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Jihad: Struggle Against One's Self or Holy War?

When most people hear the word jihad the first thing that comes to mind is Holy War by Muslims against all non-Muslims. Is this the actual meaning of jihad, or has this term been misused? How was jihad defined by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)1, the prophet of Islam? How has jihad been used by Muslims after the death of Muhammad (pbuh)? Has the media presented the Islamic or an alternative meaning of jihad to the public? Is jihad the struggle against one’’s self or is it holy war? One fifth of the human population2 has taken Islam as their way of life and it is very important that the real concept of jihad in Islam is presented in its truest form. Jihad means struggle and the greatest struggle is against the self.


The term jihad is taken from the origin of the word from the Arabic verb "jahada" which means to struggle or fight. When discussed in an Islamic context it is mans struggle against nature, man and himself. Man struggles against nature to protect himself from the weather, disease, natural disasters, and from animals that may do him harm. This struggle against nature is not the same as it was 1400 years ago because of advances in technology. We have better housing, living conditions, climate control, vaccinations and technologies that warn us when there is the threat of inclement weather. With all these advances the struggle continues because there are new viruses, no absolute defense against natural disasters, and many people are still getting attacked by wild animals every year. The struggles against nature will always exist. Man throughout history has struggled against one another in matters of land, ideology, wealth and religion. Some of these struggles have been resolved peacefully like the United States and Russia did during the cold war or not so peacefully like the United States and Iraq during this present war.’ ‘  Man’s struggle against man can be traced back Biblically to Cain verses Abel Genesis 4:8, ‘’¦So it came about that while they were in the field Cain proceeded to assault his brother and kill him’. This shows one person against another, and there are also wars where communities are against communities, and nations are against nations. This is nothing new and as long as men continue not to disagree agreeably this will continue to exist. Man verses himself is so universal that it effects all men in every society and in all times. There is never a time when man is not with himself. Man struggles constantly with his emotions, morality, mortality, sexuality, and religious beliefs. He struggles to do what’’s right in his home in the work place and society at large. These struggles are inescapable. This is why the jihad of the self is called great because it has to be waged at all times and in all places.

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) like all prophets before him came to teach men how to be moral and upright. He was not an advocate of war nor did he take part in many. In her book "Muhammed," author Karen Armstrong writes:

Fighting and warfare might sometimes be necessary, but it was only a minor part of the whole jihad or struggle. A well-known tradition (hadith) has Muhammad saying on returning from a battle, ' We return from the little jihad to the greater jihad,' the more difficult and crucial effort to conquer the forces of evil in oneself and in one's own society in all the details of daily life.

Muhammad exhorted his companions to the worship of God alone and to self purification (jihad). While being oppressed in Mecca Muhammad never lifted a finger in his or his followers’’ defense. ‘The opposition began with ridicule and harassment and rapidly accelerated into an economic boycott and a threat to his personal life (Dr. Bashir Datoo 49). Muhammad and his followers were constantly beaten, spat on and two of them Samayya and her husband Yasser were murdered. Their murders and the continued persecution of the early Muslims caused the first migration of the Muslims from Mecca to Abyssinia and a later migration to Yathrib later named Medina. In Medina the first Islamic state was established 623 AD. There were Jews and Christians and pagans living there among each other in peace. There neither was any holy war (jihad) used to establish the Islamic State of Medina nor was there any compulsion used in trying to convert the non-Muslims. In Islam God has said ‘There is no compulsion in religion,’ (Holy Qur’an 2:256).’ ‘  When Muhammad and his followers returned victoriously to Mecca not one drop of blood was shed, and all that were there were forgiven. If jihad ‘holy war’ was to be waged against all non-Muslims all the pagans of Mecca and Jews and Christians in Medina would have been killed. Islamic historian Jafar Subhani writes in his book the Message,

Buoyed by the quickening pace of his revolution, the Prophet wrote letters and sent emissaries to neighboring rulers and heads of other religions to invite them to the fold of Islam. He set the stage for what unfolded, diffusion of Islam through vast areas of the Old World in the succeeding centuries. This was not achieved, as historians had previously alleged, by the force of the ‘sword,’ rather, as they themselves now readily acknowledge, by the intrinsic ‘appeal’ of the message itself. This appeal had to do with the emphasis that Islam laid on the moral and ethical development of a just and equitable society.

