Rafed English

Encountering the Tyrants

Allah Almighty foreordained Imam Hasan alayhis-salam to encounter the first kind of tyrant, whereas He foreordained Imam Husayn alayhis-salam to deal with the second type. The reformists throughout the world must therefore follow the example of Imam Hasan alayhis-salam if they were faced with the like of Mo’awiyah, and to follow the model of Imam Husayn alayhis-salam if they were to deal with the like of Yazid.

So the essence of the noble hadith, “al-Hasan and al-Husayn are two Imams whether they rise up or not” is to point out how Imam Hasan alayhis-salam should fight his opponent, and how to make peace with him.

If Imam Hasan alayhis-salam were not to make peace with Mo’awiyah, that would have been a failure on his part, since Mo’awiyah plays with two faces; one of peace and one war, and Imam Hasan alayhis-salam

needed to be prepared for both tactics. If Imam Hasan alayhis-salam were to engage in battle only, then this would have exposed Mo’awiyah’s conduct in war only and it would not have depicted his conduct in peace.

Similarly if Imam Hasan alayhis-salam were to adopt peaceful measures only, this would not have exposed Mo’awiyah’s conduct in war. Imam Hasan alayhis-salam was careful in his plan to deal with Mo’awiyah, which was not only in accordance with the plan of Allah Almighty, but it was logical too – this is apart from the fact that he was Ma’soom and our belief that he was Imam who must be obeyed. Imam Hasan alayhis-salam fought Mo’awiyah for a period of time to reveal the conduct of Mo’awiyah in war, and he made peace with him to expose Mo’awiyah’s face and conduct in peace times.

If it were not for that, and if the Imam had fought him until death, the peacetime conducts of Mo’awiyah would not have become apparent; such conducts as ordering all speakers across the land to curse and swear at Imam Ali alayhis-salam 19 after every prayer. On many occasions Imam Hasan was present in the Mosque when the speaker or prayer leader, on instructions from Mo’awiyah, insulted Imam Ali alayhis-salam, while it was one of the conditions of the peace treaty between Imam Hasan alayhis-salam and Mo’awiyah that Imam Ali should not be insulted.

Another condition of the peace treaty was that Imam Hasan alayhis-salam and his household as well as the followers of Imam Ali alayhis-salam should not be harassed and intimidated. But in reality they were constantly harassed and tormented, and denied their rights by Mo’awiyah and his regime. In fact it was during this peacetime that Mo’awiyah declared his famous statement in public that, “the treaty of al-Hasan and all its conditions are beneath my feet!”

All of these would not have become apparent if it were not for the peace Imam Hasan alayhis-salam made with Mo’awiyah, it was this act of Imam Hasan alayhis-salam that exposed Mo’awiyah before the masses.

If it were not for a reformist like Imam Hasan, the two faces of Mo’awiyah – his conducts in war and in peace – would not have been exposed.

Therefore Imam Hasan alayhis-salam shall remain a role model for future generations who want to stand up to tyrants such as Mo’awiyah.


19. Imam Ali alayhis-salam is the father of Imam Hasan alayhis-salam and the immediate successor to Prophet Muhammad salla-llahu-alayhi-wa-aalih, who was appointed to this post by the prophet on instructions from Allah Almighty.

Throughout history and the future, tyrants like Mo’awiyah will come when there will be a need for reformists like Imam Hasan alayhis-salam, and as for tyrants like Yazid, we will need reformists like Imam Husayn alayhissalam

Adopted from the book : "Husayn; the Sacrifice for Mankind" by : "Imam Muhammad Shirazi"

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