Today is Monday; 26th of the Iranian month of Farvardin 1398 solar hijri; corresponding to 9th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban 1440 lunar hijri; and April 15, 2019, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1082 lunar years ago, on this day in 358 AH, Muttaqi-Billah, the 21st self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime died, shortly after being deposed and blinded by the Turkic general, Tuzun, following a 4-year reign. The caliphate or political rule of the Islamic state that was snatched from its rightful inheritor, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), at the scandalous gathering of Saqifa Bani Sa'da, by a group of Sahaba – recent converts from years of idolatry – no sooner did Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) leave the mortal world, had become so insignificant after the tyrannically Godless rule of the Omayyads and the early Abbasids, that it now depended on the whims of the neo-Muslim Turkic slave guards who played havoc in Baghdad. Iran and the east had long became independent of the Abbasid caliphs; Egypt and Africa had been lost to the Fatemids, Arabia and Yemen were held by the Carmathians and local chieftains, Syria and Palestine were no longer under the caliphate, and even in Iraq there were revolts in Basra and Waset, while Mosul had become independent. In northern Syria and Anatolia, the Byzantine attempts to advance was being thwarted only because of the bravery of the Hamdanid Shi'ite Muslim dynasty whose protection Muttaqi-Billah had sought on becoming caliph. Naser od-Dowla Hamdani saw this as an opportunity to add all of Iraq to his realm and marched along with the caliph, but because of the well-organized opposition of the Turkic forces he found it difficult to control Baghdad. The caliph after wondering from city to city threw himself at the mercy of Tuzun, who broke his promise and deposed, blinded and replaced him with another puppet, al-Mustakfi-Billah.
959 lunar years ago, on this day in 481 AH, the renowned Egyptian Imami theologian, Abu’l-Qassim Abdul-Aziz Ibn Barraj Tarabulusi, passed away. He was born in Fatemid Ismaili Shi'ite Egypt and grew up there. He came to Iraq for higher religious studies and in Baghdad studied under such great scholars as Seyyed Murtaza and after him Abu Ja'far Shaikh at-Tayefa Tusi. He settled in Tripoli (Tarabulus) in what is now Lebanon and served there as the chief judge for almost thirty years in addition to being the representative of Shaikh Tusi. His views are valued by prominent theologians. He trained many prominent scholars and penned numerous books on theology and Islamic philosophy. His well-known book is "al-Jawame' al-Faqih”, which is in the form of questions and answers and is considered highly significant till this day. His other works include "al-Kamel" and "al-Mo’jiz".
863 lunar years ago, on this day in 577 AH, the philologist, Abu’l-Barakaat Abdur-Rahman ibn Mohammad ibn-al-Anbari, passed away in Baghdad. A product of the Nizamiyya Academy set up by Nizam ol-Mulk Tusi, the Iranian vizier of the Seljuqid Empire, he later became teacher at his alma mater. He wrote several books including "al-Asraar al-Arabiyya”.
849 lunar years ago, on this day in 591 AH, the al-Muwahhedeen ruler, Yaqoub Ibn Tashfeen al-Mansour crossed from Morocco into Spain to defeat King Alfonso VIII of Castile in the Battle of Alarcos following raids by Christians on the territories of Spanish Muslims. Some two decades later, when Ibn Tashfeen was no more, the Pope in Rome called for a crusade against Muslims in Spain, and Alfonso VIII heading an alliance of Christian rulers defeated the al-Muwahhedeen ruler to occupy large parts of Andalusia.
624 solar years ago, on this day in 1395 AD, Amir Timur (Tamerlane) defeated Tokhtamysh, the ruler of the vast Golden Horde Khanate of Eurasia, at the Volga in the Battle of Terek River, during the bloody 16-year struggle between the two, known as the Tokhtamysh–Timur War. The Golden Horde capital city, Sarai, was razed to the ground and Amir Edigu, installed on the throne. Tokhtamysh escaped to Lithuania, where with help from Duke Vytautas, he made a bid to regain his throne, but the combined forces were defeated in the Battle of the Vorskla River in 1399 by Edigu and Timur’s general, Khan Temur Qutlugh. In the late 1370s, Timur had helped Tokhtamysh to assume supreme power in the White Horde against the latter's uncle Urus Khan. Tokhtamysh united the White and Blue Hordes to form the Golden Horde, and launched a massive military campaign between 1381 and 1382 to re-establish Turko-Tartar Muslim suzerainty over Russia. In 1383, after defeating Lithuania, Tokhtamysh thirsted for territorial ambitions in Iran and Central Asia, by turning against his ally, Timur, who resolved to punish him. After a series of defeats, Tokhtamysh was pursued and killed in Tyumen, Siberia, in 1406.
