Analysis Mon, 11 Dec 2017 15:11:08 +0000 en-gb This Day in History (19-12-1394)

Today is Wednesday; 19th of the Iranian month of Esfand 1394 solar hijri; corresponding to 29th of the Islamic month of Jamadi al-Awwal 1437 lunar hijri; and March 9, 2016, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.


1384 solar years ago, on this day in 632 AD as per the Gregorian calendar, the Almighty’s Last Messenger to mankind, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), delivered his memorable sermon on 9th Zilhijja 10 AH at the plane of Arafat during his Farewell Hajj Pilgrimage (Hajj-at-al-Weda). The Prophet directed his speech to all humanity for all time, as is evident by his use of the terms “O People” and “O Mankind”, rather than “O Muslims” or “O Believers”. His intention was to address all people, regardless of their creed, colour of skin, class distinction, languages spoken, eras, and geographical locations around the world (until the Day of Judgement). The sermon, recorded in all reliable books of hadith and history by all denominations of Islam, consists of a series of general exhortations to be followed after him, especially his emphasis on the “Hadith Thaqalayn”. He said in clear words:

"O People! I have been summoned (to God’s presence from the mortal world) and am leaving behind among you the Thaqalayn (Two Weighty Things); the Book of Allah (holy Qur’an) and my progeny the Ahl al-Bayt. Hold fast to them and you will never go astray, for you will be questioned regarding your attitude to them, since the two never part with each other even when they return to me at the Fountain (of Kowsar on the Day of Judgement)."

1129 solar years ago, on this day in 886 AD, the Iranian Islamic astronomer, Abu-Ma'shar Ja'far ibn Mohammad al-Balkhi, passed away in the Iraqi city of al-Waset at the age of almost hundred years. Born in the Khorasani city of Balkh (presently in Afghanistan) he spent most of his life in Iraq, especially in Baghdad. He used ancient sources written in Pahlavi, Arabic, Sanskrit, Syriac, and Greek. He believed that all sciences have a divine origin, and the signs of God’s revelation are observed in every science. He has left behind a large number of books; the most important of which includeal-Mudkhal al-Kabir”. Known to Europe by his Latinized name “Albumasar”, he wrote several manuals on astrology that profoundly influenced Muslim intellectual history and, through Latin translations, that of Europe. Some of his works that were used by Roger Bacon and others are: "Kitab adDalalaat ala'lIttesalaat waQiranaat alKawakeb" (Book of Indications of the Planetary Conjunctions), and "Kitab alMilal wa'l-Duwal" (Book on Nations and Dynasties).

562 solar years ago, on this day in 1454 AD, Italian astronomer, navigator and cartographer, Amerigo Vespucci, whose name the Europeans gave to the new landmass discovered for the Europeans by Christopher Columbus as “America”, was born in Florence. He first served the Portuguese and then the Spanish. He demonstrated that Brazil and the so-called West Indies did not represent Asia's eastern outskirts as conjectured from Columbus' voyages, but instead constituted an entirely separate landmass unknown to the Europeans – although the Muslims had known this great landmass and travelled it. He reportedly traveled four times to the hitherto uncharted Atlantic Ocean, and was the first recorded European who landed on what was called America.

163 lunar years ago, on this day in 1274 AH, the prominent Iranian Islamic scholar and literary figure, Ayatollah Sheikh Mohammad Qasim Ordo-Abadi, was born in the northwestern city of Tabriz. Following completion of studies, he left for holy Najaf in Iraq to attend the classes of prominent ulema of his day. After attaining the status of Ijtehad, he returned to his hometown, Tabriz. Ayatollah Ordo-Abadi wrote numerous books. Among his works mention could be made of “ash-Shahaab al-Mobeen fi Ejaaz al-Qur'an al-Kareem” on the Immortal Miracle this heavenly scripture is. He passed away in 1333 AH.

158 lunar years ago, on this day in 1279 AH, the Arabic literary figure and poet, Abdul-Baaqi bin Suleiman Farouqi, passed away. He was a devotee of the Infallible Household of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) and has written odes in this regard, He has left behind several books on the Prophet and the Ahl al-Bayt, including “al-Baqiyaat as-Salehaat”.

119 solar years ago, on this day in 1897 AD, the great pan-Islamist thinker and pioneer of the anti-colonial struggles of Muslim lands, Seyyed Jamal od-Din Asadabadi, attained martyrdom in Istanbul at the age of 59 on being poisoned on the orders of the Ottoman Sultan, Abdul-Hamid II. Born in Asadabad near the western Iranian city of Hamedan, he honed his skills in religion, philosophy, astronomy, and history. He was well-versed in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, English, French, and Russian languages. He strove for Islamic solidarity and was a staunch opponent of infiltration of colonialists in Islamic lands. At the age of 17, he started his travels abroad, first studying theology in Iraq, and then visiting India, at a crucial period in its history, a year after the British overthrew Wajed Ali Shah of the Naishapuri kingdom of Iranian origin of Awadh, and then in 1857 brutally crushed the uprising by massacring Muslims and exiling to Burma, the last king of the once mighty Timurid Mughal Empire, Bahador Shah Zafar. The young Jamal od-Din was profoundly affected by the events, and lived for several years in the semi-independent Muslim state of Haiderabad-Deccan under patronage of its famous prime minister, Salar Jung Mokhtar ol-Mulk. Here he countered through pamphlets and treatises the “naturist” views of the pro-British Sir Seyyed Ahmad Khan, the founder of the Anglo-Mohammadan College that later became Aligarh Muslim University. These were later published in book form for the first time in Haiderabad in 1881 under the title “Haqiqat-e Madhhab-e Naychari wa Bayan-e Hal-e Naychariyan” (Truth about the Neichari Sect and an Explanation of the Necharis). After a brief detention in Calcutta, he had to leave India under pressure from the British, and after performing the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, he returned to Iran. A few years later in 1866 he left for Afghanistan to serve as advisor to Amir Dost Mohammad Khan. On being expelled from Kabul by the next ruler, Sher Ali Khan, he went to Egypt in 1871, where until his expulsion in 1879, he won several admirers and students – the most prominent being Shaikh Mohammad Abduh, who wrote a commentary on the Nahj al-Balagha (the Collection of Imam Ali’s [AS] sermons, letters and maxims). Forced to leave Egypt, he went to Istanbul, from where he travelled around Europe, visiting Paris, London, Munich, Moscow and St. Petersburg. From France in 1884, he published the daily “al-Orwat al-Wosqa” and from Britain “Zia al-Khafeqin” to awaken the Muslims. He was invited back to Iran by Nasser od-Din Shah Qajar to serve as political advisor, but soon fell out with the autocratic king and took refuge in the holy shrine of Seyyed Abdul-Azim al-Hassani, before being expelled seven months in 1891 to Iraq. He informed the most prominent marja’ of the times, Ayatollah Mirza Hassan Shirazi of the ruin brought on Iranian economy by the granting of the tobacco concession to the British. The Ayatollah’s fatwa against tobacco consumption saved Iran. In 1892, he was invited to Istanbul by the Ottoman Sultan Abdul-Hamid. Here, several of his disciples including Mirza Reza Kirmani came to visit him. It was Reza Kirmani who assassinated Nasser od-Din Shah in 1896. Jamal od-Din Asadabadi eventually fell out with the Ottoman Sultan and was poisoned to death. His reformist and pan-Islamist ideas were opposed by colonial powers and the repressive Muslim regimes. Among his works is “ar-Radd ala ad-Dahriyyiin” (Refutation of the Materialists), in answer to Darwin's absurd theory of evolution titled “On the Origin of Species”. Seyyed Jamal od-Din Asadabadi, who at times called himself ‘Afghani’ in order to conceal his Iranian and Shi’a Muslim identity, profoundly impacted many thinkers of his age and the subsequent generations. Among these were the famous Persian-Urdu poet Mohammad Iqbal Lahori, Mohammad Ali Jinnah (Founder of Pakistan), and prominent Indian Muslim educationist, Abu’l Kalaam Azad. In Egypt, he deeply impacted Mohammad Abduh, Rashid Redha, Ali Abdur-Razeq, Qasim Amin, Lutfi as-Sayyid and Osman Amin, while in Turkey: Namik Kemal, Said Nursi and Mohammad Akef Ersoy. The Constitutional Movement that triumphed in Iran in 1905 was also influenced by him. 

82 solar years ago, on this day in 1934 AD, Russian Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin who became the first recorded human being to travel into outer space, was born in the Soviet Union. He performed the first manned orbital flight in Vostok 3KA-2 (Vostok 1). In 1968, he was killed in an air accident.

71 solar years ago, on this day in 1945 AD, the Bombing of Tokyo by the United States Army Air Forces began, one of the most destructive bombing raids in history. A total of 334 US B-29 Super-Fortresses attacked Tokyo with 120,000 fire bombs, devastating the city and killing over a hundred thousand innocent men, women, and children.

29 lunar years ago, on this day in1408 AH, Iraqi religious leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Mahdi Hakim, was martyred on the orders of Saddam of the repressive Ba’th minority regime of Baghdad, in the lobby of a hotel in Khartoum, Sudan, where he was attending an international Islamic conference. Son of Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Mohsin Hakim, he was politically active against the Ba’th regime and was living in exile in Dubai. His body was brought to holy Qom in Iran for burial. 

27 solar years ago, on this day in 1989 AD, the well-known Iranian astronomer and mathematician, Dr. Abbas Riazi Kermani, passed away at the age of 72. Following completion of his academic studies, he left for France. In Paris, he continued his studies in mathematics and astronomy and got a PhD in Astronomy from Sorbonne University. After returning to Iran, he started lecturing at Tehran University and other higher education institutes. In 1966, he prepared Iran’s official calendar. He wrote several books, including: “Moqadama bar Nujoum-e Aali” (An Introductory to Astronomy).

24 solar years ago, on this day in 1992 AD, Menachem Begin, one of the founders of the illegal Zionist (Israel), died at the age of 79. He was from Belarus and had no connection to Palestine or to the ancient Israelites. He illegally entered British-ruled Palestine and set up the terrorist outfit Irgun. He played a leading role in the massacre of innocent Muslim men, women and children, and the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of others in 1948, at the illegal birth of Israel. He was so ruthless and bloodthirsty that even his own colleague, David Ben-Gurion, used to call him a second Hitler. After holding ministerial posts in several Zionist cabinets, he was appointed as premier in 1977. Following the cold-blooded slaughter of over 5,000 Palestinian refugees in the Sabra and Shatila Camps of Lebanon in 1982 by his henchman, Ariel Sharon, he was forced to step down from his post, before melancholia and death overtook him.

4 solar year ago, on this day in 2011 AD, the Iranian bibliographer and Iranologist, Dr. Iraj Afshar, passed away at the age of 86. Born in the central city of Yazd, he studied law at Tehran University. His PhD thesis was on “Minorities in Iran”. In 1952, he launched the cultural magazine “Farhang-e Iran Zamin”. In addition to lecturing, he carried out extensive research on Iranology and bibliography, as is evident by his writing of at least 2000 articles. He also published 300 books on Iran’s culture, history, and literature.


This Day in History Wed, 09 Mar 2016 07:18:50 +0000
This Day in History (18-12-1394)

Today is Tuesday; 18th of the Iranian month of Esfand 1394 solar hijri; corresponding to 28th of the Islamic month of Jamadi al-Awwal 1437 lunar hijri; and March 8, 2016, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.


1855 solar years ago, on this day in 161 AD, Marcus Aurelius was declared Roman Emperor and commenced his 19-year ruler that saw his generals emerge as victors of the 5-year long war (161-65) against the Parthian Empire of Iran in Armenia and Mesopotamia (Iraq), following initial Iranian victories in Syria and Anatolia (present day Turkey). The Roman success, however, was short-lived, and despite the sacking of the Iranian-controlled Greek city of Seleucia on the eastern banks of the Tigris and plunder of the Parthian capital, Ctesiphon, on the eastern banks of the same river, the Iranians soon remobilized and reclaimed lost ground, although Armenia was briefly lost. The Parthian Empire was at that time under the long 44-year rule of Balaash, known to the Romans as Vologases IV. Marcus Aurelius the last of the 5 good emperors in Roman history. 

