It is narrated on the authority of Riyāḥ b. al-Ḥārith who said, “I was sitting at the pulpit of al-Ḥasan b. ‘Ali (Ibn Abi Ṭālib) whilst he was giving the sermon in Madā’in (to his supporters) whereby he said:
“Indeed the command of Allah will come true even if the people dislike it. Once I realised that which will benefit me and that which will harm me, I did not want to be put in charge of even a mustard seed in the Ummah of Muḥammad (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) if it led to the spilling of even a tiny cup of blood. Disperse, go back to your homes.” (collected by Ibn Abi Shaybah, al-Khaṭīb, Ibn ‘Asākir and others)
These words were narrated from al-Ḥasan b. ‘Ali (raḍyAllāhu ‘anhumā) when he signed a peace settlement with Mu‘āwiyah b. Abi Sufyān (raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu) and stepped down from the Caliph position.
As he did that, the people of al-Ḥasan started shouting at him, “O Embarrassment of the Believers!” to which he replied, “Embarrassment is better than the Fire.”
They continued, “O Humiliator of the Believers!” to which al-Ḥasan replied, “I am not the humiliator of the Believers, I hate to see them killed only for me to take power.”
Al-Ḥasan stepped down from the Caliphate and accepted the peace settlement in order to safeguard the blood of the Muslims, despite the fact that his father was Amīr’l-Mu’minīn (the Leader of the Believers), his grandfather was the Messenger of Allah (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), the people had pledged allegiance to him after his father, the majority of the lands of the Muslims was under his control, and he had a mighty army of over 40,000.
This was because he chose what is with Allah, and preserved life instead – not a *single* person was killed during his Caliphate, and thus through him Allah gave unity to the Muslims.
Indeed, this noble leader fulfilled the prophecy of his grandfather (‘alayhis-salām) for on the authority of Abu Bakrah (raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu) who said, “We were with the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) whilst he was giving a sermon, when al-Ḥasan came in and the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “This child of mine is a leader, and perhaps via him Allah will bring peace to two groups of the Believers.” (collected by al-Bukhāri and others)
This was no small achievement at that time, especially after the murder of his father, as well as the thousands who had been murdered before him. The people started to blame al-Ḥasan and attacking him, slandering him with titles such as “traitor” and “a humiliation” and other insults and abuse.
Yet this noble leader would continuously respond, “To be humiliated in this dunyā, and the insults and abuse of the people, is nothing compared to the Fire on the Day of Qiyāmah and the punishment of Allah when He asks me about the blood of the Muslims which was shed whilst I was able to safeguard it. I don’t know what I will be able to say to Him!”
O Allah, protect the blood of the Muslims, unite their hearts, and bring them together upon Your Book and the Sunnah of Your Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
And Allah knows best.
– By Sh Kehlan al-Jubury (hafidhahullāh)