Today is Sunday; 30th of the Iranian month of Azar 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 5th of the Islamic month of Jamadi al-Awwal 1442 lunar hijri; and December 20, 2020, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1437 lunar years ago, on this day in the year 5 AH, the first granddaughter of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) was born in Medina to the proud parents, Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA) and Imam Ali (AS). The Prophet named her "Zainab”, meaning "Ornament of the Father”. As an epitome of virtue, she grew up with her elder brothers, Imam Hasan (AS) and Imam Husain (AS). Her piety, wisdom, knowledge, patience, courage and eloquence, were ably displayed during the tragedy of Karbala and its equally tragic aftermath when, she, along with her younger sister, Hazrat Omm Kulthoum (SA) and nephew, Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS), exposed the hypocrisy of the tyrannical Omayyad regime, despite being forced to stand as enchained prisoners in Damascus in the court of the despicable Yazid. Hazrat Zainab (SA), whose two youthful sons attained martyrdom in Karbala, universalized and immortalized the mission of her martyred brother, Imam Husain (AS), and thus nursed back to life the pure and pristine Islamic message of her grandfather. Her auspicious birthday is celebrated as Nurse Day in Islamic Iran, as a tribute to her selfless sacrifices for humanity.
1378 solar years ago, on this day in 642 AD, Muslims decisively defeated forces of the 29th and last Sassanid monarch of the Persian Empire, Yazdegerd III, near the western Iranian city of Nahavand, in the crucial battle called "Fath al-Fotouh” (Victory of Victories), since it ended the 416-year Sassanid rule over what is now Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, the Caucasus (Georgia, Armenia, Chechen and Daghestan), and parts of Central Asia and modern Turkey. According to the early Iranian Muslim historian, Abu Ja’far at-Tabari, Firouzan, who led the Persian army of 50,000 demoralized soldiers, was outmaneuvered by a force of 30,000 Arab Muslims. Yazdegerd fled to Khorasan where the people did not welcome him and after his failure to raise an army, he was murdered in 651 by a miller in Marv (presently in Turkmenistan). In addition to the firm faith of Muslims, what led to the defeat of Yazdegerd was the fact that the Iranians, who were fed up with the tyranny and corruption of Sassanid kings and the irrationality of Zoroastrian tenets, enthusiastically accepted the truth of Islam, given its egalitarian values of monotheism, justice, fraternity, and equality. Soon Iranian Muslims turned into flag-bearers for spread of the divine religion of Islam, its ethereal teachings, and its scientific and cultural endeavours.
498 solar years ago, on this day in 1522 AD, the island of Rhodes in the Aegean Sea surrendered to the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman after a siege of several months, and the surviving Knights Hospitalers were allowed to leave. They eventually settled on Malta and became known as the Knights of Malta. The Turks found and released thousands of Muslim prisoners on Rhodes who were enslaved and forced to work in the building and defence of the almost impregnable fortress.
460 lunar years ago, on this day in 982 AH, the exegete of the Holy Qur’an, Mohammad Mostafa Imadi, popularly known as Abu’s-Saud passed away. Born in the vicinity of city of Istanbul, in western Turkey, he was fluent in Turkish, Persian, and Arabic. He also wrote poetry in both Persian and Arabic. He focused upon the social topics of his community, and has left behind numerous books, including "Tafsir Abi’s-Saud”, "Du’a Namah”, and "Qanoun Namah”.
298 solar years ago, on this day in 1722 AD, Kangxi, the fourth emperor of the Qing dynasty of China, died at the age of 68. His 61-year reign makes him the longest-reigning emperor in Chinese history and one of the world’s longest-reigning rulers.
217 solar years ago, on this day in 1803 AD, the Louisiana Purchase was completed as the vast territory, acquired by the French from the Spanish just 20 days ago, was formally transferred from France to the United States during ceremonies in New Orleans. This effectively doubled the size of the existing US.
85 solar years ago, on this day in 1935 AD, the Muslim revolutionary, Sheikh Mohammad Izz od-Din al-Qassaam, attained martyrdom near Haifa in Palestine at the age of 53. Born in Jableh in the Latakia Governorate of the Ottoman Province of Syria, he was a follower of the Qaderi Sufi order. After studying at Egypt’s al-Azhar Academy he returned home to become prayer leader and teacher at a mosque. After Italy’s seizure of Libya from the Turks in 1911, he recruited dozens of volunteers, but Turkish officials prevented him from going to Libya. He joined the Ottoman army when World War I broke out, and served as a chaplain. After the war, he organized a local defense force to fight the French occupation of Syria, but internecine fighting forced him to take refuge in the mountains to plan guerrilla warfare. He was a key figure in the 1921 Syrian uprising against the French when Faisal, a son of the British agent, Sharif Hussain, was brought from Hejaz and installed king in Damascus. Al-Qassaam was sentenced to death after the failure of the revolt. When the French occupiers besieged the city, he fled via Beirut to Haifa in British occupied Palestine. Already in his forties, he concentrated his activities on mobilizing Islamic resistance against the colonialists. His followers were mainly the landless farmers drifting in to Haifa from Upper Galilee, where land purchases by the illegal Zionist migrants from Europe was creating a crisis. He joined the Istiqlal or Independence Party and in 1929 was appointed the marriage registrar in Mufti Amin al-Hussaini’s Supreme Muslim Council Sharia Court in Haifa, a role that allowed him to tour the northern villages, whose inhabitants he encouraged to set up agricultural cooperatives. In 1930 he established ‘Black Hand’, a combatant organization for fighting the British occupiers as well as the illegal Zionist migrants. He arranged military training for peasants and by 1935 had enlisted nearly 800 men. In November 1935, fearing arrest after a British constable was killed in a skirmish with some of his followers he fled with his men to the hills between Jenin and Nablus. The British cornered al-Qassaam in a cave near Ya’bad, and in the ensuing battle he was martyred. The manner of his last stand assumed legendary proportions in Palestinian and other Arab circles as the symbol of resistance. The al-Qassaam Brigades of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance were named after him for the struggle to liberate their homeland from the Zionist usurpers.
70 solar years ago, on this day in 1950 AD, Iran’s expert of the art of Marquetry, Mohammad Hussein Sanee’ Khatam, passed away at the age of 67. Born in Shiraz, he was also a calligrapher well familiar with Arabic, Persian and English. He has to his credit valuable artistic works that adorn museums in Iran and abroad.
69 solar years ago, on this day in 1951 AD, Oman gained independence from British rule. Oman used to be a part of various Persian Empires, both before and after the advent of Islam.
52 solar years ago, on this day in 1968 AD, US novelist, John Steinbeck, died at the age of 66. The bitter incidents of his life cover his novels, which depict the hardships of the underprivileged strata of US society. His famous novel is "Grapes of Wrath”.
37 solar years ago, on this day in 1983 AD, Donald Rumsfeld, who was later to acquire lasting notoriety as US War minister, and was one of the architects of the American invasion and occupation of Iraq, visited Saddam in Baghdad to prepare the ground for supply of satellite photos of Iranian troop deployments on the fronts of the imposed war, and finalize shipment of a variety of US war materials.
21 solar years ago, on this day in 1999 AD, Macao reverted to Chinese control after over four centuries of occupation by Portugal, which had rented it in 1557 from the Ming Dynasty of China, and went on to occupy it in 1887.
16 solar years ago, on this day in 2004 AD, remnants of Iraq’s repressive Ba’th minority regime, in alliance with US occupation forces, carried out car bomb blasts in the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala, resulting in the martyrdom of 67 people and wounding more than 120.