1154 lunar years ago, on this day in 283 AH, the acclaimed Arabic poet, Ali ibn al-Abbas ibn Jurayj, known popularly as Ibn ar-Roumi, passed away at the age of 62. Born in Baghdad, he was the son of an Iranian mother and a half-Roman Muslim father, which explains his surname Ibn Roumi. By the age of twenty he earned a living through his poetry which would culminate in his masterpiece Diwan. His political patrons included the Taherid ruler of Khorasan, Obaydallah ibn Abdullah, the Abbasid Caliph's Persian minister, Ismail ibn Bulbul, and the politically influential Nestorian family of Banu Wahd. He was a Shi'ite Muslim. He died of illness, although some have suggested that poison may have been the cause.

1006 solar years ago, on this day in 1010 AD, Iranian poet, Abu’l-Qassem Mansour ibn Hassan, famous by his penname “Ferdowsi”, completed his masterpiece “Shahnameh” (Book of Kings) that records in verse, Iran’s history, and till this day is considered a world famous epic.

940 solar years ago, on this day in 1075 AD, the Iranian Sunni Muslim exegete of the holy Qur'an, narrator of hadith, and linguist, Abu'l-Qasim Mohammad Ibn Omar Zamakhshari, was born in Zamakhshar, in the historical Iranian land of Khwarezm – divided today between the Central Asian republics of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. He studied in Samarqand and Bukhara, and later lived in Baghdad for some years. He followed the rationalistic Mu'tazali doctrine and was known as “Jarallah” (Neighbour of God), since he stayed for several years in the city of Mecca, spending his time at the holy Ka'ba, the symbolic House of God Almighty. In his works, he acknowledged the merits and peerless position of the Prophet's Ahl al-Bayt. He wrote both in Persian and Arabic, and is best known for “al-Kashshaaf”, a commentary on the holy Qur'an, which is famous for its deep linguistic analysis of the ayahs. Another of his famous books is “Rabi al-Abraar”, a voluminous reference work.

613 solar years ago, on this day in 1403 AD, the 4th Ottoman sultan, Bayezid I, died in captivity in Samarqand at the age of 43, some eight months after his defeat and capture in the Battle of Ankara by the Central Asian Turkic conqueror, Amir Timur, after a reign of 14 years during which he conquered most of southwestern Europe – Greece including Thrace (except the Byzantine capital Constantinople), Macedonia, Bulgaria, and parts of Serbia. An impetuous warrior, who succeeded to the Ottoman Throne at the Battle of Kosovo in the Balkans in1389 on assassination of his victorious father, Murad I, by strangling to death his brother Yaqoub, he acquired the title “Yildrim” (lightning) during his campaign against fellow Turks and Muslims, the Karamanids, in the east. Bayezid’s forcible expansion into Muslim territories in Anatolia endangered Ottoman relationship with the ghazis, who were an important source of warriors for his dynasty on the European frontier, so he began the practice to secure fatwas (legal rulings) from court mullahs to justify wars against fellow Muslim states. At the same time, he laid siege to Constantinople in 1394, making the Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus appeal for a crusade against Muslims by King Sigismund of Hungary (the future Holy Roman Emperor), whom he defeated in the Battle of Nicopolis. In 1402, Bayezid was forced to lift the siege of Constantinople, when Timur appeared in the east and succeeded in rousing the Anatolian Turkic principalities to join him against the Ottomans. The Battle of Ankara that followed – the only instance when an Ottoman sultan has been captured in person – was culmination of years of insulting letters exchanged between the two powerful rulers. Although the victorious Timur appointed his captive’s third son, Mohammad as sultan, civil war raged for eleven years among Bayezid’s five sons – Eisa, Suleyman, Mohammad, Musa and Mustafa, each claiming the throne for himself – until the Battle of Jamurlu on 5 July 1413, when Mohmmad emerged as victor and crowned himself sultan.

299 solar years ago, on this day in 1717 AD, Abraham Darby who played an important role in the Industrial Revolution, died in Britain. He developed a method of successfully smelting ore with coke in a blast furnace, instead of using charcoal. This was a major step forward in the production of iron as a raw material for the Industrial Revolution.

294 solar years, on this day in 1722 AD, after two centuries and two decades of glorious rule, which bestowed Iran national unity, religious identity, territorial integrity, and cultural affinity, the Safavid Empire was dealt a serious blow by Hotaki Ghilzai rebels from Qandahar, in what is now Afghanistan, in the Battle of Gulnabad that led to the capture of the imperial capital Isfahan. For seven years, the occupiers, (Mahmoud and after him his cousin, Ashraf), plunged the country into anarchy, cold-bloodedly murdered the last Safavid king, Shah Sultan Hussain, and terrorized the people, until they were driven out from Iran by the general Tahmasp Quli, who soundly defeated them in the Battle of Damghan in 1729 and later usurped the throne by taking the title of Nader Shah.

280 solar years ago, on this day in 1736 AD, the Safavid general, Tahmasp Quli, who rose to rescue Iran from the anarchy by driving out the Hotaki Ghilzai occupiers, crowned himself as Nader Shah – of the short-lived Afsharid dynasty. He conducted many successful campaigns, by reclaiming Iranian territories in the Caucasus, in Iraq, in Central Asia, on the southern Arab side of the Persian Gulf and in what is now Afghanistan. He also attacked the Mughal Empire of India, where the fleeing Ghilzai rebels had sought refuge, took Delhi, and returned to Iran with rich booty, including the famous Peacock Throne, the Koh-e Noor Diamond, and the Tent of Pearls.

234 solar years ago, on this day in 1782 AD, the Gnadenhütten massacre took place in the US, when ninety-six native Amerindians in Gnadenhutten, Ohio, who had converted to Christianity were cold bloodedly killed by the American revolutionaries of Pennsylvania militiamen, on the pretext of retaliation for raids carried out by other Amerindians.

215 solar years ago, on this day in 1801 AD, during the War of the Second Coalition, at the Battle of Abuqir, near Alexandria, a British force under Ralph Abercromby landed in Egypt with the aim of driving out Napoleon Bonaparte’s 21,000 French forces from Egypt and Syria. General Friant and his 2000 French troops, placing themselves in high positions took a heavy toll of the disembarking British, who then rushed in great numbers from the beach to overwhelm the defenders with fixed bayonets and secured the position. The skirmish, which was a prelude to the Battle of Alexandria, resulted in British losses of 130 killed and 600 wounded or missing. The French withdrew losing at least 300 dead.

211 lunar years ago, on this day in 1226 AH, the prominent Iranian Islamic scholar, Mullah Ali Mirza Khalili, was born. He honed his skills in theology, jurisprudence, and mathematics, and spent his life on research, study, and writing of books. His works include “Khaza'in al-Ahkam”. He passed away in 1297 at the age of 71.

118 lunar years ago, on this day in 1319 AH, the great Islamic scholar, Allamah Mirza Mohammad Hassan Ashtiani Tehrani, passed away. He authored a number of books on various Islamic sciences, and published the lectures and thoughts of the celebrated scholar, Ayatollah Sheikh Morteza Ansari Dezfuli. He, along with other combatant and courageous ulema, opposed monopolization of tobacco trade, which was granted to a British company by the Qajarid King, Nasser od-Din Shah. Allamah Ashtiani was a firm believer that no falsehood can approach the holy Qur'an. He says in his book “Bahr al-Fawa'ed” that “all leading Mujtahideen and Usoolieen widely believe that the Holy Qur'an has not been distorted. In fact, many have even cited a consensus of opinion or ijma’ in this regard, and there is in particular a complete consensus of opinion that no additions have been made to the Qur'an. Thus, the narrations that point to deletions being made to the Qur'an contain weak chains.” He also wrote the valuable book “Mabahes al-Alfaaz”.

99 solar years ago, on this day in 1917 AD, Ferdinand Adolf August Heinrich Count von Zeppelin, the German inventor, engineer and manufacturer who was the aviation pioneer that built the first rigid dirigible airships, named Zeppelins, died at the age of 78. After retiring from a military career in 1890, he devoted ten years to the designing and building of his first successful light-than-aircraft, the LZ-1. He patented his idea on 31st August 1895 and formed a company to build airships in 1898. Many thought his invention incredible, and called him “Foolish Count.” His first airship took off on 2nd July 1900 at Lake Constance. Eventually, he produced more zeppelins, which were first flown commercially in 1910 by Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-AG (DELAG), the world's first airline in revenue service. During World War I, he produced more than 100 Zeppelins for military uses, including the bombing of Britain. After the war, he continued to improve the design and built a fleet of airships for commercial passenger service, which included transatlantic flights. Zeppelin use ended after the 6 May 1937 Hindenburg fire disaster at Lakehurst, New Jersey, USA.

48 solar years ago, on this day in 1968 AD, the Moro National Liberation Front started its armed struggles against the despotic regime of President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines – a US stooge who killed thousands of Muslim Filipinos. After the dismissal of Marcos in 1986, and following negotiations with the government, a ceasefire was agreed and a peace treaty signed, but not fully implemented. Finally, in 1996, a new agreement was inked between Moro National Liberation Front and the government, according to which the Muslims in Mindanao region attained autonomy.

34 solar years ago, on this day in 1982 AD, the prominent religious scholar, Ayatollah Rabbani Shirazi, passed away at the age of 54. Born in Shiraz, he actively participated in struggles against the despotic Pahlavi regime as of 1963 and was detained and banished to different regions on several occasions. Following the victory of the Islamic Revolution, he was elected to the parliament, and spent his life serving Islam and Muslims.

31 solar years ago, on this day in 1985 AD, a failed assassination attempt in Beirut on Lebanon’s leading religious scholar, Allamah Seyyed Mohammad Hussain Fazlollah, killed at least 45 innocent people and injured 175 others. The US was behind this assassination attempt which was masterminded for the CIA by Robert Gates, who recently retired as US Defence Secretary.


This Day in History Tue, 08 Mar 2016 07:32:21 +0000
This Day in History (17-12-1394)

Today is Monday; 17th of the Iranian month of Esfand 1394 solar hijri; corresponding to 27th of the Islamic month of Jamadi al-Awwal 1437 lunar hijri; and March 7, 2016, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.

3238 solar years ago, on this day in 322 BC, the Greek philosopher Aristotle died. His writings included treatises on logic, metaphysics, ethics, politics, rhetoric and natural sciences. He first described language in terms of subject and predicate as well as parts of speech. He was a student of Plato and in turn the teacher of Alexander of Macedonia. Aristotelian logic is based on a small number of unambiguous constructs, such as, "if A, then B": the truth of one implies the truth of another. The constructs also included A=A, representing that every entity is equal to itself. He defined politics as the science of the sciences that looks after well-being. His writings included “De Generatione Animalum” and "Historia Animalium". Aristotle and his works were revived by Muslim philosophers and scientists, centuries after he was forgotten by Greeks and Europeans.

1855 solar years ago, on this day 161 AD, Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius died at the age of 75 after a reign of 23 years, and is considered one of the Five Good Emperors of the Nerva–Antonine dynasty and the Aurelii. He had succeeded his adoptive father Hadrian the throne and was succeeded in turn by his adoptive sons Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus Roman Emperor. Pius could not succeed against the growing might of Iran led by the Parthian Emperor, Balaash, known to the Romans as Vologases IV. 

1695 solar years ago, on this day in 321 AD, Roman Emperor Constantine I issued a decree imposing upon the whole empire – in Europe, Asia Minor, Levant, Egypt and North Africa – the day of the pagan god, Solis Invicti (Unconquered Sun), as the weekly day of rest. His decree read: “On the venerable day of the Sun (Sunday) let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed.” This pagan practice of Sunday as a weekend holiday was adopted by the Christian World and continues in countries still following the ways of their former European colonial masters, although this day has no link with Prophet Jesus (PBUH). The Sun was worshipped as one of the official gods and as a patron of soldiers in the Roman Empire. Constantine, even after conversion to Christianity – not the monotheistic message of Jesus (AS), but the weird concept of Trinity coined by Paul the Hellenized Jew – had the symbols of the Sun engraved on his coinage. Thus, when the Roman Empire converted to Christianity, the 25th of December, which was the date of a festival of the Sun god, was renamed Christmas to give the impression that Prophet Jesus (AS) was born on this pagan holiday.

