The Members of the Army
- :Sheykh Radi al-Yasin
In his book al-Irshad p. 169, al-Mufid said: Al-Hasan sent Hijr b. Adi to order the leaders (Ummal) to set out and to call the people together for war (jihad). They were slow to (answer) Him and then they came forwards. (Al-Hasan) had a mixed band of men: some of them belonged to his Shi'a and to his father's: some of them were members of the Muhakkima (ie, Kharijites) who were influenced by (the desire of) fighting Mu'awiya with every means (possible): some of them were men who loved discords and were anxious for booty: some of them were doubters: others were tribal suporters who followed the leaders ot their tribes without reference to religions."1
I (the author) say: From what we hae just said, we have known that the number of Al-Hasan's army was about twenty thousand fighters or little more. However, we do not know in detail the way used to form this army. However, I think it was the primitive way which was not based on the succeeding, aquired improvements. It was the way which the Muslim communities followed during the first centuries A,H. It was the way that did not stipulate any qualities necessary for accepting the soldiers or the fighter. It did not stipulate personal abilities and age, nor did it stipulate compulsory militaty service as it is in the present time. For the Muslim person who was able to carry the weapon had a religious motive. Thus he took part in jihad willingly when he heard the sommons to it in the way of Allah. This motive made Him feel his religious obligation. So he was ready to sacrifice his life in the way of Allah. Otherwise, he was unable to carry out his religious duty. For the worldly desires would suppress this feeling in Him. Moreover, they would have deprived Him of his share of the reward and booty if Allah had predetermined victory and booty of that war.
Modern military laws force people to carry out military service, summon them in certain years, and examine their limited abilities. These laws were not known at that time. Besides they disagree with the Islamic law that is general and tolerant.
Islam is certain correct facts so that the people obey it. In other words the laws of this religionn do not force anyone to carry out any obligation. For Islam has showed people two ways ( i,e, the way of good and the way of evil). Moreover, it has helped them to choose the way of good through guidance: "And (as for) those who strive hard for us, We will most certainly guide them to Our ways."2 In this way Islam enjoins people to do good and forbids them form doing evil. Also Muslim leaders have used the same way to enjoin people to do good and to prevent them from doing evil. When they decide to wage war (against their enemies), they follow an excellent way to urge people to take part in jihad (holy war) through convincing them to carry the weapon.
Among these way are: They increase the salaries of fighters, order their governors to encourage people to take part in jihad, and pread their orators and prominent figures to urge people to volunteer ot strive in the way of Allah, the Great and Almighty.
Al-Hasan, peace be on Him, followed all these ways from the day when he assumed the succession in Kufa. Also he used them when he declared jihad. Among his measures, as we have said earlier, were: He increased the salaries of the fightes to 100%. He sent Hijr b. Adi, to his rulers to summon them to jihad. His notable companions, who were orators, helped Him with his task, Among them were Adi b. Hatam, Maqal b. Qays al-Riyahi, Zyyad b. Sa'sa,a al-Timimi, and Qays b. Sa'd al-Ansari. They blamed the people3 for slowness and urged them to take part in jihad for Allah. Then they themselves competed with the people for that.
They spread the standards of jihad all over Kufa. They summoned the peopel (to obey) Allah, the Great and Almighty, and the family of Mohammed, peace be on Him.
Thus new awareness happened in the slow city. Namely, the Kufans felt their obligations, and got ready to carry them out.
The slowness in the war happened because either the people inclined to worldly pleasures or the Syrians changed their religious beliefs. This slowness included some of the people in Kufa and the places around it.
As for this new awareness which the eloquent orators, made, it soon moved a wish in many of the slow people. The wish stirred up an activity. So enthusiansm resulted from the activity. To some extent, the summons of the Shi'a to jihad was successful in making the majority eager for war in spite of the ignoble attitudes of the oppressors in Kufa at that time. "The people became active for going out to their camp."4
Moreover, the summons of the Shi'a to jihad was successful, to a great extent, in winning the public opinion in Kufa, its sevenths (asba), its tribes, and the neighboring outskirts whose dwellers used to come to markets and official offices.
The orators of Al-Hasan were so skillful that they exploited the appropriate mind of the people. So they spared no effort to summon them to support the members of the House (ahl al-Bayt) undr the pretext of the summons to jihad.
The throats of the companions became horse because they mentioned many laudable qualities of the family of Mohammed. In the meantime they showed the defects of their enemies. They resisted the different clubs of Kufa, its districrts, and its public places. They drew the attension of the people to the excellent position which no one of the Muslims occupied but two lords of the youth of Paradise (ie., Al-Hasan and al-Husayn), peace be on them. They indicated the religious firmeness inherited by the members of the House of Inspiration. They spread the distinguished qualities of this tribe such as knowledge, purity, religious devotion, sacrifice for Allah, and reforming acts. They indicated their obligatory love on the believers.
