Today is Wednesday; 28th of the Iranian month of Aban 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 2nd of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Sani 1442 lunar hijri; and November 18, 2020, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1146 lunar years ago, on this day in 296 AH, Abdullah ibn Mu’taz was murdered at the age of 48 after a reign of a single day and night as caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime. He was a son of Mu’taz, the 13th self-styled caliph, who during his brief 3-year reign – before being deposed, brutally beaten and murdered by the Turkic guards – martyred Imam Ali an-Naqi (AS), the 10th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). Like the rest of the clan, Abdullah ibn Mu’taz was also notorious for his enmity towards the Prophet’s blessed Ahl al-Bayt.
599 solar years ago, on this day in 1421 AD, a seawall at the Zuiderzee dike in the Netherlands breaks, flooding 72 villages and killing about 10,000 people. This event will be known as St Elizabeth’s flood.
538 solar years ago, in 1482 AD, Gedik Ahmed Pasha, Kapudan (Chief Admiral) and 17th Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire during the reign of Sultan Mohammad II (conqueror of Constantinople) was killed in prison on the orders of Sultan Beyazid II.
419 solar years ago, on this day in 1601 AD, Tiryaki Hassan Pasha, provincial governor of Ottoman Empire, decisively defeated Habsburg forces commanded by Ferdinand the Archduke of Austria during the Siege of Nagykanizsa. The 50,000-strong Christian force attacked what was then Kanije in southwest Hungary, but the superior tactics of the Muslim defenders enabled the Turks to withstand the siege and ultimately counterattack and defeat the enemy forces. Hassan Pasha was an ethnic Bosnian and because of addiction to coffee was known as Tiryaki.
353 solar years ago, on this day in 1667 AD, The Treaty of Bongaja was forced upon Sultan Hassan od-Din of Gowa in what is now Indonesia by the invading forces of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), following the defeat of the Muslim army at Makassar on Sulawesi Island, mainly due to the siding of the animist warlord Arung Palakka with the Christians. Based on the terms of the treaty, Sultan Hassan od-Din conceded to the Dutch the territories of Buton, Makassar, Timor, Bima and the coasts of Java.
233 solar years ago, on this day in 1787 AD, the French painter, inventor, and physicist, Louis Daguerre, was born. His most important invention was the camera in the year 1839. He managed to take the first clear photo with this camera. Interestingly, nearly concurrent with Daguerre, his compatriot, Joseph Nicephore Niepce, had also succeeded in inventing the camera. Daguerre died in 1851.
181 solar years ago, on this day in 1839 AD, the second phase of the Algerian people’s anti-colonial struggles against France started under the leadership of Seyyed Abdul-Qader bin Mohieddin al-Hassani, al-Jaza’eri, who claimed descent from Imam Hasan Mojtaba (AS), the elder grandson of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
121 solar years ago, on this day in 1899 AD, Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Abu’l-Qasim Musavi Khoei, was born in Khoy in Iran’s West Azarbaijan Province. After initial studies in Tabriz, he left for holy Najaf in Iraq at the age of 13 to continue his studies. Here, his piety and knowledge attracted the attention of the Indian-based Iranian religious scholar, Mirza Ahmad Najafi-Tabrizi, who gave his daughter in marriage to him and lodged him in his own house. Mirza Ahmad used to frequent the semi-independent state of Banganapalle in south India, ruled by a Seyyed family of Iranian origin, who were patrons of scholars and learning. Soon Ayatollah Khoei mastered logic, rhetoric, theology, jurisprudence and philosophy, and in the process attained the status of Ijtehad. In 1971, he succeeded Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Mohsin al-Hakim as the leading Marja’ of the Islamic world and thereafter groomed a large number of scholars from Iran, Iraq, the Subcontinent, Bahrain and Lebanon. Among his valuable books are "Lectures in the Principles of Jurisprudence”, in 10 volumes, "Islamic Law” in 18 volumes, and "Mu’jam Rijal al-Hadith” in 24 volumes. The last named is an authoritative work on evaluation of narrators of hadith. During the 8-year war imposed on Iran in the 1980s by the US through Saddam, he refused to yield to the Ba’thist minority regime’s pressures to denounce the Islamic Republic, even though his house was frequently subjected to water and electricity cuts. He passed away in Kufa in 1992, a year and some five months after Saddam brutally crushed popular uprising of the Iraqi people. It is believed the regime martyred him through poisoning.
117 solar years ago, on this day in 1903 AD, Panama Canal Treaty was concluded between the Republic of Panama and the US, on the basis of which, the strategic Canal was permanently leased to the US for a mere $10 million in cash and an annual payment of $250,000. The people of Panama, through their struggles, finally forced the US to revise the permanent lease contract in 1978, when US president, Jimmy Carter, and the president of Panama, Omar Torrijos, signed an agreement to give back the Canal to Panama towards the end of the year 1999. The Panama Canal is 68 km in length and links the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. However, despite the US withdrawal, Panama continues to be considered by the US as its fiefdom.
115 lunar years ago, on this day in 1327 AH, the combatant scholar, Ayatollah Ali Fomani Rashti, attained martyrdom at the age of 59. Born in Rasht, Gilan Province, at the age of 20 he left for Iraq for higher religious studies at the seminaries of the holy cities of Karbala and Najaf, where he attained the status of Ijtehad. On his return to Iran, he settled in his hometown where in addition to his holding of classes he was actively involved in the Constitutional Movement.
103 solar years ago, on this day in 1926 AD, Irish thinker and playwright, George Bernard Shaw, refused to accept the money for his Nobel Prize, saying, "I can forgive Alfred Nobel for inventing dynamite, but only a fiend in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize.” Interestingly, Shaw has made the following statements regarding Islam:
"I have always held the religion of (Prophet) Mohammad (SAWA) in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him - the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Saviour of Humanity.”
89 lunar years ago, on this day in 1353 AH, the prominent scholar, Ayatollah Seyyed Musa Zarabadi Qazvini, passed away at the age of 59. Born in Qazvin, after higher religious studies in Tehran, he returned to his hometown where he led the people’s movement against despotism and strongly criticized the deviation of the Constitutional Movement from its goals. He authored several books including "Risala-e E’teqaadaat”.
64 solar years ago, on this day in 1956 AD, Morocco became independent from the colonial rule of France, which had seized this Muslim country in 1921. Morocco covers an area of 458,730 sq km, and is located in northwestern Africa and the coastlines of Atlantic Ocean. Muslims constitute 99% of its population.
58 solar years ago, on this day in 1962, Danish scientist and physicist, Niels Bohr, died at the age of 82. He conducted atomic researches for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1945.
57 solar years ago, on this day in 1963 AD, Colonel Abdus-Salaam Aref, with the help of the Ba’th Party, seized power in Iraq, by staging a coup and killing General Abdul-Karim Qasem.
41 solar years ago, on this day in 1979 AD, as a humanitarian gesture to expose the colour, and gender discrimination in US society, the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA), ordered the release of 13 female and black Americans from among the scores of spies captured by Iranian revolutionary students on the seizure of the US espionage den in Tehran.
7 solar years ago, on this day in 2013 AD, a double terrorist bombing at the Iranian embassy in Beirut martyred 23 people and injured 160 others. The damage to the Iranian embassy was slight and only one staffer suffered some wounds. The bombing was carried out by terrorists on the payroll of the Saudi Arabia and Israeli, trying to destabilize Syria and Lebanon.