987 lunar years ago, on this day in 450 AH, Abu'l-Abbas Ahmad ibn Ali an-Najashi, passed away in Matirabad near the city of Samarra in Iraq at the age of 78. He is considered the earliest and among the most authentic Shi'ite Muslim scholars of “Ilm ar-Rijaal”, which literally means "Knowledge of Men", and refers to a discipline of Islamic religious science in which the narrators of hadith are evaluated. His book “Rijaal an-Najashi” has been the most reliable source of information about early ulema and scholars of the School of the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), and paved the way for later generations to further explore this vital field. Najashi was a student of the celebrated Shaikh Mufid and other prominent scholars, while his father, Ali ibn Ahmad, had studied under the famous Iranian scholar, Shaikh Sadouq, when the latter visited Baghdad. Born with a inquisitive mind that enabled him to embark on a scrutiny of sources and narrators, Najashi belonged to a family of eminent scholars. His seventh ancestor, Abdullah an-Najashi, who was the governor of Ahvaz and Fars during the reign of Mansour Dawaniqi, the 2nd self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime, was a student of Imam Ja'far Sadeq (AS), the 6th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). He compiled the Imam's answers to his queries under the title “Risalat-Abdullah an-Najashi”.

937 solar years ago, on this day in 1079 AD, the famous Iranian astronomer, Omar ibn Ibrahim al-Khayyam Neishapouri, completed the Jalali solar hijri calendar, dating it like the lunar one from the migration of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) from Mecca to Medina in Rabi al-Awwal – the 1st month of spring. This calendar was formally adopted on 15 March the same year by the Seljuq Sultan, Jalal ad-Din Malik Shah, in whose honour it was named. The team led by Khayyam, working at the imperial observatory in the Seljuq capital Isfahan, computed the length of a solar year as 365.25 days, more perfect than the Gregorian calendar used by the Christian world.

742 solar years ago, on this day in 1274 AD, Italian philosopher and theologian, Thomas Aquinas, who wrote commentaries on the works of the ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, died in Naples at the age of 51. Following Aristotle's definition of science as knowledge obtained from demonstrations, Aquinas defined science as the knowledge of things from their causes. In his work “Summa Theologica”, he distinguished between demonstrated truth (science) and revealed truth (faith). This belief and his faith in the originality of wisdom, as opposed to the Christian Church’s irrationality, assisted in the promotion of sciences.

259 lunar years ago, on this day in 1178 AH, the Hadith scholar, Abdul-Karim Ibn Ahmad al-Halabi, passed away. He was from Aleppo as his surname suggests, and though he went blind, he wasn’t demoralized and remained a prominent scholar. He has left behind numerous compilations, including “Ad’iyat as-Safar” or supplications to God for safety while on journey.

251 solar years ago, on this day in the year 1765 AD, the French chemist and one of the founders of photography, Nicephore Niepce, was born. By 1813, he had taken up lithography, which led to his invention of photography. In a letter in May 1816, he spoke of an apparatus that produced a (negative) image using a paper coated with silver chloride fixed with nitric acid. After further experimentation, by 1826, he achieved the first fixed positive image. In 1829, he signed an agreement with Daguerre to develop photography. He died in 1833.

217 solar years ago, in 1799 AD, the French general, Napoleon Bonaparte captured Jaffa in Palestine and proceeded to kill more than 2,000 Albanian Muslim captives. The French were driven out from Palestine by the Ottomans.

80 solar years ago, on this day in 1936 AD, as prelude to World War II, German Nazi troops of Adolf Hitler violated the Treaties of Versailles and Locarno, to occupy the region of Rhineland.

65 solar years ago, on this day in 1951 AD, the Shah’s premier and British stooge, General Ali Razmara, was executed in a revolutionary way by Muslim activist, Khalil Tahmasbi, who shot him dead. He was named prime minister without having to relinquish command of the army, and worked against national interests. The people and the ulema strongly opposed him. His revolutionary execution was in fact a warning to many members of the Shah’s parliament, who as British stooges were obstructing nationalization of Iran’s oil industry. Soon the bill calling for nationalization of oil industry was approved by the parliament’s oil committee.

26 solar years ago, on this day in 1990 AD, Hussein Qawwami, one of the prominent instructors of Iran’s traditional music, passed away. Following the victory of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, he dedicated his music for revolutionary songs. In 1988, he received a plaque of honour from Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.

23 solar years ago, on this day in 1993 AD, the musician Ahmad Ebadi, who played Setar and Iran’s traditional musical instruments, passed away. He groomed numerous students to promote Iran’s traditional music.

6 solar years ago, on this day in 2010 AD, the Iranian researcher and anthropologist, Dr. Mahmoud Rooh ul-Amini, passed away at the age of 82. He was born in the southern Iranian city of Kerman and after obtaining his MA in Sociology, he left for France, where he received PhD in anthropology in 1968. On returning to Iran, he lectured at Tehran University and devoted himself to development of anthropology, resulting in the opening of the Museum of Anthropology at Golestan Palace. He wrote several books.

This Day in History Mon, 07 Mar 2016 09:21:50 +0000
This Day in History (16-12-1394)

Today is Sunday; 16th of the Iranian month of Esfand 1394 solar hijri; corresponding to 26th of the Islamic  month of Jamadi al-Awwal 1437 lunar hijri; and March 6, 2016, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.


1157 lunar years ago, on this day in 280 AH, the Iranian linguist and poet of Arabic language, Abu’l-Fazl Ahmad, known popularly as Ibn Abi Taher Tayfur, passed away at the age of 76. Born in Baghdad to Tayfur, who hailed from the Khorasani city of Marv (presently in Turkmenistan), he played an important role in revolutionizing the Arabic literature. He was the first writer to devote a book to writers. He was buried in the Bab ash-Sham cemetery in the section reserved for notables. His works include “Kitab al-Manthour wa’l-Manzoum” (Book of Prose and Poetry), in three volumes, which is the first attested multi-author anthology. He also authored “Kitab Baghdad” (Book of Baghdad), in 6 volumes, of which only one volume has survived. He also compiled “Balaghat an-Nisa” (The Eloquence of Women), in which he has cited the famous sermon of Omm Kolthoum, the daughter of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (AS), delivered in the aftermath of the tragedy of Karbala.

1156 lunar years ago, on this day in 281 AH, the Iranian polymath, Abu Hanifah Ahmad ibn Dawoud Dinawari, passed away at the age of 70 in his birthplace Dinawar – a Kurdish region halfway between Hamedan and Kermanshah in western Iran. He studied astronomy, mathematics and mechanics in Isfahan and Arabic philology and poetry in Kufa and Basra. He also excelled in agriculture, botany, metallurgy, history and geography. His most renowned contribution is “Kitab an-Nabaat” or Book of Plants, for which he is considered the founder of Islamic botany, for his scientific classification and listing of thousands of varieties of different plants, with detailed discussion from their evolution to birth and subsequent death. He is also among the very first writers to discuss the ancestry of the Kurdish people. He wrote a book on this subject titled “Ansaab al-Akraad”  (Ancestry of the Kurds). All his works are in Arabic including “Kitab al-Kusouf” (Book of Solar Eclipses), “Kitab al-Akhbar at-Tiwaal” (General History), “Kitab al-Boldaan” (Book of Geography), and “Kitab ash-She'r wa'sh-Shu'ara”  (Book of Poetry and Poets). Dinawari's works also deal with astronomy and meteorology to agriculture. It describes the astronomical and meteorological character of the sky, the planets and constellations, the sun and moon, the lunar phases indicating seasons and rain, the atmospheric phenomena such as winds, thunder, lightning, snow, floods, valleys, rivers, lakes, wells and other sources of water.

1055 solar years ago, on this day in 961 AD, Byzantine Greek forces occupied the Muslim island of Crete in the Aegean Sea, thus ending the nearly 135-year rule of the Islamic emirate founded by Spanish Muslim migrants under Abu Hafs after their eviction in 827 from the Egyptian port city of Alexandria by the Abbasid Iranian general, Abdullah ibn Taher Khorasani, who equipped them with ships and supplies for the expedition to Iqritish – as the island was called in Arabic. The Greek invaders led by Nikephoros Phokas pillaged the cities, destroying mosques, libraries, baths, bazaars, and irrigation canals. The capital Rabz al-Khandaq, where currently the city of Heraklion stands, was totally destroyed. Cretan Muslims were either killed or carried off into slavery, while the emir, Abdul-Aziz ibn Shu’ayb, and his son Nu’man were taken captive to Constantinople and forced to become Christians. The survival of numerous gold, silver and copper coins, of almost constant weight and composition, testifies to a strong economy and a high living standard among the population of the Emirate of Crete, which had extensive trade ties with the rest of the Muslim world. The Muslims developed a flourishing agriculture, introducing a variety of crops including sugarcane. It was in 654 that Islam made its first advent in Crete, the 5th largest island of the Mediterranean, where Muslims have seen fluctuating fortunes for the past millennium. The last period of Muslim rule – 252 years – ended in 1898 when West European powers seized Crete from the Ottoman Empire and merged it with Greece. The more than 60-percent Cretan Muslims, many of whom followers of the Bektashi Sufi order founded in the 13th century in Khorasan by Iranian mystic of the school of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt, Haji Bekash Vali of Neishabour,  were expelled and the island was Christianized. The Cretan Muslim Diaspora today lives in Turkey, Syria and Lebanon. It is worth noting that the Hussainid Dynasty (1705-1957) of Tunisia was Cretan Muslim and originally governors of the Ottoman Empire.

541 solar years ago, on this day in 1475 AD, Italian painter, sculptor, architect, and poet, Michelangelo, was born in Caprese near Arezzo, Tuscany. He created several works of art. The huge statues which he named Moses and David (not to be confused with the Prophets as he wrongly claimed), and the painting of the so-called Last Judgment are considered as his most important works.

464 solar years ago, on this day in 1552 AD, the second major battle between the Christian sects of Catholics and Protestants in Europe ended with another failure for the latter, following their defeat six years earlier. In this battle which took place in Austria, the Spanish, Prussian, and Austrian Emperors, led the Catholics against the French-backed troops of the princes of the Protestant cities of Prussia and Austria. The motives behind these battles were sectarian disputes that flared up when Martin Luther broke away from the Catholic Church in protest.

257 solar years ago, on this day in1759 AD, the British, led by Colonel Francis Forde, laid siege to Machli-Bandar (Masulipatam), and a month later captured this port city on the Bay of Bengal coast of the Deccan through treachery, before the forces of Nizam ul-Mulk Salabat Jang could arrive from Aurangabad and Haiderabad. This was part of the struggle for supremacy by the British against the French allies of the Asaf Jahi Dynasty during the 7-year-war. Colonel Forde was later drowned in the Mozambique Channel off the coast of Africa. Machli-Bandar (literally “Fishing-Port”), which the British briefly returned to the Nizam, was the fiefdom of the Iranian family of Najm-e Sani, who were appointed governors – first by the Mughal Emperors and later by the Asaf Jahi Persianate Dynasty. It was a thriving port and conduit to Iran, of the Qutb-Shahi dynasty of Iranian origin of Golkandah, before falling to the Mughals and subsequently becoming part of the Asaf Jahi Dynasty of Haiderabad, which finally lost it, along with the rest of the Northern Sarcars (present day Andhra) to the British colonialists in 1823.

237 solar years ago, on this day in 1779 AD, Karim Khan Zand, the founder of the Zand Dynasty of Iran, died in his capital Shiraz at the age of 74 after a reign of 29 years, during which he restored stability to the country in the chaotic aftermath of Nader Shah Afshar’s assassination in 1747, ruling almost all of Iran, along with Basra and parts of the Caucasus, except for Greater Khorasan. To legitimize his rule, he placed the Safavid prince, Ismail III, as a figurehead, and never took the title of Shah, contenting himself with the honourary epithet “Wakil ar-Ro’aya” (Representative of the People). As a general of Nader Shah, he had taken active parts in most of the military campaigns, and on assuming rule of the country, he devoted himself to the rebuilding of the economy and administration based on social justice. To this day, Karim Khan Zand has a reputation as one of the most just and able rulers in Iranian history. On his death, civil war broke out once more, his sons died in mysterious circumstances, and none of his successors were able to rule the country as effectively as he had. The last of his heirs, Lotf Ali Khan Zand, was treacherously killed by Agha Mohammad Khan, who founded the Qajar dynasty in 1794.

