthplace Madīnah[2]
Buried Jannatul Baqī‘, Madīnah
Life Duration Before Imāmate: 37 years
(3 - 40 AH)
- 8 years with his grandfather Muhammad
- 8 years with his mother Fātimah
- 37 years with his father ‘Alī

Imāmate: 10 years
(40 - 50 AH)
Titles *al-Mujtabā[5]
(Arabic for The Chosen)

(Arabic for The Grandson)

*Sayyidush Shabābi Ahlil Jannah[6]
(Arabic for Leader of the Youth of Paradise)
(Arabic for The Pure)
(Arabic for The Pious)

(Arabic for The Master)
Spouse(s) Umm Is'hāq bint Talha ibn ‘Ubaydallāh, Hafsa bint ‘Abd al-Rahmān ibn Abi Bakr, Hind bint Suhayl ibn ‘Amru, Ju'da bint al-Ash'ath ibn Qays
Father ‘Alī
Mother Fātimah
Children Qāsim, Fātimah, Zayd, Abdullah, Talha, Umm al-Hasan (Maymūnah), Umm al-Husayn.[3]

Ali · Hasan · Husayn
al-Sajjad · al-Baqir · al-Sadiq
Musa (Twelver) · Ismail (Ismaili)

Al-Hasan ibn ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (الحسن بن علي بن أﺑﻲ طالب)‎ (Ramadhān 15th, 3 AH – Safar 7th[7] or 28th, 50 AH)[8] was the grandson of Muhammad, son of ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (final Rashidun Caliph[9] and first Shī‘ah Imām) and Fātimah al-Zahraā (daughter of Muhammad). He is an important figure in Islām as he is a member of Ahlul Bayt (the household of Muhammad) and Ahlul Kisā, as well as being a Shī‘ah Imām, and one of The Fourteen Infallibles of the Twelvers Shī‘ah.


His birth and family life

In both Sunni[10] and Shī‘ah[11] sources, it has been narrated that upon the birth of his grandson in 3 AH, Muhammad was ordered by the archangel Gabriel to name him al-Hasan - a name that had not yet been used in the pre-Islāmic period.[12] Muhammad also honoured his grandson by reciting the Adhān in his right ear,[13] the Iqāmah in his left ear,[13] shaved the head of his grandson,[14] and sacrificed a ram for the sake of his birth.[15]

Al-Hasan ibn Ali and his younger brother, al-Husayn ibn Ali, are believed to have been greatly beloved by their grandfather Muhammad. There are numerous Hadiths that affirm this claim. There are also Hadiths which state that al-Hasan and al-Husayn are the Lords of the youth in paradise. Muhammad also said that al-Hasan and al-Husayn are Imams, whether they sit (agree to a peace treaty) or stand (go to war). Both Shi'ahs and Sunnis believe that al-Hasan is one of the five persons included in the Hadith of the Cloak.

Life of al-Hasan during the times of his father

As a growing youth, al-Hasan saw the active role of his father, Ali ibn Abi Talib, in the battlefield defending Islam, as a preacher to a vast congregation of believers on the occasion of hajj, and as a missionary of Islam to Yemen. After the death of his grandfather, Muhammad, he saw his father having retreated to a passive role in the matters of the state during the period of the first three caliphs. However, whenever he saw it necessary, Ali never refrained from giving his opinion to the caliph of the time on matters of the practice of faith. He had also seen that the caliphs, in turn, respected Ali for his manners and knowledge, and consulted him on many occasions as the need arose.

When the third caliph was murdered by a mob of agitated demonstrators in his palace in Mad'mah, and Ali was elected to lead the Muslim nation, al-Hasan took an active part in assisting his father in many ways. He went to Kufa and successfully raised the first army of believers against the dissenting Muslims. He participated actively in the battles of Basra, Siffin, and Nahrawan alongside his father, and demonstrated his skills both as a soldier and as a leader.

Before he died, Ali ibn Abi Talib appointed al-Hasan to lead the Ummah (nation of believers) and to be their Imam after him. The people also chose him to be their caliph.

The Caliphate

Upon the death of Ali ibn Abi Talib in Kufa a new caliph had to be elected. According to Ali's appointment before his death, the choice of a new caliph was restricted to al-Hasan and his younger brother al-Husayn. Al-Husayn did not reclaim caliphate for himself, and thus Kufi Muslims gave bay'ah (allegiance) to his elder brother al-Hasan without dispute.[16]

This threatened Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, who had a long-running dispute with Ali; the fact that Ali's son was chosen as caliph would mean that the methods and policies established by Ali would remain all the same. Muawiyah summoned all the commanders of his forces in Syria, Palestine, and Transjordan to join him in preparation for battle. He first attempted to negotiate with al-Hasan, sending the young heir letters asking him to give up his caliphate. Muawiyah believed that if he could persuade al-Hasan to give up his caliphate, then Muawiyah would certainly avoid the undesirable consequences of killing fellow Muslims. Muawiyah also thought that if he was forced to engage in battle with al-Hasan, he would indeed gain absolute power in case of triumph, but questions regarding his legitimacy would linger among Muslims.

However, negotiations came to a dead and end, and Muawiyah decided to march against al-Hasan with an army claimed to number sixty thousand fighters.[17] Al-Hasan also marched his army of forty thousand[18]. The two armies faced each other near Sabat.

During this period of suspense, al-Hasan is said to have given a sermon in which he proclaimed his hatred of schism and appealed to his men to follow his orders even if they did not agree to them. Some of the troops took this as a sign that al-Hasan was preparing to give up battle; and so they rebelled on him and attacked him. Al-Hasan was wounded, but his loyal soldiers surrounded him in protection and managed to kill the mutineers. Another one of al-Hasan’s commanders, Ubayd-Allah ibn Abbas, deserted him and joined Muawiyah’s forces.

The two armies fought a few inconclusive skirmishes. Al-Hasan was extremely distressed, understanding that the engagement of Muslims in a battle against each other would mean a loss of many men and a lack of people to go back and partake in caring for the people. Muawiyah also had his concerns about being forced into a battle, and because of that he sent two men from Banu Quraish to al-Hasan ibn Ali in order to negotiate a settlement with him and his followers.[19] Al-Hasan ibn Ali, foreseeing the events that were to transpire, and to avoid unnecessary bloodshed, agreed to a settlement of peace with Muawiyah, in which al-Hasan would give up his caliphate to Muawiyah in order to avoid the bloodshed. This wise and selfless move from al-Hasan came to fulfill a prophecy that Muhammad prophesied many years ago when al-Hasan was only a child. Years ago back in Medina, when Muhammad was sitting with his companions and al-Hasan, who was still a child, was playing in between his hands, Muhammad gazed at al-Hasan and said to his companions "This (grand)son of mine is a lord, and may Allah on his (al-Hasan's) hands reconcile between two great groups of mu'minun (believers)."

  • According to Sunni scholars, al-Hasan ibn Ali stipulated that Muawiyah should follow the Qur'an and the Sunnah, allowing a shura for the caliphate to be held after his death, and refrain from any acts of revenge against al-Hasan followers. Many authors have also mentioned that Muawiyah accepted all the conditions attached to the peace treaty which were:
  1. all tax collection from the province of Ahwaz shall be paid to Hassan ibn Ali,
  2. an annual grant of two million dirhams shall be paid to Hassan ibn Ali, and
  3. a general amnesty shall be declared for all of those who took part in the battle.
  • According to Shi’ah scholars, al-Hasan ibn Ali further stipulated that the caliphate should be returned to him after Muawiyah's death, if he (al-Hasan) was still alive, and in case if his death before that then the caliphate should be given to his younger brother, al-Husayn ibn Ali.[20]

Muawiyah proceeded to Kufa and demanded that the Muslims there pledge allegiance to him as caliph of Muslims. He also asked al-Hasan to join him and support him in the fight against the rebellious Kharijites. Al-Hasan is claimed to have written to him in response: "I have abandoned the fight against you, even though it was my legal right, for the sake of peace and reconciliation of the ummah (nation). Do you think that I shall then fight together with you?"[21]

Was he a Rashidun Caliph?

