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Monday, 07 March 2016 09:21

This Day in History (17-12-1394)

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.

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