Some people might think that Imam Al-Hassan(a.s.) was a pacifist. And some might even say that he was a weak person who did not respond to challenge. But those people have come to such conclusions because they studied the truce he made, but did not study what was before it.
I call on all researchers to study the personality of Imam Al-Hassan (a.s.), especially the elements of strength that distinguished all his character and the feeling of Islamic pride that his mind was characterized with.
When we read the letters he exchanged with Muawiyah, and compare them with the letters exchanged by his father and Muawiyah, we will not find any difference in their strength, sense of responsibility, awareness, Islamic pride and struggle for the cause of Islam. If you replace the name of Imam Al-Hassan (a.s.) with the name of Imam Ali (a.s.), you will see that the letters are Ali’s letters. This fact makes us discover in the personality of Imam Al-Hassan (a.s.), a person who is strong when it comes to the right, who challenges falsehood, and one who knows how to be violent in a debate without moving away from the Islamic line that calls for reconciliation on the basis of justice.
The Imam’s violent words were also responsible in such a way that you do not feel that he is driven by mere reaction. Therefore, Imam Al-Hassan (a.s.) was neither weak nor a pacifist who avoids any involvement in the struggle.
On the contrary, he was strongly involved in the struggle for the cause of the right that his father initiated, but the problem Imam Ali (a.s.) faced in his last days, which is the divisions in his army, returned more strongly in the army of Imam Hassan (a.s.).
The Imam (a.s.)’s Army:
A part of the Army or Imam Al-Hassan (The khawarij) joined him not because they loved him but because they wanted to fight Muawiyah at any cost. Another part was looking for the booties of the war. A third was driven by fanaticism and loyalty to their tribal leaders who were looking for money and power. A fourth part even included some of the Imam (a.s.)’s relatives, whom Muawiyah had bought. Those left the army without a leadership, and some of them sent letters to Muawiyah, telling him that they were ready to give him Al-Hassan (A.S.) dead or alive.
Therefore, Al-Hassan (a.s.) did not enjoy the same circumstances Imam Hussein had (a.s.). Any movement like that of Al-Hussein (a.s.) would have let to the ultimate 100% downfall of the opposition which the Imam(a.s.) wanted to preserve to ensure that the nation continued to be aware of the right.
Thus, the truce was not a recognition of the legitimacy of Muawiyah. It was rather a decision the Imam (a.s.) made having studied all circumstances including the nature of his army, that made him reach the conclusion the continuing the war would be counterproductive, even for the interest of the cause itself.
When you want to embark in a martyr operation and the like you have to study the consequences. If they are positive you will go ahead, but if they were not the operation would be against the cause and the Message.
That is why it was said that Imam Hussein (a.s.) revolution was an echo of Al-Hassan’s truce.
Consequently, we are against those who say that there is a Hassani peaceful attitude and a Husseini revolutionary one. Imam Al-Hassan’s attitude is a Husseini attitude in Al-Hassan’s conditions and vice versa. They both draw from the same principles.
Truce in Islam:
The decision of holding truce or going to war is an issue that provides us with a political awareness. But we have to remember that we should study it within the framework of the Islamic reality, since when there is a struggle and feud in the Islamic front, the supreme Islamic interest may be in holding peace, since the temple might fall on the heads of all.
This is what we understand from Ali (a.s.)’s words: “I’ll keep the peace as long as the affairs of Muslims are secured, and the only injustice befalls on me”. Thus, holding a truce is not a personal and psychological issue; it is an objective decision that takes the supreme Muslims’ interest into consideration.
And we have said that these decisions are made with respect to a struggle within the Islamic community, because some people have exploited the truce of Imam Al-Hassan(a.s.) to talk about a peace with Israel, just as they exploited the Hudaybiyah truce, to legitimise peace with Israel, knowing that the Messenger(p.) only made a truce with the unbelievers to prepare for the conquest of Makkah.
As for the truce of Imam Hassan(a.s.) , it is an internal Islamic truce for the best interests of Muslims whom the war had exhausted, and it was no longer able to produce anything to them.
Moreover, The Imam (a.s.) was planning for his brother’s revolution. Had he gone to war, both he and his brother, along with their families and companions, would have been killed, and there would have been no one to voice the Right.