The Life of Imam al-Hasan al-Askari

The Life of Imam al-Hasan al-Askari0%

The Life of Imam al-Hasan al-Askari Author:
Translator: Abdullah al-Shahin
Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum
Category: Imam al-Askari

The Life of Imam al-Hasan al-Askari

Author: Baqir Sharif al-Qarashi
Translator: Abdullah al-Shahin
Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum
Category:

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The Life of Imam al-Hasan al-Askari

The Life of Imam al-Hasan al-Askari

Author:
Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum
English

THE LIFE OFIMAM AL-HASAN AL-ASKARI

Study And Analysis

By: Baqir Shareef al-Qurashi

Translated by: Abdullah al-Shahin

حياة الإمام الحسن العسكري (ع)

THE LIFE OF IMAM AL-HASAN AL-ASKARI

Author: Baqir Shareef al-Qurashi

Translator: Abdullah al-Shahin

Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum

First Edition 1426 – 1384 - 2005

ISBN: 964-438- -

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED AND RECORDED FOR THE PUBLISHER

Email: ansarian@noornet.net

www.ansariyan.org & www.ansariyan.net

Table of Contents

Dedication. 7

Introduction. 9

Birth and upbringing. 11

The Imam’s Noble Lineage 11

His Father 12

His Mother 12

The Great Newborn Child. 13

Ceremonies Of Birth. 13

His Name And Surname 13

His Epithets 13

His Mien. 13

His Upbringing. 13

God-Fearing. 14

With His Father 14

The Death Of His Brother 15

With His Brother Al-Husayn. 15

The Loss Of His Father 16

To The Paradise 16

His Worship. 18

His Prayer 18

His Qunut 18

His Du’a In The Morning. 18

His Ideals 20

His Knowledge 20

His Patience 21

His Strong Will 21

His Generosity. 21

High Morals 21

Infallibility. 23

His Imamate 23

The Traditions On His Imamate 24

From The Signs Of His Imamate 26

Impressions about him. 29

His letters 33

Words of light 39

The Preference Of The Ahlul Bayt (A.S) 39

His Recommendation To His Adherents 39

A Valuable Advice 39

Preaching. 40

Pondering On Allah. 40

Wisdom Of Fasting. 40

Dispraising The Hypocrites 40

Pious And Impious 40

Wonderful Short Maxims 40

With the Holy Qur’an. 43

The Tafsir Ascribed To Him. 44

Those Who Depended On This Tafsir 44

The Sanad Of This Tafsir 44

Defects 45

His traditions and jurisprudence 47

The Interest Of The Ulama In His Traditions 47

Traditions On Religious Rulings 47

His companions and the narrators of his traditions 51

The age of the imam. 75

The Economical Life 76

Incomes Of The State 77

Violence In Collecting The Land Tax  77

Increasing The Kharaj 78

Appropriating The Wealth Of The State 79

Great Gifts To Bondmaids 79

Abundant Gifts To Poets 79

Palaces 80

The Luxury Of The Abbasid Women  80

The Wretchedness Of The Public 80

The Imam’s Situation. 81

The Political Life 82

Oppressing The Alawids 82

The Imam’s Amulet 82

Persecuting The People Of Qum. 83

Oppression And Tyranny Of Viziers 85

Internal Revolts 86

The Revolt Of Yahya. 86

The Revolt Of The Negroes 86

The Revolt Of Sham. 86

The Domination Of The Turks On The Rule 86

The Religious Life 88

Refuting Al-Kindi 88

Refuting A Monk. 88

Liars And Fabricators 89

Amusement And Diversion. 89

The kings in the age of the imam. 91

Al-Mutawakkil 91

His Characteristics 91

His Enmity Towards The Alawids 92

With Imam Al-Hadi 93

The Death Of Al-Mutawakkil 94

The Reign Of Al-Muntasir 95

The Reign Of Al-Musta’een. 96

His Spite Towards The Imam. 96

Arresting The Imam. 96

Fright Of The Shia. 96

The Deposition Of Al-Musta’een. 97

The Reign Of Al-Mu’tazz 98

The Deposition Of Al-Mu’tazz 99

The Reign Of Al-Muhtadi 100

The Reign Of Al-Mu’tamid. 101

To the better world. 102

Appointing IMAM Al-Mehdi As The Next Imam   103

The Imam Comforts Himself 104

Assassinating The Imam. 104

The Government Confusion. 105

To The Best Of Abodes 105

In His Last Abode 105

The Date Of His Death. 106

THE ZIYARAH OF IMAM AL-HASAN AL-ASKARI 107

The Common Ziyarah of Imam al-Hadi and Imam al-Askari 127

Prayer for Imam al-Hasan al-Askari 130

Reference books 131

Notes 134

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH

THE ALL-BENEFICENT, THE ALL-MERCIFUL

Dedication

To the pioneer of the human intellect,

To the establisher of human civilization,

To him who has filled the world with virtues and knowledge,

To the imam and teacher Ja’far as-Sadiq,

