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Imam Hassan’s Peace Treaty

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The discussion revolves around a grand act that Imam Hassan (PBUH), the second leader of the Shiites, accomplished to perpetuate the life of the Islamic religion and Shiism – which is the path of Amir al-Mu’minin (PBUH). A general look at the socio-political context of Hejaz, Iraq, and Syria during his leadership and the circumstances leading to the acceptance of the peace, as well as the “text of the peace treaty,” are examined in this article.

Imam Baqir (PBUH) says: “By Allah, what Hassan bin Ali (PBUH) did, for this Ummah, was better than anything on which the sun has shone.”

A Brief Biography of Imam Hassan Mojtaba (PBUH)

Imam Hassan (PBUH) was born in the third year of Hijra in Medina and experienced the love of his grandfather for a little over seven years. After the Prophet’s departure – which was not more than three or six months apart from the departure of Lady Fatima – he was under the tutelage of his noble father. After his venerable father’s martyrdom, he ascended to the leadership and caliphate by God’s command and according to his father’s will. He managed the affairs of the Muslims for nearly six months. During this period, Muawiya, a staunch enemy of Imam Ali and his family who had fought for years with a desire for the caliphate, launched an army into Iraq (the center of Imam Hassan’s caliphate) and started a war.

Gradually, Imam Hassan’s army commanders were seduced with abundant money and deceptive promises, and soldiers were incited against him. Eventually, he was forced into a “peace” and ceded the apparent caliphate to Muawiya under certain conditions (including the return of the caliphate to Imam Hassan (PBUH) after Muawiya’s death and ensuring the safety of his family and followers). Thus, Muawiya seized the Islamic caliphate, entered Iraq, and officially annulled the peace conditions in a public speech. Then, through various means, he exerted the harshest pressure and torture on the Ahl al-Bayt and their Shiites. Imam Hassan (PBUH) lived in utter distress and suffocation throughout his ten-year Imamat and had no safety even within his own home. Finally, in the year 50 Hijri, he was poisoned and martyred by his wife at the instigation of Muawiya.

The greatest event shining in the life of that noble Imam is the “reconciliation” with Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan. Many researchers in Islamic history, both Muslim and non-Muslim, have written about this and made various judgments. Many questions are raised about this “peace”: What was “the Imam’s motive for making peace with his enemy and his family?” Or “What were the factors that drew the Imam to this?” Or “what benefit did this peace bring to Muslims and the Islamic world at that time?” Or “What is the difference in the actions of Imam Hassan and what Imam Hussein did in the uprising of Ashura?” Alhamdulillah, extensive research has been done on this significant historical event. Here, are some perspectives on this issue.

The Word ‘Peace’

Peace refers to a pact of non-aggression, a pact not to fight, and a pact for peaceful coexistence. Peace finds meaning where there is a duty to fight (initial Jihad during the time of Imam Ali, defensive Jihad, fighting against the people of rebellion, etc.), but the benefit of Islam and Muslims necessitates that they sign a peace treaty with the enemy; and this is where the number of Muslims is small and they cannot resist the enemy, or they cease hostilities to gain strength, or in the hope that the other side will convert to Islam and become Muslim. However, if these reasons are not involved, continuing peace is not permissible.

Imam Hassan (PBUH) Peace and Historical Influence of the Umayyads in Religious Governance

The most crucial challenge Imam Hassan (PBUH) faced throughout his Imamate and even his life was the issue of the Umayyads’ influence in the religious governance of previous periods and the emergence of its effects in this era. An influence that began from the time of the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH & his family) demise (when he was 8 years old) and peaked during the caliphate of Uthman. That is, the very Umayyad who were infamous for “shirk” (polytheism) in religion, have not only become proponents of Islam in the time of his and his noble father, Ali (PBUH)’s Imamate, but have also seized a large part of the northern territories of the Islamic government and deceived the simple-minded people of that land into their pseudo-Islamic beliefs! The most urgent task that Imam Hassan could undertake was to unveil the hideous face and hypocrisy of this dynasty, especially Muawiya.