116 solar years ago, on this day in 1900 AD, German inventor, Gottlieb Daimler, died at the age of 64. His profession was making guns. His industrial activities led to invention of the motorcycle. He set up the auto industry and built a type of bus.

82 lunar years ago, on this day in 1355 AH, the Source of Emulation, Grand Ayatollah Allamah Mirza Mohammad Hussain Na'ini, passed away at the age of 79. He was born in the central Iranian city of Na'in in a religious family. He completed his preliminary studies in his hometown before leaving for Iraq for higher studies at the famous seminary of holy Najaf. He studied under such prominent ulema as Ayatollah Mirza-e Shirazi, whose historic fatwa against tobacco saved Iranian economy from British exploitation. Besides theology, Na'ini was well versed in mathematics, philosophy, and mysticism. Among his most important compilations, mention can be made of “Tanbih al-Ummah va Tanzih al-Millah” which outlines the duties of ulema and people and the necessity of campaign against tyrannical regimes. This was an effective step by Grand Ayatollah Na'ini in awakening the Iranian people, whose struggles against local despotism and foreign hegemony triumphed under the guidance of the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA). Among his other books mention could be made of “Wasilat an-Najaat”.

59 solar years ago, on this day in 1957 AD, Ghana became the first sub-Saharan country to gain independence. At a time when Islam was fast spreading in West Africa, Ghana was occupied by the Portuguese, who named it the Gold Coast, plundered its rich resources, and imposed Christianity on its people. The British next seized it and carried on the plunder. In the mid 20th century, freedom movements emerged, resulting in uprisings against colonial rule and forcing the British to hold in 1952 the first legislative elections in which Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was elected prime minister. In 1957, he declared the independence of Ghana which three years later adopted a republican system of government. In 1966, Nkrumah was overthrown in a coup master-minded by the US, Britain and France, while he was on a state visit abroad. Thereafter, the country has seen several coups. Ghana covers an area of more than 238,000 sq km. It has a coastline on the Atlantic Ocean and shares borders with Togo, Burkina Faso, and Ivory Coast. Of its fast growing 20-percent plus Muslim population, many are followers of the School of the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).

52 solar years ago, on this day in 1964 AD, Afro-American boxing champion, Cassius Clay, embraced Islam, and officially changed his name to Muhammad Ali. His spectacular winning of numerous world titles and his refusal, as a Muslim, to be drafted by the US regime in the Vietnam War made constant headlines.

41 solar years ago, on this day in 1975 AD, the Algiers Accord was inked in the Algerian capital for resolution of the Iran-Iraq border dispute regarding the Shatt al-Arab/Arvand Roud waterway. The agreement ended the Shah’s support for Iraqi Kurds, while Baghdad agreed to fix the southern border of the two countries in the middle of the waterway. In Algiers, the signatory was the then vice president of the Ba’th minority regime, Saddam, who five years later in September 1980, tore the accord  in front of TV cameras to launch his invasion of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Saddam’s US-supported 8-year war ended in 1988 without any victory for him, and two years later in 1990, he had to eat the humble pie and officially admit the validity of the Algiers Accord.


This Day in History Sun, 06 Mar 2016 07:10:17 +0000
This Day in History (15-12-1394)

Today is Saturday; 15th of the Iranian month of Esfand 1394 solar hijri; corresponding to 25th of the Islamic month of Jamadi al-Awwal 1437 lunar hijri; and March 5, 2016, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.


3239 solar years ago, on this day in 1223 BC, the oldest recorded eclipse so far discovered, occurred according to a clay tablet retrieved from the ancient city of Ugarit in Syria. The ancient civilizations of Syria, Egypt and Mesopotamia (Iraq), were scientifically advanced while the Greeks and other Europeans lived in the dark ages as barbarians. In Babylon, according to discoveries, there are regular records of solar and lunar eclipses since the 8th century BC. The first recorded solar eclipse in China is 4th June 180 BC. 

1653 solar years ago, on this day in 363 AD, the Roman Emperor, Julian the Apostate, moved from Antioch with an army of 90,000 to attack the Persian Sassanid Empire, in a campaign which would bring about his own death. After besieging the Iranian capital, Ctesiphon, in Iraq, near what is now Baghdad, he was outflanked by a formidable force led by Emperor Shapur II, who drove out the Roman forces. In the Battle of Samarra Julian was finally killed.

1373 lunar years ago, on this day in 64 AH, Mu’awiyyah II, the son and successor of the Godless Yazid, abdicated the caliphate, 40 days after the death of his tyrannical father, the perpetrator of the tragedy of Karbala. The young Mu’awiyyah, who unlike his blasphemous father and grandfather, was an upright person, went on the pulpit of the main mosque of Damascus, and with eyes full of tears, recounted the evil and sacrilegious deeds of his father, Yazid, in martyring Imam Husain (AS), in imprisoning the Prophet’s household; in desecrating the Prophet’s Mosque and Shrine in Medina following the massacre of Muslims at Harrah, and in profaning the sanctity of the holy Ka’ba. He also recounted the evil deeds of his grandfather Mu’awiyah ibn Sufyan, the accursed founder of the Omayyad dynasty, in revolting against the rule of justice of Imam Ali (AS), in seizing the caliphate from Imam Hasan (AS), and in shedding the blood of Muslims. When his kinsman, the mischievous Marwan ibn al-Hakam told him that since he does not want to rule, he should handover the choice of caliph to a council, he replied: I have not tasted the fruits of the caliphate, so why should I experience its bitterness (through such a decision). Soon after his abdication he died under mysterious circumstances, while the aging Marwan seized the caliphate by marrying Yazid’s wife.

970 solar years ago, on this day in 1046 AD, the famous Iranian poet and scholar, Naser Khosrow, began his 7-year journey from Central Asia via Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Arabia to Egypt to meet the Fatemid caliph in Cairo. He was an Ismaili Shi’ite Muslim and has given a lively description of this journey, along with the social, cultural, political and economic conditions of the peoples, in his book “Safarnamah”.

499 lunar years ago, on this day 938 AH the great Islamic scholar of what is now Lebanon, Shaikh Ali bin Abdul-Aali al-Maysi al-Ameli, passed away and was laid to rest in his homeland. He was known as “Muhaqqiq” (Researcher) for his outstanding abilities, and was a teacher of the celebrated scholar Shaikh Zayn od-Din al-Juba’i, known as Shaheed Thani (Second Martyr) for his tragic martyrdom in Syria. Shaikh Ali al-Maysi’s son, Shaikh Lotfallah al-Maysi migrated to Safavid Iran and settled in the holy city of Mashhad in Khorasan, where he became a famous scholar. During those days, because of the persecution by the Ottoman Turkish rulers, many Shi’ite Arab scholars of Lebanon migrated to Iran.

458 solar years ago, on this day in 1558 AD, the tobacco plant, which is native to the Americas, was introduced into Spain by the physician Francisco Fernandes, as a healing herb. Cultivation in France may have started earlier in 1556 with importation of seed from Brazil by André Thévet. He claimed to have cultivated it at Angoulême before Jean Nicot sent the seed to François II. Yet it is Nicot, the French ambassador to Lisbon, whose name survives in the word “nicotine”. The habit of smoking tobacco was initiated from England from the example of Sir Francis Drake (27 July 1586) who borrowed it from the Amerindians. Ralph Lane, the first governor of Virginia has been credited as the first English tobacco pipe smoker.

400 solar years ago, on this day in 1616 AD, Nicolaus Copernicus's book, “On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres”, was banned by the Catholic Church, 73 years after his death on fears that his publicizing of scientific facts, which he had borrowed from the works of Islamic scientists, including Iran’s Abu Rayhan Berouni, would undermine people’s faith in Christianity.

285 solar years ago, on this day in 1731 AD, the prominent Hanafi jurist of Syria, Abd al-Ghani al-Nabalusi, passed away at the age of 90 and was buried in Damascus. A prolific writer who wrote several books, he was a member of both the Qaderiyya and Naqshbandi Sufi orders. Once, after visiting the shrine of Prophet Mohammad’s (SAWA) granddaughter, Hazrat Zainab (SA) on the outskirts of Damascus, he expressed doubts on whether this was actually the holy site at which the Heroine of Karbala had been laid to rest. No sooner did he leave the place he fell from his mount and broke his leg. He realized his error and in that very condition of pain he dragged himself towards the blessed tomb in a state of repentance with the following rhymed phrases on his lips:

      “Zainab bint Haider, ma’dan al-‘ilm wa’l-huda,

      ‘Indaha Bab Hitta, fa adkhulu al-baab sujjada.

      “(Zainab the daughter of Haider, the Mine of Knowledge and Guidance,

       Her threshold is Door of Repentance, so enter it [head bowed] in prostration.)”

At that very moment Shaikh Abdul-Ghani Nabalusi felt his broken leg miraculously cured and he stood up relieved of pain as if nothing had happened to him. Among his books is “Shifa as-Sadr fî Fadha'il Laylat-an-Nisf min Sha'ban wa Laylat- al-Qadr” (Curing the heart on the Virtues of the Night of 15th Sha'ban and the Night of Qadr)

225 solar years ago, on this day in 1791 AD, Bangalore was captured by the British during the Third Anglo-Mysore War against Fath Ali Khan Tipu Sultan, who despite the loss of Devanhalli and Chik Balapur to the aggressors by March 21, strongly defended his capital Seringapatam through scorched earth policy. Lord Cornwallis imposed a harsh treaty forcing Tipu Sultan to cede half of his territories, and took two of his sons as hostages by demanding thirty-three million rupees, which the Sultan paid in two installments and got his sons back. The Sultanate of Mysore, which the British overthrew, was a Persianate state that maintained cordial relations with Iran, which during the time of Karim Khan Zand had sent a detachment of soldiers to support Nawab Haider Ali Khan.

192 solar years ago, on this day in 1824 AD, the British launched the first of their three wars on Burma from neighbouring India. The war, which ended on 24 February 1826, began primarily over the Burmese bid to expand influence into the Arakan and control what are now the northeastern parts of India – Assam, Manipur, Cachar, Jaintia and Tenasserim. It was the longest and most expensive war in British Indian history. Fifteen thousand European and Indian soldiers died, together with an unknown number of Burmese army and civilian casualties. The high cost of the campaign to the British, five million pounds sterling to 13 million pounds sterling (roughly 20 billion to 50 billion in US dollars at today’s rates), led to a severe economic crisis in India in 1833. The Burmese were also forced to pay an indemnity of one million pounds sterling, and sign a commercial treaty. For the Burmese, it was the beginning of the end of their independence. The Third Burmese Empire, which for a brief period had become a threat to British India, was crippled. The Burmese would be crushed for years to come by repaying the large indemnity. The British would make two more wars against a much more weakened Burma, and swallow up the entire country by 1885.

189 solar years agoon this day in 1827 AD, Italian physicist, Alessandro Volta, passed away at the age of 82. He invented a device for measurement of electricity, known as Electrometer. He also invented electrical batteries. The electricity measurement unit is named after him as Volt.

189 solar years ago, on this day in 1827 AD, the French mathematician, Pierre Laplace, died at the age of 78. He emphasized on the theory that the Earth had separated from the Sun millions of years ago and its crust gradually cooled down and hardened. His books include “A Philosophical Essay on Probabilities”.

110 solar years ago, on this day in 1906 AD, US occupation forces in the Philippines, brutally massacred almost a thousand Muslims in the First Battle of Bud Dajo, leaving only six survivors.

63 solar years ago, on this day in 1953 AD, the dictator of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, died at the age of 74. He was a Georgian by birth and was involved in the communist struggle against the Czarist rulers, for which he was deported to Siberia in 1913 and remained in exile until the victory of Russian revolution in 1917. He rose in ranks during the rule of Vladimir Lenin, and following the latter’s death in 1927, he staged a coup with the help of Leo Kamenov and Grigori Zinoviev in order to prevent Leon Trotsky from succeeding Lenin. Stalin gradually eliminated his partners and became autocratic ruler. He ruthlessly continued the purging of opponents inside and outside the Communist Party, and during World War II, assumed the posts of premier and commander-in-chief of the Soviet army. Until his death, he ruled with an iron fist, and killed over six million people, besides ordering mass deportation of millions of others from their ancestral homes and hearths. For instance, in 1944, he ordered the mass deportation of Caucasian Muslim nations. Chechens and Ingush were deported to Kazakhstan for resisting Soviet rule on the allegations of abetting the Germans. Around a million persons were evicted and loaded onto special railway cars. More than a third of the population died on the way. Also deported were the Karachays, Balkars, and Meskhetian Turks.

