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The Terms of the Peace Treaty

Before starting a discussion on the peace treaty, it is considered necessary to state that the historians have very boldly tried to keep the world in the dark about the clauses and the relevant details of the peace treaty. Was the treaty between Imam Hasane Mujtaba (as) and Moawiya bin Abee Sufyan, signed in 41A.H., so unimportant that its details may be ignored? The researchers agree that not only are there surprising disagreements on the issue but there are so many ambiguities and misunderstandings as well. 1

The historians themselves mention that the grandson of the Holy Prophet (saww) had himself advanced many conditions, had taken so many commitments and assurances and had only then agreed to peace. These terms, which had been proposed by Imam Hasan (as), were in the interest of Muslim Ummah in general and the treaty was signed with the witnesses of prominent personalities of Iraq and Syria. Before going into the details of the treaty, it is essential to briefly review the historical sources.

The historians Mas'oodi and Y'aqoobi do not mention the terms at all. Similarly, Ibne Hajar 'Asqalani and Hakim Naishapuri do admit that (Imam) Hasan (as) had made peace only after so many terms had been agreed and commitments and assurances given, but do not mention the details of what those conditions were. A similar attitude can be noticed in the narration of 'Saheeh-e-Bokhari' in which the details beginning with the coming of the delegations till the signing of the agreement have been given, but when the point of the terms and conditions is reached then the issue is evaded by writing 'etc. etc.' but it is accepted that the Syrian delegation had accepted all the terms and conditions of Imam Hasan (as). Abul Faraj Isphahani also does not take keen interest in the issue. After mentioning three conditions he says that other terms and conditions had also been suggested by Imam Hasan (as) which the delegation sent by Moawiya had accepted. The historian Tabari records the treaty (like other issues relating to Imam Hasan (as)) giving two different narrations by Zahri and 'Awana bin Hakam. Zahri, instead of describing the details, tries to create some misunderstanding. As against him, Tabari records three conditions directly from 'Awana bin Hakam and the fourth indirectly. The historian Dinavari has mentioned four conditions but his sources are quite different from others. Ibne Abee-al-Hadeed takes three conditions from Madaini and the fourth one is incidentally considered as a separate issue which is taken from Madaini himself. A more or less similar attitude has been adopted by the rest of the historians who have considered it sufficient to record one, two or at best three terms, but none of them considers it essential to describe the text of the treaty or the details of the resolutions which had been agreed to after so many exchanges and meetings between the two delegations. 2 Among the old historical records only 'Al-Futooh' of Ibne A'sam Koofi and 'Ansabul Ashraaf' by Balazari contain the text of the treaty and five terms and conditions are mentioned in it. Outwardly, one may conclude that these were the only terms agreed upon. However, a thorough search of other records reveals that the picture is quite different as there were other conditions too! In such a situation, neither any one historical source can be totally relied upon nor the general conditions mentioned here and there can be taken as true. Only after great effort and deep research about the available sources and the circumstances prevailing at that time, can the correct terms and conditions of the treaty can be determined.

1. Husain Mohammad J'fari - 'The Origins and Early Development of Shia Islam', Qum, AnsarianPublications pp.148,149.

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

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