By brother Farid:
Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Raheem,
Not too long ago, I stumbled upon several historical reports that Al-Hassan and Al-Hussain took part in a few military expeditions during their early years. These historical reports seem to have been overlooked by most people and I believe that it would be a good idea to share some of my findings for the benefit of the readers.
– Both Al-Hasan and Al-Hussain were present in the army of Abdullah bin Abi Sarh according to Ibn Khuldoon in the year 26 AH. (Tareekh Ibn Khuldoon, 917)
– Al-Hassan and Al-Hussain were in the army of Sa’eed bin Al-Aas who invaded Tabristan in the year 30 AH. (Tareekh Al-Tabari, 2/765)
– Ibn Katheer narrates the same event through Al-Mada’inee. (Al-Bidaya wal Nihaya, 7/166)
– Al-Balathuri mentioned the names of Al-Hasan and Al-Hussain amongst those that were said to have fought under Sa’eed bin Al-Aas in Tabristan. (Futooh Al-Bildaan, 309)
– They were in the army of Sa’eed bin Al-Aas in the conquest of Jurjaan which ended without bloodshed. (Tareekh Al-Tabari, 2/765)
– Hamza Al-Sahami stated that Al-Hussain was involved in the conquest of Jurjaan, and mentioned that it is said that Al-Hasan was there as well. (Tareekh Jurjaan, 43)
– Khaleefa bin Khayyat narrated that Al-Hassan and Al-Hussain were defending Uthman during the day that he was killed and when Uthman asked his companions to leave, Al-Hassan was the last person that left. (Tareekh Khaleefa, 102)
Keep in mind, that the events above all occurred during the time of Uthman, through multiple sources. On the other hand, I failed to find any of this information in the books of the Shias that contain detailed information on the Twelve Imams. There is pretty much nothing about Al-Hassan or Al-Hussain from the death of the Prophet (pbuh) up until the time that Ali becomes the caliph. In any case, I will try to look harder for these in the future.
The above implies that there was a strong bond between the Sibtain (ra) and Uthman (ra). This is also a solid argument for those that say that Ali (ra) didn’t bother fighting during the reign of the first three caliphs because he didn’t believe in their legitimacy as caliphs, since logically speaking, he wouldn’t allow his sons to do so either.