Imam Hassan al Askari (a.s) is the father of our living Imam, Imam al Mahdi (a.s). Askar is an Arabic work for army base. the Imam (a.s) was given the name “Askari” because he lived most of his life in a large and permenant army base in a town in Iraq called Samarrah. The Imam (a.s) was imprisoned to live in this army base by the Calilph called “Mu’tamid” because the Caliph was afraid of the knowledge and influence the Imam may have and to keep a watchful eye of the birth of Imam al Mahdi (a.s) whom they were also afraid of. However this did not stop the Imam (a.s) from spreading knowledge to whoever visited him and it was from his efforts that we are able to find out the meaning behind Quranic verses.
The story of how Imam Hassan Al Askari (a.s) met his wife (who is the mother of our Imam) is very famous because it reminds us that a person will always find his or her destiny, no matter how far away he or she may seem from it.
The wife of Imam Hassan al Askari (a.s) was not born into a Muslim family, in fact, hadiths tell us that she was born into a royal Christian family in Rome. She was a princess who was ordered to marry her cousin, however whenever the wedding was scheduled natural disasters took place and the people realised that they should not be married.
Afterwards she had a beautiful dream in which she married Imam al-Askari (a.s) in the presence of Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w) and Prophet Essa (Jesus) . She also dreamt that Fatima al-Zahra (a.s) told her that she had to be become Muslim and declare that there is no God but Allah (s.w) and that Muhammad (s.a.w) is his messanger. She did as she was told, and although she had never met Imam al Askari (a.s) in real life, she began to love the man in her dreams.
In one of her dreams, Imam al askari (a.s) told her to hide and leave Rome with an army that was being sent to fight the Muslims. The Muslim’s defeated the army and the princess became a prisoner. However, Imam al-Askari’s (a.s) father Imam al-Naqi (a.s) had knowledge from Allah (s.w.t) that this would happen and he sent a trusted friend to purchase her and give her a letter so that she may accept to accompany him.
Finally, after a long journey she met Imam al-Naqi (a.s) who told her the good news that she was to marry his son Imam al-Askari (a.s) and that she was to be the mother of Imam al-Mahdi (a.s) .
Imam Hassan al-Askari (a.s) only lived twenty eight years as he was poisoned by the jealous Abbasid Caliphs. He left behind only one son called Mohammad (a.s) who was only five years old and yet who succeeded his father as the next infallible Imam.