Then they (the orators of Al-Hasan) mentioned mentioned the pledge of the allegiance to Al-Hasan. They reminded the people that Allah would ask them about obedience of these rulers and the obligatory pledge of allegiance to them.
They (the orators) mentioned the lineage in the their enthusiatic sermons. Suddenly, this lineage was very nice, very truthful, and very effective. They bewildered the people and filled them with admiration.
The orators mentioned Al-Hasan and Mu'awiya. They said: " What a great difference is between b. Ali and b. Sakhr! What a great difference is between b. Fatima and b. Hind! What a great difference is between his (Al-Hasan's) grandfather the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless Him and his family, and his (ie, Mu'awiya's) grandfather! What a great difference is between his (Al-Hasan's) grandmother Khadija had his (Mu'awiya's) grandmother." They cursed the more unknown one of the two person (ie, Al-Hasan and Mu'awiya). Also they cursed the more ignoble one of them in lineage, the more evil one of them in the past and the present time, and the older one of them in unblief and hypocrisy. So the people shouted and said: Amen! Then the generations came after them (the people). When a Muslim person reads this nice comparison, he will record a new amen against Mu'awiya.
These wise ways and enthusiastic eloquent orations played an importan role in moving the people. So they were ready to desert Sham and to support Kufa.
In Kufa, the new poweful city, there were mixed bands of people. They belonged to Arab and non Arab commuities. They adopted Islam but they were displeased with it. In other words they embraced Islam and used it as means to achieve their immediate interests. So they understood the summons to jihad as means for interest and booty. When these mixed bands became satisfied with the success of that war, they joined the army of Al-Hasan, peace be on Him, to achieve their interests and to take their share booty. So why did they not join those who were the first to take part in jihad?
You may agree with me on discovering the motives that drove these rabble mixed groups to join the army of Al-Hasan, peace be on Him. Suddenly, the men of discords, the men of booty, the men of tribalism, the duoubters, and the like became volunteers in the army of Al-Hasan.
As we have previously said, the regulations of the Islamic mobilization at that time did not prevent the above mentioned groups from joining the army as fighters or mujahiddin. That is becasuse these regulations stipulated only one condition that was the ability to carry the weapon.
Concerning the reason that urge the Kharijites to join the army of Al-Hasan, Shaykh al-Mufid, may Allah have mercy on Him, said: "They chose to fight Mu'awiya with every means (possible).
However, we (the auther) do not believe in this reason though brief, and we do not deny it because it has some meanings What al-Mufid, said might be part of their aim, and the their aim might be a thing other than this.
The relations between Al-Hasan, peace be on Him, and the Kharijites do not encourage us to have a good opinion about them. Besides, if we study the events of (of the battle) of al-Nahrwan, our doubt in them will double. Suppose that they were right when they summoned Al-Hasan to fight against Mu'awiya, and that they had no ill intentioned towards Him, then where were they during the lifetime of Mu'awiya? Why didn't they band together against Him as they did against Ali, peace be on Him.? Moreover, hasn't history kept their revolt against the latter?
The enmity and malice of the Kharijites, and the way of their abominable summons move us to mistust their purspose when they wanted to go out with Al-Hasan, peace be on Him.
We have known the conditions of the Kharijites before their going out for that war, Namely, they cajoled the people. Meanwhile they complimented Al-Hasan after their unbelieving fighting against the late Imam (ie Ali) peace be on Him. Through that, they tried to avoid the general adherrence that prevailed them after that great tragedy.
Do you not think that Kharijites followed cunning ways? Didn't their timely pressing conditions make them pretend to be loyal soldiers, volunteers in the army of Al-Hasan? Witout doubt they had hidden their purposes under his pretense. So they became soldiers to achieve their hidden principples which no one has known since then.
The idea of the Kharijites represented an evil eginning that resulted from the matter of the arbitration (al-tahkim) at the Battle of Siffin. For this reason, they were call al-muhakkima. The roots of this idea were fixed in themselves as a firm thought. In the course of time, their idea spread here and there. Thus many people followed it. Therefore it created various kinds of disasters and hardships.
Although the Kharijites were intense in the matter of the religion, they did cunning very well.
So the Kharijites seized the opportunities of the war that took place between the two great enemies. They joined this army that moved from kufa to Maskan and al-Mada'in.
Through thses explanations, I do not want to deny the enmity of the Kharijites towards Mu'awiya. Moreover, I do not deny their choice to fitght against Him with every means (possible), as Shaykh al-Mufid, may Allah have mercy on Him, has said. However, I think that the Kharijited intended to achieve two purposes through their plan. they had no purpose through their revolts and lots but to destroy the great Islamic figures in Iraq., Egypt, and Syria. The purposes of these people were secret assasssinations. These purposes prevailed their other plans. For this reason, they went with Al-Hasan to make discords. They followed the way of jihad to make corruption. For example, they achieved a traitorous act at Mazlam Sabat.5 The act harmed Al-Hasan evey much. It was the second dangerous part of the series of the crimes which this evil band committed against the great, Prophetic family.
