Lesson twenty eight: the eleventh Imām and the thirteenth infallible figure. Imām Ḥasan ‘Askarī (‘a)

Lesson twenty eight:
the eleventh Imām and the thirteenth infallible figure. Imām Ḥasan ‘Askarī (‘a)

He was born on Rabī‘ ath-Thānī 6, 232 in Medina. His father was Imām ‘Alī Naqī and his mother was Salil who was the epitome of piety and devoutness. He attained leadership at 22. And like his forbears, he was poisoned to death by tyrants in 250 at the age of 28. He was buried in Sāmirrā next to his dignified father’s tomb.

He was four years old when he came from Medina to Iraq along with his father. He settled in Sāmirrā, which is one of the cities of Iraq and he was scrutinized by the regime and was occasionally imprisoned and most of the time, he was banned from meeting people.

Īsā ibn Ṣabīḥ says, “When I was serving at prison, Imām Ḥasan ‘Asgarī was also brought to the prison. I took advantage of his company and at times, he made miraculous predictions from unknown. For example, one day he told me, ‘You’re sixty five years and odd month and odd days old. When I consulted my date of birth, I realized that he had told my birthday and my age exactly.’”[63]

Abū Hāshim Ja‘farī says, “When I was afflicted by destitution and indigence, I wanted to seek help from Imām Ḥasan ‘Asggarī but I was ashamed. When I went home, I learned that Imām Ḥasan ‘Asgarī had sent someone to my house with some money and had written a letter saying, ‘whenever you are in need, ask us and do not be ashamed.’”[64]

Muntaṣar Billāh, an ‘Abbasī ruler, went to Sāmirrā and paid tribute to the tombs of Imām ‘Alī Naqī and Imām Ḥasan ‘Asgarī (‘a) and left there for the tombs of the ‘Abbasī rulers. They were located in a filthy, ruined and squalid neighborhood.

One of his companions told him, “You are the ruler of this country and you enjoy power and means, then why should the graves of your forbears be in such a state, that no one ever visits them and they don’t have any attendants and caretakers to keep them clean and maintain them while you see that the tombs of the progeny of ‘Alī (‘a) (the tombs of ‘Alī Naqī and Imām ‘Asgarī) are so tidy and clean and are decorated with carpets and curtains and lights. 

Muntaṣar, with genuine frankness, expressed a fact and said, “This is a heavenly occurrence and is done by God, and even if we force people to honor and venerate the tombs of our family, this could not be practical, that is, people love them (the progeny of ‘Alī (‘a)) from the bottom of their hearts and revere them both when they are living and after their deaths but they don’t like us, and while we are living respect us out of fear but as soon as we die, they won’t pay attention to us, and in sum, we can not arouse affection and devotion and conviction by force.”[65]

Some remarks by the Imām

The most pious are those who avoid dubious acts (which might be forbidden) and the most devoted (faithful) are those who fully fulfill their obligations and duties and the most devout are those who abstain from the forbidden and wrongdoing.

Exercise piety and conduct yourself in a way that when people realize that you are one of our followers, you may bring credit to us, and not obloquy and ignominy upon us.[66]


[63] Biḥār al-Anwār, vol. 50, p. 275.
[64] Kashf al-Ghummah, vol. 3, p. 287.
[65] Kashf al- Ghummah, vol. 3, p. 437.
[66] Tuḥaf al-‘Uqūl, p. 488.