Some Events in the Islamic History
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
Masjid an-Nabi in Madinah
On 18th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal, a few days after Hijra, work started for construction of Masjid an-Nabi or Prophet's Mosque in Medina after the entry of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) in this city which was then called Yathreb. The Prophet personally took part in the construction, and adjacent to it rooms or quarters were built for him and some of his companions. The Prophet, not only held the daily congregational prayers in this mosque, but used it as a place for handling the various affairs of the Muslim society. The Masjid an-Nabi, in whose precincts, the Prophet reposes in eternal peace, is the second holiest mosque for the Islamic Ummah after the Masjid al-Haraam in whose midst God's symbolic house, the holy Ka'ba stands.
The vast orchard of Fadak
On 10th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal in 329 AH, the Abbasid caliph, Raazi-Billah, returned the vast orchard of Fadak to the Prophet's descendants. Fadak was the personal property of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) and was situated north of Medina near Khaybar. The Prophet had given it in his lifetime to his only daughter, Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA), who used its revenues for the upkeep of the poor and destitute Muslims. After the Prophet passed away, the new regime in Medina seized Fadak by coining a spurious hadith that Prophets do no leave inheritance and whatever they leave is the property of Ummah, despite Hazrat Fatema's memorable defence of her rights by citing the ayahs of the holy Qur'an which speak of Prophet Solomon inheriting Prophet David, and Prophet Yahya inheriting Prophet Zachariah. In the subsequent years, Fadak was returned and retaken several times.
Muslims campaign against the Israelite tribe of Bani Nadheer
On 22nd of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal 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 by inciting 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, and he subsequently 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.
Omar Ibn Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqas, the commander of Yazid's army in the Battle of Karbala
On 9th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal in 65 AH, Omar Ibn Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqas, the commander of Yazid's army in the Battle of Karbala, was executed for his unpardonable sins of perpetrating the tragic martyrdom of Imam Husain (AS), his family, and his companions, including the 6-month old infant, Ali Asghar; decapitating the martyrs and mounting their heads on lances; trampling the corpses of martyrs by horses; and dragging the noble women and children of the blessed household of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) as captives to the courts of the tyrants in Kufa and Damascus.
Omar ibn Sa’d was executed by his own brother-in-law (his wife's brother), Mukhtar ibn Abi Obayda Thaqafi, a virtuous Muslim who had vowed to avenge the martyrdom of Imam Husain (AS). Mukhtar after launching his uprising succeeded in driving out the Omayyads from Iraq and bringing to justice all the principal killers of the Prophet's grandson and the noble family.
The Hanbali narrator of hadith, Abu Bakr Ibn Noqtah
On 22nd of the Islamic month of Safar in 629 AH, the Sunni Hanbali narrator of hadith, Abu Bakr Ibn Noqtah, died in Baghdad. He travelled widely over Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Egypt to gather hadith, and is the author of the book “al-Taqyeed”. Among his students is the well-known religious scholar and historian, Ibn Asaker, the author of the voluminous book History of Damascus, who has recorded in his work the details of 400 ayahs of the holy Qur'an that God revealed to Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) on the merits of his vicegerent, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS).
The mathematician and astronomer, Sabet ibn Qurrah al-Harrani
On 26th of the Islamic month of Safar in 288 AH, the mathematician and astronomer, Sabet ibn Qurrah al-Harrani, died at the age of 77 in Baghdad. He was from Harran, which is presently under the control of Turkey although historically and culturally it is part of Mesopotamia. He belonged to the Sabian creed of star-worshippers, while some say he followed the Mandean creed that considers Prophet Yahya or John the Baptist to be the principal figure and last messenger of God. Sabet was invited to Baghdad by the Iranian scientists, the Banu Musa brothers, and translated scientific texts from Greek and Syriac languages into Arabic, thus significantly contributing to the development of sciences during the heyday of the Islamic civilization. It is not known whether or not he became a Muslim, but his sons became Muslims. His grandson, Ibrahim ibn Sinan, was a mathematician and astronomer who studied geometry and in particular tangents to circles for making sundials. He also made advances in the theory of integration. Sabet ibn Qurrah is said to have translated more than 130 books, and has left behind valuable compilations of his own.
