Born in Madina 15th Ramazan 3rd year of Hijri. Elder son of Ali and Fatima, grandson of the Prophet of Islam. When he was born and the news of the birth of a grandson was conveyed to the Holy Prophet he came to the house of Fatima, took hold of the baby in his arms, said Azan and Iqamah in his ears and said, this is a beautiful child, I name him Hasan. He will keep Islam and muslims safe from the hands of its destroyers. Historians note that this child looked like his grand father the Holy Prophet in looks and in manners.
Under the blessed shadow of the Holy Prophet Hasan was receiving his training from the most blessed parents on earth . Coming to the mosque of the Prophet, listening to the Sermons of his grand father and seeing Islam prosper was the lesson one can never forget. Whenever he came to the mosque ,the Holy Prophet would pick him up, would let him sit beside him and let the attentive companions see and behold who this boy was. They all loved his presence in the mosque and cared for him. Time soon passed and Hasan(AS) was hardly 8 years old when his grand father died and soon after his mother also died. The next 25 years of his life in Madina was with his father Ali (AS) and with his younger brother Hussain(AS). This was the period in which conquests of many lands took place and the city of Madina and its people prospered. His father or any member of the family of the Prophet did not take any hand in these conquests. They remained aloof but not from the growing muslim society. Their main aim was to teach and prepare this fledgling into a mature muslim society for harder times ahead. Wealth was pouring in from the conquests of Egypt and Persia and many companions of the Prophet did not know what to do with it or how to spend it properly. Many companions built large houses for themselves with stables and servants. What Ali(AS) and his family did was to form a Trust and whatever share of prosperity came to them they put all into this Trust. It is through this Trust those who did not have much to gain from this prosperity were given to have a decent life. Both children of Ali (AS) were the Trustees of this holy trust and with the help of many senior companions of the Holy Prophet the workings of this trust prospered and many new converts were helped to settle themselves in this new society. Every evening food was served to many of those who were not in a position to provide for themselves. While the family of Ali(AS) lived in small house and without any pomp or luxury for themselves. This was the example they were setting for all to see and follow that even when you have become rich you share your bounties with other muslim brothers and sisters to make the society equally prosperous and happy.
In these 25 years Hasan (AS) has seen the Islamic State grow into a much larger and more powerful muslim nation. After the death of the 3rd Caliph Osman his father Ali(AS) was elected caliph by a popular vote of the companions of the Holy Prophet. But soon there emerged those who wanted a lot of favour from Ali(AS) and when they did not get it they stood against him. The battle of Jamal was fought and won by Ali(AS) and the capital of the muslim state was removed from Madinah to Kufa. Kufa was established during the reign of the 2nd caliph as a garrison town and was much more central to the vastly growing muslim Empire than Madinah. This was a very prudent move to give a better control over all corners of this growing muslim state which stretched from North Africa in the West, to Persia and Azerbaijan in the East. Ali (AS) has appointed his own trustworthy Governors of the provinces but none of them from his own family. All his children stayed with him at the centre or in Madinah to control the Trust he had formed earlier or to join in the battles of Jamal, Siffin and Nahrwan fought during the life of the Khilafat of Ali(AS) Hasan (AS) took part with his father in all these battles and shown the customary Hashemite bravery and skill in defeating the enemy. In these battles the real adversary of Ali(AS) and his family was Moswiya ibne Abu Sofian who challenged Ali’s authority and fought with him to remain the governor and later the ruler of the province of Syria. His atrocities against the rule of Ali(AS) continued even after the near defeat at Siffin. After the martyrdom of Ali (AS) in the mosque of Kufa in 41 Hijri and the election of Hasan (AS) as the next caliph was a thorn in the heart of Moawiya. His propaganda machine against the House of Ali (AS), in fact against Islam, began its work in earnest. Large sums of money and fraudulent promises of vast properties and governorships of provinces were given to many commanders of Hasan’s(AS) army who deand left Hasan(AS) without much power.
One salient feature one must remember when reading about the lives of these Masoomeen that they never waged war for acquisition of wordly power. It was therefore the hallmark of Imam Hasan ‘s(AS)life that making peace was his share in the same manner as the Prophet of Islam did in Hodaibiya. Some unfortunate companions of the Prophet doubted even him of his wisdom to make peace to which the Prophet replied," he was the messenger of God and his instructions always come from God." When people in Madinah disagreed with Imam Hasan’s attitude and questioned his wisdom he replied that his actions were similar to that of Prophet Khidhr who acted to save on three occasions the lives and property of Orphans and many believers of God. Even Prophet Musa was unable to comprehend the wisdom of those actions until this was explained to him. As the tradition tells us that" in the blood of martyrs lies the ink of history "and often bedazzled by the heroic splendour of their sacrifices, we forget the many occasions when the greater Jihad has lain along the path of peace than war. His confrontation with Moawiya demanded a treaty rather than blood and Imam’s victory lay in that treaty and in the preservation of those faithful muslims whose premature death in battle at that time would have extinguished the light of Islam original.
It was the life of Imam Hasan (AS) that paved the way for his younger brother’s glorious stand. They were two sides of the same coin, one on living the Jihad of peace and the other the Jihad of martyrdom. Both acted out their paths fully, bearing the banner of their blessed grandfather, in uncompromising defence of Right and in denial of evil. They joyfully praised their creator in happiness and in adversity, submitting to His Divine laws and leaving for us an example of correct behaviour both in peace and in war.
Here were two brothers who from their cradle breathed the air of pure spirit of Islam, nurtured by the love of the Prophet in whose close company they spent their early years. It was the Holy Prophet who said that both “Hasan and Hussain are the chiefs of the youth of paradise”. Several traditions from his mother and from Umme Salemah,the wife of the Prophet, clearly indicates that Imam Hasan (AS) was one of those five who were included in the Verse of purification (33-33)” Certainly Allah wants to keep away all abomination from you, members of the house, to keep you pure and spotless.” The Prophet then covered them with a garment and said,” these are the members of my house. Allah, keep away abomination from them and keep them pure and spotless.” It was also during the occasion of Mubahela that the Prophet took these five with him to show the world who were the members of his household (Ahlulbayt).
It is reported on the authority of Anas bin Malik that no one was more like the Prophet of God than Al-Hasan bin Ali. (AS)
source : GREATER SINS by Ayatullah-ul-Uzma Sayed Abdul Husain Dastghaib Shirazi (r.a.)