Imam Hasan al-Askari (A.S.) Refutes the Agnostics
Imam Hasan al-Askari (as) lived a short life of 28 years. In this short life, he (as) had to endure great sufferings at the hands of the Abbasid tyrants. But in spite of all that suffering and confinement in Samarrah, 'Iraq, many scholars benefited from his God gifted knowledge and later became famous scholars in their fields. He (as) discussed with agnostics of that age many times about the existence of God and the reasons for the necessity of the Prophets and Imams and many atheists changed their minds and converted to Islam.
One of those was Ishaq al-Kindi. This man was a famous philosopher of 'Iraq. He collected such verses of Holy Quran whose meanings were apparently contradictory. He wanted to prove thereby that it was not the word of Almighty Allah. One day his disciples came to Imam al-'Askari (as) who told them, "Refrain your teacher from such tactics". They said, "We are students, how can we dare to do such things?" Imam (as) said, "Alright, you ask him as I instruct you". "Yes, that is possible", they said. Imam (as) said, "When he mentions to you such verses that apparently carry contradictory meanings, you tell him: What would you say if the speaker of these words (Allah) comes to you and says: What have you understood is not what I meant to say. The words are Mine and you ascribe their meanings, what type of logic is it? Did you ever ask Me what I meant to say through these words? If you never had the opportunity to ask Me, why do you needlessly ascribe meanings to My words? You only have the right to invent meanings of your own words and not for My words. Only he can explain the meanings of My words whom I have informed".
The students heard these statements of the Imam (as) and returned to their teacher and repeated the same to him. He was absolutely shocked and said, "Except for the Ahlul-Bayt (as), no one can think of such a thing. I am sure that Hasan al-'Askari (as) has told you all these". Thereafter Ishaq al-Kindi destroyed all the material he had collected on this subject. (Akhlaaq al-Aimma)
Once somebody asked Imam Hasan al-'Askari (as), "Whom does the verse refer to: 'Nay! These are clear communications in the breasts of those who are granted knowledge' (29:49)?" Imam (as) replied, "It refers to us – the Ahlul-bayt". (Akhlaaq al-Aimma)
Similarly, someone asked, "What does good in: 'Whoever brings good, he shall have better than it' (27:89) and evil in: 'And whoever brings evil, these shall be thrown down on their faces into the fire' (27:90) mean?" Imam (as) replied, "Good – denotes recognition of a divine Imam and his obedience; and Evil – stands for the denial of Imamate". (Akhlaaq al-Aimma)