Today is Sunday; 19th of the Iranian month of Aban 1398 solar hijri; corresponding to 12th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal 1441 lunar hijri; and November 10, 2019, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1494 lunar year ago, on this day in the year 53 prior to the Hijra, (570 AD, the year Abraha, the Abyssinian governor of Yemen, was struck by divine wrath, along with his elephant-led hordes while trying to attack the holy Ka’ba), according to some accounts Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) was born in Mecca. As per the narrations of the Prophet's Ahl al-Bayt, he was born on the 17th of this same month. Thus, in order to bridge this 5-day gap, the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA), initiated the Islamic Unity Week, which over the past three decades has fostered solidarity between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims.
1441 lunar years ago, a few days after hijrah, the first mosque in Islam was built on the instructions of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) at a village called Qoba near Yathreb (Medina), following his migration from Mecca on God's commandments on the 1st of Rabi al-Awwal. He stayed here for several days, awaiting the arrival of his dear cousin, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), who had agreed to sleep on his bed the night of Hijra so that he could migrate undetected from the assassins hovering around the abode of divine revelation. The Prophet had also instructed the Imam to return to the Meccans the things they used to keep as safe-custody with him as "Amin” (Trustworthy). After three days the Imam, for whose selfless risking of life on the night of Hijra God revealed to the Prophet ayah 207 of Surah Baqarah, left Mecca and a few days later arrived in Qoba, along with the ladies of the Bani Hashem clan, including his mother, Fatema bint Asad (SA), and his future wife, the Prophet's Immaculate daughter, Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA). The mosque of Qoba is thus a sanctified place where it is highly recommended to perform prayers. The first public Friday Prayer was held at this place by the Prophet before he entered Medina.
1214 lunar years ago, on this day in 227 AH, Mu’tasim-Billah, the 8th self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime, died at the age of 49 after a reign of nine years, and was succeeded by his son, Watheq-Billah – born to Greek concubine Qaratis. Mu’tasim, son of the tyrant Haroun Rashid’s Turkic concubine – a singing-dancing slave-girl named Marida – had taken over the caliphate on the death of his step-brother, Mamoun. He favoured the Turks and gave them all authority, to the resentment of the Iranian and Arab Muslims. He opposed the Mu’tazallite doctrine of his predecessor. It was on his orders that "Ijtihad” was forbidden, and of the several jurisprudential schools of the newly designated sect called "Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jama’ah”, only four, i.e. Hanafi, Maleki, Shafei, and Hanbali, were decreed as official. Mu’tasim earned lasting damnation for martyring through poison, Imam Mohammad at-Taqi (AS), the 9th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
1200 lunar years ago, on this day in 241 AH, the jurisprudent, Ahmad Ibn Mohammad Ibn Hanbal ash-Shaybani, passed away in his hometown Baghdad at the age of 79. His father was an army officer of the Abbasid regime in Khorasan. After studying under Mohammad Ibn Idris Shafei, and Abu Yusuf – a student of the Iranian jurist, Abu Hanifa – he travelled through Arabia, Iraq, and Syria, to collect hadith, before returning to Baghdad, where he was not welcomed because of his views against the Mu’tazalites. He was imprisoned by Ma'moun; flogged by his successor, Mu'tasim; and banished from Baghdad by Watheq. It was only when the tyrant Mutawakkil assumed power that he was welcomed back in Baghdad. Ibn Hanbal is the founder of one of the four court-sanctioned schools of Sunni jurisprudence, named after him as Hanbali. His principal work is a collection of hadith, known as "al-Musnad”, in which he has also included hadith on the unrivalled merits of Imam Ali (AS) and the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). Perhaps for political reasons, he failed to have direct contact with the Infallible Imams of his time, such as Imam Ali ar-Reza (AS), Imam Mohammad at-Taqi (AS), and Imam Ali an-Naqi (AS) – respectively the 8th, 9th and 10th Infallible Heirs of the Prophet (SAWA) – for recourse to authentic hadith from the right sources, although he has cited in his collection the famous hadith "Whoever dies without cognition of the Imam of the Age, dies the death of ignorance."
1083 lunar years ago, on this day in 358 AH, Hassan Ibn Abdullah Naser od-Dowla Hamdani, the Emir of Mosul, died under detention by his son, two years after the death in Aleppo of his younger and more famous brother, Ali Sayf od-Dowla. They were sons of Abdullah Abi’l-Hayja, the ruler of Mosul and there was deep affection between the two brothers, to the extent that the elder lost all interest in life and state affairs when the younger died, and was consequently put under detention by his son. The Hamdanids belonged to the Banu Taghlib Arab tribe and were staunch followers of the school of the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). For a brief period, Naser od-Dowla taking advantage of the weakness of the Abbasid caliph, took over Baghdad, but had to quit the city and leave for Mosul because of opposition by the powerful faction of Turkic slave-soldiers.
