Today is Sunday; 18th of the Iranian month of Aban 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 22nd of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal 1442 lunar hijri; and November 8, 2020, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1438 lunar years ago, on this day in 4 AH, the Muslims started the campaign against the Israelite tribe of Bani Nadheer around Medina by besieging their forts when the Jews, in alliance with the Arab infidels and hypocrites, refused to leave, despite their breach of the covenant of Medina for peaceful co-existence. They had incited Meccan polytheists to attack Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), in addition to their own attempts on his life. God Almighty revealed the ayahs of Surah Hashr, allowing the Prophet to take action. The Prophet entrusted the standard to his cousin and vicegerent, Imam Ali (AS), to launch the campaign. In a few days, the rebellious Israelites sued for peace, and were allowed to leave on 600 camels along with their women, children, livestock and riches. Some settled in Khaybar while others left for Syria. Centuries earlier, Israelite tribes had migrated to Hijaz from Palestine to await the advent among the Arabs of the Last and Greatest Messenger foretold by God in the Torah and other heavenly scriptures. But when Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) proclaimed his mission, the Israelites denied him, even though they recognized him as the one prophesied by Moses and other prophets. The Prophet, as per divine commandment, offered peace and truce to the Jews, as the People of the Book, but despite their pledges the Israelites never kept their words and always plotted against Islam and the Prophet.
1060 solar years ago, on this day in 960 AD, the Battle of Andrassos occurred in the Taurus Mountains in what is now southwestern Turkey, when the Byzantines under Leo Phokas the Younger, ambushed the Muslim forces of the Hamdanid Emir of Aleppo, Saif od-Dowla, who despite the surprising defeat regrouped his forces in the following years to push back the Christian invaders. Saif od-Dowla was like a bulwark against Byzantine ambitions to encroach upon Muslim lands.
1043 solar years ago, on this day in 977 AD, the Spanish Muslim scholar Ibn al-Quṭiyya (which means son of a Gothic woman) passed away in Cordoba. Named Mohammad by his father Omar, a qazi or judge, he was born and raised in Seville. His chief work, the "Tarikh Iftitah al-Andalus” (History of the Conquest of Andalusia), is one of the earliest Arabic Muslim accounts of the Muslim conquest of Spain. He claimed descent from Wittiza, the last king of the Visigoths in Spain. Ibn al-Quttiya wrote two famous works on Arabic grammar: "Book on the Conjugation of Verbs” and "Book on the Shortened and Extended Alif”.
706 lunar years ago, on this day in 736 AH, the great scholar and founder of the Sarbadaran Movement, Shaikh Khalifa Mazandarani, was martyred in Sabzevar, Khorasan. Born in Amol in Mazandaran near the Caspian Sea, after mastering various branches of Islamic sciences, he came to Khorasan where in Sabzevar he launched the Sarbadar Movement against the repressive rule of the Ilkhanid Mongols, especially the local governor Togha Timur, who was notorious for his cruelty and high taxation of the people. The movement, which was mostly made up of the downtrodden, spread to neighboring cities. Its charismatic leaders included Shaikh Khalifa’s successor, Hassan Juri, and later Ali Mu’ayyad, all of whom revived the teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). For the next 50 years, the Sarbadar – a Persian term which means, heads bound on gallows, to signify their readiness for martyrdom – ruled most of Khorasan, although not on dynastic basis. They regarded as their spiritual leader, Shaikh Mohammad Jamal od-Din al-Makki al-Ameli of what is now Lebanon, who was later martyred in his homeland by the enemies of the Ahl al-Bayt, and earned immortality as Shaheed al-Awwal (or First Martyr).
501 solar years ago, on this day in 1519 AD, Hernan Cortes and his Spanish marauders entered the city of Tenochtitlan and Aztec ruler Montezuma welcomed him with a great celebration in his capital, believing that Cortes could be the white-skinned deity Quetzalcoatl, whose return had been foretold for centuries. It soon became clear that the Spaniards were all bent on conquest, plunder and killing. Cortes and his men, dazzled by the Aztec riches, began to systematically plunder Tenochtitlan and tear down the temples. Montezuma’s warriors attacked the Spaniards but with the aid of Indian allies, Spanish reinforcements, superior weapons and disease, Cortes defeated an empire of approximately 25 million people by August 13, 1521.
376 solar years ago, on this day in 1644 AD, the Shunzhi Emperor, the third ruler of the Qing Dynasty was enthroned in Beijing after the collapse of the Ming Dynasty as the first Qing Emperor to rule all over China.
364 solar years ago, on this day in 1656 AD, English astronomer, geophysicist and mathematician, Edmond Halley was born. He is best known for recognizing that a bright comet – later named after him – had appeared several times.
346 solar years ago, on this day in 1674 AD, English Poet, John Milton, died in London at the age 66 years. One of his most important works is "Paradise Lost”, which is an epic poem. He was a supporter of freedom of religion, and opponent of the monarchy. He served under Oliver Cromwell in the Commonwealth of England after overthrow of the monarchy. After restoration of the monarchy, Milton retired from public life, and had gone completely blind when he died.
125 solar years ago, on this day in 1895 AD, the acclaimed German physicist, Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen, discovered the X-Ray. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in the year 1901 due to this important discovery. X-Ray goes through human tissues and is the best means for taking photographs of limbs, and diagnosis of damages and fractures to limbs.
120 solar years ago, on this day in 1900 AD, US author, Margaret Mitchell, was born in Atlanta, Georgia State. She first studied medicine but her sorrow over the death of her mother, led her to drop out of medical college and start writing books at the age of 22. She worked as a journalist for a long time, before her novel "Gone with the Wind” catapulted her to fame. She was killed in a car accident in 1949.
87 solar years ago, on this day in 1933 AD, Mohammad Nadir Shah of Afghanistan was shot to death after a 4-year rule, during a graduation ceremony at a high school in Kabul by Abdul Khaliq, an ethnic Hazara, who was immediately caught and later executed after being tortured.
44 solar years ago, on this day in 1976 AD, Hojjat al-Islam Nosratollah Ansari achieved martyrdom after six months of intense torture by the notorious SAVAK in the prison of the British-installed and US-backed Pahlavi regime. Born in Bo’en Zahra near Qazvin, besides his religious activities, he was politically active in the Islamic movement.
23 solar years ago, on this day in 1997 AD, Ayatollah Shaikh Mohammad Hussain Kalbasi Isfahani, passed away at the age of 92. Born in Isfahan, at the age of 18 he went to Iraq to study at the famous seminary of holy Najaf, where he attended the classes of such prominent ulema as Ayatollah Seyyed Abu’l-Hassan Isfahani, Ayatollah Ziya od-Din Iraqi, and Ayatollah Shaikh Mohammad Kazem Shirazi. After thirty years stay in Najaf during which he achieved the status of Ijtehad, he returned to Iran and busied himself with teaching at the seminary of holy Qom. He authored several books including one on the merits of Prophet Mohammad’s (SAWA) Blessed Progeny, titled "Faza’el Ahl al-Bayt”.
7 solar years ago, on this day in 2013 AD, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded, struck the Visayas region of the Philippines. The storm left at least 6,340 people dead with over 1,000 still missing, and caused S$2.86 billion (USD) in damage.