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Thursday, 25 February 2016 07:18

This Day in History (06-12-1394)

This Day in History (06-12-1394)

Today is Thursday; 6th of the Iranian month of Esfand 1394 solar hijri; corresponding to 16th of the Islamic month of Jamadi al-Awwal 1437 lunar hijri; and February 25, 2016, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.


1388 solar years ago, on this day in 628 AD, the 22nd and last great emperor of the Sassanid Empire of Iran, Khosrau II, after a reign of 38 years was dethroned and imprisoned by his own son Qobad II (Kavadh), who three days later tortured him to death. Grandson of the wise, just and benevolent ruler, Khosrau I (Anushirvan), he styled himself Parviz (Victorious) but lacked the traits of virtue of his grandfather. Khosrau II had ascended the throne after revolting against his father, Hormizd IV, whom he deposed, blinded and killed. His downfall came shortly after he had haughtily torn the letter of invitation to Islam from the Almighty's Last and Greatest Messenger to mankind, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), and threatened to attack Hijaz from Iranian-controlled Yemen, following the reversal of his fortunes in the 26-year long Roman-Iranian War. Although in art and literature, Khosrau Parviz has been immortalized for his romance with the beautiful Armenian Christian princess, Shirin, who eventually became his chief wife, he faced fluctuating fortunes as ruler. Within a year of his accession he was ousted by the rebellious general, Bahram Chubin, fled via Syria to Constantinople, and regained the throne of Ctesiphon in 591 with help from Emperor Maurice of Byzantium (Eastern Roman Empire). In 602, the murder of Maurice and usurpation of power by Phocas, provided him the pretext to attack the Roman Empire, and in the next decade while Islam was publicly proclaimed for the first time in Mecca, Iranian armies led by the Generals, Shahrbaraz and Shahin, overran Syria, Palestine, Egypt and almost the whole of Anatolia (modern Turkey) right up to the walls of Constantinople (Istanbul). The victories of the Zoroastrian Persians over the Christian Romans gladdened the hearts of the Arab infidels and made them mock Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) and the Muslims, at which God revealed “Surah Roum”, giving tidings of the eventual triumph of the monotheists – indeed one of the eternal miracles of the holy Qur'an. In 622 – a decade after Heraclius had removed Phocas to become the new Roman Emperor, and coinciding with the Prophet's migration from Mecca to Medina – the fortunes of Khosrau II began to decline with defeats in Anatolia, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Georgia, Armenia, and Iraq; resulting in the rebellion of the nobles that ended his rule.

1388 solar years ago, on this day in 628 AD, Qobad II, on ascending the Sassanid throne after deposing his father, Khosrau II Pervez, with the help of refractory nobles, immediately ordered the execution of all his brothers and half-brothers, including heir-apparent, Mardanshah, son of the Armenian princess, Shirin. Named Shirvieh at birth, the new emperor, whose mother was Maria, (daughter of Roman Emperor Maurice), entered into truce with Emperor Heraclius on humiliating terms by handing over all the territorial gains of his father, in addition to paying unwarranted war indemnity. This incompetent ruler died after only six months in power under mysterious circumstances, and was succeeded by his 8-year old son, Ardashir III, who was deposed and killed 8 months later by the usurper General Shahrbaraz – only to be killed himself 40 days later. The rot that started with Khosrau’s ouster in 628 thus saw 7 more emperors rising to and falling from the throne of Ctesiphon in the space of only 4 years. The last of them, Yazdegerd III, who assumed power in 632 was destined to face the Muslim Arab invasion in 636 that within a decade brought down the curtain on the 425-year rule of the Sassanid Dynasty and saw the almost mass acceptance of Islam by the Iranians, thereby resulting in the birth of Islamic Iran that has since played a vital role in the flowering of the great Islamic civilization. 

1099 lunar years ago, on this day in 338 AH Ali ibn Buyeh Daylami, titled Emad ad-Dowlah, the founder of the Buwaiyhid dynasty of Iran, died. He first entered the services of the Iranian Samanid dynasty of Bukhara in Central Asia under Nasr II, and later joined Makan, who ruled Gorgan and Rey as a governor of the Samanids. He managed to occupy a high position and gained army commissions for his two younger brothers, Hassan and Ahmad. When Makan rebelled against the Samanids by seizing Khorasan, and was attacked by Mardavij the Ziyarid prince, Ali, along with his brothers, switched sides. Soon Ali was granted administrative rule over Karaj, near modern Tehran. However, when warned of Mardavij's plan to eliminate him, Ali with a small number of Daylamite troops decided to expand his position. Moving against the heretical Khurramites, who controlled the surrounding mountains, he gained control of the region, and in order to further secure his position, he decided to take control of Isfahan, then under control of the Abbasid governor Yaqut. However, Mardavij's appearance forced him to abandon Isfahan. Ali now took Arrajan, a city between Fars and Khuzestan, and after a series of battles, entered Shiraz, the capital of Fars. Mardavij continued to pose a threat but before he could invade Khuzestan, he was assassinated. Bolstered by many of Mardavij's Turkish mercenaries that had joined him, as well as the collapse of Ziyarid control over central Iran, Ali decided that Isfahan should be taken and sent his brother Hassan to accomplish this. After Hassan took Isfahan, Ali sent his other brother Ahmad to take Kerman. Ali next sent Ahmad to Khuzestan, from where he entered Iraq, and finally Baghdad. The Abbasid caliph then gave him the title of Mo'iz ad-Dowla, while Ali and Hassan were given the titles of Emad ad-Dowla and Rokn ad-Dowla, respectively. The Buwaiyhid dynasty ruled Iran, Iraq and Oman for 110 years, and were patrons of learning and literature Arabic and Persian. They also built many architectural monuments and encouraged the development of science and technology.

