When enemy propaganda turns despicable and vile
Media and propaganda has been one of the most important elements in battles, conflicts and struggles among states and non-states actors. This persuasive mean is used through various types to swing the minds and attentions toward a specific angel of the conflict, and makes another angel totally invisible. This notion enable that side of the conflict to take unconventional methods to win the conflict and end it in a time-fashion way. However, the alteration of history and recording to events has been done by the victorious sides, and the propaganda has effected historians as well. Nevertheless, certain events, figures and personalities will remain un-altered and untouched, due to their unprecedented morals and ethical conduct in all aspects of life, which makes them favorable and desired personalities.
One of the Islamic figures that has been intentionally and deliberately distorted and accused of unethical conduct is Imam Al-Hassan, who is the oldest grandson of Prophet Mohammad and the second Imam of Shia Muslims. Imam Al-Hassan, is without doubt one of the most oppressed Islamic figures in the history of Islam, as many of his followers are unaware of his life and the events that occurred during his era. Therefore, the Umayyad dynasty used their power and superiority in Media and recording history to distort the Image of Imam Ali and his son, Imam Al-Hassan. Imam Ali, was cursed and humiliated in speeches and sermon for over 80 years, as two generations were raised with believing that Imam Ali was an apostate and an enemy of Islam. The founder of Umayyad dynasty (Mu’awiya Ibn Abi Sufyan) initiated this action, although he knew the status of Imam Ali in Islam and the heart of Holy Prophet. Mu’awiya ordered his authorities to follow and kill the followers of Imam Ali based on presumption and accusation, as no proof or defence was needed. After the martyrdom of Imam Ali, and the placement of Imam Al-Hassan as the Caliph of Muslims, the internal instabilities that actually divided the Islamic nation into Shia & Sunni were initiated. The legitimacy of Imam Al-Hassan and his authority was challenged by outlaws and people like the Umayyad dynasty, who were only thirsty for prestige, wealth and power. In addition to raging a war against Imam Al-Hassan, Mu’awiya used several distorting methods to alter and fabricate facts about Imam Al-Hassan, and draw away his followers.
Distorting the Image of Imam Al-Hassan
The Umayyad historians, used many of the same methods used against the Holy Prophet to distort the image of Imam Al-Hassan and fabricate the more degrading stories on his behalf. Imam Al-Hassan was known for his generosity and mercifulness, as it is narrated that a Bedwin from Levant came to Medina, and he was very impacted by the propaganda of Umayyad dynasty against the Imam. His intention of coming to Medina, was to see the Imam and abuse him verbally and physically. Therefore, when he saw the Imam, he started with his ruthless and demining verbal abuses. Once he was finished with his words, Imam Al-Hassan replied: it seems you are from out of town and you are tired. If you are in need of shelter, we can provide it for you. If you are in need of food or money, we can provide that as well, and if there is anything else that I can do for you, please do not hesitate to tell me about. It is narrated, the man was shocked and didn’t know how to reply, and he just followed the Imam to his house. Imam Al-Hassan fed the man and took care of his needs and gave some funds for his return and apologized if he had forgotten to do anything else for that man. The man started apologizing and crying and asking Imam Al-Hassan for forgiveness, as he had been influenced by the propaganda of Mo’awiya in Damascus.
One of the most demining fabrications against Imam Al-Hassan and Prophet Mohammad was their relation with the other gender, and their sexual appetite. The holy Prophet was accused of marrying a 6 years old girl, and being sexually super active with his wives, even during menstruation periods, as he was very outspoken about his sexual relation with his spouses. In addition, the same type of allegations and accusation have been pasted to Imam Al-Hassan to distort his pious and humble personality.
Dozens of wives & tens of concubines
The main accusation against Imam Al-Hassan in mainstream Sunni history texts, is the notion of having dozens of wives and tens of concubines for satisfying his own pleasures. These types of allegations and claims are observed mainly in the history books that were written by historians loyal to the Umayyad dynasty.
– Ibn Katheer, one of the main historians and scholars of Islam, who was a pupil of Ibn Taymiya, was very hostile to the Holy household of Prophet Mohammad and their followers. In his famous book ‘the beginning and the end’ (Al-Bedaya wal Nehaya), he states the following about Imam Al-Hassan: “They say, he was known to be a marrying man, as he never stayed without four females. He was also known to be a divorcer and he paid many dowries. It is said that he married over 70 women.” (8:42)
– In addition there are other statement by other historian and Hadeeth narrators that suggest Imam Al-Hassan was a man, who loved women and married many of them. Another historian, who is known for his hatred toward the followers of Imam Ali, and the holy household of Prophet Mohammad states: Ali (Imam Hassan’s father) always was telling the people of Kufa: don’t marry your daughters to my son Hassan, he is known to be a divorcer. The reply to Imam Ali was: if he asks us every day for a wife, we would not hesitate to accept, as we are becoming relatives with the Prophet.
These types of allegations and claims against Imam Al-Hassan, are very far beyond bogus and hilarious, as many of the Sunni scholars, have rejected the authenticity of these narrations and statements. The claims that Imam Al-Hassan had hundreds of concubines and he spent a majority of his wealth for buying these concubines, is entirely in contradiction with the biography of Imam Al-Hassan and even with the length of his life, which wasn’t more than 47 years of age.
However, it should be noted that Imam Al-Hassan and many other Imams purchased many slaves and concubines for the purpose of freeing them, as there are numerous narrations by the Prophet and his holy household, about the pity of this business. Many slaves and concubines were bought by the Imams and their pupils and freed after being taught how to write, read and build a respectable life. In addition, it is narrated that many of these slaves, rejected leaving the Imams after witnessing their mercy and generosity, and although they were freed by the Imams, they were spending their entire life alongside the Imam, who freed them.
The other fact that is used in refuting the allegations against Imam Al-Hassan, would be the actual present day progeny of this Imam, as majority of the progeny of Prophet Mohammad in present day are either from Imam Al-Sajjad (4th Imam) or Imam Al-Kadhem (7th Imam).
It is known that during the battle of Karbala on the day of Ashura, the entire family of Imam Al-Hassan were there alongside the Imam of their time, Imam Al-Hussein (Imam Al-Hassan’s brother). The known sons of Imam Al-Hassan, who were killed in Karbala are three, (Amro Ibn Al-Hassan, Al-Qassim Ibn Al-Hassan, and Abdullah Ibn Al-Hassan). These three sons, were martyred in Karbala and it is known that they were not married or at an age to have children. Another son of Imam Al-Hassan, named Abdulrahman, who was a young man as well, died during performing the Haj rituals in Mecca, while he was with his uncle, Imam Al-Hussein.
This leaves two other sons of Imam Al-Hassan and Al-Hassan the second, who are known to be married and lived for many years after the father and uncle, Imam Al-Hussein. Nonetheless, anyone who is familiar with the social foundation of the Shia societies and their classifications, would admit that majority of the SAYEDs (Progeny of Prophet Mohammad, from Imam Ali and Lady Fatima Al-Zahra), are divided into two categories. The first category is the progeny that has its linage rooted to Imam Al-Sajjad and are known to be ‘Hussaini Sayeds’. The second category, which is the bigger one has its linage rooted to the seventh Imam of Shia Muslims, Imam Al-Kadhem, and they are known as the ‘Mosawy sayeds’. These two categories are proved and authenticated trough a detailed and precise genealogy method conducted by experts and known genealogists. Therefore, the allegations of Imam Al-Hassan being a man with dozens of wives and hundreds of concubines stands baseless before historic and traditional facts of Islamic scriptures.