Therefore, the Imam (PBUH) reveals the background of this faction and reminds them of the Holy Prophet (PBUH)’s curse upon them. He said to Muawiya in his court: “Muawiya! Have you forgotten that when your father decided to convert to Islam, you sang poems and dissuaded him from Islam? And you, O group (Muawiya’s supporters), I swear you by God, do not remember that the Messenger of Allah(PBUH & his family) cursed Abu Sufyan in seven places. Can any of you deny it?” Then the Imam enumerates these.

Peace that Creates Honor

In any case, the events after the Prophet (PBUH) and the deviation that occurred in the path of religious governance (internal deviation) created the grounds for their (Umayyad) resurgence. As soon as governance was out of the hands of righteous leaders, a space opened up for the hypocritical party, rescuing them from isolation and gradual death.

Muawiyah in the Caliphate of Umar: The infiltration of Abu Sufyan’s party in this period was such that his son, Muawiyah, usurped the governance of Syria and Sham (Levant) and dominated it in such a way that despite the continuous dismissals and appointments of executives by Umar, he always remained in his position. Thus, a stable and secure base for the coherent rise of Abu Sufyan’s party was established.

Muawiyah in the Caliphate of Uthman: During Uthman’s rule, for various reasons, especially the familial relationship between Muawiyah and Uthman, the cursed branches of the Umayyad tree were able to capture major parts of the religious governance, implanting roots in every power center. During this period, even Marwan and his father, who were expelled by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and for whom the two previous caliphs had refused Uthman’s intercession to return them to Medina, were returned and given key positions by Uthman himself. Thus, the Umayyad party was astonishingly able to get close to two pillars of governance (wealth and position), seize them, and await the attainment of the third pillar of governance, which is religion.

Muawiyah during the Imamat of Amir al-Mu’minin (PBUH): This situation also arose with the murder of Uthman. Muawiyah, claiming to seek revenge for the martyred caliph, was able, in a short time, to divert the religious sentiments of the people and incite a religious army against Imam Ali (PBUH). In other words, just as Uthman’s life was a means for the Umayyads to acquire sensitive positions, his death was fully utilized by them as well, bringing them one step closer to power. Imam Ali (PBUH) beautifully reminds Muawiyah of his dual use of Uthman in a letter to him: “When supporting Uthman was in your favor, you rushed to aid him, and when it was in his favor, you disgraced him.”

From this period onwards, the conflict between the rightful Alawi governance and the illegitimate Umayyad governance began, occupying the entire rule of Amir al-Mu’minin and the short governance period of Imam Hassan (PBUH). Eventually, in the year 41 AH, due to various internal and external reasons, this conflict ended in favor of the Umayyad movement, forcing Imam Hassan (PBUH) into peace.

Muawiya, during the Imamate of Imam Hassan (PBUH): Alongside the conspiracies that he created to seize ‘power’ among the Muslims, especially those who were living under the rule of the Imam (including ordinary people, officials, and soldiers), also attempted to tarnish the personality of Imam Hassan al-Mujtaba (peace be upon him). Later, the Umayyads, and following them, the Abbasids, accused the Imam of having ‘Uthman-like inclinations’ in their historical and narrative sources and quotes to besmirch his image among the people. Or they attributed ‘opposition to his father regarding internal wars’ to him, trying to portray the Imam as a compromising figure. Or they made the Imam seem like a ‘worldly and politics-averse’ individual, or (Allahforbid) attributed ‘excessive desire for women’ and being prone to multiple divorces, presenting him as neglectful towards the destiny of the Ummah and the matter of the Caliphate.

The sociopolitical conditions of Hejaz, the Levant, and Iraq (Basra and Kufa)

During this period, ‘Hejaz’ had distanced itself from the sphere of political conflicts. The people of this region were influenced by the decisions of the two regions, ‘Iraq’ and ‘Syria (the Levant)’, in major political matters.

