Hasan al-Askari(a.s.) spent twenty-two years of his life
under the patronage of his father , Imam Ali Naqi
al-Hadi(a.s.) after whose martyrdom he became his
divinely commissioned Imam .
Hasan al-Askari(a.s.), the son of the Tenth Imam , was
born in 232 AH and according to some Shi`ite sources was
poisoned and killed in 260 AH through the instigation of
the Abbasid caliph al-Mu`tamid . The Eleventh Imam(a.s.)
gained the Imamate , after the death of his noble father
, through Divine Command and through the decree of the
previous Imams. During the seven years of his Imamate,
due to untold restrictions placed upon him by the
caliphate , he lived in hiding and dissimulation (
taqiyyah ) . He did not have any social contact with
even the common people among the Shi`ite population .
Only the elite of the Shi`ah were able to see him . Even
so , he spent most of his time in prison .
was extreme repression at that time because the Shi`ite
population had reached a considerable lavel in both
numbers and power . Everyone knew that the Shi`ah
believed in the Imamate , and the identity of the
Shi`ite 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 . Also ,
the caliphate had come to know that the elite among the
Shi`ah 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 . The coming
of the Mahdi had been foretold in authenticated hadith
of the Prophet(pbuh&hf) in both Sunni and Shi`ite
sources . For this reason the Eleventh Imam(a.s.), more
than other Imams, was kept under close watch by 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 .
Therefore , as soon as the news of the illness of Imam
Hasan Askari(a.s.) reached al-Mu`tamid , he sent a
physician and a few of his trusted agents and judges to
the house of the Imam(a.s.) to be with him and observe
his condition and the situation within his house at all
the death of the Imam(a.s.), they had the house
investigated and all his female slaves examined by the
midwife . For two years the secret ageins of the caliph
searched for the successor of the Imam(a.s.) until they
lost all hope . The Eleventh Imam(a.s.) was buried in
his house in Samarrah next to his noble father.
he was born his father said that it was an order from
the prophet s.a.w. that he should be named Hasan. It was
so well known that the last Imams father would be called
Hasan that people had previously looked for the 12th
Imam amongst the sons of Imam Hasan Al-Mujtaba (a.s.)
mother was Sulail (or Hudaitha) who was a slave of the
10th Imam whom he had freed and subsequently married.
The 10th Imam said of her that she was one who was free
from all vice and pollution and that she was one of the
righteous ones. After the 11th Imam's martyrdom he left
all the "orders" of Imamate with her (his mother).
when Imam Hasan Al-Askari(a.s.) was a young child he
fell into a well near their house. His father Imam Ali
An-Naqi(a.s.) was praying and didn't even notice the
commotion around him of the ladies crying. When he
finished praying and asked what had happened, he was
told. He went towards the well. The water rose and all
saw the 11th Imam(a.s.) sitting peacefully on the water
Bahlool once saw the young Imam crying in the street
where all the other children were busy playing with
their toys. He asked whether Imam(a.s.) was crying
because he had no toys to play with. Imam(a.s.) replied:
"We have not been created to play!"
Bahlool asked where he had learnt this from and the Imam
you not read the Qur'an where it says - "Do you think we
have created you in vain and that you will not be
returned to us".
Bahlool heard this he asked Imam(a.s.) for some advice.
Imam(a.s.) talked about death, barzakh and qiyama and
cried so much, he fainted. When he came to, Bahlool
asked him why he was so fearful as he was not even
baligh yet. Imam(a.s.) said:
have watched my mother light a fire; she uses the little
twigs to get the big pieces of wood to burn; I fear that
on qiyama Allah(swt) too will use little ones to light
the big ones".
10th and 11th Imamayn were both called Al-Askery as they
lived in an area of Samarra called Askery.
Another reason that the 11th Imam was called Askery is
said to be that once Mutawakkil wanted to show the Imam
the strength of his army of 90,000 men and so he asked
his men to fill their sacks with sand and pile all the
sacks up. He then showed Imam this mountain of sacks.
Imam asked Mutawakkil, to look through his (Imam's) two
fingers, where he saw a an army of armed Angels. Imam
told him that they were at his disposal but he would not
use them. (An army is called Askery).
Bin Ishaq relates that when he heard of the death of the
10th Imam he went to Samarra and asked for the
whereabouts of the 11th Imam. He was told that Imam had
been imprisoned by Mo'taz Billah. After bribing the
guards he was able to visit Imam one night. He described
the prison as a tunnel under the Khalifa's home where
there was no space to stretch ones legs nor room to be
able to stand. Ahmed says he cried when he saw Imams
condition. Food was only one glass of water and a piece
of dry bread a day.
imprisoned because all the rulers knew of the justice
that was promised to come with the coming of the 12th
Imam and they wished to prevent anyone being born of the
in prison he told his companions to accumulate all the
masails of Fiqh and he completed the masails on the
chapters that were found missing. He introduced the
institution of "Taqleed" advising people to follow those
who were learned, "Muttaqi", and just, as he was in
prison and it was extremely difficult for people to meet
him. Khums was collected through his representative and
masails too asked to him, Abu-Ja'fer Uthman bin Saeed,
who was later to become the representative of the 12th
was once a severe drought in Samarra and a Christian
priest came who whenever he raised his hands caused rain
to fall from the heavens. The Muslims faith started
wavering and the Khalifa Mo'taz Billah got worried for
if they left Islam he would have none to rule over.
went to the 11th Imam saying that Imam's grandfathers
religion was in trouble. Imam asked him to call all the
people outside Samarra with the Christian priest. He
asked the Christian priest to pray for rain. When he
raised his hands to pray it started to rain. Imam asked
for whatever was in this hands to be taken away and then
asked him to pray for rain again. There was no rain this
time. Imam showed that what the priest had in this hand
was the bone of a Prophet which whenever placed under
the open sky caused it to rain.
then prayed for rain and it rained. Mo'taz could not re
imprison Imam for some time for when the people saw the
miracle they all wanted to visit Imam and asked where
they might find him. Imam pointed to the Khalifa and
asked them to ask him. Mo'taz told them that Imam was
staying at the house where the 10th Imam used to reside.
Nargis was there and it was in that year that the 12th
Imam was born. Imam was allowed out of prison for 13
months after which he was rearrested.
six years of his Imamate several attempts were made on
his life. On the 1st of Rabi-ul Awwal 260 a.h. Mo'tamad
arranged for Imam(a.s.) to be poisoned in prison and
then sent him home. Imam(a.s.) was in great pain and
difficulty for 8 days. On the 8th of Rabi-ul Awwal he
asked his son, the 12th Imam, to bring him some water
and then leave him. He died that day and was given ghusl
& kafan by his son, Imam Mahdi(a.s.).
funeral prayers were led by the 12th Imam and it was
then that a lot of Shia's saw him for the first time. A
large number of people attended the funeral and he is
buried in Samarra.
11th Imam was once asked of the signs of a mo'min
(believer).He listed the following signs.
one prays 51 rakaats of salaa daily.
He prostates on Khake Shafaa.
He wears rings on his right hand.
He repeats the verses of Azhan & Ikama.
He recites "Bismillah" loudly in Salaa.
He prays his Fajr Salaa before the stars disappear and
his Dhuhr prayers before the sun starts to decline.
He recite Qunoot in Salaa.
He dyes his hair and beard.
He recites 5 takbirs in Salatul Mayyit.