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The Imam’s Noble Lineage

Imam Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) was from the heart of the prophetic family, by which Allah had honoured the Arabs and Muslims. It was the holiest family that had undertaken the issues of truth and justice among all peoples of the earth. There is no lineage in this world like the noble lineage which Imam al-Askari (a.s.) belonged to.

He was the son of Imam al-Hadi bin Imam Muhammad al-Jawad bin Imam Ali ar-Redha bin Imam Musa al-Kadhim bin Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq bin Imam Muhammad al-Baqir bin Imam Ali Zayn-al-Aabidin (as-Sajjad) bin Imam al-Husayn bin Imam Ali bin Abu Talib (peace be on them). These were the infallible imams of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) whom Allah had kept uncleanness away from and purified a thorough purifying, and whom the Prophet (a.s.) had made as the boat of rescue and safety for people.

His Father

His father was Imam Ali al-Hadi (a.s.), the tenth imam of the Shi’a faith. He was from the masters of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and the most knowledgeable, pious, and virtuous of all people at his time.

His Mother

His mother was the best of women at her time in her chastity, purity, and piety. Historians say she was from the good knowing women.1 Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) praised her by saying, ‘Saleel (her name) was purified from error, defect, and impurity.’2

She was a bondmaid3 from an-Nawbah.4 It did not harm her that she was a bondmaid, for man in the view of Islam is exalted by his guidance, piety, and propriety, and he is degraded by deviation from the right path.

Historians disagreed on her name. Some of them said her name was Saleel, which is the most valid assertion according to the previous tradition of Imam al-Hadi (a.s.). Some said she was called Sawsan.5 Others said her name was Hadithah,6 and others said Hareebah.

The Great Newborn Child

The birth of the newborn boy, Hassan Al-Askari who was the descendant of prophethood, and the remainder of the Imamate, made the world shine and Samara bloom. This great newborn was the continuity of the life of his infallible fathers who lit the intellectual life in the world of Islam. Delight and joy filled the hearts of the prophetic family for they knew that he would be the imam after his father, as Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) had told them.

Some historians said he was born in Medina,7 and some others said in Samarra.8 Historians also gave different dates for his birth. It was said that he was born in Rabee’ al-Awwal9 230AH,10 or 231,11 or 232,12 or 233.13

Ceremonies of Birth

After the birth of this blessed son, Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) recited the call to prayer in his right ear, and the Iqamah, the call to start prayer in his left ear. This was the first hymn that this blessed newborn boy met life with; “Allah is great, there is no god but Allah”.

On the seventh day after birth, Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) cut the hair of his newborn child, and gave silver or gold as much as the weight of his son’s hair to the poor as charity.

His Name And Surname

Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) named his blessed newborn child “al-Hasan” like the name of his great uncle, the master of the youth of Paradise. He surnamed him as Abu Muhammad,14 and Muhammad was the name of the awaited Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.), the great reformer and saviour of humanity, and the sought-after hope of the deprived and the disabled in the earth.

His Epithets

His epithets expressed his high and noble qualities. He was called:

1. Al-Khalis (the pure)15

2. Al-Hadi (the guide)16

3. Al-Askari (of the military);17 he was called so because the city (Samarra’) he lived in which was a military camp.

4. Az-Zakiy (pure, chaste, righteous)18

5. Al-Khass (peculiar),19 that Allah had distinguished him with virtues, and with responding to his supplications

6. As-Samit (silent),20: he was silent and he spoke just wisdom, knowledge, and the mention of Allah

7. As-Sires (lamp),: that he was as a lamp lighting the way and guiding the deviant to righteousness

8. At-Taqiy (pious)21

His Mien

Ahmad bin Ubaydillah bin Khaqan said about Imam al-Askari (a.s.), ‘He was brown with big eyes, fine stature, beautiful face, and good body. He had gravity and solemnity.22 And it was said he was between brown and white.’23

His Upbringing

Imam Al-Askari (a.s.) grew up in the house of guidance and the center of Imamate and general authority of Muslims. He was from the noble house whose people Allah had kept uncleanness away from and purified thoroughly.

Ash-Shabrawi says regarding this exalted house, ‘What an honourable house it is and what a glorious lineage it is! It is the house of pride and exaltation. They are all equal in the noble root, in the good inners, and in glory like the teeth of a comb.

