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Saturday, 05 March 2016 04:59

This Day in History (15-12-1394)

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.

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