“The ruin of people lies in three things: arrogance, greed and envy. It was due to arrogance that Satan deprived himself of God’s mercy. It was greed that caused Adam to be expelled from the Garden. It was envy the source of evil that made Cain kill his brother Abel.”
The above statement is part of the aphorisms bequeathed to humanity by the person in whose blessed birthday we are basking today on the 15th of fasting Ramadhan. It was no ordinary birth since it brought to earth, to the abode of Divine Revelation to be precise, celestial beings, especially Archangel Gabriel with felicitations from the Almighty Himself.
Even the name of the newborn was chosen in the heavens for he, along with his younger brother, was destined to be the Leader of the Youths of Paradise. As a matter of fact, his name “Hasan”, which means “Excellent” in Arabic was the equivalent of Shabar, the firstborn of Aaron. No wonder Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) had said regarding his father:
“O’ Ali! Your position to me is that of Aaron to Moses.”
It is thus clear that he was a born leader. An undeniable testimony in this regard is the saying of his grandfather the Prophet:
Hasan (AS) and Husain (AS) are Imams (Leaders of mankind), whether they sit (make peace) or rise (wage jihad).
Over seven years in age at the time of the passing away of the Prophet – who on many an occasion had made it clear to the ummah the virtues of his Ahl al-Bayt including Imam Hasan (AS) – he played a pivotal role in the armed encounters that were imposed on his father, Imam Ali (AS) during the four-and-a-half years of the ideal rule of social justice. His valour on the battlefield earned laurels.
Following the martyrdom of Imam Ali (AS), he was acknowledged by the masses as the caliph, and though like his father he had no attachment to worldly rule, never for a moment was he heedless of the people’s needs. However, when he found that the satanic stratagem of the archenemy of the Prophet’s Household, Mua’wiyah ibn Abu Sufyan, whose pillaging of Muslim life and property coupled with a deceptive campaign for peace, had weakened the faith of the Iraqis and made them lose the stomach to fight the deviationists, he decided to relinquish the caliphate, but on certain conditions in order to expose falsehood in its true colours.
It was a masterstroke of peace that ripped off the veil of hypocrisy from the face of the Omayyad heathens. In his greed for the caliphate the avaricious Mua’wiyah agreed to the terms of the treaty and soon, to the horror of the deceived Iraqis, breached each and every of its clauses. The ingrates had learned it the hard way not to trust the occupiers and the enemies of the Ahl al-Bayt.
As for Imam Hasan (AS), he retired with his family to his hometown Medina, from where the 2nd infallible heir of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) continued the path of his father and grandfather in enlightening Muslims and strengthening their conscience to discern righteousness from falsehood.
In a display of generosity that no worldly rulers could match, at least twice in his lifetime, Imam Hasan (AS) distributed all his possessions among the needy. Martyred through poisoning at the age of 47 years by Mua’wiyah, he continues to wield his God-given authority over the true believers, who flock to the Baqie Cemetery, despite its dilapidated status, to pay homage to him and other members of the Prophet’s Household much to the chagrin of the enemies of humanity.
Here are two more aphorisms from the Imam Hasan (AS) that certainly provide food for thought:
“I wonder at those who think of food for their body but ignore the food for their soul.”
“Impart your knowledge to others and acquire knowledge from others in order to awaken your conscience and learn what you do not know.”