The Hejazis accepted the leadership of Imam Hassan (PBUH) after the Iraqis pledged allegiance to him. On the other hand, the ‘Levant‘ was led by the total obedience of its people to Muawiya. The third region, Iraq (Basra and Kufa), was in its worst condition compared to the Levant when Imam al-Mujtaba (PBUH) took charge. Basra remained a ‘Uthmanic-sect’ city for a long time after the Battle of Camel. The failure of the ‘Hakamiyya’ negotiations and the rebellion of the ‘Kharijites’ had severely weakened the Iraqi forces, particularly those in Kufa. Three successive wars had left them exhausted and despondent. In the final days of Imam Ali’s life (PBUH), even though people were urged to mobilize, few did so. Nonetheless, the people of Kufa had no alternative but to accept the leadership of Imam Hassan (PBUH) for fear of the Syrians.

Examining the classifications of the people of Kufa can provide a better understanding of the political developments of that period. The fact that the people of Kufa were not steadfast in their allegiance during the three time periods of ‘Imam Ali, Imam Hassan, and Imam Hussain (PBUH)’ had reasons;

1) the existence of various political and religious groups; some of them had somewhat ‘Kharijite’ views, and another group, known as the ‘nobility,’ was in alliance with the Umayyads; the third group, namely the Shia, were devotees of the Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them). Other groups were formed by opportunists and simple-minded commoners. This caused their good people to receive the highest praises for their righteous deeds, while their corrupt elements went as far as killing the Prophet’s son (peace and blessings be upon him and his family). Those who sought the caliphate of His Holiness are categorized as follows;

1) Enemies of Ali (peace be upon him) who saw the field empty for Muawiya, causing their income to be cut off, so they had to find an unparalleled rival for Muawiya to get gold and silver from him through betrayal, and who better than Imam al-Mujtaba (peace be upon him) could they find to achieve their goal.

2) Lovers of Power and Position, who held governmental authority under Ali (peace be upon him) and saw the foundation of their governance threatened with the rise of Muawiya.

3) The Simple-Minded Majority, the larger part of Kufa’s population, and those who pledged allegiance to Imam Hassan (peace be upon him), were of this kind.

4) Sincere Shiites and ardent lovers of Imam Ali (peace be upon him), like Hajar bin Adi and Abu Ayyub Ansari.

B) Tribal Composition of the City; their tribal sensitivities ensnared them in dispersion and a spirited temperament, such that even minor matters could determine their decisions. This itself was a problem, contributing to a lack of unity among the Kufans, something the Umayyads frequently exploited.

C) Kufans’ inclination to confront their leaders; this trait was revealed during Uthman’s Caliphate. Also, they defied Imam Ali’s orders and, during the leadership of Imam Hassan, it escalated to the brink of betrayal. It was also displayed later, during Imam Husayn’s uprising. Imam Ali, describing this disposition, stated: ‘O people of Kufa! I have admonished you with the Qur’an’s exhortations, but you did not benefit, I disciplined you with hand punishment, yet you did not straighten, I subjected you to the lashes (used for implementing limits), still, you did not comply. Only the sword can reform you, but I will not lead myself to corruption to reform you.’ He also, after being struck and on his martyrdom bed, advised his virtuous son, Imam Hassan (peace be upon him): ‘Be aware that Muawiya will oppose you just as he opposed me. So, if you make peace with him, adhere earnestly to the way I made peace with the Banu Damra and Banu Ashja… And if you decide to fight your enemy, you will never have the loyalty and competence that your father’s followers had.’ Imam Hassan (peace be upon him), with a heart full of sorrow and grief, addressed his treacherous followers: ‘I know you are conspiring and plotting against me, a group that has neither honor nor religion, surrendering themselves in confinement to Muawiya. Woe unto you! By God, Muawiya will not stay true to his promises.’

Is Muawiya, A Pioneer in Seeking Peace?!

An important point in elucidating Imam Hassan’s position is that he did not initiate the peace request. It was Muawiya who wanted to conquer Iraq without hassle and, therefore, insisted on persuading the Imam to step down from power. In contrast, some sources, following rumors circulating at the time—and narrators of events who reported them as historical news—have pretended that the Imam himself proposed the peace and, of course, was inclined toward it. Against this view, there is evidence that will be referred to:

A) Ya’qubi’s narration: Muawiya sent a group to Sabat Madain to talk about peace with Imam Hassan (peace be upon him). This is the same meeting in which the Imam rejected peace.

