Today is Saturday; 23rd of the Iranian month of Shahrivar 1398 solar hijri; corresponding to 14th of the Islamic month of Muharram 1441 lunar hijri; and September 14, 2018, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1233 solar years ago, on this day in 786 AD, Musa al-Hadi Ibn Mahdi, the 4th self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime, died at the age of 23 under suspicious circumstances after a reign of only a year and few months, and was immediately succeeded on the same day by his brother, Haroun Rashid, in what is known as the "Night of the three Caliphs" since Mamoun was also born on that eve. There are conflicting reports of his death, ranging from severe ulcer in the abdomen to poisoning and suffocation by slave girls on the orders of his own mother, the concubine Khayzarun, who was more attached to her younger son, Haroun. Like the rest of the Abbasid usurpers, Hadi was a bitter enemy of the progeny of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). The most brutal incident of his short reign was the tragedy of Fakh near Mecca, where Hussain Ibn Ali Ibn Hassan, a descendent of the Prophet's elder grandson, Imam Hasan al-Mojtaba (peace upon him), was martyred along with his brothers and followers, and their heads mounted on lances were taken to the caliph's court. Among the few survivors, was Idris Ibn Abdullah al-Hasani, who managed to escape to Egypt, where aided by Wadhih, a postal manager, he reached Morocco, and founded the Idrisi Shi'ite Muslim state that flourished for almost 200 years, independent of the Abbasid caliphate. Hadi tried to implicate the Prophet's 7th Infallible Heir, Imam Musa Kazem (AS), in the Fakh Uprising but died before he could commit any other foul deed.
1111 lunar years ago, on this day in 330 AH, the Iranian scholar, literary figure, and poet, Hussain ibn Hajjaj Baghdadi, was born. He wrote delicate poetry using attractive terms. Most of his poems are in praise of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) and the Infallible Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt. His verses were compiled in book-form by his famous contemporary, the theologian and literary figure, Seyyed Razi, the compiler of the celebrated book "Nahj al-Balagha”, which is a selection of the sermons, letters and maxims of the Prophet's vicegerent, Imam Ali (AS).
873 solar years ago, on this day in 1146 AD, Imad od-Din Zangi, the Atabeg of Mosul, Aleppo, Hama and Edessa and founder of the Turkic Zangid dynasty that ruled parts of Syria and Iraq, was killed by his European slave, Yarankesh, shortly after repulsing a joint Byzantine-Crusader army. His father, Aq Sunqur al-Hajeb, was governor of Aleppo under Malik Shah I, the Isfahan-based Seljuq sultan of Iran-Iraq-Syria-Anatolia. Imad Zangi distinguished himself in military exploits against the Crusader invaders from Europe and defeated King Fulk of the usurper Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (Bayt al-Moqaddas). He was, however, a very violent, cruel, and brutal man, who never kept his promise. Muslims suffered more at his hands than Christians. In Mosul Imad was succeeded by his eldest son Saif od-Din Ghazi I, and in Aleppo by his second son Noor od-Din. The Zangid dynasty ended with the rise of the Kurdish adventurer, Salah od-Din Ayyoubi of Mosul.
257 solar years ago, on this day in 1752 AD, the British Empire including New England or the present day 13 original states of the USA, adopted the Gregorian calendar, skipping eleven days. Wednesday, 2 September 1752 became Thursday, 14 September 1752 the next day. Later the start of the New Christian Year in Britain, which used to start in March, was fixed on January 1.
250 solar years ago, on this day in 1769 AD, German natural scientist, archeologist, explorer and geographer, Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt, was born in Berlin. He made two major expeditions to Latin America from 1799-to-1804 and to Asia in 1829. During the first trip, equipped with scientific instruments, he surveyed and collected geological, zoological, botanical, and ethnographic specimens, including over 60,000 rare or new tropical plants. He charted and made observations on a cold ocean current along the Peruvian coast, now named the Humboldt Current. He understood the connections between volcanism and earthquakes, and it was he who named the Jurassic System.