How exalted a house it is! It has all qualities of perfection to the extent that it is not excepted by limitations such as “other than” or “except”. These imams have been ordered in glory like the order of pearls, and harmonized in honor that the first of them equals the next. Many were those who strove to degrade this house but Allah exalted and still exalts it, and many were those who spared no effort to separate the unity of this house but Allah gathered and gathers it. How many rights of this house were lost but Allah does not ignore or lose…’24

Scholarly studies note that one’s household has great influence on the forming of man’s behavior and the building of his personality. The good or bad scenes he sees inside the house are impressed upon him and adhere to him throughout his life. In the light of this fact, Imam Abu Muhammad (a.s.) obtained the best scenes of the purest education. He grew up in a house that Allah had purified and exalted … the house that raised the Word of Allah high in the Earth and offered dear sacrifices for the sake of Islam.

Imam Abu Muhammad (a.s.) grew up in the house of the Qur'an and the heart of Islam. His father Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) fed him with guidance and ideals to be the continuity of the mission of Islam.

God-Fearing

The distinct aspect in the childhood of Imam Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) was the fear of Allah. He was God-fearing since his early years. Historians mentioned that one day some man passed by Imam Abu Muhammad (a.s.) and saw him cry while he was with his fellow children. The man thought that this child cried for the toys in the children’s hands and that he could not participate in their playing. The man told the child that he would buy him what he might play with.

The child said,

‘No! We have not been created for play.’

The man was astonished and said, ‘Then, what for we have been created?’

The child said, ‘For knowledge and worship.’

The man asked the child, ‘Where have you got this from?’

The child said, ‘From this saying of Allah (What! Did you then think that We had created you in vain)25.’

The man was astonished and confused. He said to the child, ‘What has happened to you while you are still a guiltless little child?’

The child said, ‘Be away from me! I have seen my mother set fire to big pieces of firewood, but fire is not lit except with small pieces, and I fear that I shall be from the small pieces of the firewood of the Hell.’26

Faith in Allah was a part of, and a distinguishing element of Imam Abu Muhammad (a.s.). He did not fear but Allah, and this trait remained in him until the last moment of his life.

With His Father

Imam Abu Muhammad al-Askari (a.s.) spent a part of his life with his father Imam al-Hadi (a.s.). He did not part with him even in his travels. He saw in his father a true picture of the morals of his grandfather the messenger of Allah (s.a.w.w.) who had been preferred to all prophets, and saw in him the spirits of his fathers, the infallible imams (a.s.).

On the other hand, Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) saw in his son the natural continuity of the great Imamate and general authority of the Prophet (s.a.w.w.), and therefore he cared much for him. He praised him saying, “My son Abu Muhammad is the best of the progeny of Muhammad (blessing be on him and on his progeny) in nature, and the most trustworthy in authority. He is the eldest of my children, and he is my successor and the recipient of the handholds of Imamate and its governance.”27

of course, Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) was far above flattering or submission to emotions. He did not praise his son and announce his virtue unless he saw in him all noble aspects and high qualities. And it was so, because Imam Abu Muhammad al-Askari (a.s.) had all these virtues and nobilities.

Imam al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) kept to his father Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) and saw what he suffered from the Abbasid kings, especially al-Mutawakkil who spared no effort in oppressing Imam al-Hadi (a.s.). This tyrant was excessive in harming the Imam. He house-arrested him in Samarra’ and surrounded his house with policemen and detectives to watch him, and to prevent the ‘Ulama’, jurisprudents, and the rest of the Shi’a from associating with him.

Al-Mutawakkil also oppressed Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) in his living affairs, and ordered his men to search the house of the imam from time to time and take him to al-Mutawakkil in whatever state he was. It was al-Mutawakkil himself who had prevented officially the visiting to the holy shrine of Imam al-Husayn (a.s.), and ordered the shrine to be destroyed. All those terrible events took place before the eyes of Imam Abu Muhammad (a.s.) while he was yet in the early years of his youth. His heart was filled with pains and sorrows during the period he lived with his father.