I offer humbly and reverently to his highness this effort about his grandson Imam Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) who had raised the banner of truth and justice in the world of Islam, and I hope it will be accepted.

THE AUTHOR

Introduction

In The Name Of Allah, The Beneficent The Merciful

Imam Abu Muhammad al-Hasan bin Ali al-Askari (a.s.) is the eleventh imam of the infallible imams of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s) who carried the banner of Islam, undertook the goals of the true religion, sacrificed their lives into its way, and accustomed themselves to face disasters, difficulties, and hardship to spread the high values and goals of this religion… and how many favors they had done to Muslims!

This great imam had intellectual, scientific talents and powers that made him one of the genius men of the human intellect, as he was one of the heroes of history by his resisting the different events and his standing against the deviate, oppressive Abbasid rule. He rebelled against the corruptive regimes and spared no effort in achieving truth and justice among people.

Imam Abu Muhammad (a.s.) was like his fathers in his tendencies and aims. They all were like each other in reaching the highest ranks of virtue and perfection.

In his wide knowledge, he was nonesuch at his time. Historians say that he was the most knowledgeable one in the religious verdicts and affairs and that all scholars and ulama of his age were in need of him to ladle from the fount of his knowledge and sciences.

He was the most devoted, pious worshipper of all people of his time. He preferred the obedience of Allah to everything. He was the most patient and forbearing one. He suppressed his anger and pardoned whoever did him wrong. He was the most generous, the kindest to the poor, and the most charitable to the needy. He appointed agents in many countries of the Islamic world entrusting them with the distributing of the legal dues, which came to him, among the poor and the weak of Muslims to get them out of their poverty and deprivation, whereas he himself lived like the poor. He paid no attention to the pleasures and desires of this life like his fathers who turned their backs to this world and turned completely towards Allah and the afterworld.

Historians mention that all people glorified and honored Imam al-Askari (a.s.) and acknowledged his virtue and preference to all of the Alawids and the Abbasids at his time. When the imam (a.s.) came to the Abbasid royal palace, every one of the attendants stood up and bowed glorifying him. Viziers, clerks, army leaders, and all statesmen regarded him so highly. Al-Fat~h bin Khaqan, the prime minister of al-Mutawakkil, preferred Imam al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) to all eminent scholars and ulama and acknowledged that no one had the virtues and qualities that the imam (a.s.) had at that time.

It was natural that the nation, with all classes, regarded and glorified Imam Abu Muhammad (a.s.) for they saw his guidance, piety, righteousness, asceticism, loyalty to the truth, and devotedness to Allah. They were certain that he was the caliph of Allah in the earth and the only representative of his grandfather the great Prophet (a.s.). In addition to that, Imam al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) undertook the fatal issues of the Islamic nation and defended the rights of Muslims. He criticized the rulers of his time for wronging people and disregarding their rights. Therefore, the nation glorified him and acknowledged his necessary leadership.

The Abbasid kings became displeased when they saw and heard that the masses glorified Imam al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.), and that great numbers of Muslims believed in his imamate and thought that he was worthier of the caliphate than the Abbasids who had no quality that might make them fit for the Islamic caliphate. Spite against the imam (a.s.) filled the hearts of the Abbasid rulers who took severe procedures against him. They imposed economical blockade against him, and put him under house arrest in Samarra’. They surrounded him with policemen and detectives to watch even his breaths. They subjected every one who contacted with him to severe punishments. This was-as I think-the reason that made just few narrators narrate traditions from him, and so not many maxims, literatures, and religious rulings were transmitted from him.

