Today is Thursday; 21st of the Iranian month of Shahrivar 1398 solar hijri; corresponding to 12th of the Islamic month of Muharram 1441 lunar hijri; and September 12, 2019, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
2509 solar years ago, on this day in 490 BC, the Battle of Marathon was fought in the place of the same name in Greece, between Athenians and their allies, and a Persian expeditionary force sent by the Achaemenian Emperor, Darius I. It resulted in a surprise defeat of the Iranians, because the main army had sailed towards a different destination. The Persian expedition was a response to Greek involvement in the Ionian Revolt, when Athens and Eretria had sent a force to support the cities of Ionia in their insurgency against Persian rule. Once the Ionian revolt was crushed by the Iranians at the Battle of Lade, Darius began plans to subjugate Greece. He sent a naval task force under Datis and Artaphernes across the Aegean. Reaching Euboea in mid-summer after a successful campaign in the Aegean, the Persians proceeded to capture Eretria. The Persian force then sailed for Attica, landing in the bay near the town of Marathon. The Athenians, joined by a force from Plataea, marched to Marathon, and succeeded in blocking the two exits from that plain. A stalemate ensued for five days, before the Athenians attacked the Iranians under the cover of night, because most of the Persian fleet had set sail. The Iranians withdrew but the next emperor, Xerxes I succeeded in subjugating Greece.
1380 lunar years ago, on this day in 61 AH, survivors of the heartrending tragedy of Karbala, mostly women and children of the noble household of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), including Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS), the son and successor of Imam Husain (AS), entered the city of Kufa as captives, along with the severed heads of the martyrs, gruesomely mounted on lances. They were taken to the court of the ungodly governor, Obeidollah ibn Ziyad, whose attempt to ridicule the Prophet's family and to kill Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS), were thwarted by the bold remarks of Hazrat Zainab (SA), who praised God Almighty for enabling the Ahl al-Bayt to successfully pass the tests of martyrdom and sufferings. When the tyrant thought of disgracing the noble captives by parading them in the city, again Hazrat Zainab (SA) jolted the conscience of the masses through her eloquent sermons that drew tears from the people of Kufa and made them regret their lethargy in failing to assist the Prophet's grandson against the regime. Ibn Ziyad, fearing a public revolt quickly ordered dispatch of the caravan of captives to the Omayyad capital Damascus in Syria, but through unfrequented routes so as to avoid the anger and indignation of the people of the towns that lay in the way.
1346 lunar years ago, on this day in 95 AH, according to an account, Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS), the Survivor of the heartrending tragedy of Karbala, and the 4th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), was martyred through poisoning at the age of 57, exactly 34 years after the tragic martyrdom of his father, Imam Husain (AS). He was victim of the hatred of the Prophet's family by Walid Ibn Abdul-Malik, the 6th self-styled caliph of the usurper Omayyad regime. Born in Medina in 38 AH, his mother was the Iranian princess, Shahrbano. It was his ill-health as a youth of 23 years in Karbala that prevented him from joining the jihad in which almost all male members of the Prophet's family were martyred. His jihad was of a different kind, but not with the sword. Through his sermons in the court of the Godless Yazid, he made the message of his father triumphant, thus unmasking the hypocrisy of the Omayyad regime. Following release from captivity, for the next three decades, he enlightened the Ummah through prayers, supplications and definition of individual and social rights, including the rights of our own bodily parts upon us. He groomed a large number of scholars and scientists who spread the teachings of the Prophet's Ahl al-Bayt in different lands.
