Today is Saturday; 25th of the Iranian month of Khordad 1398 solar hijri; corresponding to 11th of the Islamic month of Shawwal 1440 lunar hijri; and June 15, 2019, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
2782 solar years ago, on this day in 763 BC, the Assyrians recorded a solar eclipse that was later used to fix the chronology of Mesopotamian history in today’s Iraq and the neighbouring lands
1443 lunar years ago, on this day, a couple of years before Hijrah or migration to Medina, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), left the persecuted atmosphere of Mecca for the fertile resort of Ta’ef to preach the message of Islam. The people of this city, including the influential clan of Thaqif, refused to believe in monotheism and subjected the Prophet to taunts including physical injury, as a result of which he returned to his hometown.
987 solar years ago, on this day in 1032 AD, Salar Masoud Ghazi, a descendent of the Prophet’s vicegerent, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), through Mohammad al-Hanafiya, attained martyrdom in the town of Bahraich, 125 km northeast of Lucknow in what is now Uttar Pradesh state of India. He was a pious person, and after arriving in India with the armies of the Turkic conqueror, Sultan Mahmoud Ghaznavi, he penetrated the interior of India to propagate Islam. Revered till this day as Ghazi Miyan by both Muslims and Hindus, his tomb is the site of pilgrimage in India.
953 lunar years ago, on this day in 487 AH, the Spanish Muslim lexicographer, geographer and historian, Abu Obayd Abdullah ibn Abdul-Aziz al-Bakri, passed away at the age of 82. Born in Huelva, the son of the ruler of the short-lived principality of the same name, he was a polymath in most of the sciences of the day. When his father was deposed he shifted to Qurtuba (Cordoba) where he studied with the geographer Ahmad Ibn Omar al-Udhri and the historian Hayyán Ibn Khalaf Ibn Hayyan al-Qurtubi. He spent all his life in his native Spain, mostly in Seville and Almeria, writing about Europe, North Africa, and the Arabian Peninsula. Only two of his works have survived – the "Mu'jam ma Ista'jam” and "Kitab al-Masalek wa’l-Mamalek” (Book of Ways and Lands). The latter work was based on writings and the reports of merchants and travellers, including Mohammad Ibn Yusuf al-Warraq and the Arabicized Jew, Abraham ben Jacob. It is an important source for the history of West Africa and gives crucial information on the Ghana Empire, the Almoravid Dynasty and the trans-Saharan trade. He also updated information. Al-Bakri mentions the earliest urban centers in the trans-Saharan trade to embrace Islam such as Gao along the River Niger which had native Muslim inhabitants. Soon other kingdoms along the serpentine bends of River Niger eventually embraced Islam, such as Takrur (today’s Senegal); Songhay (present day Mali); Kanem-Bornu (currently Chad); and Hausa-territories (of what is now called Nigeria). His works are noted for the objectiveness with which they are presented. For each area, he described the people, their customs, as well as the geography, climate, and main cities. He also included anecdotes about each area. Unfortunately, parts of his main work have been lost, and of the surviving parts, some have never been published. In lexicography al-Bakri wrote the book "Amsaal al-Obayd”.
804 solar years ago, on this day in 1215 AD, the Magna Carta (Great Charter) was adopted and sealed by King John of England at Runnymede, granting his barons more liberty. The British claim that it asserted the supremacy of the law over the king.
736 lunar years ago, on this day in 1304 AH, Mahmoud Ghazaan, the seventh ruler of the Mongol Empire's Ilkhanate division that was based in modern-day Iran, and included Iraq and parts of Central Asia and the Caucasus, died. He was the son of Arghun and grandson of Abaqa, continuing a line of rulers who were direct descendants of Genghis Khan. Considered the most prominent of the Ilkhans, he is best known for accepting the truth of Islam in 1295 when he ascended the throne, although he was born a Buddhist, and because of his mother was baptized and raised as a Christian. On conversion to Islam at the hands of Ibrahim Ibn Mohammad Ibn Hamwayh Khorasani al-Juwaini, he changed his first name to Mahmoud, and Islam gained popularity within Mongol territories beyond Iran. His principal wife was Kokechin, a Mongol princess sent to Iran by his distant cousin Kublai Khan the ruler of China, and escorted by the famous Italian traveler Marco Polo. Military conflicts during Ghazaan's reign included war with the Egyptian Mamluks for control of Syria, and battles with the Mongol Chaghatai Khanate of Central Asia. Ghazaan also pursued diplomatic contacts with Europe. The Mongol capital was Maragheh in today's East Azarbaijan Province, west of Tehran.
620 solar years ago, on this day in 1389 AD, the Ottomans triumphed in the Battle of Kosovo against the Serbs, but Sultan Murad I lost his life, as a result of a surprise attack by a lone Serb warrior, while reviewing his success after the battle. Son of Orhan Bey and grandson of Osman, the Central Asian Turk who founded the Ottoman principality in what is now western Turkey, Murad through his conquests transformed the family fiefdom into a sultanate that subsequently became a vast empire straddling southwest Europe, west Asia and northern Africa.
352 solar years ago, on this day in 1667 AD, the first recorded blood transfusion was administered by Dr. Jean-Baptiste Denys from an animal to human. He successfully transfused a few ounces of blood from a lamb into a-15-year old boy. Another experimental transfusion later in the same year resulted in the patient’s death and Denys was charged with murder.
311 solar years ago, on this day in 1708 AD, the uprising of Scottish independence seekers for liberation of their homeland from the yoke of the English was brutally suppressed. Scottish people have a history of resentment against British colonial rule, and have staged uprisings in various periods of history. In 1999, London was forced to agree to the formation of a separate parliament in Scotland.