Muhammad led by example and his example was one of love, forgiveness and admonishing people to do good deeds and purify themselves through prayer, fasting and charity truly the great jihad.

After the death of Prophet Muhammad, Islam continued to expand at an unprecedented rate. However the Muslims were divided after the Prophet’s death into two main groups the Sunnis and the Shiites. The divide came because one group the Sunnis believed that the Prophet never named a successor to follow him so one needed to be elected and the other ‘Shiites’ believed that any successor to any Prophet had to be divinely chosen. This split did not lead to any wars directly following the death of the Prophet and the leaders that followed him were careful not to use compulsion in converting the people to Islam. This may seem contradictory and controversial in view of the state of Islam today in a place like Iraq where civil war between the Sunnis and Shiites is taking place. Some leaders from among the Islamic sects do see this type of fighting as Jihad, holy war, against other Muslims that don’t exactly believe the same way they do, they refer to them as Kufars ‘non-believers’ and they feel like it is their duty to purify the Muslim ranks of these non-believers. These groups misinterpret passages and verses from the Qur’an and traditions to try to justify their actions. Craig Branch agrees when writes, ‘A small percentage of Muslims who are from the extreme, radical and violent wing of Islamic Fundamentalism, and who are "...passionate, [deeply] religious and anti-Western...’ might dwell on passages or verses dealing with conflict, war, and resistance to oppression.’ The majority of Muslims adhere to the advice that was given by Ali ibn Abi Taleb3 to his governor in Egypt, ‘Oh Malik always remember that if a man is not your brother in faith he is your brother in humanity’ (Ordak 86). So despite the few renegades the majority of the Muslims view the greater jihad as, ‘the intimate struggle to purify one's soul of evil influences -- both subtle and overt. It is the struggle to cleanse one's spirit of sin’ (Al-Hajj Talib 'Abdur-Rashid).

In recent years Islam has come under attack in the media some justified some not. The biggest buzz words used by the media are Islamic Jihad, terrorism and fundamentalism. All have become terms that non-Muslims view as calls for all Muslims to unite against them. The majority of the conflicts that involves Muslims take place in the Middle East where there are mostly Arabs involved. This is ironic because the vast majority of Muslims are non-Arabs and according to Abdulrahman Al-Motrif, ‘Arabs only make up ten percent of the world wide population of Muslims’, and it seems like the call for holy war comes from that part of the world according to the media. Osama bin Laden is from Saudi Arabia and it has been reported that the majority of the hijackers in the 911 tragedy were also from Saudi Arabia. Some Muslims have begun to adopt the westernized view of jihad that has been reported from the Middle East by the media, that they should fight non-Muslims. This goes against the thinking of the majority of the Muslims and against what God says in the Qur’an, ‘Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and reason with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance’. (H.Q. 16:125). It would be unfair to say that all media on Islam has been negative, many in the media have tried to explain the Islamic view of jihad most notably, PBS video "Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet" (Dec. 18, 2002), The PBS video "Islam: Empire of Faith" (2001) and History Channel/A & E's (summer 2002) "Inside Islam". The media it seems has been reflective of society, some view Islam as a terrorist religion bent on ruling the world through holy war and others see the few renegades as derelicts misrepresenting what Islam and jihad are ultimately about. Although the overwhelming reports given by the media has shown jihad to mean holy war there are those that have championed jihad as the struggle against the self.