51 solar years ago, on this day in 1965 AD, the March Intefadha erupted in Bahrain against British colonial presence. It was a popular uprising by the long-suppressed majority of the Persian Gulf island state and called for overthrow of the Aal-e Khalifa minority regime, which still clings to power with US-British help, despite the massive uprising underway these days. Bahrain belonged to Iran and in the 1800s was seized by the Aal-e Khalifa, who were pirates infesting Khor Abdullah waterway between southern Iraq and what is in now Kuwait, from where they were driven out by the Ottomans.

48 solar years ago, on this day in 1968 AD, former Iranian Prime Minister, Mohammad Mosaddeq passed away at the age of 85. He was appointed Minister of Finance, later became Minister of Foreign Affairs and was subsequently elected MP to the national assembly. While in parliament, with the support of Islamic and nationalist groups, he passed the law for nationalization of the Iranian oil industry. Despite British pressure, including economic blockade, the nationalization process continued. In 1952 Britain ordered the Shah to dismiss Mosaddeq, but he was soon re-appointed due to a popular uprising in his support, which in turn forced the Shah into exile in August 1953. Shortly thereafter on August 19, the American CIA and Britain’s MI 6, launched the coup codenamed “Operation Ajax”, led by Iranian army general Fazlollah Zahedi, to remove Mosaddeq and restore the fugitive Shah to power. Mosaddeq was arrested, tried for treason, and placed under house arrest, while Foreign Minister Hussain Fatemi was executed. Zahedi succeeded him as prime minister, and brutally suppressed all opposition to the Shah.

46 solar years ago, on this day in 1970 AD, the nuclear Non-Proliferation (NPT) Treaty went into effect on ratification by 43 nations including Iran, calling for a world free of weapons of mass destruction. Today Iran continues to adhere to the NPT for peaceful use of atomic energy, in contrast to the diabolical policies of the US – the world’s most dangerously nuclear-armed power.

This Day in History Sat, 05 Mar 2016 04:59:20 +0000
This Day in History (14-12-1394)

Today is Friday; 14th of the Iranian month of Esfand 1394 solar hijri; corresponding to 24th of the Islamic month of Jamadi al-Awwal 1437 lunar hijri; and March 4, 2016, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.

1391 solar years ago, on this day in 625 AD, as per the Gregorian calendar, Imam Hasan Mojtaba (AS), the eldest grandson and 2nd Infallible Successor to Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), was born in Medina – on the 15th of Ramadhan 3 AH. His name "Hasan", which means the "Most Excellent" was chosen by the Prophet on the commandment of God and is the Arabic equivalent of "Shabar" the name in Hebrew of the first born son of Aaron, the brother and vicegerent of Prophet Moses (AS). Imam Hasan (AS), along with his younger brother, Imam Husain (AS), was hailed by the Prophet as Twin Leaders of the Youths of Paradise. The two brothers along with their parents, Imam Ali (AS) and Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA), were covered by the Prophet under his cloak as the Ahl al-Bayt on revelation of the Verse of Purity (holy Qur’an 33:33), and this immaculate group also accompanied the Prophet to the decisive debate of Mubahela with the Christians of Najran on revelation of ayah 61 of Surah Nisa in order to prove the truth of Islam. Six months after succeeding to the caliphate, following his father’s martyrdom, Imam Hasan (AS), in view of the widespread sedition and hypocrisy in the society, agreed to relinquish political rule to the charlatan Mu’awiya ibn Abu Sufyan in order to unmask him in his true heathen colours. Thus, his prudence and foresight saved Islam from the disaster of civil war, at a time when the Byzantine Empire was waiting for weakening of Muslim ranks to attack and occupy Syria and Bayt al-Moqaddas.

864 solar years ago, on this day in 1152 AD, Duke Frederick III of Swabia was elected king of the Germans. In 1155, he became king of Italy as well and was crowned ‘Roman Emperor’ by Pope Adrian IV. Called Barbarossa for his red beard, he was of brutal nature and during the siege of the Italian city of Crema, he barbarically hurtled prisoners, including children at the wall, forcing the city to surrender. The siege was marked by several episodes of brutality against fellow Christians by the Germans, who hung Cremaschi prisoners to siege machines, resulting in bloody manslaughter. Barbarossa, who on the instructions of Pope Urban III had assembled a huge anti-Muslim army of crusaders in alliance with the kings of France and England, and marched overland towards Syria through the Byzantine Empire; miserably drowned in River Saleph (Goksu Nehri) in what is now Turkey. In 1190 AD, he and his horse were struck by divine wrath and swept away to a terrible death that aborted the 3rd European crusade against Muslims. His leaderless army lost heart and fled, while many Christian knights, afraid of the prospect of fighting Muslims, committed suicide.

823 solar years ago, on this day in 1193 AD, Salah od-Din Yusuf bin Ayyub, the first Kurdish sultan of Egypt and Syria, died in Damascus at the age of 56. Born in the Iraqi city of Tikrit, his fame mainly rests on his mobilization of Kurds, Turks, Arabs, Iranians and Egyptians to liberate the Islamic city of Bayt al-Moqaddas from 88 years of occupation by European Crusader invaders. Known in the Western world as Saladin, he rose from obscure origins to serve as assistant to his uncle, Asad od-Din Shirkuh (Persian for Mountain Lion), who was in the service of the Turkic Zengid Dynasty of Syria. Sent to Fatemid Egypt in 1163 with his uncle by Noor od-Din Zengi, he climbed the ranks of the Ismaili Shi’ite government as a result of his military successes against Crusader assaults. When Shirkuh died in 1169, the caliph al-Adeed made the mistake of appointing Salah od-Din vizier. He now began to undermine Fatemid rule and following al-Adeed's death in 1171 he seized power and abolished the two-and-a-half century rule of the Fatemid caliphate. Salah od-Din savagely persecuted the followers of the Ahl al-Bayt, burned libraries, and imposed the Sunni creed on the Egyptians. In the following years, he led forays against the Crusaders in Palestine, ordered the conquest of Yemen and staved off pro-Fatemid uprisings in Egypt. Soon after the death of his former master, Noor od-Din in 1174, he attacked Syria, took Damascus, forcibly married Zengi’s widow, and by mid-1175 had conquered Hama and Homs. A few years later he seized Aleppo, although he was unable to capture Mosul from the Zengids. Another blot on Salah od-Din’s character was his forcing of his son, Malik az-Zaher, the governor of Aleppo, to kill the famous Iranian Islamic philosopher Shahab od-Din Yahya Sohrewardi – the proponent of the Illuminist Philosophy (al-Hikmat al-Ishraaq).

497 solar years ago, on this day in 1519 AD, Hernan Cortes, the notorious Spanish invader and destroyer of the Aztec Amerindian Empire, through deceit and treachery, arrived in Mexico. He took Emperor Cuauhtemoc and several other indigenous nobles as prisoners, forced them to accompany him to Honduras, and while in the Chontal Maya capital of Itzamkanac, treacherously murdered them. He looted the gold and silver of the Aztec people and destroyed flourishing Amerindian cities. Cortes died embittered in Spain at the age of 62.

184 solar years ago, on this day in 1832 AD, French Egyptologist, Jean-Francois Champollion, died at the age of 41. He established scientific methods in archaeology and pioneered in deciphering hieroglyphics. He was fluent in several languages including Latin, Greek, Arabic, Syrian, Chaldean, Hebrew, Persian, and Coptic. He succeeded in deciphering the Rosetta Stone, which is a stone slab unearthed in 1799 at Rosetta, near Alexandria, Egypt, with inscriptions in two languages and three scripts – Egyptian and Greek.

168 solar years ago, on this day in 1848 AD, the uprising of Hungarian freedom-seekers against Austrian domination started. The repressive policies of Austrian Chancellor, Klemens Metternich, led to unrest across the majority of non-German territories of the Austrian Empire, including Hungary. On April 4, 1849, the Hungarians announced independence, but Austria with assistance from Czarist Russia suppressed them and executed their leaders.

159 solar years ago, on this day in 1857 AD, the Treaty of Paris ended the Anglo-Persian War, which the British had imposed on Iran by attacking and occupying Bushehr on the Persian Gulf as well as Khorramshahr, in order to pressure Nasser od-Din Shah Qajar to surrender the city of Herat and its surroundings in Khorasan to their Afghan ally. Herat, the then capital of Khorasan, had been part of Iran from time immemorial till the war broke in 1856 when its rebellious governor declared independence and placed the area under British protection. As per the Treaty of Paris, the weakened government of Iran withdrew from Herat and was forced to drop all claims to this historical Iranian city and most of eastern Khorasan, which is now part of Afghanistan today. The British had launched their sea attacks on Iran from their naval bases in Mumbai by deploying battalions of sepoys (corruption for the Persian word "sipahi" for Indian soldiers), who in February 1856 had been used to overthrow Wajed Ali Shah of the Naishaburi Dynasty of Iranian origin of Awadh in northern India, and would again be mobilized in mid 1857 to crush the uprising of the Indian people against colonial rule and end the Mughal Dynasty of Delhi by exiling to Burma its last ruler, Bahadur Shah Zafar.

111 lunar years ago, on this day in 1326 AH, Iran’s freedom-seeking author and preacher, Mirza Nasrollah Malek al-Motakallemin, was detained and martyred by agents of the Qajarid King, Mohammad Ali Shah at the age of 49. He was born in Isfahan and while on a visit to India at the age of 22 years, he wrote a book on the appalling conditions of Indian Muslims under British colonial rule, titled: “Min al-Haq il’al-Haq”, which means From Truth towards Truth. The book was hailed by the ulema and people but enraged and angered the British and their agents. As a result he was detained and deported to Iran. Having become familiar during exile with the thoughts and ideas of the great pan-Islamist figure, Seyyed Jamal od-Din Asadabadi, on return to his hometown Isfahan, he started preaching and delivering sermons to awaken the people, as a result of which he was attacked by the Qajarid agents and attained martyrdom.

25 solar years ago, on this day, in 1991 AD Dr. Ali Shafaie of Iran passed away at the age of 59. A philosopher of repute, he was head of Theological Department of Ferdowsi University in holy Mashhad. He authored the book"Science of Philosophy".

5 solar years ago, on this day in 2011 AD, Alenush Terian, hailed as “Mother of Iranian Astronomy”, died in Tehran at the age of 91. Born in an ethnic Armenian Christian family in Tehran, her father was a poet who had translated the epic “Shahnameh” from Persian to Armenian. She graduated in 1947 from the University of Tehran, and began her career in the physics laboratory of the university as chief of laboratory operations. She left for France for higher studies and in 1956 obtained her doctorate in Atmospheric Physics from Sorbonne University of Paris. On return to Iran she became Assistant Professor in thermodynamics at University of Tehran. Later she worked in Solar Physics in the then West Germany for a period of four months, and in 1964 became the first female Professor of Physics in Iran. In 1966, Professor Terian became Member of the Geophysics Committee of University of Tehran. In 1969 she was elected chief of the Solar Physics studies at this university and began to work in the Solar Observatory of which she was one of the founders. Professor Terian retired in 1979. Her 90th birthday celebration was attended by a number of Iranian parliamentarians and over 100 Iranian Armenians.


This Day in History Fri, 04 Mar 2016 06:32:09 +0000
This Day in History (13-12-1394)

Today is Thursday; 13th of the Iranian month of Esfand 1394 solar hijri; corresponding to 23rd of the Islamic month of Jamadi al-Awwal 1437 lunar hijri; and March 3, 2016, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.


