by listening to these talks, i plunged myself deeper into the sea of thought and amazement and became furious of my father for speaking in this manner. later on, i did nothing but inquired about imam hassan askari and his affairs. regarding him, all and all - i.e. leaders, writers, judges, jurisprudents and the common people expressed his grandness, nobleness, dignity and high personality. moreover they gave him priority over bani-hashim, the aged and all other classes of people. all of them would say: 'he is the imam of the shi'ites.
this great man's position and dignity increased in my view because, none from the friends and enemies said anything but good things about imam hassan askari.
a person who was from the ashar'ites said: 'o abu bakr! how is this man jafar, the brother of imam hassan askari?
he replied: 'jafar is not a man to be asked or rather compared with imam hassan askari. jafar is a transgressor, adultere, wine-drinker and an ill-behavioured personality. i have found fewer people like jafar who are disgraceful and ignorant.
i swear by Allah that when news of the demise of imam hassan askari reached the caliph and his companions i witnessed some unexpected scenes which was very astonishing for me. the incident was as follows:
when imam hassan askari fell ill, the caliph called for my father to inform him about imam's illness. my father immediately rushed for the capital and soon returned back. he came back with five special and trusted men of caliph who were all reliable to him and one of them was nuhrair khadem. he ordered these five men to protect imam's house and inquire of his health. he called for several doctors and charged them with the responsibility of looking after imam every morning and night. two days later, news came of imam's deteriorating condition. my father rushed to visit him and commanded the doctors not to leave imam alone. afterwards, he called for the chief judge and ordered him to bring ten of his companions who were reliable from the view-point of faith, trustworthiness and piety. the chief judge summoned those ten men to imam's house and ordered them to remain besides imam day and night. they too remained at imam's service until he passed away. imam hassan askari (a.s.) passed away in the month of rabi-ul-awwal 260 a.h. and a tumult took place in the city of samerra.
the caliph sent several of his men to imam's house and they in turn searched imam's rooms and sealed off everything they could find. they also searched for imam's son (i.e. imam of the age) they brought mid-wives in order to examine the slave-girls (of imam hassan askari). one of the mid-wives said: 'so and so slave-girl is pregnant'. the caliph charged nurair khadem, his companions and other women to keep watch over her.
thereafter, they became busy in imam's funeral and the entire city came to a standstill. the bani-hashim, the commanders, writers and all the common people attented hazrat's funeral. on that day, the city of samerra resembled the day of judgement. as soon as imam's body was given the ritual wash and was shrouded, the caliph sent forward abu isa mutawakkil to recite prayers over imam's dead-body. when abu isa came close to imam's dead-body, he lifted the shroud and exposed his face to the bnai-hashim, (who were from the alawites) abbassids, commanders, writers, judges, juisprudents and the common people and then said: this man is imam hassan askari who has died a natural death. during the entire period of his illness, so and so doctor, so and so judge, so and so trusted person and so and so just person had been present and they can all bear witness on this affair.
after this, he covered imam's face and recited prayers over his dead-body and in his prayers he recited five times 'takbeer' (inaugural phrase). by his commands, imam's dead-body was taken out from his house and was laid buried in his great grand-father's house.
after hazrat's burial and the people's dispersal, the caliph and his companions engaged in seeking the whereabouts of his son (imam of the age). they properly searched various houses. they desisted from distributing hazrat's inheritance. those people who were charged with the responsibility of keeping watch over the slave-girl continued their task for two years until they realized that she had not been pregnant. thereafter, they distributed hazrat's inheritance between his mother and brother (jafar-e-khazzab). imam hassan askari's mother claimed that she was the legatee of imam and the same too was proved before the judge. meanwhile, the caliph was still in pursuit of the imam of the age.