Imam Hasan was the eldest son of Imam Ali and Hadrat Fatimah. When the Holy Prophet received the happy news of the birth of his grandson, he came to the house of his beloved daughter, took the newly born child in his arms, recited adhan and iqamah in his right and left ears respectively, and in compliance with Allah’s command named him al-Hasan.
Alias: Abu Muhammad
Father’s name: Ali ibn Abi Talib (Amir al-Mu’mineen)
Mother’s name: Fatimah Al-Zahra (daughter of the Holy Prophet)
Birth: In Medina on Tuesday, 15th Ramadan 3 AH
Death: Died at the age of 46, in Medina on Thursday, 7th Safar 50 AH (second nuration says 28th Safar); Buried in Jannatu ‘l-Baqi’, in Medina
The first phase of seven years of his infancy was blessed with the gracious patronage of the Holy Prophet, who gifted him all his great qualities and adorned him with Divine knowledge, tolerance, intelligence, bounty and valor. Being infallible by birth and decorated with heavenly knowledge by Allah, his insight had an access to al-lawhul-mahfuz (the Guarded Tablet on which the transactions of mankind have been written by Allah for all eternity).
The Holy Imam immediately became conversant with all the contents of any wahy (Qur’anic verses) revealed when the Holy Prophet would disclose it to his associates. To the great surprise of the Holy Prophet, Hadrat Fatimah would often recite the exact text of a newly revealed way before he disclosed it personally to her. When he inquired, she would inform him that it was Hasan through whom she had learned the Revelation.
al-`Allamah at-Tabataba’i writes: Imam Hasan Mujtaba, upon whom be peace, was the second Imam. He and his brother Imam Husayn were the two sons of Amir al-Mu’minin `Ali and Hadrat Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet. Many times the Prophet had said, “Hasan and Husayn are my children.” Because of these same words `Ali would say to his other children, “You are my children and Hasan and Husayn are the children of the Prophet.”
Imam Hasan was born in the year 3 AH, in Medina and shared in the life of the Prophet for somewhat over seven years, growing up during that time under his loving care. After the death of the Prophet which was no more than three, or according to some, six months earlier than the death of Hadrat Fatimah, Hasan was placed directly under the care of his noble father. After the death of his father, through Divine Command and according to the will of his father, Imam Hasan became Imam; he also occupied the outward function of caliph for about six months, during which time he administered the affairs of the Muslims. During that time Mu’awiyah, who was a bitter enemy of Imam`Ali and his family and had fought for years with the ambition of capturing the caliphate, first on the pretext of avenging the death of the third caliph and finally with an open claim to the caliphate, marched his army to Iraq, the seat of Imam Hasan’s caliphate. War ensued during which Mu’awiyah gradually subverted the generals and commanders of Imam Hasan’s army with large sums of money and deceiving promises until the army rebelled against Imam Hasan. Finally, the Imam was forced to make peace and to yield the caliphate to Mu’awiyah, provided it would again return to Imam Hasan after Mu’awiyah’s death and the Imam’s Household and partisans would be protected in every way.
In this way Mu’awiyah captured the Islamic caliphate and entered Iraq. In a public speech he officially made null and void all the peace conditions and in every way possible placed the severest pressure upon the members of the Household of the Prophet and the Shi’ah. During all the ten years of his Imamate, Imam Hasan lived in conditions of extreme hardship and under persecution, with no security even in his own house. In the year 50 AH, he was poisoned and martyred by one of his own Household who, as has been accounted by historians, had been motivated by Mu’awiyah.
In human perfection 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 who even sometimes would carry them on his shoulders. Both Sunni and Shi`ite sources have transmitted this saying of the Holy Prophet concerning Hasan and Husayn: “These two children of mine are Imams (leaders) whether they stand up or sit down” (allusion to whether they occupy the external function of caliphate or not). Also, there are many traditions of the Holy Prophet and Imam`Ali concerning the fact that Imam Hasan would gain the function of Imamate after his noble father. (Shi`a Islam)
al-Imam al-Hasan ibn Ali, peace be on him, said:
* If you fail to obtain something of worldly benefit, take it as if the thought of it had never crossed your mind at all.
* Never did a nation resort to mutual counsel except that they were guided by it towards maturity.
* It is love which brings closer those who are remote by ancestry, and it is (the absence of) love which causes dissociation between those who are related by ancestry.
* Opportunity is something which is quick to vanish and late to return.
Adapted from : A Brief History of the Fourteen Infallibles