The Death of His Brother

Muhammad Abu Ja’far, the brother of Imam al-Askari (a.s.), was a wonderful example of the infallible imams and a true picture of their thoughts and principles. He was very intelligent, with high morals and possessed vast knowledge, to the extent that many of the Shi’a thought that he would be the imam after his father Imam al-Hadi (a.s.).

Al-Aarif al-Kilani said about Abu Ja’far, ‘I accompanied Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin Ali since he was young. I saw no one purer nor more honorable than him. Abul Hasan al-Askari (Imam al-Hadi) left him in Hijaz while he was a child and then he came to him a young. He kept to his brother Abu Muhammad (a.s.)28 who educated him and fed him with his knowledge, wisdom, and morals.’

Abu Ja’far became seriously ill, maybe because of being poisoned by the Abbasids. He remained in this state for some days, suffering intolerable pains while his brother Imam Abu Muhammad (a.s.), who loved him much, was with him all this time. However, after not long, Abu Ja’far departed to the better world, but Imam Abu Muhammad’s heart was broken and he was very sorrowful and distressed over the loss of his dear brother.

With His Brother Al-Husayn

Al-Husayn bin Ali al-Hadi (a.s.) was a pure man of great knowledge and high morals. He was always with his brother Imam Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) and they were called “as-Sibtayn”29 like their two grandfathers Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn (a.s.). They were famous for this title at that time.

Abu Hashim said, ‘One day, I rode on my sumpter and said: ‘(Glory be to Him Who made this subservient to us and we were not able to do it).30

One of as-Sibtayn heard me say that and said to me, ‘You have not been ordered of this, but you have been ordered to remember the blessing of your Lord on you when you ride on it (on the sumpter).’31

The Loss of His Father

Imam al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) suffered the great loss of his father, and it was the heaviest calamity he had ever faced in his life.

The Abbasid tyrant al-Mu’tamid assassinated Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) by adding poison to his food,32 when he saw all people talk prevalently about the virtues and vast knowledge and the high position of the imam. He was very angry and was filled with envy against Imam al-Hadi (a.s.). Then, he committed this terrible crime against him.

After being poisoned, Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) suffered terrible pains and retired to bed. The Shi’a and high statesmen visited him. Some poets visited him like Abu Hashim al-Ja’fari who composed a sorrowful poem on him. Abu Du’amah visited him and when he wanted to leave, the imam said to him,‘O Abu Du’amah, you have a right on me. Do I tell you a tradition that shall delight you?’

Abu Du’amah said, ‘I am in utmost need of that O son of the messenger of Allah.’

Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) said, ‘My father Muhammad bin Ali told me from his father Ali bin Musa bin Ja’far from his father Ja’far bin Muhammad from his father Muhammad bin Ali from his father Ali bin al-Husayn from his father al-Husayn bin Ali from his father Ali bin Abu Talib that the messenger of Allah (a.s.) said to him, ‘Write down!’ Ali said, ‘What shall I write down?’ The messenger of Allah (a.s.) said, ‘Write down: “In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Faith is that which hearts acknowledge and deeds prove, and Islam is that which tongues witness and marriage becomes lawful with.’

Abu Du’amah said, ‘O son of the messenger of Allah, I do not know which of them is better; the tradition or the narrators!’

Ali al-Hadi (a.s.) said, ‘It is a book written down by the hand of Ali bin Abu Talib and the dictation of the messenger of Allah (a.s.) that we inherit one from the other.’33

Before his death, Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) announced that the imam after him would be his son Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.). He appointed him as the general authority for the Shi’a and entrusted him to prepare his corpse (after death), offer the prayer on him, and bury him. He entrusted him with other affairs too.

To The Paradise

The poison reacted inside the body of Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) and he grew weaker and weaker. Death approached him hastily, and when he felt his end, he turned towards the Qiblah and began reciting some Surahs (chapters) from the Qur'an. His pure soul went high to the heaven surrounded by angels while his lips and heart were busy mentioning Allah. The earth shook for the terrible disaster. The leader, the instructor, and the father of the weak and the deprived died! A bondmaid went out of the Imam’s house crying out, ‘It was terrible that which we have met on Monday before and now!’34

The women’s eyes were filled with tears after this alarming cry, and their memories went back to that Monday where the meeting of as-Saqifah35 was held and since then disasters and misfortunes were poured over the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).

