Today is Tuesday; 26th of the Iranian month of Shahrivar 1398 solar hijri; corresponding to 17th of the Islamic month of Muharram 1441 lunar hijri; and September 17, 2019, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
844 solar years ago, on this day in 1176 AD, the crucial Battle of Myriokephalon was fought in what is now Savasi in Turkey, resulting in a decisive victory for the Seljuq Sultanate of Roum and a shattering defeat for the Byzantine Empire. It was to be the final, unsuccessful attempt by the Byzantine Greeks to recover the interior of Anatolia from the Seljuq Turks. The Seljuqs were led by Sutlan Qilij Arslan II, while the Byzantines were led by Emperor Manuel I Komnenos. Qilij Arslan who died in 1192 after a reign of 36 years, promoted Persian culture in Anatolia and was succeeded by his son Kaykhosrow I.
543 lunar years ago, on this day in 898 AH, the prominent Persian poet and literary figure, Noor od-Din Abdur-Rahman Jami, passed away at the age of 82 in the northeastern Iranian city of Herat which is currently in Afghanistan. Born in the city of Jam, in Khorasan Province, he went to Samarqand to learn Islamic sciences, literature and history, and visited several other lands before settling in Herat, which was then the capital of the Timurid Dynasty. He has left behind a large number of works in prose and verse, including "Baharestan”. He composed beautiful odes in praise of the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
488 lunar years ago, on this day in 953 AH, renowned religious scholar, architect, engineer, mathematician, astronomer and poet, Baha od?Din Mohammad ibn Hussain al?Ameli, known popularly as Sheikh Bahai, was born in Ba’lbek, Lebanon. His father was one of the prominent ulema of the Jabal al-Amel region of Lebanon, who brought him to Iran in his childhood. Given his sublime talents, Sheikh Bahai mastered a number of sciences of his day in a short period. He has left behind more than 100 books and treatises in Arabic and Persian. He passed away at the age of 77 in the Safavid capital, Isfahan, and according to his will, his body was taken to Mashhad and buried in the premises of the holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS), the 8th Infallible Successor of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). Shaikh Bahai is regarded as a leading scholar of his age and a "mujaddid" or revivalist. His erudition won him the admiration of Shah Abbas I, and he was appointed the Shaikh ol-Islam or the Chief Theologian of Isfahan. He wrote works on a wide variety of topics such as exegesis of the holy Qur’an, hadith, grammar, jurisprudence, mathematics, astronomy, and poetry. Among his famous works are "Jama’e Abbasi" on jurisprudence, "Kashkoul" on philosophy and poetry, "Khulasat al-Hisaab" on mathematics, and "Tashrih al?Aflaak" or Anatomy of the Celestial Spheres, a summary of theoretical astronomy where he affirms the view that supports the positional rotation of the Earth as it orbits around the sun. A number of architectural and engineering designs in Isfahan stand proof to the genius of Shaikh Bahai, including the Naqsh-e Jahan Square and the Grand Shah Abbas Mosque known as the Imam Mosque today. He also designed and constructed a furnace for a public bathroom, which still exists in Isfahan. The furnace was warmed by a single candle, which was placed in an enclosure. The candle burned for a long time, warming the bath's water. According to his instructions, the candle would be put out if the enclosure was ever opened. This happened during the repair of the building and no one has been able to make the system work again. He also designed the "Minar-e Jonbaan” (Shaking Minaret), which still exists in Isfahan.
399 solar years ago, on this day in 1620 AD, the Battle of Cecora, also known as the Battle of ?u?ora/Tsetsora Fields, started near Prut River in Moldova and by October 7 resulted in victory for the Ottoman and allied Tartar forces over the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
277 lunar years ago, on this day in 1164 AH, Nasser Jang Nizam od-Dowla, the 2nd ruler of the Asaf Jahi Dynasty of the Deccan (southern India), before start of battle with the French was treacherously shot by his own subordinate Himmat Khan, the Afghan Nawab of Kadapa, who quickly mounted the ruler’s elephant, cut off his head, and proclaimed his imprisoned nephew, Muzaffar Jang, as the next ruler. The French colonialist protégé was not destined to rule long and was killed treacherously within a few months by the Afghan Nawab of Karnool. Nasser Jang, who ruled for only two years, was entrusted with the governance of the Deccan a decade earlier during the 4-year absence of his father, the celebrated Asaf Jah Nizam ul-Mulk, at the court of the Mughal Emperor in Delhi during the invasion of India by Nader Shah Afshar of Iran.
203 solar years ago, on this day in 1816 AD, British archaeologist, Charles Thomas Newton, was born. He excavated sites in southwestern Turkey including remains of one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, i.e. the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, built by the Greeks. As the first curator of Greek and Roman antiquities at the British Museum in London, he greatly enriched its collection by making outstanding acquisitions. Along with the chief remains from Halicarnassus, he brought to the museum the bronze Delphian serpent from Istanbul, a sculpture of the Greek goddess Demeter, and the colossal lion from Cnidus.