790 solar years ago, on this day in 1229 AD, a Christian mercenary army under the command of James I of Aragon disembarked at Santa Ponca, Majorca, with the purpose of conquering the Spanish Muslim Island. After over three-and-a-half months of resistance, the Spanish Muslim emirate of Majorca on the largest Mediterranean island of the same name in the Balearic Archipelago, was occupied by James I of Aragon, who changed the name of the capital from "Medina Mayurqa” to Palma, thus ending over five glorious centuries of Islamic culture and civilization. The first Muslims arrived on this island in 707, some four years before Spain was liberated by Tareq ibn Ziyad. In 902, Issam al-Khawlani, in order to save the local people from the frequent raids of Vikings and other Christian marauders, liberated the whole Balearic Archipelago, ushering in a new period of prosperity under the Emirate of Cordoba. Agriculture and irrigation networks were developed and local industries set up by the Muslims. From 1087 to 1114 Majorca was ruled by the Taifa of Denia independently, and was able to ward off raids by Christian hordes from Europe including the Crusader marauders sailing towards Syria and Palestine to stir up sedition. It then came under the rule of the al-Morawwid Muslim dynasty of North Africa, and in 1176 was taken over by the al-Muwahhed dynasty until 1229, when the last emir of Majorca, Abu Yahya, was defeated by the invaders, who forcibly Christianized the inhabitants after killing many of them. Minorca, (Manurqa in Arabic), the other important island of the Balearic Archipelago, continued to be under Muslim control for another six decades, until it was also invaded and occupied by the Christians of Aragon, who killed, Christianized and enslaved the Muslims.
706 lunar years ago, on this day in 735 AH, the celebrated Gnostic and ancestor of the Safavid Emperors of Iran, Safi od-Din Ardabili, passed away at the age of 84 and laid to rest in his hometown Ardabil, northwestern Iran. Named Seyyed Ishaq at birth, he was the son of Seyyed Amin od-Din Musavi – a descendent of Imam Musa al-Kazem (AS), the 7th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). With acquisition of knowledge he acquired the epithets Abu’l-Fath, Shams od-Din and Safi od-Din. A disciple, spiritual heir and son-in-law of the prominent Gnostic, Shaikh Zahed Gilani of Lahijan, he founded the Safaviyya Order, which earned respect from the rulers of the day, including the ferocious Central Asian conqueror, Amir Timur. Over the following 170 years, the Safaviyya Order gained political and military power, finally culminating in the foundation of the Safavid dynasty by Shah Ismail I that lasted for almost two-and-a-half centuries.
620 solar years ago, on this day in 1309 AD, the siege of the Spanish Muslim island of Gibraltar was started by Ferdinand IV of Castile with the help of Christian mercenaries from other parts of Europe. The kingdom of Gharnata (Granada) was forced to surrender this important base of 600 years of Spanish Islamic culture, which today has become a bone of contention between Britain and Spain. Gibraltar is a corruption of the Arabic term "Jabal at-Tareq” meaning Rock of Tareq in honour of Tareq Ibn Ziyad, who landed on this island on his way to liberate Spain.
336 solar years ago, on this day in 1683 AD, the Ottoman army which was on the verge of conquering Vienna, the capital of Austria as part of its sweep into the heart of Europe, was surprisingly defeated by a coalition of European powers, including Poland. The setback suffered by the Turks marked the end of Ottoman aspirations to conquer all of Europe. While leaving, the Turks unburdened their provisions by leaving behind sacks of coffee which the Christians found too bitter, so they sweetened it with honey and milk and named the drink "cappuccino” after the Capuchin order of monks.
333 solar years ago, on this day in 1686 AD, the Sultanate of Bijapur fell to the Mughal Emperor, Mohammad Aurangzeb, thereby ending the 192-year rule of the Adel-Shahi dynasty of the Deccan (southern India) set up by the Iranian adventurer from Saveh (near Tehran), Yusuf Adel Khan. In the 1490s, after asserting independence from the tottering Bahmani Empire (also of Iranian origin), Bijapur declared Shi’a Islam as the state religion, several years before the founding of the Safavid Empire in Iran and declaration of the same by Shah Ismail I. Thousands of Iranians of all professions, including scholars, ulema, poets, painters, architects, craftsmen, merchants, soldiers and ordinary persons, migrated to Bijapur and contributed to the Persianate administration and flowering of the rich Indo-Persian style of art and architecture, such as the famous Ibrahim Rowza (proto type of the future Taj Mahal in Agra) and Gol-Gombad – the world's second largest dome.
