Inheritors of the Prophets: Hasan al--Basree

Surely this world is a place for actions. Whosoever associates with it considering its insufficiency and littleness succeeds in it and his relationship with it (the world) benefits him. But whomsoever associates with it with lust, passion and attachment is doomed and is put off from the favors of Allaah. Then it makes him succumb to the punishment of Allaah over which he does not have patience and over which he is not able.     

The affairs of this world are small, its earnings are tiny and its evanescence is decreed. Death has shown the reality of this worldly life. It did not leave any happiness for those who are wise ... "O son of Aadam! Trade your Dunya for your Aakhirah and you shall gain both. And do not trade your Aakhirah for your Dunya for you shall loose them both Two bad comrades are the dinar (gold coins) and the dirham (silver coins), they are useful to you only when they leave you." These are the wise words from someone who understood the reality of this world as described by Allaah, the Creator of the world and His Messenger (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) and practicsed by the Companions of the Prophet (RA).

This understanding dictated the pattern of his life so much that it was said of him: "No one is similar to the Companions of the Prophet (at his time) as he was". Al-Irnaam al-Basaree He is Abu Saeed ai-Hasan bn Yasaar al-Basaree. His mother Umm al- Hasan was a slave woman of Umm Salarnah; the wife. of the Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam). His father, Yasaar who was a slave captured in Meesan (between Basra and Waaset in Iraq) lived in Madeenah where he was liberated from slavery by Zayd bn Thaabit one of the famous scribes who recorded the Divine revelation for the Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam).

So al-Hasan was born in the house of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) in Madeenah just about two years before the second Khaleefah Umar bn al-Khattaab RA, was martyred. It was reported that Umm Salamah (RA) used to send Umm al-Hasan to do anything for her and al-Hasan would cry in his mothers absence; so Umm Salamah (RA) would put her breast into his mouth for some time before the mother comes. She would also bring him out to the Companions of the Prophet while he was still young. They would pray for him.

Once Umar Ibn AI-Khattaab (RA) was reported to have said: "O Allaah! Make him well versed in religion and make people love him." And so was it, al-Hasan al-Basaree was and as his name implies, the greatest scholar of Basra city at his time and was dearly loved by the people. Living amongst the Companions in Madeenah was a great blessing but living within the Prophetic household was a greater blessing for al-Imaam Hasan al-Basaree. He spoke of his experience mentioning his age at the time: "I used to enter the rooms of the Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alayhi wa salam) during the caliphate of Uthmaan; I would touch their ceilings for I was a grown up boy then. I was 14 years old when Uthmaan (RA) was killed," Thus, al- Imaam Hasan al-Basaree narrated ahaadeeth from a number of companions including Abdullah bn Abbass, Abdullah bn Umar, Abdullah bn Amr bn al-Aas Muaawiya bn Abee Sufyaan amongst others. (RA). 

Lessons From The Sahaabah

AI-Imaam Hasan al-Basaree on the authority of Anas bn Maalik narrated the following:"The Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam)used to give the Friday sermon while standing near a piece of wood against which he would lean his back. When the number of people increased in the mosque he said: Make a pulpit of two steps for me which they did. When the Prophet stood up to give the sermon on Friday the said piece of wood moaned as if it expressed its feeling of missing the Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam).

Anas comments: I was in the mosque and heard the piece moan. It continued to moan until the Prophet descended to it and embraced it. Then it was silent." As a matter of fact, whenever al-Imaam al- Hasan al- Basaree narrated this tradition he would cry and say: "O slaves of Allaah! A piece of wood misses the Messenger of Allaah! It is you who should do so. Rabeeah bn Kulthoom quotes al-Hasan al-Basaree as saying: "We leant from Abu Hurairah (RA) the following: The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) ordered me to do three things: "To take a shower every Friday, to finish my prayers nightly with one final prostration and to fast three days of every month. "

Anas bn Maalik (RA) said, The most senior amongst the Companions of Allaahs Messenger (salallaahu alayhi wa sallam) forbade us saying, Do not revile your rulers or act dishonestly with them, nor hate them and have taqwa of Allaah and be patient for verily the matter is.close at hand." All these were lessons al-Imaam al-Hasan al-Basree took from the Companions of Allaahs Messenger(RA).

Do Not Rebel

A group of Muslims came to al-Hasan al-Basree seeking a verdict to rebel against al-Hajjaaj (a tyrannical and despotic ruler at the time), so they said, "O Abu Sa'eed! What do you say about fighting this oppressor who has unlawfully split blood and unlawfully taken wealth and did this and did that?" So, al-Hasan said, "1hold that he should not be fought. If this is a punishment from Allaah, then be patient until Allaahs judgment comes" and He is the Best of Judges." So they left al-Hasan, disagreed with him and rebelled against al-Hajjaaj so al- Hajjaaj killed them all.

AI-Imaam Hasan al-Basree used to say, "If the people had patience when they were being tested by their unjust ruler, it will not be long before Allaah will give them a way out. However, they always rush for their swords, so they are left with their swords. By Allaah! Not even for a single day did they bring about any good," (Tabaqaat al-Kubraa) He also said, Verily, al-Hajjaaj is the punishment of Allaah. So do not repel the punishment of Allaah with your own hands.

But you must show humility, for Allaah the Most High stated, And indeed We seized them with punishment but they humbled not themselves to their Lord. Nor did they invoke (Allaah) with submission to Him.(Q23IMu:minun]:76)" (Minhaaj us- Sunnah). Encomiums based on the lessens he had acquired from the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) Khaalid bn Safwaan a close neighbor of al-Hasan al- Basaree, describing him once said: "I never saw a man like him.

His outward appearance is identical to his inner reallity, his words are identical to his deeds; if he enjoins what is right he is the first to do it, and when he forbids what is wrong he is the farthest one from it. I found him never in need of other people, but people were in need of him." Muhammad bn Saad wrote in his famous encyclopedia "At- Tabaqaat". "Al-Imaam al-Hasan al-Basaree was all embracing in his knowledge, a real scholar of a high standard, one who excels in jurisprudence, reliable as a source, trustworthy, a sincere worshipper,overflowing with learning, outspoken, beautiful and handsome. He was also one of the bravest men." Abu Jaafar Ar-Razi says: "I remained a student of al-Hasan for ten years during which I always heard something new".

His Death

AI-Imaam al-Hasan al-Basree died in the month of Rajab ..... at about 88 years of age. May Allaah repose his soul.


This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

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