Today is Wednesday; 22nd of the Iranian month of Khordad 1398 solar hijri; corresponding to 8th of the Islamic month of Shawwal 1440 lunar hijri; and June 12, 2019, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1223 solar years ago, on this day in 796 AD, Hisham I, the 2nd Omayyad emir of Muslim Spain died at the age of 40 after eight years of rule. Born to Abdur-Rahman I and his wife, Halul, a couple of years after his fugitive father, fleeing persecution of his clan in Syria and Egypt by the Abbasids, arrived in Andalusia, and was installed as ruler by Syrian commanders. During his rule, Hisham faced with threats from France, sent his general Abdul-Malik ibn Abdul-Wahid ibn Mughith across the Pyrenees mountains to defeat Louis the Pious’ Carolingian mentor William of Orange. Despite this victory, the Muslims did not advance further into France as they had done half-a-century earlier, advancing till Poitiers before their historic defeat in 732. In 794, Ibn Mughith suppressed a Basque rebellion and soundly defeated the Christian principality of Asturias in southern France. Hisham was succeeded by his son, al-Hakam, who was a very cruel ruler.
1068 lunar years ago, on this day in 372 AH, the greatest ruler of the Iranian Buwaiyhid dynasty of Iran-Iraq-Bahrain-Oman, Adhud od-Dowla Daylami, passed away in Baghdad and was laid to rest in holy Najaf in the mausoleum of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS). Born in Shiraz and named Fana Khosrow, he was the son of Amir Rukn od-Dowla, and became ruler of Fars after the death of his childless uncle, Amir Emad od-Dowla. He was sent by his father to crush a rebellion by his cousin Ezz od-Dowla, on whose defeat he claimed the emirate of Iraq for himself. On his father’s death, as senior Amir of the Buwaiyhid family, Adhud od-Dowla chose as his capital, Baghdad, which was suffering from violence and instability due to sectarian sedition by the Hanbali sect. In order to bring peace and stability, he banned public demonstrations and polemics. He patronized a number of scholars such as the celebrated Shaikh Mufid, and renovated the holy shrines in Najaf and Karbala. He also undertook several scientific projects, such as the observatory in Isfahan, and the dam known till this day as "Band-e Amir” between Shiraz and Istakhr to irrigate some 300 villages. He also ordered digging of the Haffar Canal joining the Karun River to the Arvand Roud at the confluence of the Rivers Tigris and Euphrates. He embellished Baghdad with several buildings including the famous public hospital known as "Bimaristan-e Adhudi”, where the great Iranian physician Zakariyya ar-Raazi used to practice.
875 solar years ago, on this day in 1144 AD, the Iranian Sunni Muslim exegete of the holy Qur'an, narrator of hadith, and linguist, Abu'l-Qasim Mohammad Ibn Omar Zamakhshari, died at the age of 72 in the city of Gurganj in the ancient Iranian land of Khwarezm, which today is divided between the Central Asian republics of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. He was born in the village of Zamakhshar and studied in Samarqand and Bukhara. He later lived in Baghdad for some years. He followed the rationalistic Mu'tazali doctrine and was known as "Jarallah” (literally ‘Neighbour of God’), since he stayed for several years in the city of Mecca, spending his time at the holy Ka'ba, the symbolic House of God Almighty. He wrote both in Persian and Arabic, and is best known for "al-Kashshaaf”, a commentary on the holy Qur'an, which is famous for its deep linguistic analysis of the ayahs. Another of his famous books is "Rabi al-Abraar”, a voluminous reference work in which he has exposed the dubious parentage of Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan. He has recorded many of the God-given merits of the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) and their superiority over all Muslims.
779 solar years ago, on this day in 1240 AD, an inter-faith debate, known as the "Disputation of Paris”, started between a Christian monk and four rabbis, on the orders of King Louis IX of France. Nicholas Donin, a member of the Franciscan Order and a convert to Christianity from Judaism, represented the Christian side against the Jewish Rabbis named Yechiel of Paris, Moses of Coucy, Judah of Melun, and Samuel ben Solomon of Chateau-Thierry. Donin had translated the Talmud – a Jewish religious book written around 200 AD, and pressed 35 charges against it, by referring to a series of blasphemous passages about Prophet Jesus (AS) and his virtuous mother, the Virgin Mary (SA), whom the Jews slander. In one of the Talmudic passages, for example, Prophet Jesus (AS) is depicted as being cast into Hell, while another passage permits Jews to kill all non-Jews. The Talmud, which is a distortion of the monotheistic teachings of Prophet Moses (AS), also contains insulting remarks against Adam the father of mankind, and against Prophet Noah (AS). At the end of the long debate lasting several days, Christian theologians condemned the Talmud to be burned as a blasphemous book. On June 17, 1244 twenty-four carriage loads of Jewish religious manuscripts, collected from various parts of France, were set on fire in the streets of Paris.
