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
Meet Imam Hasan (p)
“… ‘That is Hasan, son of ‘Ali…’ they told me. My heart became filled with hatred. I envied ‘Ali for having a son like that. I headed toward him and said, ‘Are you the son of ‘Ali…?’ He responded, ‘I am his son.’ I then started to curse him and his father…”
These were the words of a traveler to the City of the Prophet – Madinah – upon seeing the saintly, handsome, and well-dressed Imam Hasan. Propaganda and blatant lies in the traveler’s country of origin had led him to view Imam ‘Ali and his family in a terribly negative light.
The traveler continued.
“When I finished, he asked me, ‘It seems you are a stranger here…?’
I replied, ‘Yes.’
Then he said, ‘Come on over to our place! If you need a house, we will host you…or money, we will give it to you…or if you have another need, we will assist you…’
After hearing this, there was no one on the face of the earth more beloved to me than him. Every time I think back to what he did and what I did, I am grateful to him and feel embarrassed about how I acted.”[i]
The traveler’s encounter with Imam Hasan gives us a snapshot of this Imam’s forbearance, clemency, and charity. The life of this second, Divinely-selected Imam is fragrant with profound wisdom, valor and, foresight. In Imam Hasan’s every decision, the advancement of principle was paramount.
The Second Imam
Imam Hasan was the older son of Imam ‘Ali and Lady Fatima Zahra’ – the younger son being Imam Hussain. While Imam Hasan was only a boy of about seven years when Prophet Muhammad passed away, the Messenger of God had made a point to recognize Imam Hasan with distinction. In several traditions, Prophet Muhammad is narrated to have said:
“Hasan and Hussain are the Masters of the Youths in Paradise.”[ii]
The Prophet also said:
“All the people of paradise are youths.”[iii]
In other words, Imam Hasan is a leader among the inhabitants of paradise. Through such narrations, Prophet Muhammad was hinting at – or rather heralding – the grand qualities which Imam Hasan would manifest. Imam Hasan would be the most qualified individual for the Divinely-appointed post of Imam after his father Imam ‘Ali.