Imam Abu Muhammad (a.s.) washed the pure corpse of his father, and enshrouded it. Then he offered the prayer on his father while his heart was full of sorrow and pain for the great loss.

Samarra’ shook for the terrible affliction, and people of all classes hurried to escort the pure corpse of their imam. Stores, markets, and state offices were closed. Viziers, ‘Ulama’, judges, high officials, and the rest members of the Abbasid family were before the bier while mentioning the virtues and high qualities of the imam and talking about the great loss that afflicted the Muslim nation. Historians said that Samarra’ had never seen such escorting throughout its history.

Under a halo of the call “Allah is great" and before masses of human beings who were like waves in the sea, Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) was placed by his son Imam Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Askari, whose tears were flowing over his cheeks, into his last abode.

When Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) died, Imam al-Askari (a.s.) was twenty36 or twenty-three years old.36 He assumed the Imamate and the general religious authority over Muslims while he was yet too young.

All elements of piety and righteousness, all virtues of this world, manners of prophethood, and qualities of Imamate were gathered in Imam Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.), compared to whom there was none better in his time. Here we talk in brief about his worship:

His Worship

Imam Abu Muhammad al-Askari (a.s.) was the best worshipper among all people of his time. He spent the night with praying, prostrating, and reciting the Book (Qur’an). Muhammad ash-Shakiri said, ‘The imam sat in the mihrab and prostrated. I slept and awoke while he was still in prostration.’37

His Prayer

In his prayer, he turned with all his heart and feelings towards Allah, the Creator of the universe and the Giver of life. He felt or paid attention to nothing of the affairs of this life while he was in prayer. His soul clung to Allah devotedly and totally.

His Qunut

In his prayer during the Qunut38, Imam Abu Muhammad (a.s.) recited this du’a:

“O You, Whose light covers darkness, O You, by Whose holiness rugged mountain passes are lit, O You, to Whom all the inhabitants of the earth and the heavens submit, O You, to Whom every insolent tyrant surrenders with obedience, O You the Aware of hidden consciences, You are Merciful to everything and Aware of everything, forgive those who repent and follow Your path, protect them from the torment of Fire, give them soon Your victory that You have promised them of and You do not fail the promise! Devastate the people of evil and take them to the worst abode in the worst punishment and the ugliest retreat.

O Allah, You know the secrets of creatures, and are aware of their consciences. You are in need of nothing except that You carry out what You have promised of. You do not uncover the hidden secrets of Your people. O my Lord, You know what I conceal and what I show of my behaviors, movements, and all my emotions. O my Lord, You see the sufferings of the people of Your obedience and what they meet from Your enemies, and You are generous and not stingy in Your blessings, and the more efforts require more reward. You have ordered Your people of supplication if they turn to You sincerely and this requires the more of Your favors.

These forelocks and necks are submissive to You subserviently acknowledging Your deity, invoking on You with their hearts, and looking forward to Your prompt rewarding, and what You willed took place and what You will shall take place. You are the called upon, the hoped for, and the asked that no taker whatever great he is shall decrease You (i.e., Your favors), and no seeker whatever he insists and invokes shall weary You. Your kingdom shall not come to an end, and Your eternal glory shall remain forever, and nothing in the ages is out of Your will a bit. You are Allah, there is no god but You, the Merciful, the Mighty. O Allah, assist us by Your assistance, suffice us with Your protection, and give us what You give those who hold fast by Your rope, who shade themselves under Your shade…’39

His Du’a in the Morning

“O You, Who are greater than every great thing, Who have no partner and no vizier; O You, the Creator of the sun and the lighting moon, the shelter to the resorting fearful, the Liberator of tied captives, the nourisher of young babies, the setter of broken bones, the Merciful to the old, the light of light, the Manager of affairs, the Resurrector of those in graves, the Healer of chests, the Maker of shadow and heat, the One Aware of what is in chests, the Revealer of the Book, the light, the great Qur'an, and the Book of Psalms.

O You, Whom angels glorify in the morning and night; O You, the Permanent and Eternal, the Bringer forth of plants in the early morning and afternoon, the Enlivener of the dead, the Resurrector of decayed bones, the Hearer of sounds, the Everlasting, the Dresser of bones that decay after death!

