The Birthday Anniversary of Imam Hasan Ibn Ali (PBUH)

al-Hasan ibn Ali popularly known as Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba, was the first grandson of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his household) and the second Imam of the Shi’a Muslims.  Imam Hasan was reminiscent of his father and a perfect example of his noble grandfather. In fact, as long as the prophet was alive, he and his brother were always in the company of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his household) who even sometimes would carry them on his shoulders.

His Lineage

Imam Hasan is a grandson of the Holy Prophet of Islam (PBUHH). His father is the Commander of the Faithful, Hazrat Ali ibn Abi-Talib. His mother is the beloved daughter and the only surviving child of Holy Prophet of Islam; Lady Fatimah az-Zahra (the leader of the women of the Universe). His younger brother is Imam Husain who along with him is referred by the Holy Prophet as the Chiefs of the youth of the Paradise.

Many times the Prophet had said: “Hasan and Husain are my children”. Because of this, Ali would refer to his other children, “You are my children and Hasan and Husain are the children of the Prophet.”

His Birth

Imam Hasan (PBUH) was born in Medina on the fifteenth of Ramadan in the third year after Hijrah. His mother, Fāṭima, peace be on her, brought him to the Prophet, may Allāh bless him and his Family, on the seventh day in a silken shawl from heaven, which Gabriel had brought down to the Prophet, may Allāh bless him and his Family. He called him Ḥasan and sacrificed a ram for him (in the ceremony of ‘aqīqa)[1]. Meanwhile, the word “al-Hasan” in Arabic means good or beautiful.

This auspicious birth gladdened not only Prophet Muhammad (PBUHH), Imam Ali (PBUH), and Lady Fatimah (PBUH), but also the entire Prophet’s household. He was the first child of the Commander of Faithful, Ali ibn Abi Talib (PBUH) and Lady Fatimah. Likewise, he was the first grandson of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his household).

His Teknonym and Epithets

His teknonym was Abu Muhammad or Abu al-Qasim[2], and epithets such as al-Mujtaba (the Chosen One), al-Sayyid (Master), and al-Zaki (the Pure One) have been used for him[3]. Besides, there are a number of epithets that have been commonly used for him and for Imam al-Husain (PBUH), such as Sayyid Shabab Ahl al-Janna (the Master of the Youths of Paradise), Rayhanat Nabi Allah (The Flower of the Prophet of God)[4], and al-Sibt (the Grandson)[5].

His Youthful age

Imam Hasan (PBUH) was no older than seven when the Holy Prophet (PBUHH) passed away. That is, Imam Hasan spent the first seven years of his life with his grandfather, the Holy Prophet of God (PBUHH). Thus, he was present in the Allegiance of Ridwan and in the story of Mubahala between the Prophet (s) and the delegate of Najran Christian.

His Imamate

After the passing of the Prophet (PBUHH), his father, the Commander of the Faithful lived for approximately another 30 years, until he was martyred on 21 Ramadan, 40 AH/January 28, 661 CE[6]. At this point, his father, based on divine commandment chose Hazrat Hasan as the second Imam and he held this position for approximately 10 years until his martyrdom in the year 50 Hijrī.

In the book of al-Kafi, al-Kulayni (d. 329/941) has collected the hadiths related to the appointment of al-Hasan (PBUH) to imamate. According to one of these hadiths, before the martyrdom of Imam Ali (PBUH), he gave his books and weapon (from the Trusts of Imamate) to al-Hasan (PBUH) in the presence of his children and some prominent Shiite figures, and announced that the Prophet (peace upon him and his household) had commanded him to appoint al-Hasan (PBUH) as the executor of his will. According to another hadith, when Imam Ali (PBUH) was going to Kufa, he left some of the Trusts of Imamate with Umm Salama, and al-Hasan (PBUH) received them from her when he returned from Kufa.

Besides, the imamate of Imam Al-Hasan (PBUH) is also supported by such prophetic hadiths as “These two sons of mine are two Imams, whether they rise or sit” and the Hadith of the Twelve Caliphs. Imam al-Hasan (PBUH) also succeeded his father as the fifth caliph of the Muslim community and held this position for about seven months.

His Status and Personality 

According several reports from both Sunni and Shia scholars, Hazrat Hasan (PBUH) is a member of the pure household (Ahl al-Bayt), those according to the Quran[7] have been cleansed and purified of all filths and abominations[8]. He (PBUH) is also among the nearest kinsfolks[9], whose love and loyalty has been made mandatory on the entire Muslims[10]. Hazrat Hasan (PBUH) is a member of the holy household (i.e. Āli-Muhammad) on to whom the believers have been ordered to do benedictions for in the Quran[11]. He (PBUH) is also a part of the divine delegate through which the genuineness and superiority of Islam was established against the leaders of the Najran Christian in the event of Malediction (Mubahilah) [12]. He and his brother; Imam Husain were the manifestation of “Our sons[13]” [the sons of the Muslim community] during this historical event. Hazrat Hasan (PBUH) is member of the pure household who has been promised of Paradise in the glorious Quran[14] for their extraordinary sacrifice to humanity.

