Lecture by Mowlana Syed Aftab Haider on 20 June 2016 delivered at a special program for the Birth of Imam Hassan ibn Ali (a.s) at the Ahlul Bait (a.s) Islamic Centre, Ottery for the night of 15 Ramadaan 1437

On 15th Ramadaan we celebrate the birth of the first grandson of the Prophet (sawa) i.e. Imam Hassan ibn Ali (a.s).


This Imam was known as the honour (Kareem) of the Ahlul Bait (a.s) due to living a life wherein he displayed extraordinary kindness.

The uniqueness of his generosity is of such a standard that it puts our acts of generosity to shame. He is not known to just hand out food parcels like we proudly do, but his generosity was much more than that.

On one occasion he was offered a gift of many thousands of gold dinars by Muawiyah and Muawiyah specifically tried to taunt him by asking whether he would accept a gift from Muawiyah the son of Hind.

By emphasizing the fact that he was the son of Hind (who historically chew the liver of Sayyidina Hamza (r.a)), he sought to evoke the sad memories of the past.

In keeping with Prophetic tradition, Imam Hassan (a.s) accepted the gift.

BUT then he did something dramatic. He took the same gift of many thousands of dinars and said to one of Muawiyah slaves – will you accept this gift (the many thousands of dinars) from me, Hassan (a.s) the son of Fatima (a.s) and then gave it to him!

On one occasion he was asked why he never refused a beggar ever in his life. He replied that he was shy to reject someone who asked him as he himself was a beggar at Allah’s door and just like he would not like to be rejected when begging, so he cannot fathom the idea of rejecting the one who asks him.

Historical narrations have recorded that on at least two occasions, he gave away all his belongings in the Path of Allah.


In last night’s discussion on Surah Furqaan, we discussed how the Reward for Prophethood is that we should love and follow the Ahlul Bait (a.s) as this is the guarantee for our guidance.

And our following of the Ahlul Bait (a.s) extends to 12 Imams over a long span of time.

The Seerah of the lives of the 12 Imams provide us with unique guidance on how to deal with the differing dynamics of our own times.

Thus we see in the life of Imam Hussain (a.s) that he fights until he offers his last drop of blood in the path of Allah.

On the other hand, Imam Hassan (a.s) signs a Peace Treaty with his worst enemy.

How does one make sense of this?

Ayatullah Khamenei (May Allah protect him) says that if Imam Hussain (a.s) was in Imam Hassan (a.s)’s place, he would have done the same i.e. sign a Peace Treaty with his enemy and if Imam Hassan (a.s) was in Imam Hussain (a.s)’s place, he would have done the same i.e. give his life and die. Understand this!

It was not the individual Imam who was different to the other Imam – rather, they all had the same understanding of how to respond to the demands of your time – and they were EQUALLY revolutionary!

Thus Ayatullah Khamenei says that if Imam Hassan (a.s) did not sign the Peace Treaty with Muawiyah, then Karbala would not have happened wherein the evil nature of Bani Umayyah was finally revealed forever.

Thus the followers of the Ahlul Bait (a.s) are not meant to have empty slogans of revolution but need to realise that revolutionary ideals manifest differently under different conditions.

For Imam Hassan (a.s), entering into a Peace Treaty with Muawiyah was like drinking poison. His own friends referred to him as the one who “humiliated the believers” by signing this Treaty. How humiliated was he not – but he understood the purpose of his action. If he fought Muawiyah with his weak supporters, he would be crushed and tossed into the dustbins of history.

Thus we understand the narration of the Prophet (sawa) which is recorded in both Sunni and Shia books wherein it says that “Hassan and Hussain are both leaders, whether they standing to sitting.” In other words they are both equally leaders – whether they make peace or go to jihad – they MUST be followed.

Today, people are often also confused by decisions of our leaders which sometimes appear contradictory – when in one situation they decide to take a more passive stance and in another situation they call for us to be at the forefront of the battlefield.

But these stances are not contradictory, it is in keeping with the rich legacy of the Ahlul Bait (a.s) that our leaders make an evaluation of the unique circumstances we find ourselves in before taking a position.


The injustices committed against Ahlul Bait (a.s) was not against one person, but against all of them.

Starting from the very grandmother of Imam Hassan (a.s) – being Lady Khadija (a.s) whose demise we also commemorated in Ramadaan – the acts of jealousy committed against her after her demise are even recorded in the Quran.

We are informed that she was married once or twice before she married the Prophet (sawa) which is nothing but a fabrication – she was never married to anyone other than the Prophet (sawa).

We are told that she was an old lady of 40 years old when she married the Prophet (sawa), which is also a fabrication as she was in her mid 20’s when she married him.

Narrations of this nature were all aimed at reducing the status of Lady Khadija (a.s).

And similarly the narrations that exist about Imam Hassan (a.s) having been married so many times and having divorced so many times are all fabrications which were created during the time of Muawiyah to reduce the status of Imam Hassan (a.s).

And the impression that is created that Imam Hassan (a.s) was some weak person who feared to go to battle and thus made a Treaty with Muawiyah is another of those fabrications.

Anyone who wants to know the valour of Imam Hassan (a.s) should read about the Battle of Jamal wherein Imam Hassan (a.s) was at the forefront of Imam Ali (a.s)’s army.

For decades they cursed the Ahlul Bait (a.s) from the mimbars, yet the names of the Ahlul Bait (a.s) are alive as ever. While the ones who cursed them are not even known.


Besides the injustice committed against the Ahlul Bait (a.s), injustice continues to be committed against the followers of the Ahlul Bait (a.s) throughout the world. What is the crime of these people that they just get killed and tortured?

Until today, courts can’t find any ground why the mosque of Sheikh Zakzaky in Nigeria was demolished and why 1000 of his followers were killed. And why he remains incarcerated.

Did he curse sahabah? Did he do acts such as crimes against humanity like Boko Haram do?

And endless examples in different parts of the world can be mentioned.


And tonight we heard tragic news which causes one to feel that there is no Eid anymore to celebrate.

The Bahraini government did something amazing today by announcing that they have stripped the citizenship of most senior leader of the Shia community in Bahrain – Ayatullah Sheikh Isa Qassem.

Have you heard of something as ludicrous as this in modern times? Maybe this can be done to people who were born in another country and became naturalized in another place. But this man is born and bred in Bahrain, and more Bahraini than the very kings that rule this country!

So who or what is he now? Where must he go to? He has no identity document or passport!

And the supposed lame excuse is that he promotes sectarianism? What sectarianism? His lectures are on Youtube and anyone can listen to them to see if promotes sectarianism.

And the party that he represents, which represents the majority of the people of Bahrain which is the Wafaq Party, has been banned.

And Sheikh Ali Salman from the Wafaq party who is in prison has been given an extended prison sentence of 9 more years.

Ayatullah Isa Qassem is the most senior leader in Bahrain and the official representative of all the leading Maraji. Today we have seen how the majority of the ulama in Bahrain have rallied in front of the home of Ayatullah Isa Qassem with their kaffan on their shoulders and offering their life for the Sheikh.

And tonight, while we supposed to be celebrating the birth of Imam Hassan (a.s), we condemn in the strongest terms the clampdown against Shia through out the world, particularly this latest development in Bahrain.