It will suffice here to quote, as an example, a few of
1) When Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba (a.s.) held the seat of
the caliphate, he fought the hypocritical Mu'awiyah,
who, with the assistance of his cunning minister,
gradually deceived the companions of Imam Hasan (a.s.),
who thus deserted and left the Imam alone. Hence, he was
compelled to make a peace treaty with Mu'awiyah in which
he (Mu'awiyah) was obliged to comply with some duties
and to refrain from appointing a successor and fighting.
On some occasions, the Imam took the opportunity to
point out to the people Mu'awiyah's errors and unjust
acts. Meanwhile, some of ignorant people started
criticizing the Imam as to why he had accepted the peace
treaty Imam Hasan (a.s.) clarified for the people the
meaning of the Imam and the leader, and the necessity of
obeying every command of the Imam without asking why and
wherefore. Then he explained to them about the
Government of the Twelfth Imam, saying:
"Don't you know that every one of us (Imams) has the
responsibility of taking allegiance from the oppressors
of his time, except the 'Support' (al- Qa'im)
behind whom the Spirit of Allah (Jesus) will pray, and
Almighty Allah will keep secret his birth from some
people and will conceal his person from their sights.
When he appears he will not be responsible for taking
allegiance from anyone. He is the ninth descendant of my
brother Husayn, the son of the captive princess.
Almighty Allah will prolong his age during his
occultation, and by His Perfect Power, he will appear as
a young man of less than forty years so that all people
will know that Allah truly has power over all things."
2. Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) in reply to a question
from one of his followers about his successors, said:
"The Imam succeeding me is my son Musa, and the Awaited
Imam is Muhammad ibn Hasan ibn 'Ali ibn Muhammad ibn
'Ali ibn Musa."
The same Imam is quoted as having said repeatedly that:
"Every group of people is waiting for a government, and
we are waiting for our Government to be established at
the End of Time."
3) The Seventh Holy Imam Musa ibn Ja'far (a.s.) in a
reply to one of his companions who asked him whether he
was "al- Qa'im bi 'l-Haqq" (he who is supported
by the Truth), said:
"I am al-Qa'im bi'l-Haqq, but that 'al-Qa'im'
who will remove Allah's enemies from the earth and will
fill it with justice and equity is my fifth descendant.
Since he will fear for his own life, he will be in
occultation for a long time during which a group of
people will apostate, but there will also be a group who
will be firm in their belief."
"Blessed are our followers (the Shi'ites) who, during
the time of the occultation (ghaybah) of the Imam
of the Age, identify themselves with our Authority (wilayah)
and keep away from our enemies. They belong to us and we
belong to them. They have accepted our leadership and we
are pleased with their adherence Therefore, blessed are
they. I swear to Allah that they will be with us in our
rank in Paradise."
4) Finally, the Eleventh Imam Hasan al-'Askari (a.s.)
"I see that after me differences will appear among you
concerning the Imam after me. Whoever accepts the Imams
after the Prophet of Allah but denies my son is like a
person who accepts all the prophets but denies the
prophethood of Muhammad (s.a.w.), the Prophet of Allah.
And whoever denies (Muhammad) the Prophet of Allah is
like one who has denied all the prophets of Allah, for
to obey the last of us is like obeying the first and to
deny the last of us is like denying the first But beware
I . Verily, for my son there will be an occultation
during which all people will fall into doubt except
those whom Allah protects."
The available traditions from the Holy Prophet and the
infallible Imams are so many in number as to make us
well-informed on this important principle of faith. One
can say that the most important, and the highest
recorded number, of traditions is on the subject of
Imamology (Imamate) in the Shi'ite books of
The subject of the leadership of the Twelfth Imam, his
Government, and other related matters, comes next to the
subject of the successorship of Imam Ali, Amir al-mu'minin
( a.s ) There are hundreds of these traditions recorded
both in the Shi'ite and Sunnite books. A large number of
religious scholars from all Islamic sects have
independently compiled books on this subject. Their
number runs to tens of volumes.
* * *
The years of Imams', Islamic leadership passed one after
another along with tyranny of the rulers contemporary
with them, till the leadership of Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.)
came. This Holy Imam lived in a difficult circumstances,
appearing less frequently in the public gatherings. His
beloved son who is the last Divine Proof, was hidden
from ,the sight of strangers till the year 260 A. H.,
when the rays of his being set while the eyes of all
people were fixed at the door of Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.).
( s.a.w.): is the abbreviation of the Arabic
phrase salla 'llahu 'alayhi wa alih (may Allah's
peace and blessing be upon him and his progeny).
