Today is Monday; 20th of the Iranian month of Aban 1398 solar hijri; corresponding to 13th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal 1441 lunar hijri; and November 11, 2019, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1309 lunar years ago, on this day in 132 AH, Abu'l-Abbas Abdullah ibn Mohammad as-Saffah, formally styled himself as caliph of the new dynasty of the Abbasid usurpers after routing the Omayyad tyrants and exterminating almost all of them in successive battles, culminating in the Battle of Zab. He was called "Saffah" because of the bloodshed he unleashed. He wreaked such a horrible vengeance on the Omayyads that he even dug up the graves of all their caliphs, including Mu'awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan, and burned their bones. He died after some four years and was succeeded by his younger brother, the notorious Mansour Dawanikhi. The Abbasids based their dubious claim to the caliphate on their descent from Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttaleb, an uncle of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). The main reason for their attracting of people's support against the Omayyads – chiefly of Iranians, Iraqis, Yemenis, Hijazis, and Egyptians – was their deceptive slogan of returning the political rule of the Islamic realm to the Prophet's progeny the Ahl al-Bayt. This happened in the era of Imam Ja'far as-Sadeq (AS), the Prophet’s 6th Infallible Heir. But once the Abbasids consolidated power, they turned against the Prophet's progeny and indulged in the same cruel acts, imprisoning, torturing and martyring many of these noble descendants, including the 6th Imam.
1336 solar years ago, on this day in 683 AD, the Godless tyrant, Yazid ibn Mu'awiyah, was struck by divine wrath and fell into the bowels of hell at the age of 36, after committing three most blasphemous crimes during his illegal rule of 3 years and nine months. Born out of wedlock to Maysoun bint Bajdal al-Kulaibi, a nomadic Arab Christian woman who cohabited with the Omayyad usurper, Mu'awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan, and suckled by whores, he was named as caliph by the latter on his deathbed in Rajab 60 AH, in gross violation of the treaty of 41 AH with Imam Hasan Mojtaba (AS), the elder grandson of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). The first thing the libertine Yazid did was to demand allegiance to his ungodly and un-Islamic rule from the Prophet's younger grandson Imam Husain (AS), and when this was rejected he had the Imam mercilessly martyred in Karbala in 61 AH along with 18 members of the Prophet's family, including the 6-month infant, Ali Asghar. The children and womenfolk of the Prophet's progeny were then dragged as captives to his court in Damascus. The second abominable crime committed by him was to attack the holy city of Medina in Zilhijja 63 AH after the infamous Battle of Harra in which 10,000 people were massacred, including hundreds of the Prophet's companions. Yazid's soldiers entered Medina, desecrated the Prophet's shrine, and were given permission to loot public property and rape women for three days – resulting in the birth of several thousand illegitimate children that year who are known in history as "Awlad-e Fitna". In the beginning of Rabi al-Awwal 64 AH, Yazid ordered his forces to attack Mecca and storm the holy Ka'ba. Catapults were placed on mountains overlooking the "Masjid al-Haraam” (Sacred Mosque) to hurl blazing naphtha pots at Islam’s holiest sanctuary. The Symbolic House of God caught fire and was almost burnt to the ground when the attack was called off because of Yazid's sudden death this day in Damascus. Yazid, who since the martyrdom of Imam Husain (AS), suffered severe bouts of headache, collapsed in the state of drunkenness in the toilet and died. His whole body had turned black. Some 58 years later in 132 AH, when the Abbasid caliph, Abu'l-Abbas as-Saffah, ordered the opening of the graves of the Omayyad caliphs, including that of Mu'awiyah, and the burning of their bones, only a piece of a leg bone was found in Yazid's grave and nothing else except blackened dust resembling ashes after the body and skeleton has been burnt, which indicates divine punishment. Both Sunni and Shi'a Muslims consider Yazid an infidel for openly saying there was neither any Prophet nor divine revelation. At the sight of Imam Husain's head placed before him in a tray, he wished if only his infidel ancestors were alive to see how he has avenged the death of his kinsmen killed in the Battles of Badr and Ohad against the Prophet.
1151 lunar years ago, on this day in 290 AH, prominent scholar, jurist, and judge, Qazi Abul-Hassan Jurjani was born. He served as chief judge of the city of Rayy and its surroundings, which today are the southern suburbs of Tehran. He died in Naishapour, in Khorasan in 366 AH and his body was taken for burial to his native Jurjan, which today is known as Gorgan in northern Iran near the Caspian Sea. He authored several books including an exegesis on the holy Qur'an and a critical assessment of history titled "Tahzib at-Tarikh".
864 solar years ago, on this day in 1155, King Alfonso VIII of Castile was born. He is notorious for his wars against Spanish Muslims with the help of Christian mercenaries from other parts of Europe. During his long reign he suffered a devastating defeat at Alarcos in 1195 against the al-Muwahhedin army led by Ya’qoub Ibn Tashfin al-Mansour, who decimated half of the 300,000-strong Christian army and seized a vast treasury, while liberating the occupied regions of Trujillo, Montanchez and Talavera. For the next seventeen years the frontier between the Spanish Muslim and Christian regions was fixed in the hilly country outside Toledo. In 1212, taking advantage of the death of Ya’qoub al-Mansour and the weakening of the al-Muwahhedin Empire, the ever-scheming Alfonso VIII launched a fresh aggression on Spanish Muslim territories by assembling mercenaries from all over Europe. Calatrava first, then Alarcos, and finally Benavente were captured before a battle was fought at Las Navas de Tolosa near Santa Elena on 16 July in which the Muslim ruler, Mohammad an-Naser was routed.
