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Kufa During the Days of the Pledge of Allegiance

Sa'sa'a b. Sohan al-'Abdi1 described Kufa as: "the dome of Islam and top of speech. However, there were rude persons in Kufa. They prevented the people from obeying those who were in charge of authority (i.e. the Prophet's family). Also they prevented the people from meeting the. These were the manners of the possessors.

The Mulims inhabited Kufa in the year 17 A.H, namely directly after the conquest of Iraq.2

The early houses of Kufa were built of reed. However, they burned down. So they were built of adobes. The streets of Kufa were twenty cubits wide. Its lanes were seven cubits wide. The places of the buildings were among its streets. They were forty cubits wide. Also al-qatay, (plots of land) were among its streets. They were sixty cubits wide.

The Mosque was the firts thing to be built in Kufa. It was built in the Middle of the area which was chosen to build the city. A strong man threw arrows at all directions. Then the houses were built beyound the arrows. So the area before the arrows was allotted to build the Mosque and its yard. In front of the Mosque, They (the Muslims) built a poet on which they built pillars made of marble, which the followers of Kasra (a Persain king) brought from the ruins of al-Hira. They (the Muslims) dug a trench around the yard of the Mosque to prevent the people from building houses near it.

Suddenly, the buildings of Kufa increased. For the Commander of the faithful (Amir al-Mu'minin) emigrated to it. Then he regarded it as a headquaters after the Battle of the Camel on the twelfth of th month of Rajab, in the year 36.A.H

Among the motives of this initiative (the Emigration of Imam Ali to Kufa) was the the resources of Hijaz (Saudi Arabia) because so weak that this country depended on other resources from ther countries. The most country harmful thing for a certain country is that it depends on the resources of others countries. However, Kufa, and Iraq did not suffer from the paucity of resoueces. In other words their resources were more than their needs. Besides there were military factors. For example military rebels used Iraq as a base for their hostile acts.

Prominent Muslim figures came successively to Kufa, from various Muslim countries. For it was the capital of the Caliphate. The Arabs tribes from the Yemen and Hijaz, and the Persian communities from al-Mada'in and Iran inhabited Kufa. Trade markets became active in built around it. Glorious history, arts sciences lasted in it for a long time.

Shi'ism (tashyy) for Imam Ali and his sons, peace be on them, prevailed Kufa under the HasHimite ruling. This phenomenon has been in it since that time. Because of the mixed groups who inhabited the new city, other hostile desires appeared three beside Shi'ism. After a short time, such hostile desires became the reason for creating historical events in Kufa.

The pledge of allegiance to Al-Hasan, peace be on Him, occurred when Kufa pledge allegiance to Him. Then all the people there agreed on his nomination though they rarely agreed on a certain idea.

Throughout his life time in this city, Al-Hasan, peace be on Him showed the nobel qualities which the family of Mohammed, may Allah bless Him and his family, inherited. Those noble qualities were: goodness, good manners, noble feelings, gentle traits, wide patience, excellent mind, knowledge, religious devotion, worship and the like. So the hearts of the people inclined towards Him.

The Pulpit of the succession, though sad for the late Imam (Ali), smiled at the Prophetic qualities inherited by its new Successor. For he was the best person in piety, refraining from the life in this world, and collecting all good traits. For this reason he (Al-Hasan) was a unique figure. Thus all different person s agreed on Him willingly. Moreover, all the elemens of leadership neccessary for the leader of a nation or the Imam of people gathered in Al-Hasan.

The festivals of the pledge of allegiance of Al-Hasan, peace be on Him in Kufa ended in the hoped manner. They resulted it strength, activity, and mobilization. However, the fate has reles that do not occur according the measures of minds, nor do they occur according to the desires for selves. So the political atmosphere in the city of (Kufa), that celebrated the appoinment of the Successor for the first time in its history, was still stagnant,, clouded, and mingled with much suspicious disturbances. That was what Kufa, suffered from because of the effects of the violent battles that happened in the neighboring places, namely in Basra, Nahrwan, and Siffin. In Kufa, at that time, there were many supporters for the martyrs and victims of these battles from both parties. Those supporters were very eager to avenge the blood of their martyrs. So they spared no effort to carry out their purposes. Some of these purposes were good, while some of them were evil. The evil purposes were the reason for creating disagreement in the Muslim community.