The question still remains, is jihad the struggle against the self or holy war? The answer is, it is both.’  Jihad means struggle and struggles exist internally and externally. Jihad of self on a personal level involves as stated by Al-Hajj Talib 'Abdur-Rashid:

Putting "Allah ahead of our loved ones, our wealth, our worldly ambitions and our own lives."
Resisting pressure of parents, peers and society; strive against "the rejecters of faith..." (Quran 25:52)
"...strive and struggle to live as true Muslims..."
"Striving for righteous deeds."
Spreading the message of Islam. "The (true) believers are only those who believe in Allah and his messenger and afterward doubt not, but strive with their wealth and their selves for the cause of Allah. Such are the truthful." (Quran, 49:15)

He further stated jihad has a verbal level:

To strive for justice through words and non-violent actions. Muhammad encouraged Muslims to demand justice in the name of Allah. When asked: "'What kind of jihad is better?' Muhammad replied, 'A word of truth in front of an oppressive ruler!'"‘  According to the Institute of Islamic Information and Education: "The life of the Prophet Muhammad was full of striving to gain the freedom to inform and convey the message of Islam. During his stay in Makkah [Mecca] he used non-violent methods and after the establishment of his government in Madinah [Medina], by the permission of Allah, he used armed struggle against his enemies whenever he found it inevitable."

He final says jihad has a physical level:

This relates to the use of physical force in defense of Muslims against oppression and transgression by the enemies of Allah, Islam and Muslims. Allah commands that Muslims lead peaceful lives and not transgress against anyone. If they are persecuted and oppressed, the Qur'an recommends that they migrate to a more peaceful and tolerant land: "Lo! Those who believe and those who emigrate (to escape persecution) and strive (Jahadu) in the way of Allah, these have hope of Allah's mercy..." (Quran, 2:218). If relocation is not possible, then Allah also requires Muslims to defend themselves against oppression by "fighting against those who fight against us." The Qur'an states: "To those against whom war is made, permission is given [to defend themselves], because they are wronged - and verily, Allah is Most Powerful to give them victory." (Quran 22:39)

The above references show that both views of jihad are used in Islam. It can also be said from the above references that violence is looked at as the final alternative to resolving issues. It shows that problems should be talked out and if that isn’’t working that one should leave the place where the conflicts are taking place to avoid physical fighting. Then when all else has failed permission has been given to fight in order to protect oneself. Nowhere in the Qur’an or tradition of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is there to be found any passage that makes it okay for a Muslim to be aggressive against any other human being. The Qur’an urges Muslims to fight against the oppressions and transgressions from the enemies of Islam and it warns the Muslims not to transgress the limits of others, ‘And fight in the way of Allah those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits’. (Quran 2:190)

Ayatollah Aga Pooya in his commentary of this verse says:

. Islam promotes peace, order and harmony in the human society and keeps man on the right path. When the enemies of Islam found that the light of this message was sweeping darkness from every corner, the disbelievers vowed to annihilate it. It was only then that, no recourse being left for the believers, they had to resolutely take up the sword in defense. Verses 39 and 40 of al Hajj also give permission to fight when any people is wronged, oppressed and persecuted.

If Numbers 25: 1 to 3 and 31: 7 to 18 in the Old Testament are read carefully one comes to the conclusion that when the Israelites, in Shitim, began to worship the gods of Moab the Lord God asked Moses to "take all the leaders of the people and hurl them down to their death before the Lord."

And they made war on Midians as the Lord has commanded Moses, and slew all the men. The Israelites took captive the Madianite women and children, and carried off all their cattle, their flocks and their property. They burnt all their cities. Moses asked them to kill every male child and every women who has had intercourse with a man.

So in the way of Allah, the prophets were commanded to put an end to the activities of the disbelievers who wanted to destroy the true devotees of Allah in order to stop the advancement and progress of the religion of Allah. The Quran commands the Muslims not to exceed the limits but to fight evil until its power base is dislodged, and if the kafirs (non believers) desist then to show mercy. Compared to what the other prophets did, as commanded by Allah, to destroy the unbelievers, the role assigned to the Holy Prophet as the "mercy unto the worlds" was the most benign of all the campaigns undertaken by His messengers to liberate mankind from the clutches of the enemies of Allah. He fought and killed the enemy whenever war was imposed on him.

Here Pooya shows how other Prophets (pbut) killed their enemies and how Muhammad was told to desist killing the enemy if they stopped fighting.