267 solar years ago, on this day in 1752 AD, Benjamin Franklin's kite-flying experiment proved lightning and electricity were related while flying a kite with a key attached. He equipped his house with a lightning rod, connecting it to bells that ring when the rod is electrified. He explained how to perform a kite experiment in the 19th October 1752 issue of the Pennsylvania Gazette. He had earlier proposed use of lightning rods to protect houses. He next devised an experiment involving a sentry-box with a pointed rod on its roof, to be erected on hilltop or in church steeple, with rod attached to a Leyden jar which would collect the electrical charge, and thus prove lightning to be a form of electricity.
208 lunar years ago, on this day in 1232 AH, the jurisprudent and theologian, Mullah Ali Akbar Eiji Isfahani, passed away. He groomed many students and authored several books, including "Zubdat-al-Ma’aref”.
123 solar years ago, on this day in 1896 AD, the deadliest tsunami in Japan's history killed more than 22,000 people.
121 solar years ago, on this day in 1898 AD, an expansionist US, through a bill in the House of Representatives approved annexation of the kingdom of Hawaii, despite the opposition of the natives, five years after Queen Liliuokalani was forced to abdicate her throne by a group of US businessmen and sugar planters. She was the last reigning queen of the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean, having ascended the throne in 1891 upon the death of her brother, King Kalakaua. In 1895, following her failed attempt to regain the throne, she was forced to renounce her royal status and shipped to the US, where her petition to seek compensation for the loss of her property was rejected. The Hawaiians signed what they called the "Monster Petition" which Queen Liliuokalani personally delivered to the US government, but this was also ignored. Hawaii thus became US territory against the wishes of the Hawaiian people and in 1959 was declared as the 50th state.
106 solar years ago, on this day in 1913 AD, the Battle of Bud Bagsak ended in the southern Philippines resulting in the crushing of the 14-year resistance of Filipino Muslims by the American occupiers, who killed their leader Datu Amil and his force of 500 in the 4-day battle. In all, some 20,000 Filipino men, women, and children were slaughtered by the US forces in addition to scores of thousands wounded. The US seized Spanish-controlled Philippines in 1898 at the start of the 4-year war against Spain, and the next year, in violation of all international rules claimed jurisdiction over the independent Muslim ruled archipelago of the Sultanate of Sulu in the south – a provocative move that led to the 14-year war. The Muslims of Philippines, which for five centuries were the dominant power in the south and had thwarted Spanish attempts to subjugate them, became the victims of American expansionism and forcibly made part of the administration in Manila. General John ‘Black Jack’ Pershing, who led the US forces in the battle for Mount Bagsak, later wrote to his wife in the US: "The fighting was the fiercest I have ever seen... They (the Muslims) are absolutely fearless, and once committed to combat they count death as a mere incident." The US went on to occupy Mindanao, Sulu, and Palawan, reduced the Sultan of Sulu to a mere figurehead religious leader, and illegally incorporated the Muslim "Moroland” into the Philippines. The word "Moro" is a term for ethnic Muslims used by the Spanish who used to refer to the Muslims of Iberia (Spain and Portugal) as "Moor”. The American occupiers even ignored the Treaty of Peace between Filipino Muslims and the Spanish signed on July 22, 1878.
101 solar years ago, on this day in 1918 AD, Ayatollah Seyyed Mustafa Mujtahedi Kashani passed away. After preliminary studies in his hometown Kashan and later in Isfahan, he attained the status of Ijtihad at the Islamic seminary of holy Najaf. In addition to being an accomplished poet in both Arabic and Persian, he was active in the struggle against despotism and foreign hegemony, as was evident by his support for the Constitutional Movement in Iran against the Qajarid Dynasty and British encroachment in the region. He was among the ulema, who issued the fatwa for jihad against the British occupation of Iraq, and was personally present at the scenes of confrontation against the foreign forces. His son was the famous Ayatollah Seyyed Abu’l-Qassim Kashani, who led the Iranian people during the oil nationalization campaign in the 1950s.
92 solar years ago, on this day in 1927 AD, famous Urdu poet, humourist, travelogue writer and columnist, Sher Mohammad Khan, known popularly by his penname "Ibn-e Insha”, was born in Phillaur, Punjab, in a family that hailed from Rajasthan. On the partition of the Subcontinent the family moved to Pakistan, and he lived most of his life in Karachi, working for various governmental services including Radio Pakistan, the Ministry of Culture and the National Book Centre. He also served the UN for some time and this enabled him to visit many places – including Iran – all of which served to inspire the travelogues he would then pen.
25 solar years ago, on this day in 1994 AD, Vatican, the seat of the Catholic sect of Christianity, shocked devout Christians by establishing full and formal diplomatic relations with the illegal Zionist entity, Israel, under pressure of the US. The Zionists ridicule the most fundamental beliefs of Christianity by slandering Prophet Jesus and his Virgin Mother, Mary (peace upon them).
18 solar years ago, on this day in 2001 AD, the Leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan formed the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in the city of the same name. It is a political and economic organisation, and the Islamic Republic of Iran, along with India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Mongolia, enjoys observer status at it.
9 solar years ago, on this day in 2010 AD, Iran signed contracts worth 21 billion dollars with local firms to develop six gas fields.
8 solar years ago, on this day in 2011 AD, the Islamic Republic of Iran launched another satellite into the earth’s orbit as part of its peaceful aeronautics programme to gather meteorological data.
(Courtesy: IRIB English Radio – http://parstoday.com/en)