Today is Wednesday; 2nd of the Iranian month of Mehr 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 5th of the Islamic month of Muharram 1442 lunar hijri; and September 23, 2020, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1381 lunar years ago, on this day in 61 AH, Hazrat Ruqayya (SA), the 4-year old daughter of the Martyr of Karbala, Imam Husain (AS), succumbed to her torture and sufferings and attained martyrdom in Damascus. The youngest child of the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny), she was very much attached to her father, whose heartrending martyrdom and the mounting of his severed head on a lance, the thirsty little girl watched with horror. Her wailing knew no bounds and the orphan, despite her tender age, was bound by the Omayyad hordes with rope along with her elder sisters, Hazrat Fatema and Hazrat Sakina, as well as her aunts, Hazrat Zainab and Hazrat Omm Kulthum (peace upon them), and dragged to the court of the tyrannical governor of Kufa, Obaidollah ibn Ziyad, who taunted the noble captives and poured salt on their wounds by playing with the severed head of the Imam. On the way to the Syrian capital, Ruqayyah (SA) suffered the pains of the arduous journey on foot, often through hot desert terrain, during which she was subjected to scolding and whipping by the Omayyad ruffians. In Damascus, she was mocked in front of the whole court by the Godless Yazid as he blasphemously hit with his cane the head of her father that was placed in a tray. The Prophet’s family was confined to the ruins of a dilapidated edifice, where her wailing in the night disturbed the tyrant’s sleep and forced him to send the head of Imam Husain (AS) in a bid to calm her down. At the sight of her father’s head, little Ruqayya (SA) rushed and took it in her lap, and placing her own head upon it, recounted the pains, sufferings, and tortures she had endured for the past 25 days since the fateful day of Ashura (Moharram 10). She suddenly became motionless as her soul flew to the ethereal heavens. Her brother, Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS) laid her to rest in the ruins, which today is a magnificent mausoleum visited by pilgrims from all over the world.
1055 solar years ago, on this day in 965 AD, the famous Arabic poet, Ahmad bin Hassan Kufi, known by his penname "Mutanabbi”, was killed at the age of 51 near Baghdad during an encounter with highway brigands.
891 lunar years ago, on this day in 551 AH, the theologian, physician, astronomer, and mathematician, Kamal od-Din Ibn Yunus, was born in Mosul, in Iraq. He authored several books including "Asraar as-Sultaniyyah” on astronomy.
805 solar years ago, on this day in 1215 AD, Kublai Khan, the 5th Khaqaan or Great Ruler of the Mongol Empire, was born. He was the second son of Tolui, and a grandson of the ruthlessly fearsome Mongol marauder, Genghis Khan.
682 solar years ago, on this day in 1338, the Battle of Arnemuiden was the first naval battle of the Hundred Years’ War between England and France, and the first instance of a naval battle in Europe in which artillery was used, as the English ship Christofer had three cannons and one hand gun.
611 solar years ago, on this day in 1409 AD, the Battle of Kherlen on the banks of the river of the same name in the Mongolian Plateau, saw the forces of Ming China, which had been demanding allegiance from Khaqaan Oljei Timur to Chinese rule, suffer a crushing defeat at the hands of the Mongols. Following the defeat, the Ming Yongle Emperor would personally lead an expedition against the Eastern Mongols, annihilating large proportions of the Mongol forces.
556 lunar years ago, on this day in 886 AH, Mahmoud Gawan, the able Grand Vizier of the Bahmani kingdom of Iranian origin of the Deccan in south India, was unjustly executed at the age of 73 by Mohammad Shah II, after being falsely accused of treason by his rivals at the court. The end of this scholar statesman brought about the decline of the kingdom, which in the next two decades splintered into five independent sultanates.
345 solar years ago, on this day in 1675 AD, well-known French author and literary figure, Valentin Conrart, died at the age of 72. He was called by France’s famous political prelate, Cardinal Richelieu, to contribute to development of French literature.
217 solar years ago, on this day in 1803 AD, the Battle of Assaye was fought in western India during the 2nd Anglo-Maratha War and resulted in a decisive defeat for the Maratha Confederacy by Major General Arthur Wellesley, who later became the Duke of Wellington and went on to defeat French Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, at the famous Battle of Waterloo in 1814. Later in his memoirs, Wellington would recall the Battle of Assaye as more crucial, strategic and deadly than Waterloo.
199 solar years ago, on this day in 1821 AD, the massacre of Tripolitsa occurred in Greece, during which Greek Christians mercilessly slaughtered 30,000 Muslim men, women and children, as well as the small Jewish minority.
108 solar years ago, on this day in 1912 AD, the Urdu and Persian author, linguist, researcher and critic, Dr. Ghulam Mustafa Khan, was born in Jabalpur, India, in a religious family of the Naqshbandi Sufi order. He trained a large number of students and was author of more than 100 books in Arabic, Persian, Urdu and English.
88 solar years ago, on this day in 1932 AD, Britain allowed it agent, Abdul-Aziz Ibn Saud, to name a large part of the Arabian Peninsula that he had usurped through wars, bloodshed, and subterfuge, as "Saudi Arabia” – the only place in the world where the name of a tribal minority has been applied to a country. Abdul-Aziz was a brigand from Najd in the desert interior, where to advance his political goals he had allied himself with the schismatic Wahhabi cult, whose aim was to deceive and divide Muslims. He was promptly hired by the British against the Ottoman Empire on a monthly salary of 5,000 pound-sterling.
81 solar years ago, on this day in 1939 AD, Austrian psychiatrist, Sigmund Freud, died at the age of 83. Among his books are "The Interpretation of Dreams”, and "The Future of an Illusion”.
70 lunar years ago, on this day in 1372 AH, the religious scholar, Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Ma’soumi, passed away in the city of Behbahan, in southern Iran at the age of 84. He authored several books, including "Sharh-e Lum’a”, and "Nejat al-Ebaad”.
42 solar years ago, on this day in 1978 AD, workers at the Abadan oil refinery went on indefinite strike in protest to the repressive policies of the British-installed and American-backed Pahlavi regime. As a result petroleum prices shot up by a record fifty percent, slowing down the economy and bringing about the fall of the cabinet of the despotic Shah’s newly appointed premier, Ja’far Sharif Emami.
34 solar years ago, on this day in 1386 AD, prominent Iranian poet, Ali Akbar Khoshdil Tehrani, passed away at the age of 72. He has left behind a divan of Persian poetry.
29 solar years ago, on this day in 1991 AD, Armenia declared independence from the former Soviet Union.
23 solar years ago, on this day in 1997 AD, the Iranian painter and miniaturist, Ali Karimi, passed away at the age of 74. He was a student of Hadi Tajvidi, and in turn groomed numerous students, who are highly skilled painters.
13 solar years ago, on this day in 2007 AD, Iranian President Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered a memorable speech at New York’s Columbia University followed by a scheduled address to the UN General Assembly. Thousands of people applauded his speech at the university in which he exposed the myth of the Holocaust and called for its scientific and academic probe. He also questioned the US government’s version of the 11 September 2001 incidents in New York.