There was another very sensitive reason that led the Abbasids to watch Imam al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) strictly. It was that Imam al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) was the father of Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi (a.s.) the awaited savior and reformer who would fill the world with justice, and would destroy oppressors and oppression. The Prophet (a.s) and his guardians gave good tidings, and told the nation that this savior would spread political, social justice in the earth, and all Muslims of different trends believed in that. Therefore, the Abbasids were afraid of that and thought that he would remove their rule and authority. They spread spies on Imam al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) to know his son. They sent female spies to see which of his wives would give birth to a male baby to be taken away, but Allah the Almighty made the pregnancy and the birth of Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.) unknown as He had made the birth of Prophet Moses (a.s.) unknown to the Pharaoh.

This book studies the age of Imam al-Askari (a.s.) and all its events. The study of the age is necessary because it sheds lights on the intellectual, social, economical, political life of that age, and naturally it has direct influence on the life of one who lives in that very age, besides that it uncovers the dimensions of his life and personality and the extent of the influence of the events of that age on him.

The book shows the economical life of that age which was neither sound nor stable but confused and paralyzed. The Abbasid governments at the age of Imam al-Askari (a.s.) did not achieve ease for people or the noble life that Islam wanted for the nation. Excessive wealth was accumulated in the possession of the members of the Abbasid family, statesmen, and their agents. They spent lavishly. They appropriated the treasures of the earth while the majority of the Muslim peoples suffered poverty and deprivation besides the pains, sufferings, and subjugation they faced from the government officials in collecting the land tax and other taxes.

We have also presented a study on the kings of the age of Imam al-Askari (a.s.). Most of those kings were insignificant and ineffective. They submitted to their lusts and desires and were fond of maids and songstresses. Their red nights were full of erring. They were indifferent to what Allah had ordered the guardians of Muslims to do in order to better the general life of the nation, to offer the necessary services for people, and to find equivalent opportunities for all citizens. However, most Abbasid kings did nothing of that. Rather they appropriated the wealth of Allah for themselves and took the people of Allah as slaves. They ran the nation violently and oppressively. They entrusted the Turks, who were harsh, ignorant, and unaware of administration and politics, with absolute authority over the nation, and they sank the nation into seditions and disasters.

Loyalty imposes on a researcher who researches in history to look into the historical facts with accuracy and scrutiny. Many historical facts and events were mixed together, distorted, or fabricated because some historians intended to overlook the errors of some kings and rulers. They tried to praise them with noble epithets and good qualities that they did not have, whereas, in fact, those kings and rulers were the worst tyrants who threw the nation into an abyss of oppression and corruption, and exploited the economy of the state for their own pleasures and fancies, and afflicted the public with poverty and wretchedness. It is neither from fidelity nor from truth to regard those tyrants with the eye of holiness and sacredness and to trust in them as ideal personalities. It is too necessary to study the Islamic history thoughtfully, impartially, and away from any fanaticism. Authors must write just for the truth and the good of the nation.

Also, in this book, we have mentioned a group of jurisprudents, scholars, and narrators who narrated traditions from Imam Abu Muhammad al-Askari (a.s.) and took from his knowledge and sciences. This is necessary-as I think-because it completes the research on the noble personality of the imam (a.s.) for it shows the extent of his association with the men of knowledge and their association with him at that critical period where the Abbasid government put the imam under severe watch, and punished whoever associated with him. This confinement affected the imam (a.s.) and caused him much pain, because nothing would be more painful to the genius and talented persons more than preventing them from showing their knowledge and sciences and transmitting their opinions and ideas after them.

And here, I find it from gratefulness and loyalty to the great efforts of the grand Allama my brother Sheikh Hadi Sharif al-Qurashi who went through some reference books concerning the subject of this book besides his useful directions and valuable instructions. I pray Allah to reward him with the best of His reward that He rewards His loyal people with.

Holy Najaf
Baqir Sharif al-Qurashi

Birth and upbringing

The Imam’s Noble Lineage

Imam Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) was from the heart of the prophetic family by which Allah had honored the Arabs and Muslims. It was the holiest family that had undertaken the issues of truth and justice among all peoples of the earth. There was, is, and will be no lineage in this world like this noble lineage which Imam al-Askari (a.s.) belonged to.

He was the son of Imam al-Hadi bin[1] Imam Muhammad al-Jawad bin Imam Ali ar-Redha bin Imam Musa al-Kadhim bin Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq bin Imam Muhammad al-Baqir bin Imam Ali Zaynol Aabidin (as-Sajjad) bin Imam al-Husayn bin Imam Ali bin Abu Talib (peace be on them). These were the infallible imams of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s) whom Allah had kept uncleanness away from and purified a thorough purifying, and whom the Prophet (a.s) had made as the boat of rescue and safety for people.

