Abu Mohammad Hasan ibn ali

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Imam al-Askari, Abu Mohammad Hasan ibn Ali, is the eleventh imam of imami Shiʿites. He was the son of imam Ali al-Naqi and he had been imprisoned most of his life by the caliph al-Moʿtamed in a city called Askari, therefore he is called Askari (a military camp or town). He is known also as al-Samet, al-Hadi, al-Zaki, etc. Imam al-Askari is the father of imam al- Mahdi, Imam of the present age in Shi'as’ belief.

Al-Hasan b. Ali
Native name
أبو محمد الحسن بن علی
BornRabiʿ I/October-November, 846
DiedRabi' I 8, 260/January 1, 874
Resting placeSamera
Known forThe 11th Imam of Shi'a
ChildrenImam al-mahdi

Birth[edit | edit source]

He was born in Medina . His date of birth is not known for certain. Two reported dates are Rabiʿ I/October-November, 846 or Ramadan/April-May, 847[1] and others stated that he was born in 231/845-46[2]. His mother was called Hodayt or Susan.

Imamat[edit | edit source]

He and his father, Ali al-Hadi, were taken by the caliph al-Motawakkel to Askar Samarra. According to Imamite tradition, his father designated Hasan al-Askari as his successor a few months before his death in 254/868[3]; his elder brother, Abu Jaʿfar Moḥammad, was already dead by this time[4]. It seems, however, that his right to the succession was challenged by his brother Jaʿfar.

Martyrdom[edit | edit source]

Hasan al-Askari’s short imamate was uneventful, though he is said to have been imprisoned for a while by the caliph al-Moʿtamed.[5] He died on 8 Rabiʿ I 260/January 1, 874 in Samarra[6] and was buried next to his father in the latter’s house. His estate passed to his mother and his brother Jaʿfar.

Succession[edit | edit source]

During his imamate small groups of extremists (golat), who ascribed prophetic or even divine qualities to the imams, continued the activities which they had in part begun under his predecessor. They included the Namiriya,[7] the adherents of Mohammad b. Nosayr Namiri in Kufa, the Eshaqiya of Eshaq b. Mohammad Nakaʿi Basri in Basra, Baghdad, and Madaʾen,[8] and the Hasakiya, the supporters and disciples of Ali b. Hasaka, in Qom.[9] Since Askari had died without leaving any obvious heirs, certain groups of his followers believed that he had gone on occultation and they awaited his return or resurrection; others surmised that he had left a son called Mohammad (known as Mohammad al-Qaʾem), who had been born a few years before Askari’s death[10] or even posthumously.[11] Other groups endorsed the imamate of one of Askari’s brothers, Mohammad or Jaʿfar.[12] Of all these groups only the Emamiya survived, who believe that Askari’s son Moḥammad was taken up by God (gayba), and they await his return.

Source[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Nawbakti, (Feraq, p. 79) and Qomi (Maqalat, pp. 101f.)
  2. Tarik Bagdad (VII, p. 366)
  3. Shaikh Mofid, Ersad, p. 335
  4. Nawbakti, p. 78
  5. r. 256-79/870-92
  6. Ebn Kallekan gives 8 Jomada I/March 1
  7. Nawbakti, p. 78
  8. Kassi, Rejal, ed. Moṣṭafwi, Mashad, 1348 S./1969, pp. 530f.; Tariḵ Bagdad VI, pp. 378ff; cf. the traditions in Kafi I, pp. 508ff
  9. Kassi, pp. 516f., 520, 521
  10. according to the Imamite tradition in Saʿban, 255/July-August, 869; Kafi I, p. 514
  11. Nawbakti, pp. 84f, 90ff.
  12. cf. Nawbakti, pp. 79ff.; Qomi, p. 102ff.