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The 11th Imam His Holiness Imam Hassan Askari (AS)



The 11th Imam

His Holiness Imam Hassan Askari (AS)

Sea of generosity and radiant brilliant light, legendary Phoenix of the aboriginal Qaf, ascendant of the ladders of unwavering will power, the trustworthy Askari, Imam Hassan son of Ali. His auspicious name Hassan and patronym Abu Mohammad, his honorable titles Askari and Zaki and Hadi and Seraj and well known among all is the same Askari. Honorable son of Imam Ali al-Naqi (AS) and his paragon exalted mother called by the names Hodaysah or Horaysah, some mentioned her as Saleel. According to the most correct narrations the essence of his august birth was on Monday the 7th of Rabi ul Akhir[1] in the year 232 Hijri (846 AD) in Madineh. That time his noble father on the orders of Mutawakkil Abbasi departed from Madineh to Iraq, at the services of his noble father, he went to Iraq and was at the services of his father till Rajab[2] of 254 Hijri (868 AD) that his sublime father on the order of Al Mutazz-u-billah Abbasi was poisoned and martyred and the imamate of all other than God was incumbent on him after his father. The Shiites due to the intensity of dissimulation did not associate openly with His Holiness and except few persons from the devoted Shiites, the others would not attain to visit him, save at the time His Holiness as usual would ride in a carriage to go to the palace of Caliph, that in the meantime, in this manner during the ride they would meet him. His Holiness due to the upmost limits of dissimulation would spend the days, till in the year 255 Hijri (869 AD) when Turkish slaves revolted against Mutazz and compelled him to dethrone himself from the Caliphate, they imprisoned him; afterwards they brought Abu Es’haq Mohammad bin Vasigh Abbasi called Al Mohtadi from Baghdad to Samarra and pledged allegiance to him. Said: till I don’t see Mutazz will not accept the Caliphate. They brought Mutazz in a wretched state and in ragged clothes in his presence so that he could turn over the Caliphate to Mohtadi and he was again taken to the prison till he died of hunger. Since the people made allegiance with Mohtadi, he pretended to administer justice and himself would attend to people’s complaints and injustice; and appointed the Turkish Salih bin Vasif who endeavored to reach him to caliphate, as minister and commander of the caliph’s palace. He on the orders of Mohtadi imprisoned Hazrat Askari (AS) for some time in jail and used to treat His Holiness with sever harshness till another Turkish Amir by the name of Mussa bin Yuqa who was in province of Rey engaged to ward off conspiracy of Hassan bin Zaid-al-Alavi who at that time had upraised from Tabarestan and heard that Turks with the support of Salih bin Vasif had killed Mutazz. He came towards Samarra. When the news reached Mohtadi about Musa’s departure he wrote to him to return to Rey, but Musa did not accept, thus set out towards Samarra. Salih concealed himself as soon as Musa approached near. Musa entered Samarra and from Mohtadi requested for peace and took a treaty for friendship. Because he was worried about the opposition from Salih, he appointed informers who found Salih and beheaded him and His Holiness Askari was rescued from jail, till the advent of the year 256 Hijri (870 AD) the Turkish rulers again raised their heads in an uproar and after a few battles with Mohtadi defeated him and dethroned and killed him.

Mohtadi was thirty-nine years old and had eleven months of Caliphate and during his time Sahib-o-Zanj[3] appeared and dominated the city of Basra. After killing of Mohtadi, Ahmad bin Al Motavakkel by the name of Al Motamed ala-Allah sat on the throne of Caliphate. When Motamed reached the Caliphate, he could decrease the anxiety of the affairs of the country -the source of which were the Turkish emirs- to some extent, but in regards to His Holiness Askari ill-treated him. Sometimes would imprison His Holiness and when he would free His Holiness, he would order His Holiness to be present during his horse riding cavalcade like other dignitaries of his army. In short, Motamed sent his brother Movasaq to capture the Sahib-o-Zanj that after a period of fighting he captured and killed him and the case of Zanjian ended. At the same time Yakoob bin Laith Saffar dominated over Iran’s cities and went towards Baghdad, till the advent of the year 260 Hijri (874 AD) and in this year on the orders of Motamid, His Holiness Askari (AS) was poisoned. But when the news of the intensity of illness of His Holiness reached Motamid, as a result of regret of his own felony or for pretense sent few physicians to His Holiness’ house to engage in his treatment and also sent five of his special men to his house to express affection and serving His Holiness. Perhaps his intention was to acquire information about the existence of his child who was to be Qaim Ale Mohammad. However, His Holiness according to the most correct narration died on the 8th of Rabi-al-awal[4] of 260 Hijri (874 AD) and left for eternal paradise.

After the circulation of news about His Holiness’ demise in the city of Sammara, there was a tumult caused, all the people gathered at the house of His Holiness with bitter sighing and lamenting. From one side Motamid publicly started searching for His Holiness’ child and successor and sent a group to scrutinize His Holiness’s house and sent midwives to examine the bondswomen of His Holiness and inform him if there was a sign of pregnancy in the bondswomen of His Holiness, so he would prevent the manifestation of the divine light.

The corporeal army attacked

Towards the strong fortress of the spiritual

To close the hidden doors

So from that side the divine men don’t come.

