A Lesson in Unity

Hasan radhiallahu anhu was the eldest son of Ali radhiallahu anhu and the granson of Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa sallam. When his father passed away, Muslims of Kufa pledged allegiance to him as the fifth Khalifah (ruler). In the meantime, Muawiyah radhiallahu anhu had taken the pledge from the people of Syria as Khalifah. Muawiyah radhiallahu anhu felt he was the unopposed Khalifah of the Muslim Empire. When he heard that the people of Kufa had pledged allegiance to Hasan radhiallahu anhu, he sent an army and a message to Hasan radhiallahu anhu to accept him as the new Khalifah. Hasan radhiallahu anhu addressed his followers saying: ‘O people! I take an oath by Allah the Almighty that I do not hate anyone. I prefer unity and harmony over disunity and enmity.’

Hasan radhiallahu anhu responded to Muawiyah radhiallahu anhu’s overtures of peace by saying he was prepared to hand over rule to him as long as he ruled according to the Qur’aan and Hadith. A peace treaty was signed and Hasan radhiallahu anhu pledged allegiance to Muawiyah radhiallahu anhu. Muawiyah radhiallahu anhu asked him to address the crowd and Hasan radhiallahu anhu said: ‘O Muslims! I greatly detest violence and disunity. In order to ensure peace in the Ummah (community) of my venerable grandfather Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam and to avoid any Muslim bloodshed, I have entered into a peace treaty with Muawiyah radhiallahu anhu and accept him as Khalifah. If the Khilafat was his rightful post, he has got it; and if it is my rightful post then I have handed it over to him.’

This high-ranking personality handed over the highest office in the land to attain peace, and thus ended 10 years of civil unrest raging in the Muslim Empire in just six months without bloodshed. He taught us an everlasting lesson in diplomacy and leadership.