His Father

His father was Imam Ali al-Hadi (a.s.), the tenth imam of the Shia. He was from the masters of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s) and the most knowledgeable, pious, and virtuous of all people at his time.

His Mother

His mother was the best of women at her time in her chastity, purity, and piety. Historians say she was from the good knowing women.[2] Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) praised her by saying, ‘Saleel (her name) was purified from error, defect, and impurity.’[3]

She was a bondmaid[4] from an-Nawbah.[5] It did not harm her that she was a bondmaid, for man in the view of Islam is exalted by his guidance, piety, and propriety, and he is degraded by deviation from the right path.

Historians disagreed on her name. Some of them said her name was Saleel which was the most correct according to the previous tradition of Imam al-Hadi (a.s.). Some said she was called Sawsan.[6] Others said her name was Hadithah,[7] and others said Hareebah.

The Great Newborn Child

The birth of the newborn boy, Abu Muhammad, the descendant of prophethood and the remainder of imamate, made the world shine and made Yathrib (Medina) and Samarra’ bloom. This great newborn baby was the continuity of the life of his infallible fathers who lit the intellectual life in the world of Islam. Delight and joy filled the hearts of the Prophetic family for they knew that he would be the imam after his father as Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) had told them.

Some historians said he was born in Medina,[8] and some others said in Samarra’.[9] Historians also gave different dates for his birth. It was said that he was born in Rabee’ al-Awwal[10] 230AH,[11] or 231,[12] or 232,[13] or 233.[14]

Ceremonies Of Birth

After the birth of this blessed son, Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) recited the azan in his right ear, and the eqama in his left ear. This was the first hymn that this blessed newborn baby met life with; “Allah is great, there is no god but Allah”.

On the seventh day after birth, Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) cut the hair of his newborn child and gave silver or gold as much as the weight of his son’s hair to the poor as charity.

His Name And Surname

Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) named his blessed newborn child as al-Hasan like the name of his great uncle, the master of the youth of Paradise. He surnamed him as Abu Muhammad,[15] and Muhammad was the name of the awaited Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.), the great reformer and savior of humanity and the sought hope of the deprived and the disabled in the earth.

His Epithets

His epithets expressed his high and noble qualities. He was called:

1. Al-Khalis (the pure)[16]

2. Al-Hadi (the guide)[17]

3. Al-Askari (military);[18] he was called so because of the country (Samarra’) he lived in which was a military camp.

4. Az-Zakiy (pure, chaste, righteous)[19]     

5. Al-Khass (peculiar),[20] that Allah had distinguished him with virtues and with the responding to his supplications

6. As-Samit (silent),[21] that he was silent and he spoke just wisdom, knowledge, and the mention of Allah

7. As-Siraj (lamp),[22] that he was as a lamp lighting the way and guiding the deviant to righteousness

8. At-Taqiy (pious)[23]

His Mien

Ahmad bin Ubaydillah bin Khaqan said about Imam al-Askari (a.s.), ‘He was brown with big eyes, fine stature, beautiful face, and good body. He had gravity and solemnity.[24] And it was said he was between brown and white.’[25]

His Upbringing

Imam Abu Muhammad (a.s.) grew up in the house of guidance and the center of imamate and general authority of Muslims…that noble house which Allah had kept uncleanness away from its people and purified them thoroughly.

Ash-Shabrawi says about this exalted house, ‘What an honorable house it is and what a glorious lineage it is! It is the house of pride and exaltation. They are all equal in the noble root, in the good inners, and in glory like the teeth of a comb. How an exalted house it is! It has competed with the heaven in its highness and nobility, and has gone higher than the polestars in rank and position. It has all qualities of perfection that it is not excepted by “other than” or “except”. These Imams have been ordered in glory like the order of pearls, and harmonized in honor that the first of them equals the next. Many were those who strove to degrade this house but Allah exalted and still exalts it, and many were those who spared no effort to separate the unity of this house but Allah gathered and gathers it. How many rights of this house were lost but Allah does not ignore or lose…’[26]  

Educational studies say that house has great influence on the forming of man’s behaviors and the building of his personality. The good or bad scenes he sees inside the house are pressed inside him and shall adhere to him throughout his life. In the light of this fact, Imam Abu Muhammad (a.s.) got the highest scenes of the purest education. He grew up in a house that Allah had purified and exalted…that house that raised the Word of Allah high in the earth and offered dear sacrifices for the sake of Islam.

