Short Biography of Imam Hasan Askari AS
He was born in Medina in Rabi ul-Thani of the year 232 hijri or December 846. He became Imam at the age of 22 and his Imamat lasted 6 years.
Imam Ali Naghi AS along with his son, Imam Hasan Askari AS prepared Muslims for the Imam Hasan’s son, the promised Savior’s birth and absence by their special social life. They hid away from public places except for certain circumstances when they were summoned by the kings or had to meet them, and limited their visits with Muslims in their houses and from behind veils and curtains, in order to prepare Muslims from the absence that the last Imam, Imam Mahdi AS would have.
Imam Hasan AS lived at the time of the Abbasid caliph, Al-Mu’tamid, who poisoned him in the year 260 hijri, when he was only 28 years old. His son Imam Mahdi AS was born secretly 4 years earlier, and the time of Imam Hasan’s martyrdom only a few of true Shiites knew about his son, and others, even his vicious and vengeful uncle and the caliph thought the Imam had been barren.
Mu’tamid had kept Imam in Samarra, and in a military region, in order to have full supervision and control over his family and connections (Askar in Arabic means army). Shiite Imam and narrations since the time of prophet had promised that Imam Hasan would have a son that would bring back justice to the world, therefore, Mu’tamid, did his best to prevent such a promise to come true. A few days before and after Imam’s death, Mu’tamid sent his spies and soldiers into Imam Hasan’s house in search for a son, whom nobody could find. After Imam’s death, he sent doctors and soldiers to inspect all the women and servants in Imam’s house to see if any had been pregnant, but again no results was achieved.
Jafar, Imam Hasan’s brother, known as Jafar Kazzab, the liar, taking advantage of the opportunity, declared that he is the next Imam, but Muslims who knew about his mischievous history rejected him.
However, since Imam Hasan in his final years of life had shown and introduced his son to the devoted Shiites whom he knew would not betray the Imam to the caliphs, the Shiites knew about the true imam after Imam Hasan’s martyrdom and did not lose their faith. The story of Imam Hasan’s proposal to his wife and mother of Imam Mahdi AS is interesting and has been fully explained in the section related to the biography of Imam Mahdi AS.