Al-Hasan, peace be on him, performed the hajj on foot twenty- five
times. When he mentioned death, he wept.
When he mentioned the grave, he wept. When he mentioned the resurrection, he wept. When he mentioned crossing the sirat (a kind of
bridge which only the righteous can cross on the road to Paradise), he
wept. When he mentioned the standing before Allah, the Great and
Almighty, he fainted. When he mentioned Paradise and Fire, he shock as
the sick person did. So he asked Allah to make him enter Paradise and to
protect him from Fire.
When al-Hasan performed an ablution for prayers, he shock all over
and his face became pale.
Al-Hasan, peace be on him, shared his property with Allah three
times. He gave people from his property twice in the way of Allah, the
Exalted. He mentioned Allah, the Great and Almighty, in all conditions
whether pleasant or otherwise.
They (the historians) said: “He (al-Hasan, peace be on him) was the
best of all people in worshipping Allah and refraining from the life in
Al-Hasan’s ethics were excellent examples for people. So everyone respected him. Everyone loved him when he associated with him. When
his friend or his enemy heard him talking or delivering a speech, he was
sorry that he (al-Hasan) would end his talking or his speech.
In his book, vo1.8, p. 37, b. Kathir has reported on the authority of b.
al-Zubayr, who said: “By Allah, no woman has born (a baby) like al-Hasan b. ‘Ali.”
Muhammad b. Ishaq said: “After Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him
and his family, no one had a high social position as al-Hasan b. ‘Ali had.
(Mats) were spread out at the door of his house. When he came out and
sat, the street was over crowded. So no one of Allah’s creatures could
pass to show respect for him. When he knew that, he stood up and
entered his house. So the people could pass.”
Al-Hasan dismounted his camel on the road to Mecca, so all those who
saw him dismounted their camels. Also Sa’ad b. Abu Waqqas dismounted his camel and walked beside him.
Ibn `Abbas caught the stirrup for al-Hasan and al-Husayn, peace be on
them, and arranged their clothes. So Mudrik b. Ziyad said to him: “You
are older than them, so why do you catch the stirrup for them?” Ibn
“`Abbas said: “Woe unto you! Do you know who they are? They are the
grandsons of the Apostle of Allah. What a great blessing is that Allah has
made me catch the stirrup for them and arrange their clothes!”
Although al-Hasan, peace be on him, had a high social rank, he was
kind to people. One day he passed by poor persons. The poor persons
were sitting on the ground. There were pieces of bread before them.
They were picking up the pieces of bread and eating them. When they
saw al-Hasan, peace be on him, they said to him: “Son of the Apostle of
Allah, come to lunch!” So he dismounted his camel and said: “Indeed,
Allah does not love the proud.” He began eating with them. Then he invited them, so he gave them food and clothes.
The following are some examples about al-Hasan’s generosity: A man
came to him and asked him for a need. He (al-Hasan) said to the man:
“Write your need on a piece of paper and submit it to me.” The man submitted his need to him. He (al-Hasan) doubled the man’s need. So some
of those who were sitting with al-Hasan said to him: “Son of the Apostle
of Allah, the blessing of the piece of paper was great for the man.” So alHasan said: “Its blessing for us is greater, for Allah has made us appropriate for doing good. Do you not know that doing good should be optional, namely without request. As for him whom you give after the request, you give him after he has lost face. He may spend his night restless and sleepless. He rocks between despair and hope. He does not
know whether he will face a sad answer or a glad success. He comes to
you while he shakes all over and his heart is afraid (of you). Then if you
met his need through losing face, that (losing face) would be greater than
what he has obtained from your favor.”
Al-Hasan, peace be on him, gave a poet (some money). So one of those
who were sitting with him said to him: “Glory be to Allah! Do you give
the poet who disobeys the Merciful (Allah) and tells lies?” Al-Hasan,
peace be on him, said: “Servant of Allah, the best of your money is what
you spend to protect your dignity. It is an act of kindness to avoid the
A man asked al-Hasan, peace be on him, for a need. So al-Hasan gave
the man one thousand dirhams and five hundred dinars and said to him:
“Fetch a carrier to help you.” The man fetched a carrier. So al-Hasan gave
the carrier his cloak and said: “This is the wage of the carrier.