817 solar years ago, on this day in 1202 AD, during the Fourth Crusade, Christian hordes from Western Europe, unable to confront the might of Muslims, began the siege of the Catholic city of Zara (now Zadar, Croatia). Pope Innocent III had mobilised forces on the pretext of invading Palestine through Egypt, but his Catholic hordes never ventured near any Muslim territory and instead indulged in sectarian sedition by attacking fellow Christians of the Byzantine Empire. In April 1204, the Crusaders invaded and sacked the Orthodox Christian city of Constantinople, which is seen as one of the final acts in the Great Schism between the Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church, and a key turning point in the decline of the empire and of Christianity in the Asian parts of the empire. The crusaders established the short-lived Latin Empire (1204–1261) and other "Latin" states in the Byzantine lands they conquered. Byzantine resistance in unconquered sections of the empire such as Nicaea, Trebizond, and Epirus ultimately liberated the capital and overthrew the crusader states. The Fourth Crusade is considered to be the last major campaign of the Crusades, and marked an end to any further serious attempts at invading the Muslim land of Palestine.
729 solar years ago, on this day in 1290 AD, the 7th Mamluk (slave) Sultan of Egypt and Syria, al-Mansour Saif od-Din Qalawun, died at the age of 68 after a reign of 11 years. A Qipchaq Turk of Eurasia, who was sold into slavery during his teen years and ended up in the service of Egypt’s Kurdish Ayubid ruler, Sultan as-Saleh, he quickly rose into prominence, because of his abilities. Under his predecessor, Sultan Baybars, he displayed his military prowess in the victorious wars against the Mongols. In 680 AH, Qalawun decisively defeated the huge joint Mongol-Christian army of 80,000 led by Monke Timur, the brother of the Iran-based Abaqa Khan in the Second Battle of Homs, fought in western Syria. He also checked the ambitions of the usurper Crusader states on the coasts of Palestine and Lebanon. He was a great builder of mosques and public institutes, which are s
575 solar years ago, on this day in 1444 AD, the Ottoman army under Sultan Murad II inflicted a crushing defeat on the combined Hungarian and Polish armies commanded by W?adys?aw III of Poland and Hunyadi Janos of Hungary in the Battle of Varna in eastern Bulgaria. It was the final battle of the Crusade of Varna and King Wladyslaw was killed. The Turks captured some 80 thousand prisoners. This was one of the most important events in European history and established Muslim rule over a large part of southeastern Europe.
552 solar years ago, on this day in 1467 AD, Muzaffar od-Din Jahan Shah, the most powerful king of the Qara Qoyounlu (Black Sheep) Turkoman dynasty, was killed at the age of 70 in the Battle of Chapakchur near Lake Van in present day Turkey by the army of Uzun Hassan of the rival Aq Qoyounlu (White Sheep) dynasty of Anatolia, after a reign of almost 30 years. Jahan Shah, who had expanded his kingdom to include Iraq, the southern Caucasus, western Anatolia, and northwestern and central Iran, was an able administrator. He was buried in his capital Tabriz, which he had greatly embellished and built the theological schools of Gok-Madrasah and Muzafferiyya. With his death the almost century long sway of the Qara Qoyounlu Turks, who were staunch followers of Prophet Mohammad’s (SAWA) Ahl al-Bayt, came to its end. Scions of the Qara-Qoyounlu migrated to the Deccan (southern India), where Sultan Quli of Hamedan rose to become the governor of Telangana in the 1470s under the Bahmani Dynasty of Iranian origin, with the title of Qotb ol-Mulk, and in 1512 founded the Persianate Qotb-Shahi Dynasty of Golkandah entitling himself Sultan Quli Qotb-Shah. The Qotb-Shahis, who built the city of Haiderabad, maintained excellent relations with Iran and considered the Safavid monarchs as Emperors till their downfall in 1687 at the hands of Aurangzeb the Mughal Emperor of the northern subcontinent.