346 solar years ago, on this day in 1673 AD, the Battle of Khotyn saw a combined army of Polish-Lithuanian troops under Jan Sobieski defeat Ottoman forces led by Hussain Pasha. It reversed the fortunes of the previous year, when Poland and Lithuania were forced to sign the Peace of Buczacz, and it allowed Jan Sobieski to become the king of Poland. Sobieski was to play a leading role in the Battle of Vienna ten years later in 1683 that saw a decisive defeat for the Turks in Europe.
206 solar years ago, on this day in 1813 AD, the Battle of Crysler's Farm resulted in the victory of a combined British and Canadian army over a larger American force, causing the US to abandon its St Lawrence campaign.
198 solar years ago, on this day in 1821 AD, the acclaimed Russian author, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, was born. In 1849, he was arrested and imprisoned on political charges. Following his release, he created valuable works in Russian literature. He wrote a number of novels, including "Karamazov Brothers" and "Crime and Punishment”.
188 solar years ago, on this day in 1831 AD, Nat Turner, the black Afro-American who led the so-called "slave revolution" in the US, was executed. In August 1831 after assembling the freedom-seeking black people of Africa who were enslaved in the US, he started an uprising in Southampton County, Virginia, by freeing many African people from slavery. The uprising was brutally crushed after a few days by the White racist regime. Turner survived in hiding for over two months afterward, but was seized and executed. The white Americans then massacred over 200 black people in the southern states, where state legislatures passed new laws prohibiting education of the so-called slaves as well as free black-coloured people, as well as restricting rights of assembly and other civil rights for them.
131 solar years ago, on this day in 1888 AD, Indian scholar and statesman, Abu'l-Kalam Azad was born in the holy city of Mecca where his parents were residing. He was at the forefront of the struggle for the independence of India from the British rule, led by M.K Gandhi. He was elected to the parliament after India gained independence in 1947, and subsequently served as Minister of Education. As a scholar of Urdu, Arabic, Persian and English languages he wrote many valuable books, including an exegesis of the holy Qur'an, titled, "Tarjuman al-Qur'an". He was greatly influenced by the famous 19th century Iranian thinker, Seyyed Jamal ad-Din Asadabadi, especially concerning the importance of Ijtehad in awakening the Muslim societies. Among his other works are "War from the Islamic Point of View" and "Shaheed-e Azam" (The Great Martyr) which is a book on Imam Husain (AS).
130 solar years ago, on this day in 1889 AD, jurisprudent Mullah Ahmad Khowaini Qazvini passed away in Qazvin at the age of 68. After attending the Isfahan seminary, he left for Iraq for higher religious studies in the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala, where he stayed for long years before returning to Iran. He settled in Qazvin, teaching and grooming budding scholars. He authored several books, such as the 3-volume "Mirat al-Murad” on biographical evaluation of narrators, and the 2-volume "al-Lawame’ on jurisprudence.
101 solar years ago, on this day in 1918 AD, World War I formally ended after four years with the victory of the Allied Powers, namely Russia, Britain, France, and Italy, and the defeat of the Axis Powers, namely Germany, Bulgaria, the Turkish Ottoman Empire, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. More than 15 million people were killed and 20 million others were wounded, while the damage inflicted was estimated at $150 billion. The result of the war was the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire into the independent states of Austria, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia, and the breakup of the Ottoman Empire into Turkey, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, and finally Saudi Arabia. Germany, which lost its political, economic, and military power in Europe, soon rearmed under Adolf Hitler and 21 years later, started World War 2.
66 solar years ago, on this day in 1953 AD, the polio virus, which is the cause of one of most dangerous illnesses, was discovered by Dr. Jonas Salk, who later also discovered the polio vaccine. Currently, polio has been eradicated from many countries, and has been reduced in several others. Nonetheless, the struggle against the fatal polio virus continues to this day.
44 solar years ago, on this day in 1975 AD, Angola in southwest Africa became independent. The Portuguese had seized Angola from the Congolese Empire after establishing trading posts on its coastline in the 16th century and penetrating in its interior in the 19th century. The Angolan people waged a long struggle for independence, but after independence, they witnessed a civil war that lasted 27 years till 2002 because of the greed of western imperialism, especially the US.
37 solar years ago, on this day in 1982 AD, a command unit of the Zionist occupation forces in the city of Tyre in southern Lebanon was destroyed in a daring martyrdom-seeking operation by the youthful Ahmad Qaseer, who sacrificed his life for his country by blowing up 89 Israeli terrorist soldiers and wounding 86 others. Israeli forces had advanced till the environs of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, by June 1982 martyring thousands of civilians and wounding thousands of others. Thus, the destruction of the command unit of Zionist forces in southern Lebanon, which took place a while after the destruction of the headquarters of the US and French occupation forces in Beirut, was a major and important factor that turned the tide of the war against the aggressors, and forced the Israelis to retreat from Beirut.
