When Muslims talk of whether Imam Hasan and Imam Husain (peace be upon them) were the rightful successors of Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), they should first discuss the merits of the two Imams (a.s.) vis-a-vis their opponents, to ascertain who was more deserving of leading the Muslim nation.
We delve on just one fundamental merit of Imam Hasan and Imam Husain (peace be upon them) with respect to their lineage on their mother’s side.
Lady Fatima Zahra (s.a.) makes all the difference
Even the enemies of Imam Hasan and Imam Husain (peace be upon them) confessed that with a mother like Fatima Zahra (s.a.) there was no way any Muslim could claim superiority over of them (a.s.).
Yazid’s father Muawiyah admitted in a gathering that included Imams Hasan and Husain (peace be upon them), Abdullah Ibn Abbas, Fazl Ibn Abbas and Abdullah Ibn Jafar that Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) daughter – Fatima Zahra (s.a.) was the reason behind the superiority of Hasanain (a.s.) over all others.
Muawiyah to Abdullah Ibn Jafar – the cousin of Imams Hasan and Husain (peace be upon them):
How deeply you respect Hasan and Husain?! They are not superior to you. And their father (Ali a.s.) is not superior to your father (Jafar al-Tayyar a.s.). And if their mother was not Fatima – daughter of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), I would have said your mother, Asma bint Umays, is superior to her.
- Al-Ghadeer v 1 p 400-402
- Kitab al-Sulaim v 2 p 834
- Behar al-Anwar v 33 p 265 onwards
When Muawiyah admits Imams Hasan and Husain (peace be upon them) are superior to all including Muawiyah by virtue of being from progeny of Fatima Zahra (s.a.), then how can he claim superiority over Imam Hasan (a.s.) in leadership by virtue of the peace treaty and how can Yazid claim superiority over Imam Husain (a.s.) by virtue of being Muawiyah’s successor?! Even if they have got away with usurping caliphate, how can the Muslims today claim superiority for these two tyrants over Hasanain (a.s.)?
Marwan Ibn Hakam confesses
Marwan Ibn Hakam, the stanch enemy of Islam exiled from Medina by Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) once confronted Imam Husain (a.s.):
Were it not for your honor in being Fatima’s (s.a.) son, you could not have attained supremacy over us!
- Manaqib Aal Abi Talib (a.s.) v 4 p 51
- Al-Ehtejaj v 2 p 299
- Madinal al-Maajiz v 3 p 497
- Behar al-Anwar v 44 p 206
Again, with this confession Marwan and his children – Bani Marwan cannot claim superiority in leadership over the progeny of Fatima Zahra (s.a.).
Yazid’s forces in Karbala confess
Likewise, in the battle of Karbala, Imam Husain (a.s.) delivered a sermon in which he put Yazid’s forces under oath:
I implore you for the sake of Allah – do you know that my mother Fatima (s.a.) is the daughter of Muhammad (s.a.w.a.)?
They said: Yes, by Allah!
- Al-Luhoof p 86
Hence the battle of Karbala was fought by Yazid and his forces knowing fully well that Imam Husain (a.s.) held a superior claim over others in leadership.
These are but some instances of enemies admitting to superiority of Imams Hasan and Husain (peace be upon them) in leadership by virtue of being direct sons of Fatima Zahra (s.a.). Hence their challenge to the Imams (a.s.) in leadership after acknowledging their superiority shows their naked greed for power. This is a clear sign for the Muslim nation that the Imams (a.s.) were all along worthy of respect and honour and caliphate given their merits, regardless of whether they were recognized as caliphs or not.