536 solar years ago, on this day in 1483 AD, German religious dissident, Martin Luther, was born. He became a priest in his youth. Following completion of his academic studies, he lectured on philosophy. He strongly disputed the claim of the Catholic Church that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. In 1517, he formally started his protest against injustices of the Church by writing his famous "Ninety-Five Theses”. His refusal to retract all his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V resulted in his excommunication by the pope. His translation of the Bible from Latin into the spoken language made it more accessible and led to the development of a standard version of the German language. Luther wrote that since the Israelites betrayed Prophet Jesus (peace upon him) and continue to slander the Virgin Mary (peace upon her), all Jewish homes should be destroyed, their synagogues burned, and their wealth confiscated., and broke the Catholic law by translating the Bible into German, thereby launching the protestant movement, now known as the Protestant sect of Christianity. His ideas led to wars and political and sectarian upheavals in Europe, especially Germany. Thomas More, English lawyer, social philosopher, who was a bitter opponent of the Protestant Movement, ridiculed Martin Luther as a heretic in the book "Responsio ad Lutherum". Martin Luther died in 1546.
439 solar years ago, on this day in 1580 AD, after a three-day siege, the English Army brutally beheaded over 600 Papal soldiers and civilians at Dún an Óir, in Ireland.
360 solar years ago, on this day in 1659 AD, Afzal Khan, the famous general of eastern Iranian origin of the Adel-Shahi dynasty of Bijapur in the Deccan (southern India), was treacherously murdered by the Maratha rebel, Shivaji, during a supposedly unarmed meeting between the two sides for submission to the central authority and end of insurgency. The incident occurred near Pratapgarh in what is now the state of Maharashtra after a series of victories by Afzal Khan over the Marathas. Weakened by insurgency, the Adel-Shahi dynasty, a Persianate state founded by Iranian adventurer from Saveh, Yousuf Adel Khan in the closing years of the 15th century as the first kingdom in the Subcontinent to officially adopt the School of the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) or Shi’ite Islam as official creed, collapsed in 1686 when attacked by Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb.
280 lunar years ago, on this day 1161 AH, the eminent Iranian Islamic scholar, Seyyed Ali ibn Mohammad Tabatabai was born in the holy city of Kazemain in Iraq. Nephew (sister’s son) of the great scholar, Mohaqqeq Behbahani, he attained the status of Ijtehad at a young age. He authored several books, the most important of which is "Riyaz al-Masa’el”, also known as "Sharh-e Kabir”. In addition to his piety, he was active in social affairs, had the Jame’ Mosque constructed in Karbala, besides building a wall around the holy city to safeguard it from the attacks of Wahhabi hordes of Najd. He passed away in Karbala at the age of 70 and was laid to rest in the courtyard of the shrine of Imam Husain (AS).
175 lunar years ago, on this day in 1266 AH, the prominent jurisprudence Fathollah bin Mohammad Namazi Gharawi, popular as Shaikh osh-Shari’ah Isfahani, was born in Isfahan in a family of scholars from Shiraz. After initial studies he enrolled at the seminary of holy Mashhad, where his teachers included Mullah Haidar Ali Isfahani, Mullah Abdul-Jawad Khorasani Modarris Kabir, and Mullah Ahmad Sabzevari. Here he established himself as a budding scholar with dynamic views. At the age of 30, he went to Iraq for higher studies at the famous seminary of holy Najaf, where his teachers were Mirza Habibollah Rashti and Shaikh Mohammad Hussain Faqih Kazemi. He soon became an authority on different branches of Islamic sciences, and the Marja’ or Source of Emulation. He wrote several books and groomed many scholars, such as Seyyed Abdul-Hadi Shirazi, Shaikh Mohammad Hassan al-Muzaffar an-Najafi, Aqa Bozorg Tehrani, and Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Hussain Tabataba'i Boroujerdi. Sheikh osh-Shari’ah Isfahani was also politically active against the colonialists, issuing fatwas on Italy’s aggression on Libya, the Russian attack on Khorasan and shelling of the holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS) in Mashhad, the invasion of the Ottoman state by the allied European powers during World War 1, and the landing of British troops in Basra and their occupation of Iraq. He rejected any political, military, economic and cultural domination of Islamic lands by the colonialists. He passed away at the age of 73 and was laid to rest in the courtyard of the holy shrine of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS).
141 lunar years ago, on this day in 1300 AH, the prominent Iranian mujtahed, Seyyed Mahdi Qazvini, passed away in Hillah, in Iraq. A product of the famous seminary of holy Najaf, he was an expert in jurisprudence, theology, exegesis of the holy Qur'an, and the "Nahj al-Balagha” – collection of the sermons, letters, and maxims of Imam Ali (AS). He wrote several books including "Wada'e" and "Mazamir". Under his influence, over 100,000 people in and around Hillah became followers of the school of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt.
