Imam Hassan Askari (as), A Brief Look Into His Life
Birth & Childhood
When he was born his father said that it was an order from the prophet s.a.w. that he should be named Hasan. It was so well known that the last Imams father would be called Hasan that people had previously looked for the 12th Imam amongst the sons of Imam Hasan Al-Mujtaba (a.s.)
His mother was Sulail (or Hudaitha) who was a slave of the 10th Imam whom he had freed and subsequently married. The 10th Imam said of her that she was one who was free from all vice and pollution and that she was one of the righteous ones. After the 11th Imam's martyrdom he left all the "orders" of Imamate with her (his mother).
Once when Imam Hasan Al-Askery (A.S.) was a young child he fell into a well near their house. His father Imam Ali An-Naqi (A.S.) was praying and didn't even notice the commotion around him of the ladies crying. When he finished praying and asked what had happened, he was told. He went towards the well. The water rose and all saw the 11th Imam sitting peacefully on the water and playing.
Bahlool once saw the young Imam crying in the street where all the other children were busy playing with their toys. He asked whether Imam was crying because he had no toys to play with. Imam replied: "We have not been created to play!"
Bahlool asked where he had learnt his from and the Imam said :
"Have you not read the Qur'an where it says - "Do you think we have created you in vain and that you will not be returned to us".
When Bahlool heard this he asked Imam for some advice. Imam talked about death, barzakh and qiyama and cried so much, he fainted. When he came to, Bahlool asked him why he was so fearful as he was not even baligh yet. Imam said:
"I have watched my mother light a fire; she uses the little twigs to get the big pieces of wood to burn; I fear that on qiyama Allah too will use little ones to light the big ones.