However, because of their bat like eyes, they were not capable to see the divine light and they did not attain any results from their own endeavor and the sacred essence of His Holiness Master of the Time (AFTS – May Allah hasten his appearance) remained immune from aggression. The weeping and wailing people performed ceremonial washing (ablution) on the sacred body of His Holiness Askari, and shrouding his holy body for burial. Motamid sent Abu Isa to put aside the shroud from His Holiness’ blessed face and said to groups of Alavians and Hashemians and judges to see that the dead body is of Hassan bin Ali bin Reza that he died of natural causes and left this world. According to the narration of Ibn Babuyeh narrated from Abu aladyan, after ceremonial washing (ablution) and shrouding His Holiness’ body they called His Holiness’ brother Jaffer Kazzab[5] to pray over his dead body. He came to His Holiness’ house and stood in front of the dead body and the people and Shiites stood behind him in line to pray. Suddenly a child with a brown tan, curly hair, smiling face like the full disk of the moon came out of the room, pulled at Jaffer’s shirt, saying O’ uncle! go back that I am prior to recite prayer over my father. Jaffer went back involuntarily and his color changed. That child went in front and recited prayers on the dead body of his illumined father; thereafter returned back to the same room he had come from. They asked Jaffer who was this child? He said swear to God I had never seen him and don’t know him. Jaffer went to Motamid and mentioned what had happened. Motamid sent some to His Holiness’ house to be searched. Of course they could not find His Holiness, Master of the Time (AFTS).

Now as a blessing, one narration from Abol Adyan is mentioned, Abol Adyan says: I was at the services of His Holiness Askari (AS). He gave me some letters to take to Madyan and said your journey will take fifteen days. When you return back from the journey, you will hear loud weeping and wailing from my house and my body will be in the mortuary. Said: O’ my Lord in case of such tragic circumstances, who will be the Imam and leader after you? Said: who ever demands the answers of the letters from you, will be the proof of God. I asked, be more clear, Said: whoever recites prayers over my dead body. I said again, mention another sign. Said: one who tells you what is in the purses. I after this kept quiet and went to Madyan. When I returned I saw the circumstances as he had said, and found Jaffer Kazab, as I knew him before, was sitting at the door of His Holiness’ house. Went forward and offered my condolences on the death of His Holiness Askari (AS), he did not say anything to me. In the meantime he was called inside the house to recite prayer over the sacred dead body of His Holiness. As soon as he stood in front of the line, a child like the shining sun came forward, pushed Jaffer back by his hands and stood as the leader of prayer and recited prayers over the sacred body. Then he turned towards me and said, bring the answers to the letters. I gave the letters to him. During this time a group from Qom arrived and when they were informed of the demise of His Holiness Askari (AS), they asked who the next Imam is? Someone pointed to Jaffer Kazab, they went to him and after offering condolences said: there are letters and property with us; you tell us the letters are from whom and how much property we have? He got up from his place and said: strange! the people want foresight from me. Suddenly a servant came out of the house and said: My Master says the letters are from such and such persons and the purse which is with you, in it are one thousand dirhams, out of which ten numbers from it are smooth and worn out. They delivered the letters and property and I saw all three signs and reasons and I found my Imam. Briefly, His Holiness’ age was twenty nine and duration of his divine leadership was for six years.

Marriage and children of His Holiness: His Holiness did not have non-bondswoman wife, some of family kinship and near relatives were engaged in the services of His Holiness. His Holiness’ child was only His Holiness Master of Command (AFTS) who was born from the pure womb of Nargis Khatoon and her noble name of that chaste woman was Malika or Raihanah or Susan and Seegal was also mentioned, but according to the most famed narrations was Nargis Khatoon.

Some well-known disciples of His Holiness:

1) Doorkeeper of His Holiness was Othman bin Saeed

2) Ahmad bin Is’haq al-Shaari

3) Is’haq bin Ismail Al Neishabouri

4) Jaffer bin Soheyl al Seyqul

5) Jaber bin Yazid al Farsi

6) Hassan bin Jaffer Abu Taleb Al Faghani

7) Hamdan bin Soliman Al Neishabouri

8) Hafz bin Amr al-Omri

9) Hamzeh bin Mohammad

10) Davood bin Qasim Al Jaffari

11) Sahl bin Ziad

12) Sahl bin Abdullah Al Qomi elami

Contemporary Caliphs of His Holiness:

1) Al Mutazz Abbasi Abu Abdullah Jaffer bin Mutavakkil

2) Al Mohtadi Billah Abu Is’haq Mohammad bin Vasiq

3) Al Motamid Ala-allah Ahmad bin Mutavakkil Abbasi

[1] Rabi ul Akhir is the fourth month of the Lunar Hijri calendar

[2] Rajab is the seventh month of the Lunar Hijri calendar

[3] In 869 Hijri (1465 AD) African Negro laborers launched a revolt against their Arab caliphs in Iraq, led by an Arab, Ali ibn Mohammad also known as Sahib (owner) of Zanj

[4] Rabi-al-awal is the third month of the Lunar Hijri calendar

[5] His Holiness Askari (AS) had a brother named Jaffer who was known as Jaffer the Liar