119 solar years ago, on this day in 1900 AD, the Filipinos led by Juan Cailles defeated the Americans led by Colonel Benjamin F. Cheatham at Mabitac. It was a major setback for the US, although it went on to occupy the Philippines in the war it had launched against the Spanish Empire two years earlier.
104 solar years ago, on this day in 1915 AD, the famous Indian artist and painter Maqboul Fida Hussain was born in Pandahrpur in the Sholapur district into a Bohra family of the Sulaymani Musta’li Ismaili Shi'a Muslim sect of Gujarati background that traced its origin to Yemen. Considered the Picasso of India, he won international acclaim for his excellent paintings in addition to top national awards. Towards the end of his life, he was forced to leave his homeland India because of threats against his life by Hindu extremists and died in self-exile in Doha, Qatar at the age of 96.
71 solar years ago, on this day in 1948 AD, the last Muslim kingdom of the Subcontinent came to its end with the surrender of Haiderabad-Deccan to the Indian invasion forces after some six days of resistance by its ruler, Osman Ali Khan Asaf Jah VII that ended the 224-year rule of his dynasty, and 6 centuries of the independence of Muslim Deccan from Hindustan (Northern Subcontinent). The kingdom was the size of France, despite gradual occupation of its territories on the north, south, and the east by British colonialists. It decided to remain independent on partition of the Subcontinent into India and Pakistan a year earlier in August 1947. The Indian invasion was codenamed "Operation Polo" since Haiderabad-Deccan had the most number of polo grounds in South Asia – 17 in all. The Indian invasion was a calamity for the local people, especially in the Marathwara region, where 200,000 people were massacred. So catastrophic was its aftermath that an official enquiry ordered by Indian Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru was never published. Professor Wilfred Cantwell Smith, who as a critic of the Nizam, had visited Haiderabad in 1949, wrote a seminal article in the periodical "The Middle East Journal” in 1950 (Volume 4) titled "Haiderabad: A Muslim Tragedy”. Citing eyewitness accounts provided by conscientious Hindus, he wrote: "Off the battlefield, however, the Muslim community fell before a massive and brutal blow, the devastation of which left those who did survive reeling in bewildered fear. Thousands upon thousands were slaughtered; many hundreds of thousands uprooted. The instrument of their disaster was, of course, vengeance (on the alleged atrocities of the Razakars).” The Islamic culture of the Deccan, in contrast to Hindustan, evolved independently through direct contacts with Iran and Arabia via the sea route. The Persian language was once widespread in the state, and Haiderabad still has hundreds of thousands of valuable Persian and Arabic manuscripts in its libraries and museums. It is worth noting that the Deccan, which throughout pre-Islamic history, had remained independent, except for very brief periods of domination by the North, had declared its independence from the Turkic Muslim Tughlaq Dynasty of Hindustan in 1347 under the leadership of the general of Iranian origin, Ala od-Din Hassan Bahman Shah, who founded the Bahmani Kingdom. This dynasty split up into five sultanates in the early 16th century, of which the three major powers were the Nizam Shahis of Ahmadnagar, the Adel Shahis of Bijapur, and the Qotb Shahis of Haiderabad-Golkandah – all of whom were Shi'ite Muslims, who considered the Safavid Shahs of Iran as their emperors, rather than the Mughals of Hindustan. The Adel Shahis and the Qotb Shahis were in fact of Turkic Iranian origin, and their realms were annexed in 1686 and 1687 respectively by the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb. In 1724 the Deccan again became independent under the astute general, Qamar od-Din Khan Nizam ol-Molk Asaf Jah I – an accomplished Persian poet descended from the Iranian mystic Shehab od-Din Sohravardi. He was present in Delhi during the invasion of Nader Shah, and had been offered by the Iranian conqueror the rule of all India, which he declined out of respect for the defeated Mughal Emperor, Mohammad Shah. The last ruler, Asaf Jah VII was an efficient administrator who carried out extensive infrastructural projects in his kingdom, including dams, highways, gardens, schools, colleges, universities, libraries, hospitals, museums, power plants, etc. He never discriminated between Muslims and Hindus and was an accomplished poet in Urdu and Persian. Even after losing his kingdom, he generously donated to the defence of India during wars with China and Pakistan.
71 solar years ago, on this day in 1948 AD, UN mediator, Folke Bernadotte, was assassinated by Zionist terrorists in Bayt al-Moqqadas, before he could present his plan for resolution of the Palestinian issue and termination of the first Israeli war.
