Today is Monday, 23rd of the Iranian month of Mordad 1396 solar hijri; corresponding to 21st of the Islamic month of Zil-Qa’dah 1438 lunar hijri; and August 14, 2017, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1435 solar years ago, on this day in 582 AD, Emperor Tiberius II Constantine of the Byzantine or Eastern Roman Empire, died at the age of 47 after an 8-year reign during the war he had restarted with the Sassanid Empire of Iran, in Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Armenia. The seesaw struggle was a strategic blunder by Tiberius, who on becoming ruler had concluded a deceitful 3-year truce with Khosrow Anushirvan, the 22nd Sassanid Emperor, in order to buy time for renewal of the war that had started two years earlier in 572 by his predecessor Justinian, and was to last 19 years till 591. The almost four centuries of inconclusive warfare between the Sassanids and Byzantines (respectively the heirs of the warring Parthian and Roman empires), sapped the energy of the two superpowers and led to their collapse as Arab Muslim armies swept across the region to completely change the destiny of the region, in which Iran soon emerged as a powerful Islamicized pole with far greater influence on the region and beyond than in pre-Islamic eras.
751 lunar years ago, on this day in 687 AH, the physician and Shafei jurisprudent, Ala od-Din Abu'l-Hassan Ali ibn Abi-Hazm al-Qarshi ad-Dimashqi, known popularly as Ibn an-Nafees, passed away at the age of 77 in Egypt. He is famous for being the first to describe the pulmonary circulation of the blood, three centuries before the European scientist, Miguel Sereto. Born in Damascus, he attended the famous medical college Bimaristan-e Noori, and apart from medicine, he learned jurisprudence, literature and theology. At the age of 23 he moved to Egypt, where he worked at the an-Nassri Hospital, and subsequently as the chief of physicians at the al-Mansuriyya Hospital. His most voluminous book is "ash-Shamil fi't-Tibb", which was planned to be an encyclopedia comprising 300 volumes, but was not completed as a result of his death. His book on ophthalmology is also an original work. Another of his famous books is on the effects of diet on health, entitled "Kitab al-Mukhtar fi’l-Aghziya". His commentaries include one on the ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates' book, and several volumes on the Iranian Islamic genius Abu Ali Ibn Sina's "al-Qanoun fi’t-Tibb” (The Canon of Medicine). He also wrote a commentary on Hunayn Ibn Ishaq's book.
736 solar years ago, on this day in 1281 AD, during the second Mongol attempt to conquer Japan, a fleet sent by Kublai Khan disappeared in a typhoon. A Mongol army of 45,000 from Korea, joined an armada of 120,000 men from China to land at Hakozaki Bay. The typhoon destroyed the fleet. Survivors ended up as slaves.
602 solar years ago, on this day in 1415 AD, Henry the Navigator of Portugal, taking advantage of the weakening of Muslim rule in Spain and northwest Africa, launched a surprise attack on the Maranid Dynasty of Morocco and occupied the port city of Ceuta in the battle of the same name. He mercilessly slaughtered Muslim defenders in what is known as "baptism of blood”.
425 solar years ago, on this day in 1592 AD, the naval Battle of Hansan Island, also known as the Battle of Hansando, occurred near the Korean island of Hansan, and was one of the most important battles of the Imjin War. Korean admiral Yi Sun-sin destroyed at least 47 Japanese ships and captured 12. Yi's victory in this battle became a turning point in the campaign. This battle is considered the third largest naval battle in world history, after the Battle of Salamis between the Greeks and Achaemenid Persia, and the Battle of Gravelines between England and Spain.
419 solar years ago, on this day in 1598 AD, during the Nine Years' War, in the Battle of the Yellow Ford, Irish forces under Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, defeated an English expeditionary force under Henry Bagenal.
175 solar years ago, on this day in 1842 AD, during the genocidal conflicts waged by the US against the native Amerindians, the Second Seminole War ended, and the Seminole people were forcibly relocated to Oklahoma from their ancestral homes in Florida. The US has a very black, bleak, and bloody record of genocide and persecution of the native Amerindians and the black people.
174 lunar years ago, on this day in 1264 AH, a year after his ascension to the Peacock Throne, the 16-year old Naser od-Din Shah Qajar appointed his chief tutor Vazir-e Nizam (army commander) Mirza Mohammad Taqi Khan as Prime Minister (Shakhs-e Awwal-e Iran), with the supplementary titles of Amir-e Kabir and Atabak. "Amir-e Kabir” came to be known as his common designation, while "Atabak” was used for the first time since the Seljuq period in view of the tutorial relationship between the minister and his young master. Amir Kabir, who rose from humble origin because of his great talents, had earlier served the country in diplomatic capacity with distinction during the prolonged negotiations in Erzurum in what is now Turkey for delineation of the long Iran-Ottoman border. As Prime Minister, his achievements included the vaccination of Iranians against smallpox; economic development of the fertile Khuzestan Province; foundation in Tehran of the Dar ol-Fonoun Academy (for teaching medicine, surgery, pharmacology, natural history, mathematics, geology, and natural sciences to train the civilian and military staff); cancellation of the one-sided treaties with the Russians and the British; launching of a newspaper; crackdown on the seditious Babi-Bahai plot against Islam and the country; and execution of the heretic Mohammad Ali Bab. The intrigues of local agents of foreign powers because of the loss of their vested interests made them poison the ears of the hardly 20-year old Shah to dismiss this efficient servant of state from his post in 1268 AH after hardly four years as Prime Minister. He was exiled to Kashan where on the orders of Naser od-Din Shah he was killed while in the "hammam” (bathhouse) of the famous garden-pavilion of Feen.
