View of Samarra, Iraq from the spiral minaret of the Friday mosque. Two Shi’i shrines dominate the city; the coloured over the tomb of 10th Imam, Ali al-Hadi, the golden over the tomb of 11th Imam, Hassan al-Askari.
(Madina 827- Samarra 868) The tenth Imam of the Twelver Shi’i Islam (833- 868).
Ali al-Hadi was born to a Moroccan slave called Samana, and, like his father, Muhammadu t-Taqi, he was only seven when he received the Imamate. At the beginning conditions were fairly good for the Shi’is, but like so many times before their fortunes took a dramatic down turn. Brought to Samarra by Caliph al-Mutawakkil in 848, Ali al-Hadi was to spend the rest of his life under house arrest in the military district of the city. He and his son, Hassan are known as Askari because of the military (Arabic: askar) quarter in which they lived. During this period the Shi’is were severely persecuted and communication was limited severely between the Imam and his followers.
Ali al-Hadi was his honorary title, meaning “the guided”. His other title was ‘an-Naqiyy (the distinguished).
He was succeeded by Hassanu l-Askari.