In some of the sources of the Ahl al-Sunnah, it has been mentioned that Imam Husayn opposed his brother in the peace treaty that he signed with Mu‘āwīyah. In the following article, we will research this issue and critique it from the perspective of authenticity and historical accuracy. From looking at the historical sources, it appears that Ṭabarī was the first to narrate this from ‘Uthmān ibn ‘Abd al-Raḥmān. He has written: ‘Uthmān ibn ‘Abd al-Raḥmān has narrated that Hasan ibn ‘Alī wrote to Mu‘āwīyah in regards to a peace treaty and asked for safety. Hasan said to Husayn and ‘Abdullah ibn Ja‘far (his cousin) that: I have written Mu‘āwīyah in regards to a peace treaty. Husayn responded: I ask you by God not to confirm Mu‘āwīyah’s story and not to deny ‘Alī’s story. Hasan said to him: Be silent, for I know what to do better than you. The following other historians have also mentioned this report: Ibn ‘Asākir in his book Tārīkh Damishq, Ibn Athīr in his book Kāmil Fī Tārīkh, Ibn Khaldūn in his book Tārīkh al-‘Ibr and Ḥamdullah Mastūfī in his summarized history text.
Answer: Muḥib al-Dīn Ṭabarī has narrated from AsmāÞ, the daughter of ‘Amīs that: Fatimah (‘a) gave birth to her son Hasan (‘a). The Prophet (s) came to visit me and said: Oh AsmāÞ, bring me my grandson. I brought him to the Prophet (s) while he was wrapped up in a yellow colored cloth. He unwrapped the child from the cloth and said: Did I not tell you not to wrap any newborns in a yellow colored cloth? AsmāÞ narrates: I wrapped the child in a white colored cloth. The Prophet (s) then took him and he recited the Adhān in his right year and the Iqāmah in his left ear.
Although the Ahl al-Sunnah do not look at Imam Husayn (‘a) as a divinely appointed Imam, yet, they have still narrated many reports in regards to his virtues and sublime characteristics and they do recognize that he was specially respected by the Prophet of Islam (s). We will narrate some of these reports, which can be found in the history books and the books of tradition of the Ahl al-Sunnah, below:
According to the sources that we have at hand, it is certain that the Night of Qadr was not exclusive to the time of the Prophet (s) and the region of the Ḥijāz. It is something that will continue forever and in all lands. This is something which is certain and there is no controversy regarding it. The main question here is whether the night begins during a specific and set time and then ends at a set time as well for all those on this earth.
There is no question that the Night of Qadr takes place during the month of Ramaḍān; the reason behind this certainty is that the verses of the Quran all express this understanding. For example, one verse states: “The Quran was revealed during the month of Ramaḍān.” Another verse states: “It was revealed during the night of Qadr.”
The verses of Surah Qadr appear to convey the meaning that the night of Qadr is not exclusive to the time of the Prophet (s) and the revelation of the Quran; rather, it is something that will take place each year and will continue until the end of this world. The present tense use of the word ‘sent down’ and the sentence structure of the verse stating: “It is peaceful until the rising of the dawn.” all show that this is something which will continue throughout time. In addition to the sentence structure of the verses of Surah Qadr, there are also many traditions (which may reach the rank of Tawātur) which confirm such a meaning.
There are many things to be said as to why the Night of Qadr has been named as such:
There is no question that the divine decree extends along with the level of our own efforts and hard work. The verses of the Quran have explicitly mentioned this issue: “and that nothing belongs to man except what he strives for” and “Every soul is hostage to what it has earned”.