O You, Whom nothing distracts from any other thing, Who do not change from a state to another, Who do not need to move or advance, Whom no affair prevents from any other affair, Who cancels for charity and supplication what has been determined and affirmed in the Heaven of bad judgement, Whom no place can include or encompass, Who puts remedy in what You like of things, Who keeps alive from serious disease with the least of nourishment, Who removes by the least of remedy the worst of diseases.

O You, Who, if promises, fulfils, if threatens, pardons; O You, Who possesses the needs of requesters, Who knows what is there inside the consciences of the silent; O You, the Most Magnificent, the Generous in pardoning.

O You, Who have a face that never becomes old, Who have complete sovereignty, Who have the inextinguishable light, Whose throne is over everything, Whose authority is over the land and the sea, Whose wrath is in Hell, Whose mercy is in Paradise, Whose promises are true, Whose favors are uncountable, Whose mercy is wide.

O You, the Helper of the callers for help, the Responder to the call of the compelled, O You, Who are in high esteem while Your creation is of low esteem, O You, the Lord of the mortal souls, the Lord of the worn bodies, the most perceptive of seers, the most hearing of hearers, the most prompt of accounters, the wisest of judges, the Most Merciful of the merciful, the Giver of gifts, the Releaser of captives, the Lord of glory, the One of piety and forgiveness.

O You, Whose limit cannot be perceived, Whose number cannot be counted, Whose aid does not cease, I bear witness, and the witness to me is honor and supply, and from me obedience and submission, and by which I hope deliverance on the day of sighing and regret, that You are Allah; there is no god but You alone with no partner, and that Muhammad is Your slave and messenger, Your blessing be on him and on his progeny, and that he has informed and carried out on behalf of You what was his duty to You, and that You always create, provide with livelihood, give, deny, exalt, humble, enrich, impoverish, disappoint, help, pardon, show mercy, forgive, overlook what You know, do not wrong, straiten, enlarge, omit, fix, initiate, reproduce, enliven and deaden; have mercy on Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad and guide me from You, give me from Your favor, spread on me from Your mercy, and send down to me from Your blessings, for You often have accustomed me to good and favor, given me too much, and uncovered my ugly deeds.

O Allah, send blessings on Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad and hasten my deliverance, forgive my slips, pity my loneliness, take me to the best of Your worships, gift me with health from my illness, plenty of my supplies, inclusive soundness in my body, insight in my religion, and help me to ask you for forgiveness before death comes and hope ends, and help me bear death and its distress, the grave and its loneliness, the scales and their lightness, the sirat40 and its slip, the Day of Resurrection and its terror.

I ask You for the acceptance of deeds before death, and ask You for strength in my hearing and sight for the doing of the best of that You have taught and made me understand. You are the lofty Lord, and I am the humble slave, and how great the difference between us! O You, Compassionate, Benefactor, of Glory and Honor, have blessings on Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad the good, the pure!”41

His Ideals

He was ideal in faith, morals, and psychology. He inherited all the perfections of his fathers who had been created for virtue and honor. We refer here to some of his perfections:

His Knowledge

Historians unanimously mentioned that Imam Abu Muhammad al-Askari (a.s.) was the most knowledgeable and the best of the people of his age, not only in religious affairs and laws, but in all fields of knowledge. Bakhtshou’ the Christian physician said to his disciple Batriq about the imam, ‘…and he is the most knowledgeable of all those under the sky in our day.’42

If the Abbasid tyrants had given way to the imams of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and not subjected them to strict chase and confinement, they would have filled the world with their knowledge and sciences, and humanity would have received kinds of knowledge and intellectual development that it had never obtained throughout all ages and times.

The Abbasids perceived that if they did not prevent the people of knowledge and intellect from associating with the infallible imams, they (the imams) would spread powers of knowledge and culture and open new horizons not only in the fields of sciences but also in the political and social fields which would show to people the ignorance of the Abbasids, and their being distant from Islamic values. of course, this would shake their thrones, and therefore they tried their best to separate the nation from its real leaders.

His Patience

Imam al-Askari (a.s.) was from the most patient people. He always suppressed his anger and treated whoever wronged him with kindness and forgiveness.

