Abu Muhammad al-Hasan ibn Ali (AS) was the eleventh Imam of Shia Muslims and the father of Imam al-Mahdi (AS). He was given the title, Imam al-Askari, because he was forced to reside in Samarra which was also known as “‘Askar” (a military camp or town). His other titles include Ibn al-Rida (AS), al-Hadi, al-Naqi, al-Zaki, al-Rafiq and al-Samit.
Severe restrictions on Imam al-Askari’s (AS) life made him choose agents to communicate with Shia Muslims. Uthman ibn Sa’id was one of his special agents who became the first especial deputy of Imam al-Mahdi (AS) upon the beginning of his occultation after Imam al-Askari (AS) was martyred.
Imam al-Askari (AS) became sick on the first day of Rabi I, 260/874 and passed away on the 8th of the same month. He was buried in the same house that his father had been buried. The Holy Shrine of Al-Askariyyayn has been attacked and demolished by terrorists two times.
Many hadiths have been narrated from Imam al-Askari (AS) on different topics such as exegesis of the Holy Quran, ethics, fiqh, Islamic beliefs, supplications, and Ziyarahs.
According to complexities and ambiguities about the new Imam (AS) at that time, it can be seen in the speeches and letters of Imam al-Askari (AS) that he mentioned, the earth will not be void of God’s Proof and that if Imamate is cut, there will be problems in the affairs of God on earth. He (AS) also said that God’s Proof on earth is a blessing God has granted to the believers and has honored them with this guidance.
Another teaching, repeatedly seen in the speeches of Imam (AS) due to the pressures on Shia, is calling them to patience and believing in relief and waiting for it. Also, in hadiths from him, there is an especial emphasis on respecting internal relations of Shia society and associating with religious brothers.