113 solar years ago, on this day in 1904 AD, the cattle-herding Hereros, a tribe of Southwest Africa (later Namibia), became the first genocide victims of the 20th century, when the German occupiers launched a brutal massacre. General Lothar von Trotha, sent by Kaiser Wilhelm II to put down the native uprising, drove the Hereros into the desert and issued a formal "extermination order" (Schrecklichkeit) authorizing the slaughter of all who refused to surrender. Out of some 80,000 Hereros, 60,000 were killed. Of the 15,000 who surrendered, half of them died in prison camps, while some 9,000 escaped to neighboring countries. In 2004 a senior German government official apologized for the genocide during a ceremony in Namibia marking the 100th anniversary of the massacre. In 2005 a German minister acknowledged violence by colonial Germany and admitted that following uprisings, the surviving Herero, Nama and Damara were interned in camps and put to forced labor of such brutality that many did not survive.
72 solar years ago, on this day in 1945 AD, Japan surrendered during World War II and was occupied by the US, which a few days earlier had committed crimes against humanity by destroying the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic bombs, even though Japanese were on full retreat from war zones.
70 solar years ago, on this day in 1947 AD, Pakistan was born as an independent Muslim country on division of the Subcontinent by the British on the eve of their departure from India. It was the result of the long struggle against colonial rule by the Muslim League led by Mohammad Ali Jinnah – an Ismaili Shi’a Muslim who later became Athna Ash’ari (Twelver). The new country was made up of West Pakistan – on the borders of Afghanistan and Iran – and East Pakistan on the borders of Myanmar. In 1971, the eastern part seceded and became Bangladesh.
65 solar years ago, on this day in 1952 AD, French Economist, Alfred Sauvy, first used the term "Third World”, in an article in the French magazine L'Observateur to describe underdeveloped countries. He was paraphrasing a remark by Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyes, a delegate to the Estates General in 1789, who had said the Third Estate is everything, has nothing, but wants to be something.
46 solar years ago, on this day in 1971 AD, Britain ended its physical presence in Bahrain by declaring it independent, after reaching a deal two years earlier with the Pahlavi regime of Iran against reclaiming it, since for ages it was part of successive Persian Empires. The British have continued to exercise behind-the-scenes control over the affairs of Bahrain, along with the US, which has based its 5th naval fleet on this Persian Gulf island state. For the past six-and-a-half years, Bahrain is the scene of public protests by the vast majority of people against the repressive rule of the minority regime of Aal-e Khalifa – originally pirates from Khor Abdullah waterway between Kuwait and Iraq’s Basra, who had occupied Bahrain by taking advantage of Iran’s weakness, and then sought British protection in the 19th century. Site of the ancient Dilmun civilization and famous for its pearls, Bahrain on the advent of Islam became an important centre for followers of the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). It has produced prominent Imami ulema.
43 solar years ago, on this day in 1974 AD, following massacre of 125 Muslims in Cyprus, the Turkish government dispatched troops to take control of the northern area of this island, which for centuries was part of the Ottoman Empire until Britain imposed the Cyprus Convention in 1878 to take over the Mediterranean Sea’s 3rd largest and most populous island that had a Muslim majority. Though the Ottomans retained nominal suzerainty, it was obvious that Cyprus was lost by the Muslim World, since the British lost no time in changing demographic patterns and making it a virtual Greek island. Today two-thirds of Cyprus is administered by Greeks, while the rest is called the ‘Turkish Republic of Cyprus’.
31 solar years ago, on this day in 1986 AD, the exegete of the holy Qur’an, Ayatollah Ali Najafi Kashani, passed away in his hometown Kashan at the age of 65. A product of the famous seminary of holy Najaf in Iraq, where he attained the status of Ijtehad, on return to Iran, after a three-year stay at the seminary of holy Qom, he took up teaching in Kashan. Among his books is "Sincerity, the Greatest Merit”.
11 solar years ago, on this day in 2006 AD, following the UN issuance of Security Council Resolution 1701 and its acceptance by Lebanon’s Hezbollah, the 33-day Zionist-imposed war ended. The war was a US-Zionist plot, backed by reactionary Arab regimes, to try to destroy Lebanon's legendry anti-terrorist movement. But people's resistance, coupled with the military prowess of the Hezbollah, shattered the myth of military invincibility of Israel with tanks, ships and aircraft reduced to junk. Over 4,000 missiles fired at the Zionist entity by the Hezbollah endeared the movement and its dynamic leader, Seyyed Hassan Nasrollah, to Arab and other Muslims worldwide, including conscientious thinkers in the West.
10 solar years ago, on this day in 2007 AD, in Iraq, Takfiri terrorists blew up through remote control four explosive-laden trucks in Qahataniya killing over 800 Kurds of the non-Muslim Izadi creed. Two years back, the Takfiri terrorists uprooted from their homes nearly 50,000 Izadis in the Sinjar area of Iraq near the Syrian border. Several thousand Izadi girls and women are being held as sex slaves by the Takfiris – with the tacit approval of the US and Arab reactionary regimes.
(Courtesy: IRIB English Radio – http://parstoday.com/en)