207 solar years ago, on this day in 1812 AD, one of the largest arson attacks in history took place in Moscow, as Russian troops and most residents abandoned the city on the entry of French Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte's vanguard, following the Battle of Borodino. The fire raged until September 18 and destroyed almost three-quarters of Moscow. It is said that before leaving Moscow, Count Rostopchin gave orders to have the Kremlin and major public buildings (including churches and monasteries) either blown up or set on fire. This was, however, not the foremost cause of the conflagration that destroyed the city. As the bulk of the French army moved into the city, there were some fires. Their cause has never been determined and both neglect as well as Rostopchin's orders may be among possible reasons. Today, the majority of historians blame the initial fires on Russian sabotage. Whatever the cause, the great fire that led to the death of over 12,000 people, forced Napoleon to retreat, and brought about his downfall.
190 solar years ago, on this day in 1829 AD, the Ottoman Empire signed the Treaty of Adrianople with Russia, thus ending the Russo-Turkish War. The Ottomans gave Russia access to the mouths of the River Danube and the fortresses of Akhaltsikhe and Akhalkalaki in Georgia. The treaty opened the Dardanelles Strait to all commercial vessels, guaranteed the autonomy to Serbia, promised autonomy for Greece, and allowed Russia to occupy Moldavia and Wallachia.
177 lunar years ago, on this day in 1264 AH, the prominent Islamic scholar and narrator of Hadith, Seyyed Sadr od-Din Musawi Ameli, passed away in holy Najaf, Iraq at the age of 71, and was laid to rest in the mausoleum of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS). Born in the Jabal Amel region of Lebanon, while still a child, he migrated to Iraq along with his father, because of persecution by the local Ottoman officials. After mastering theology, jurisprudence and Hadith, he visited Iran at the age of 32 for pilgrimage to holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS) in Mashhad. He then stayed for a year in Qom for higher studies, before settling in Isfahan, where several of his children were born. In the waning years of his life, he returned to Iraq. He has left behind a comprehensive compilation on jurisprudence and its principles. He also has a book on grammar in which he has extensively quoted from the holy Qur'an. His sons and grandsons adopted "Sadr” as the family name, and many of them became prominent religious scholars in Iran and Iraq. Among his great-grandsons, mention could be made of Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Baqer as-Sadr who was martyred by Saddam, and Imam Seyyed Musa Sadr, who migrated to Lebanon from Iran and was treacherously martyred in Libya by Mo’ammar Qadhafi,
167 solar years ago, on this day in 1852 AD, Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, Irish-English field marshal, politician, and Prime Minister of Britain, died at the age of 73. His defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1814 earned him lasting fame. Born in Dublin, Wellesley joined the British Army in 1787. A colonel by 1796, he saw action in the Netherlands and in India, where he fought in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War at the Battle of Seringapatam which the British treacherously imposed on Fath Ali Khan Tipu Sultan to depose and kill him in violation of the treaty with the Muslim kingdom of Mysore. Promoted Major-General, he won a decisive victory over the Maratha Confederacy at the Battle of Assaye in 1803, mainly because of the support provided to the British by the premier Muslim ruler of India, Nizam ul-Mulk Asef Jah of Haiderabad-Deccan. Later in his memoirs, he would recall the Battle of Assaye as more crucial, strategic and deadly than Waterloo. A blot on his career is the senseless destruction of the palaces of the Nizam-Shahi rulers inside the Ahmadnagar Fort. Wellesley rose to prominence as a general during the Napoleonic Wars, and was promoted to field-marshal after leading the allied forces to victory against the French at the Battle of Vitoria in 1813. Following Napoleon's exile in 1814, he served as the ambassador to France and was granted a dukedom, with the titled Duke of Wellington. His battle record is exemplary; he ultimately participated in some 60 battles. After ending his active military career, he turned to politics and was twice British prime minister from 1828 to 1830 and for a little less than a month in 1834. He continued as one of the leading figures in the House of Lords until his retirement and remained Commander-in-Chief of the British Army till his death.
