When the Ahle Bait (a.s.) rejected Yazid’s marriage proposal

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The opponents of Ahle Bait (a.s.) and their followers are quick to draw fictitious matrimonial relationships between the usurpers of caliphate and the Ahle Bait (a.s.) to prove that the Ahle Bait (a.s.) were not only pleased with the former but even accepted their authority as rightful leaders.


Nothing can be further from the truth than to suggest that the Ahle Bait (a.s.) were pleased with the usurpers and married off their children to them.

When the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) did not marry off his beloved daughter Fatima Zahra (s.a.) to the usurpers, where is the question of his sons (a.s.) entertaining proposals of an unholy matrimony with them?

In an interesting incident, we learn how the ruler of the time approached the infallible Imam (a.s.) with a marriage proposal and how the Imam (a.s.) turned him down.

Imam Hasan (a.s.) rebuts Yazid’s marriage proposal

After the martyrdom of Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.), Muawiyah grabbed power unjustly and became the ruler over all the Muslim lands.

Through Marwan, who had recently been appointed as Governor of Medina, he sent a letter requesting for the hand of the daughter of Abdullah Ibn Jafar (nephew of Ameerul Momineen a.s.) for his son Yazid. Muawiyah’s letter specified that he would be willing to offer any sum as dower as demanded by the girl’s father and repay any sum of money as debt. More importantly, he saw the marriage as a mode of reconciliation between Bani Hashim and Bani Umayyah.

Marwan on receiving the letter of proposal approached Abdullah Ibn Jafar.

Abdullah Ibn Jafar said:  The choice of my daughter is with Imam Hasan Ibn Ali (a.s.), you can propose for my daughter to him.

Marwan approached Imam Hasan (a.s.) and made a proposal for the daughter of Abdullah.

Imam Hasan (a.s.) said: Invite all those you deem fit from both Bani Hashim and Bani Umayyah and then propose.

Marwan duly complied. When they assembled, he rose in this midst and after praising Allah declared:

Muawiyah has ordered me to propose Zainab – daughter of Abdullah Ibn Jafar – for Yazid son of Muawiyah with these conditions:

  1. We accept unconditionally the dower fixed by the father
  2. We will repay the debt (of the father), regardless of the amount
  3. This marriage will be the cause of reconciliation between Bani Hashim and Bani Umayya
  4. Yazid Ibn Muawiyah is a person without equal. By Allah, you will gain more honour by associating with Yazid (through marriage) than Yazid will gain by associating with you!
  5. Yazid is the one with whose blessing rain is sought!

Then he fell silent and reclined in his seat.

Thereafter, Imam Hasan (a.s.) after praising and glorifying Allah the High replied to Marwan:

  1. As for the dower, we will not cross the limits and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) in fixing the dower of the daughter of the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) relatives. 
  1. With regards to the payment of the debts of her father, since when are our women a cause of debt for the father that such a demand becomes a part of proposal? 
  1. As for reconciliation between Bani Hashim and Bani Umayyah –

فَإِنَّا عَادَيْنَاكُمْ لِلَّهِ وَ فِي اللَّهِ فَلَا نُصَالِحُكُمْ‏ لِلدُّنْيَا

‘Then surely our enmity with you is for Allah and in the way of Allah so we will not reconcile with you for the sake of the world (marriage).’

  1. As for your claim that we (Bani Hashim) are honoured by existence of Yazid more than Yazid (Bani Umayyah) is honoured by our existence, we say – if the position of caliphate is higher than the position of Prophethood (which is not the case), then Yazid is a source of honour and pride for us. But if the position of Prophethood is higher than caliphate (which is surely the case), we are a source of honour and pride for Yazid.
  2. As for your claim that it is with Yazid’s blessings that rain is sought from the skies, then this position is reserved only for Muhammad (s.a.w.a.) and his progeny (a.s.). It is through them that rain is sought from the skies.

Our betterment in this matter is to marry the daughter of Abdullah to her cousin Qasim Ibn Muhammad Ibn Jafar and we will proceed with this decision….

Marwan said: O Bani Hashim, is this the way you come face to face with us and rebut us word for word and explicitly reject our proposal?

Imam Hasan (a.s.) retorted: Yes! Each one of these replies is a rebuttal to your words.

Marwan despaired with these words and wrote to Muawiyah about the incident.

Muawiyah retorted: We proposed to them but they replied in the negative. Had they proposed to us, we would definitely have given a positive response.”

  • Behaar al Anwaar, vol. 44 pp. 119-120, H. 13, Chapter 107

The incident is a pointer to the fact that the Ahle Bait (a.s.) never entertained a marriage proposal from the caliphs, the enemies and those antagonistic to the Ahle Bait (a.s.).

  1. Not only their own daughters, the Ahle Bait (a.s.) rejected proposals even for daughters of their cousins or any member of Bani Hashim, for that matter.
  1. So if Imam Hasan (a.s.) is not in favour of marrying off Abdullah Ibn Jafar’s daughter to Yazid, where is the question of Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) marrying off his own daughter (Umm Kulthum) to an usurper?
  1. Muawiyah’s claim that he wanted to join relations with Bani Hashim is mere deception. He was only interested in showing the Islamic world that the Bani Hashim / Ahle Bait (a.s.) are with him and have accepted his authority. Today, this is exactly what the enemies are saying about Umar’s so-called marriage with Umm Kulthum bint Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) that the Ahle Bait (a.s.) were pleased with Umar and had accepted his right to caliphate (we seek refuge in Allah!).
  1. Had Muawiyah and Yazid been sincere in joining relations with the Bani Hashim, they would not have terrorized them repeatedly, as evidenced particularly in Karbala.
  1. The enemies of Shias take exception to the Ahle Bait (a.s.) being taken as Waseelah. But here we see that Muawiyah considers his son Yazid as the Waseelah through which rain is sought! So the actual problem over here is that the enemies do not have an issue with Waseelah per se, they just don’t like the idea of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) as a Waseelah. They have no problem if Yazid is taken as a Waseelah!
  1. The Ahle Bait (a.s.) are a Waseelah through which bounties like rain are sought. It is a fact accepted by scholars of both sects. Also, it is their status that invites bounties so it does not matter if they are dead or alive, since status is permanent and does not fluctuate with life and death. Didn’t the ‘lifeless’ shirt of Yusuf (a.s.) cure his father? Doesn’t the ‘lifeless’ stone – Hajare Aswad – witness the pilgrimage and covenant of Muslims?
  1. Imam Hasan (a.s.) is clear that he has no desire to join relations with the enemies of Islam for the sake of the world. This is a clear message to certain Shias of Imam Hasan (a.s.) who are not only keen to join relations with the Shias of Muawiyah for worldly gains, but even entertain the ridiculous notion of forging an ideological unity with them. When Imam Hasan (a.s.) never forged such a unity, how can their Shias hope to achieve it or even entertain such a thought?
  1. Imam Hasan (a.s.) by turning down the marriage proposal has shown the way to Shias when it comes to spouse selection. The most important consideration for marriage should be the hereafter and not wealth or worldly status. The love of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) should be the uppermost criterion for spouse selection. Shias can never enter into matrimony with those who have rejected the Ahle Bait (a.s.) and have taken others as their leaders.

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