Today is Saturday; 23rd of the Iranian month of Azar 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 27th of the Islamic month of Rabi as-Sani 1442 lunar hijri; and December 13, 2020, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
Over three lunar millennia ago, on this day, the Thamoud tribe of the al-Hijr region in the fertile northwestern part of Arabia, was afflicted with divine wrath for the abominable sins of its members, after having been given a lengthy respite to repent and reform, which the sinners spurned and instead committed the cardinal crime of killing the she-camel that had miraculously emerged from a splitting rock in answer to the supplication of Prophet Saleh to Almighty God when the Godless stuck to their demand for a supernatural miracle. The place is believed to be "Mada’en Saleh” between Medina and the Levant, in the Hejaz. Only a few people especially the poor believed in the monotheistic message of Prophet Saleh, while the majority, particularly the rulers, laughed at him and refused to heed his words of guidance. The special camel would give abundant milk every day for the poor to drink, and they were very happy. The sinners became angry and brutally killed the camel. They then threatened Prophet Saleh with death, but before they could carry out their murderous plot, divine wrath struck them, as black clouds gathered in the sky, covering the moon and the stars. Valleys and mountains were as dark as night. At midnight strong thunderbolts struck, while an earthquake occurred to obliterate the sinners, while Prophet Saleh and the believers had already left for a safe place.
1088 lunar years ago, on this day in 354 AH, the grammarian, Mohammad ibn Hassan ibn Miqsam, passed away. He wrote on the science of grammar as well as an exegesis on the holy Qur’an titled "al-Anwaar fi Tafsir al-Qur’an”.
972 solar years ago, on this day in 1048 AD, the Iranian Islamic multi-sided genius, Abu Rayhan Mohammad Ibn Ahmad al-Birouni, passed away at the age of 78 in Ghazni.
816 solar years ago, on this day in 1204 AD, the Jewish-Arabic scholar, philosopher and physician, Abu Imran Musa bin Maimoun (called Maimonides by the West) died in Egypt near Cairo at the age of 65.
804 lunar years ago, on this day in 638 AH, the famous Spanish Muslim philosopher and Gnostic, Mohi od-Din bin Mohammad Ibn al-Arabi passed away in Damascus, Syria at the age of 77. Ibn Arabi, whose school of mystical thought had a profound impact for several centuries, was a prolific writer and the author of many books and treatises, including "Fusous al-Hekam” (Bezels of Wisdom), and "Futuhaat al-Makkiyya” (The Meccan Illuminations). In Chapter 366 of the voluminous "Futuhaat”, he has described the characteristics of the Awaited Saviour of mankind, saying that Imam Mahdi (AS), the namesake and offspring of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), is from the direct line of descent of the Immaculate Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA), and on his reappearance he will establish the global government of justice.
770 solar years ago, on this day in 1250 AD, Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, died at the age of 56 after a 30-year reign.
299 solar years ago, on this day in 1721 AD, Alexander Selkirk, Scottish sailor and pirate, who spent more than four years as a castaway after being marooned on an uninhabited island in the South Pacific Ocean, died of yellow fever at the age of 45 during a voyage and was buried at sea. By the time he was rescued, he had become adept at hunting and making use of the resources he. It is interesting to note that Defoe’s novel was also inspired by the Latin/English translation of the book "Hayy ibn Yaqdhan” by the Spanish Muslim polymath Ibn Tufail, who drew the name of the tale and most of its characters from an earlier work by the Iranian Islamic multi-sided genius, Abu Ali Ibn Sina (Avicenna).
266 solar years ago, on this day in 1754 AD, Mahmud I, Ottoman sultan (born 1696) Placed on the throne by the Albanian admiral Khalil who deposed his uncle Ahmad III in 1730, died after a reign of 24 years, during which he was engaged in fruitless wars in Europe and on the western borders of Iran, while Nader Shah Afshar was on his expedition to India. On 24 November 1731, Khalil was strangled by the sultan’s order and 7,000 of those who had supported him were also put to death.