134 solar years ago, on this day in 1885 AD, the first ever motorcycle, designed by Gottlieb Daimler, made its debut. The frame and wheels were made of wood, while a leather belt transferred power from the engine to large brass gears mounted to the rear wheel. The leather saddle wasn't very comfortable since there was no suspension (front or rear). The top speed for the single cylinder motorcycle was 12 km per hour. It was built as an experimental vehicle to test the new Daimler engine, which was to power Daimler's first motorized carriage the next year.
107 solar years ago, on this day in 1912 AD, France and Spain started their colonial rule over Morocco by dividing between them this Muslim land, a move that angered the people and led to armed struggle for liberation. Morocco gained its independence from the colonial rule of France and Spain in the year 1956.
99 solar years ago, on this day in 1926 AD, Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw's "Heartbreak House", premiered in New York. A critic of the existing western social order, he was famous for his positive remarks on Islam.
"If any religion had the chance of ruling over England, nay Europe within the next hundred years, it could be Islam."
"I have always held the religion of (Prophet) Mohammad (SAWA) in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him - the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of Humanity.”
"I have prophesied about the faith of (Prophet) Mohammad (SAWA) that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.”
81 solar years ago, on this day in 1938 AD, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Ottoman military officer and 1st President of the Republic of Turkey, died at the age of 57. He forced the Turkish Muslim people to change their centuries-old writing of the Turkish language from the Arabic-Persian alphabet to the Latin script. The goal was to deprive Turkey and the Turks of their Islamic identity and make them culturally subordinate to Europe. Mustafa Kamal, who styled himself as Ataturk (Father of Turks), in addition to forcibly replacing the traditional dress of the Turkish people with the European style of dressing, banned recitation of the "Azan” (Call to Prayer) from mosques. Although these laic measures harmed Turkish Muslims and for several decades made them subservient to the West, they failed to undermine their strong faith in Islam.
74 solar years ago, on this day in 1945 AD, heavy fighting in Surabaya between Indonesian nationalists and returning Dutch colonialists after the defeat of Japan in World War II, resulted in victory for the Muslims. The day is celebrated as Hari Pahlawan or Heroes' Day in Indonesia.
65 solar years ago, on this day in 1954 AD, Dr. Seyyed Hussein Fatemi, who served as foreign minister in the cabinet of Iranian prime minister, Dr. Mohammad Mosaddeq', was executed by the British-installed and US-backed Pahlavi regime. Following the US-orchestrated coup of August 19, 1953 and dismissal of Mosaddeq, he was arrested on the Shah's order.
44 solar years ago, on this day in 1975 AD, the UN General Assembly in a historic move approved Resolution 3379 equating Zionism with racism, in view of the blatant discrimination against Palestinians by the usurper state of Israel. It was adopted by a vote of 72 to 35 (with 32 abstentions). It said: "Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” Because of US pressures and threats from Western Europe, coupled with treason from Arab reactionary regimes, this fair and just resolution was repealed in December 1991 by Resolution 4686.
39 solar years ago, on this day in 1980 AD, Saddam’s Ba’thist forces occupied the southwestern Iranian port of Khorramshahr after a month-and-a-half of stiff resistance by the defenders, following the unprovoked invasion of the country on September 22. The Battle of Khorramshahr, because of the brutality against civilians by the Ba’thists made the Iranians to call the city ‘Khooninshahr,’ (City of Blood). Battles were fought house-to-house, floor-to-floor, and room-to-room. Khorramshahr, which used to be one of the world's major port cities, was completely devastated by Saddam’s forces, with very few buildings left intact. The city was finally liberated by Iran’s Muslim combatants on 24th May 1982 during Operation Bayt al-Moqaddas.
37 solar years ago, on this day in 1982 AD, Soviet Leader, Leonid Brezhnev, died at the age of 76 after 16 years in power as General-Secretary of the Communist Party, following his ouster of Nikita Khrushchev. He was a conservative politician, and adopted the détente policy, in an effort to avoid any atomic confrontation with the US. The 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia and the December 1979 occupation of Afghanistan took place during his term in office.
15 solar years ago, on this day in 2004 AD, Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) was awarded the "Man for Peace" prize in Rome at the opening of a meeting of Nobel Peace Prize laureates. Born in London in 1948 to a Greek Cypriot father and a Swedish mother, and named Steven Demetre Georgiou, he formally converted to Islam in 1977 after studying the holy Qur’an. An accomplished musician by profession, his staunch faith in Islam has often earned him the ire of anti-Muslim groups.
(Courtesy: IRIB English Radio – http://parstoday.com/en)