B) The first letters from the Imam in all of which he advocated the position of war. They contain threats that if Muawiya does not surrender, he will be confronted with his army. The Imam also told Muawiya’s messenger: ‘Tell Muawiya that nothing but the sword will rule between us and him’. All of these indicate that the Imam’s position was one of war.

C) The Imam, in his speech to the people, emphatically emphasized that Muawiya has asked us for a peace in which there is no dignity or honor. If you are ready for war, I am with you, but if you love life, say so, and we will accept his peace. Ibn Jozi writes: When Imam Hassan (peace be upon him) realized that the people were dispersing around him and the Kufans had betrayed him, he inclined towards peace. Prior to that, Muawiya had invited him to peace, but the Imam had not accepted it. He adds: It was Muawiya who corresponded with him about peace. Sheikh Mufid also wrote that: Muawiya wrote to the Imam about peace. However, rumors, based on Muawiya’s deceit in spreading the news of reconciliation from Imam Hassan (peace be upon him), resulted in later historians stating that the Imam himself had proposed peace.

It has been reported that Muawiya sent his spies among Imam’s vanguard troops to spread rumors that Hassan had written to Muawiya requesting peace, asking why are you risking your lives? Muawiya, to deceive ‘Ubaidullah bin Abbas’, wrote to him: ‘Indeed, Hassan has corresponded with me about peace.’ Such rumors later turned into historical quotes and distorted the facts.

Why Peace?

Several reasons precluded Imam from reaching his primary objective, which was an honorable war against Muawiya, compelling him to opt for peace in order to preserve the essence of Islam and to prevent fruitless bloodshed. Chief among these reasons was the ‘Weakness of the People of Iraq in Supporting Him.’ The incident at ‘Sabat’ stood out as a pivotal marker of people’s frailty and incapacity to continue the war. It was there that the Imam realized, in Sheikh Mufid’s words, that people had humiliated him. Many of these people had been slain in support of Ali (peace be upon him) in the battles of Jamal, Siffin, and Nahrawan. Now weary of wars, they no longer possessed the fortitude to persevere in this conflict. They even perceived themselves as creditors of the governance, seeking retribution from the Ahl al-Bayt. They attributed the blood of their slain to the Imam.

Another reason was the ‘Division within the Imam’s Army and the Betrayal and Joining of Some of His Military Leaders to the Syrian Army.’ The Imam (peace be upon him) once told the Kufans: ‘You opposed my father (in continuing the war), pulling matters towards arbitration, despite his disagreement. He called you to continue the war, and you refused until he hastened to meet his Lord. Then, you approached me, pledged allegiance, and agreed that you would fight whoever I fought and make peace with whoever I reconciled. Today, news has reached me that your nobles have gone to Muawiya and pledged allegiance to him. This alone is enough for me.’ Elsewhere he stated: ‘I swear by God, if I engage with Muawiya, these people would seize me by the neck and surrender me to him as a captive. The people of Iraq are such that whoever trusts them shall be defeated; for none of them agrees with another in thoughts and desires.’

Preserving the Lives of Shi’ites: Another Reason for the ‘Accord’

The second leader of the Shi’ites repeatedly hinted at this point: ‘If I had not done this, no Shi’ite would remain on the face of the Earth’ [Al-Illal Al-Shara’i, p. 200; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 44, p. 19]. Imam (PBUH) responded to the objection and the suggestion of Sulaiman Surad Khuzai to re-initiate battle with Muawiya, stating: ‘But I see something other than what you see, and in what I have done, I intended nothing but to prevent bloodshed. Therefore, be satisfied with God’s decree, and be submissive and obedient to His command, stay attached to your homes, and exercise restraint.’ In another response to ‘Abi Sa’eed Aqeessa’ who, upon visiting, remarked, ‘O son of God’s messenger, why did you, knowing that the truth is with you, make peace with the misguided and oppressive Muawiya?’, the Imam began his speech with an important point, considered an inherent part of accepting ‘Shi’ite Imamate.’ He said: ‘When I am the Imam by the command of Almighty God, I cannot be criticized for what I have done, whether it be peace or war, even though the reason for what I have done may not be clear and apparent to others.’ Then, likening his action to the work of ‘Prophet Khizr’ (PBUH) and the response he gave to Prophet Moses (PBUH), he said: ‘So it is with my action that you have subjected me to criticism because you do not know the secret of our work, while if I had not done this, none of our Shi’ites would remain on Earth’ (they would all be killed).