From the Prophetic tradition, it is clear that Imam Hasan is indeed an inmate of Paradise and above all, he is the chief and the leader of the youth of Paradise. Likewise, Imam Hasan (PBUH) is part of the Prophet and the Prophet is part of Husain. Loving him is tantamount to loving the Prophet and disliking him is tantamount to disliking the Prophet. Whoever loves the Prophet is loved by Allah and shall be an inmate of Paradise. Whoever dislikes the Prophet is disliked by Allah and will be an inmate of Hellfire.

In human perfection, Imam Hassan was reminiscent of his father and a perfect example of his noble grandfather.  It is reported by a group (of authorities), including Aḥmad b. Ṣāliḥ al-Tamīmī, on the authority of ‘Abd Allāh b ‘Īsa on the authority of Ja‘far al-Ṣādiq b. Muḥammed, peace be on him: Al-Ḥasan, peace be upon him, was the most similar person to Apostle of Allāh, may Allāh bless him and his family, in form, manner and nobility[15].

He was highly refined and brought up in line with Islam’s teachings by his grandfather, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his household), his father, the Commander of the Faithful, Ali ibn Abi Talib (PBUH), and his mother, the Chief of the women of the Universe, Lady Fatima Zahra (PBUH), through excellent examples and direct daily guidance.

Ibrāhim ibn ‘Alī al-Rāfi‘ī reported on the authority of his father, on the authority of his grandmother Zainab, daughter of Abū Rāfi‘ī, and Shabīb b. Abī Rāfi‘ al-Rāfi‘ī on the authority of those who told him – she said: Fāṭima (peace be on her) brought her two sons, al-Ḥasan and al-Ḥussain (peace be on them) to the Apostle of Allāh  (may Allāh bless him and his family) at the time when he was suffering from the sickness from which he died.  “Apostle of Allāh,” she said, “These are your two (grand)sons. Give them something as an inheritance” “As for al-Ḥasan”, he replied, “He has my form and my nobility. As for al-Ḥusayn, he has my generosity and my bravery[16]

Muḥib al-Dīn Ṭabarī has narrated that Mu’āwīyah said to the Imam Hasan (PBUH): Stand up and deliver a sermon for the people. Abū Sa’īd has said that: The following was a part of what the Imam (PBUH) said: “Oh people, whoever knows me, knows me and whoever does not know me, I am Hasan ibn Ali ibn Abī Ṭālib. I am the son of the Prophet of God (peace be upon him and his household). I am the son of the one who gave glad tidings. I am the son of the one who warned. I am the son of the bright light. I am the son of the decoration of the heavens. I am the son of he who was commissioned as the mercy to the worlds. I am the son of he who was sent to the Jinns and the humans. I am the son of he whom the earth was made a place of prostration and was made pure for. I am the son of he whom God kept away impurity from and made him completely pure[17].”

References:

[1] . Sheikh Mufid, Kitab al-Irhad, p. 254.

[2] . Ibn Shahrāshūb, al-Manāqib, vol. 4, p. 29; Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 44, p. 35.

[3] . Ibn Shahrāshūb, al-Manāqib, vol. 4, p. 29.

[4] . Ibn Ṣabbāgh Mālikī, al-Fuṣūl al-muhimma, vol. 2, p. 759.

[5] . Qundūzī, Yanābīʿ al-mawadda, vol. 3, p. 128.

[6] . Mufīd, al-Irshād, vol. 2, p. 9.

[7] . Qur’an 33: 33.

[8] . Tirmidhī, Sunan al-Tirmidhī, vol. 5, p. 699; Ṣadūq, Maʿānī l-akhbār, vol. 2, p. 403.

[9] . cf. Qur’an 42: 23.

[10].  Ibn Ḥanbal, Faḍāʾil Amīr al-Muʾminīn ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib, p. 295; Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 9, p. 48.

[11] . cf. Qur’an 33: 55.

[12] . cf. Qur’an 3: 61.

[13] . Zamakhsharī, Tafsīr al-kashshāf, vol. 1, p. 369-370; Ṭabāṭabāʾī, al-Mīzān, vol. 3, p. 223.

[14] . cf. Qur’an 76: 8-12.

[15] . Sheikh Mufid, Kitab al-Irhad, p. 254.

[16] . ibid, pp. 254-255.

[17] . Muḥib al-Dīn Ṭabarī, Dakhā’ir al-‘uqbā, p. 140.

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