Imam Abu Muhammad (a.s.) grew up in the house of the Qur'an and the heart of Islam. His father Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) fed him with guidance and ideals to be the continuity of the mission of Islam.

God-Fearing

The distinct aspect in the childhood of Imam Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) was the fear of Allah. He was God-fearing since his early years. Historians mentioned that one day some man passed by Imam Abu Muhammad (a.s.) and saw him cry while he was with his fellow children. The man thought that this child cried for the toys in the children’s hands and that he could not participate in their playing. The man told the child that he would buy him what he might play with. The child said,

‘No! We have not been created for play.’

The man was astonished and said, ‘Then, what for we have been created?’

The child said, ‘For knowledge and worship.’

The man asked the child, ‘Where have you got this from?’

The child said, ‘From this saying of Allah(What! Did you then think that We had created you in vain) [27] .’

The man was astonished and confused. He said to the child, ‘What has happened to you while you are guiltless little child?’

The child said, ‘Be away from me! I have seen my mother set fire to big pieces of firewood but fire is not lit except with small pieces, and I fear that I shall be from the small pieces of the firewood of the Hell.’[28]

The faith in Allah was a part and an element of Imam Abu Muhammad (a.s.). He did not fear but Allah and this remained in him until the last moment of his life.

With His Father

Imam Abu Muhammad al-Askari (a.s.) spent a part of his life with his father Imam al-Hadi (a.s.). He did not part with him even in his travels. He saw in his father a true picture of the morals of his grandfather the messenger of Allah (a.s.) who had been preferred to all prophets, and saw in him the spirits of his fathers the infallible imams (a.s.). On the other hand, Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) saw in his son the natural continuity of the great imamate and general authority of the Prophet (a.s) and therefore he cared much for him. He praised him saying,

“My son Abu Muhammad is the best of the progeny of Muhammad (blessing be on him and on his progeny) in nature, and the most trustworthy in authority. He is the eldest of my children, and he is my successor and to him imamate and our verdicts get.”[29]

Of course, Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) was far above flattering or submission to emotions. He did not praise his son and announce his virtue unless he saw in him all noble aspects and high qualities. And it was so, because Imam Abu Muhammad al-Askari (a.s.) had all virtues and nobilities.

Imam al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) kept to his father Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) and saw what he suffered from the Abbasid kings especially al-Mutawakkil who spared no effort in oppressing Imam al-Hadi (a.s.). This tyrant was excessive in harming the Imam. He house-arrested him in Samarra’ and surrounded his house with policemen and detectives to watch him, and to prevent the ulama, jurisprudents, and the rest of the Shia from associating with him. Al-Mutawakkil also oppressed Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) in his living affairs, and ordered his men to search the house of the imam from time to time and take him to al-Mutawakkil in whatever state he was. It was al-Mutawakkil himself who had prevented officially the visiting to the holy shrine of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.), and ordered the shrine to be destroyed. All those terrible events took place before the eyes of Imam Abu Muhammad (a.s.) while he was yet in the early years of his youth. His heart was filled with pains and sorrows during the period he lived with his father.

The Death Of His Brother

Muhammad Abu Ja’far, the brother of Imam al-Askari (a.s.), was a wonderful example of the infallible imams and a true picture of their thoughts and principles. He was too intelligent, with high morals and very wide knowledge until many of the Shia thought that he would be the imam after his father Imam al-Hadi (a.s.).

Al-Aarif al-Kilani said about Abu Ja’far, ‘I accompanied Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin Ali since he was young. I saw no one purer, graver, or more honorable than him. Abul Hasan al-Askari (Imam al-Hadi) left him in Hijaz while he was a child and then he came to him a young. He kept to his brother Abu Muhammad (a.s.)[30] who educated him and fed him with his knowledge, wisdom, and morals.’

Abu Ja’far became seriously ill that might be because of poison inserted for him by the Abbasids. He remained some days suffering intolerable pains while his brother Imam Abu Muhammad (a.s.), who loved him too much, was with him all the time. However, after no long, Abu Ja’far left to the better world, but Imam Abu Muhammad’s heart was broken and he was very sorrowful and distressed for the loss of his dear brother.