Most caliph chronologies do not include al-Hasan ibn Ali among the Rashidun Caliphs. However, many Sunni Muslim historians, such as Suyuti, Ibn al-Arabi, and Ibn Kathir accept al-Hasan ibn Ali as the last Rashidun Caliph.[22] Twelver Shi'a Muslims also regard Hasan ibn Ali as one of the twelve infallible imams.

Retirement to Medina

According to Persian Shi'a historians, Marwan ibn al-Hakam, who was the personal secretary to the third caliph Uthman ibn Affan, and had fought against Ali ibn Abi Talib during the Battle of Bassorah, was now the governor of Medina. For that reason, al-Hasan ibn Ali had a lack of moral support from the city governor, and thus had a hard time during his stay in Medina. Also, it is needless to say that the life of al-Hasan ibn Ali in Medina after the peace treaty was not peaceful at all. In addition to the relentless taunts and abuse slung at him by some of Muawiyah's followers, al-Hasan had to endure the anger of his supporters for having relinquished the caliphate to the lifelong adversary of his father. They had failed to appreciate that al-Hasan had given up his rightful claim for caliphate in seeking the greater interests of Islam, and to avoid any further bloodshed of Muslims.

On the other hand, Sunni Historians[23], hold a view that this treaty had great benefits that were reaped by the Muslim Empire for years to come, owing to the unity, tranquility and avoidance of bloodshed that were the result of this notable wise and selfless act of al-Hasan ibn Ali.

Al-Hasan has been quoted in comment on giving up his claim for caliphate:

"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." This was in accordance with the prophecy of Muhammad about al-Hasan when he said, "This (grand)son of mine is a lord, and may Allah on his (al-Hasan's) hands reconcile between two great groups of believers."[24]


According to Shi'a historians, Muawiyah wished to pass the caliphate to his own son Yazid, and saw al-Hasan ibn Ali as an obstacle to his plans. And thus Muawiyah plotted to get rid of al-Hasan ibn Ali. He secretly contacted one of al-Hasan's wife Ja'da, and instigated her to poison her husband. Ja'da did as Muawiyah suggested, giving her husband poison mixed with honey. Madelung (pp. 331–333) notes other traditions suggesting that al-Hasan ibn Ali may have been poisoned by some another wife, the daughter of Suhayl ibn Amr, or perhaps by one his servants. Madelung also cites the early historians (Baladhuri, Waqidi, etc.) who recounted these traditions. Madelung, who is more accepting of Shi'a traditions than most Western academic historians, believes that al-Hasan ibn Ali was poisoned and that the famous early Islamic historian al-Tabari suppressed the tale out of concern for the faith of the common people. (Madelung pp. 331–332)

Shi'a Muslims believe that Ja'da was promised gold and marriage to Yazid. Seduced by the promise of wealth and power, she poisoned her husband, and then hastened to the court of Muawiyah in Damascus to receive her reward. Muawiyah reneged on his promises and married her to some other man.[25]

Al-Hasan ibn Ali died in Medina on Safar 7th or 28th, 50 AH. He is buried at the famous Jannatul Baqee‘ cemetery across from the Masjid al-Nabawi (Mosque of the Prophet).

Burial of al-Hasan

Al-Hasan ibn Ali, before his death, asked to be buried next to his grandfather, Muhammad. However, the governor of Medina Marwan I asked Prophet Muhammad's wife Aisha to allow his relative, the deceased third caliph Uthman ibn Affan, to be buried beside the Prophet if she allows al-Hasan ibn Ali to be buried there. However, Aisha refused Marwan's request, and further did not allow anyone else to be buried beside Prophet Muhammad. Al-Hasan ibn Ali's family was thus forced to bury him elsewhere, and so they buried him in Jannatul Baqee'.