In conclusion Islam is growing about 2.9% per year which is faster than the total world population which increases at about 2.3% annually. It is thus attracting a progressively larger percentage of the world's population4. This is happening despite the overwhelming negative reports given by the media. According to aimpress.com, ‘6.4% of the world's population is converting to Moslem every year.’ They aren’’t converting to Moslem they are converting to Islam. The Middle East Media Research Institute reported that after 9/11, 34,000 Americans converted to Islam. In an article written in the New York Times October 2001 says, ‘One expert estimates that 25,000 people a year become Muslims in this country; some clerics say they have seen conversion rates quadruple since Sept. 11. With people entering the religion of Islam in such great numbers, reason must dictate that the Holy war that is being waged has to be one of the intellect and not of weapons. More people are asking about Islam and the answers they are finding are that Islam appeals to them and they are converting. Most people want peace and statistics show that more people are moving toward Islam which incidentally means peace. This shows that although jihad means Holy war more people believe that it is the struggle of each individual to please his maker. Again both views of jihad are present in Islam but as the Prophet Muhammad has said,’ The best jihad [struggle] is (by) the one who strives against his own self for Allah, The Mighty and Majestic."

Works Cited

Growth of Islam; https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html

Holy Bible: New World Translation

Karen Armstrong, "Muhammed: A biography of the Prophet," Harper San Francisco, (1993).

Mir Ahmed Ali, Translation of the Holy Qur’an

Dr. Bashir Datoo, ‘Perspectives on Islamic Faith and History’ (2007) Page 49

Ayatullah Ja'far Subhani, ‘The Message’ Islamic Seminary Publications Karachi, Pakistan Chapter 2 Arabia before Islam

George Jordac, ‘Voice of Human Justice’ Lebanon (1956). Online http://www.geocities.com/ahlulbayt14/ali4.html excerpts from ‘Voice of Human Justice’

"Save a Life, Save All Humanity--Take a Life, Kill All Humanity: What the Islamic scriptures really say about jihad and violence," Beliefnet, at: http://www.beliefnet.com/story/

Multi-lingual Qur’an, http://al-islam.org/quran/ Pooya Commentary on 2:190

Muslim population, http://muslim-canada.org/muslimstats.html

What America needs to know about Islam, aimpress.com

Islam in America Post 911, Middle East Media Research Institute (2001)

The rise of Islam in America, New York Times October 2001

Source: http://www.almujtaba.com


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Imam Al-Askari (A.S.) - One Of The Lights of Ahlulbayt (A.S.)


Islamic Articles - Imam Hassan Al-Askari (A.S.)

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 “An age will approach when the people’s faces would be laughing (exalting) and their hearts would be dark, bleak and dirty.  The Sunnah to them would be innovation and heresy.  The faithful would be belittled and debased among them.  The transgressor would be honoured and respected among them.  Their lords and chiefs would be ignorant and aggressive ones.  And the religious scholars would be on the threshold of aggressors and tyrants”. Imam Hasan Abu Muhammad Al-Askari (a-s) (Mustadak Ul-Wasail, vol. 2 p. 322).    

From birth until the divine call of Imamate:

Imam Al-Askari (a-s) had a very high position for two important reasons, the first: He (a-s) was the eleventh Imam of the holy Ahlul-Bayt (a-s), the 11th leader by divine command after the passing away of our most beloved Prophet Muhammad (saww), he was the 13th infallible. the second important reason is: He (a-s) is the father of the holy Imam of our times, who is the divinely selected leader (the last of the Holy Imams (a-s) before the coming of the end of all life, the resurrection, and the Day of Judgement) who will clean and purify the world of corruption, injustice, every kind of filth and immorality, Imam Muhammad Al-Mahdi (a-s) (May ALLAH (swt) hurry his advent). Imam Hasan Abu Muhammad Al-Askari (a-s) lived only 28 years.  He was born the 8th Rabi al-thani 232 A.H.  He was martyred by poison and left this temporal life on the 8th of Rabial-Awwal.260 A.H.

