Martyrdom of Imām al Ḥasan (a.s.)

Martyrdom of Imām al Ḥasan (a.s.)

It should be noted that there is difference of opinion regarding the date of Imām al Ḥasan (a.s.)’s martyrdom. Some say that it occurred on the seventh of the month of Ṣafar fifty Hijrah, while others say that it took place on the twenty-eighth of the same month. There is also difference of opinion regarding his age, but what is renowned is that he was forty-seven years old. To this, the author of Kashful Gummah1 quotes from Ibn Khashshāb from Imām Muḥammad al Bāqir (a.s.) and Imām Ja’far al Ṣādiq (a.s.), that the age of Imām al Ḥasan (a.s.) during his death was forty seven years, and the difference between him and his brother Imām al Ḥusain (a.s.) was a period of pregnancy, while the period of pregnancy of Imām al Ḥusain (a.s.) was six months. Imām al Ḥasan (a.s.) stayed with his grandfather, the Messenger of Allāh (s.a.w.a.), for seven years, after him with (his father) Amīrul Mu’minīn (a.s.) for thirty years and after his father’s martyrdom for ten years.

Quṭubuddīn al Rāwandī relates from Imām Ja’far al Ṣādiq (a.s.), that Imām al Ḥasan (a.s.) would inform his family saying, “I shall be killed by means of poison, similar to the Messenger of Allāh (s.a.w.a.)”. They asked as to who would perform this task and he (a.s.) replied, “My wife Ja’dah bint Ash’ath bin Qays.2

  • Shaikh ‘Alī bin ‘Īsā al Irbīlī (d.692) (translator)
  • Imām Ja’far al Ṣādiq (a.s.) said, “Ash’ath bin Qays was a partner in shedding the blood of Amīrul Mu’minīn (a.s.), while his daughter Ja’dah poisoned Imām al Ḥasan (a.s.), and his son Muḥammad participated in shedding the blood of Imām al Ḥusain (a.s.) (at Karbalā’)”. (Shaikh Rādhī Āl Yāsīn, “Sulḥul Ḥasan”) (translator)

her to give it to me”. They said, “Then expel her from your house and distance her from yourself”. He (a.s.) replied, “How can I expel her from the house when the act has not occurred from her. And if I expel her, none other would kill me and she would have a pretext near people that I expelled her without any crime”.

After some time, Mu’āwiyah sent abundant wealth for Ja’dah, along with a killer poison, and sent her message saying, “If you poison Ḥasan (a.s.), I shall send you a hundred thousand dirhams and marry you to my son Yazīd”. Thus, she decided to poison Imām al Ḥasan (a.s.).

One day Imām al Ḥasan (a.s.) had fasted, it was a very hot day, while thirst had an effect upon him (a.s.) and he was very thirsty during the time of breaking fast. Ja’dah prepared a drink from milk, mixed the poison in it and gave Imām (a.s.) to drink.3 When Imām al Ḥasan (a.s.) drank it, he realized that it was poisoned and said, “Verily we are Allāh’s and verily unto Him shall be our return”. Then he (a.s.) praised Allāh (s.w.t.) upon transferring him to the immortal world from the mortal world and meeting his grandfather (s.a.w.a.), parents (a.s.) and Ja’far and Ḥamzah, his paternal uncles. Then he (a.s.) turned towards Ja’dah and said, “O enemy of Allāh (s.w.t.)! You have killed me, may Allāh (s.w.t.) kill you. By Allāh (s.w.t.)! You shall not reach your goal after me, while the person (Mu’āwiyah)

It is related in books, that Imām al Ḥasan (a.s.) was poisoned several times, the historian Al Ya’qūbī relates that he was administered poison three times, while Ibn Abil Ḥadīd relates from Al Madā’enī that he was poisoned four times, but he (translator) has deceived you. May Allāh (s.w.t.) disgrace you both through His punishment”. Then Imām (a.s.) remained in pain for two days and then joined his Eminent Grandfather (s.a.w.a.) and Exalted Father (a.s.).