Sunni view

Sunni Muslims honor al-Hasan ibn Ali as being righteous and pious and also a true honorable member of Ahl al-Bayt. Certain early Sunni scholars are of the opinion that al-Hasan was the Fifth Rightly Guided Caliph because of his staying on track of the Prophet's and the Rashidun Caliphs' methods and also his great deeds for the sake of Islam.[22]

Shi'a view

Muawiyah was successful in deceitfully gaining the absolute power he had aspired for. He was not interested in the functions of preaching piety or theology. He was interested in expanding his sphere of influence in the territories already conquered by the Muslims, and was actively engaged in further conquests to the north and north west of Syria. In utter violation of the terms of the Treaty with Hasan ibn Ali, Muawiyah decided to name his son Yazid to succeed him after his death. He knew that Yazid lacked all qualifications to be a caliph for the Muslims and to represent Muhammad. He also knew that Hasan ibn Ali, being a true representative of Muhammad, would oppose the nomination of his son. Consequently, he decided to eliminate the opposition.

Muawiyah solicited the services of Marwan ibn al-Hakam, a son-in-law of Uthman ibn Affan, who was the governor of Medina at that time. With a promise for a reward, Marwan approached one of the wives of the Imam, Ju'da binte al-Ash'ath ibn Qays to poison Hasan ibn Ali. He was successful, and Hasan ibn Ali died as a result of this plot.

Before Hasan ibn Ali died, in accordance with the Will of Allah, named his brother, Hussain ibn Ali to be the next Imam. He expressed his wish to his brother to bury his body near to the grave of his grandfather, Muhammad. This caused an armed opposition by the governor of Medina. Under a shower of arrows, the funeral procession of Hasan ibn Ali had to withdraw and be diverted to Jannat al-Baqi, the general graveyard of Medina, where he was buried.

Shi'ahs hold Hasan ibn Ali in a very high positive view, like the Sunnis, except that Shi'ahs regard Hasan ibn Ali as their second Imam. Both Sunnis and Shi'ahs regard him as a martyr. According to Shi’ahs Hasan ibn Ali married four women:

  1. Umm Ishaq bint Talha ibn `Ubayd Allah.
  2. Hafsa bint 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr.
  3. Hind bint Suhayl bin `Amru.
  4. Ju'da bint al-Ash'ath ibn Qays, whom Muawiyah I tempted to kill Hasan ibn Ali. So she killed him with poison.


Hasan ibn Ali
of the Ahl al-Bayt
Clan of the Banu Quraish
Born: 15th Ramadhān 3 AH 1st March 625 CE Died: 28th Safar 50 AH 6th March 670 CE
Shī‘a Islam titles
Preceded by
Ali ibn Abu Talib
2nd Imam of Shi'a Islam
Imamate disputed by Nizari

661 – 669
Succeeded by
Husayn ibn Ali
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Ali ibn Abu Talib
5th Rashidun Caliph of Sunni Islam
661 – 661
Succeeded by
Muawiya I

