Hasan al-Askari

Hasan al-Askari

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Hasan al-Askari'
Start a new discussion about 'Hasan al-Askari'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Hasan al-‘Askarī
Askari
Askari is an Arabic, Bosnian, Urdu, Turkish, Somali, Persian, Amharic and Swahili word meaning "soldier" . It was normally used to describe local troops in East Africa, Northeast Africa, and Central Africa serving in the armies of European colonial powers...

(Eighth of Rabi' al-thani
Rabi' al-thani
Rabī’ al-Thānī is the fourth month in the Islamic Calendar. It is also known as Rabī` al-Ākhir .-Timing:The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, and months begin when the first crescent of a new moon is sighted. Since the Islamic lunar calendar year is 11 to 12 days shorter than the solar year,...

 232 AH – Eighth of Rabi' al-awwal
Rabi' al-awwal
Rabi' al-awwal is the third month in the Islamic calendar. During this month, Muslims around the world celebrate Mawlid - the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Sunni Muslims believe the exact date of birth of Muhammad to have been on the twelfth of this month, whereas Shi'a Muslims believe...

 260 AH; approximately: 1 December 846 – 1 January 874) was the eleventh of the Twelve Imams. His given name was Hasan ibn ‘Alī ibn Muhammad. His title al-Askari derives from the Arabic word Asker which means military.He was given this title mainly because the city he lived in (Samarra
Samarra
Sāmarrā is a city in Iraq. It stands on the east bank of the Tigris in the Salah ad-Din Governorate, north of Baghdad and, in 2003, had an estimated population of 348,700....

) was a military camp. Hasan al-‘Askarī was 22, when his father was killed. The period of his Imāmate, following his father's death, was six years. Hasan Al-‘Askarī died at the age of 28 in the year, 260 Hijra and was buried in Samarra
Samarra
Sāmarrā is a city in Iraq. It stands on the east bank of the Tigris in the Salah ad-Din Governorate, north of Baghdad and, in 2003, had an estimated population of 348,700....

.

Family


Hasan al-Askari, whose ancestor was the Islamic Prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

, was born in Medina
Medina
Medina , or ; also transliterated as Madinah, or madinat al-nabi "the city of the prophet") is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, and serves as the capital of the Al Madinah Province. It is the second holiest city in Islam, and the burial place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and...

.His father was Imam Ali al-Hadi
Ali al-Hadi
‘Alī al-Hādī , also known as ‘Alī an-Naqī was the tenth of the Twelve Imams. His full name is ‘Alī ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Alī. The exact date of his birth and death are unknown, but it is generally accepted that he was born between 827–830 CE and he died in 868 CE.- Early years :‘Alī al-Hādī was born...

 (a.s.), the tenth Imam of the Shia. He was from the masters of the Ahlul Bayt. His mother was a bondmaid from an-Nawbah. Historians disagreed on her name. Some of them said her name was Saleel which was the most correct according to the previous tradition of Imam al-Hadi (a.s.). Some said she was called Sawsan. Others said her name was Hadithah, and others said Hareebah.

Imam Hasan al-Askari also had two other siblings, Muhammad Abu Ja’far, al-Husayn bin Ali al-Hadi and a sister named Aa'liyah or Aliyyah. Imam Hasan al-Askari and al-Husayn were called “as-Sibtayn” and were named after their two grandfathers Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain.

Oppression by the Abbasid Caliphs


Hasan al-Askari lived almost his entire life under house arrest in Samarra
Samarra
Sāmarrā is a city in Iraq. It stands on the east bank of the Tigris in the Salah ad-Din Governorate, north of Baghdad and, in 2003, had an estimated population of 348,700....

 and under supervision of Abbasid
Abbasid
The Abbasid Caliphate or, more simply, the Abbasids , was the third of the Islamic caliphates. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from all but the al-Andalus region....

 caliphs.

Al-Mutawakkil
Al-Mutawakkil
Al-Mutawakkil ʻAlā Allāh Jaʻfar ibn al-Muʻtasim was an Abbasid caliph who reigned in Samarra from 847 until 861...

 son al-Mu’tasim was the first of these oppressive caliphs. He assumed the rule in 232 AH. In the same year Imam Abu Muhammad (a.s.) was born. Al-Mutawakkil had strong animosity towards the any members of the Ahlul Bayt and as such he ordered his men to bring Imam al-Hadi to Samarra from Medina. He imposed house arrest on the Imam and had detectives and policeman watching all his activities and preventing the Shii
Shi'a Islam
Shia Islam is the second largest denomination of Islam. The followers of Shia Islam are called Shi'ites or Shias. "Shia" is the short form of the historic phrase Shīʻatu ʻAlī , meaning "followers of Ali", "faction of Ali", or "party of Ali".Like other schools of thought in Islam, Shia Islam is...

 from having any contact with him. The reign of al-Mutawakkil was ended by his son, al-Muntasir
Al-Muntasir
Al-Muntasir was the Abbasid caliph in Baghdad from 861 to 862. His pious title means He that Triumphs in the Lord.Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari records that in A.H. 236 al-Muntasir led the pilgrimage. The previous year al-Mutawakkil had named his three son's heirs and seeming to favour al-Muntasir...

