Today is Thursday; 27th of the Iranian month of Aban 1395 solar hijri; corresponding to 17th of the Islamic month of Safar 1438 lunar hijri; and November 17, 2016, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1235 lunar years ago, on this day in 203 AH, according to a narration, Imam Reza (AS), the 8th Infallible Successor of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), was martyred through poisoning in the city of Tous in Khorasan, northeastern Iran, by the crafty Abbasid caliph, Mamoun. In Iran, the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Reza (AS) is commemorated on the last day of the month of Safar with a public holiday and official mourning ceremonies throughout the country, especially in the holy city of Mashhad, where the 8th Imam reposes in eternal peace.
738 solar years ago, on this day in 1278 AD, 680 Jews were arrested in England for counterfeiting coins, and 293 of them found guilty and hanged. Throughout European history Jews have been ostracized for their miserliness, charging of usury, and above all insulting the fundamental beliefs of Christians by slandering Prophet Jesus and his mother, Virgin Mary.
611 solar years ago, on this day in 1405 AD, Sharif al-Hashim established the Sultanate of Sulu comprising many of the islands of the Sulu Sea, parts of Mindanao, certain portions of present-day Sabah (then North Borneo) and North Kalimantan. Of Yemeni origin and born in Johore in what is now Malaysia, he was a direct descendant of the Martyr of Karbala, Imam Husain (AS), the younger grandson of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). He promulgated the first Sulu code of laws called Diwan that were based on the holy Qur’an. He introduced Islamic political institutions and the consolidation of Islam as the state religion
542 lunar years ago, on this day in 896 AH, the Sunni Muslim jurisprudent and exegete of the Holy Qur’an, Abu Sa’ood Mohammad Mustafa Imadi, was born in the village of Modarres in the vicinity of Istanbul. He was of Kurdish origin, and served as judge in Bursa, Istanbul and Rumelia, where he brought local laws into conformity with the Islamic Shari’a. In the reign of Sultan Suleiman the "Lawgiver” he was promoted as Grand Mufti (Supreme Judge), an office he held until his death. He issued judicial opinions that legitimized Suleiman’s persecution of the heretical Yazidi sect. Imadi reorganized Ottoman jurisprudence and brought it under tighter governmental control. He was fluent in Persian and Arabic and composed poems in these two languages.
524 solar years ago, on this day in 1492 AD, the prominent Persian poet and literary figure, Noor od-Din Abdur-Rahman Jami died in the Khorasani city of Herat, at the age of 78. Born in a family that had migrated from Isfahan to Khorasan, he went to Samarqand to learn Islamic sciences, literature and history, and visited several other lands, before settling in Herat. He has left behind a large number of works in prose and verse, including "Baharestan”. Jami has also composed beautiful odes in praise of Prophet Mohammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny) and the Ahl al-Bayt.
458 solar years ago, on this day in 1558 AD, Elizabeth I ascended the throne of England at the age of 42 upon death of her half-sister Mary, thus starting the 45-year "Elizabethan Epoch” that gave national identity and stability to the country. The period is famous for the flourishing of English drama, led by playwrights such as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe, and for the seafaring prowess of English adventurers such as Francis Drake. The 5th and last ruler of the Tudor Dynasty, she remained unmarried and was succeeded on her death by King James of Scotland, who united the British Isles.
266 solar years ago, on this day in 1750 AD, French researcher, Nicolas Appert, was born. He discovered the method of pasteurization of food for removing microbes, which marks a major development for preserving foodstuffs. He died in 1841 mired in poverty.
220 solar years ago, on this day in 1796 AD, Empress Catherine the Great, the German wife of Tsar Peter III of Russia, died at the age of 67 after a reign of 34 years (following her husband’s death in 1762), and the news led to a humiliating retreat of Russian forces from the Caucasus in the midst of the war against Iran which she had started.
183 lunar years ago, on this day in 1255 AH, the prominent scholar and reciter of Holy Qur’an, Sheikh Abdur-Rahim Tabrizi, who earned fame as "Sultan ol-Qurra” (Chief of Qur’an Reciters), was born in the city of Tabriz, in northwestern Iran. He learned the recitation of Holy Qur’an from his father, and became a master in this field as his title suggests. He became familiar with the prominent Islamic freedom fighter of the Caucasus against Russian colonial rule, Shaikh Shamil Daghestani. When Sheikh Shamil was gathering an army to launch an uprising against the Russians who had occupied what was then the Iranian province of Daghestan, Sultan ol-Qurra Tabrizi joined the campaign. He later returned to Tabriz and organized classes for proper recitation of the Holy Qur’an. He passed away in 1336 AH at the age of 81, and has left behind a large number of valuable books.