58 solar years ago, on this day in 1961 AD, Turkish Prime Minister Ali Adnan Ertekin Menderes was executed by the military, a year after the coup d’etat that toppled his democratic government. Son of a wealthy landowner of Crimean Tatar origin, he fought against the invading Greek army during the Turkish War of Independence and later graduated from the Law School of Ankara University. He was one of the founders of the Democrat Party (DP) in 1946, and in 1950, he was elected Prime Minister – a post he held for ten years through re-elections until toppled by the military in 1960. He sold or distributed most of the estate he had inherited from his father to small shareholders, and was tolerant towards traditional lifestyles and different forms of practice of Islam. He campaigned in the 1950 elections on the platform of legalizing the Arabic Islamic call to prayer (adhan), which had been banned by Kamal Ataturk. Menderes re-opened thousands of mosques across the country which had been closed down. In one of his speeches, he said that members of parliament could bring back the Ottoman Caliphate if they so desired. During the 10 years of his term as prime minister, industrialization and urbanization were accelerated, and the economy grew at an unprecedented rate of 9% per annum, a feat which had and so far has not yet been duplicated. He was popular among the public, but disliked by the military, and the most important event that brought his fall from power was establishment of Commission of Inquiries to probe official corruption. On 27 May 1960, the military deposed and arrested him, charged him with violating the constitution, sentenced him to death, and hanged him on the island of Imrali.
54 solar years ago, on this day in 1965 AD, the Battle of Chawinda was fought as part of the Sialkot Campaign in the Second Indo-Pakistani War. It was one of the largest tank battles in history since the Battle of Kursk in World War II. The initial clashes at Chawinda coincided with the tank battle near Phillora and the fighting intensified once the Pakistani forces at Phillora retreated. However, the Indian invasion was repelled and the battle finally ended due to the UN ceasefire.
49 solar years ago, on this day in 1970 AD, King Hussein of Jordan ordered a military assault on Palestinians to prevent them from carrying out operations against the illegal Zionist entity. The Jordanian army, led by General Zia ul-Haq, the military attaché at the Pakistani embassy in Amman, mercilessly martyred or wounded thousands of Palestinians. After the clashes, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled from Jordan. Seven years later, Zia seized power in Pakistan through a military coup against Prime Minister Zulfeqar Ali Bhutto.
39 solar years ago, on this day in 1980 AD, Saddam, the dictator of the repressive Ba'th minority regime of Baghdad, tore in front of TV cameras the 1975 Algiers Accord with Iran, which he himself had signed in 1975. Six days later, on the US orders, he launched his unprovoked war on the Islamic Republic that lasted 8 years. In 1990, Saddam had to eat the humble pie and acknowledge the Algiers Accord that delineates the southwestern border between the two countries.
14 solar years ago, on this day in 2005 AD, a car bomb in a Shi’a Muslim village east of Baghdad left almost 50 people martyred in addition to some hundred injured. It was the work of terrorists on the payroll of the US and Saudi Arabia.
13 solar years ago, on this day in 2006 AD, Anousheh Ansari, an Iranian-US telecommunications entrepreneur, took off on a Russian rocket bound for the international space station, becoming the world's first paying female space tourist.
8 solar years ago, on this day in 2011 AD, the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) Movement began in Zuccotti Park, New York City. Wall Street is the financial nerve of the US, and the movement which campaigned against the widespread social and economic inequality in the US society, as well as against rampant corruption, greed and undue influence of corporations on government, spread across the country and received global attention. The OWS slogan, "We are the 99%", refers to income inequality and wealth distribution in the US between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of the population – a fact confirmed by the Congress’s 2012 budget. Protests spread all over Europe, calling for equal distribution of wealth, more better jobs, bank reforms, and forgiveness of student loan debts. The press later revealed in 2014 that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had kept close surveillance and extensively infiltrated the Occupy Wall Street Movement, in order to deviate it from its goals and destroy it.
5 solar years ago, on this day in 2014 AD, Iranian novelist, Ahmad Bigdeli, died at the age of 69 of a heart attack in Shahr-e Kord, where he was invited to judge a story writing competition. Born in Ahvaz, he published his first story in Ferdowsi literary magazine in 1968. He authored several award winning works such as "A Night outside Home”, "I Was Destroyed”, "A Time to Hide”, "A Sound of Whale” and "A Little Shadow”. He was buried in Nafajabad, near Isfahan.
3 solar years ago, on this day in 2016 AD, a top Iranian athlete and veteran of the Iraqi imposed war, Bahman Golbarnezhad, died at the age of 48 in an accident during the 2016 Summer Paralympics' men's C4-5 road cycling event in Brazil. He suffered a head injury as a result of a collision with a rock on a mountainous stretch of the circuit in Pontal, western Rio de Janeiro. Born in Abadan, and having lost a leg in defence of the country during the 8-year US-imposed war, he had represented Iran in two Summer Paralympic Games. Earlier, during his powerlifting career, he had won twelve gold medals and one silver medal in international competitions. He was also a prominent wrestler.
(Courtesy: IRIB English Radio – http://parstoday.com/en)