(a.s.): is the abbreviation of the Arabic phrase
'alay-hi/ha /himu's-salam (may peace be upon him/
(11) THE BIRTH
At dawn, on the 15th Sha'ban 255 A.H., the rays of the
illuminating world shone with a powerful shaft of light
into a human form which became the source of existence
for the universe.
Yes, finally the Divine Promise was fulfilled and Imam
al-Mahdi (a.s.) was born in spite of the efforts of
those who denied him.
It is one of history's miracles that the Umayyids 'Abbasides
and other opponents of this Holy Imam attempted to
extinguish this divine light but met with complete
The cruel and tyrannical caliphs of the Bani 'Abbas had
heard that the Twelfth Imam of the Shi'ites would
establish a just Government and would rule over the east
and west of the world, and would destroy the foundations
of injustice Therefore, to counter this event, they
tortured and shed the blood of the Shi'ites as much as
they could. The conditions of the martyred Shi'ites can
be referred in the books on this subject.
In the year 235 A. H., Mutawakkil, the 'Abbasid caliph,
ordered the Tenth Imam Muhammad al-Hadi (a.s.) and his
family to be shifted from Medina to samarra', his seat
of government, so that he could keep a close watch on
the Imam of the Shi'ites.
Similarly, Mu'tamid, the 'Abbasid caliph, the Pharaoh of
the time, was afraid of the son of Imam Hasan al-'Askari
(a.s.). He formed a group of detectives and midwives who
had the mission of frequently searching through the
houses of the 'Alawiyyin, and especially the house of
Imam Hasan al-'Askari (a.s.), so that if a newly-born
child were found, he could be killed immediately.
The search to find and kill Imam al- Mahdi (a.s.) was
intensified when Imam Hasan al-'Askari ( a.s.) left this
world for the eternal one. This is because everyone knew
that on that day the command of Divine Leadership
(Imamate) was to be entrusted to the Twelfth Imam, and
the universe would come under his authority.
Shaykh Saduq, the eminent scholar of the Shi'ite world,
writes in Kamalu 'd-din:
"When the holy body of Imam Hasan al-'Askari ( a.s.) was
buried and the people went away, the caliph and his
comrades started their efforts to search for his growing
son and inspected the houses carefully."
Shaykh Mufid, a distinguished Shi'ite scholar, also
wrote in Irshad:
"When Imam Hasan al-'Askari (a.s.) passed away, the
caliph of that time, pursued his son because the Shi'ite
Imamiyyah's belief was famous and was spread about that
the Shi'ites were awaiting His Eminence."
Mu'tadid one of the tyrant 'Abbasid caliphs who ruled
from 279 to 289 A H., decided all at once to destroy the
entire family of al, Askari when he heard that more than
twenty years had passed since the birth of the son of
Imam Hasan al-'Askari (a.s ) and that he was still
living in spite of the attempts of the preceding caliph
to kill him.
One of Mu'tadid's officers said:
"Mu'tadid has ordered me and two other persons, each of
us to mount a horse and to proceed to Samarra' in full
speed without even stopping for prayer. He gave us the
address of (Imam) al- Askari and instructed us to enter
his house without his permission and to bring him the
head of whoever we find there."
As a matter of fact, they were unaware that the same
power which had protected the Imam from the former
caliphs would give him protection from his evil,
Allah disdains ( nothing) save that He shall perfect His
however much the disbelievers are averse.
Indeed what an immature thought and foolish act it was!
If the Divine Will bears on some matter, can a person
revolt against it and combat it? Is it possible that
definite Divine Promises may not be compiled with? Or is
it possible that the reins of oppressive imposters who
fight against the Divine decree will not cut?
Is it not more amazing that Peerless, Almighty Allah has
shown His power many times before, so that after that
all men should know that if He wishes to give His chosen
servant government and sovereignty and to destroy in
fidelity and irreligiousness through him, then there is
no one who can disrupt His rule?
Fortunately , this sensational story is mentioned in the
Pharaoh, the great emperor of Egypt, who had great power
and pride, claimed the divinity for himself. He
determined to kill all the youths and boy children of
Bani Isra'il as a result of what he had heard about a
son being born who would destroy his empire and
He shed the blood of innocents, and banished many
persons to unknown regions; but see how Almighty Allah
restored His Prophet and how the Divine Will worked to
protect the life of Musa (Moses - a.s.) and destroy
And We revealed to the mother of Musa, saying, "Give him
suck; and if you fear for him,
launch him on the river. and fear not, nor grieve; for
We will return him to you and make him
one of the Messengers." And took him up Pharaoh's
people, that he might be to them an enemy
and a (cause of their) grief (for) verily Pharaoh and
Haman and their hosts were sinners. . . So
We did restore him to his mother that her age might be
refreshed and that she might not grieve,
and that she might know that the promise of Allah is
(always) true, but most of them know not.