1938 solar years ago, on this day in 78 AD, Emperor Kanishka Kadphises, of the Kushan Empire that covered parts of northern India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central Asia, and eastern China, on his accession to the throne initiated the Saka Calendar for his entire realm, beginning from March 22 – a day after Nowruz or the Vernal Equinox that marks the New Year in Iran and among the Iranian peoples. After the downfall of Kushans, who spoke an eastern Iranian language, the Sakas of Ujjain continued to use this era. Ancient Indian astronomers (e.g. Varahmihir), historians (e.g. Kalhana) and mathematicians (e.g. Brahmagupta), used the Saka Era in their works. Interestingly the Gurjaras of Bhinmal, the Chalukyas of Badami and Rastrkutas of the Deccan also used the Saka Era, as well as the Gupta Empire for three centuries. In fact, the Saka Era was most widespread over a span of historical times in India and it was one of the main reasons for the Calendar Reform Committee of modern India to opt for the Saka Era as the Indian National Civilian Calendar, which was officially adopted in 1957. The 1st day of Saka Calendar is celebrated as New Year in areas of India’s Maharashtra State as Gudi Padwa, and as Ugadi in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states. The term “Saka” is used in Persian and Sanskrit sources for the Scythians, a large group of Eastern Iranian nomadic tribes on the Eurasian Steppe; part of whom settled in India.

441 solar years ago, on this day in 1575 AD, the Battle of Tukaroi was fought in Bengal between the army of the Mughal Emperor, Jalal od-Din Akbar and Sultan Daud Khan. After a seesaw struggle, the Mughals won and Daud Khan was forced to sign a treaty ceding to Akbar Bihar and Bengal as well as what is now Bangladesh, while retaining only the state of Orissa.

326 solar years ago, on this day in 1690 AD, the Maratha ruler, Sambhaji, and his minister, Kavi Kalash, were executed for insulting the Almighty’s Last and Greatest Messenger to all mankind, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, who had overlooked the personal insults heaped against him by the two captives when questioned about their rebellious behaviour, massacre of innocent people (both Hindus and Muslims), burning of cities (e.g. Burhanpur), and looting of public properties. Sambhaji, who unlike his father, Sivaji, was a man of cruel disposition given to sensuous pleasures and was imprisoned by the latter for his dissolute traits, escaped from prison on his father’s death in 1680 to seize power of the Maratha realm by imprisoning his stepbrother, Rajaram – Sivaji’s designated successor. For the next 8 years he ravaged and plundered towns and cities, tortured civilians, cruelly killed both Hindus and Muslims, to the extent that the Brahmins in his own service betrayed him to the Mughals. He was captured on December 28, 1688 by the brave former general of the kingdom of Golkandah, Shaikh Nizam Haiderabadi titled Muqarrab Khan, at his pleasure-house at Sangameshwar in the hills. Aurangzeb restored Rajaram as the Maratha ruler.

313 solar years ago, on this day in 1703 AD, the English scientist, architect, and philosopher, Robert Hooke, died at the age of 68. He was well versed in physics and biology, and invented numerous tools. In 1665 he wrote his major work “Micrographia”, in which he drew pictures of minute creatures he saw through microscope. His inventions include the anemometer, aerometer, udometer, and hygrometer. He also made precise wrist watches.

309 solar years ago, on this day in 1707 AD, Aurangzeb Alamgir, the 6th and last of the Grand Mughal Emperors, died in his capital Aurangabad at the age of 89 and was buried in nearby Kholdabad, after a reign of 50 years, during which he expanded the rule of his house to its zenith by conquering the whole of south India. He thus ruled over an empire that today includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the eastern half of Afghanistan. Son of Shah Jahan and the Iranian lady, Arjmand Banu, he was a scholar of Arabic, Persian, and Chaghtai Turkic. He had seized the throne by imprisoning his father and killing his brothers. He also made the fatal mistake of overthrowing the Shi’a Muslim sultanates of Bijapur and Golkandah-Haiderabad in the Deccan, because of his rivalry with the Safavid emperors of Iran, whose names were recited in the Friday Prayer sermons in south India. The vacuum led to the rise of the Maratha, who were to ravage and pillage the tottering Mughal Empire.

217 solar years ago, on this day in 1799 AD, the Russo-Ottoman siege of the island of Corfu ended with the surrender of the French garrison.  Earlier, in October 1798 the French were driven from the Ionian islands of Cythera, Zakynthos, Cephalonia, and Lefkada. The capture of Corfu completed the Russo-Turkish takeover of the Mediterranean Islands, which was of great military and political importance. The islands became the Seven Islands Republic, a temporary joint protectorate of Russia and Turkey, whose fleets went on to attack Naples in Italy.

177 solar years ago, on this day in 1839 AD, the prominent Indian industrialist of Iranian Zoroastrian origin, Jamshedji Tata was born in Nasvari, Gujarat in western India. He founded the Tata Group, India's biggest conglomerate company, and is known as the Father of Indian Industry. The Tata Group of companies is among the world’s largest private sector firms. Jamshedpur in Jharkhand is named after him.

169 solar years ago, on this day 1847 AD, Scottish-American inventor, Alexander Graham Bell, was born. His career was influenced by his grandfather (who published “The Practical Elocutionist and Stammering and Other Impediments of Speech”), his father (whose interest was the mechanics and methods of vocal communication) and his mother (who was deaf). As a teenager, he was intrigued by the writings of German physicist Hermann Von Helmholtz, “On the Sensations of Tone”. In 1871, Bell began giving instruction in Visible Speech at the Boston School for Deaf Mutes. This background set his course in developing the transmission of voice over wires. After years of experiments and designs of various apparatuses by different scientists, on 10 March 1876, Bell spoke the famous sentence "Mr. Watson—Come here—I want to see you"into the liquid transmitter he had invented, while Watson, listening at the receiving end in an adjoining room, heard the words clearly.

159 solar years ago, on this day in 1857 AD, the Second Opium War was launched by France and Britain on China. The objectives of the British were legalising the opium trade, expanding coolie trade, opening all of China to British merchants, and exempting foreign imports from internal transit duties.

157 solar years ago, on this day in 1859 AD, one of the most blatant violations of human rights in history occurred in the US, when 436 black men, women, and children were auctioned on a plantation in the state of Georgia to pay the debts incurred in gambling by Pierce Butler during the financial crash of 1857-58. The grim sale of human beings, which took place over two rainy days, is referred to as "The Weeping Time."

138 solar years ago, on this day in 1878 AD, Russia and the Ottoman Empire signed the Treaty of San Stefano in the Balkans. A year earlier, Russia had entered into secret accord with the Ottoman provinces of Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania, promising to support them against the Turks. In the wake of Russian victories, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria were detached from the Ottoman Empire and declared independent.

137 solar years ago, on this day in 1879 AD, American biochemist, Elmer McCollum, who originated the letter system of naming vitamins, was born. He discovered vitamins A, B and worked with others on vitamin D. He performed extensive research work in nutrition and growth. In the 1910s, he recognized that a healthy diet required certain fats, and he named the essential component "fat-soluble A," as distinct from another he named "water-soluble B." He researched how certain minerals were important as nutrients, including calcium, phosphorus, fluorine, manganese and zinc.

130 lunar years ago, on this day in 1307 AH, the Islamic scholar of Northern India, Seyyed Mohammad Ibrahim, titled “Seyyed ul-Ulema” passed away. To him goes the credit of persuading the British occupiers of the city of Lucknow to vacate the grand Asefi Mosque, the Alamgir Mosque and the magnificent Asefi Imambara (Hussainiyya), which they defiled for 27 years, using it as a gunpowder storage house, following their forcing into exile of the last King of Awadh, Wajed Ali Shah of the Naishapuri Dynasty founded by the Iranian adventurer, Seyyed Mohammad Amin Musavi entitled Sa’adat Khan Burhan ol-Mulk. After return of these religious structures to the Shi'ite Muslims Seyyed ul-Ulema revived the congregational prayers at the two mosques and the mourning ceremonies for the Martyr of Karbala, Imam Husain (AS) at the Hussainiyya. Soon the Friday and Eid Prayers were revived at the Asefi Mosque. Over a century earlier, it was Seyyed ul-Ulema’s famous ancestor, Seyyed Dildar Ali Naqavi Naseerabadi, who had led the first exclusive public congregational prayers of Shi'ite Muslims in Lucknow on 13th Rajab 1200 AH, on the birth anniversary of the Commander of the Faithful, Prophet Mohammad’s (SAWA) First Infallible Heir, Imam Ali (AS), followed by establishment of the weekly Friday prayers. 

92 solar years ago, on this day in 1924 AD, the pro-western laic ruler of Turkey, Mustafa Kamal Ataturk, dissolved the dubious institution of the Caliphate, transferring its powers to the Turkish Grand National Assembly. He thus expelled from Turkey Abdul Majid II, who was made caliph in November 1922 following the deposition of his cousin, Sultan Mohammad VI. Abdul Majid II lived in France, where his daughter Princess Durr-e Shahvaar was married in 1931 to Prince Himayat Ali Khan Azam Jah, the son of Asaf Jah Nizam ol-Molk, the last king of Haiderabad Deccan. With the death of Abdul Majid II in 1944 concurrently with the Liberation of Paris from Nazi occupation, the controversial institution of caliphate, which had become the prerogative of tyrants and debauchees, beginning with the Godless Omayyads and the equally evil Abbasids, came to its final disgraceful end. It should be noted that the English word “Caliph” is derived from the Arabic “Khalifa” (Vicegerent), a term which God Almighty uses for Adam in the holy Qur’an. Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), as the Last and Final Messenger to mankind, had on God’s commandment, designated his cousin and son-in-law, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS) as the Khalifa (Caliph) or Vicegerent of Muslims; however, no sooner did the Prophet pass away, the political responsibilities of this office were usurped by certain people, who for 25 years deprived the Imam of his rights. In 35 AH, when the caliphate came begging at his door, Imam Ali (AS), whose spiritual authority was beyond the grasp of any usurper, reluctantly took up the reins of political power, on condition that he would rule only in accordance with the holy Qur’an and the precepts of the Prophet and not the innovations made by the three persons who preceded him in this office. The four-and-a-half year caliphate of Imam Ali (AS) is regarded till this day as the only instance of the rule of social justice. Following the Imam’s martyrdom, the Omayyad rebel Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan seized the caliphate from the Prophet’s elder grandson Imam Hasan (AS), and thereafter this institution was never on the right track and became the most scandalous office in Islamic history.

25 solar years ago, on this day in 1991 AD, in Los Angeles white police officers pounced upon Afro-American Rodney King and mercilessly beat him. A local witness, George Holliday, videotaped much of it from his balcony, and sent the footage to news station KTLA. The footage showed five officers surrounding King, several of them striking him repeatedly, while other officers stood by. Part of the footage was aired around the world, inflaming outrage in cities, and raising public concern about police treatment of minorities. The acquittal of the officers sparked a violent riot in several US cities.

23 solar years ago, on this day in 1992 AD, following referendum, Muslim majority Bosnia-Herzegovina, gained independence from the rump state of Yugoslavia, following the declaration of independence earlier by Slovenia and Croatia. Immediately, the local Serbs with the support of Serbia and the tacit backing of western regimes unleashed genocide and ethnic cleansing, resulting in the massacre of over 250,000 European Muslims and homelessness of a million-and-a-half others. When Bosnian Muslims fought back and were about to decisively defeat the Serb aggressors, the US interfered and imposed the Dayton Accord. Bosnia-Herzegovina has an area of 51,129 square km. On the north and west it shares borders with Croatia, on the east with Serbia, and on the south with the Republic of Montenegro. Muslims are the largest ethnic group making up over 50 percent of the total population.

13 solar years ago, on this day in 2002 AD, in Ahmadabad, India, the death toll climbed to 538 as Hindu mobs continued attacks on Muslims.



This Day in History Thu, 03 Mar 2016 06:34:42 +0000
This Day in History (12-12-1394)

Today is Wednesday; 12th of the Iranian month of Esfand 1394 solar hijri; corresponding to 22nd of the Islamic month of Jamadi al-Awwal 1437 lunar hijri; and March 2, 2016, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.