567 solar years ago, on this day in 1452 AD, the Italian painter, sculptor, architect and engineer, Leonardo da Vinci, was born. He designed buildings, bridges, canals, forts and war machines. He kept huge notebooks sketching his ideas. Among these, he was fascinated by birds and flying, and his sketches include such fantastic designs as flying machines. These drawings demonstrate a genius for mechanical invention and insight into scientific inquiry. He is regarded as one of the greatest painters of all times, best known for such masterpieces as "Mona Lisa” and "The Last Supper”. He died in 1519.
550 solar years ago, on this day in 1469 AD, founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak, was born in what is now Nankana Sahib, Punjab, near Lahore in Pakistan. On growing up he became disillusioned by the weird practices of the Hindus such as idol-worship, the divisive caste system, etc. He travelled widely, as far as Baghdad and holy Mecca, and as is clear from his teachings, he became profoundly impressed by the egalitarian teachings of the divine message of Islam. He thus taught that God is One, is Omnipotent, Omnipresent, without shape and form, not bound by time, and cannot be perceived by the physical eye of creatures. According to him the Sikhs should have control over their internal vices and adhere to the virtues clarified in their religious book, the Guru Granth Sahib. He died in 1539 at the age of 70. Among prohibitions in Sikhism are idol-worship and superstition, ban on consumption of all sorts of intoxicants (alcohol, drugs, and even tobacco), abstention from adultery and extra marital relations, and refraining from cutting hair. The Sikh population is estimated to be 30 million worldwide, with the majority of them living in India, especially in Punjab State.
530 solar years ago, on this day in 1489 AD, the Ottoman master architect, Me’mar Sinan, was born in Cyprus to Greek Christian parents. At the age of 22 he converted to Islam and joined the Sultan’s court in Istanbul, where he became the chief architect and civil engineer for Suleiman the Magnificent, Salim II, and Murad III. He designed and built over three hundred structures, including mosques, bridges, caravanserais, etc., in Istanbul, Damascus, Aleppo and other cities. His masterpieces include, the Suleimaniyah Mosque Complex in Istanbul. He is often compared to the Italian Sculptor, Michelangelo.
401 lunar years ago, on this day in 1039 AH, a devastating flood hit the holy city of Mecca due to torrential rains that drowned over 4000 people and engulfed the holy Ka’ba for several days. Following the gradual receding of waters, the walls of the holy Ka’ba including the place of the Hajar al-Aswad (the sacred Black Stone) were reinforced by the custodian of the Grand Sacred Mosque, Iran's Seyyed Aqa Zain al-Abedin Kashi, who has recorded it in his book titled "Mafraha al-Anaam fi Tasis Bayt-Allah Haraam." Kashi who was a student of scholar Mullah Mohammad Amin al-Astarabadi, was martyred in Mecca by the enemies of Prophet Mohammad’s (SAWA)Ahl al-Bayt.
377 solar years ago, on this day in 1642 AD, Suleiman II, the 20th Ottoman sultan and 13th self-styled Turkish caliph, was born to Ashoub Sultan, a Serb concubine of Sultan Ibrahim, originally named Katrina. Since the age of 9 he was confined for 36 years to the "qafas” or cage, which was a kind of luxurious prison for princes at the palace, designed to ensure that none could organize a rebellion, until an armed mutiny ended the long almost 40-year reign of his half-brother Mohammad IV and brought him to the throne. Suleiman II and his grand vizier Fazel Mustafa Pasha immediately reorganized the army and carried out major fiscal reforms at a time when the Austrians were making inroads in the Ottoman territory. Although Suleiman’s request to Moghal Emperor, Aurangzeb, for assistance against the Hapsburgs could not be materialized due to the Deccan War against the Shi’a Muslim sultanate of Golkandah- Haiderabad, he successfully turned the tide of the war in Europe by reconquering Belgrade in 1690. He died the next year after a 4-year reign after crushing uprisings in Bulgaria and Macedonia.
312 solar years ago, on this day in 1707 AD, Swiss mathematician, physicist, and astronomer, Leonhard Euler, was born. He made discoveries in mechanics and has left behind valuable notes about the changes in planets. He authored several books in chemistry and metaphysics. At the age of 60, he went blind and died in 1783.
263 solar years ago, on this day in 1755 AD, British writer Dr. Samuel Johnson published his "Dictionary of the English Language”, a selective English lexicon, after 9 years of work. The 1st edition had 42,773 entries.
254 solar years ago, on this day in 1765 AD, Russian poet and literary figure, Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov, died at the age of 54. Through extensive research, he standardized the Russian literary language and is known as Father of Russian Literature.
154 solar years ago, on this day in 1865 AD US President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, a few days after victory of the Unionists in the Civil War against the Confederates and the end of slavery.
107 solar years ago, on this day in 1912 AD, two hours and 40 minutes after colliding with an iceberg, the luxury British ocean liner "Titanic” sank in the North Atlantic Ocean off Newfoundland with the loss of about 1,522 lives. Only 705 passengers and crew survived the disaster.
