Imam Hasan 'The Myth of his Divorces'
S. Saeed Akhtar Rizvi
Imam Hasan has been the victim of a most malicious propaganda for the last 1,250 years. He is portrayed as "fond of ease and quiet" by his admirers (Ameer Ali in "Spirit of Islam") and "the great divorcer" by his detractors (Willi Frischaurer in "The Aga Khans").
Before looking at individual reports, it is important to find out when this allegation was put forward, by whom and why.
After a thorough study of these reports, I have found that the first man known to accuse Imam Hasan of "marrying and divorcing" was the 2nd Abbasid Khalifa, Mansur, who because of his dynastic policies was bent upon belittling Amir al-Mu'minin `Ali and his descendants.
It will help the readers to know how Abbasids came to power.
As Ameer `Ali writes in "Spirit of Islam" (p.302), "the tragical fate of Husain and his children sent a thrill of horror through Islam; and the revulsion of feeling which it caused proved eventually the salvation of Faith ... It made the bulk of Moslems think of what the Master had done, and of the injuries which the children of his enemies were inflicting on Islam."
By the beginning of the 2nd century of Hijra, "Persia, Irak and Hijaz, which had suffered most from the atrocities of the Bani-Omeyya, were honeycombed by secret organisations for the over-throw of the hated family. The Bani-Abbas were the most active in the movement to subvert the Omeyyad rule, at first,.perhaps, from a sincere desire to restore to the Fatimids their just rights, but afterwards in their own interests." (Ibid, p.307.)
When Bani Hashim were planning to overthrow the Umayyad dynasty, they first secretly called a meeting of all members of the clan. They decided that, if they succeeded, they would make Muhammad, Nafs al-Zikiyya (Pure Soul) Khalifa. Muhammad was son of Abdallah son of Hasan Muthanna son of Imam Hasan. Among those who made the bia'a were Abu'l-Abbas (Saffah) and Mansur.
Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq remained aloof from all these activities and told Abdallah (father of Nafs al-Zakiyya) that his son would not succeed; that Mansur would sit on the throne instead. Abdullah did not like this frankness and accused Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq of envy!
Anyhow the slogan of Rida aal-Muhammad (to please the Descendants of the Prophet) proved a success and people gathered behind the agents of Bani Hashim, thinking that they wanted to remove Bani Umayya and install a descendant of the Prophet as Khalifa. Bani Umayya were overthrown in 132 A.H.