Preventing the Emergence of the Phenomenon of ‘Caliph Killing’; Imam Hassan (PBUH) anticipated his defeat due to the weakness or betrayal of his allies. Therefore, to avoid repeating an incident that had occurred to the third Caliph, and to avert damage to the status of the Caliphate and the capital of the Islamic world—which would encourage internal and external enemies (the Byzantine Empire) to conspire and attack—he accepted conciliation with Muawiya. In fact, Imam Hassan’s (PBUH) resistance to the point of being killed mirrored the resistance of Uthman during his time, and if he had been killed, it would have been a Muslim Caliph murdered in the seat of the Caliphate. Imam Ali (PBUH) also did not deem this situation appropriate for Uthman.

On the other hand, if it is said that Imam Hussein (PBUH) also resisted and was defeated despite having a small army, the answer is that Imam Hussein (PBUH) was situated in a position of protest against the established government and, through his martyrdom, exposed the corruption of the system. The reflection of this martyrdom throughout history has been nothing but ‘honor.’ Whereas the resistance and martyrdom of Imam Hassan (PBUH) in the center of the Caliphate would culminate in weakening the leadership status of the Islamic world. Allowing Muawiya to extend his hand toward the Islamic Ummah and paving the way for Imam Hussein (PBUH) to rise for ‘good’; Muawiya was, for many Muslims, the ruler of a portion of the Islamic lands who, while safeguarding the northern borders of the Islamic region against the Byzantine Empire, implemented religious rulings among the people.

In confronting Imam Hassan (PBUH), he addressed two issues; one was avenging Uthman, portraying him as a wronged Caliph, and the other was his greater entitlement to lead the Islamic Ummah. Consequently, in the white-signed letter that he sent to His Holiness, Muawiya had asked him to ‘submit to the matter’ in order to implement the religion across all Islamic lands! And he had committed to adhering to the Book of God, to the tradition of the Prophet (PBUH), and to the practice of the Righteous Caliphs, and even not to designate a successor for himself, and to surrender the Caliphate after him to Hassan bin Ali (PBUH) or Hussein bin Ali (PBUH).

Undoubtedly, the treachery and perfidy of Muawiya were clear to the Imam. However, many Muslims did not perceive the rejection of this ‘treaty’ as anything other than a continuation of power struggles and the spilling of the blood of tens of thousands from the Ummah, with an uncertain conclusion to the ordeal. In their view, the land of Islam needed a ruler who would establish religion among the Ummah. This aim would be achieved with the coming to power of either of the disputing parties (Imam Hassan (PBUH) and Muawiya). Thus, the continuation of the war had no justifiable explanation. Therefore, it was these Muslims who needed to gradually become acquainted with the malevolence of Muawiya and the Umayyads, so that conditions for a legitimate uprising against him could be created.

In such a situation, if Imam Hassan (PBUH) did not accept the ‘conciliation,’ he would have left behind an ambiguous image in history and subjected himself to allegations and judgments. Muawiya’s conduct shifted the judgments in favor of the Imam from the very outset of the peace treaty. After seizing the Caliphate, he told the people, ‘O people of Kufa! I did not fight against you for prayer, almsgiving, and pilgrimage since I know that you pray, give alms, and make pilgrimages. But I fought against you so as to have dominion over you… Every condition I agreed upon and anything I promised to Hassan bin Ali is beneath my two feet, which I will not fulfill.’

His betrayals led a group of Shiites to approach Imam Hassan and express: ‘Now, this peace treaty is nullified, and based on this, you should rise.’ He stated: ‘No, the uprising will be for after Muawiya.’ This phrase can be interpreted as implying that a bit more time should be allowed for them to disgrace themselves in the eyes of the people. That will be the moment for an uprising. In other words, it can be deduced from this statement that if Imam Hassan (PBUH) had lived beyond Muawiya and was in the same position as Imam Hussein (PBUH), he certainly would have risen.

