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Determination to Wage War

The studies throughout the various historical periods have maintained that the victory of religion in a certain society is of great importance for spreading ethics. that is because nations follow the example of their leaders and adopt the aims of their laws. If the religion had nothing but enjoining people to do good deeds, preventing them from doing evil deeds, and purifying the self from clinging to worldly desires, then it would be enough.

This group (i,e, the Umayyads) was from the remains of the pre Islamic paganism. They propagated classicism. They used to cleave to the habits of their fathers and grandfathers, ancient regulations, and unjust attitudes. They were the mortal enemies of the religion. After they had followed the religion, they regarded it as means for achieving their worldly ambitions.

The aims of the religion have become lost because of these ambitions. Besides the society has lost its necessary righteousness. So the people have clung to their worldly ambitions. Moreover, the religion have become as Imam Husayn, peace be on Him, said: licking on the tongues of the people. They encompass it as long as their livelihood stream. However, when they are tested with atribulation, the followers of the religion become few."

The family of Mohammed, may Allah bless Him and his family, had their own message. They did not retreat from it. For they wanted to save people (from oppression) not to achieve their own interest. They wanted to spread the teachings of the religions not to establish their own thorns. They wanted to preserve morals not to preserve their own selves.

However, Mu'awiya opposed these obectives. He waged war against those who wanted to propagate them (the objectives). He insisted on his oppression and enmity. He sought the fame of authority. He looked after his feelings and ideas. Therefore it was incumbent on Al-Hasan, peace be on Him, to lead the muslims to fight against Him, and to punish Him according to the Laws of Allah, the Great and Almighty.

Abu al-Faraj al-Asfahani said: "The first thing which Al-Hasan, peace be on Him, did was that he raised the salaries of the fighter to 100%. Ali, peace be on Him, did that on the day (Battle) of the Camel. Then Al-Hasan did it as soon as he became a successor. So the successors did that after Him."

He ( i.e., Abu al-Faraj al-Asfahani) said: "Al-Hasan, peace be on Him wrote to Mu'awiya and Harb. 'Abd Allah al-Azdi: For Al-Hasan b. Ali, the Commander of the faithful, to Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan. Salammun alayka (peace on you). Indeed, I thak Allah, Who here is no god but He, instead of you. Now then, verily, Allah, the Great and Almighty, appointed Mohammed as mercy for worlds, and as favour for the belidvers and all people. (He appointed Him) to warm those who are still living, and to enforce the words on the unblievers. So he (Mohammed) Propagated the messages of his Lord. He carried out the order of Allah. He did not fall behind or neglect anything. Then Allah caused Him to die after He had shown the truth and destroyed polytheism through Him.

He (Allah) singled out Quraysh through Him (Mohammed). So He (Allah) said to Him: And it (the Koran) is a reminder for you and for your people. When he (Mohammed) died, the Arabs differed over his authority. So Quraysh said: We are his tribe, his family and his friends. you have no right. Thus the Arabs beliedved the words of Quraysh had their proof for that (successive) against Him who disputed with them over the authority of Mohammed. So you bestowed upon them and yielded to them. Then we argued with Quraysh as the Arabs did. However, Quraysh did not treat us with justice as the Arabs treated them. They (Quraysh), with exlcusion of the Arabs took this matter through (asking) equity and protest. When we, the members of the House of Mohammed and his friends, began disputing with them (Quraysh) and asked them to treat us with justice, they turned away from us, seized (power), and gathered together to oppress and force us. So we suffered from their persecutions towards us.

"We became astonished at those who took unjustly our right and the authority of our family. If they (Quraysh had an outstanding merit and prority in Islam, we would refrain from disputing them for fear that the hypocrites and the allies (ahzab) might find a gap to corrupt the religion.

"So today, Mu'awiya, the person is astonished at you. For you have usurped the authority. Hwever, you are not appropriate for it. you have no known merit in the religion. you have no laudable act in Islam. you are the son of an ally (hizb) of the allies (ahzab). you are the son of the most evil one of all Quraysh toward the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless Him and his family, and His Book. Allah alone is suffecient for you your shall return to Him. you shall know to whom the final result of the the adobe shall be. By Allah, you shall meet your Lord soon. The He shall punish you because of what your hands have done. Allah is not unjust for the servants.

