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Hasan Ibn Ali Ibn Abi Taleb ( born March 1, 625 CE) died 669CE is an important figure in Islām, the son of Fātimah (daughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammad) and of ‘Alī ibn Abī Tālib, the first Shī‘ah Imām. Hasan was a Shī‘ah Imām and one of The Fourteen Infallibles of the Shī‘ah Twelvers. Hasan is also known as Al-Mujtaba and Sibtil Akbar (the elder and the first grandson of Muhammad). Both Sunnis and Shi'ahs regard him as a martyr. As a growing youth Hasan saw his father on the battlefield defending Islam as well as preaching to a vast ####congregation of believers on the occasion of hajj and as a missionary of Islam to Yemen before retreating to a passive role in the matters of the state during the period of the first three caliphs after the death of his grandfather, Muhammad. Hasan and his younger brother, al-Husayn ibn Ali, are believed to have been greatly beloved by their grandfather Muhammad as numerous hadiths affirm. There are also hadiths that state that Hasan and Husayn are the Lords of the youth in paradise and that Hasan and his brother Hussein are imams "whether they sit or stand". Hasan is one of five persons included in the Hadith of the Cloak. He is said to have been the first of the Prophet's family to enter Yemeni Kisa after Muhammad and to have walked hand in hand with Muhammad as a child to testify to the truth of Islam at Mubahila. He had seen that the caliphs respected Ali for his manners and knowledge and consulted him on many occasions: whenever he saw it necessary, Ali never refrained from giving his opinion to the caliph of the time on matters of the practice of faith. In Medina when Muhammad was sitting with his companions and Hasan, who was still a child, was playing between his hands, Muhammad is said to have gazed at al-Hasan and said to his companions "This (grand)son of mine is a lord, and may God place in his hands the reconciliation of two great groups of believers. When the third caliph was murdered by demonstrators in his palace in Mad'mah Ali was elected to lead the Muslims. Hasan assisted his father: he went to Kufa and raised an army against the dissenting Muslims then participated actively in the battles of Basra, Siffin and Nahrawan alongside his father, demonstrating skill both as a soldier and a leader. Later he travelled to Mecca with Ammar ibn Yasir to summon armies to fight against Aisha’s army. Upon the death of Ali in Kufa a new caliph had to be elected. According to Ali's appointment before his death the choice was restricted to al-Hasan and his younger brother Hussein. The latter did not claim the caliphate so Kufi Muslims gave their allegiance to Hasan without dispute. Most caliph chronologies do not include al-Hasan ibn Ali among the Rashidun Caliphs. However, many Sunni Muslim historians, such as Suyuti, Ibn al-Arabi, and Ibn Kathir accept al-Hasan ibn Ali as the last such caliph. Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, who had a long-running dispute with Ali, summoned the commanders of his forces in Syria, Palestine, and Transjordan to join him in preparation for battle. He first attempted to negotiate with Hasan, sending him letters asking him to give up his caliphate, believing he could thus avoid killing fellow Muslims and avoid lingering questions regarding his legitimacy should he kill Hasan outright. Shi'a historians say that large sums of money and promises of vast properties and governorships of provinces were offered to commanders of Hassan's army who left him, and that Muawiyah was not interested in the functions of preaching piety or theology but in expanding his sphere of influence in the territories already conquered by the Muslims and in further conquests to the north and north west of Syria. Negotiations failed and Muawiyah decided to march against Hasan's army of forty thousand with his own army, claimed to have numbered sixty thousand fighters. The two armies faced each other near Sabat. Hasan is said to have given a sermon in which he proclaimed his hatred of schism and appealed to his men to follow his orders even if they did not agree with them. Some of the troops, taking this as a sign that Hasan was preparing to give up battle, rebelled and attacked him. Hasan was wounded but loyal soldiers surrounded him and managed to kill the mutineers. One commander, Ubayd-Allah ibn Abbas, deserted him and joined Muawiyah’s forces.
Muawiyah wished to pass the caliphate to his own son Yazid, and saw Hasan as an obstacle. He secretly contacted one of al-Hasan's wives, Ja'da bint al-Ash'ath ibn Qays, and incited her to poison her husband. Ja'da did as Muawiyah suggested, giving her husband poison mixed with honey. Shi'a Muslims believe that Ja'da was promised gold and marriage to Yazid. Seduced by the promise of wealth and power, she poisoned her husband, and then hastened to the court of Muawiyah in Damascus to receive her reward. Muawiyah reneged on his promises and married her to another man. After Hasan's death his Iraqi followers wrote to Hussein pledging allegiance and proposing to remove Muawiya. However, Hussein refused, choosing to abide by the treaty between Hassan ibn Ali and Muawiya, which could not be broken at that time. The shrine of Hasan's tomb was destroyed by 20th century Salafi Saudis.
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