The 15th of Ramadan is the birthday of Imam Hassan Mujtaba, the second Imam, the eldest grandson of the Prophet and the eldest son of Imam Ali and Lady Fatima. ‘Mujtaba’, ‘Ameen’, and ‘Tagi’ run among his titles. He was born in Medina on the night of the fifteenth of Raman in third year of Hijra. After the martyrdom of his father Ali he succeeded to the Imamat and caliphate in the fortieth year of Hijra.
The Sunni historians and the Shia historians are at parity in their writings about Imam Hassan. They say that he was the most pious, generous, charitable, and one of the greatest worshippers of his time. His piety, magnanimity, endurance, forgiveness, and kindness were an example of the time and a paragon praised by every lip. Imam Hasan’s personality stood only next to that of his grandfather the Prophet Muhammad. No other person attained that level.
About his worship it has been unanimously said that his body shivered with the fear of God when he stood to pray. He was all advertent and all attentive to God while forgetful of the world he was in. he performed twenty five pilgrimages to Mecca- all on foot and some even bare footed. Thrice he distributed all his belongings in charity to needy ones. He was kind even to animals. He was humble among poor ones. He was tolerant against his enemy and kind to him. One day a man from Syria objurgated him and behaved roughly with him. In reply Imam Hasan told him: “O Sheikh, I think you are a stranger? If you ask us (for money), we will give you. If you ask us for guidance, we will guide you. If you ask us to maintain you, we will maintain you. If you are hungry, we will give you food. If you are in need, we will grant your need. If you are homeless, we will lodge you.” The Imam (a.s) went on treating the Syrian man with kindness, that he might uproot evil and enmity from him. The Syrian old man became so astonished at the Imam’s behavior that he was unable to refute the Imam’s speech. He was perplexed and ashamed. He thought of a way to apologize to the Imam and to repair his sin, so he said to the Imam: “Allah knows where He places His message!”
Shiites mark the 15th of Ramadan which is the birth anniversary of Imam Hassan al-Mujtaba, by holding Iftar parties. In theose parties, sacred life of infallible Imam Hassan is narrated in prose and poetry as poets recite poems to eulogize the Imam and religious speakers highlight various aspects of holy life of Imam Hassan.
Taken from “15th of Ramadan” by Mohammad Reza Hakimi