Islam’s 11th Imam

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SHAFAQNA – Imam Hasan al-Askari (as) lived a short life, only Twenty Eight years and in this short life he had to endure great sufferings by the hands of the Abbasid caliphs. But in spite of all that suffering and confinement under house arrest in Samarrah, many students of Islam benefited from his God gifted knowledge and later became scholars in their fields.

He discussed with agnostics of that age many times about the existence of God and the reasons for the necessity of the Prophets and Imams and many atheists changed their minds and converted to Islam. One of those was Ishaq al-kindi who was writing a book about contradictions in Qur’an. Imam invited some of his students and taught them lessons from the Qur’an.

These students of Al-kindi confronted their teacher and rejected his arguments about the contradictions in the Holy Book. Al-Kindi realized that these arguments could not have come from the brains of these young students. He asked them about the secret of their extensive knowledge of the Qur’an. In the end they confessed that Imam Hasan al-Askari taught them.

Kindi himself became the disciple of our Imam, burnt his own writings on atheism and later wrote many treatises on Islam.

Imam Hasan al-Askari (as) also dictated many Traditions of the Holy Prophet and recorded many explanations of the verses of the Holy Qur’an.

One of the famous traditions people learnt from Imam Hasan al-Askari was, “ The wine drinker is like an idolater.” Ibn al Jawzi in his book “Tehrim al Khamr” mentioned this tradition from the Imam from the most reliable narrators of Hadith.

Historians have noted many names of the Imam’s students who became scholars of their time

One of the famous students of the Imam was Abu ‘Ali al-Hasan ibn Khalid who prepared a commentary of the Holy Qur’an which should be considered the work of the Imam himself. The Imam used to dictate its contents to Abu ‘Ali who went on writing the commentary. Scholars indicated that the book consisted of 1920 pages.

In spite of the fact that the Imahad never given any cause for concern to the Caliphs of his time, their guilt in this matter was so great that they did not leave these pious personalities in peace. If they had no fear of their throne they were afraid of the excellence and knowledge of the Imams.

In the case of Imam Hasan al-Askari, the same type of jealousy led to the poisoning of the Imam to end this life of a saint whose only activity was to teach Qur’an as the Prophet and his Ahlul Bayt taught before him.

During the rule of Al-Mu’tamid poison was given to the Imam mixed in some fruit and he died on 8th Rabi-al-Awwal 260 Hijri. He left only one son, whose name was Muhammad who was only five years old when his father died.

The Caliph Al- Mu’tamid himself attended the funeral prayer. When they all lined up and were ready to commence the prayers, Imam Hasan al-Askari’s brother Jaafar stood in front of the people to lead the prayer. Before he could commence the prayer, a five year old boy came out of the house, went near his uncle.

Shook his mantle and told him, “set aside uncle, only an Imam can lead the funeral prayer of an Imam”. His uncle Jaafar stepped aside and this five year old boy lead the prayers. Immediately after the end of the prayer he went inside his house and was not seen by his pursuers, led by the caliph Mu’tamid himself.

Our Eleventh Imam was buried in the same house where he had died, by the side of his father Imam ‘Ali Naqi (as) . By the passage of time, the place was transformed into a great mausoleum and pilgrims from all over the Islamic lands came to pay their homage to the two Imams of Ahlul Bayt who were buried there.

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