The Abbasid government arrested and put him into prison while he was patient, saying nothing. He did not complain to anyone about what he suffered, but he entrusted his case to Allah the Almighty. This was from the signs of his patience.

His Strong Will

Imam Abu Muhammad (a.s.) was distinguished by his strong will. The Abbasid rulers tried to involve him into the government body and spared no effort to subject him to their desires, but they failed. The imam (a.s.) insisted on his independence and keeping away from them. The Abbasids considered him as the only representative of the opposition against their policies that were based on subjugation and oppression.

He resisted all the seductions that the Abbasid government offered to bring him into its way. He preferred the obedience of Allah and the satisfaction of his conscience to everything else.

His Generosity

No one was more generous than him among all people of his time. He appointed agents in most of the Muslim countries, and entrusted them to receive the legal dues and spend them on the poor and the deprived, to reconcile between people, and in other ways of the general welfare.

From that which historians mentioned about his generosity was that Muhammad bin Ali bin Ibrahim bin Imam Musa bin Ja’far al-Kadhim (a.s.) said, “We were in utmost need. My father said, ‘Let us go to this man (Imam Abu Muhammad). It is said he is generous.’

I said, ‘Do you know him?’

He said, ‘No, and I have never seen him at all.’

We went to him. On our way, my father said, ‘How much we need! May he order to give us five hundred dirhams; two hundred for clothes, two hundred for flour, and one hundred for spending!’

I said to myself, ‘Would that he order to give me three hundred dirhams; one hundred to buy a donkey, one hundred for spending, and one hundred for clothes so that I can go to the mountain!’

When we stopped at his (Imam Abu Muhammad’s) door, his servant came out and said, ‘Let Ali bin Ibrahim and his son Muhammad come in.’

When we came in and greeted him, he said to my father, ‘O Ali, what made you not visit us all this time?’

My father said, ‘I felt shy to meet you in this case.’

They (Ali and his son) stayed with the imam for some time and then came out. The servant of the imam came, gave Ali bin Ibrahim a pouch of money and said, ‘These are five hundred dirhams; two hundred for clothes, two hundred for flour, and one hundred for spending.’ He gave Muhammad a pouch of three hundred dirhams and said to him, ‘Spend one hundred for buying a donkey, one hundred for clothes, and one hundred for spending, and do not go to the mountain but go to Sawra!’ Muhammad went to Sawra and became one of the wealthy Alawids.43

Abu Hashim al-Ja’fari said, ‘Once, I complained to Abu Muhammad the distress of imprisonment and the pains of ties. He wrote to me, ‘You shall offer the Dhuhr (noon) Prayer in your house today.’ I was set free (from prison) at noon and I offered the prayer in my house as the imam said. I was in need and I wanted to ask him for help (but I did not) in the letter I had sent to him. When I arrived in my house, he sent one hundred dinars to me and wrote to me, ‘If you need something, do not feel shy or refrain from asking. Ask and you shall get what you like, insha’Allah (God willing).’44

Historians mention many stories of his generosity that show his love and kindness to the poor and the deprived.

High Morals

Imam Abu Muhammad (a.s.) was nonesuch in his very high morals. He met friends and enemies with his noble character. He inherited this nature from his great grandfather the Prophet (s.a.w.w.) whose high morals included all people equally.

His high morals affected his enemies and opponents, and they turned to be his loyal lovers. Historians say that he was imprisoned during the reign of al-Mutawakkil who was the bitterest enemy to the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and the progeny of Imam Ali (a.s.). The caliph ordered the imam to be punished very severely, but when he communicated with the imam and observed his high morality and piety, he was confounded. After that, he did not raise his eyes before the imam as a kind of respect and glorification. When the imam left him, he praised the imam with the best words.45

Infallibility

The Twelver Shi’a consider infallibility as an attribute of their imams. They mean by infallibility that it is impossible for an imam to make a mistake, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Because of this, the opponents of the Shi’a waged violent attacks against them by claiming that there was no difference between the imams and the rest of people in committing sins and disobediences. However, this claim does not hold any The serious studies of the lives of the imams of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) demonstrate that they were infallible, and none of them had ever erred or committed a mistake since birth until their last breath. Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘By Allah, if I am given the seven districts with all that under their skies to disobey Allah to the extent of the husk of a grain of barley, that I deprive it of a mouth of a locust, I will never do it.’ Is this not infallibility?!