117 lunar years ago, on this day in 1324 AH, the jurisprudent and exegete of the holy Qur’an, Seyyed Abu’l-Qassim Razavi Lahori bin Seyyed Hassan, passed away in Lahore and was laid to rest in this city which is capital of Pakistan’s Punjab State. Born in Kashmir, he was one of the prominent scholars of the undivided Subcontinent and authored several books including "Burhan Shaqq al-Qamar” which provides us factual and rational proofs of the miracle in making the moon split at an indication of his finger by the Almighty’s Last and Greatest Messenger, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
109 solar years ago, on this day in 1910 AD, the gnostic, Mirza Jahangir Khan Qashqai, passed away at the age of 83. Born among Qashqai nomads in central Iran, he became a prominent Islamic scholar, and groomed numerous students in the seminary of Isfahan, including Ayatollah Seyyed Hassan Modarres, and Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Hussain Boroujerdi, during his 50-year teaching career.
60 solar years ago, on this day in 1959 AD, the first space probe to strike the moon was the Soviet Luna 2, which crashed east of the ‘Sea of Serenity’, thirty-six hours after its launch. It was the first man-made object to reach a celestial body.
59 solar years ago, on this day in 1960 AD, the charter of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was signed by Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, and Venezuela. OPEC took shape as a means to counter Western oil giants, which monopolized exploration, extraction and sales of oil, in addition to fixing oil prices based on their own interests and to the detriment of oil producers. Initially OPEC was not powerful and was gradually reinforced with the membership of Algeria, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, the UAE, Gabon, Indonesia, and Ecuador. During the 1973 oil crisis, caused due to the war between Egypt and the Zionist entity, and the oil sanctions imposed by Arab states on the West, OPEC oil prices surged three-fold. The role played by OPEC in global oil markets and in determination of oil prices has gone through major ups and downs, although it maintains its determining role. Iran’s Fuad Rouhani was its 1st secretary-general.
51 solar years ago, on this day in 1968 AD, Ayatollah Sheikh Abdul-Karim Zanjani passed away in holy Najaf, Iraq, at the age of 83. Born near Zanjan in northwestern Iran, after preliminary studies, at the age of 23 he left for Najaf, where he lived the rest of his life, attaining the status of Ijtehad, grooming scholars, and writing books. An expert in philosophy, jurisprudence, mathematics, theology, and exegesis of the holy Qur’an, the works he authored include: "al-Wahi wa’l-Ilham”, "Dhakhirat-as-Salehin” and "Wasilat-an-Najat”.
41 solar years ago, on this day in 1978 AD, the people of Tehran held a massive demonstration to commemorate the traditional 7th day of the martyrdom of fellow citizens brutally gunned down by the Shah’s forces on September 7. A large number of people moved toward Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery to pay respects at the graves of martyrs. The Shah’s regime intended to block the path, but faced with large number of people chanting revolutionary slogans, backed off.
20 solar years ago, on this day in 1999 AD, prominent Iranian researcher and historian, Morteza Ravandi, passed away at the age of 86. He specialized in law and judicial affairs, devoting his life to the study of the Iranian people’s social issues throughout history. The result was the compiling of the 10-volume Social History of Iran. He also wrote on the Iranian constitution, economic situation, and religious issues. His devotion to Islam is evident in his writings.
14 solar years ago, on this day in 2005 AD, in New York, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a historic speech at the United Nations General Assembly blasted US unilateralism, militarism and undue privilege, and called for the UN to promote spirituality. He advanced broad concepts, which were welcomed by the free world but angered the big powers. He suggested that the UN "institutionalize justice at the international level" and ensure all members have "equal rights." He proposed a live televised debate with US president, George Bush, to tackle issues of major international concern, but the latter did not respond.
(Courtesy: IRIB English Radio – http://parstoday.com/en)