"Indeed, when Ali passed away (the mercy of Allah be on Him on the day when he died, on the day when he will be raised from the dead) the Muslims made me a successor. So I ask Allah not to give us in this transit world a thing with which He decreases our dignity which He has. The thing that made me write to you is an excuse between Allah, the Great and Almighty, and me concerning your affair. If you do that, you will have great luck, and the Muslims will have righteousness.

"Therefore avoid going too far in falsehood, and pledge allegiance to me as the people have done. you know I am worthier of this authority than you with Allah and with every loyal repentant, and a repenting heart. Fear Allah, abandon oppression, and spare the blood of the Muslims. Enter peace and obedience. Do not dispute with the people of authority over their authority, and with those who are worthier of it than you. With that Allah will put out this disturbance, unify (the Muslims), and settle the enmity.

"If you insist on your error, I will advance against you with the Muslims and punish you till Allah judge between you and me, and He is the best of all judges"1

In its last words, the letter of Al-Hasan, peace be on Him, shows you that Al-Hasan clearly theatened Mu'awiya with war. It was neccessary for Al-Hasan to follow this method. For it was appropriate for Mu'awiya. He asked Him "to avoid going on falsehood and to pledge allegiance to Him as the people did." This was the wise political method which Al-Hasan used to undermine the resistance of the enemy through undermining his determination. Then Al-Hasan, peace be on Him, said these words to Mu'awiya after telling Him about the previous argument of the Prophet's family with Quraysh.

So Al-Hasan peace be on Him, summoned Mu'awiya to stop going on falsehood and to pledge allegiance to Him, Thus he gave Him pieces of advice, then he threatened Him, and then he clearly warmed Him with war.

Al-Hasan, peace be on Him, followed the plan of his father towards Mu'awiya. Indeed, Al-Hasan did as his father did, He treated the conditions and the enemies as his father did. It is if that Al-Hasan and his father, the Commender of faithful, peace be on Him, lived during the same time in Kufa. War was an inevitable necessity during the time of the late father. (i.e, Imam Ali), peace be on Him. Thus it was also an enevitable necessity during the time of the son (ie, Al-Hasan) who assumed the succession.

It was necessary for Al-Hasan to adorn the new succession. Thus it ws incumbent on Him to make it brilliant during its new time through having a poweful authority. Also it was necessary for the new Successor to punish the wrongdoers to spread respect in the selves, and to find his way to take the reins of authority. Therefore, there is no wonder, when the letter of Al-Hasan, peace be on Him, was clear in threatening, severe in preaching, strong in presenting the words that ordered Mu'awiya and prevented Him: "Fear Allah, abandon oppression, and spare the blood of the Muslims. Be peaceful and obedient. Do not dispute with the people of authority and those who are worthier of it than you. Enter peace and obedience."

However, the Umayyads in Sham (Syria) went on showing their enmity towards the HasHimite Succession in Kufa. They refused to pledge allegiance to Al-Hasan, peace be on Him, as they had refused to pledge allegiance to his father before.The sincere, advising letters of Al-Hasan did not avail Mu'awiya, nor did their wise styles and their plain proofs keep back his disobedience.

If we run over the letters of Al-Hasan, peace be on Him, to Mu'awiya, we find them full of proofs for his right in authority. In the meantime they indicate the right of his family, because of their love which Allah has imposed on people. The Koran denotes that they were free from sins, and it hints to their authority over people. The authentic traditons of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless Him and his family, concerning the Imamate and the Imam affirm their right in authority, too. Nevertheless Al-Hasan, peace be on Him, asked Mu'awiya to obey Him, to spare the blood of the Muslims, to put out the disturbance, and to settle the enmity.

Also Mu'awiya sent letters to Al-Hasan peace be on Him. From these letters we have understood that they often care of the non essential things of the matter while they ignore the essential ones.

Besides their words moved spites and stirred up discord among the Muslim brothers.

It is an act of truthfulness to mention that Mu'awiya was the first in the history of Islam to move the tribal feelings throngh renewing spites and fanatical instincts. So he was the first to scatter the Muslim unity on which the religion of monotheism was based. He did his best to destroy this unity that is, indeed, the essence of the righteousness of the religion and the secret of its success among the religions.