147 solar years ago, on this day in 1869 AD, Suez Canal, which links the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea, was inaugurated. It was excavated by French engineer, Ferdinand de Lesseps in a period of ten years, covering a length of 168 km and width of 120 to 200 meters. Millennia prior to this date, Darius I, the Achaemenian Emperor of Iran who also ruled Egypt, and before him some Egyptian Pharaohs, had taken measures for connecting the Mediterranean and the Red Seas, which indicate the importance of this maritime route. The Suez Canal is considered as the border between the two continents of Asia and Africa. In 1956, Egypt nationalized the Canal, a move that made Britain, France, and the usurper Zionist entity called Israel, to launch a war. After initial success, the occupation troops were finally forced to evacuate the Suez Canal.
146 solar years ago, on this day in 1870 AD, the united German Empire was founded by Prussia following its victory over Denmark, Austria, and France. The main implementer of the unity plan was Otto von Bismarck, known as the Iron Chancellor. The German Empire, also known as the Second Reich, collapsed in 1918, following its defeat in World War I, and the Republic system was established in Germany.
94 solar years ago, on this day in 1922 AD, with the exile to Italy of the 36th Ottoman Sultan, Mohammad VI, after a 4-year reign, following the Turkish Grand Assembly’s decision on November 1 to abolish the monarchy, the state that was declared independent of Seljuqid rule in 1299 by Osman Khan Ghazi, came to its end after six centuries of rule over the regions overlapping Asia, Europe and Africa. The Sultan who was also stripped of his dubious role as caliph, which was handed to his cousin, Abdul-Majid II for the next year-and-a-half before its abolishment in 1924, died in exile in 1926 at the age of 65. Osman was the son of Etughrul Beg, a Turkic chieftain of Central Asia, who fleeing the Mongol onslaught had sought refuge in Asia Minor in the Seljuqid Sultanate of Roum, which appointed him Amir of a border principality to fight the Byzantine Empire with the help of Ghazis (holy warriors) streaming into what is now Turkey from different Islamic lands.
73 solar years ago, on this day in 1943 AD, the Cairo Conference was held in the Egyptian capital by Allied Powers during World War II. Among the decisions adopted by Britain, the US, and Russia, was to strip imperialist Japan of all territories that it had seized in the Pacific and the Asian continent, and to declare Korea as an independent country.
70 solar years ago, on this day in 1946 AD, Head of the Islamic seminary of holy Mashhad, Ayatollah Shaikh Morteza Ashtiyani, passed away at the age of 83 and was laid to rest in the mausoleum of Imam Reza (AS) – the 8th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). He completed his higher studies and reached the status of Ijtehad in holy Najaf, Iraq, where his teachers were the famous ulema, Mirza Habibollah Rashti, and Akhound Khorasani. On his return to Iran, he took up residence in Tehran for some years before shifting to holy Mashhad where he spent the last 25 years of his life, teaching and preaching.
40 solar years ago, on this day in 1976 AD, prominent Bengali Muslim leader, Mowlana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani, whose political career spanned British India, Pakistan and Bangladesh rule, passed away in Dhaka at the age of 96. Noted for his selflessness and solidarity with the oppressed, he gained popularity among the masses of Bengali speakers. He is regarded as the proponent of anti-imperialist and non-communal politics by his admirers in present-day Bangladesh and beyond.
34 solar years ago, on this day in 1982 AD, Iraqi parties in exile met in Tehran to form the Supreme Assembly for the Islamic Revolution of Iraq (SAIRI) to free their homeland from the tyrannical rule of the Ba’th minority regime of Saddam. SAIRI was active in political and military circles against the Ba’thists during the 8-year war the US had imposed on the Islamic Republic of Iran through Saddam. After the US and Britain turned against their protégé Saddam and dislodged him from power in 2003, SAIRI relocated its headquarters to Iraq, where a few months later, its charismatic leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Baqer Hakeem was martyred shortly after leading the Friday Prayer in Najaf in the holy shrine of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (AS). It has now changed its name to Supreme Islamic Assembly of Iraq, and is led by Hojjat al-Islam Seyyed Ammar Hakeem, nephew of Seyyed Mohammd Baqer Hakeem. The group is an active member of the ruling coalition of Iraq.
(Courtesy: IRIB English Radio – http://parstoday.com/en)