Hassan Al-Askari (A.S.)
Hasan ibn Ali Askari, the son of the tenth Imam, was
born in 232/845 and according to some Shi'ite sources
was poisoned and killed in 260/872 through the
instigation of the Abbasid caliph Mu'tamid. The eleventh
Imam gained the imamate, after the death of his noble
father, through Divine Command and through the decree of
the previous Imams. During the seven year's of his
imamate, due to untold restrictions placed upon him by
the caliphate, he lived in hiding and dissimulation
(taqiyah). 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.
extreme repression at that time because the Shi'ite
population had reached a considerable level 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 hadiths of the
Prophet in both Sunni and Shi'ite sources. For this
reason the eleventh Imam, more than other Imams, was
kept under close watch by the caliphate. 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 the
eleventh Imam reached Mu'tamid, he sent a physician and
a few of his trusted agents and judges to the house of
the Imam to be with him and observe his condition and
the situation within his house at all times.
death of the Imam. they had the house investigated and
all his female slaves examined by the midwife. For two
years the secret agents of the caliph searched for the
successor of the Imam until they lost all hope.
eleventh Imam was buried in his house in Samarrah next
to his noble father.
should be remembered that during their lifetimes the
Imams trained many hundreds of scholars of religion and
hadith, and it is these scholars who have transmitted to
us information about the Imams. In order not to prolong
the mutter, the list of their names and works and their
biographies have not been included here."