, who joined forces with the Turks
Turkish people
Turkish people, also known as the "Turks" , are an ethnic group primarily living in Turkey and in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire where Turkish minorities had been established in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Romania...

 to kill his father. After the coup al-Muntasir assumed the rule that once belonged to his father. He was not like his father, and during this time Imam Hasan al-Askari felt freedom. This reign did not last long, as al-Muntasir died shortly thereafter. Most historians believe he was assassinated by the Turks, via poison, due to their fear that he might end their domination over the Islamic nation. After the death of al-Muntasir, al-Musta'een took control. he had little political influence and was considered by many to be a tool controlled by the Turks. He had bitter hatred of Imam al-Askari and feared that he might rise in a revolt against the Abbasid rule. He was thus again placed under house arrest. Eventually, al-Musta'een's rule too was ended by the Turks and he was forced to hand the position over to al-Mu'tazz. Imam Hasan al-Askari continued to live under house arrest under the reign of al-Mu'tazz , al-Muhtadi
Al-Muhtadi
Al-Muhtadi was the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad from 869 to 870.After the death of al-Mu'tazz, the Turks chose his cousin, al-Muhtadi, son of al-Wathiq by a Grecian slave-girl, as the new Caliph. Al-Muhtadi turned out be firm and virtuous compared to the last few Caliphs...

, and al-Mu'tamid
Al-Mu'tamid
This article is about the Abbasid Caliph al-Mu'tamid of Baghdad. For the Andalusi Arabic poet who was also the Abbadid king of Seville, see Muhammad Ibn Abbad Al Mutamid...

, until his death
Death
Death is the permanent termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism. Phenomena which commonly bring about death include old age, predation, malnutrition, disease, and accidents or trauma resulting in terminal injury....

. The cause of his death has largely been speculated to be due to poison
Poison
In the context of biology, poisons are substances that can cause disturbances to organisms, usually by chemical reaction or other activity on the molecular scale, when a sufficient quantity is absorbed by an organism....

 administered by the last Abbasid caliph of his time, al-Mu'tamid.

Tafsir al-Askari


He was very knowledgeable and despite being confined to house arrest for almost his entire life, Hasan al-Askari was able to teach others about Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, and even compiled a commentary on the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 that would be used by later scholars. This became known as Tafsir al-Askari. However, there was many suspicion regarding whether or not it truly was his or not. The Tafsir
Tafsir
Tafseer is the Arabic word for exegesis or commentary, usually of the Qur'an. Ta'wīl is a subset of tafsir and refers to esoteric or mystical interpretation. An author of tafsir is a mufassir .- Etymology :...

 was accused by some to be weak in its chain of authorities (Sanad), which is an essential part of the transmission of a tradition. The tafsir was also questioned because it contained a few inconstancies and lacks eloquence which some claim ruin its validity by default. The main reason people questioned the validity of the Tafsir is the fact that the Imam was under constant watch by the Abbasid government who prevented any contact between him and the Shi'i so it would make it impossible for such knowledge to be transferred.

Imamate


Hasan al-Askari's imamate met difficulty even before the death of his father. Many felt that Hasan al-Askari became the eleventh Imam by default because his older brother had died and was considered the designated successor to his father during his lifetime. Some of those who refused to accept the imamate of al-Askari, had instead chosen to follow his younger brother hereafter referred to as Ja'far (not to be confused with his deceased older brother). His right to succession was also challenged by this same brother.

Imam al-Askari represented the front of opposition to the Abbasid rule. He criticized the rulers for appropriating the wealth of the nation and extorting the people under their rule. He did so by not communicating with or cooperating with kings who took wealth unlawfully and used followers of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 as slaves. Due to the domination of the Turks, al-Askari had little effect on the Political life during his time. The state remained in a political crisis, as the Abbasid Caliphs were considered puppets of the Turks who ruled with terrorism
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

.

The religious life during the time of Imam al-Askari's imamate was also in shambles as well. Because al-Askari was under house arrest for a majority of his life, many non-believers took advantage of this time and tried to misguide the Muslims. He did continue to speak out against those who questioned the Qur'an. As was the case when a philosopher by the name of Isaaq al-Kindi wrote "The Contradiction of the Qur'an". Historians claim that al-Askari had a disciple relay a powerful message to the philosopher in which he stated

"If someone recites the Qur'an, is it possible that he means other meanings than what you think you understand? If he says it is possible say to him How do you know? He might mean other than the meanings that you think, and so he fabricates other than the Qur'an's meanings".


The claim that follows is that the Philosopher burned his book in light of the belief that no one besides a member of the Ahlul Bayt could say something like this and that he must truly be the eleventh Imam from this lineage. In this way the Imam had some influence on the religious lives of his followers. He would address them through the visitors he was permitted to receive.