963 solar years ago, on this day in 1053 AD, Farrokhzad Jamal od-Dowlah ascended the throne of Ghazni as the 9th sultan, having escaped the massacre of Ghaznavid princess by Toghrul the Usurper. Son of Mas’oud I and grandson of the famous Sultan Mahmoud, his 6-year reign was one of benevolence, prosperity and tranquility, free from the chaotic turbulence of palace slaves who had destabilized the rule of his predecessors. A devout Muslim, he used to fast during Rajab, Sha'ban and Ramadhan, and reinstated as vizier the able Iranian administrator, Abdur-Razzaq Maymandi, who had formerly served his brother Maudud and uncle Abd ur-Rashid. He also freed from imprisonment the celebrated Iranian scholar, Abu’l-Fazl Bayhaqi, who wrote his famous history in Persian (Tarikh-e Bayhaqi), which is one of the most credible sources about the Ghaznavid Empire. Chagri Beg Seljuq launched an invasion soon after Farrokhzad’s ascension, but was defeated. Around 1058, Farrokh invaded Tukharistan in hopes of removing the Seljuqs to whom his father Mas’oud had lost Khorasan and parts of Transoxiana in the Battle of Dandanaqan in 1040. His army was initially successful, capturing the Seljuq Atabeg Qutb ad-Din Kul-Sarigh. However, Alp Arslan counter-attacked and defeated the Ghaznavid army. A subsequent peace treaty, drawn up by Abu’l-Fazl Bayhaqi allowed for exchange of prisoners and a mutual non-aggression pact. Depressed and sickened after an attempt on his life by palace slaves, Farrokhzad withdrew from worldly affairs and died on 4 April 1059 at the age of thirty four.

491 solar years ago, on this day in 1525 AD, Budapest, the capital of Hungary was taken by the Ottoman Turkish army. The Turks had earlier defeated the Hungarian king in the Battle of Mohacs and in this manner the boundaries and borders of Ottoman Empire reached the Austrian Capital, Vienna.

329 solar years ago, on this day in 1687 AD, Prince Muhammad Mu'azzam was charged with treacherous conduct during the Mughal sieges of the Deccan sultanates of Iranian origin of Bijapur (1686) and Golkandah-Haiderabad, and imprisoned for seven years on the orders of his father, Emperor Aurangzeb. Earlier in the year he had defeated the Qutb-Shahi forces at Malkhed in what is now Karnataka State, but the Qutb-Shahis put up strong resistance from the impregnable Golkandah fortress till September of the same year, when through deceit and treachery the 170-year old dynasty founded by Sultan Quli, the Qara Qoyounlu adventurer from Hamedan in western Iran, collapsed. On Aurangzeb’s death, Mu’azzam rebelled against his brother Azam Shah (descended on his mother’s side from the Safavid emperors of Iran), who as the heir-apparent had crowned himself emperor, and after defeating and executing him, seized the throne with the titles of Shah Alam I and Bahadur Shah I. He died five years later.

226 lunar years ago, on this day in 1211 AH, the Iranian astronomer and mathematician, Mirza Hussein Doost Mohammad Isfahani, was born. He passed away at the age of 81 years and was laid to rest in the holy city of Najaf in Iraq.

219 solar years ago, on this day in 1797 AD, Horace Walpole, English art historian, man of letters, antiquarian and Whig politician, died at the age of 80. In 1754 AD, by playing with Persian words, he had coined the word “Serendipity” meaning a “fortuitous happenstance” or “pleasant surprise”. In a letter to a friend he explained an unexpected discovery he had made by reference to a Persian tale titled “The Three Princes of Serendip”, who were “always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of.” “Serendip” was the ancient Iranian name for Sri Lanka. In its modern vernacular, “serendipity” is commonly associated with luck and accidental discovery. The notion of serendipity is a common occurrence throughout the history of scientific innovation such as Alexander Flemming's accidental discovery of Penicillin in 1928, and the invention of the microwave oven by Percy Spencer in 1945, to name but a few. In contrast, “Bahramdipity” is derived from the 15th Sassanid Emperor of ancient Iran, Bahram Gur, and means suppression of serendipitous discoveries or research results by powerful individuals.

180 solar years ago, on this day in 1936 AD, German orientalist and Islamic scholar, Theodor Noldeke, was born in Harburg. He studied in Göttingen, Vienna, Leiden and Berlin, mastering several languages including Arabic and Persian. In 1859 his history of the holy Qur'an won for him the prize of the French Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, and in the following year he rewrote it in German (Geschichte des Qorâns). In 1861 he began to lecture at the university, where three years later he was appointed extraordinary professor. In 1868 he became ordinary professor at Kiel, and in 1872 was appointed to the chair of Oriental Languages at Strassburg, which he resigned in 1906. His range of studies was wide and varied, but the main focus of his work has followed the two lines indicated by his prize essay, Semitic languages, and the history and civilization of Islam. While a great deal of his work (e.g. his translations from the Arabic of the history of Tabari, 1881–1882) is meant for specialists, many of his books are of interest to the general reader. Noldeke’s articles dealing with Iran were republished in a German volume, titled “Aufsätze zur Persischen Geschichte” in Leipzig in 1887. He died in 1930.

143 solar years ago, on this day in 1873 AD, George Smith, British Assyriologist, arrived at the ruins of Nineveh outside Mosul in Iraq. Over the next few weeks he found tablets referring to more pieces of the Gilgamesh story, a record of kings in the Babylonian dynasties, as well as lists of cuneiform symbols.

120 solar years ago, on this day in 1896 AD, French physicist, Henri Becquerel, discovered the radiation feature of radioactive material in uranium. The discovery won him the Nobel Prize for Physics in the year 1905; five years prior to his death.

93 solar years ago, on this day in 1923 AD, Iranian musician, Morteza Hannaneh, was born. For a while, he was conductor of Tehran’s Symphonic Orchestra, and then joined Iran Radio. An expert in classical Iranian music, he died at the age of 67 in 1990. He authored several books, including the translation and commentary of the book “Maqased al-Alhaan”.

60 solar years ago, on this day in 1956 AD, Morocco gained independence from French colonial rule. In 1912, after decades of meddling by European powers, France had declared this Muslim country as its protectorate. The same year the Moroccan people, under the leadership of Abdul-Karim Rifi, started the liberation struggle and managed to free the mountainous parts of the country, until they were defeated in 1926 by the French.

25 solar years ago, on this day in 1991 AD, in the wake of the defeat of the Iraqi army in Kuwait by the US-led coalition, Iraqi people started their popular uprising against the repressive rule of Saddam’s Ba’th minority regime, as the long suppressed Shi’a Arab majority rose in the south, while the ethnic Kurd minority rose in the north. After initial gains, when the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala had been liberated and the noose was being tightened around Baghdad, the US allowed Saddam to use missiles and fixed-wing aircraft to brutally crush the popular uprising and to desecrate the holy shrines. The result was catastrophic. Saddam massacred at least seven hundred thousand Shi’a Arabs, and forced some two million Kurds to seek refuge across the borders in Iran and Turkey.

24 solar years ago, on this day in 1992 AD, the Iranian lady scholar of the holy Qur’an, Banu Kowkab Pour-Ranjbar, passed away at the age of 88. Born in Shiraz, at the age of 16 she completed her Islamic studies and started her career as a teacher that led to her collection of copies of the holy Qur’an and correction of several of its manuscripts prepared in the Subcontinent. At the age of 27 after becoming blind she miraculously regained her eyesight on seeing in her dream Hazrat Fatema Zahra (peace upon her), the Immaculate Daughter of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and  his progeny). Thereafter she devoted her life to the teaching of the holy Qur’an. She revolutionized the teaching of the holy Qur’an for children by adopting simple methods to teach this heavenly scripture.

15 solar years ago, on this day in 2001 AD, in Afghanistan the Taliban terrorists began the destruction of the giant Buddha statues of Bamiyan despite international protests. The pair of Buddha statues was not the object of worship to be destroyed. These were relics of the skill of craftsmen of the ancient past who had hewn mountains to carve them. The Taliban used dynamite, anti-tank missiles, and artillery fire to destroy the two statues.

12 solar years ago, on this day in 2004 AD, the holy cities of Karbala and Kazemain were rocked by several terrorist attacks, in which at least 170 people were martyred and 500 others injured. These attacks were carried out by the Takfiri terrorists on the Day of Ashura (10th of Moharram) – the martyrdom anniversary of the Prophet's grandson Imam Husain (AS) – when millions of devotees were attending mourning processions for the first time after the fall of Iraq's US-installed dictator, Saddam. The terrorists were never identified, but believed to be the agents of the US and Saudi Arabia.

7 lunar years ago, on this day in 1430 AH, the great Gnostic Grand Ayatollah Shaikh Mohammad Taqi Bahjat passed away in holy Qom at the age of 96 and was laid to rest in the mausoleum of Hazrat Fatema Ma’souma (peace upon her). Born in Foumen in Gilan Province, after preliminary studies in his hometown he left for the holy city of Karbala in Iraq at the age of 14 for higher studies. Four years later he moved to holy Najaf, where he attended the classes of a number of prominent ulema, including Ayatollah Murtaza Taleqani, Seyyed Abu’l-Hassan Isfahani, Mirza Mohammad Hussain Naeeni, and Seyyed Ali Qadhi Tabatabaei. Ayatollah Bahjat paid special attention to piety, self-cultivation and moral perfection. After 15 years of study in Iraq during which he mastered several branches of Islamic sciences including the philosophy of Abu Ali Ibn Sina, he returned to Iran and decided to stay in the holy city of Qom, where he reached the level of Ijtehad by attending the classes of Grand Ayatollah Hujjat Kuhkamrei and Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Hussain Boroujerdi. Thereafter, he started teaching theology and jurisprudence for almost 50 years at his house. He composed poems of praise and eulogy of the Infallible Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohamad (SAWA), especially the Martyr of Karbala, Imam Husain (AS). He has left behind a large number of compilations, including: “Jama'e al-Masa’el”, and “Zakhirat-al-Ebaad”.


This Day in History Wed, 02 Mar 2016 07:29:25 +0000
This Day in History (11-12-1394)

Today is Tuesday; 11th of the Iranian month of Esfand 1394 solar hijri; corresponding to 21st of the Islamic month of Jamadi al-Awwal 1437 lunar hijri; and March 1, 2016, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.

2102 solar years ago, on this day in 86 BC, Lucius Cornelius Sulla, as part of the expansionist policies of the Roman Republic, entered Athens at the head of an army to remove the philosopher- king, Aristion, who was supported by troops of Mithridates VI of Pontus and Armenia Minor. Mithridates, which in Old Persian means “Gift of Mithra” was a prince of mixed Iranian and Greek ancestry, who ruled what is now northern Turkey. He claimed descent from Cyrus the Great, Darius the Great, and Regent Antipater, the Greek General of Alexander of Macedon. As protector of Greece and Hellenistic civilization, he regarded the Romans as barbarians, and fought three wars against them until his defeat and death during his 57-year reign. 

1117 lunar years ago, on this day in 320 AH, the acclaimed Muslim physician, philosopher, and geographer, Ahmad ibn Ja'far ibn al-Jazzar al-Qayrawani, was born in Qayrawan in what is now Tunisia during the rule of Fatemid Ismaeil Shi'ite dynasty of North Africa, and was known in Europe by the Latinized name Algizar. He authored several books on grammar, history, jurisprudence, medicine, prosody, etc. His book on medicine titled “Zaad al-Musafer”, was translated as “The Viaticum” in Latin, and later translated into Greek and Hebrew. It was copied, recopied, and printed in France and Italy till the sixteenth century, and was used in Europe as a medical education text, along with “al-Qanoun fi't-Tibb” (The Canon of Medicine) of the famous Iranian Islamic genius, Abu Ali ibn Sina. Ibn al-Jazzar also wrote a book on sleep disorders and another one on forgetfulness and how to strengthen memory, titled “Kitab an-Nisyaan wa-Ṭuruq Taqwiyat az-Zakira”. He also wrote books on pediatrics, sexual disorders, leprosy, therapeutics and animals.

827 lunar years ago, on this day in 610 AH, the Mu'tazzalite little figure and lexicographer, Burhan od-Din Nasser bin Abdus-Seyyed Matrazi, passed away at the age of 74 in his homeland Khwarazem in Central Asia which was part of Iran. He is known as successor to the famous Iranian exegete of the Holy Qur'an, hadith scholar, and lexicographer, Jarallah Zamakhshari, who passed away in the year that Matrazi was born. His famous book on lexicography is titled “al-Maghreb fi Lughat al-Fiqh”. He wrote numerous other books including a commentary on the Arabic literary masterpiece Maqamaat Hariri”.

