Arabic: hassan
Other spelling: Hasan

Communal grave of 4 of the Shi'i imams.
Alleged communal grave of 4 of the Shi’i imams in MadinaSaudi Arabia. In the larger one, from left to right:
Ali Zayn al-Abidin;
Muhammad al-Baqir;
Jafar as-Sadiq.
The single is of Muhammad’s daughter, Fatima.

(Madina c.625-Madina 669) Second Imam of Shi’i Islam; eldest son of Ali.
Hassan is presented as the favorite of the prophet Muhammad, his grandfather, but he did not get along well with his father and brother, Husayn, after the death of his mother, Fatima, in 633.

With the death of Ali in 661, Hassan was proclaimed Caliph in Iraq by his followers. These followers were principally interested in ousting Syria from its position and wanted Hassan to start a war between Arabia and Syria.

All that resulted from this was a rupture between Hassan and the Iraqis. Hassan had been in a leading position in Iraq at first but lost this now.

As it turned out, Hassan’s main interest was to come to an agreement with the Caliph of Syria, Mu’awiyya. A pension was offered for both Hassan and Husayn, and, as a result of this, Mu’awiyya had both the Alid brothers off his back.

While Shi’i texts try to blame Mu’awiyya for the death of Hassan, these probably represent a falsification, since Hassan at the time of his death represented no danger whatsoever for the ruling Mu’awiyya — having been made passive 8 years previously and living far away, but under good control.

The most likely conclusion is that Hassan died of consumption, and after his death, his brother Husayn became the head of the Alids.


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