Imam Hassan’s Address to the People of Kufa

Imam Hassan (Peace Be Upon Him), through a historic speech, spoke from the leadership stance of the Islamic world and acknowledged the deservedness of the ‘Ahlul-Bayt of the Prophet (PBUH)’ for this position. He exposed Muawiya, lamented his companions, and by analogizing the situation crafted for himself and his father, ‘Imam Ali (PBUH),’ with that concocted for Aaron and Moses (PBUT) by the Israelites, clarified the subject of ‘accommodation.’

 Sheikh Tusi, quoting a credible source from Imam Zain-ul-Abidin (PBUH), conveys: ‘When Imam Hassan (PBUH) set out to make peace with Muawiya and met him, Muawiya ascended the pulpit and declared: “Oh people! Hassan, son of Ali Ibn Abi Talib and Fatimah Zahra, acknowledges me as the rightful caliph and does not consider himself so. Now, he has come eagerly to pledge allegiance to me. Stand, oh Hassan!” Subsequently, His Holiness arose and pronounced: “Oh people! I speak, so listen, attune your ears and hearts to me, and engrave my words… If I were to count for years the virtues and dignities with which Allah has uniquely adorned us, they would never end. I am the son of the Prophet, the bearer of glad tidings and warnings, and a luminous lamp that Allah Almighty has deemed mercy to all worlds. My father, Ali, is the Guardian of the Faithful and akin to Aaron. Muawiya, son of Sakhr, claims I recognized him as the rightful caliph and not myself! He lies. By God, I am more deserving of the caliphate among people according to the Book of Allah and the tradition of God. However, we, the Ahlul-Bayt (Peace Be Upon Them), have been oppressed and subdued since the day the Prophet of the Mission (PBUH) left this world. Thus, may Allah judge between us and those who wronged us, usurped our rights, mounted our necks, gave people dominion over us, and prohibited our rights, stipulated by God’s book for us, from the one-fifth (Khums) and spoils of war. Those who prohibited and deprived our mother, Fatimah, of her inheritance from her father… The ummah abandoned me, did not assist, and pledged allegiance to you, oh son of Harb! If I found sincere supporters who were with me without deceit, I would never pledge allegiance to you, just as Allah left Aaron helpless when his people weakened him and showed animosity towards him. Likewise, my father and I, when the ummah withdrew its hands from us, followed others instead of us, and we found no helpers, Were helpless before God. The condition of this ummah is like those ummahs of the past…” Muawiya admitted: “By God, the ground beneath me darkened when Hassan descended from the pulpit; I wished to harm him. But I realized that suppressing anger is closer to health.” Nevertheless, the era of attaining governance arrived for the Umayyads, and Muawiya, by summoning the Imam (PBUH) to Sham and taking allegiance from them, endeavored to formally declare this victory.

Discord in Treaties and Credible Texts

Regarding the clauses signed in the peace treaty between Imam Hassan (AS) and Muawiyah, there is no consensus in historical documents. Not only the rumors circulating at the time but also the biases of historians and narrators have significantly affected the upheavals related to the transmission of treaty clauses. So much so that some researchers regard instances like “financial conditions” as fabricated and devised by the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties, which were continuously seeking to undermine the position and character of the Prophet’s family (PBUH), especially Imam Hassan (AS).

The latter’s descendants persistently rebelled against the Abbasids and were disruptive to their rule, considering the existence of such clauses in the peace treaty contrary to the dignity and position of Imam Hassan (AS). Exaggerating some issues while omitting other clauses from the peace treaty and forging unrealistic and incorrect clauses, disregarding the mention of fundamental conditions is a distortion introduced into these historical transmissions.

