Martyrdom Of Imam Hasan Al-Askari

The Martyrdom of Imam Hasan al-Askari is a holiday observed by Shia Muslims not only in Iran but around the world. Millions of Muslims will dress in black and attend special religious ceremonies called Husseiniyahs to mourn this enigmatic and revered figure.

On this day, there are also mass mourning processions, and special elegies are given. It’s also the day when benefactors give votive food to those in the community who are not as well off. In Iran, this day is a public holiday, so non-essential government offices, schools, and businesses are closed for the day.

The History of the Martyrdom of Imam Hasan al-Askari

Imam Hasan al-Askari was a Muslim scholar and the 11th Imam in Twelver Shia Islam. He was born to his father, Ali al-Hadi, in the 9th century and is an important figure to Shia Muslims. It’s said that he was imbued with divine knowledge, even as a child.

He was known as al-Askari because he lived for a large portion of his life in a garrison town called Samarra. The Arabic word for military is “Askar.” He was kept under house arrest in Samarra because his father was suspected of a conspiracy against the caliph al-Mutawakkil.

He too was placed under house arrest, and while there, he spent his time studying the Quran. Six years after his father’s death, he was poisoned under the orders of the caliph al-Mu’tamid. It’s believed that he died when he was 27 or 28 years of age.

Observing the Martyrdom of Imam Hasan al-Askari

This holiday is observed with mourning processions, solemn religious services, and special elegies. In Iran, this is a day off for the general population, and Muslims are expected to use this holiday for religious services or for giving food to the less fortunate.

Most businesses are closed for the day, and travel may be difficult around major urban centers due to the large number of people on the roads.

Where is it celebrated?
Iran (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
September 12 Thursday
Next year (2025)
September 1 Monday
Last year (2023)
September 23 Saturday