Today is Wednesday; 7th of the Iranian month of Aban 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 11th of the Islamic month of Rabi Awwal 1442 lunar hijri; and October 28, 2020, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1051 solar years ago, on this day in 969 AD, Byzantine general Michael Bourtzes seized part of the fortifications of the Muslim Syrian city of Antakiyya (Antioch) and three days later completed the conquest of the entire city by driving away the Abbasid forces. It had been liberated by Muslims three centuries and 31 years earlier in 637 from the yoke of the Eastern Roman Empire. In 1084 Antakiyya and its surroundings were retaken by Muslims under Sulaiman ibn Qutulmish Seljuqi who had rebelled against his overlord Malik Shah I of the Isfahan-based Great Seljuq Empire. In 1094, two years after the death of Malik Shah, Antakiyya was lost by Qilij-Arsalan Seljuqi ibn Sulaiman to the Crusader invaders from Europe, who held it under fluctuating fortunes for the next 174 years until May 1268 when it was liberated Sultan Zahir od-Din Baibars of the Mamluk Dynasty of Egypt-Syria. Ever since, Antakiyya, which in 1937 was illegally transferred to Turkey by the French occupiers of Syria, has been part of the Muslim World.
870 lunar years ago, on this day in 572 AH, Qilij Arsalan II, the Seljuqid Sultan of Roum defeated Byzantine Emperor Manuel Komnenos at the Battle of Myriokephalon. The defeat marked the end of Byzantine attempts to recover the Anatolian plateau, which was now lost to the Turks forever and today forms the center of the Republic of Turkey. Qilij Arslan died in 1192 after a reign of 36 years. He promoted Persian culture and was succeeded by Kaykhosrow.
528 solar years ago, on this day in 1492 AD, Christopher Columbus landed on the eastern coast of Cuba with the help of Muslim navigators from Spain who were familiar with the sea routes of the Atlantic Ocean to what later became known as the American continent. The Spanish slaughtered and enslaved the local people of Cuba and plundered its natural resources. The Cubans deeply resented colonial rule, which centuries later was replaced by US imperialism, following Spain’s defeat in the 1898-1902 war. Cuba became truly independent in 1959 under Fidel Castro, who started a revolution in 1956 to end the US exploitation of his country.
504 solar years ago, on this day in 1516 AD, the Battle of Khan Yunis occurred in Gaza, resulting in the defeat of the Turkic Mamluk (Slave) Dynasty of Egypt-Syria by Sinan Pasha, the Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Sultan Selim I.
489 solar years ago, on this day in 1531 AD, in the Battle of Amba Sel, Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi of the Adal Sultanate of the Horn of Africa again defeated the army of Lebna Dengel, Emperor of Ethiopia. The southern part of Ethiopia fell under Muslim control.
393 solar years ago, on this day in 1627 AD, the 4th Moghul Emperor of the Northern Subcontinent and Eastern Afghanistan, Noor od-Din "Jahangir” (World Grasper), died in Lahore in what is now Pakistan, after a reign of 22 years, during which he ruled mostly with the assistance of his Iranian wife, Noor Jahan, the daughter of the minister, Mirza Ghiyas Beg Tehrani E’temad od-Dowla.
316 solar years ago, on this day in 1704 AD, English philosopher-physician, John Locke, died at the age of 72. He spent over 20 years developing the ideas he published in 1690 in his most significant work "Essay Concerning Human Understanding”, which analysed the nature of human reason, and promoted experimentation as the basis of knowledge. He established primary qualities (solidity, extension, number) as distinct from secondary qualities identified by the sense organs (colour, sound). Thus the world is otherwise silent and without colour. Locke recognised that science is made possible when the primary world mechanically affects the sense organs, thereby creating ideas that faithfully represent reality.
274 solar years ago, on this day in 1746 AD, the Peruvian cities of Lima and Callao were demolished by a severe earthquake that claimed 18,000 victims, in addition to leaving thousands of people homeless.