Death


Because he lived a majority of his life being mistreated under house arrest by the caliphs of the time, eventually, Hasan al-Askari died on the 8th Rabi' al-awwal
Rabi' al-awwal
Rabi' al-awwal is the third month in the Islamic calendar. During this month, Muslims around the world celebrate Mawlid - the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Sunni Muslims believe the exact date of birth of Muhammad to have been on the twelfth of this month, whereas Shi'a Muslims believe...

 260 AH (approximately: 1 January 874)

After his death, his brother Ja'far ibn Ali took it upon himself to seize what was left behind al-Askari. It is claimed by historians that he also took public possession of his late brother's property and also tried to take his place in the eyes of his followers. It is also claimed that he made vicious insinuations against his late brothers followers and also began threatening them if they did not follow him.

After the death of Hasan al-Askari, there was a sect of his followers who believed, as a result of shock and bewilderment, that he did not die, but had instead entered occultation
The Occultation
The Occultation in Shia Islam refers to a belief that the messianic figure, or Mahdi, who in Shi'i thought is an infallible male descendant of the founder of Islam, Muhammad, was born but disappeared, and will one day return and fill the world with justice. Some Shi'is, such as the Zaidi and...

 and that he was the Mahdi
Mahdi
In Islamic eschatology, the Mahdi is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will stay on Earth for seven, nine or nineteen years- before the Day of Judgment and, alongside Jesus, will rid the world of wrongdoing, injustice and tyranny.In Shia Islam, the belief in the Mahdi is a "central religious...

. According to this sect, their beliefs were based upon the impossibility of the death of the Imam without an apparent known issue (this sect did not believe in the imamate or even existence of Muhammad al-Mahdi
Muhammad al-Mahdi
Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan al-Mahdī is believed by Twelver Shī‘a Muslims to be the Mahdī, an ultimate savior of humankind and the final Imām of the Twelve Imams...

), since the earth can never be without an imam according to their doctrine. This sect later separated into several other groups. Among them were those who admitted the death of Imam Hasan al-Askari, but added that he returned to life after a little while, in accordance with a tradition on the meaning of the word Qa’im
Al-Qa'im (person)
Al-Qāʾim is a messiah-like figure in Shia Islam, sometimes referred to as the Mahdi, but distinctly of a Shiʿa tradition.-External links:* *...

, i.e. one who returns to life after his death. Also among them were those who claimed that he did die and did not return to life, but that he will return to life in the future. These groups incorporated some traditions (into their thought) from some early Waqifite Shiite
Waqifite Shia
The Waqifite Shia were a Shia sect who accepted the Imamate of Musa al-Kadhim, but refused to accept the Imamate of his successor Ali ar-Ridha.-Beliefs:The Waqifites believed in the Mahdism and the occultation of Imam Mūsà ibn Ja‘far al-Kāẓim...

 movements.

Hasan al-Askari is buried in the mausoleum
Mausoleum
A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or persons. A monument without the interment is a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb or the tomb may be considered to be within the...

 containing the remains of his father, Ali al-Hadi
Ali al-Hadi
‘Alī al-Hādī , also known as ‘Alī an-Naqī was the tenth of the Twelve Imams. His full name is ‘Alī ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Alī. The exact date of his birth and death are unknown, but it is generally accepted that he was born between 827–830 CE and he died in 868 CE.- Early years :‘Alī al-Hādī was born...

 – The Al-Askari Mosque
Al-Askari Mosque
Al ‘Askarī Mosque or the ‘Askariyya Mosque/Shrine is a Shī‘ah Muslim holy site located in the Iraqi city of Sāmarrā from Baghdad. It is one of the most important Shī‘ah mosques in the world, built in 944...

 in Samarra
Samarra
Sāmarrā is a city in Iraq. It stands on the east bank of the Tigris in the Salah ad-Din Governorate, north of Baghdad and, in 2003, had an estimated population of 348,700....

, Iraq. The site is considered a holy shrine for the Shi’a's, though a bomb blast on 22 February 2006 destroyed much of the structure, and another bomb blast
2007 al-Askari Mosque bombing
The 2007 al-Askari Mosque bombing occurred on June 13, 2007 at around 9 a.m. local time at one of the holiest sites in Shia Islam, the al-Askari Mosque, and has been attributed to al-Qaeda in Iraq or the Iraqi Baath Party. While there were no injuries or deaths reported, the mosque's two ten...

 on 13 June 2007 destroyed the two remaining minarets of the Al-Askariya Mosque.

Al-Mahdi


As witnessed at his funeral, he had a son whose birth was concealed because of the difficulties of the time and because of the belief that he was Muhammad al-Mahdi
Muhammad al-Mahdi
Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan al-Mahdī is believed by Twelver Shī‘a Muslims to be the Mahdī, an ultimate savior of humankind and the final Imām of the Twelve Imams...

; an important figure in Shi'i teaching who is believed will reappear at the end of time to fill the world with justice, peace and to establish Islam as the global religion.

Timeline


External links