As all the holy Imams before him, he was of the highest possible level in worship, ethics, knowledge, piety, patience, etc.  His holiness Al-Imam Hasan Abu Muhammad Al-Askari (a-s) was without any doubt pure and infallible.  He was brought up by his father Imam Ali-al-Hadi (a-s) who taught him in the holy tradition of the Ahlul-Bayt (a-s) in abundance of knowledge, asceticism, holy Jihad, good actions, the best of morals, the spirit of belief and the good merits of the Ahlul-Bayt (a-s).  For a little more than 23 years, Imam Al-Askari (a-s) lived under the tutorship of his beloved father Imam Al-Hadi (a-s) and learned the inheritance of divine leadership (Imamate). ‘Imam Abul-Hasan Ali ibn Muhammad Al-Hadi (a-s) made his testamentary bequest to his son Imam Hasan Abu-Muhammad Al-Askari (a-s) four months before his death.  He indicated that the affair of the Imamate would belong to him after his passing away.  He made (Yahya b-Yasar Anbari) and a group of servants witnessed it’.  (Kitab Al- Irshad p. 335).

The Light of Imam Askari: His worship and personality:

Despite the terrible Abbasid Caliphs who terrorized and abused the “Alawites” (followers of Imam Ali (a-s) ) and no matter what terrible things they did to Imam Al-Askari (a-s), they could not ignore his holy personality, nor could they destroy his social status, political role and scholarly. Because of Imam Al-Askari’s (a-s) great status, the authorities imposed a semi house arrest on him and would force him to attend the office of the Caliphate every Monday and Thursday each week.  One of the servants of Imam Al-Askari (a-s) said: “Imam Al-Askari (a-s) was so righteous.  I have never seen a man like him, when the streets were crowded and noisy and full of people, when the Imam came, all noise would become silent and he would enter the office of the Caliphate and then the noise would start again, then when he would come out to leave, again all would become quiet again”.  (Ibid, p. 434).  As his status grew and the love for him (a-s) built-up, the Abbasid Caliphs pressed harder on his followers, Imam Al-Askari (a-s) sent a letter saying: “No one should greet me, nor refer to me with his hand, nor gesture because he would not secure himself”.  (Bihar-Anwar, vol. 50 p. 269).

Much of his time was spent in the tyrant’s jails, prisons and dungeons.  Imam Al-Askari (a-s) said: “I called upon ALLAH (swt) make all of my efforts to worship HIM and he did this”.  Muhammad Shakiri said: “Imam Al-Askari (a-s) used to sit in his prayer niche (Mihrab) and start prostrating, then I slept and when I woke up, I saw him still prostrating”. (Safinat Bihar, Majlisi, vol. 1 p. 260).  Muhammad ibn Ismael said: “While Imam Al-Askari was in prison, he (a-s) used to fast the day and pray at night.  He (a-s) never talked, nor occupied himself with anything else than worship”. (Ithbat-al-Wasiya, p. 245).  The Abbasids went to Salih b. Wasif when Imam Al-Askari (a-s) was imprisoned.  They told him:  “Be hard on him.  Don’t give him any ease”.  “What can I do with him?”  Salih asked them: “I entrusted him to two of the evilest men I could find.  They have become men of worship, praying and fasting to an amazing extent”.  Then he ordered those two men to be brought to him.  He said to them: “Shame on you! What is your involvement in the affairs of this man?”  They answered: “What can we say about a man who fasts through the day and stands in prayer through the night, who does not speak and occupies himself with nothing but worship?  When he (Imam Al-Askari (a-s)) looks at us, our limbs shake and within us is a feeling which we have never had”.  When the Abbasids heard this, they left in despair. (Kitab Al-Irshad, p. 522 Shaykh Al-Mufid).