With His Brother Al-Husayn

Al-Husayn bin Ali al-Hadi was a pure man of wide knowledge and high morals. He was always with his brother Imam Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) and they were called “as-Sibtayn”[31] like their two grandfathers Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn (a.s.). They were famous of this surname at that time. Abu Hashim said, ‘One day, I rode on my sumpter and said: ‘(Glory be to Him Who made this subservient to us and we were not able to do it) .[32] One of as-Sibtayn heard me say that and said to me, ‘You have not been ordered of this, but you have been ordered to remember the blessing of your Lord on you when you ride on it (on the sumpter).’[33]

The Loss Of His Father

Imam al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) suffered the great loss of his father and it was the heaviest calamity he had ever faced in his life.

The Abbasid tyrant al-Mu’tamid assassinated Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) by inserting poison into his food,[34] when he saw all people talk here and there about the virtues and vast knowledge and the high position of the imam. He was very angry and was filled with envy against Imam al-Hadi (a.s.). Then, he committed his terrible crime against him.

After the poison, Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) suffered terrible pains and retired to bed. The Shia and high statesmen visited him. Some poets visited him like Abu Hashim al-Ja’fari who composed a sorrowful poem on him. Abu Du’amah visited him and when he wanted to leave, the imam said to him,

‘O Abu Du’amah, you have a right on me. Do I tell you a tradition that shall delight you?’

Abu Du’amah said, ‘I am in utmost need of that O son of the messenger of Allah.’

Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) said, ‘My father Muhammad bin Ali told me from his father Ali bin Musa bin Ja’far from his father Ja’far bin Muhammad from his father Muhammad bin Ali from his father Ali bin al-Husayn from his father al-Husayn bin Ali from his father Ali bin Abu Talib that the messenger of Allah (a.s.) said to him, ‘Write down!’ Ali said, ‘What shall I write down?’ The messenger of Allah (a.s.) said, ‘Write down: “In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Faith is that which hearts acknowledge and deeds prove, and Islam is that which tongues witness and marriage becomes lawful with.’

Abu Du’amah said, ‘O son of the messenger of Allah, I do not know which of them is better; the tradition or the narrators!’

Ali al-Hadi (a.s.) said, ‘It is a book written down by the hand of Ali bin Abu Talib and the dictation of the messenger of Allah (a.s.) that we inherit one from the other.’[35]

Before his death, Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) announced that the imam after him would be his son Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.). He appointed him as the general authority for the Shia and entrusted him to prepare his corpse (after death), offer the prayer on him, and bury him. He entrusted him with other affairs too.

To The Paradise

The poison reacted inside the body of Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) and he grew weaker and weaker. Death approached him hastily, and when he felt his end, he turned towards the qiblah and began reciting some suras from the Qur'an. His pure soul went high to the heaven surrounded by angels while his lips and heart were busy mentioning Allah. The earth shook for the terrible disaster. The leader, the instructor, and the father of the weak and the deprived died! A bondmaid went out of the Imam’s house crying out, ‘It was terrible that which we have met on Monday before and now!’[36]

The women’s eyes were filled with tears after this alarming cry, and their memories went back to that Monday where the meeting of as-Saqifah[37] was held and since then disasters and misfortunes were poured over the Ahlul Bayt (a.s).

Imam Abu Muhammad (a.s.) washed the pure corpse of his father, and enshrouded it. Then he offered the prayer on his father while his heart was full of sorrow and pain for the great loss.

Samarra’ shook for the terrible affliction, and people of all classes hurried to escort the pure corpse of their imam. Stores, markets, and state offices were closed. Viziers, ulama, judges, high officials, and the rest members of the Abbasid family were before the bier while mentioning the virtues and high qualities of the imam and talking about the great loss that afflicted the Muslim nation. Historians said that Samarra’ had never seen such escorting throughout its history.

Under a halo of takbir and before masses of human beings who were like sea waves, Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) was put by his son Imam Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Askari, whose tears were flowing over his cheeks, into his last abode.

When Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) died, Imam al-Askari (a.s.) was twenty[38] or twenty-three years old.[39] He assumed the imamate and the general religious authority over Muslims while he was too young yet.

All elements of piety and righteousness, all virtues of this world, manners of prophethood, and qualities of imamate were gathered in Imam Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) whom there was no any one better than at his time. Here we talk in brief about his worship: