Some advice from one of my teachers regarding the Martyrdom of Imam Hassan Al-Askari (as)

January 10, 2014, coincides with the 8th of Rabi’ al-Awwal, 1435. On such a day, 1,175 years ago, our beloved 11th leader, Imam Hassan al-Askari, was martyred, his life eventually taken by the poison inflicted upon him by the Abbasid Caliph, Mu’tamid. That is, the Master of this age, our Imam, Imam Mahdi, lost his beloved father, on this day.

Imam Hassan is often less discussed in Shi’i circles. He is among the Imams we speak of, refer to, and learn from, seldom, as compared to others. Having practically lived his entire life under house-arrest, the enemies of the Ahlul-Bait have certainly oppressed him enough. Let us alleviate this pain of our Saadaat and Mawaaliyy, by not neglecting his memory.

As people who strive to be true followers, Shi’a, of the Imam of our time, Imam al-Mahdi, and as a Shi’a populace who yearn to be among his companions, let us spend today, spiritually—in lieu of physically—with him, and to share in his grief, as he relives the memory of losing his father.

To take a practical step in this direction, here’s a list of suggested actions to take today:

Read from the words of Imam Hassan al-Askari, and commemorate him by learning from his wisdom. (Some examples, below)
Recite Ziyarat of Imam Hassan [link: on behalf (niyabah) of Imam Mahdi
Recite 100 Salawaats for the health, wellbeing and safety of Imam Zamaan, and to console him from the pain of this occasion.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope that we can all come one level closer to Imam al-Mahdi today, and show him the love we have for him as we join him in mourning his father’s martyrdom. Please do not forget to pray for fellow Shi’a, fellow Muslims, and for the guidance of all humankind, as we ask God on this occasion, and with grieving hearts, to hasten the reappearance of our Mawla, Imam Zamaan.

Yours most sincerely,

Some sayings from Imam Hassan al-Askari (peace be upon him)

Anger is the key to every evil.

[In a message to his Shi’as] I command you to fear Allah, show piety to your religion, work hard for Allah’s sake, tell truths only, return the deposits to their owners whether they are pious or sinful, prostrate yourselve before Allah for a long time, and treat your neighbors courteously. These are the matters that Mohammad (S.A.W.A.) brought. Offer prayers in the midst of your kin, attend their funeral ceremonies, visit their ill ones, and fulfill their rights. I am pleased if people point to you and say “these are the Shi’a”, when you behave piously, tell truths only, return the deposits to their owners, and condutct courteously with people. Fear Allah, be good (examples) and do not be evil. Attract people’s fondness of us and save us from every awful character, for we are surely the people of every good thing that is said about us, but we are definitely not the owners of any evil thing that is imputed to us. We enjoy a (distinctive) right in the Book of Allah, a relation (of kinship) to the Messenger of Allah, and a purification whose source is Allah. [Other than us], only can the liars claim to enjoy our distinctive features. Refer to Allah very much, refer to death, recite the Quran, and bless the Prophet (salawaat). A single blessing of the Prophet is ten advantages. Retain the matter of which I have commanded you. Allah keep you under His supervision. Peace be upon you.

Generosity has a limit, which when crossed becomes extravagance; caution has a limit which when crossed becomes cowardice; thriftiness has a limit, which when crossed becomes miserliness; courage has a limit, which when crossed becomes fool-hardiness. Let this moral lesson suffice: refrain from doing anything which you would disapprove of if done by someone else.

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