A Bedouin came to al-Hasan, peace be on him, and asked him for a
need. So al-Hasan said: “Give him all the money in the safe.” There were
twenty thousand dirhams in the safe. All the money was given to the Bedouin, so he said: “My master, do you not let me tell you about my need
and praise you?” Al-Hasan, peace be on him, began saying:
Our gifts are many
The hopeful enjoy them.
Our selves give generously before the request
For fear of losing face.
Al-Mada’ini said: “Al-Hasan, al-Husayn, and `Abd Allah b. Ja’far went
out. However, their luggage went before them. So they became hungry
and thirsty. They saw an old woman sitting in a tent. They asked the old
woman for water. She said to them: `Milk this ewe.’ They did. Then they
asked her for food. She did : `I have nothing but this ewe. Let one of you
slaughter it. So one of them slaughtered and skinned it. Then she grilled
some meat of the ewe for them. They ate the meat and took a nap at the
old woman’s tent. When they got up, they said to her: `We are a group of
people from Quraysh. We want to go through this direction. When we
come back, visit us. For we will do good for you.’ Then they went away.
When the old woman’s husband came, she told him about her entertainment. Her husband said: `Woe unto you! You have sacrificed my ewe for
people whom you do not know, then you say that they are from Quraysh.’ Days passed. The old woman’s condition became worse. So she departed till she passed through Medina. Al-Hasan, peace be on him, saw
her and recognized her. He said to her: `Do you know me?’ `No,’ she
answered. He said: `I was your guest on the day so- and- so.’ Then he
gave her one thousand ewes and one thousand dinars, and he sent her to
al-Husayn, peace be on him. Al-Husayn gave her like that (number) and
sent her to `Abd Allah b. Ja’far. The latter gave her like that (number).”
A Hashimite man and an Umayyad quarreled with one another (about
generosity). The Hashimite man said: “My people are more generous
(than yours).” The Umayyad one said: “My people are more generous
(than yours).” The Hashimite man said to the Umayyad one: “Go and ask
ten of your people (for money)” The Umayyad man went and asked ten
of his people (for money). Each one of the ten people gave him ten thousand dirhams. In the meantime the Hashimite man went to al-Hasan b.
‘Ali. So al-Hasan gave him one hundred and fifty thousand dirhams.
Then the Hashimite man went to al-Husayn. So al-Husayn asked him:
“Had you asked anyone for money before me?” “I had asked al-Hasan,”
answered the Hashimite man. Al-Husayn said: “I cannot give more than
what my master (al-Hasan) has given you.” Then al-Husayn gave the
Hashimite man one hundred and fifty thousand dirhams. Then the
Umayyad man came back with one hundred thousand dirhams from ten
people, while the Hashimite man came back with three hundred thousand dirhams from two people. So the Umayyad man became angry and
returned the money to its owners who received it. Meanwhile the
Hashimite man went to al-Hasan and al-Husayn to return the money,
but they refused to accept it. Then they said: “We do not mind whether
you take the money or throw it away on the road.”
One day al-Hasan, peace be on him, saw a black boy. The black boy
was eating a piece of bread and giving a piece of bread to his dog. So alHasan said to him: “What has made you do this?” “I feel shame of my
dog when I eat and do not feed him,” answered the black boy. Then al-
Hasan said to him: “Do not leave your place till I come to you.” At that
moment al-Hasan went to the black boy’s master. He bought the black
boy and the wall (the garden) where he lived. He (al-Hasan) freed the
black boy and made him possess the wall.
The traditions about al-Hasan’s generosity are numerous, but we do
not intend to mention them all.
As for al-Hasan’s clemency, it was as heavy as the mountains, as Marwan said concerning al-Hasan.
Al-Hasan, peace be on him, renounced worldly pleasures very much.
So Muhammad b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn b. Babawayh, who died in the year
381 A.H., wrote a book. He called the book `Zuhd al-Hasan.’ How an
outstanding merit was that al-Hasan renounced all life in this world for
the sake of the religion!