In this week’s lecture, Sheikh Yasser Al-Habib focussed on the courage of Imam Hassan (Peace be upon him and his pure family) since today there are many who claim that he lacked willpower to oppose those who usurped the right of Imam Ali (Peace be upon him) and defend his right against Muawiya.
Sheikh Yasser Al-Habib spoke in great detail about the life of Imam Hassan (Peace be upon him) to his weekly Saturday lecture audience, explaining that Imam Hassan (Peace be upon him) was born in the middle of Ramadan in the third year after Hijra, and was martyred in the year 50 after Hijra after having been poisoned by his own wife. He lived for around seven and a half years with the Prophet (Peace be upon him and his pure family) as a child, as well as twenty eight years with Imam Ali (Peace be upon him). His time as ruler over the Muslims during his ten year Imamate lasted only for 6 months.
Bakris today describe Imam Hassan (Peace be upon him) as someone avoiding confrontation. Sheikh Yasser Al-Habib refuted these claims, and read hadeeth from Bakri sources which highlight the courage of the Imam (Peace be upon him), while at the same time maintaining a peaceful attitude.
Imam Hassan (Peace be upon him) displayed this courage and heroism from when he was a small child. Sheikh Yasser Al-Habib listed the Bakri hadeeth collections, which narrate that Abu Bakr preached from the minbar of the Prophet (Peace be upon him and his pure family) after taking power, although this was only allowed for the Prophet and Imams (Peace be upon them all). There are numerous hadeeth also in Bakri sources which confirm that the Ahl Ul-Bayt (Peace be upon them) are to be obeyed, so when we read that Imam Hassan (Peace be upon him) entered the mosque, stood in front of Abu Bakr and ordered him to get down from the minbar, it becomes impossible to accept the rule of Abu Bakr. Al Sayuti narrates this event in his Tareech al-Khulafa, just like Ibn Al-Ahteer, Mutaqi Al-Hindi in his Kanz Al-A’amaal, Ibn Hajr Al-Haytami and Al-Tabari. Imam Hassan (Peace be upon him) did this despite the massive army that Abu Bakr had at his disposal after establishing his military rule, proving that the courage of Imam Hassan knew no limits as he showed no fear of the army. Upon this Abu Bakrs reply was: "The Minbar of your father is not the Minbar of my father", by which he admitted that he had no right to sit on it.
Sheikh Yasser Al-Habib explained that it was not the Imam who had failed to maintain his rule of justice, but rather that it was the Ummah which had failed to support him. He was a revolutionary for his time, but no one helped him in his struggle to fight Muawiya. He was even betrayed by one of his close relatives, and had it not been for his acts, the true Islam would not have survived. Lacking popular support, he had to act wisely to face the numerically superior opposition.
After the rule of Imam Hassan (Peace be upon him) came to an end, he continued to oppose Muawiya by preaching against him in his speeches, in which he described him and his supporters as disbelievers. Upon this, Muawiya offered the wife of Imam Hassan (Peace be upon him) money and the possibility of becoming a queen if she poisoned him.
Sheikh Yasser Al-Habib said that numerous Shia hadeeth narrate that Imam Hassan (Peace be upon him) announced that he will die of a poison administered by his wife, just like the Prophet (Peace be upon him and his pure family), whose martyrdom is even mentioned in the Quran. This latter poisoning also narrated of in Bakri sources, but is blamed on a Jewish woman, not Aisha. Upon hearing the words of their Imam, his followers tried to persuade him to get rid of her. His reply was that even if he did so, someone else would succeed in killing him. It was Allah’s order to accept this martyrdom, and even divorce will not stop her from killing him.
Sheikh Yasser Al-Habib described the day of the assassination of Imam Hassan (Peace be upon him) in great detail. This wicked assault took place after a hot day, during which the Imam was fasting. When he prepared himself for the iftar, his wife brought him poisoned milk to drink. Imam Hassan (Peace be upon him) drank it despite knowing that it was poisoned, as its drinking had been commanded by Allah. The poison did not work straight away, and he suffered for two days before he was martyred.
His wife received the money she was promised, but was not offered a chance to marry into power as Mauwiya argued that she might kill him or others just like she killed her husband, Imam Hassan (Peace be upon him). Aisha, who had increased hardship for the Prophet and the Ahl Ul-Bayt (Peace be upon them all) on a daily basis was happy after she was told of the martyrdom of Fatima (Peace be upon her), as can also be read in Barki sources. She displayed the same contentment upon hearing about the martyrdom of Imam Ali (Peace be upon him) against whom she created a militia to fight him in the Battle of the Camel. It comes as no surprise that she would therefore also not grant Imam Hassan (Peace be upon him) any peace, regardless of whether he was alive or during his funeral during which Aisha ordered her companions and followers to throw stones at the mourners.
Much unlike we hear from many who accuse Imam Hassan of lacking the will to confront his enemy, we read both in Shia and Bakri sources that he was a man of unparalleled courage, willing to confront injustice despite the threats of an entire army.