One of Imam Al-Askari (a-s) recommendation to his followers and students:

“I recommend you to be in awe of ALLAH (swt), establish prayer, and pay poor rates (zakat) because no prayer will be accepted if one forbids paying poor-rates. I also recommend to you to ask for forgiveness in the case of committing sin, and restrain yourself in case of rage, to strengthen the relationship with relatives, to help friends, to strive hard in meeting their needs, be it in times of difficulties or easiness, to have patience in times of ignorance, to have good knowledge in your religion, to act slowly and carefully in all affaires, to bind yourself  with the Qur’an, to have good behaviour, to bid what is right and to forbid what is evil And to avoid abominations altogether. ALLAH Azz wa Jall, says: ‘There is nothing good in most of their whisperings except (in him) who bids charity or goodness or peace among the people.’ (Holy Qur’an 4 An-Nisa-114). You should keep up prayer at night, indeed, Prophet Muhammad (saww) recommended to Ali (a-s), saying: ‘O Ali! You should perform the prayer of night, you should perform the prayer of night, because whoever belittles the prayer of night is not from us, therefore, act according to my recommendation and order all my true followers (Shi’a) of what I ordered you until they practise it. Be patient and wait for relief, the best of my ummah is to wait for relief…’” (Anwar Bahiya, Qomi, p. 264.)

Some of Imam Al-Askari’s (a-s) miracles and merits:

I (Abu Hamza) heard Abu Muhammad Al-Askari (a-s) speaking on more then one occasion to his servants in their own languages. Among them were Turks, men of Byzantium and from Saqaliba (in the Caucasus). I was amazed at that and I said: “This man was born in Medina. He (a-s) did not show himself to anyone until Abu Al-Hasan Al-Hadi (a-s) died, and no one saw him. How is this?” I was saying this to myself when he (a-s) came up to me and said: “ALLAH (swt) has separated his proof (to the world) from the rest of HIS creatures and has given him knowledge of everything. He knows languages, genealogies and events. If it wasn’t for that, there would be no difference between the proof and those who are given the proof.” (Kitab Al-Irshad p. 519 Shaykh Al-Mufid).

I ((Isma’il b Muhammad) sat waiting for Abu-Muhammad Al-Hasan al-Askari (a-s) at the side of the road.  When he passed me, I complained to him of a need (which I had).  I swore to him that I did not have a dirham, nor anymore than it, nor had I had any breakfast or supper.  “You swear by God as a liar”.  He (a-s) said: “You have buried two hundred dinars.  However, I am not saying this as a way of not giving you anything.  Servant, give him what you have with you”.  His servant gave me a hundred dinars.  Then he came towards me and he (a-s) said: “You will be denied the dinars which you buried at a time when your need for them will be much greater than at present”.  He (a-s) spoke the truth.  In fact, I spent what he gave me. Hard necessity forced me to pay for something and the means of gaining provision (from the authorities) were closed to me.  I dug for the dinars which I had buried and I did not find them.  I looked.  One of my sons knew where they were.  He had taken them and fled.  I could not do anything. (Kitab Al-Irshad, p. 529 Shaykh al-Mufid).

Imam Hasan Al-Askari (a-s) was handed over to Nahir.  He was hard on him and did harm to him.  A woman said to him: “Fear God, you do not realise who is in your house”.  She told him about Imam Al-Askari (a-s) righteousness and devotion to ALLAH (swt) and said: “I fear for you as a result of him”.  “By God, I’ll throw him to the wild animals”, he declared.  He asked permission to do that and it was granted.  He threw him to them.  The authorities were not disturbed by (wild animals) eating him.  They looked at the place in order to find out the situation.  They found Imam Al-Askari (a-s) standing in prayer with the wild animals around him quietly.  Nahir ordered him to be taken back to his house.  (Kitab Al-Irshad, p.522 Shaykh Al-Mufid).

His (as) words of wisdom and advice:

Imam Al-Askari (a-s) said: “To greet everyone you pass by and to sit in a place other than the first class of a session are signs of modesty”. (Tuhaf-Al-Uquul Imam Al-Askari (a-s) #9)

Imam Al-Askari (a-s) said: “Very much offering of prayers and fasting is not the worship; the very worship is the very much pondering over the affairs of ALLAH (swt)”. (Tuhaf-Al-Uquul Imam Al-Askari (a-s) .13).