236 solar years ago, on this day in 1784 AD, Samuel Johnson, English lexicographer, best known for "The Dictionary of the English Language”, died at the age of 75.
117 solar years ago, on this day in 1903 AD, the renowned Iranian physician and researcher, Dr. Mahmoud Najmabadi, was born. He published 45 books and journals, including "A Glance at Islamic Medicine”; "History of Medicine in Iran”; and "Mohammad Zakariya Razi: Iranian Physician, Chemist and Philosopher.”
116 solar years ago, on this day in 1904 AD, several ulema and freedom-seekers of Tehran decided to leave the Iranian capital en masse in protest to the injustices of the Qajarid king, Mohammad Ali Shah. Ayatollah Seyyed Abdullah Bahbahani, and Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Tabatabai, the pioneers of Iran’s Constitutional Movement, migrated to the holy city of Qom, along with several of their followers. The condition set for their return was implementation of Islamic rules and regulations across Iran and establishment of the Ministry of Justice.
103 lunar years ago, on this day in 1339 AH, Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Tabataba’i Sangliji, one of the leaders of the Constitutional Movement of Iran, passed away in Tehran.
88 solar years ago, on this day in 1932 AD, the Source of Emulation, Ayatollah Shaikh Abdullah Mamaqani, passed away at the age of 59. Born in holy Najaf to the great scholar Ayatollah Mohammad Hassan Mamaqani, who personally groomed him, he in turn groomed many scholars and wrote several books, including the 3-volume "Tanqih al-Maqal fi Ilm ar-Rijal”, "Miqyas al-Hidaya fi Ilm ad-Daraya”, and "al-Fawa’ed at-Tibbiyya”. His famous Will to his sons has been translated into several languages, including English. It contains important points on the Five Fundamentals of Faith (Usoul Din), as well as the benefits of "Ziyarah” to the shrines of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) and the Infallible Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt, and the importance of "Azadari” or mourning ceremonies for the Martyr of Karbala, Imam Husain (AS).
83 solar years ago, on this day in 1937 AD, the Nanjing Massacre took place in China, when Japanese occupation troops began carrying out several weeks of mass rape and barbaric killing of civilians after the fall of Nanjing. Imperial Japan, which was involved in World War 2, has a bleak, black and bloody record of occupying Southeast Asian countries and mercilessly massacring fellow Buddhists, including those of the Korean Peninsula.
57 solar years ago, on this day in 1963 AD, the prominent Egyptian scholar and dean of al-Azhar, Sheikh Mahmoud Shaltut, passed away at the age of 70. A disciple of the school of thought of Sheikh Mohammad Abduh, the student of the famous Iranian pan-Islamist reformer, Seyyed Jamal od-Din Asadabadi, after assuming chairmanship of al-Azhar in 1958, he announced his vision for reform. He maintained close relations with Iran’s Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Hussain Borujerdi and zealously campaigned for open discussion and cooperation between the two branches of Islam. Shaltut issued a fatwa declaring the Ja’fari or Twelver Shi’a School, as a legally valid Islamic system of jurisprudence, permissible to any Muslim adhering and practicing it for fulfillment of religious rites. This fatwa is still seen as a symbol of hope for those aspiring for reconciliation between the two main branches of Islam.
37 lunar years ago, on this day in 1405 AH, Source of Emulation, Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khwansari, passed away at the age of 96 in Tehran and was laid to rest in the holy mausoleum of Hazrat Ma’souma (SA) in Qom. Among the books he wrote is the important "Jame’ al-Madarik” in the field of jurisprudence on Muhaqqiq Hilli’s "al-Mukhtasar an-Nafe’”, published with annotations in 7 volumes.
17 solar years ago, on this day in 2003 AD, Saddam, the former Iraqi dictator was caught in his hideout near his hometown Tikrit by Kurds and placed under custody.