Both those two crimes resulted from the active, secret plats which the foolish Kharijites mastered on various occasions.
Ibn. Sinan al-Asadi6 stabbed Al-Hasan. Also Ibn, Muljim al-Muradi, Sinan's friend, stabbed the Commander of the faithful, Al-Hasan's father, peace be on Him. through His favor, Allah wanted these two tabs to be different from the each other.
This mean plot represented the ugliest estrangement towards the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless Him and his family. For, through this stab, b. Sinan tried to kill his eldest grandson, and to render a rare service, to Mu'awiya. This stab belonged to the people (ie the Kharijites) about whom it was said: "They went out with Al-Hasan because they chose to fight against Mu'awiya with every means (possible).
In this way, Al-Hasan became certain of the intentions of the muhakkima (ie, the Kharijites) in spite false flatter for Him. From the beginning, Al-Hasan was very careful of them. Still he treated them kindly in spite of their hidden spites.
There is no one more dangerous than the enemy who pretends friedship. Such an enemy shows you friendship openly, but he fights against you secretly. So the most dangerous enemy is he who fights against you with hatred, malice, and tribalism, as the Kharijites did against Al-Hasan.
In this way, the army of Al-Hasan, peace be on Him, was full of those mixed hands who discouraged it from winning the battles. Besides it was afflicted by the plots of both internal and external enemies, namely in Iraq and Syria.
It was natural for such an army to be liable to internal discods and mutiny against its commanders.
The holy war (jihad) was not some day means for naterial greed, nor was it a field for dangerous plots, nor was it an aspect for trivial, ignorant tribalism, nor was it an arena for the experience of the doubters.
So "the insight of Al-Hasan increased when the people (ie, the mixed bands) deserted Him"7
Many words have been reported on the authority of Al-Hasan. They indicate that he had weak confidence in his army.
Al-Hasan said very eloquent words when he addressed his army in al-Mada'in. These words are appropriate for the subject of this chapter. Thus we will mention them here; "During your movement towards Siffin, your religions was before your life in this world. Anyhow today, your life in this world is before your religion. So you are between two killed persons: one was killed at ( the battle of) Siffin and you weep over Him. The other was killed at (the battle of) Nahrwan8 and you avenge his blood. As for the rest, they are betrayers. As for the weepers, they are revolutionaries."
This is the only orations of the Al-Hasan, in which he refers to the inclinations and desirs of the mixed bands in his army during the battles.
As for the revolutionary weepers, Al-Hasan refers to the large number from his companions and his bosom one. As for those who wanted to avenge the blood, he refers to the kharijites who were in his army. Namely, they wnated to avenget the blood of their companions on Al-Hasan As for the betrayers, he refers to the other groups from the men of the discords, the followers of the ambitions, and the worshipers of desires.
Go over the pages of history. you will find gloomy bloody lines in them. That was because of what the captivated prominent figures from those mixed hands followed, Also it was because of thier terrible deeds with which they corrupted the field of the holy war (jihad). Some of their deeds, were treason, discords, breaking pledges, plots, forgettng the religion, and the like. So the rest of the family of Mohammed, may Allah bless Him and his family, were liable to their attacks. Worth mentioning, we will mention some of these tragic pictures in their appropriate places in this book.
1. Also see: al-Arbali, Kashif al-Gumma, p. 161. al-Majilisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol 10,p. 110.
2. Koran, 29-69
3. Ibn Abu al-Haddid, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol.4. p.14.
5. In Arabic, Sabat means a shelter between two houses through which there is an open way. Sabat was a village in al-Mada'in. Near Sabat there was an arch over the river of the King (nahr al-malik). Maybe it was called so because there was rare shelter among the shelters (Sawabit) in it. We think that this rare shelter was Mazlam Sabat.
6. In his book (al-Dawla al-Amawiya if al-Sham wa al-andalus, p. 50, chapter 4), Hasan Murad made a mistake when he attributed the stab of Al-Hasan, peace be on Him, with dagger to the followers of the Umayyads, excluding the kharijites. In chapter, theSecret of the Attitude, you will read the text of the event which the old historians reported, and which the modern historians should understand.
7.al-Mufid, al-Irshad. p. 170.
8. In his book (al-MalaHim wa al-Fitan, p.142, (Najaf, 1368), b. Tawuus has narrated: "And the other was killed at (the battle of) Nharwan and you avenge his blood on us."
Adopted from the book: "Sulh al-Hasan (a.s.)" by: "Sheykh Radi al-Yasin"
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