Imam Al-Askari (a-s) said: “Anger is the key to every evil”.  (Tuhaf-Al-Uquul Imam Al-Askari (a-s) .13).

Imam Al-Askari (a-s) said: “No one except a thankful and grateful person recognizes the beneficence and favour.  And nobody thanks for the boon and benevolence except the Gnostic (Sagacious)”. (Bihar-ul-Anwar, vol. 78, p.378).

Imam Al-Askari (a-s) said:  “The best of your brothers is the one who forgets your sin and remembers and mentions your favours done to him”. (Bihar-ul-Anwar, vo.78, p. 379).

Imam Al-Askari (a-s) said: “No respectful one abandons the right except that he becomes: debased and abject. And no abject and debased acquires it except that he becomes respectful and honourable”. (Wasail U-Shia, vol. 18, p.95).

Imam Al-Askari (a-s) said:  “Nothing is above two characters:  believing in ALLAH (swt) and benefiting the friends”. (Tuhaf Al-Uquul, p. 585 # 25).

Imam Al-Askari (a-s) said: “ALLAH’s favours encompass every misfortune”. (Tuhaf Al-Uquul, p. 585 # 34).

His (a-s) declaration about his son Imam Al-Mahdi (a-s).

Narrated to us Muhammad ibn Abdul Jabar: I said to my master Al-Hasan Al-Askari (a-s): “May ALLAH (swt) make me your sacrifice, O son of the Messenger of ALLAH (saww)! I would love to know who’s the Imam and the Hujjat of ALLAH (swt) on HIS servants after you”. Imam Al-Askari (a-s) said: “Verily the Imam and Hujjat after me is my son, the namesake of the Messenger of ALLAH (saww) and who has the same kunya (agnomen) as he (saww); and who is the last Hujjat and Khalifa of ALLAH (swt)”. Then I asked: “From whom will he be born? O son of the Messenger of ALLAH (saww)!” Imam Al-Askari (a-s) said: “From the grand-daughter of Ceasar, the Byzantine emperor. He will certainly be born, but he will disappear from the people in a long occultation; then he will reappear and kill Dajjal (the impostor); and he (a-s) will fill the earth with equity and justice as it would be filled with oppression and injustice. So no one is allowed to mention him (a-s) by his name or describe him by his kunya before his appearance blessings of ALLAH Azz wa Jall be on him”. (Mukhtasara Ithbati-r-Rajah. Al-Fadl ibn Shadhan. 260 A.H.)

His (a-s) martyrdom:

Imam Abu Muhammad Al-Hasan Al-Askari (a-s) began to fall sick from poisoning on the 1st of the month of Rabi al-Awwal in the year 260 A.H. and died in martyrdom the 8Th of that month in the same year. At the time of his (a-s) death he was 28 years old. He (a-s) was buried in the same house which his father (a-s) was buried in Samarra (today it is one of the most important holy shrines for Muslims around the world). He left behind a multitude of pure, truthful and holy teachings, as well as his son (a-s) the awaited Al-Mahdi Imam Muhammad ibn Hasan (a-s) who will bring the true state of truth and will clean out all corruption on earth (may ALLAH Azz wa Jall hurry his advent). He had concealed his birth and hidden his affair because of difficulties of the times and the Intensity of the search by the evil authorities for him (a-s).Truly Imam Hasan Al-Askari (a-s) was the holy infallible Imam of his time, one of the lights of the Ahlul-Bayt (a-s).  Imam Hasan Al-Askari (a-s) was the most knowledgeable and the most pious of his time. He (a-s) was one of the greatest examples of monotheism in the history of mankind. “ALLAH bears witness that there is no god but HE, and so do the angels and those possessed with knowledge, maintaining HIS creation with justice; There is no god but HE, the Mighty, the Wise”. (The Holy Qur’an 3 Al-Imran sura 18).  When the news of the martyrdom of Imam Hasan Al-Askari (a-s) became known Samarra became one uproar. The markets and the streets were empty. On that day, Samarra seemed like the day of resurrection. ( Kitab-Al-Irshad. Shaykh Al-Mufid)

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