777 lunar years ago, on this day in 660 AH, the famous scholar, Izz od-Din Abdul-Aziz Ibn Abdus-Salaam, passed away in Cairo, Egypt, at the age of 83, after spending 21 years in Egypt. Born in Damascus, his expertise in Islamic jurisprudence made him the Friday Prayer Leader of the Omayyad Mosque, from where he delivered scathing sermons forbidding the selling of weaponry to the Crusaders with whom the Ayyubid ruler of Syria was openly dealing, despite the fact that these arms were being used against Muslims. As a result, he was dismissed and left for Egypt where he was welcomed. He got into controversies in Cairo as well, but remained there till his death.

367 solar years ago, on this day in 1649 AD, Iran’s Safavid Empire retook the strategic border city of Qandahar in what is now Afghanistan from the Mughal Empire of the Subcontinent. Qandahar was the bone of contention between the two otherwise friendly empires, and was mostly under Iranian rule. Upon hearing of the Mughal debacle in Balkh, Shah Abbas II resolved to liberate Qandahar. He set up camp in Herat and in December 1648, marched towards Qandahar and besieged it. In two months the fort and its surroundings capitulated and were handed over to Iran’s suzerainty by its governor Daulat Khan after 11 years of Mughal occupation. Shahjahan immediately ordered a counterattack under his son Prince Aurangzeb, who was defeated by the Iranians and withdrew. In 1952 the Iranians beat back another invasion by Aurangzeb. The next year Shahjahan sent his elder son Prince Darashikoh with a huge force that also failed to break the defences of the Iranians and retreated after a 7-month siege. The last futile attempt by the Mughals against Qandahar was in 1555. Qandahar was lost by Iran to the Hotaki Pashtuns in 1721, liberated by Nader Shah in 1738 and seized in 1747 by Ahmad Shah Abdali Durrani, the founder of Afghanistan.

96 solar years ago, on this day in 1920 AD, French archaeologist, Marcel-Auguste Dieulafoy, died at the age of 75. In 1884-86 he undertook major excavations at the historical site of Susa (modern Shush, Iran) uncovering the palaces of the ancient Persian emperors, Darius I the Great and Artaxerxes II. He was helped by a French physician at the Qajarid court in Tehran to reopen the 1852 excavations done by W.K. Loftus. Dieulafoy's exploration resulted in revealing part of the palace and other structures, and in settling the topographical details of the city. He also recovered unique and beautiful features of art and architecture, including the pillars with capitals of bulls' heads, three great porticoes and the hall of columns, the frieze of lions, and that of archers now in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

62 solar years ago, on this day in 1954 AD, Syrian freedom seekers launched their campaign to rid the country of the inefficient and foreign backed rule of President Adib Shishekli. All strata of the society participated in this campaign to bring about the downfall of the Shishekli regime and formation of a united national government under President Hashem al-Atasi.

30 solar years ago, on this day in 1986 AD, the 21-year dictatorial rule of Filipino President, Ferdinand Marcos, ended with his fleeing the country along with his family. Elected president in 1965, he started his repressive rule with US support and usage of military forces. In 1973, he proclaimed himself permanent president much to the resentment of the people, who felt no choice but to start their political and armed struggle that climaxed in the popular uprising of the 1980s and the overthrow of Marcos’ dictatorship. Muslims account for nearly 20 percent of the Filipino population and are mostly concentrated in Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago that used to be independent sultanates before the arrival of the Portuguese and forced conversion of the Philippines to the Roman Catholic sect of Christianity.

25 solar years ago, on this day in 1991 AD, Warsaw Pact member states met in Budapest, the Hungarian capital, to formally announce dissolution of the ailing pact, founded by the Eastern Bloc countries in May 14, 1955, under the leadership of the Soviet Union in order to collectively thwart any attack by the West. Made up of the Soviet Union, East Germany, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, and Albania, it was a counterbalance to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). The goodwill dissolution gesture after the end of the Cold War was not reciprocated by the West, whose military arm, NATO, not only continues its unwarranted existence but has pursued a policy of eastward expansion in the absence of Warsaw Pact.

22 solar years ago, on this day in 1994 AD, American-Zionist solider of German Jewish parentage, Baruch Goldstein, opened fire on rows of Palestinian Muslims praying in congregation at the shrine of Prophet Abraham (AS) in the city of al-Khalil in the West Bank of River Jordan. As a result of this cowardly act of terrorism 29 people were martyred and scores of others wounded. This incident (of February 25) occurred in the blessed month of Ramadhan and led to the anger of the civilized world. As a result, the Arab compromisers had no other choice but to postpone their dubious negotiations with the illegal Zionist entity.

7 solar years ago, on this day in 2009 AD, Iranian and Russian technicians conducted a test run of Iran's first nuclear power plant near Bushehr on the Persian Gulf – a major step toward launching full operations at the facility. Iran, as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), has peaceful nuclear programme under supervision of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).


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