33 solar years ago, on this day in 1986 AD, combatant jurisprudent, Ayatollah Seyyed Abu’l-Fazl Khosrowshahi, passed away at the age of 84. A product of the seminaries of Tabriz and holy Najaf in Iraq – where he attained the status of Ijtehad – he guided the people of Tabriz during the suffocating days of the British installed Pahlavi tyrant Reza Khan. After World War 2 when Azarbaijan was briefly detached from Iran and declared a ‘communist republic’ under protection of the Soviet Union, he firmly stood against the self-styled Democrats, who plotted to assassinate him and his equally learned brother. On collapse of communist rule and return of Azarbaijan to Iran, he resumed his activities, undeterred by harassment of the Pahlavi regime.
23 lunar years ago, on this day in 1418 AH, prominent jurisprudent Ayatollah Seyyed Reza Baha od-Dini, passed away in his hometown Qom at the age of 92 and was laid to rest in the holy mausoleum of Hazrat Ma’souma (SA), the daughter of Imam Musa Kazem (AS), the 7th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny). A product of the Qom seminary, his teachers included Shaikh Abdul-Karim Ha'iri Yazdi, Seyyed Mohammad Hojjat Kohkamari, Seyyed Mohammad Taqi Khwansari, Seyyed Sadr od-Din Sadr, and Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Hussain Boroujerdi. For over twenty years, Ayatollah Baha od-Dini taught jurisprudence, Arabic literature and other Islamic sciences at the seminary. Later he was mostly occupied by discussions, private and public classes of moral teachings which lasted until the end of his life. His students include the Ayatollahs Martyr Morteza Motahhari, Ahmad Jannati, Ali Mishkini, Ahmad Azari Qomi, Mohammad Fazel Lankarani, and Martyr Seyyed Mostafa Khomeini. Some of his moral classes and interviews on spiritual cleansing have been published in his two books of "Sulouk Ma’nawi” (Spiritual Conduct) and "Nardiban Asman” (Staircase to the Sky). The Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Seyyed Ali Khamenei in his message of condolences on the passing away of Ayatollah Baha od-Dini, said: "He was a teacher of ethics and the wayfarer towards God. He was the ultimate guide of the self-sacrificing youths at the frontiers during the holy defense and the candle of the gatherings of Basij forces.”
15 solar years ago, on this day in 2004 AD, head of Palestine self-rule Authority, and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Yasser Arafat, died at the age of 75 in a hospital in Paris under suspicious circumstances – believed to be poisoning by the illegal Zionist entity. Named Mohammed Abdur-Rahman by his father Abdur-Raouf al-Qudwa al-Husseini, who was from Gaza, his early childhood was spent in Gaza and his mother’s city, Bayt al-Moqaddas. Because of his deviationist tendency in attending Jewish prayers at the synagogue and reading works of the founder of Zionism, Theodore Herzl, he was often beaten by his father. Relations between father and son were never positive, and when his father died in 1952 Arafat did not come from Egypt (where he was studying) to attend the funeral, nor did he visit his father's grave upon his return to Gaza. In Cairo, he became an Arab nationalist, and as was the custom among secularists, he distanced himself from Islam, and dropped his first name "Mohammad Abdur-Rahman" along with the family name "al-Husseini", while retaining his grandfather's name, "Arafat" to which he added "Yasser". He turned into a revolutionary after a meeting in Cairo with visiting Iranian revolutionary scholar, Hojjat al-Islam Seyyed Mojtaba Nawab Safavi, who told him that Zionist-occupied Palestine was in dire need of strugglers for its cause. In 1959, while working in Kuwait, he along with Khalid al-Wazir (Abu Jihad) and Salah Khalaf (Abu Iyad), founded the guerrilla group "FaTaH", which is a reverse acronym of the Arabic term "Harakat at-Tahrir al-Watani al-Filastini" (Palestinian National Liberation Movement), and should not be confused with the Islamic term "Fath" or conquest. In 1964, when the Arab League set up the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), he joined it. After active struggle against Israel during the 1960s and 1970s, Arafat was deceived and outwitted in diplomacy, and forced to recognize the Zionist entity in 1988. More humiliation followed when he entered the compromising talks with Israel, which forced upon him the Oslo Accord in 1993, an accord, whose contents were never fulfilled. He was sidelined by the Intefadha and in 2002 was confined to the West Bank city of Ramallah by the Zionist entity.
14 solar years ago, on this day in 2005 AD, Syrian film producer and director, Mustafa Aqqad, was killed in a terrorist bomb blast in Amman, Jordan, along with his daughter, at the age of 75. He is best known for producing and directing the films "Mohammad, Messenger of God” in 1976, also known as The Message, and "Lion of the Desert” in 1980 on Omar Mokhtar the leader of the Libyan people’s struggle against Italian colonial rule.
(Courtesy: IRIB English Radio – http://parstoday.com/en)