Yes, Allah will protect His Proof (Hujjah) and
will fulfil His promises and glad tidings because His
decision is based on its execution, although most people
do not know it.
Would Allah wish to save the life of Prophet Musa (a.s.),
who was only a messenger to a certain nation and tribe,
and yield the Imam of the Age (Imam-e Zaman) into
the hands of Mu'tamid and Mu'tadid?
Would Allah protect the life of Musa (a.s.) while he was
in the middle of the roaring waves of a river, and give
no security to the Imam of the Age who was in the house
of his father, Imam Hasan al-'Askari (a.s.)?
Would the Sustaining Allah of the Prophet Ibrahim
(Abraham - a.s.) (Whose story is mentioned in the Qur'an)
protect Ibrahim (a.s.) in the middle of the flaming
fire, but allow the Last Pearl of the Prophet's progeny
to be a victim of the lust and anger of the 'Abbasid
Really, how do false thinkers and feebleminded people
* * *
At dawn, on the middle day of Sha'ban in the year 255
A.H., Imam Hasan al-'Askari (a.s.) beheld the heavenly,
shinning face of his son who was to fulfil all Divine
promises and glad tidings.
Not more than three days had passed after his birth when
the Eleventh Imam took the holy child to his comp anions
and told them:
"After me this will be your master of authority and my
successor, and he is the Support, (al-Qa'im) for
whose appearance all people will wait; when the earth is
full of injustice and tyranny, he will fill it with
peace and justice."
At the time of his son's birth, the Eleventh Imam told
some of his companions:
"Oppressors were plotting to kill me so that my son
would not be born, but now see how great is the power of
Imam Hasan al- Askari ( a.s.) , ordered ten thousand
pounds (10,000 lbs.) of bread and meat to be distributed
among the Banu Hashim to mark the happy and auspicious
birthday. 'Uthman ibn Sa'id was charged with this
important work which he undertook in the best way.
From the very beginning; Imam Hasan al-'Askari ( a.s.)
hide his son from stangers.
Read carefully these words of Shaykh Mufid, part of
which was quoted above.
"Imam Hasan al-'Askari (a.s.) prepared a true Government
for his fruitful son. He kept secret the birth of his
son and other related matters, because His Eminence was
living in a difficult time when the caliphs were
intensively searching for his son and were keeping a
close eye on the affairs of Imam al-'Askari. This is
because the Shi'ite Imamiyyah belief about the Imam al-Mahdi
(a.s.) had become so current that they were waiting for
His Eminence. Hence, Imam Hasan al-'Askari (a.s.) did
not show his son, and, therefore, the enemies could not
recognize Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.) after the demise of His
Although the affairs of Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.) were
unknown to his enemies and opponents, the sincere
Shi'ites gathered the news of this important event.
Some of them were informed by Imam al-'Askari (a.s.)
through a letter. One of the sincere Shi'ites, Ahmad ibn
Is'haq, received a letter from the Imam written in his
own handwriting, saying:
"A son is born to me. Therefore, keep secret the news of
it from people and inform only his near relatives and
Some of the Shi'ites used to pay private visits to Imam
al-'Askari (a.s.) who would take them into the presence
of the Twelfth Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.) who would guide
them. Abu 'Umari and Ahwazi reported:
"Abu Muhammad (Imam Hasan al-'Askari -a.s.) showed me
his son (the Twelfth Imam) and told me, 'This is your
Some other Shi'ites used to visit Imam al-'Askari (a.s.)
in a group, and if the Imam trusted in them that they
would faithfully keep their visit secret, he would show
them his beloved son.
Mu'awiyah ibn Hakim, Muhammad ibn Ayyub and Muhammad ibn
'Uthman 'Umari have narrated that:
"We were forty persons who gathered at the house of Imam
Hasan, then His Eminence showed us his son and said to
us, 'This is your Imam and my successor. You should obey
him after me and should not oppose him lest you
Anyhow, from the time of the birth of the Twelfth "moon"
till his Imamate, the Shi'ites used to go to the
Eleventh Imam and congratulate him.