It will suffice here to quote, as an example, a few of these traditions:

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."

He added:

"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.) said:

"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 traditions.

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.).

[1]( 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).
[2](a.s.): is the abbreviation of the Arabic phrase 'alay-hi/ha /himu's-salam (may peace be upon him/ her/ them)


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 failure.

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, because:

Allah disdains ( nothing) save that He shall perfect His light,
however much the disbelievers are averse.
(Qur'an, 9:32)

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 Holy Qur'an.
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 divinity.

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 Pharaoh:

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.

(28:7- 13)

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 caliphs?

Really, how do false thinkers and feebleminded people judge?

* * *

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 the All-powerful."

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 Eminence (father)."

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 particular friends."

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 Master (sahib).'"

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 perish.'"

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.