The truth in its brightest pictures and aspects appeared in the lives of the imams of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Whoever reads their biographies can neither find a slip in their doings nor in their sayings, but he only finds true faith, piety, and high morality. And we do not mean by infallibility except these meanings.

  • 1. Uyun al-Mu’jizat.
  • 2. A’yan ash-Shi’a, vol.3 p.289.
  • 3. Usul al-Kafi.
  • 4. Sirr as-Silsilah ath-Thahabiyyah, p.39. An-Nawbah is a wide area in the south of Egypt. The Prophet (a.s.) praised the people of an-Nawbah by saying, ‘Whoever has no brother, let him take a brother from an-Nawbah.’
  • 5. Bihar al-Anwar, vol.50 p.37.
  • 6. Al-Irshad, p.315.
  • 7. Akhbar ad-Duwal, p.117, Bahr al-Ansab, p.2, Tuhfat al-Imam, p.86, Ilal ash-Sharayi’.
  • 8. Jawahir al-Ahkam.
  • 9. The third month in the Islamic calendar.
  • 10. Bihar al-Anwar, vol.50 p.35, Tareekh Abul Fida’, vol.2 p.48, Ilal ash-Sharayi’.
  • 11. An-Nujoom az-Zahirah, vol.3 p.32, Sirr as-Silsilah al-Alawiyyah, p.39.
  • 12. Bahr al-Ansab, p.2, Akhbar ad-Duwal, p.117, al-Ittihaf Bihubil Ashraf, p.86, al-Kamil, vol.5 p.373.
  • 13. Encyclopedia of al-Bustani, vol.7 p.45.
  • 14. Akhbar ad-Duwal, p.117, Bahr al-Ansab, p.2, Tuhfat al-Anam, p.86, an-Nujoom az-Zahirah, vol.3 p.32.
  • 15. Akhbar ad-Duwal, p.117, Bahr al-Ansab, p.2.
  • 16. Bahr al-Ansab, p.2.
  • 17. Ibid.
  • 18. Tuhfat al-Anam, p.87, Bihar al-Anwar, vol.50 p.236.
  • 19. Tuhfat al-Anam, p.87.
  • 20. Ibid.
  • 21. Safinat al-Bihar, vol.1 p.259.
  • 22. Bihar al-Anwar, vol.50 p.326.
  • 23. Ibid., p.238, Akhbar ad-Duwal, p.117.
  • 24. Al-Ittihaf Bihubil Ashraf, p.68.
  • 25. Qur'an, 23:115.
  • 26. Jawharat al-Kalam, p.155, the Encyclopedia of al-Bustani, vol.7 p.45.
  • 27. A’yan ash-Shi’a, vol.3 p.295.
  • 28. Al-Mujdi fin-Nasab (manuscript).
  • 29. The two grandsons.
  • 30. Qur'an, 43:13.
  • 31. Safeenat al-Bihar, vol.1 p.259.
  • 32. Al-Manaqib, vol.4 p.401.
  • 33. Murooj ath-Thahab, vol.4 p.171.
  • 34. Murooj ath-Thahab, vol.4 p.171.
  • 35. It was the day of the prolonged and acerbic negotiations which preceded the nomination of Abu Bakr as the successor of the Prophet (s.a.w.w.) who died just then and was not buried yet at the time of that meeting.
  • 36. Bahr al-Ansab, p.2.
  • 37. Dala’il al-Imama, p.227.
  • 38. Qunut is a supplication recited in prayers.
  • 39. Muhaj ad-Da’awat, p.62-63.
  • 40. Sirat means “way” or “path” but in the Islamic terminology, it means the bridge that dominates the Hell.
  • 41. Muhaj ad-Da’awat, p.277-278.
  • 42. Bihar al-Anwar, vol.50 p.261.
  • 43. Kashf al-Ghummah, vol.3 p.200.
  • 44. Kashf al-Ghummah, vol.3, 202.
  • 45. Kashf al-Ghummah, vol.3 p.204.

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