Imam Hasan al-Askari (AS), father of the Savior and the Redeemer of Mankind
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On 8th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal in 260 AH, , Imam Hasan al-Askari (AS), the 11th Infallible Successor of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), was martyred as a result of a fatal dose of poisoning by Mo'tamed, the 15th self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime, in the city of Samarra in Iraq at the young age of 28 years.
The Imam, who during his six-year spiritual mission was either imprisoned or kept under house arrest by several Abbasid caliphs, was given slow poison on the 1st of Rabi al-Awwal in order to avoid suspicion. The poison worsened the physical condition of the 11th Imam and on the morning of 8th Rabi al-Awwal after Fajr prayers, he breathed his last. Before his death, he gave the necessary instructions to his 5-year old son, who was born and brought up in secrecy because of the fear of the regime, which was terrified of the Prophet's famous hadith that his rightful successors will number 12, and the last of them will rise as Qa'em al-Mahdi to cleanse the world of oppression by establishing the global government of peace, prosperity and justice.
The night before his martyrdom the 11th Imam wrote letters to his followers in various cities, informing them of the special conditions that would arise in the absence of his young son. One of the famous advices of Imam Askari (AS) to the Muslims reads: "It is obligatory for the people to follow the jurist who refrains from committing wrong, emphasizes his faith, opposes carnal desires, and obeys Allah's command." The city of Samarra was engulfed in grief as the Imam was laid to rest beside his father in his own house, which soon grew into a sprawling mausoleum, with pilgrims coming from all over the world to pay their respects to him. Alas, in 2006 and the following year, terrorists, funded by the US and certain Arab reactionary regimes like Saudi Arabia had desecrated the golden-domed shrine of Samarra through blasphemous bomb blasts. The shrine is being rebuilt and pilgrims are regularly visiting it.
Imam Mahdi (AS), the Savior and the Redeemer of Mankind
On 9th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal in 260 AH, marks the first day of the start of the divinely-decreed imamate or leadership of mankind of the Prophet's 12th and Last Infallible Successor, Imam Mahdi (AS), following the martyrdom of his father, Imam Hasan al-Askari (AS), the day before. His mother was the noble and virtuous Greek lady, Narjis, the granddaughter of the Byzantine Emperor, while from her mother's side she was descended from Simeon the loyal disciple of Prophet Jesus (AS).
When he was orphaned the 12th Imam was 5 years old and was brought up in secrecy, since the Abbasid caliphs were fearful of the famous hadith of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) that the 12th and the Last of his Infallible Heirs would rise as Qa'em al-Mahdi to cleanse the world of all traces of oppression and corruption by establishing the global government of peace, prosperity, and justice.
The Abbasids launched a manhunt to find the orphaned boy but by God's Grace he was safe from his enemies in what is called the state of “Ghaybat as-Soghra” (Minor Occultation). In 329 AH, the “Ghaybat al-Kobra” (Major Occultation) started, which still continues, and by the Grace of God, the Redeemer of mankind, along with Prophet Jesus (AS), will reappear in the end times when the earth would be filled with injustice.
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