Abu'l-Abbas as-Saffah, the Abbasid Caliph
On 13th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal in 132 AH, Abu'l-Abbas Abdullah ibn Mohammad as-Saffah, formally styled himself as caliph of the new dynasty of the Abbasid usurpers after routing the Omayyad tyrants and exterminating almost all of them in successive battles, culminating in the Battle of Zab. He was called "Saffah" because of the bloodshed he unleashed. He wreaked such a horrible vengeance on the Omayyads that he even dug up the graves of all their caliphs, including Mu'awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan, and burned their bones. He died after some four years and was succeeded by his younger brother, the notorious Mansour Dawanikhi. The Abbasids based their dubious claim to the caliphate on their descent from the Prophet's uncle, Abbas ibn Abdul-Mutalleb. The main reason for their attracting of people's support against the Omayyads – chiefly of the Iranians, Iraqis, Yemenis, and Hijazis – was their deceptive slogan of returning the political rule of the Islamic realm to the Prophet's Ahl al-Bayt. This happened in the era of Imam Ja'far as-Sadeq (AS), the 6th Infallible Successor of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). But once the Abbasids consolidated their power, they turned against the Prophet's progeny and indulged in the same cruel acts, imprisoning, torturing and martyring many of these noble descendents including six of Infallible Imams.
Mu’tasim-Billah, the 8th self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime
On January 24, 227 AH, Mu’tasim-Billah, the 8th self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime, died at the age of 49 after a reign of nine years, and was succeeded by his son, Watheq-Billah (born to a Greek concubine named Qaratis). Mu’tasim was the son of the tyrant Haroun Rashid’s Turkic concubine – a singing-dancing slave girl named Marida – and he took over the caliphate on the death of his step-brother, Mamoun. He favoured the Turks and gave them all authority, to the resentment of the Iranian and Arab Muslims. He opposed the Mu’tazallite (rationalistic) doctrine of his predecessor. It was on his orders that “Ijtihad” was forbidden, and of the several jurisprudential schools of the newly designated sect “Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jama’ah”, only four, i.e. Hanafi, Maleki, Shafei, and Hanbali, were decreed as official. Mu’tasim earned lasting damnation for martyring through poison, Imam Mohammad at-Taqi (AS) – Prophet Mohammad’s (SAWA) 9th Infallible Heir.
Hassan ibn Abdullah Naser od-Dowla Hamdani, the Emir of Mosul
On 12th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal in 358 AH, Hassan ibn Abdullah Naser od-Dowla Hamdani, the Emir of Mosul, died under detention by his son, two years after the death in Aleppo of his younger and more famous brother, Ali Sayf od-Dowla. They were sons of Abdullah Abi’l-Hayja, the ruler of Mosul and there was deep affection between the two brothers, to the extent that the elder one lost all interest in life and state affairs when the younger died, and was consequently put under detention by his son. The Hamdanids belonged to the Banu Taghlib Arab tribe and were staunch followers of the school of the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). For a brief period, Naser od-Dowla taking advantage of the weakness of the Abbasid caliph, took over Baghdad, but had to quit the city and leave for Mosul because of opposition by the powerful faction of Turkic slave-soldiers.
Abu'l-Hassan Ahmad bin Farres, the scholar and lexicographer of Arabic language
On 14th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal in 325 AH, Abu'l-Hassan Ahmad bin Farres, the scholar and lexicographer of Arabic language was born near the city of Qazvin in Iran. He traveled widely in Iran and Iraq for higher studies and earned prominence in jurisprudence, hadith, grammar, literature and poetry. He died in Rayy (presently a suburb of Tehran) in 395 AH at the age of 70 and was buried there. He trained many scholars, and among his works, mention could be made of "as-Sahabi fi Fiqh", "Maqayees al-Lugha", and "Asbab al-Ishtehad".
Abdullah bin Lahiyya, the chief judge of Egypt
On 15th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal in 174 AH, Abdullah bin Lahiyya, the chief judge of Egypt passed away. He was considered a reliable narrator of hadith by most of the Sunni scholars, and among his narrations are many which expose Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan as a criminal and murderer of Muslims, including the companions of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) such as Hujr ibn Adi, who was martyred near Damascus for being a staunch follower of Imam Ali (AS).