Additionally, various and scattered reports exist regarding the clauses of this peace treaty, each recalling a portion of the original text. If a treaty that does not contain such a condition is selected, there is no longer a basis for accepting this condition, even though it has been mentioned in numerous sources, and some Shiites have also indicated ways to justify it. Fundamentally, the two conditions of “transferring the caliphate” to Imam Hassan (AS) after the death of Muawiyah and the granting of the Darabjerd [= Darabgird/Darab] tax were proposed by Abdullah bin Nawfal (Imam’s envoy to Muawiyah), and Muawiyah accepted these conditions and ordered a white sheet to be brought. He signed at the bottom of the page and sent it to Imam Hassan (AS). When Abdullah bin Nawfal returned and recounted the stated points, the Imam told him: Regarding the ‘caliphate after Muawiyah,’ I must say that I do not seek it. Also, about the financial conditions that you proposed, it is not Muawiyah’s right to make a commitment to me with Muslim funds. This argument, following the manner spoken about by the Imams (AS), is quite understandable. The proposal of this condition either goes back to biased historians or a suggestion that Abdullah bin Nawfal had presented to the Imam, or to Muawiyah who had written some conditions on his behalf, or it is understood by his spies. This proposal is also consistent with Muawiyah’s spirit. He tried to buy everyone with his dirham and dinar. Another reason for the absence of a financial condition in the peace treaty is that “Sulayman Surad Khuzai,” protesting against Imam Hassan (AS), said: ‘Why didn’t you set aside a share for yourself in the grant?’ Then Imam Hassan (AS) called his scribe and ordered him to arrange the contract text in this manner.

Translation of the Peace Treaty

“In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. This is a reconciliation that takes place between Hassan bin Ali bin Abi Talib (PBUH) and Muawiya bin Abi Sufyan. Hassan agrees to make peace with him and cede the caliphate to him on the condition that, as his demise draws near, he shall appoint no one as heir and will leave the caliphate to be determined by consultation so that the Muslims may install whom they deem righteous. Another condition is that all Muslims should be safe from him, both physically and verbally, and he should treat all creatures kindly. The third condition is that the Shia, adherents, and allies of Ali bin Abi Talib (PBUH), wherever they may be, shall be safe from him, and he shall neither involve nor allow any harm, be it minor or major, to befall them. Upon all of these, Muawiya bin Abi Sufyan pledged and accepted the argument and covenant of Almighty Allah upon himself, agreeing to be faithful to this pledge and condition and to devise no trick or deceit. Hassan bin Ali (PBUH), his brother Hussein (PBUH), and none from among their children, women, relatives, and allies, and the People of the House of the Leader of the Messengers, shall experience nor enact any harm, neither in secret nor in public, and they shall be kept safe and unthreatened in all circumstances, wherever they may be in the regions of the world. Peace” (Al-Futuh, pp. 765-766)

After the Peace treaty

Upon the conclusion of the peace ceremony and Imam Hassan (PBUH)’s withdrawal from governance, the noble Imam packed his travel bag to move towards Hejaz, proceeding towards Medina with his family and close ones. He rejected requests from some people of Kufa—like Musayyib bin Najaba and others—who wished for his stay in Kufa, and he declined their invitation, eventually reaching Medina.

From that time until his martyrdom, which approximately occurred in the year 50 Hijri, he resided in Medina for about ten years. As extracted from narratives, during this period, he also had a few interactions with Muawiya and his courtiers, such as Amr bin Aas, Mughira bin Shu’ba, Marwan Hakam, and others, with dialogues from the Imam regarding his encounters with them being reported. In these confrontations and meetings, the pervasive theme is their stubbornness, enmity, insult, and audacity towards Imam Mujtaba (PBUH), which is overtly and clearly conveyed.

Apparently, they felt obliged everywhere to demean the Imam (PBUH) in public and in the presence of others. During this period, the Shi’as endured severe suffering and calamities, for Muawiya wrote in a directive to his governors: “Whosoever is among the friends of Ali and the Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them), remove their name from the governmental employee ledgers and terminate their salaries and benefits; ruin their homes and punish them, rendering them humiliated and incapacitated.” Subsequent to such policy, some Shi’as were exiled from Kufa and a group of Syrians took their places. These events, just as his holiness had foreseen, unveiled Muawiya’s true face even more and bred regret among the people of Iraq for not supporting Imam Hassan (PBUH) during the battlefield against Muawiya. All these events paved the way for the uprising of Sayyid al-Shuhada to ensure Islam and Shi’ism continued to live on.

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