Foundation, NJ U. S. A
the Message Continues ... 3/91
Newsletter for March 2009
Article 1 - Article 2 - Article 3 - Article 4 - Article 5 - Article 6 - Article 7 - Article 8 - Article 9 - Article 10 - Article 11 - Article 12
THE Lives OF IMAM
by late Dr. Haider Hussain Shamsi
(excerpted from his book, " And the Message Continues--The Lives of the Imams of Ahlul Bait)
Hasan (Al-Askari) was bom in Madinah in 232 AH, during
the reign of the Abbasid caliph Wathiq.
When Mutwakil had his father moved from Madinah
to Samarah in 236 AH, he was only four years of age.
He suffered deprivation of the patronage of his
father, Imam Ali Naqi, owing to the long spells of house
arrests and formal prisons. He was
only twenty-two years of age at the martyrdom of his
father in 254 AH. He took up the
responsibilities of Imamate according to the declaration
that his father had made in Madinah eighteen years
During the life of his father, he
endured the reign of terror under Mutwakil followed by
the chain of several caliphs until the martyrdom of his
father. There was much oppression and
persecution of the Alkyds during those years, and the
Imam had to remain in hiding. He used
to communicate with his followers only through his most
reliable representatives. During the
next five and a half years, he saw the caliphate change
hands twice. Muhtadi succeeded the
Caliph Mutazz in 255 AH, followed by the Caliph
Mu'tarnid in 256 AH.
Just as Umar bin Abd al-Aziz was the
only benevolent caliph from the Umayyad dynasty, Muhtadi
was perhaps the ordy caliph in the chain of the Abbasids
who could also be called benevolent.
However, the rule of Muhtadi last for less than one
year, and the hnam saw a brief period of reprieve during
his reign. Not withstanding the
urgency to have an heir, the Imam married Nargis Khatoon.
There was a general air of uneasiness about this.
A rumor was circulating that the awaited Mahdi
would be bom from this union. The Imam was
twenty four years of age at that time.
The rule of tyranny returned with the
Caliph Mu'tamid. He was a
stonehearted ruler who took pleasure in having people
beheaded for trivial faults. He had
the Imam placed in a formal prison under strict
isolation. He had instructed the
wardens to inflict torture to the Imam.
However, when they went to carry out the Caliph's
orders, they found the Imam either in prayers or reading
the Quran. He rotated several prison
wardens with the intention to inflict harm to the Imam,
but faded in his HI-destined schemes.
Most of these wardens became followers and devotees of
Despite the difficulties imposed upon
the Imam, he continued to receive deputations from his
devotees from far and wide, and he continued to serve
the followers with the true values of Islam through the
meanings and interpretations of the Qur'an and his
personal conduct of life. Many senior
and older followers of the Imam attended his sittings
and clarified many questions about the Quran and the
Hadith. Seeing that there would be a
continued need for correct interpretation of the Qur'an,
he took up the project of writing, a comprehensive
commentary of the Qur'an before he passed away.
The Caliph finally prevailed and had
the Imam martyred with poison in the year 260 AH.
He sent a team of his trusted physicians to
ensure the condition of the Imam and to certify his
death before his burial. Having thus
completed the assignment as ordered by the Caliph, the
body of the Imam was laid to rest in the same house
where he had died. He was buried in
the same room where his father had died and was buried.
Contrary to the previously established tradition, the Imam did not announce the name or the identity of his successor, although there was some evidence that he had left a four-year-old heir to the Imamate. As expected, there was considerable doubt and confusion among the followers regarding the continuation of the series of Imamate after the death of the Eleventh Imam. The Aliyyids were in revolt in the empire at the time, and some were claiming to be the Awaited One, the Twelfth Imam contacted his followers through his safirs for their guidance.
REFLECTIONS FROM THE LIFE OF IMAM
The Imam obtained his title of al-Askari
because of his residence in the garrison precinct of the
Samarah. He was able to communicate
with people in their mother-tongues as he was fluent in
several languages that were spoken in the empire at the
The Imam participated in many debates
and contests held by the Caliph in an attempt to slight
his dignity. But instead, the Imam
shone like full moon in the dark night of ignorance.
Despite the short span of his life
that was available to his followers, he left many,
respected students who continued to write and carry out
researches in the path of the Truth.
told his followers:
-Be obedient to Allah, keep adherence to the practice of your Faith, never tell lies, keep the trust of some one who has placed it with you, keep good relations with your neighbors, prolong your sajdah in prayers.
-Life is but a short span and the end comes suddenly. One who plants the seedling of good, would reap an enormous harvest of reward. One who plants a seedling of mischief, would reap the fruit of bitterness, shame and regret.
-Being Thankful to Allah brings
rewards of His great benevolence.
told one of his companions:
-Trust in Allah and keep
steadfast in your prayers.
-Never refrain from
paying the poor dues, lest your prayers go waste.
-Repent for your sins.
-Do not give in to anger.
-Be charitable towards your brethren,
in plenty and in deprivation.
Show forbearance to peoples'
-Ponder on ordinances of Faith.
-Forever remain within the circle of
the Qur'an. -Guide others to the Truth when you have
1. Do not indulge
in unnecessary discussion with people lest you lose your
respect. Do not indulge in too much
humor with people lest they pick up courage to slight
2. It is among
good manners to wish well to someone who passes you by.
When in a communal gathering, do not look for a
high place for yourself
3. It is ill
manners to express happiness to someone who is grieved
by some event.
4. That person Is
most cautious who pauses at place of suspicion.
That person is most reliable who fulfills his
commitments. That person is most
pious who exercises avoidance of all forbidden things.
That person is performing the hardest Jehad
who is committed to avoid sin.
The provisions that
are a promise from the Lord, are rewards earned by
fulfilling the duties of obedience.
6. One who renders
advice to a fellow momin on his fault away from
the public eye, has decorated him; but one who does so
in the open, has in fact stripped
7. Every thing has
a limit, you would harm yourself if you exceed it.
8. One who has
built relation with the Allah, loves solitude.
9. Do not choose a
method of respect to someone by which his feelings would
The Commentary on Holy Qur'an By
Imam Hasan Askari
As the grip of the rulers tightened
and degree of suppression of the Imams increased, it
became harder and harder for the followers to gain
access to him to obtain direct guidance.
Since most of the questions asked used to be on
the interpretation and expounding the meanings of the
Book of Allah, the Imam found it necessary to have this
material committed to his pen. This was collected in the
form of a book known as the " Tafseer-e Askari.
HOME - NEWSLETTERS - BOOKS - ARTICLES - CONTACT - FEEDBACK
All material published by Al-Huda.com / And the Message Continues is the sole responsibility of its author's).
The opinions and/or assertions contained therein do not necessarily reflect the editorial views of this site,
nor of Al-Huda and its officers.