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Cleverness and Genius of Imam Hasan (a.s.)

Without doubt, righteous education plays an important role in forming the child and in developing his or her mental faculties. Likewise, the parents’ conduct has a great effect on developing their children’s cleverness and general behavior. All these vital elements were available to al-Hasan (a.s) during his childhood. The Prophet (a.s) took great care of educating his grandson and gave him his noble qualities. Imam Ali, the Commander of the faithful (a.s) supplied him with his wise maxims and ideals. Fatima, the principal of all women, planted in her son virtue and perfection. Accordingly, al-Hasan’s childhood was high and a model of human perfection, a title of highness and education, a symbol of cleverness and genius.

Some psychologists believe that the child greatly imitates others in habits, mental and moral qualities, the general attitude he or she takes toward others, the general viewpoint through which he or she ponders on life or work. Sometimes imitation is conscious and deliberate; however, in most cases, it is unconscious. So when the child imitates educated people, he or she will follow their ethics and sentiments. In the first place this effect is an imitation, but it quickly becomes a habit; the habit is a second nature. The imitation is one of the two ways through which individual qualities are acquired and the personal manners are formed.[1]

According to this viewpoint, Imam al-Hasan (a.s) was the first person in his mental and moral qualities, for he grew up in the House of the Revelation and was brought up in the School of the monotheism. Moreover, he saw his grandfather, who was the most perfect person in the world, always build an edifice for justice, virtue, and perfection. He encompassed people with his noble moral traits, gathered them around the word of Oneness (of Allah). That impressed al-Hasan, the Prophet’s grandson, and he followed the deeds of his grandfather in advising and guiding the people. During their childhood, al-Hasan and al-Husayn (a.s) passed by an old man. The old man could not perform the ritual ablution well. So their high soul and their kindness did not let them leave the old man ignorant of performing the ritual ablution well. They made an informal dispute and they said to each other: “You do not perform the ritual ablution well!” Then they calmly turned to the old man and appointed him as an arbitrator between them. They said to him: “O Sheikh (i.e., an old man), each of us will perform the ritual ablution before you, and you decide which of the two ablutions is better.” They performed the ablution before him, and he carefully considered it. Accordingly, the old man paid attention to his mistake without any disdain, and then he said to them: “My masters, you both perform the ritual ablution well. However, I am an ignorant old man. I do not perform the ablution well. I have learned it from you and repented at your hands!”[2]

This deed clearly shows us that the Prophet (a.s) guided the people through sound ways and noble moral traits. This way impressed al-Hasan (a.s) during his childhood, to the extent that it became among his qualities and natures.

Some psychologists believe that individual manner is inherited, that it has an important effect on forming man’s ethics, and that it is not less in importance than imitation. Heksil says: “All effects and qualities of the organic being belong to heredity or to environment. Hereditary formation determines the bounds of that which is possible. And the environment decides that this possibility will be achieved. Therefore, the hereditary formation is mere the ability to react with any environment through a special way.”

Jinjiz has confirmed this theory, saying: “Everyone has hidden hereditary forces, but the appearance of each of them depends on the circumstances surrounding these forces during their growth.”

The rule of heredity decides that Imam al-Hasan (a.s) was on top of those who got this phenomenon. He inherited the spiritual forces and the great, reformative wealth of his grandfather (a.s). Besides, the righteous environment his family and the good, righteous Muslims created had an influence on him.

Due to his heredity, Imam al-Hasan (a.s) got cleverness and high reflection that none had got. The narrators have reported traditions on his early genius, saying: “Al-Hasan memorized all things he read. He attended the meetings of his grandfather (a.s) and memorized the Revelation. Then he went to his mother and told her about it. She told Imam Ali (a.s) and he admired that and asked her:

“From where have you brought this (revelation)?”
“From your son, al-Hasan!’”

Imam Ali (a.s) hid himself in a corner of the house, that he might listen to his son. As usual al-Hasan came and told his mother about the verses of the revelation he had memorized. He was unable to speak, so his mother asked him: “O my little son, why are you unable to speak?” “Mother, do not be astonished at what has befallen me,” replied al-Hasan, “for the Most High (Allah) looks after me.”[3] This attitude is a proof of al-Hasan’s great cleverness through which he saw the distant and unknown things.


[1] Mandir, Psychology in Life.

[2] Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 89.

[3] Ibn Shahrashub, al-Manaqib, vol. 2, p. 148. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 93.

Adapted from: "The Life of Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba (a.s.)" by: "Ayatullah Kashif al-Ghita"

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