See also


  1. ^ Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 1, p. 9.
  2. ^ a b Shaykh Mufid. Kitab Al Irshad. p.279-289
  3. ^ a b Al-Yasin, Shaykh Radi. "1". Sulh al-Hasan. Jasim al-Rasheed. Qum: Ansariyan Publications. pp. 4.  
  4. ^ Yousuf N. Lalljee. Know Your Islam.
  5. ^ a b c d e Al-Yasin, Shaykh Radi. "1". Sulh al-Hasan. Jasim al-Rasheed. Qum: Ansariyan Publications. pp. 4.   ; al-Qurashi, Baqir Shareef. "2". The Life of Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba. Jasim al-Rasheed. Qum: Ansariyan Publications. pp. 59.  
  6. ^ Tirmidhi, Vol. II, p. 221 ; تاريخ الخلفاء، ص189
  7. ^ Shaykh Radi Al-Yasin. Sulh al-Hasan.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Husayn Diyar Bakari. Tarikh al-Khamees. vol.1, p. 470.
  11. ^ Muhsin al-Amin al-‘Amili. A‘yan al-Shi‘a. vol. 4. Baqir Shareef al-Qurashi. The Life of Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba. p.57.
  12. ^ Husayn Diyar Bakari. Tarikh al-Khamees. vol.1, p. 470. Ibn al-Athir. Usd al-Ghaba.
  13. ^ a b Ahmed, Musnad, vol. 6, p. 391. Al-Turmidhi, Saheeh, vol. 1, p. 286. Abu Dawud, Saheeh, vol. 33, p. 214.
  14. ^ Husayn Diyar Bakari. Tarikh al-Khamees. vol.1, p. 470. Noor al-Absar, p. 107. Al-Turmidhi, Saheeh, vol. 1, p. 286.
  15. ^ Husayn Diyar Bakari. Tarikh al-Khamees. vol.1, p. 470. Mushkil al-Aathaar, vol. 1, p. 456. Al-Hulya, vol. 1, p. 116. Al-Turmidhi, Saheeh, vol. 1, p. 286. Muhsin al-Amin al-‘Amili. A‘yan al-Shi‘a. vol. 4, p. 108.
  16. ^ Madlong, (1997) p. 313 - 314
  17. ^ Ibn A'zham IV, p. 153. Other numbers: [1]
  18. ^ The Tragedy of Karbala by Dr. Israr Ahmad, published by the Society of the Servants of Al-Quran in Lahore - Pakistan
  19. ^ Sahih Bukhari 3:49:867
  20. ^ Imam Hasan bin 'Ali
  21. ^ Madelung, 1997 pp. 324-325
  22. ^ a b
    Suyuti in The Khalifas who took the right way page 9 and History of the Caliphs Vol 12
    Ibn al-Arabi in his Sharh Sunan al-Tirmidhi 9:68-69 ref
    Ibn Kathir in The Beginning and the End Vol 6 page 249-250
    Examples of other brief and partially recognized caliphs include Muawiya II and Abd-Allah ibn Zubayr.
  23. ^ Pp.14 & 15, "The Tragedy of Karbala" by Dr. Israr Ahmad published by Society of the Servants of Al-Quran in Lahore - Pakistan.
  24. ^ ibid Pp.15
  25. ^ [2], [3], [4], [5]


Madelung, Wilferd (1997). The Succession to Muhammad: A Study of the Early Caliphate. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521646960.  

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Hasan ibn ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib (Arabic: الحسن بن علي بن أﺑﻲ طالب ) ‎(625 - 670 AD) was the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, the son of ‘Alī and Fātimah, as well as the second Twelver Shī‘ah Imām.


Regarding Knowledge

  • Learn knowledge from people, and teach your intuition to others too.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.78, p.111
  • Thought, meditation and pondering is the life of clear sighted people
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.72, p.115

General Quotes

  • The heart that is empty of doubt is the cleanest of hearts.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.78, p.109
  • Nothing sweetens life like a pleasant disposition.
    • Majlisi, Bihārul Anwār, vol.78, p.111

