Imam Hasan ibn Ali, al-Mujtaba (p)

Imam Hasan ibn Ali, al-Mujtaba (peace be upon them)

Name: Hasan
Title: al-Mujtaba
Kunya: Abu Muhammad
Father: Ali ibn Abu Talib (Peace be upon him)
Mother: Fatimah bint Muhammad (Peace be upon them)
Born: 15th Ramadan, 3 AH/624 CE in Madinah, Hejaz region of the Arabian Peninsula
Died: 7th Safar, 50 AH/670 CE, after being poisoned by his wife, Ja’da.
Age at Martyrdom: 48
Period of Imamate: 9 years
Buried: Baqi’, Madinah, Hejaz region of the Arabian Peninsula

Words of Wisdom from Imam Hasan ibn Ali, al-Mujtaba (p)

  1. A person once asked Imam al-Hasan (p) why we hate death. He answered, “Because you have demolished your hereafter and constructed your world [at the expense of demolishing your hereafter], and you hate to move from construction to destruction.”1
  2. “The soundest of hearts is the heart that is pure of suspicions.”2
  3. “The peak of intelligence is to treat people with beautiful conduct.”3

Salient Features of Imam Hasan ibn Ali, al-Mujtaba (p)

1. The Grandson of the Prophet

Imam Hasan (p) was the beloved grandson of the Prophet (pbuh&hp), and the two shared a special bond. The love between the pair was seen in both private and public. No matter if the Prophet had other affairs or was tired, he always found the time to play with his grandsons, both Imam Hasan (p) and his younger brother Imam Hussain (p). Imam Hasan (p) would chase the Prophet around in circles, and they would be heard laughing by all those who were around. If Imam Hasan (p) wanted to play with the Prophet during his prayers, even then the Prophet never scolded his grandson. He would carry Imam Hasan (p) on his back and say “O God! I love him, so You also love him!”

When the Prophet passed away, Imam Hasan (p) was still a young boy of seven years who missed playing with his grandfather. His youthful age did prevent the Prophet from recognizing his lofty station in the eyes of Allah. The Prophet was often heard praising Imam Hasan (p). The Prophet would praise both grandsons when he repeated, “Hasan and Hussain are the Masters of the Youth in Paradise.”4 The Prophet would continue in further praise, “All the people of paradise are youths.”5

In other words, Imam Hasan (p) is a leader among all the inhabitants of paradise. Through such narrations, the Prophet was remarking on the great qualities which Imam Hasan (p) manifested. There is no doubt that Imam Hasan (p) was the most qualified individual for the Divinely appointed post of Imam after his father Imam Ali (p).

2. al-Mujtaba – The Chosen One

Imam Hasan ibn Ali, al-Mujtaba (p) was the second Imam, but what made him the Chosen One, al-Mujtaba? Imam Hasan (p) lived with his father for about thirty years after the Prophet’s passing. 

During Imam Ali’s political leadership, Imam Hasan (p) supported the establishment of justice with sacrifice and relentless effort. Before Imam ‘Ali (p) was martyred, he said:

“My son, the Messenger of God had commanded me to have you carry out my will (as successor), and turn my books and weapon over to you – just as he had me carry out his will (as successor) and turned his books and weapon over to me”6

He was divinely selected to be the successor of Imamate through the Prophet. He was also the perfect embodiment of what it means to be an Imam. 

Imam Hasan (p) possessed certain qualities and characteristics that set him apart from other individuals. He was known for his generosity, kindness, and willingness to help others. He followed his mother’s saying, “Neighbors before ourselves,” perfectly. If anyone was ever hungry or in need of food, Imam Hasan (p) always had a table with a spread of food ready for those who needed it. Such was the generosity and eagerness to take care of all those who came seeking help or guidance.  

3. The Struggle Against Mu’awiyah

Imam Hasan (p) was both the spiritual and political leader of his time. Perhaps one of the biggest political markers of his Imamate was his struggle against Mu’awiyah, the leader of the military campaigns against the innate message of Islam and all the values Imam Hasan (p) stood for. 

