Story No. 448 – Imam Hassan Askari (as) and the wild animals:
Mu’tamid, the Abbasid Caliph is just like his forefathers he too was an open enemy of the Ahlul Bayt (as). He declared that Imam Hassan Askari (as) should be imprisoned and that no mercy should be shown to Him. And hence Mu’tamid, the Abbasid Caliph went to Salih bin Wasif and told him to treat Imam Hassan Askari (as) harshly. Salih bin Wasif sent for two of the evilest men he could find to take charge of the Imam, but the men changed into men of worship, prayer and fasting to an amazing extent. When Salih bin Wasif interrogated them about their change in character, they said: “What can we say about a man who fasts through the day and stands (in prayer) through the night, who does not speak and occupies himself with nothing except worship? When he looks at us, our limbs shake and within us is (a feeling) which we have never had.”
Then Imam Hassan Askari (as) was handed over to a man named Nahrir, the Jailer who was a very cruel man was once advised by his wife who said to him: “Fear Allah (SWT), have you no idea of who is imprisoned in your prison? He is a pious man and a great worshipper of Allah (SWT). I am afraid that Allah (SWT) will curse you.” Her husband said: “O’ really. Just watch me; I am going to send him inside the cage of the wild animals.”
Nahrir, the Jailer got the permission from his Abbasid Caliph and carried out his plan.
Imam Hassan Askari (as) was sent to this cage and the people thought that this was the end of Imam Hassan Askari’s (as) life. But when they returned to look what had happened instead they all witnessed that Imam Hassan Askari (as) was praying surrounded by the wild animals which all were prostrating before Him. Now the order was given to take Imam Hassan Askari (as) out from there.