Religious-based Quotes

  • I wonder at those who think about their body's food, but do not think about their soul's food. They keep away disturbing food from their belly, but fill up their hearts with destructive subjects.
    • Shaykh ‘Abbās Qummi, Safīnatul Bihār, Article of Taste
  • Am I not the proof (Hujjat) of the Almighty, being his remembrance upon his creatures? Did not the Holy Prophet of Islam (saww) say, "Hasan and Husayn are two Leaders (Imāms), whether they are sitting or standing"? If I had not done this work (signed the peace treaty), nobody from amongst the Shī‘as would have remained in this world, and everybody would have been killed and annihilated.
    • Shaykh al-Sadūq, Ilal al-Shara'i, vol.1, p.211
  • I am among Ahlul Bayt, whom God has made obligatory on all Muslims to love. He, the Blessed and Most High, has said: "I do not ask of you any reward for it except love for (my) kin; and whoever earns good, We will give him more of good" [Qur'an, 42:23]. Therefore, earning good is showing love for us, Ahlul Bayt.
    • Shia source: al-Fadhl ibn al-Hasan al-Tabrisi, Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol.9, p.29
    • Sunni sources: Ibn Hajar Al-Haythami, Al-Sawā'iq al-Muhriqah, p.101 ; Ali ibn Abu Bakr al-Haythami, Majma‘ al-Zawa'id, vol.9, p.146 ; al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak ‘alā al-Sahihain, vol.3, p.172
  • Shaykh al-Mufīd, Kitāb al-Irshād, p.279-289:
    • (About the death of his father, ‘Alī): There has died tonight a man who was the first among the early (Muslims) in (good) actions. Nor did any later (Muslims) attain his level in (good) actions. He used to fight alongside the Apostle of God, may Allah bless him and his family, and protect him with his own life. The Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, used to send him forward with his standard while Gabriel supported him on his right and Michael supported him on his left. He would not return until God brought victory through his hands. He, peace be on him, has died on this the night - on which Jesus, son of Mary, was taken up (to Heaven), on which Joshua, son of Nūn, the testamentary trustee (wasi) of Moses, peace be on him, died. He has left behind him no gold nor silver, except seven hundred dirhams of his stipend (ata'), with which he was intending to buy a servant for his family.
    • I am the (grand) son of the one who brought the good news (Bashīr). I am the (grand) son of the warner (Nadhīr). I am the (grand) son of the man who, with God's permission, summoned (the people) to God. I am the (grand) son of the light which shone out (to the world). I am of the House, from whom God has "sent away abomination" and whom God has "purified thoroughly" [Qur'an, 33:33]. I am of the House for whom God has required love in his Book, when God, the Most High, said: "Say: I do not ask you for any reward except love for (my) kin; Whoever earns good, will increase good for himself [Qur'an, 42:23]." The good is love for us, the House.
    • I have not become one who bears malice to any Muslims, nor one who wishes evil or misfortune for him. Indeed what you dislike about unity is better for you than what you like about division. I see what is better for you, better than you see for yourselves. Therefore do not oppose my commands and do not reject my judgement. May God forgive both me and you, and may He guide me and you to that in which there is love and satisfaction.
    • Oh you who mention Ali, I am al-Hasan and Ali was my father. You are Mu'āwiyah, and your father was Sakhr (Abu Sufyan). My mother was Fātimah and your mother was Hind. My grandfather was the Apostle of God and your grandfather was Harb. My grandmother was Khadījah and your grandmother was Futayla. May God curse him who tries to reduce our reputation and to diminish our nobility; (you are the one) who does evil against our antiquity and yet (you are the one) who has been ahead of us in unbelief and hypocrisy.
    • (On his death-bed): My brother (Husayn), I am leaving you and joining my Lord. I have been given poison to drink and have spewed my liver into a basin. I am aware of the person who poisoned me and from where I have been made a subject to this deceitful action. I will oppose him before God, the Mighty and High. Therefore by the right I have with regard to you, say nothing about that and wait for what God, the Mighty and High, will decide concerning me. When I have died, shut my eyes, wash me and shroud me. Then carry me on my bier to the grave of my grandfather, the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family, so that I may renew my covenant with him. After that take me to the grave of my grandmother, Fatima daughter of Asad, may God be pleased with her, and bury me there. My brother, the people will think that you intend to bury me with the Apostle of God, may God bless him and his family. For that reason, they will gather to prevent you from doing it. I swear by God that you should not shed even your blood into the cupping-glass in (carrying out) my command.

See Also

External links

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Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

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