Despite the oppression of Mu’awiyah, Imam Hasan’s army was not in the state to fight another war. Different groups within the military were divided on their loyalties. Some fought alongside Imam Hasan (p) simply because he opposed Mu’awiyah – they felt little devotion to Imam Hasan in any case. Others were Imam Hasan’s supporters out of blind loyalty to their tribal chiefs who had pledged allegiance to the Imam. Then there were the few who followed Imam Hasan (p) with the awareness that he was the true successor to the Prophet.7

The vast majority of Imam Hasan’s military did not have the determination to fight against Mu’awiyah. For example, Imam Hasan (p) appointed one of his officers to lead a division of 12,000 troops. A short while after, the officer had been bribed and turned over – along with 8,000 troops – to Mu’awiyah’s camp. 8

Imam Hasan (p) was left with a military of shaken morale, subsequent betrayals within his own camp, and a ruthless enemy waiting to take advantage of the situation. Imam Hasan (p) knew that the best way to preserve the message of the Prophet and minimize the loss of life was by agreeing to a treaty with Mu’awiyah. When Imam Hasan (p) was questioned about his decision, he said,

“By God, I have not submitted the authority to him (Mu’awiyah). However, I have not found supporters. If I had supporters, I would have fought him day and night until God judges between us. But I knew the people of Kufah (the governing city at the time) and their predicament. The corrupt among them would not reform – they had no loyalty or responsibility in words or actions… They say that their hearts are with us, but, indeed, their swords are turned against us!”9

Some key terms of the treaty were as follows:

  1. Mu’awiyah would hold political authority, on the condition that he acts in accordance with the Book of God and the Prophetic Tradition.
  2. Imam Hasan (p) would resume political authority after Mu’awiyah. If anything happened to Imam Hasan, Imam Hussain would assume political authority, and Mu’awiyah had no right to appoint anyone.
  3. Cursing Imam Ali (p) and supplication against him in prayers would have to stop. Only good would be mentioned regarding Imam Ali (p).
  4. Money in the treasury would be distributed among the children of those men who were martyred while fighting alongside Imam Ali (p) in different battles against Mu’awiyah and other enemies.
  5. People were to be safe, no matter where they were in Syria, Iraq, Hejaz, or Yemen. Mu’awiyah would not persecute others – including the followers of Imam ‘Ali (p) – based on past conflicts.

Mu’awiyah wrote down these terms himself and sealed the document. He swore to abide by it in front of all the chiefs in his region. But he did not abide by it. 

Instead, Mu’awiyah proceeded with a policy of terrorism and persecution against anyone who outwardly affiliated with Imam ‘Ali’s family. Ironically, it was only after seeing the ugliness of Mu’awiyah’s rule that many citizens awakened to the righteous demands for justice for which Imam Hasan called. Imam Hasan’s wise decisions gave way to a mass revival that would culminate years later.10


1. Al-Sadouq, Ma’ani al-akhbar, p. 390.

2. Al-Harrani, Tuhaf al-uqool, p. 235.

3. Al-Arbali, Kashf-al-ghumma, vol. 2, p. 194.

4. Pg. 265, Vol. 43 of Bihar al-Anwar by Allamah Majlisi.

5. Pg. 292, Vol. 43 of Bihar al-Anwar by Allamah Majlisi.

6. Pg. 54 of al-A’immah al-Ithnay Ashar by Sh. Jafar Subhani.

7. Pg. 97-99 of Seerat al-A’immah by Sh. Jafar Subhani.

8. Pg. 101 of Seerat al-A’immah by Sh. Jafar Subhani.

9. Pg. 103 of Seerat al-A’immah by Sh. Jafar Subhani.

10. Pg. 111-113 of Seerat al-A’immah by Sh. Ja’ar Subhani.

١. روي عن  الإمام الحسن المجتبى (ع) لَمّا قالَ لَهُ رجُلٌ: ما بالُنا نكرَهُ الموتَ ولا نُحبُّهُ؟ “لِأنَّكُم أخرَبتُم آخِرَتَكُم، وعَمّرتُم دُنياكُم، وأنتُم دتَكرَهونَ النُّقلَةَ مِن العُمرانِ إلَى الخَرابِ

“٢. وي عن الإمام الحسن المجتبى (ع): “أسلَمُ القُلوبِ ما طَهُرَ مِن الشُّبُهاتِ

“٣. روي عن الإمام الحسن المجتبى (ع): “”رَأسُ العَقلِ مُعاشِرَةُ النّاسِ بِالجَميلِ

“٤. روي عن النبي (ص): “الحسن والحسين سيدا شباب أهل الجنة

“٥. روي عن النبي (ص): “أهل الجنة شباب كلهم

٦. روي عن الإمام أمير المؤمنين (ع) أنه قال لولده الحسن (ع): “يا بني إنه أمرني رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم أن أوصي إليك، وأدفع إليك كتبي وسلاحي، كما أوصى إلي ودفع إلي كتبه وسلاحه