The Transfer of the Caliphate to Muawiyah and Its Transformation into a Hereditary Monarchy
After the death of the Calipha, the Imam Ali Ibin Abe Taleb(as), his first
son, the Second Imam Hassan Ibn Ali Abe Taleb(as), who is recognized by the
Shia as their 2nd Holy Imam, became the 5th Calipha.
This designation occurred to accordance with Ali's last will and testament and also by the allegiance of the community to Hassan.
But Muawiyah did not remain quiet before this event. He marched with his army toward Kufa, Iraq, which was then the capital of the caliphate, and began to wage war against Hassan. Through different intrigues and the payment of great sums of money, Muawiyah was able gradually to corrupt the aides and generals of Hassan.
Hassan relucantly makes peace with Muawiyah
Finally he was able to force Hassan to hand the caliphate over to him so as to avoid further bloodshed and misery, and to make peace. Imam Hasan thus handed the caliphate to Muawiyah on the explicit condition that the caliphate would be returned to him after the death of Muawiyah and that no harm would come to his Partisans.
In the year 40AH/661AD Muawiyah finally gained control of the Caliphate. He then set out immediately for Iraq and in a speech to the people of that land he arrognantly declared:
"I did not fight against you for the sake of the prayers or of fasting.
These acts you can perfom yourself. What I wanted to accomplish was to rule
over you and this end I have now achieved!"
He then added,
"The agreement I made with Hassan is null and void. It lies here, trampled under my feet."
With this declaration Muawiyah made known to the people the real character of his government and revealed the nature of tie program he had in mind.
He indicated in his declaration that he would separate religion from politics and would not give any guarantees concerning religious duties and regulations. He would spend all his force to preserve and to keep alive his own power, whatever might be the cost.
Obviously a government of such a nature is more of a sultanate and a monarchy than a caliphate and vicegerency of The Prophet of God(pbuh&hf) in its traditional Islamic sense. That is why some who were admitted to his court addressed him as 'King'!
He himself in some private gatherings interpreted his government as a monarchy, while in public he always introduced himself as the Calipha.
Naturally any monarchy that is based on force carries with it inherently the principle of inheritance. Muawiyah, too, finally realized this fact, and chose his own son, Yazeed, who was a just heedless young man without the least religious personality, as the crown prince and his successor.
This act was to be the cause of many regrettable vents in the future. Muawiyah had previously indicated that he would refuse to permit Hassan Ibin Ali(as) to succeed him as caliph and that he had other thoughts in mind. Therefore he had caused the Imam Hassan to be killed by poisoning, thus preparing the way for his son, Yazeed.
In breaking his agreement with Hassan Ibin Abe Taleb, Muawiyah made it clear that he would never permit the Shia of the "Holy Household" of The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf) to live in a peaceful and secure environment and continue their activity as before, and he carried into action this very intention.
It has been said that he went so far as to declare that whoever would transmit a hadith in praise of the virtues of the Household of the Prophet(pbuh&hf) would have no immunity or protection concerning his life, merchandise and property.
At the same time he ordered that whoever could recite a hadith in praise of the other companions or caliphs would be given sufficient reward. As a result a noticeable number of hadeeths were recorded at this time praising the companions, some of which are of doubtful authenticity.
He ordered pejorative comments to be made about Ali Ibin Abe Taleb from the pulpits of mosques throughout the lands of Islam, while he himself sought to revile Ali. This command continued to be more or less in effect until the caliphate of Umar Ibin Abd Al-Aziz when it was discontinued.
With the help of his agents and lieutenants, Muawiyah caused the elite and the most outstanding among the partisans of Ali to be put to death and the heads of some of them to be carried on lances throughout different cities.
The majority of Shi'ites were forced to disown and even curse Ali publicly and to express their disdain for him. If they refused, they were simply imprisoned, tortured and put to death. In short the
Shia were persecuted in more ways than one!
And why because they refused to sell their Religon of Islam and appease Muawiyah and the likes of him for their own selfesh whims and greed.
Taken from "Islam : the living religioun " web site.