In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
The Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT) and Politics
It has been narrated someone asked Imam Hassan (PBUH) about politics, and he replied:
“That politics includes the observance of the rights of God, and the rights of the alive and the dead; The rights of God consists of doing what He has ordered and avoiding what He has discouraged; the rights of the alive consists of fulfilling the duties towards the religious brothers and not hesitating to serve the faithful, and being earnest toward the ruler until he is earnest toward the people, and to shout against him if he leaves the right conduct; But the rights of the dead consists of telling their positive traits and not mentioning their faults and sins for they have a God who will judge them."(1)
In the view of the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT) the true politics that should prevail upon the Islamic territories is a politics based on common prudence, and it should seek to provide the means to spiritual and material social progress and to pursue its ideals.
Some of the most important goals that the family of the Prophet championed and is evident in the political conducts of Amir al-Mu'minin and Imam Hassan (PBUT) include:
Islamic politics, with all its concepts and peripheries, stands on the pillars of justice, and has an absolute inclination toward it, and concentrates all of its programs under its shade; to an extent to that if a ruler gets derailed from it he must quit; as Amir al-Mu'minin (PBUH) sacked a ruler because of the complaint of a woman called “Sudeh.”(2)
B) Straightforwardness and Honesty
The Islamic politics that the Family of the Prophet promoted is free from any hypocrisy and swindle. Politics, in the view of the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT) does not deceive the people with false promises and will not lead them to false hopes; however, in every plan it shows straightforwardness and honesty.
Imam Hassan (PBUH) used the same true method too, and never resorted to means against the religion; he said to Sulaiman Sard in this respect, “If I thought for the world and worked for it and tried, Mu'awiah wouldn’t be stronger and more effective than me; But I don’t think like you.” (3)
Imam (PBUH) at the same time shows in this discourse that if he worked for this world he would become victorious; however, he loved the observance and the guarding of the Islamic rules more than any other Muslim.
C) Meritocracy for the Rulers and Agencies
The politics of the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT) stands on the principle that the agencies of the Islamic state should be consisted of the best people in having merits, piety, ability and power for statecraft, in order to fulfill common prudence, and to promote genuine justice and merits among the people, and be credible, and use the wealth of the society for the welfare of it.
D) Military Service
The politics of the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT) never forced the people to join military service for sending them to the battlefields; however, they were invited to Jihad and reminded that Jihad is a divine duty. In this case, if the person goes to Jihad he has obeyed the order of God. But if he sits in his house he has disobeyed God, nevertheless he should not be threatened. Although Jihad is compulsory in the religion and the faithful person should take part in it, but he should do it voluntarily. Imam Hassan (PBUH) in the battle with Mu'awiah observed this rule too. However, Bani Umayyah used force and terror to gather armies. If Imam Hassan (PBUH), too, used force to gather armies, and punished the disobedient and those whom he doubted, the outcome of the war would be different. But he didn’t do so, rather he invited the people to Jihad. (5)
E) Financial Politics
The Islamic financial policy of the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT) was based on the expenditure of the common wealth for the common prudence and the regulation of the vital interests so that the shadow of wretchedness vanishes forever. They didn’t spend a coin in anyway except the common prudence.
If Imam Hassan (PBUH) did not follow this glorious path, and used the wealth of the Muslims, as Mu'awiah did, for the sake of the profits of the wealthy and powerful leaders of the tribes, Mu'awiah would never succeed. But Imam (PBUH) chose the safeguarding of Islam and the future of it, and continued the path of the Prophet (PBUH&HP) and his father (PBUH); the path that did not accord with anything except the right way of Islam and observed the equal share of each person in the common wealth.
Yes. Politics, from the viewpoint of the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUH), never rested upon the bases of deception, hypocrisy, chaos and unreal methods. It rather rests upon a clear method in all programs and goals in order for the justice to prevail.
(The above is a selection taken from “The Life of Imam Hassan (PBUH)”, by Hujjat al-Islam Muhammad Baqir Sharif Qurashi)
The Roshd Website congratulates all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon the arrival of the 15th of the Month of Ramdan, the birthday anniversary of the generous Imam, Imam Hassan al-Mujtaba (PBUH).
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1. Tazkirah Ma'lufiah
2. Iqd al-Farid, vol. 1, p. 211
3. Tasnzih al-Anbia' p. 171
4. For example Aubaid Allah Ziad who was the ruler of Jufah on behalf of Yazid, doubled the salary of the people of Kufah and acted rigorously against everyone who was not present in war.
5. Also Amir al-Mu'minin (PBUH) acted this way with his army in the battles of Jamal, Siffin, Nahrawan.