Today is Tuesday, 29th of the Iranian month of Mehr 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 3rd of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal 1442 lunar hijri; and October 20, 2020, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1378 lunar years ago, on this day in 64 AH, holy Mecca was savagely attacked by the Omayyad forces of Yazid ibn Mu’awiyah, who ordered the desecration of the sanctity of the holy Ka’ba by raining down fire and brimstone through catapults placed on mountains around the Masjid al-Haraam or the Grand Sacred Mosque. As a result the supreme symbol of monotheism was badly damaged and many men, women and children who had sought refuge in the holiest sanctuary of Islam were killed or badly burnt. The people, inspired by the valour of Mukhtar Ibn Abu Obayda Thaqafi, bravely defended the city. The siege and the sacrilege of the Ka’ba by the Omayyad commander, Haseen ibn Numayr – a bloodthirsty and blasphemous person involved in the martyrdom of the Prophet’s grandson Imam Husain (AS) in Karbala – ended some two weeks later when news reached of the sudden death of the tyrant Yazid. During the three-odd years of his illegal rule, the accursed Yazid perpetrated three shockingly sacrilegious acts. He ordered the slaughter of Imam Husain (AS) and other members of Prophet Mohammad’s (SAWA) blessed household. He next attacked Medina, killing at the infamous Battle of Harrah hundreds of companions of the Prophet and then ordering his commander Muslim ibn Uqbah to violate all Islamic laws through bloodshed, plunder of property, and rape of women for three days. Next he sent his forces to capture or kill the seditious, Abdullah ibn Zubayr, who had sought refuge in Mecca. Before reaching Mecca, God’s wrath struck Muslim ibn Uqba in the form of a sting from a poisonous scorpion and he instantly died. The command of the army was taken over by the equally criminal Haseen ibn Numayr, who was later to meet a humiliating death later at the hands of the forces of Mukhtar, who had launched his uprising in Iraq to avenge the killers of Imam Husain (AS).
1001 lunar years ago, on this day in 441 AH, the famous Arabic poet, Abu’l-Ala al-Ma’arri died. Born in Maarra, Syria, he was a member of the Banu Sulayman tribe that produced good poets. As a 4-year old boy he lost his eyesight due to small pox but this did not stop him from composing poems at the early age of 11. He wrote several works, including "Risalat-al-Ghufran” or Epistle of Forgiveness, which is an imaginary journey in the realms of the afterlife and includes dialogues with people in Heaven and Hell. Italian poet, Dante Alighieri, borrowed heavily from this work in writing the "Divine Comedy”.
391 solar years ago, on this day in 1632 AD, the English mathematician, astronomer and architect, Christopher Wren, was born. After the ‘Great Fire’ that destroyed most of London, he presented a scheme to rebuild the city, though only partially realized, still boasts of such architectural landmarks as St. Paul’s Cathedral. He invented a "weather clock” similar to a modern barometer, as well as new engraving methods. He died at the age of 90.
301 solar years ago, on this day in 1719 AD, the German mathematician and philosopher, Gottfried Achenwall, was born. He founded the science of statistics. He also conducted extensive studies in philosophy and left behind several works in this scientific course. He died in 1771.
222 solar years ago, on this day in 1798 AD, the Muslim people of Cairo staged an uprising against the French occupation forces of Napoleon Bonaparte, offering 3000 martyrs for the freedom of their country. Inspired by the ulema, the people held a large protest gathering at the famous al-Azhar University that was subjected to attacks by the French military. This led to a battle between the unarmed people who overpowered and killed many French soldiers. The French occupiers retorted with brute forces, killing some 3,000 defenseless people, including many religious scholars. The French soldiers threw the bodies of martyrs into the River Nile.
