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Thursday, 03 March 2016 06:34

This Day in History (13-12-1394)

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.

AS/SS

 

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