When Imam Hassan (A.S) saw that entering into a battle under such circumstances would bear nothing but bloodshed, especially when taken into account that the enemy has bribed the heads of the clans and that the bags of gold coins have caught the eyes’ of some of his commanders and made them turn a blind eye to the enemy’s crimes and deceived them to the extent that they wrote a letter Muawiyah and declared their readiness to hand the Imam over to him close-hands, he found no other choice but to accept the peace deal.
Ijtihadnetwork: To strengthen the Islamic government of his time, Imam Hassan (A.S) was on his great father’s side (Imam Ali (A.S)) and fought against the government’s foes; therefore, to uncover the secrets behind his decision to sign a peace treaty with Muawiyah (a contender to the caliphate), the full historical context of his time and all its relevant circumstances and dimensions should thoroughly be taken into account.
It goes without saying that in Shiite view, the infallible Imams are designated and appointed by Allah through the Prophet Muhammad; thus, Imamah guardianship, i.e. the fact that human beings’ conducts and practices should be patterned after the Imams, and the leadership authority, i.e. the Imams’ right for social and political leadership, are considered as the characteristics of Unconditional Guradianship (wilayat-e takvini).
In Shiite Doctrine, there is always a Perfect Human being in every era called “The Hujjah” who has been granted a divine influence on the universe and all humans whose hearts and souls are being witnessed by him. These are in fact the Infallible Imams who have been assigned with the material and spiritual leadership of the Islamic community in all spheres of human life by Allah.
Establishing an Islamic government based on the principle of the compatibility of Religion with Politics
It is clear that Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) was assigned with the high position of Imamate and established the most important and influential divine government. The Infallible Imams known also as the Ahlul Bayt (P.B.U.T) have also the same elevated position. For instance, after enduring 25 years of bitter silence, Imam Ali (A.S) formed an Islamic government and exercised divine rules, fought against all corruptions and deviations, supported the poor and the needy and addressed their needs, stood up for the rights of the oppressed, and attempted to equivocally distribute the revenues of the Treasury among the people.
Imam Hassan (A.S) also ruled over the Islamic government for a short period of time. However, after a short while the opposing oppressors attempted to deviate the caliphate from the righteous path and thus the Imam was forced to abdicate the caliphate. From that time on, the adversaries didn’t allow other Imams (A.S) to take power as the caliphate to administer and exercise the divine rules. By the way, when Imam Mahdi (A.S), the disappeared Imam who is present in hearts, reappears, he will take the leadership of the Ummah in full terms and everything will be realized in his government.
The conduct (Sira) of the AhlulBayt (A.S) who have been referred to in some Pilgrimage notes as the “Wise politicians yet servants of Allah”(ساسة العباد), therefore, clearly shows that they never considered religion as separate from the politics, as Imam Hassan (A.S) considered establishing an Islamic government as a divine duty they have been assigned with (إن الله تعالى ندبنا لسیاسه الامه).
The members of any society would, thus, act as they rulers do. So, not only the Hadith which says that “The people of a society live according to the conduct of their rulers and follow their footsteps”((الناس على دین ملوکهم proves to be true, but also most of the public behaviors are modelled after the principles which their government follows through. As it would be impossible to propagate religious values and conducts without making a reform in the government, it is absolutely wrong to think that Politics is something separate from religion.
De-infiltration; Political and fighting approach of Imam Hassan (A.S)
There is no doubt that fighting against the infiltration of the enemies should be carried out by taking the current status quo into account, setting relevant rules and regulations, and in a way that would preserve the Islamic intents. Thus the biography of Imam Hassan (A.S) has it that when Imam Ali (A.S) was martyred and the people pledged allegiance to him, Muawiyah dispatched two spies to Basra and Kufa in turn to topple, with the help of the Hypocrites, the caliphate led by the Imam. However, the intelligence system of the Imam Hassan (A.S) discovered this conspiracy and arrested the two spies as ordered by the Imam (A.S); the one who was arrested in Kufa was executed and the one who was arrested in Basra was punished accordingly. Following that incident, Imam Hassan (A.S) wrote a letter to Muawiyah saying that you dispatch spies to different cities and instigate seditions and thus it seems that you want to start a war; if that is the case, I’m well prepared to fight against you.
By the way, the infiltration of the Muawiyah agents into Imam Hassan’s army was so intense that according to some historians, the Imam (A.S) was once assassinated by one of his insiders through stabbing when he was saying prayers, and in another case some of his troops rolled out his prayer mat from under his feet when he was saying prayers. Even it is alleged that some of the high ranking commanders of his army wrote a letter to Muawiyah and declared that they were ready to arrest the Imam and hand his Excellency over to him closed-hands or to kill him.
Such mischievous movements and the like which were organized and implemented by Muawiyah agents as part of his plots undermined the morale of the Imam’s troops and made them divided and finally led to a peace treaty imposed on the Imam by Muawiyah.
What was mentioned above clearly indicates that in Prophet Muhammad’s era and those of the infallible Imams, especially in Imam Hassan’s government, the intelligence services were actively trying to discover the enemies’ plots, counter the spying activities, scrutinize the acts of governmental agents, and uncover the conspiracies of the domestic hypocrites.
Materialism; the dead sleep of the Kufis
It is worth mentioning that while Imam Hassan (A.S) was recruiting vast troops to get prepared for battling against Muawiyah, some his unfaithful companions were explicitly talking of leaving the war.
In his book “Asad Al-ghaba” (اسد الغابه), Ibn Athir, a well-known Sunni historian, writes that Imam Hassan (A.S) invited the people of his time to Jihad and the battle against Muawiyah, saying that if you are prepared for Jihad and Shahadah (martyrdom), wield your swords, but if you like this worldly life and want to remain alive, declare it frankly!
Many of the people thus replied that they liked the worldly life and wanted to remain alive!
In response, Imam Hassan (A.S) elaborated on the difference between the people’s morale when they engaged in Battle of Siffin and their moral in his own era and said: “in that day when you set off to the Battle of Siffin your religion was leading your world; but today your world is leading your religion (you are acting based on self-interests and don’t have any religious motivation)”.
He also addressed the people of Kufa in a sermon and said: “oh, the people of Kufa! Wake up from your dead sleep and avoid the darkness of ignorance. I swear Allah that if even a group of you rise up with pure hearts and intentions (and join me) I would, with my sword, enter into Jihad, putting them under pressure, blunting the bayonets with their bodies, and continue fighting until the horses’ hoofs are eroded; so, talk to me, may Allah bless you! (And don’t be afraid of the enemy)”.
These remarks were expressed by the Imam in a situation when the Kufis were overwhelmed by the dead sleep and although they were repeatedly invited by the Imam to Jihad against the Levantine plunderers and