The most unique aspects of the Imamat of Imam Askari (AS) were his efforts to protect the life of his son, Imam Mahdi (AS), and preparing the Shias for Imam Mahdi’s occultation. Imam Askari kept the birth of Imam Mahdi a secret, even from his family members. Even after his son’s birth, the Imam only showed him to certain members of his family and his most trusted companions. The Abbasids, who had received the news of the last Shia Imam, were afraid of his justice and feared for their government. They put Imam Askari’s life under intense surveillance. The Imam was imprisoned multiple times by every Abbasid caliph who ruled during his Imamat, and he was finally martyred after his brief period of leadership, which lasted for less than six years.