Mu'awiya was unble to convince even the ignorant ones throught two ways. Namely, he was unable to convince them to believe in Him and his father Abu Sufyan b. Harb. For the Muslims knew the backgrounds of those two ways through numbers and dates. So Mu'awiya began writing letters to Al-Hasan making use of the name of Abu Bakr, Umar, and Abu 'Ubayda. In his letters, he hinted to the disagreement of the members of the House (ahl al- Bayt). peace be on them, on the pledge of allegiance of Abu Bakr.

All the letters of Mu'awiya were in need of producing evidence in support of his legal right in the holy throne. Even the baseless retext (ie, avenging the blood of Uthman) which Mu'awiya used to wage long term battels against Ali, peace be on Him, was forgotten when the first Imam (i,e. Ali) died. Hwever, Mu'awiya renewed this pretext against the second Imam (i.e Al-Hasan). He forgot that Al-Hasan sat at the door of the House of Uthman on the day when he was killed. Al-Hasan guarded Uthman against the people. So he was wounded and colored with his own blood. All historians have reported this event. For example, in his book Tarikh, al-Taqtaqi said: "Indeed, Al-Hasan fought bravely or Uthman. He stood side by side with Him while he was fighting for Him. He (Al-Hasan) was ready to sacrifice his life for Him (Uthman)"2

Nevertheless, in the critical attitude, the others provoked the people aganst Uthman, and his close relatives betrayed him.3

Yes, the only proof of Mu'awiya in his letters to Al-Hasan was this claim of his: "I am prior to you in authority, more experienced than you in authority, and older than you in age.4

If Mu'awiya had possessed an acceptable proof other than these repeated sentences, he would have mentioned it. Moreover, he would have left inclination towards renewing spites and stirring up fanatical instincts.

I (the author) wish I knew which experience did you mean, Abu Yazid (i.e. Muawiya).

Were your experiences on the day when the Syrians brought suit against you to Umar? So he summoned you, and you were more afraid of Him than his servant Yarfa. Were your expriences on the day when Umar hit you with the whip on the head when you came to Him wearing your green clothes?

Were your experinces on the day when you issued orders without permission from Uthman and said: "This is the order of Uthman.? So you told lies to Him and were among the reasons of his disaster.
Or were your experiences on the day when you and your army waged war gainst the Imam if your time (ie. Imam Ali) drawing your swords out of oppresssion, and paying no attentons to committing sins?

Have you experience which may regard as evidence for your worthiness of authority? Therefore, I (the author) wonder: "What is your worthiness of succession (Khilafa).

Your authority was based on telling lies, fabrications, and bloodshed. So does it indicate that you wee worthy of that high religious positon?

Your sentences are repeated. They have only one meaning that is looking for a proof through "the long period of time.!"

The man (ie, Mu'awiya) maybe the most knowledgeable one of all people in buying the consciences of men or in stirring up discord amon me. However, this does not mean that such a man s worthy of the succession of the Prophethood in Islam.

The man maybe the most righteous one of all men in controlling his merves had suppressing his desires. Perhaps the people regard Him as one of the great, clement figures. However, this is not evidence for the religious Imamate over people. For the hypocrite leaders may have elemency as great as the Imam has.

The man maybe the most experience one of all in arranging the believers and directing the people to adopt his own ideas. He did not mind whether his ideas belonged to Allah or they belonged to his own desires. However, this indicates that such a man originated heresies in the religion. Moreover, this indicates that he was inappropriate for the succession over Muslims. That is because the Successor has no opinion but the opinion of the Koran, no support but the hadith (tradition), and no authority but Allah, the Great and Almighty.

Therefore, three was no appropriate person for the Muslim succession (Khilafa) after the Prophet but a creature from thr rare creatures. Allah selected Him from His servants, and chose Him from His creatures. For such a creature had qualities and outstanding merits of which no one of the people had. Allah, the Glorified, ceated people. So He is the most knowledgeable one in selecting and choosing the righteous servant who has such qualities and outstanding merits. Also Allah inspired His Apostle about the name of the Imam. So He (Allah) selected the Imam from the people. Accordingly, no one had the right to elect Him.