756 solar years ago, on this day in 1260 AD, Hulagu Khan’s Mongol’s army, led by his Christian general Kitbuqa, seized Damascus, sixteen days after the sack of Aleppo and two years after the infamous destruction of Baghdad. The Buddhist Mongols and their Armenian and Crusader Allies, desecrated numerous mosques in Damascus and held a Christian Mass in the Grand Omayyad Mosque. The three Christian generals, Kitbuqa the Mongol, the Armenian Hetoum, and Bohemond the European Crusader ruler of occupied Palestine, celebrated their triumph in Damascus slaughtering Muslims and ending the rule of the Kurdish Ayyubid dynasty of Syria.

454 solar years ago, on this day in 1562 AD, the Bloodbath of Vassy occurred in France when General de Guise allowed members of the Catholic sect of Christianity to massacre 1200 Huguenots (members of the Protestant sect of Christianity), many of them during a church service, marking the start of the French Wars of Religion that lasted till the Edict of Nantes in 1598 (and well beyond), resulting in the killing of over four million people from both the sects. Europe has a bloody record of inter-Christian sectarian conflicts that raged for several centuries, since unlike Islam, Christian denominations have fundamental differences over the nature of God, Prophet Jesus, and the Virgin Mary.

450 solar years ago, on this day in 1565 AD, the city of Rio de Janeiro was founded in the colony of Brazil by the Portuguese, on the western shores of Guanabara Bay and was named Sao Sebastiao. Since the Guanabara Bay inlet was the site of the first landing by the Portuguese in 1502 it was named Rio de Janeiro (January River) – a name that stuck to the new city whose proper name Sao Sebastiao was gradually dropped. Until early in the 18th century, the city was threatened or invaded by several, mostly French, pirates. In 1763, the colonial administration in Portuguese America was moved from Salvador to Rio de Janeiro. The city remained primarily a colonial capital until 1808, when the Portuguese royal family and most of the associated Lisbon nobles, fleeing from Napoleon Bonaparte's invasion of Portugal, moved to Rio de Janeiro. The kingdom of Portugal's capital was transferred to Rio de Janeiro, which thus, became the only European capital outside of Europe. As there was no physical space or urban structure to accommodate hundreds of noblemen who arrived suddenly, many inhabitants were simply evicted from their homes. The Portuguese kidnapped from Africa and forced into slavery in Brazil hundreds of thousands of black people, to the extent that in 1840, the number of these slaves in Rio de Janeiro alone had reached 220,000. When Prince Pedro proclaimed the independence of Brazil in 1822, he decided to keep Rio de Janeiro as the capital of his new empire. Rio continued as the capital of Brazil after 1889, when the monarchy was replaced by a republic. It remained the capital of Brazil until the founding of Brasilia as the new capital.

303 solar years ago, on this day in 1713 AD, the siege and destruction of Fort Neoheroka was begun by the British, Dutch, and Germans in North Carolina against the local Amerindians, resulting in the slaughter of almost a thousand Amerindians of the Tuscarora nation and the imprisonment of hundreds of women and children who were sold into slavery in the Caribbean so they could not return to their homeland. The year before, the white men had killed over three hundred Tuscarora people and sold into slavery over a hundred women and children. The 4-year Tuscarora War (1711-to-1715) which resulted in the slaughter of thousands of Amerindians was the bloodiest conflict at the end of which the interior of North Carolina was effectively opened up for European colonization. When the first Europeans arrived in North Carolina in the 1650s, the Tuscarora had lived in peace with them, at a time when nearly every other colony in America was actively involved in some form of conflict with Native Americans. However, the white settlers increasingly encroached on Tuscarora land, raided villages to take slaves, and introduced epidemic diseases. After their defeat, most of the Tuscarora migrated north towards what later became New York where they were joined their Iroquoian cousins, before their ultimate annihilation by the white. The US has a bleak and blood record of genocide and ethnic cleansing.

205 solar years ago, on this day in 1811 AD, leaders of the former Mamluk or slave dynasty were massacred during a banquet at the Cairo citadel by Egypt’s new ruler, the Albanian general, Mohammad Ali Pasha, who had been sent as viceroy to Cairo by the Ottoman Sultan, following the end of Napoleon of France’s brief occupation.  Mohammad Ali modernized Egypt and the dynasty he established lasted till 1952 when King Farouq was overthrown by the military coup of Mohammad Najib and Jamal Abdun-Nasser.

201 solar years ago, on this day in 1815 AD, the 100-day restoration of the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte over France started following his escape from his place of exile, the island of Elba in the Mediterranean Sea after ten months. Finally, Napoleon was defeated by the combined armies of Britain and Prussia at the Battle of Waterloo on June 18, 1815, and was deported to the remote Saint Helena Island in the Atlantic Ocean, where he died six years later.

145 solar years ago, on this day in 1871 AD, following the defeat of France by Germany, the French national parliament dethroned Napoleon III and abolished the monarchic system, 67 years after Napoleon Bonaparte had declared himself as emperor by annulling the republican constitution of the French Revolution of 1789.

124 solar years ago, on this day in 1892 AD, the Japanese literary figure and author, Ryunosuke Akutagawa, was born in Tokyo. He is considered as one of the founders of modern literature in Japan. He has left behind a large number of books. He died in 1927.

120 solar years ago, on this day in 1896 AD, Henri Becquerel accidentally discovered radioactivity when he developed a photographic plate he left in a desk drawer with crystals of a uranium compound upon it. He found a fogged image of the uranium crystals resting on it, although the plate was wrapped in heavy black paper. He had left the objects together on 26th February, after postponing his intended experiment on phosphorescent emissions stimulated by the sun. Having being left in darkness, eventually he realized the crystals where not phosphorescing from sunlight. Instead he had found spontaneous and penetrating rays, independent of any input of energy. A glimpse of a new mystery of the atom had been revealed, investigated for years after by other scientists. He shared the 1903 Nobel Prize with Pierre and Marie Curie for their work on radioactivity.

118 solar years ago, on this day in 1898 AD, Puerto Rico Island in the Caribbean Sea was seized by American forces during the 4-year war against Spain. The US annexed this Island to its territory and turned it into a huge arsenal with thirteen military bases.

93 solar years ago, on this day in 1923 AD, Iranian musician, Morteza Hannaneh, was born. For a while, he was conductor of Tehran’s Symphonic Orchestra, and then joined Iran Radio. An expert in classical Iranian music, he died at the age of 67 in 1990. He authored several books, including the translation and commentary of the book “Maqased al-Ilhaan”.

62 solar years ago, on this day in 1954 AD, the Castle Bravo, a 15-megaton hydrogen bomb, was detonated on Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean by the US, resulting in the worst radioactive contamination ever caused, and total vaporization of one of the atolls that disappeared in the over 100-mile wide mushroom cloud. The huge explosion was equivalent to 1,000 atomic bombs of the kind the US dropped on Hiroshima. Radioactivity made the bomb site islands an unsafe wasteland for many decades to follow. The US is the world’s most dangerously armed nuclear power with a criminal record of dropping two atomic bombs on Japan in the closing days of World War 2, as a live field test, and is the chief culprit in release of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

37 solar years ago, on this day in 1979 AD, Iraqi Kurdish politician, Mullah Mustafa Barzani, while undergoing lung cancer treatment at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. died at the age of 76. His body was flown to Iran from the US and buried in Oshnavieh in Kurdistan Province, where his family was living in exile because of persecution by Iraq’s repressive Ba’th minority regime. In October 1993, Barzani's remains were taken across the border from Iran to Iraqi Kurdistan, to be reburied in his hometown of Barzan. In 1946, he had been chosen as leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). His son, Massoud Barzani, is the current leader of the KDP and was re-elected as the President of the Iraqi Kurdistan region.


This Day in History Tue, 01 Mar 2016 06:20:40 +0000
This Day in History (10-12-1394)

Today is Monday; 10th of the Iranian month of Esfand 1394 solar hijri; corresponding to 20th of the Islamic month of Jamadi al-Awwal 1437 lunar hijri; and February 29, 2016, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.


2061 solar years ago, on this day in 45 BC, the first Leap Day was recognized by proclamation of Roman dictator, Julius Caesar. Under the old Roman calendar the last day of February was the last day of the year. February 29 is a date that usually occurs every four years, and is called leap day. This day is added to the calendar in leap years as a corrective measure, because the Earth does not orbit around the sun in precisely 365 days.

804 solar years ago, on this day in 1212 AD, Honen, Japanese monk, founded Jodo-shu as the first independent branch of Japanese Pure Land Buddhism. It is the most widely practiced branch of Buddhism in Japan, along with Jodo Shinshu.

755 lunar years ago, on this day in 682 AH, Fakhr al-Muhaqqin Mohammad ibn Hassan al-Hilli was born in Hilla in Iraq. He was the son of the celebrated Allamah Hilli, under whose guidance he grew up and reached the status of Ijtehad – independent reasoning based on Holy Qur'an and Prophet’s Hadith. He lived a life of piety. He wrote prolifically on a wide variety of topics including exegesis of the holy Qur'an, theology, jurisprudence, and philosophy. Among his books, mention can be made of “al-Kafia”, and Tahsil an-Nejaat”. He passed away in 771 AH.

700 lunar years ago, on this day in 737 AH, the North African Islamic scholar, Abu Abdullah Mohammad ibn al-Haj al-Abdari al-Fasi, passed away in Egypt. He wrote the book “Madkhal ash-Shara ash-Shareef ala'l-Madhaheb” (Introduction to Islamic Jurisprudence According to the Schools of Thought). Published in 4 volumes, it treats many different subjects. His views are very much influenced by the Iranian scholar al-Ghazali's "Ihya’ Uloum ad-Din". He spent much of his life in Tunis and Egypt and, for some time taught at the Universities of Fez in Morocco.

175 solar years ago, on this day in 1841 AD, John Philip Holland, inventor of the modern submarine, was born in Liscannor, County Clare, in Ireland, into a family that had survived the Great Potato Famine. Following his immigration to America in 1873, Holland settled in Paterson, New Jersey where he taught at school and, with financial backing from the Irish Fenian Society, began developing his first submarine. In 1881, Holland launched the Fenian Ram, a 31-foot-long submersible powered by a 15-horsepower internal combustion engine. With Holland at the controls, the Ram dived 64 feet beneath New York Harbor that summer, only to be seized by the Fenians when they lost interest in the project. In 1895, the J.P. Holland Torpedo Boat Company won a contract from the U.S. Navy to build a submarine. After one discouraging failure, the second submarine, the Holland VI, passed her sea trials and was purchased by the US Navy on April 11, 1900 for $150,000

56 solar years ago, on this day in 1960, a major earthquake jolted the port city of Agadir in western Morocco on the Atlantic coast, resulting in the death of at least 12,000 people. It lasted for only 15 seconds, was followed by a Tsunami and was the most destructive earthquake in North Africa.

37 solar years ago, on this day in 1979 AD, the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (God bless him), returned to his seat of learning, holy Qom, after over 14 years in exile abroad, and 28 days after landing in Tehran to lead the people’s grassroots movement to victory. In 1964, after his critical speech in Qom against the injustices and anti-Islamic policies of the British-installed and US-backed Pahlavi regime, especially the disgraceful capitulation bill granting immunity to American criminals, he was arrested, brought to Tehran, and forced into exile – first to Turkey and then to holy Najaf in Iraq. On his return this day to Qom, where he had first moved in 1921 and stayed for the next 44 years to learn and then emerge as a leading Marja’ or Source of Emulation, he took up residence in a modest house. Several months later, responsibilities of supervising the smooth functioning of the Islamic Republic system in the face of internal and external plots, made him take up residence in Tehran for the remaining ten years of his fruitful life.  

28 solar years ago, on this day, in 1988 AD, following repeated defeats of the Ba'thist invaders at the Iranian borders, Saddam unleashed cowardly missile attacks on residential areas of Tehran and other cities. These US-supported dastardly missile attacks continued for almost 45 days, but failed to break the resistance of the Iranian people. As many as 16 missiles hit Tehran this day. It was the 4th time during the 8-year imposed war that Saddam had attacked Iranian cities.

24 solar years ago, on this day in 1992 AD, Muslims and Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina began casting ballots in an independence referendum; Serbs boycotted the vote, and started military activities and finally genocide of the Muslims in a bid to stall independence.


This Day in History Sun, 28 Feb 2016 18:07:03 +0000