Imam Hassan Mujtaba, upon who is peace, was the second Imam. He and his brother Imam Hussein were the two sons of Amir al-Mu’minin ‘Ali and Hadrat Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet. Many times the Prophet had said, “Hasan and Hussein are my children.” Because of these same words ‘Ali would say to his other children, “You are my children and Hassan and Hussein are the children of the Prophet.” Imam Hassan was born in the year 3 AH, in Medina and shared in the life of the Prophet for somewhat over seven years, growing up during that time under his loving care. After the death of the Prophet which was no more than three, or according to some, six months earlier than the death of Hadhrat Fatima, Hassan was placed directly under the care of his noble father. After the death of his father, through Divine Command and according to the will of his father, Imam Hassan became Imam; he also occupied the outward function of caliph for about six months, during which time he administered the affairs of the Muslims.
During that time Mu’awiyah, who was a bitter enemy of ‘Ali and his family and had fought for years with the ambition of capturing the caliphate, first on the pretext of avenging the death of the third caliph and finally with an open claim to the caliphate, marched his army to Iraq, the seat of Imam Hassan ‘s caliphate. War ensued during which Mu’awiyah gradually subverted the generals and commanders of Imam Hassan’s army with large sums of money and deceiving promises until the army rebelled against Imam Hassan. Finally, the Imam was forced to make peace and to yield the caliphate to Mu’awiyah, provided it would again return to Imam Hassan after Mu’awiyah‘s death and the Imam’s Household and partisans would be protected in every way. In this way Mu’awiyah captured the Islamic caliphate and entered Iraq. In a public speech he officially made null and void all the peace conditions and in every way possible placed the severest pressure upon the members of the Household of the Prophet and the Shi’a.
In the year 50 AH, he was poisoned and martyred by one of his own House- hold who, as has been accounted by historians, had been motivated by Mu’awiyah. In human perfection Imam Hassan was reminiscent of his father and a perfect example of his noble grand- father. In fact, as long as the Prophet was alive, he and his brother were always in the company of the Prophet who even sometimes would carry them on his shoulders. Both Sunni and Shl’ite sources have transmitted this saying of the Holy Prophet concerning Hassan and Hussein: “These two children of mine are Imams (leaders) whether they stand up or sit down” (allusion to whether they occupy the external function of caliphate or not). Also, there are many traditions of the Holy Prophet and ‘Al concerning the fact that Imam Hassan would gain the function of Imamate after his noble father. (Shiite Islam).
Imam al-Hassan ibn ‘Ali’, peace be upon him, said:
If you fail to obtain something of worldly benefit, take it as if the thought of it had never crossed your mind at all.
Never did a nation resort to mutual counsel except that they were guided by it towards maturity.
It is love which brings closer those who are remote by ancestry, and it is (the absence of) love which causes dissociation between those who are related by ancestry
Awareness and Courtesy of Imam Hassan (a.s.)
One day, an old man was performing ablution. His ablution was futile and invalid. Imam Hassan (a.s.) ought to make him aware of his fault but how? If he said to him you are wrong possibly his heart might break and he got annoyed and did not accept it. He along with Imam Hussain (a.s.) decided to create a scene and ask the old man to make the judgment. Imam Hassan (a.s.) addressed Imam Hussain (a.s.) and said, “I perform a better ablution as compared to yours.” Imam Hussain (a.s.) said “I perform it better than you do.” Both of them approached the old man and said, “You come and see our ablution and decide who performs a better ablution.” Both of them got busy with performing ablution and ended it in a correct and nice way. The old man understood what was the secret of their act and became aware that they meant him to find out his fault, in this way. So he said to them “The ablution performed by both of you is correct, I am an old man, who did not know how to perform the ablution correctly. You made me aware about my fault. I am much thankful to you.”
Piety and Purity of Imam Hassan (a.s.)
Imam Hassan (a.s.) was the most pious, devout and ascetic worshiper and adorer of God. Whenever he went to Mecca for pilgrimage, he would go walking on foot. Whenever he performed ablution or stood for his prayers he saw himself in the court of God and his body started trembling he said, “The time has come for me to submit the deposit of God to Him.”
When he came to mosque, he would raise his head, in the prayer place, towards the sky and say, “Oh God this is your guest standing in your court. Your defaulter servant has come towards you. And he hopes that you will forgive his bad deeds, by virtue of your kindness and forgiveness.”
The Fortitude and Forbearance of Imam Hassan (a.s.)
One day he was crossing a street riding a horse. On the way he came across a man who was one of the friends of “Muawiyah”. When that man knew he was Imam Hassan (a.s.) he started using an un-respectful language. Imam Hassan (a.s.) stopped and listened to him and then facing him said, “I think you are a traveler and stranger and not a local person. You have been provoked by the enemies about us and their false words about us have made you cynical and pessimistic about us. If you have a need I may fulfill that need. If you are hungry, I will order to feed you. If you require a dress and clothes, I will order to dress you up. If you don’t have residence to live in I will take you along with me to my house and extend hospitality and give you treatment. When that disrespectful person heard those words from the Imam (a.s.), he got very much ashamed and repented. He was so upset and uneasy about what he had done that he started weeping and apologized and said, “The words of your enemies had affected me. Before this (event) you and your father were the greatest enemies of mine among all the people. But now that I have witnessed this courtesy of yours, you are the most respectful and gracious to me among all the people.
I became aware that you are a family who has the capability of becoming the heirs of the Prophet Muhammad (saw). Till the time I am living I will be a friend and devotee of you and would defend your right. So he did what he had said.
The Charity and mercifulness of Imam Hassan (a.s.)
1. A person came to Imam Hassan (a.s.) and said “poverty and bad luck is torturing me. You are a family of chastity, purity and infallibility. Get me saved from this cruel enemy?” Hazrat Imam Hassan (a.s.) called his servant and said, “How much money do you have available?” He replied “five thousand Dinnars” He said, “Give all of this money to this man so that it may become the capital of his business and life and he may relieve himself off and get rid of poverty and resource less ness.
2. One day, Imam Hassan (a.s.) went to the house of God. In the very condition when he was busy praying he heard a man addressing his God and saying, “Oh God, I need ten thousand Dirhams to get it shaped as the capital of my life and you the merciful one give me this boon and blessing”. The moment Imam Hassan (a.s.) returned back, he sent the said amount for him.
3. A poor and distressed man came to Imam Hassan (a.s.) and recited a rhyme meaning thereby, “I am left over with nothing, not even a single dirham. You can perceive my condition fully well and know it. I have nothing left with me to sell except my honor. I know you are the purchaser and buyer of it.” The Imam Hassan (a.s.) at once called his servant and said, “Whatever money you have got with you, give it to this man.”
The servant gave ten thousand Dirhams to him. Hazrat Imam Hassan (a.s.) asked the servant to make excuse as well, because, he did not possess more than that amount to be given out to him. He advised him to take that money and use it for his life and running the wheels of it and possibly getting rid of poverty and distress.
These few stories exhibit this fact that in the same way Imam Hassan (a.s.) was thoughtful and consider ant about the dooms day of the people, he was careful and considering about their Worldly affairs, for, the World is connected and patched up with the justice day. And the hunger and poverty stricken man cannot think about his dooms day. We must fully know that the Imam’s helps and aids to the people as were not of the sort to encourage people about begging. Instead, these were extended in a manner to extend job and activity chances for them.