Imam al-Askari’s (a.s.) Martyrdom
In spite of the fact that the Imam had never given any cause for concern to the Caliphs of his time, their guilt in this matter was so great that they did not leave these pious personalities in peace. If they had no fear of their throne they were afraid of the excellence and knowledge of the Imams. In the case of Imam Hasan al-Askari, the same type of jealousy led to the poisoning of the Imam to end this life of a saint whose only activity was to teach Qur’an as the Prophet and his AhlulBayt taught before him. During the rule of Al-Mu’tamid poison was given to the Imam mixed in some fruit and he died on 8th Rabi-al-Awwal 260 Hijri. He left only one son, whose name was Muhammad who was only five years old when his father died.
The Caliph Al- Mu’tamid himself attended the funeral prayer. When they all lined up and were ready to commence the prayers, Imam Hasan al-Askari’s brother Jafar stood in front of the people to lead the prayer. Before he could commence the prayer, a five year old boy came out of the house, went near his uncle. Shook his mantle and told him, “set aside uncle, only an Imam can lead the funeral prayer of an Imam”. His uncle Jafar stepped aside and this five year old boy lead the prayers. Immediately after the end of the prayer he went inside his house and was not seen by his pursuers, lead by the caliph Mu’tamid himself.
Our Eleventh Imam was buried in the same house where he had died, by the side of his father Imam Ali Naqi (AS). By the passage of time, the place was transformed into a great mausoleum and pilgrims from all over the Islamic lands came to pay their homage to the two Imams of AhlulBayt who were buried there.
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