IMAM HASSAN ASKARI (a.s.): A BRIEF LOOK INTO HIS LIFE
Imam Hassan Askari (as), a brief look into his Life
10th Rabi-ul Aakher 232 a.h. in Madina.
Bibi Sulail (or Hudaitha).
Imam Ali un Naqi (a.s.)
8th Rabi-ul Awwal 260 a.h. in Saamarra
Birth & Childhood
When 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
His 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).
Once when Imam Hasan Al-Askery (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 sitting
peacefully on the water and playing.
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 was crying because he had no toys to
play with. Imam replied: "We have not been created to play!"
Bahlool asked where he had learnt his from and the Imam said :
"Have 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".
When Bahlool heard this he asked Imam for some advice. Imam 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 said:
"I 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 too will use little ones to light the
The 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).
Life & Works
Ahmed 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.
He was 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 11th
Whilst 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
There 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
He 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.
Imam 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.
Bibi 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.
In the 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 to be poisoned in prison and then sent
him home. Imam 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, the 12th Imam.
The 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
The 11th Imam was once asked of the signs of a mo'min (believer).He listed the
He is 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.