Now, the backgrounds of Mu'awiya, and if his father, the method through which he became Muslim, and his attitudes towards Umar, Uthman, and Ali (peace be on Him) were unable to make Him worthy of the greatest position in Islam. However, Al-Hasan was the grandson of the Apostle of Allah may Allah bless Him and his family. Thus the Muslim all over the Muslim coutries pledged allegiance. For this reason Mu'awiya said to Him: I am prior to you in authority, more

1. Ibn Abu al-Haddid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 12.

2. Al-Fakhri, p.74.

3. May be, it is good for those who want more details about this brief idea to read what Abd Allah al-Alayali has mentioned concerning the conditions of the society during the time of Uthman. Please, see his book Ayyam Al-Hasan, pp. 112-128. We had better to summarize what he has mentioned as follows: They are (the Umayyads) were not satisfied when they imposed themselves and their imaginary existence of life and effort (on the people). Rather, they exceeded this when they divided the society into classes. Suddenly, the fabulous weath gathered together in the hands of the Umayyads and their supporters. Sddenly, Marwan alone possessed the high fates according to his desires. Suddenly, most regions became feudal estates between so and so. So Ya'li b. Umayya had about one hundred thousand dinars, apart from his many real estetes. Abd al-Rahman b. Auf had about five hundred thousand dinars. Zayd b. Thabit had gold and silver which were broken with axes. Therefore, no wonder when the majority expressed their dissatisfaction with the plan of this new one (i.e., Mu'awiya). No wonder.

when they (the majority) confronted his supporters and accused them of renuncing their religion. And no wonder when they (the majority) began conflicting against them ( Mu'awiya and his supporters). The conflict began secretly, and then it spread openly.

"The general conditions maybe summarized in two words: The government plotted against the people, and the pople plotted against the government. However, the people, always have the high, final word. It is an act of justice and good to mention that the people, in spite of that, was not alightheaded during their revolt. Rather, they communicated with possessors of the affairs and authority, and they declared their demands several times through their representatives. However, every time their demands failed. It was a quick, continous failure, nd it was of the exciting kind.

In the meantime, Amru b. al-' As provoked the people against Uthman, ablished his policy openly, spied on Him, disclosed the talks that happened in his house, and made the hearts of those whom he met hate Him. when Uthman addressed a group of noisy rebels, he (Umru b. al-As) said to Him: "Commandder of the faithful, you have committed sins and we committed the with you. So repent and we repent. When Uthman was addressing (the people) A'isha spread the Prophet's shirt dared and said: This is the shirt of the Prophet. It has not worn out yet, while you have worn out his Sunna (practice). Talha and al-Zubayr helped the revolutionaries with money. Although Ali suffered from many hardships he was the first to spend his two sons. For they had important considerations. Also he send his followers to put an end to those violent events.

"When he (Imam Ali) heard that the people besieged Him (Uthman) and prevented Him from drinking water, he sent Him three water skins and said to Al-Hasan and al-Husayn: Go with your swords stop at his door, and do not allow anybody to hurt Him. So al-al Hasan was colored with blood, and Qanbar, his (Ali's) servant, was wounded.

"This is what history has mentioned about Ali and his sons towards the event, while, on the other hand, it (history) has mentioned that when Uthman ws besieged, he wrote to Mu'awiya, who was in Sham (Syria); "Indeed, the people of Medina have disbelieved (in Allah). They have disobeyed (me). And they have broken their pledge of allegiance (to me). So send me fighters from Sham on every obedient camels' However, when Mu'awiya received his (Uthman's) letter, he betrayed Him. He hated, as he claimed, to disagree with the Commander of the Apostle. For he knew that they agreed o that. Among the ironies of fate were that Umru, b. al-As provoked (the people) to kill Uthman, A'isha blamed Him openly, Mu'awiya refused to help Him and help both Talha and Zubayr against Him. Then they (ie, Mu'awiya, A'isha, Talha and al-Zubayr) went here and there accusing Ali of killing Uthman, while Ali b. Abu Talib gave Him a sincere piece and warmed Him against that fate."

4. Ibn Abu al-Haddid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 4, p. 13.

Adopted from the book: "Sulh al-Hasan (a.s.)" by: "Sheykh Radi al-Yasin"

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