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Imam al-Mujtaba (a.s.) and The Shi'as of Ali ibne Abi Talib (a.s.)

"The life, property, and honour of Shias of (Imam) Ali (as) and his family members, will be protected and Moawiya bin Abee Sufyan will honour his covenant with Almighty God in this regard"; 25

In the previous chapters we have indicated that wars between Syria and Iraq had been going on for a long time, beginning with the 'Siffeen' war during the period of Imam Ali (as) in which the supporters of the Imam and the lovers of Islam had participated in large numbers, and Moawiya's army had not only suffered huge life and property losses but had also suffered defeat in the battlefield. The faithful to the Imam (as) were known as the Shias of (Imam) Ali as they considered the members of the house hold of the Holy Prophet (as) as rightful claimants to the caliphate. They included many Companions of the Holy Prophet (saww) from Badr as well. Although many of these faithful followers of Imam Ali (as) had been martyred, yet those that remained were wanted by Moawiya and his military commanders. Qais bin Saad, the well known leader, who was the 2nd in command of the vanguard unit, and who with a small force of four thousand soldiers, had harassed the sixty thousand strong army of Moawiya and had put up a tough fight, was one of those wanted by them. That is why, when 'Abdullah bin Haras, the delegate of Imam Hasan (as) put it to Moawiya that if he was prepared to agree to protect the life, property and honour of the residents of Iraq, Hijaz and Madina, and to ignore their actions of the days of the Imam's illustrious father, it being a major condition, then the Imam would be agreeable for peace. However, when Moawiya refused to grant amnesty to ten followers of Imam Ali (as) and said that whenever he would get hold of Qais, he would severe his hands and feet, Imam Mujtaba (as) and his representative refused to agree to a conditional peace. 26 This shows how much love and consideration for the life, property and honour of his, and his noble father's, sincere supporters and their families the Imam (as) had, as he was not prepared to make any compromise whatsoever in this regard. It was because of the firm stand taken by the Imam (as) that Moawiya sent a blank paper and had to agree to all the conditions written on it by Imam Mujtaba (as).

It was a great political success of Imam Mujtaba (as) that he got the agreement of Moawiya for complete protection of his sincere followers. It is the duty of a true leader to protect the life and honour of his supporters and followers or to sacrifice them for a noble cause. In reply to the objections raised by some of his Shias, the Imam (as) had stressed this very fact that his steps were a guarantee for their survival with honour, and if he had not done so, there would have been a massacre of them. If the current religious and political leaders learn this guiding principle from Imam Hasan (as), then bloodshed and tensions among the Muslims can be considerably reduced.

25. Ibne A'sam - 'Al Futooh', vol. 4, p.160; Balazari - 'Ansaab al Ashraaf', vol. 3 p.42; Ibne Abee al Hadeed, 'Sharhe Nahjul Balagha', vol.16, p.18 & p.44; Abul Faraj - 'Maqatil al Talibeen', Najaf, Maktaba al Haidariya, 1965, vol.1, p.43; Husain Mohammad Ja'fari - 'The Origins and Early Development of Shia Islam', Qum, Ansarian Publications, p.149; Abu J'far al Tabari - 'Tareekh al Umam val Mulook (Tareekh al Tabari)', Beirut: Daarul Kutub al Ilmiah 1988, vol 3, p. 170; Hasan Kamil al Maltavi - 'Al Imam al Hasan bin Ali', p.121; Taha Husain - Islamiyat - 'Al Fitnatul Kubra' pp.979-980; Sheikh Mufeed - 'Kitab al Irshad' vol. 2 p.10; Baqar Qarshi - 'Hayat al Imam al Hasan bin Ali', vol 2, p.244.

26. References have been quoted under 'blank page' chapter.

Adpted from the book: "Imam Hasan and Caliphate" by: "Qurrat-ul-Ain Abidiy"

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