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Character, virtues and sayings of Imam Al-'Askari (AS)
Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.W.)’s 11th truthful descendant, Imam Hasan Al-'Askari (A.S.), martyred at the age of 28 years on Rabi’ul Awwal 8 year 260 AH, was one of that illustrious series of the immaculate infallible each member of whom displayed the moral excellence of human perfection.
He was peerless in knowledge, forbearance, forgiveness, generosity, sacrifice and piety. Whenever Al-Mu'tamad asked anybody about his captive Imam Hasan al-'Askari (A.S.), he was told that the Imam fasted during the day and worshipped during the night, and that his tongue uttered no word but remembrance of his creator.
Once when the 'Abbasid caliph asked his Minister for Charities (awqaf) Ahmed ibn 'Abd Allah ibn Khaqan, who was an enemy of the Prophet (S.W.)'s family, about the descendants of Imam 'Ali Naqee (A.S.), he reported: "I do not know anybody among them who is more distinguished than Hasan al-'Askari. None can surpass him in dignity, knowledge, piety and abstinence, nor can anybody match him in the point of nobleness, majestic grandeur, modesty and honesty".
Then he further said: “One day I was present with my father when Imam al-‘Askari arrived there, although my father was the enemy of the Prophet's family, yet he got up from his place, kissed his hand and made him seated upon his own place and sat before him like a pupil in front of a teacher and listened to Imam's words carefully.”
Imam’s name is al-Hasan, Abu Muhammad. His father was Imam 'Ali An-Naqi (A.S.) and his mother was Salil Khatun, an ideal woman in piety, worship, chastity and generosity. He was born in Medina on the tenth of Rabi' al-Akhir, 232 AH.
A part of Imam (A.S.)’s sayings:
- Generosity has a limit, when crossed becomes extravagance; caution has a limit when crossed becomes cowardice; thriftiness has a limit, when crossed becomes miserliness; courage has a limit, when crossed becomes fool-hardiness.
- Let this moral lesson suffice: refrain from doing anything which you would disapprove of if done by someone else.
- Let piety be your provision, patience be your garment, and buy hardship in the path of Allah.
- Be true in your speech, trustworthy in performing your deeds, prolong your sajdah (prostration), deal with others with best behavior, and treat your neighbor amicably.
- Perform your prayers even with those whom you think to be your opposition; attend their funeral ceremonies, visit their sick, and give them their rights.
- Verily I tell you that whosoever is honest and has good behavior in the eyes of others, he is our pious follower whom I will be proud of.
- Fear Allah, be as adornment on behalf of us and be not as shame that defames our name. This is the only way by which others shall be attracted toward us (the Ahlul Bayt of the Holy Prophet s.w.).
- Worship is not the quantity of prayer and fast, it's how much you think of your God.
- The worst of people is he who has two faces and two tongues, praises his brother in front of him, and eats his flesh in his absence.
- Anger is the key to all evil.
- The heart of an ignorant is his mouth, and the mouth of a wise person is his heart.