Imam Hassan's Peace Treaty
On the occasion of the fateful peace treaty which Imam Hassan (AS) signed with the rebel, Muawiya son of Abu Sufyan, we have chosen highlights of the book, "Imam Hassan's Peace" written by Sheikh Raazi Al-e Yasin and translated by Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
Imam Hassan Mojtaba's peace treaty with Muawiya ibn Abu Sufyan has been viewed differently by various analysts. Some have admired him and called Imam Hassan (AS) as the champion of peace while others accuse him of seeking comfort and ease at life. Others deem his peace noncompliant with the spirit of bravery and valour of the household of the Prophet and believe that seceding the rule to Muawiya caused humiliation of Muslims and deviation of leadership from its main course.
This, while studying the realities of Imam Hassan's life shows that he was a smart politician who had closely examined the social spirits, propensities and motives of his time and designed his plan with insight and foresight so that he founded a great revolution in the form of an inevitable peace.
After the martyrdom of Imam Ali (AS), Imam Hassan (AS) came to Muslims and stood on the minbar of his father, saying, "Tonight, a man departed who has not been excelled by the predecessors and whom the future generations won't reach. He is the man who staged jihad alongside the Messenger of God and made his soul the shield of his life. The Messenger of God would give him the banner and send him the battlefield. Then, Gabriel on the right and Michael on the left would engulf him; and he wouldn't return from the battlefield unless God granted him victory. He passed away in the night that Moses died and the night in which Jesus ascended to the heavens and the night that the Qur'an was sent down."
After Imam Hassan's speech, Ubaidullah ibn Abbas started speaking, "O people! This is the grandson of the Prophet and his successor and your Imam. Swear Allegiance to him as God will guide you, through him, to the ways of safety and, through His permission, takes you from darkness toward light and guides you to the right path."
Many people, who recalled the Prophet's remarks on Imam Hassan's leadership after his father, confirmed Ibn Abbas's words and swore allegiance to Imam Hassan enthusiastically. Then the whole peoples of Iraq, Hijaz and Yemen swore allegiance to Imam Hassan Mojtaba (AS). It was only Muawiya who rejected allegiance. Imam Hassan (AS) asked him to avoid obstinacy and obey the truth. Yet, he not only defied but also dispatched a troop to Iraq to confront the Imam. The troop was mostly constituted of the Kharejites whose other comrades had placed themselves in Imam Hassan's army. This group was shaped of sanctimonious persons who intended to stir sedition and strike Imam Hassan from behind.
Another group which accompanied Imam Hassan was formed of the seekers of material desires who wanted Imam Hassan until their worldly gains were secured. Hence, as soon as they found that they would not achieve their desires with Imam Hassan, they left him alone. Thus, there were few loyal combatants in the Imam's army. However, Muawiya was scared of this very small number of faithful and loyal companions. Therefore, he distributed lavish bribes among them to break their spirit.
Imam Hassan (AS) was faced with the people who lacked necessary readiness to confront Muawiya's troop. In Mada'en, the last point that his army had advanced, he delivered a comprehensive and moving speech, saying, "No hesitation will deter us from encountering the people of Shaam. In the past, we would fight the people of Shaam with the force of resistance and internal understanding. But, today, due to resentments, unity and mutual understanding have left you; you have lost your resistance and started complaining. Muawiya has put forward a proposal for us which is far from fairness and opposite of our lofty goal and dignity. Now, if you are ready, let us reject the peace and, relying on our swords, cede his affair to God. But, if you want the life of this world, we will accept and endure this thorn in the eye."
As Imam Hassan got to this point, people shouted from everywhere, "We want to continue our life."
This dissuaded the Imam from military encounter and forced him to accept peace for a greater expediency. Nevertheless, Imam Hassan (AS) accepted the peace treaty with certain conditions, such as: Muawiya should act according to the practice of the Prophet and the book of God and had no right to determine a successor for himself. But, the passage of time proved the real image of the Umayyad regime in violation of their commitments.
Muawiya breached all his obligations and said, "O people of Iraq! I swear by God that I didn’t fight you for prayer, fasting, zakat and Hajj. My fight was for government. Beware that I put whatever covenant and condition that I have concluded with Hassan ibn Ali and it has no value."
In this way, Imam Hassan (AS) drew away the mask of hypocrisy from the face of Muawiya so that the intellects of people would be prepared for an uprising in future. This peace was indeed a precursor for Imam Hussein's great movement.
Formation of government, uprising, peace and silence of the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet were all for the sake of preservation of Islam and the revival of the practice of the Prophet. If Islam is preserved with uprising, then we shouldn't be scared of death. If it requires to keep silent, we have to keep silent. Imam Hassan (AS) had no other choice to safeguard Islam. The second infallible Imam and successor of the Prophet of Islam struggled in the battlefield and the field of confronting seditions hatched by the enemy and strengthened by his companions of feeble faith. Furthermore, he had to answer the ironic and satirical remarks of some companions who would reprimand him as the humiliator of Muslims. In one of these instances, he said, "Am I not the proof of God and the Imam of people after my father? Am I not the person that the Prophet said about me and my brother, 'Hassan and Hussein are both Imams whether they rise up or sit?" Then the Imam continued, "If I am the Imam by God's command, then you should not consider my view as null in whatever I decide, whether war or truce; though the wisdom for that may not be revealed to you. Haven't you heard that when Khizr pierced the ship, repaired the wall and killed the young boy, these made Prophet Moses upset and angry? Because he didn't know the wisdom and reason if such affairs were hidden and unclear for Moses; while they were all wise and right with God. Know that you, too, didn't understand the wisdom of my work. Had I not done this they would have killed all Shias and lovers of Ahl al-Bayt."
The peace of Imam Hassan was the most heroic leniency of history which was originated in revelation and set the ground for Imam Hussein's matchless revolution. Imam Hassan and Imam Hussein were the two sides of the Prophet's mission and each one did his job properly in the proper time. If Imam Hassan (AS) had not kept silent the true image of hypocrites, especially the Umayyad regime would never be divulged and people wouldn't be prepared for uprising with Imam Hussein (AS).