As Imām (a.s.) had predicted, Mu’āwiyah did not honour his promise with her. According to a report, he gave her the money that he had promised her, but refused to marry her to Yazīd, saying, “The one who has not been faithful to Ḥasan (a.s.), shall also not be faithful to Yazīd”.

Shaikh al Mufīd relates, that when a peace-treaty was concluded between Imām al Ḥasan (a.s.) and Mu’āwiyah, Imām (a.s.) left for Madīnah and continuously controlled his anger and sat in his house, awaiting the command of his Allāh (s.w.t.). Ten years of the rule of Mu’āwiyah passed away and he desired to take the pledge of allegiance (Bay’ah) for his son Yazīd. However, since this was against the terms of the treaty entered into with Imām al Ḥasan (a.s.), for this reason, and also the admiration and honour that Imām (a.s.) held in the eyes of the people, he feared him. Ultimately, he made up his mind to kill Imām al Ḥasan (a.s.). He called for a poison from the Roman king1 and sent it along with a hundred thousand dirhams for Ja’dah bint Ash’ath bin Qays and promised to her that if she poisoned Imām al Ḥasan (a.s.) by it, he would marry her to Yazīd. Hearing this, she was overcome with greed for wealth and the false promise and therefore poisoned Imām al Ḥasan (a.s.) in a drink. Imām (a.s.) remained sick for forty days, while the poison had continuous effect upon him. Ultimately, he passed away in the month of Ṣafar, the fiftieth year of Hijrah, while his age was forty-seven years. His Caliphate (Khilāfah) lasted for ten years, while his Mu’āwiyah persistently asked for a fatal poison from the Roman Initially the King abstained from sending him the poison, but Mu’āwiyah lured him into believing that, “I need it for a person who has revolted at Tihāmah to vanquish the pillars of polytheism, disbelief and ignorance. He has warned the kings of the people of the books to kill them. While you possess that fatal poison”. (Sayyid Manḍar al Ḥakīm, “Sibṭul Akbar”) (translator)

brother Imām al Ḥusain (a.s.) administered his last rites, bathing and shrouding, and buried him near their grandmother Fāṭemah bint Asad at Al Baqī’.

It is quoted in the book Al Iḥtijāj (of Amīnul Islām al Ṭabarsī) that a man came to the presence of Imām al Ḥasan (a.s.) and said, “O son of the Messenger of Allāh (s.a.w.a.)! You have bowed our necks and have made us, the Shī’ah, slaves of Banī Umayyah”. Imām (a.s.) asked him the reason and he replied, “For the reason that you handed over the caliphate to Mu’āwiyah”. Imām (a.s.) replied, “By Allāh (s.w.t.)! I did not find helpers and if I had some, I would have fought him day and night, until Allāh (s.w.t.) would decide between him and me. However, I recognized the people of Kūfah and put them to trial, and ultimately recognized that they would be of no avail to me. There is no sincerity in their oaths and promises, and no credence upon their speech and character. Their tongues are with me, but their hearts are with the Banī Umayyah”.2 He spoke these words and suddenly blood oozed from his mouth. He called for a pan and vomited in it. Blood continuously flowed from his mouth until the pan was filled with it. The narrator says, that I told him, “O son of the Messenger of Allāh (s.a.w.a.)! What is this”? He (a.s.) replied, “Mu’āwiyah had sent poison and I was administered it. The poison reached my liver, while the blood that you see in the pan, are pieces of my liver”. I asked him why he did not take medicine and he (a.s.) replied, “Two times before also I was administered poison and I treated it, while this is the third time and cannot be treated”.

As per the narrative of Shaikh al Ṭūsī and others, when Imām al Ḥasan (a.s.) was poisoned, and when