638 solar years ago, on this day in 1381 AD, The Peasants' Revolt occurred in England. Also known as Tyler's Rebellion, it was not only the most extreme and widespread insurrection in English history but also the best-documented popular rebellion to have occurred during medieval times. The Tower of London was stormed and those summarily executed included the Lord Chancellor (Simon of Sudbury, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was particularly associated with the poll tax), and the Lord Treasurer (Robert de Hales, the Grand Prior of the Knights Hospitallers of England). The names of some of the leaders of the revolt, John Ball, Watt Tyler and Jack Straw, are still familiar in popular culture, although little is known of them. The revolt later came to be seen as a mark of the beginning of the end of serfdom in medieval England, although the revolt itself was a failure. It increased awareness in the upper classes of the need for the reform of feudalism in England and the appalling misery felt by the lower classes as a result of their enforced near-slavery. It was brutally suppressed by the king and a large number of peasants were executed.
483 solar years ago, on this day in 1534 AD, the Turkish navy led by Khair od-Din Barbarossa allowed Giulia Gonzaga to kidnap people and plunder Naples in Italy.
479 solar years ago, on this day in 1540 AD, the country known as Chile in South America was occupied by the Spanish invaders, after earlier defeats at the hands of the indigenous Mapuche people. The Spanish brutally suppressed the Amerindians and plundered the rich resources of the land. In 1817, the Argentinean commander, Jose de San Martin, attacked the Spanish and liberated Chile in the following year.
469 solar years ago, on this day in 1550 AD, the city of Helsinki, Finland – belonging to Sweden at the time – was founded by King Gustav I of Sweden.
116 lunar years ago, on this day in 1324 AH, the first issue of daily "Majlis” was published in Iran by Constitutional Movement activist Mirza Seyyed Mohammad Sadeq Tabatabai. Following announcement of the freedom of press, several papers were published in different Iranian cities, but "Majlis” was the first daily circulated after opening of Iran’s first parliament. It focused in detail on debates during parliamentary sessions.
105 solar years ago, on this day in 1914 AD, the first experiment for harnessing of solar thermal energy took place on the outskirts of the Egyptian capital, Cairo. It was conducted by American physicist, Frank Schuman, who managed to run a 50 horse-power steam engine by harnessing the sun’s rays. This test shaped the basis of the solar-powered driving engines.
100 solar years ago, on this day in 1819 AD, English novelist, Charles Kingsley was born in Holne, Devon, Britain. He was a prolific writer and his works include, such famous classics as "Westward Ho!”, "The Water-Babies” and "Madam How and Lady Why”.
96 lunar years ago, on this day in 1344 AH, Wahhabi brigands from the desert region of Najd desecrated the sacred Jannat al-Baqie Cemetery of Medina, destroying the tombs of venerable Islamic figures including the majestic holy shrine that housed the tombs of four of the 12 Infallible Successors of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), that is, Imam Hasan Mojtaba (AS), Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS), Imam Mohammad Baqer (AS), and Imam Ja’far Sadeq (AS). The Chief Wahhabi Judge, Sheikh Abdullah bin Balhid, issued the blasphemous decree for destruction of the sacred and historical shrines of Medina. The brigands wanted to destroy the Prophet’s shrine as well, but were prevented by the people. These seditious elements also destroyed in the same year the tomb of the Prophet’s uncle, Hazrat Hamza (AS) and the other martyrs of the Battle of Ohad, as well as the holy mausoleums in the sacred Jannat al-Mu’alla Cemetery of Mecca, where repose in eternal peace, the Prophet’s loyal wife, the First Lady of Islam, Omm al-Momineen or Mother of True Believers Hazrat Khadija (SA), the Prophet’s infant son, Hazrat Qassem, the Prophet’s uncle and guardian, Hazrat Abu Taleb, the Prophet’s grandfather, Hazrat Abdul-Mutalleb and other members of the monotheistic Bani Hashem clan (peace upon them).
93 lunar years ago, on this day in 1347 AH, the prominent jurisprudent, Ayatollah Mohammad Hussain Shabzindehdar, was born in Jahrom, Fars Province, southern Iran. After initial studies in his hometown, he moved to Shiraz where for three years he attended the classes of senior scholars. At the age of 18, on the suggestion of his teachers, he travelled to the holy city of Qom and enrolled at the famous seminary. Here his teachers included Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Hussain Boroujerdi and the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA). After mastering various branches of Islamic sciences, he embarked on teaching at the Qom seminary and for the next 40 years groomed several scholars, including Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Ayatollah Seyyed Hassan Taheri Khorramabadi, Qorban-Ali Dorri-Najafabadi (Head of the Supreme Administrative Court of the Islamic Republic), Ayatollah Seyyed Jamal od-Din Din-Parvar (Head of the Nahj al-Balagha Foundation), and his own son Ayatollah Mahdi Shabzindehdar, who besides being a prominent teacher of the Qom seminary is a member of the 12-Member Guardians Council of the Islamic Revolution. The Late Ayatollah Hussain Shabzindehdar, who passed away three years ago, was laid to rest in the mausoleum of Hazrat Ma’souma (peace upon her), wrote several books on different subjects, including Annotations on the exegeses of the holy Qur’an such as Allamah Tabarsi’s "Majma’ al-Bayan” and Allamah Seyyed Mohammad Hussain Tabataie’s "al-Mizan”.
