Today is Wednesday; 21st of the Iranian month of Aban 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 25th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal 1442 lunar hijri; and November 11, 2020, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1006 lunar years ago, on this day in 436 AH, the great scholar and jurisprudent, Seyyed Ali Ibn Hussain, popularly known as Sharif Murtaza, passed away at the age of 81 in his hometown Baghdad. He was born in a family descended on both sides from Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny). His father Hussain was 5th in line of descent from Imam Musa al-Kazem (AS), while his mother, Fatema – a scion of the family that had carved out an independent state in Tabaristan on the Caspian Sea coast of Iran – was a descendant of Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS). Acknowledged as the greatest scholar of his era, during the rule of the Iranian Buwaiyhid Dynasty over Iraq-Iran-Oman, he groomed many outstanding ulema, including the famous Iranian scholar Shaikh at-Ta’efa Tusi – the founder of the celebrated Islamic Seminary of Najaf. Sharif Murtaza was the elder brother of the equally prominent, Sharif Radhi, the compiler of the famous book "Nahj al-Balagha” – the collection of the sermons, letters and maxims of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (AS). His books include "al-Intisar”, "ash-Shafi”, "at-Tanzih al-Anbiyya”, "al-Ghurar wa’d-Durar” and "Zakhirat al-Usul al-Fiqh”, as well as a Diwan containing over 20,000 of his Arabic verses.
865 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.
347 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.
207 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.
199 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”.
189 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.
132 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 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).
123 solar years ago, on this day in 1897 AD, the Iranian poet, Ali Esfandiari, known by his penname of Nima Youshij, was born in the village of Yoush in Mazandaran Province, northern Iran. He later took up residence in Tehran, and learned French and Arabic. Upon the encouragement of one of his lecturers, he started composing modern poetry. He passed away in 1959 at the age of 62.
102 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.
67 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.
47 solar years ago, on this day in 1973 AD, Iranian scholar Reza Rouzbeh passed away at the age of 52 due to cancer as a result of radioactive effects of chemical experiments in laboratory. Born in Zanjan, after completing religious studies in jurisprudence, logics, and philosophy, he enrolled at the university and graduated in physics. He started his profession as a teacher but refused to teach at the university, and established an Islamic school for grooming youngsters. He authored several books, including "Proofs of Cognition of God”, "Vilayat” or divinely-decreed authority of the Infallible Imams, and "Arabic Simplified”.
45 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.
38 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.
16 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.
15 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.
12 solar years ago, on this day in 2008 AD, Iran successfully test-fired the Sejjil, a new generation of long range surface-to-surface missile using solid fuel, making them more accurate than its predecessors. It has a range of about 2,000 km.
9 solar years ago, on this day in 2011 AD, a blast at Iran’s Martyr Modarres missile base in Bid-Kaneh on the outskirts of Tehran resulted in the death of 17 persons, including Hassan Tehrani Moqaddam, the main architect of Iran’s deterrent missile system. An engineer by profession and senior military officer, as chief of the "self-sufficiency” unit of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), he designed the long-range Shahab, Qadr and Sejjil missiles.