Though Al-Hasan was in the beginning of his succession, all the hearts inclined towards Him. For he was the son of the daughter of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless Him and his family. To love Him was among the condtions of belief. To obey Him was among the conditions of the pledge of allegiance to Him.

Ibn Kuthayr said: "They (the Kufans) loved Him (i,e, Al-Hasan) more than they loved his father."3
Al-Hasan, peace be on Him, was still safe from all parties, That is because he did not react to destroy the purposes of some people or to injure the sensitive cord of the stuborn ideas of some people. That is because the ways through which Islam lived at that time were sometimes subjected, in such Muslims, to personal aims and were sometimes to fanatic opinions.

Many of those people were selfish and ambitious. Their selfishness and ambitions exceeded the limits of Islam. Thus they thought that they would achieve their ambitions through pledging allegiance to Al-Hasan. Al-Hasan's good manners made them pledge allegiance to Al-Hasan. Al-Hasan's good manners made them pledge allgiance to Him. For his manners reminded them of the manners of his grandfather, may Allah bless Him Him and his family. Also they memorized a tradition from the Companions of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless Him and his family. The traditions said that Al-Hasan was the most similar person to Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless Him and his family, in form and nobility.

In fact, they (the Kufans) understood Al-Hasan's great manners as they were.

Many of those who were opposed to Al-Hasan's ideas and thoughts competed with each other for the above mentioned ambitions. So they pledged allegiance to Him of their own accord as the loyal believers did. then they, after a short time, were the quickest of all the people in escaping from his camps. That is because they thought that they would obtain their ambitions through the leniency of Al-Hasan, peace be on Him. However, they found it difficult for them to get their ambitions when Al-Hasan assumed the succession. For he was very strict in enforcing the Islamic law even with his close relatives such as his brother and cousin.

For this reasn, it was natural for the leaders in Kufa to oppose Al-Hasan, peace be on Him, as they had opposed the late Imam (i, e. Imam Ali) who said to them: "you have filled my heart with puss and loaded my bosom with rage. you made me drink mouthfuls of grief one after the other." In this manner, that corrupt group of people clung to their angry partisanship. Meanwhle they found a strong supporter abroad (ie, Mu'awiya in Synria). Also in this manner, various kinds of propbles began to appear because of the abominable partisanship.

Groups of the opportunists took advantage of that critical stage. They were able to communicate with the people of Kufa to provake them to mutiny against the obligatory successor, to violate morals, and to break the pledge of Allegiance to Him, peace be on Him. This kind of people, who were like men, resorted riot, boycott, and disobedience when the Islamic Succession was moved to the new city (Kufa) in Iraq. For the Islamic Succession there was clear in carrying out the Islamic laws and was severe in enforceing justice. They were restless because they were hopeless of the world of the succeesion. For such a kind of succession was religious, not worldly. Also they knew that the succession would not allow them to achieve their worldly ambitions.

So they (the rebels in Kufa) took advantage of the disagreement between the new Successor in Kufa and Mu'awiya in sham (Syria). They found that disagreement appropriate for them to renew their activities to get possibe urgent interests through deceiving the two parties (i,e. Al-Hasan and Mu'awiay). Thus they were before two choices: either they get their ambitions through the new succession or they co-operate with each other to corrupt and destroy it. In the meantime, Mu'awiya promises to achieve their ambitions. Accordingly, money and promises were the strongest weapons the rulers in Sham used to destroy the new succession in Kufa throughout that time.

In this manner, the changeable desires, the different ideas, the bad manners, and the impudent quarrels were able to weaken the attitude of Al-Hasan, peace be on Him, in Kufa.

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1. See chapter. The Leaders of the Shi'a, in this book. al-Mas'udi, Hamish b. al-Athir, vol. 6, p. 118.

2. al-Baladhiri, Futuh al-Budan. al-Buraqi, Tarikh al-Kufa. al-Hamawi, al-Mujam, However, al-Hamawi opposed Him when he said: "Basra was inhabited six months before Kufa in the year 14 A. H."

3. Ibn Kuthayr, al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, vol. 8, p.41

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

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