186 solar years ago, on this day in 1834 AD, the Battle of Pinjarra was fought in the Swan River Colony in present-day Pinjarra, Western Australia, resulting in the cold-blooded massacre of 40 Aborigines by British soldiers.
149 lunar years ago, on this day in 1293 AH, the great scholar and bibliographer, Grand Ayatollah Sheikh Mohammad Mohsin, popular as Aqa Bozorg Tehrani, was born in Tehran. The masterpiece that Aqa Bozorg produced in almost 30 volumes, titled "adh-Dhari’a ila Tasaneef ash-Shi’a”, became a major contribution to Islamic scholarship. He also compiled a biographical encyclopedia of Shi’a Muslim scholars as a companion to "adh-Dhari’a”, titled "Tabaqaat A’laam ash-Shi’a”, but each section, pertaining to the scholars of a given century, also has a separate title. He passed away in Najaf in 1389 AH at the age of 96 and was laid to rest in his own library.
102 solar years ago, on this day in 1918 AD, following the end of World War 1, Czechoslovakia was founded as one of the successor states of the Austro-Hungarian Empire as per the Treaty of Versailles.
94 solar years ago, on this day in 1926 AD, prominent leader of Iran’s Constitutional Movement, Ayatollah Seyyed Hassan Modarres, escaped an assassination attempt against him by Reza Khan of the British installed Pahlavi regime. Two years later, the Ayatollah, who in 1925 had unsuccessfully opposed the dissolution of the Qajarid dynasty, was arrested along with his family and friends and exiled to Khaf and then to Kashmar, where in 1937 he was fatally poisoned on the orders of Reza Khan and achieved martyrdom at the age of 67. Ayatollah Modarres was among the teachers of the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA), and his portrait is depicted on the obverse of the Iranian 100 rials banknote.
88 lunar years ago, on this day in 1354 AH, the prominent scholar and one of the renowned lecturers of the Najaf seminary, Ayatollah Seyyed Hassan Sadr passed away. He groomed many scholars, and wrote several books, including "Ta’sees ash-Shi’a”, "Role of Shi’a Scholars in Development of Islamic Sciences”, "The Shi’a Muslims and Promotion of Islamic Arts”, and a refutation of the absurd viewpoints of the pseudo Syrian scholar Ibn Taimiyya.
73 solar years ago, on this day in 1948 AD, during the first war of the usurper state of Israel against Arabs, Zionist troops mass murdered the residents of ad-Dawayima Village in occupied Palestine. The attack on the village’s mosque alone, martyred 75 Muslims in the state of prayer. The Zionists also slaughtered 35 Palestinian families, who had sought shelter in a cave, outside this village. They then razed to the ground the entire village. In 1984, when UN officials asked Israel’s representative at the General Assembly about the incidents, he even denied the existence of such a village in a bid to conceal the crimes of the Zionist entity.
58 solar years ago, on this day in 1962 AD, on the orders of Soviet Leader, Nikita Khrushchev, who agreed to call back ships carrying atomic weapons, the Cuban missile crisis ended. Cuba lies around 90 kilometers from the US soil and constantly exposed to US pressures.
47 solar years ago, on this day in 1873 AD, the prominent literary figure and rather controversial author of Egypt, Dr. Taha Hussein, died at the age of 84. He authored several books such as "History of Arabic Literature” "Ibn Khaldoun’s Philosophy” and "al-Fitnat-al-Kubra” – The Great Sedition that deals with the sorry state of affairs of the caliphate after the passing away of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny). He also wrote "Hafez and Shawqi”, which is a comparison between two great poets of the Persian and Arabic language – Iran’s Khwaja Hafez Shirazi and Egypt’s Poet Laureate, Ahmad Shawqi.
40 solar years ago, on this day in 1980 AD, Iranian scholar and poet, Hojjat al-Islam Hussain-Ali Rashed, passed away at the age of 75. His works include "Fazilat-hai Rashed”, "Two Philosophers of the East and West”, and "Collection of Rashed’s Discourses”.