On 15th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal in 323 AH, Obaidullah Mahdi died. He claimed to be a descendant of Ismail, the son of Imam Ja'far as-Sadeq (AS), the 6th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). He rejected the Abbasids and all preceding caliphs as usurpers of the political rights of the Prophet’s divinely-appointed successor, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS). He declared himself caliph in the Maghreb or North Africa, in what is now Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, and founded the Fatimid Dynasty, which later shifted its capital to Egypt, ruling for a total of 274 years.
The acclaimed grammarian of Arabic, Abu Ali al-Farsi al-Fasawi
On 17th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal in 377 AH, the acclaimed grammarian of Arabic, Hassan bin Ahmad, known popularly as Abu Ali al-Farsi al-Fasawi, passed away in Baghdad. He was attached to the court of the famous Buwaiyhid ruler of Iran-Iraq, Azud od-Dowla Daylami.
The Iranian Shafei jurisprudent and scholar, Taher ibn Abdullah Abu Tayyeb at-Tabari
On 20th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal in 450 AH, the Iranian Shafei jurisprudent and scholar, Taher ibn Abdullah Abu Tayyeb at-Tabari, died in Baghdad at the age of 102. He was born in Amol, in the Caspian Sea province of Mazandaran. He traveled widely to acquire knowledge, before settling in Iraq, where he held classes in different fields. He was the Chief Judge of Baghdad until his death. Among his books, mention could be made of "Jawab fi's-Sama" and the 10 vol. work titled "al-Ghena wa't-Ta'liqat al-Kubra fi'l-Furu".
The famous Spanish Muslim Gnostic, Mohammad Ibn Ali Muhiyuddin Ibn Arabi
On 22nd of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal in 638 AH, the famous Spanish Muslim Gnostic, Mohammad Ibn Ali Muhiyuddin Ibn Arabi, passed away in Damascus at the age of 77. Born on 17th Ramadhan, 561 AH in Murcia, Islamic Spain, he was a child prodigy who mastered the sciences of the day in Seville, where his family had settled and where he met the famous philosopher, Ibn Roshd (Averroes).
At the age of 30 he migrated to Fez in Morocco, from where after making several trips to Spain over the next five years to collect his works and other Islamic manuscripts in order to save them from the Christian vandals who were destroying the heritage of mankind, he finally left for the Levant through Egypt. The next half of his life was spent in Mecca, Medina, Palestine, Syria, Iraq and what is now Turkey, before he settled in Damascus in 620 AH.
For the last twenty years of his life his close companion was the Iranian mystic, Awhadoddin Hameed Kirmani, who transmitted to him teachings of many of the great spiritual masters of the East. 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 when he reappears the world will be filled with the global government of justice.
The prominent scholar and narrator of hadith, Osman Ibn Ahmad Ibn-e Sammak
On 26th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal in 344 AH, the prominent scholar and narrator of hadith, Osman Ibn Ahmad Ibn-e Sammak, died in Baghdad. Among his students was the famous compiler of hadith, Hakem an-Naishabouri, the author of “Mustadrik ala as-Sahihayan”. Among his works mention could be made of the book titled “al-Amaali” and a book on the merits of the Prophet's Ahl al-Bayt.
The prominent historian of Islamic Spain, Abu Marwan al-Qortobi
On 27th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal in 469 AH, the prominent historian of Islamic Spain, Abu Marwan Hayyan ibn Khalaf ibn Hussain al-Qortobi, died in his hometown, Qortoba, or Cordova as it is presently called. He was a prolific writer, and among his works are “al-Akhbar fi'd-Dowlat-al-Amiriya” in 100 volumes, “al-Batsha al-Kubra” in ten volumes, and “al-Muqtabis fi Tarikh al-Andalus” in ten volumes.
Mahmoud Ghazaan Khan the Mongol Ilkhanid ruler of Iran and Iraq
On 27th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal in 699 AH, Mahmoud Ghazaan Khan the Mongol Ilkhanid ruler of Iran and Iraq fought a battle in Syria with Nasser Qalawoun, the ruler of the Mamluk or Turkic Slave Dynasty of Egypt at Marj al-Morouj, east of Homs. The Mamluks were defeated and pushed back from Syria into Egypt. Ghazan was the 7th ruler of the Ilkhanid dynasty and the first one to convert to Islam from Buddhism.