SHAFAQNA- Imam Hassan Askari (A.S) had a brief span of life, only twenty-eight years, but even in this short period, which was furled by a chain of troubles and tribulations, several high-ranking scholars benefited from his ocean of knowledge. He also stemmed the flood of atheism and disbelief. Imam Hassan Askari (A.S) was peerless in knowledge, forbearance, forgiveness, generosity, sacrifice and piety. During the seven years of his Imamate, due to untold restrictions placed upon him by the caliphate, he lived in hiding and dissimulation (taqiyyah). There was extreme repression at that time because the Shia population had reached a considerable level in both numbers and power. Everyone knew that the Shia believed in the Imamate, and the identity of the Shia Imams was also known. Therefore, the caliphate kept the Imams under its close supervision more than ever before. It tried through every possible means and through secret plans to remove and destroy them.
Under all circumstances, the Imams carried out their duties of guiding the people. Imam Hassan Askari (A.S) was subjected to numerous restrictions, and he did not have any social contact with even the common people among the Shia population. In order to solve this problem, the Imam appointed certain confidants as his deputies in view of their knowledge of jurisprudence. These persons satisfied the curiosity of inquirers as much as they could. But if they could not solve certain theological problems, they would keep them pending the acquisition of their solutions from the Imam (A.S) whenever they got the opportunity to see him. Of course, the visit to the Imam (A.S) by a few individuals could be allowed by the government but certainly not by groups who wished to see the Imam (A.S) on a regular basis. During their lifetime, the Imams trained many hundreds of scholars of religion and hadith, and it is these scholars who have transmitted to us information about the Imams.
Also, the caliphate had come to know that the elite among the Shia believed that the Eleventh Imam, according to traditions cited by him as well as his forefathers, would have a son who was the promised Mahdi (AJ). The coming of the Mahdi had been foretold in authenticated hadith of the Prophet in both Sunni and Shia sources. For this reason the Eleventh Imam, more than other Imams, was kept under close watch by the caliphate. The caliph of the time had decided definitely to put an end to the Imamate in Shi’ism through every possible means and to close the door to the Imamate once and for all. The eleventh Imam’s era was characterized by a notable growth in the Shia presence throughout the Muslim world. A secret network of representatives which was maintained during Imam Al-Hadi’s (AS) time was expanded widely under Imam Hassan Askari’s (A.S) direction.
– Imamate and the Imams, Ibrahim Amini
-The Life of Imam Hasan Al-‘Askari, Baqir Sharif al-Qurashi
-The Thirteenth Infallible the Eleventh Imam, World Organization for Islamic Services