Martyrdom of Imam Hasan al-Askari in Iran Date in the current year: September 12, 2024

Martyrdom of Imam Hasan al-Askari in Iran Martyrdom of Imam Hasan al-Askari is an Iranian observance marked on the 8th day of the month of Rabi al-awwal. It is dedicated to the 11th Imam of Shia Islam, one of the twelve rightful spiritual and political successors to the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

Hasan al-Askari was born in 846 to the tenth Imam Ali al-Hadi and his wife. He became known as al-Askari because Samarra, the city where he lived for a large part of his life, was a garrison town (the word “Askar” is translated from Arabic as “military”).

At the time of al-Askari’s birth, his father was suspected in a conspiracy against the caliph al-Mutawakkil. Following al-Hadi’s death, his son and successor was taken along with his family from Medina to Samarra, and was kept there under house arrest. This was done to prevent the new Imam from contacting Shia Muslims and to suppress the spreading of Shia Islam in the caliphate.

While under house arrest, Imam al-Askari spent most of his time studying the Quran and the Sharia. He is also believed to have studied languages, such ans Indian, Turkish and Persian. However, according to Shia tradition, languages were part of the divine knowledge given to the Twelve Imams.

The period of al-Askari’s imamate was relatively short. Six years after his father’s death, al-Askari was poisoned at the orders of the caliph al-Mu’tamid and died at age 27 or 28. He was succeeded by his son Muhammad al-Mahdi.

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