Some sociologist has said: “Nations contend for superiority during the condition of nomadism through strength. If they advance, they contend for superiority through science. Then if they reach an objective of progress, they contend for superiority through noble moral traits. Therefore good manners are the utmost of what man reaches in his highness, perfection, and education.” If soul is disposed by nature for noble moral traits, it is impossible for it to deviate from the straight path or selfishness replaces unselfishness or temptations and defects control it. For this reason noble moral traits are the most important elements on which individual and social life is built; likewise, they are the strongest reasons for the survival of nations, and continuation of their civilizations and originality. Most surely the strongest cause for the appearance of the heavenly laws and the continuation of their spiritual authority is their taking care of noble moral traits, educating souls, and bringing them up with good inclinations. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) took great care of them and regarded them as among the most prominent reasons for which he had been appointed as a prophet. He (a.s) has said: “I have been sent as a prophet to complete noble moral traits.” Through his noble moral traits he was able to enlighten mankind, establish the foundations of the civilization in the world, and to change the course of history. That was when he reconciled the hearts, united feelings and sentiments, gathered the people in the field of love and brotherhood. Because of his great manners, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was an example of the Divine mercy that fills the miserable, sad hearts with hope and mercy. He visited the poor Muslims. He visited the sick from among them. He witnessed their funerals. He responded to the invitations of those who invited him. He refused neither the invitation of a slave nor that of a poor person.1 When someone sat with him, he remained talking with him until that someone himself left. When someone shook hand with him, he never drew his hand from him until it was he who would release his hand. He took great care of gladdening people and avoided mistreating them.
These noble moral traits were available in Imam Hasan (a.s.) due to his inheritance from his great grandfather. History has mentioned many examples of his noble moral traits. We will mention some of them as follows:
1. Some poor persons collected some pieces of bread from the streets. They put them on the ground and began eating them. Imam Hasan (a.s.) passed by them, and they invited him. He responded to them and said: “Most surely Allah does not love the arrogant!” After he had had food, he invited them. Then he entertained them and gave clothes to them.2 He showered them with his boons and kindness. Humbleness is a proof on that the soul is perfect, high, and noble. It has been mentioned in the tradition: “Most surely humbleness adds to the servant (nothing) except highness; therefore, behave humbly, may Allah have mercy on you!”
(Nihayat al-Irab fi Funun al-Adab, vol. 3, p. 443)
2. While some boys were having food, Imam Hasan (a.s.) passed by them. They invited him, and he responded to them. Then he took them to his house. He showered them with his kindness and charity and said: “They have the favor, for they had nothing other than that which they give to me as food; while we find what we give to them.”
(Al-Sabban, p. 176)
3. He overlooked those who mistreated him and he kindly treated them. He had a ewe. One day he came to know that the ewe’s leg was broken. He
(a.s) asked his servant:
- – Who has done that? -I
- – Why have you done that?
- – To grieve you!
The Imam (a.s) smiled and said to him: “I will delight you!” He set him free and gave him many gifts.
(Al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn, vol. 1, p. 147) 4. Once, he was sitting in some place. While he was going to leave, a poor man came. He welcomed the poor man and treated him with kindness. He
said to him:
- – You came when I was ready to leave. Do you
permit me to go?
- – Yes, O son of Allah’s Apostle!
Most surely respecting the rights of the one who
sits with you is among the social good manners which bring about love and friendship, find cooperation and strong relationships among people. For this reason Islam has ordered and urged Muslims to cling to them.
5. There was a person from among those whom Mu’awiya made harbor hatred and malice against Ahlul Bayt. The Imam (a.s.) passed by the person, and he abused him several times. As for the Imam (a.s.), he kept silent and refuted
nothing of the person’s words. After the person had finished abusing, the Imam turned to him and addressed him with soft words. The Imam (a.s.) smiled at him and said: “O Sheikh, I think you are a stranger? If you ask us (for money), we will give you. If you ask us for guidance, we will guide you. If you ask us to maintain you, we will maintain you. If you are hungry, we will give you food. If you are in need, we will grant your need. If you are homeless, we will lodge you.” The Imam (a.s) went on treating the Syrian man with kindness, that he might uproot evil and enmity from him. The Syrian old man became so astonished at the Imam (a.s.)’s behavior that he was unable to refute the Imam (a.s.)’s speech. He was perplexed and ashamed. He thought of a way to apologize to the Imam (a.s.) and to repair his sin, so he said to the Imam (a.s.): “Allah knows where He places His message!”
In this manner the Imam (a.s) was a model of noble humanity and symbol of great manners. Anger did not excite him, and the detested things did not bother him. He put before his eyes these words of Allah, the Exalted: “And not alike are the good and the evil. Repel (evil) with what is best, then lo! he between whom and you was enmity would be as if he were a warm friend.”2 He treated with kindness all those who mistreated him and harbored malice against him. He was patient with them and he pardoned them, to the extent that his bitter enemy, Marwan bin al-Hakam, admitted his high clemency and noble moral traits. That was when the Imam joined the Most High Comrade (Allah). Marwan hurried to carry his coffin. So Imam Husayn (a.s.), the master of martyrs, asked him:
- Today you are carrying his coffin while yesterday you bothered him?
– I did that toward him whose clemency was equal to mountains!
Imam Hasan (a.s.) was similar to his grandfather, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), in his abundant clemency, great good manners, and pardoning those who mistreated him. History has mentioned many examples of his noble moral traits indicating that he was on top of the moralists and those who took part in building ethics and good manners in the world of Arabs and Muslims