83 solar years ago, on this day in 1936 AD, the 3-year long "Great Arab Revolt" against British occupation of Palestine and the illegal migration of European Jews to this Muslim land, started, five months after martyrdom of the famous combatant, Ezz ed-Din Qassam. His death at the hands of the British generated widespread outrage as huge crowds accompanied Qassam's body to his grave in Haifa. The revolt consisted of two phases. The first phase was directed primarily by the urban and elitist Higher Arab Committee (HAC) and was focused mainly on strikes and other forms of political protest. The uprising was brutally suppressed by the British Army and its armed Zionist agents, who killed over 2,000 Palestinians. However, the figure is far higher as recently disclosed by the Walid Khalidi estimates which put the number of casualties for the Arabs at 19,792, with 5,032 dead. Of these 3,832 Palestinians were directly killed by the British, while the remaining 1,200 were killed by Zionist terrorist gangs. In addition, over 14,760 Palestinian men, women and children were wounded. In other words, over ten percent of the adult male Palestinian Arab population between the ages of 20 and 60 years was killed, wounded, imprisoned or exiled.
73 solar years ago, on this day in 1946 AD, Ayatollah Shaikh Mohammad Taqi Bafqi passed away at the age of 72 in Qom, and was laid to rest in the holy mausoleum of Hazrat Fatema al-Ma’soumah (SA), the daughter of Imam Musa al-Kazem (AS) – the 7th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). Born in Bafq in Yazd Province, he completed his higher studies in the seminary of holy Najaf in Iraq under such eminent scholars as Akhound Khorasani and Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Kazem Yazdi. On his return to Iran nineteen years later, he settled in Qom to assist Ayatollah Sheikh Abdul-Karim Ha’eri in reviving the seminary of this holy city. He was a staunch defender of the Shar’ia and when in 1928 the British installed Pahlavi potentate, Reza Khan, tried to insult Islamic sanctities by entering the holy shrine of Ma’soumah (SA), along with unveiled women, he personally rebuked the dictator, who whipped him in public and exiled him to Rayy near Tehran. While in Rayy, Ayatollah Bafqi was shocked at the forced unveiling of Iranian women on the orders of the Pahlavi dictator. In 1935, he suffered a stroke and some of his limbs became paralyzed on learning of the desecration of the Gowharshad Mosque in Mashhad, adjacent to the holy shrine of the Prophet’s 8th Infallible Heir, Imam Reza (AS), and the massacre of pilgrims by the regime. He returned to Qom in 1941 when Reza Khan was removed from the throne by his British masters and taken out of Iran.
39 solar years ago, on this day in 1980 AD, French existentialist philosopher, novelist and dramatist, Jean-Paul Sartre died in Paris at the age of 74. His work included "Being and Time" and "Nausea". He won the 1964 Nobel Prize for literature.
39 solar years ago, on this day in 1982 AD, , Khalid Ahmad al-Islambouli, the 27-year old Egyptian army officer who executed Egypt's President Anwar Sadaat in revolutionary style during the annual 6th October victory parade in 1981 for having signed in 1978 the treasonous Camp David Accord with the illegal Zionist Entity, was martyred after a sham trial by a military tribunal, along with his three fellow revolutionaries – Junior Sergeant Abdul-Hameed Abdus Salaam, Corporal Ata Tayel Hameeda Raheel, and Corporal Hussain Abbas. During the trial Khalid Islambouli proudly told the audience: O People! We have killed the Pharaoh.
33 solar years ago, on this day in 1986 AD, the US attacked the Libyan cities of Tripoli and Benghazi, on the pretext of an alleged Libyan bomb explosion in a restaurant in Germany that killed three US soldiers. The US air raid left several innocent Libyans martyred and wounded.
27 solar years ago, on this day in 1992 AD, Afghan Mujahedeen overthrew the Communist regime of President Najibullah in Kabul three years after the Soviet withdrawal from this Muslim country.
25 solar years ago, on this day in 1994 AD, an agreement was signed in Morocco to set up the World Trade Organization (WTO) by member countries of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which now became moribund. The US and certain Western states exploit WTO to make world countries bow to their illegal interests. Economists believe that the removal of trade tariffs is to the benefit of Western states and to the detriment of Third World Countries.
21 solar years ago, on this day in 1998 AD, Cambodian dictator Pol Pot died of a heart attack in Anlong Veng, northern Cambodia at the age of 73. It was later reported that he killed himself with malaria pills and tranquilizers after learning that an aide planned to hand him over to the US. The combined effects of executions, forced labour, malnutrition and poor medical care caused the deaths of approximately 25 percent of the Cambodian population during his rule – in all, an estimated 3 million people, out of a population of slightly over 8 million.
11 solar years ago, on this day in 2009 AD, Iranian scientists at the Royan Research Institute cloned a goat and planned future experiments for treatment for stroke patients. The female goat, named Hana, was born in the city of Isfahan in central Iran.
(Courtesy: IRIB English Radio – http://parstoday.com/en)