The Fourth Infallible; the Second Imam
Al-Hassan Ibn-e Ali, al-Mujtabaa (Peace Be Upon Him)
Agnomen: Abu Muhammad.
Father's name: Ali Amir al-Mu'minin (PBUH).
Mother's name: Fatemeh (PBUH) (daughter of the Holy Prophet (PBUH)).
Birth: In Medina on Tuesday, 15th Ramadan 3 AH.
Death: Martyred at the age of 46, in Medina on Thursday, 28th Safar 50 AH; buried in Jannat al-Baqi'e, in Medina.
Imam Hassan (PBUH) was the eldest son of Imam Ali and Hazrat Fatemeh (PBUT). When the Holy Prophet (PBUH) received the happy news of the birth of his grandson, he came to the house of his beloved daughter, took the newly born child in his arms, recited Azaan and Iqamah in his right and left ears respectively, and in compliance with Allah's command named him al-Hassan.
The first phase of seven years of his infancy was blessed with the gracious patronage of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), who gifted him all his great qualities and adorned him with Divine knowledge, tolerance, intelligence, bounty and valor. Being infallible by birth and decorated with heavenly knowledge by Allah, his insight had an access to al-lawhul-mahfuz (the Guarded Tablet on which the transactions of mankind have been written by Allah for all eternity).
The Holy Imam immediately became conversant with all the contents of any wahy (Qur'anic verses) revealed when the Holy Prophet (PBUH) would disclose it to his associates. To the great surprise of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), Hazrat Fatemeh (PBUH) would often recite the exact text of a newly revealed wahy before he disclosed it personally to her. When he inquired, she would inform him that it was Hassan (PBUH) through whom she had learned the revelation.
Remembrance of Allah:
The Holy Imam devoted himself to prayers in such abundance, that all the limbs employed in prostration bore scars and impressions of his sajdah (prostration). Most of the nights were spent on the prayer-carpet. The sense of his absorption and humiliation in prayers to Allah were in such earnest that he would shed tears profusely out of fear of Allah. While performing ablution, he trembled with the fear of Allah and his face grew pale at the time of prayers. His earnest meditation in the offering of prayers and his extreme absorption in communion with Allah would render him entirely unconscious of his environments.
Piousness and Contentment:
Imam Hassan (PBUH) had the worldly possessions at his disposal and could have well enjoyed a luxurious life, but he utilized all of it in the betterment of the condition of the poor. He was so courteous and humble that he never hesitated to sit along with the beggars in the lanes and on the thoroughfares of Medina to reply to some of their religious queries. Through his cordial attitude and hospitality he never let the poor and the humble feel inferior to him when they visited his abode. It is said that he twice gave all his wealth and three times half of his assets to the needy people for the sake of God.
Religious leadership (Imamate):
The demise of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was followed by an eventful era when the Islamic world (under the false ruling bodies) came in the grip of the fever of expansionism and conquest. But even under such a revolutionary phase, Imam Hassan (PBUH) kept devoting himself to the sacred mission of peacefully propagating Islam and the teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) along with his great father Imam Ali (PBUH).
The martyrdom of Imam Ali (PBUH) on the 21st of Ramadan marked the inception of Imam Hassan's Imamate. The majority of Muslims pledged their allegiance to him and finalized the formality of bay'ah (oath of allegiance). No sooner had he taken the reins of leadership into his hands than he had to meet the challenge of Mu'awiyah, the Governor of Syria, who declared a war against him. In compliance with the Will of Allah and with a view to refrain from causing the massacre of Muslims, however, he concluded a conditional peace treaty with Mu'awiyah. The treaty, though not totally respected and carried out by Mu'awiyah, yet saved Islam and stopped a civil war. But this peace treaty was never meant as surrendering by him the permanent leadership to Mu'awiyah. It was meant only as an interim transfer of the administration of the Islamic kingdom, subject to the condition that the administration would be surrendered back to Imam Hassan (PBUH) after Mu’awiya’s death and then it would in turn be inherited by Imam Hussain (PBUH). Having relieved himself of the administrative responsibilities, Imam Hassan (PBUH) kept the religious leadership with himself and devoted his life to the propagation of Islam and the teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in Medina.
Mu'awiyah's malice against Imam Hassan (PBUH) led him to conspire with the Imam's wife Ja'dah, the daughter of Ash'ath. She was made to give the Imam some poison which affected his liver. Imam Hassan (PBUH) thus succumbed to Mu’awiyah's fatal mischief and attained his martyrdom on 28th Safar 50 AH. His funeral was attended by Imam Hussain (PBUH) and the members of the Hashimite family. His bier while being taken for burial to the Holy Prophet's tomb was shot at with arrows by his enemies, (under direct supervision and consent of A'ishah), and it had to be diverted for burial to the Jannat al-Baqi`e in Medina. His tomb was demolished along with others on 8th Shawwal 1344 AH (21st April 1926) by the Saudi rulers when they came to power in Hijaz.
The terms of the peace treaty were soon violated, but earned only a short-lived glory for Mu’awiyah. Its aftermath proved disastrous and doomed the fate of his son Yazid and dealt a fatal blow to the entire family of Umayyad. After the death of Mu'awiyah, Imam Hussain (PBUH) emerged as the insurmountable mountain of truth and determination. In the gruesome tragedy of Karbalaa, by sheer force of numbers, and by isolating the seventy-two members of Imam Hussain's party and stopping them from even getting water to drink for three days, Yazid succeeded in annihilating the seventy-two persons including members of the Imam's family who were with him.
This dastardly success of Yazid was, however, short-lived. The Muslims turned against him on learning of the heinous act he had committed and this resulted in the downfall of Yazid and the extinction of the Umayyad power from the face of the earth.
In human perfection Imam Hassan (PBUH) was reminiscent of his father and a perfect example of his noble grandfather. Both Sunni and Shia sources have transmitted this saying of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) concerning Hassan and Hussain (PBUT): "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 Imam Ali (PBUT) concerning the fact that Imam Hassan (PBUH) would gain the function of Imamate after his noble father.
“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.”
“Opportunity is something which is quick to vanish and late to return.”