296 solar years ago, on this day in 1723 AD, during the chaotic situation in Iran following the occupation of the country by the rebellious Hotaki Afghans who dethroned and imprisoned Shah Sultan Hussain Safavi in Isfahan, the year-long Russo-Persian War ended with the signing of a humiliating treaty by the weak Shah Tahmasp II, who ceded to the Russians the cities of Derbend in Daghestan and Baku in what is now the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as the Caucasus province of Shirvan, and parts of Astara, Gilan, and Mazandaran. A decade later after the rise of Nader Shah Afshar and his crushing victories over the Afghan usurpers, the Russians were forced to withdraw from the northwestern parts of the country including Derbend and Daghestan, when the Iranian king threatened to march on to Moscow.
122 solar years ago, on this day in 1897 AD, the French chemist and physicist, Irene Curie, was born in Paris to the celebrated physicists, Madam Curie and Pierre Curie, who discovered several radioactive elements. Irene also made discoveries in regard to radioactive materials, including production of artificial radioactive material. Jointly with her husband, Frederic Joliot, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1935 for their discovery of artificial radioactivity. This made the Curies the family with most Nobel laureates. Both children of the Joliot-Curies, Helene and Pierre, are also esteemed scientists. Irene died in 1956.
105 solar years ago, on this day in 1914 AD, the famous Urdu poet of Pakistan, Raees Amrohi, was born in Amroha in what is now the Uttar Pradesh of India. His real name was Seyyed Mohammad Mahdi, which indicates the family’s descent from Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). He migrated to Pakistan on 19 October 1947 and settled in Karachi. He was known for his unique style of Qatanigari (disjointed rhymed verses) and "ruba’iyaat” (quatrains). For several decades his quatrains were published in Pakistan's leading Urdu daily "Jang”. A staunch supporter of Urdu as language of unity for Pakistani Muslims, he established an institution Raees Academy where writers were trained. During the conflict in the 1970s with the Sindhi-speakers, he wrote his famous poem Urdu satirical poem "Urdu ka janaza hai zara dhoom say niklay” (It is the funeral of Urdu, carry it out with fanfare). He also published a number of books on the topic of metaphysics, and meditation, before he was assassinated on 22 September 1988 at the age of 74. His poetical works include "Paas-e Ghubaar”, "Hikayaat”, "Ba-Hazrat-e Yazdaan”, and "Malboos-e Bahaar”. Books written by him include "Alam-e Barzaq”, "Jinnaat" (2 volumes), and "Ana min al-Husain”.
75 solar years ago, on this day in 1944 AD, during World War II, the US, Britain and the Soviet Union, concluded an accord for coordinating attacks on the Axis powers with the eventual goal of occupying Germany. The Allied armies mercilessly pounded and shattered the Nazi defense lines in both the east and the west, resulting in Germany's surrender in May 1945. The capital Berlin was seized and untold crimes committed against the civilians. In 1949 Germany was divided into two separate countries by the names of West Germany and East Germany.
45 solar years ago, on this day in 1974 AD, Ethiopian king, Haile Selassie I ("Conquering Lion of Judah”), was deposed by the military, thus ending the Christian monarchy of the ancient land of Abyssinia. Born Tafari Makonnen Woldemikael, he was Ethiopia's regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor from 1930 to 1974. He died the next year in Addis Ababa during internment.
33 solar years ago, on this day in 1986 AD, the famous Pakistani calligrapher, Hafez Mohammad Yousuf Sadidi, died in Lahore at the age of 66. He learned calligraphy under prominent artists such as Mohammad Sharif and Taj od-Din Zarrin. He wrote a book, titled: "Ta'lim an-Naskh".
(Courtesy: IRIB English Radio – http://parstoday.com/en)