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Why Was the Twelfth Imam Not Mentioned in the Will of Imam Hasan 'Askari?

Engineer Madani: It is said that in his last days when Imam Hasan 'Askari was ill he appointed his mother as the executer of his will so that she could manage his affairs after his death. This matter was officially approved by the court. In this will there was no mention of his son. Moreover, his estate was divided between his mother and his brother.1 Had he had a son then he would have certainly mentioned him in his last will so that he would not be deprived of his share of inheritance.

Mr. Hoshyar: Imam Hasan 'Askari intentionally kept his son's name off his last will so that he would remain immune from all the danger that could come to him from the ruler of the time. In fact, he was so careful in this matter and was so fearful about his son's birth being uncovered that at times, out of necessity, he would employ precautionary dissimulation in the matter of his son with his close associates to obscure the situation for them.

One of the companions of Imam Hasan 'Askari by the name of Ibrahim b. Idris relates that the Imam sent him a sheep with a message that he should sacrifice it for the latter's having performed the ceremony of shaving off his son's birth hair ('aqiqa), and share the meat with his family. Ibrahim carried out the Imam's order. But when he came to see him the Imam said: "Our child has died." However, once again he sent Ibrahim two sheep with a letter in which the Imam instructed Ibrahim:

In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Sacrifice these sheep for your master's ceremony of 'aqiqa and eat the meat with your family.

Ibrahim carried out the order. But when he came to see the Imam the latter did not mention anything about it.2

Imam Sadiq had also taken similar precautions in his last will. He had appointed five persons as executors of his will, including the 'Abbasid caliph Mansur, Muhammad b. Sulayman, the governor of Madina, his two sons, 'Abd Allah and Musa, and his wife Hamida, Musa's mother.3 By doing so he saved the life of his son Musa from imminent danger, because he knew that if his Imamate and legateship became known to the caliph, Mansur would have tried to get rid of his son. As a matter of fact events did happen exactly as Imam Sadiq had thought, because the caliph ordered that if the legatee of the Imam Sadiq was a specific person, then he should be killed.

1 Usul al-kafi, Bab mawlid Abi Muhammad al-Hasan b. 'Ali.

2 Bihar al-anwar, Vol. 51, p. 22.

3 Usul al-kafi, Bab al-ishara wa al-nass 'ala abi al-Hasan Musa.

Adopted from the book : "Al-Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.); the Just Leader of Humanity" by : "Ayatullah Ibrahim Amini"

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