59 solar years ago, on this day in 1960 AD, the renowned Islamic scholar, Mirza Mohammad Hussein Fazel Touni, passed away in Tehran at the age of 82. Born in the northeastern Iranian town of Ferdows, he was a polymath in theology, principles of theology, philosophy, mysticism, mathematics, astronomy, and Arabic literature. He later served as a professor at Tehran University’s Faculty of Literature, teaching Arabic language and literature as well as philosophy. Among his books are "Hekmat-e Qadim”.
29 solar years ago, on this day in 1990 AD, Ayatollah Shaikh Ali Mushkaf, passed away at the age of 89. After preliminary religious studies in Isfahan, he departed for holy Qom, where he studied under Ayatollah Shaikh Abdul-Karim Ha’eri, Seyyed Mohammad Koh-Kamari, and Seyyed Mohammad Taqi Khwansari. He went to holy Najaf in Iraq where he reached the status of ijtihad. On his return to Iran, he settled in Isfahan. Among the books written by him, mentioned could be made of "Hashiya bar Kifayat al-Usoul.” He also compiled the notes he had taken while studying under such great scholars as Ayatollah Abdul-Karim Ha’eri, Ayatollah Ziya od-Din Iraqi, and Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Abu’l-Hassan Isfahani.
28 solar years ago, on this day in 1991 AD, the first free presidential polls were held in the Russian Federation after the disintegration of the Soviet Union and resulted in the election of Boris Yeltsin as president.
24 solar years ago, on this day in 1995 AD, Ayatollah Mirza Kazem Dinawari, passed away at the age of 93. A product of the Islamic seminary of holy Najaf in Iraq, on return to Iran, he was engaged in teaching and grooming students.
8 solar years ago, on this day in 2011 AD, the repressive Aal-e Khalifa minority regime of the Persian Gulf island of Bahrain, sentenced 20-year old university girl student, peace activist, and budding Arabic poet, Ayat Hassam Mohammad al-Qurmezi, to imprisonment on absurd charges, including inciting hatred, after some two-and-a-half months of torture following her kidnapping from her home at gunpoint, for reciting poems critical of the regime. There were widespread protests in her support in many countries including the Islamic Republic of Iran. Even after release, she has remained under house arrest. On Wednesday, February 23, 2011, during the early days of the uprising of Bahrain’s long-suppressed majority for their denied rights, Ayat al-Qurmezi delivered a poem from the podium to the gathering of pro-democracy demonstrators at the Pearl Roundabout in Manama that was critical of the regime’s policies and specifically those of Khalifa ibn Salman Aal-e Khalifa, the longtime tyrannical prime minister. On March 6, 2011, she read out another poem to a huge gathering at the same venue (since demolished) censuring the self-styled king, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Aal-Khalifa. Her widely applauded poem included the verse: "We are the people who will kill humiliation and assassinate misery. Don't you hear their cries? Don't you hear their screams?" Another verse of her poem has an imaginary dialogue between the Devil and Sheikh Hamad, in which the Satan complains to his pupil: "Hamad, the Bahraini people have shaken me. Don't you hear their cries?”
3 solar years ago, on this day in 2016 AD, Hamid Sabzevari, the father of revolutionary poetry in Iran, passed away at the age of 91 at a Tehran hospital and was laid to rest in his hometown, Sabzevar, in Khorasan Province, northeastern Iran. Named Hussain Aqa-Momtaheni at birth, he began composing poetry at the age of 14. He composed poems in different styles including couplets, sonnets and blank verse. In 1979, during the days leading to the victory of grassroots Islamic movement of the Iranian people, he composed the famous poem "Khomeini, O Imam!” in praise of the Father of the Islamic Revolution. The poem was performed and recorded by a group of students, weeks before the victory of the Islamic Revolution. He is the composer of "USA, USA, Shame on Your Deceits”, which was performed by a chorus following the capture of the den of spies that the US embassy in Tehran had turned into. Another of his famous poem is "This Is the Call of Freedom from the Orient”.
(Courtesy: IRIB English Radio – http://parstoday.com/en)