193 solar years ago, on this day in 1827 AD, the Battle of Navarino in Greece resulted in the defeat of a combined Turkish and Egyptian armada by the British, French, and Russian naval forces in the port of Navarino in Pylos. As many as 6,000 Muslim soldiers lost their lives while 60 warships were sunk. The revolt in the Ottoman Province of Yunanistan that had begun in 1821 with the support of leading European Christian powers ended in 1829 with the formal separation of this province and it’s renaming as Greece. In short, the Greek Revolt turned into the genocide of Muslims and within a few years all traces of four centuries of Turkish rule of Greece were removed through barbaric crimes by the Christians, who destroyed mosques, converted many into churches and even massacred or expelled ethnic Greek Muslims.
161 solar years ago, on this day in 1859 AD, US philosopher, John Dewey, was born. An advocate of the Pragmatic School of Thought, he authored several books including "The Public and Its Problems”, and "Reconstruction in Philosophy”. He died in 1952.
129 solar years ago, on this day in 1891 AD, British physicist, James Chadwick, who as one of the evil minds behind London’s manufacture of the atom bomb, was born.
120 solar years ago, on this day 1900 AD, Albanian Muslim poet and writer, Na’eem Frasheri, passed away at the age of 54 in Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, which he served as an official in the ministry of culture. A prominent figure of the Albanian National Awakening he is widely regarded as the national poet of Albania.
117 solar years ago, on this day in 1903 AD, the prominent theologian and jurisprudent, Ayatollah Seyyed Ismail Noori Tabarsi, passed away in holy Kazemain in Iraq. Besides teaching at the seminary he wrote several books, such as the 3-volume "Kifayat-al-Muwahhidin” in Arabic, and the Persian language "Ismat-al-Wilayah”, on imamate.
70 solar years ago, on this day in 1950 AD, the jurisprudent and exegete of the holy Qur’an, Ayatollah Shaikh Ja’far Nizari Naqdi, passed away in holy Najaf, Iraq, at the age of 64. A student of famous scholars such as Ayatollah Shaikh Ahmad Kashef al-Gheta and Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Kazem Yazdi, on the latter’s instructions he was stationed for a time in al-Ammarah in southern Iraq to enlighten the local tribes of the teachings of Islam. He is the author of several books, such as "al-Anwaar al-Alawiyya wa’l-Asraar al-Murtazawiyya” on the God-given merits of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (PuH), the 1st divinely-designated vicegerent of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
42 solar years ago, on this day in 1978 AD, workers and personnel of Iran’s oil industry went on a nationwide strike against the Shah’s despotic regime. As a result, Iran’s oil exports came to a halt, depriving the regime of its most important revenues. Moreover, the severance of Iran’s oil exports led to sharp oil price hikes. The Shah’s regime through its scaremongering policies, tried to force the oil industry workers to return to their jobs, but they refused to do so. The strike of Iran’s oil industry personnel continued until the ouster of the British-installed and US-backed Shah, thanks to the people’s revolutionary zeal and their tolerance of oil shortages.
25 solar years ago, on this day in 1995 AD, Iranian poet and scholar, Javad Qawwampour, passed away at the age of 77. Born in Semnan, he learned Islamic eschatology and has left a 2-volume collection of poems, titled "Nida-e Dil” (Voice of the Heart).
6 solar years ago, on this day in 2014 AD, Head of Iran’s Assembly of Experts, Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani passed away at the age of 83. As a disciple of the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA), he strove against the despotic regime of the Shah, and after establishment of the Islamic Republic, he served as Acting Prime Minister from 2 September until 29 October 1981. Before that, he was Minister of Interior and Minister of Justice in the cabinets of Mohammad-Ali Rajai and Mohammad-Javad Bahonar. He was the leader of Combatant Ulema Association and founder and president of Imam Sadeq (AS) University.
9 solar years ago, on this day in 2011 AD, the former leader of Libya, Muammar Mohammad Qadhafi and his son, Mutassim, were killed shortly after the Battle of Sirte while in the custody of NTC fighters. Brought to power through a military coup in 1969 by the CIA against King Idris who was abroad for medical treatment, Qadhafi terrorized Libya for 42 years until his violent ouster by his own masters – the US and the West – who have since destabilized the country.