  • A similar statement has been found regarding the people of Kūfah in the life of Imām al Ḥusain (a.s.). It is stated that, when Imām al Ḥusain (a.s.) reached Ḍātul ‘Irq, he met Bishr bin Gālib, who was coming from ‘Irāq, and inquired from him regarding the state of the people He replied that, “I have seen the people in a state that their hearts are on your side, but their swords are with Banī Umayyāh”. (Shaikh ‘Abbās al Qummī, “Nafasul Mahmūm”; etc.) (translator)

the effects of death manifested in him, Imām al Ḥusain (a.s.) came up to his head and asked, “O brother! How do you find yourself”? Imām (a.s.) replied, “I find myself in the first day among the days of the Hereafter, and in the last days among the days of this world. I know that I cannot gain precedence upon the prescribed time, and that I shall go to the presence of my father (a.s.) and grandfather (s.a.w.a.). I despise your separation and the separation of my friends and brothers; and I seek forgiveness of Allāh (s.w.t.) for such words. Rather I desire to leave to meet my grandfather, the Messenger of Allāh (s.a.w.a.); my father Amīrul Mu’minīn (a.s.); my mother Fāṭemah al Zahrā’ (s.a.); and my uncles Ḥamzah and Ja’far. Allāh (s.w.t.) is a substitute for all the deceased ones, His reward is a pacifier for all troubles and He provides for all departed ones”. He (a.s.) then continued, “O brother! I have seen (pieces of) my liver in the pan,1 I recognize the one who administered it to me, and its motivator. Then I if reveal to you, what shall you do with the person”? Imām al Ḥusain (a.s.) replied, “By Allāh (s.w.t)! I shall put him to death”.

Then Imām al Ḥasan (a.s.) continued, “In that case I shall not reveal to you until I meet my grandfather, the Messenger of Allāh (s.a.w.a.). But O brother, note down my testimony as below: This is the testimony from Ḥasan bin ‘Alī bin Abī Ṭālib (a.s.) to his brother Ḥusain bin ‘Alī (a.s.). That I bear witness of the Unity (Tawḥīd) of Allāh (s.w.t.), Who has no associate. While He is worthy of worship and has no partner in His Divinity. There is also no partner in His Dominion. He is in no need for an assistant or aid. He has created

1 It is also related that Imām al Ḥasan (a.s.) said, “O Ḥusain! Take away the pan, lest our sister Zaynab may see it, as also other daughters of Amīrul Mu’minīn (a.s.)”. (Shaikh Muḥammad al Hindāwī, “Silsalah Majma’ Maṣā’eb Ahlalbait”; Fādhil al Ḥayāwī, “‘Uddatul Khaṭīb”; etc.) (translator)

everything and fixed destinies for everything. He is the Worthiest to be worshipped among the Deities, the Most Rightful to be praised and glorified among the praised ones. The one who obeys Him, shall prosper; the one who commits sin and disobeys Him, shall be astray; while the one who repents, shall find guidance towards Him. Then I testify and enjoin you O Ḥusain (a.s.) regarding those that I leave behind me, among my family, my children and your family. You should overlook the faulty ones among them and accept the favours of the righteous ones among them. You shall be my substitute towards them and a merciful father. Then bury me with the Messenger of Allāh (s.a.w.a.), since I am worthier (to be buried) near him and his house, than those2 who entered his house (buried therein) without his permission, when Allāh (s.w.t.) has forbidden it. Thus He (s.w.t.) says in His Book, O you who believe! Enter you not the houses of the Prophet unless it is permitted to you3 By Allāh (s.w.t.)! The Messenger of Allāh (s.a.w.a.) did not permit them to enter his house in his lifetime without his permission, while they are not authorized even after his (s.a.w.a.)’s death. However, we have obtained permission and hold authority upon that which has reached us as inheritance from him (s.a.w.a.). O brother! If that woman4 prevents (me from being buried near the Messenger of Allāh), I swear you upon the right of kinship (towards me), that no blood should be spilled upontheearthinmyfuneral, until Imeetthe Messenger of Allāh (s.a.w.a.) and complain to him regarding what I had to forebear from people after his death”.


  • He meant Abū Bakr bin Abī Quhāfah and ‘Umar Ibnul Khaṭṭāb, who lie buried close to the Messenger of Allāh (s.a.w.a.) without his consultation or permission (translator)
  • Holy Qur’ān, Sūratul Aḥzāb: 53
  • He meant Ā’ishah bint Abī Bakr (translator)


Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: The zaaer (pilgrim) of Imam Husain (a.s.) turns back (from his pilgrimage) such that not a single sin remains upon him.