Today is Thursday; 26th of the Iranian month of Dey 1398 solar hijri; corresponding to 20th of the Islamic month of Jamadi al-Awwal 1441 lunar hijri; and January 16, 2020, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1091 solar years ago, on this day in 929 AD, Abdur-Rahman III, the Omayyad Emir of Cordoba in Spain, styled himself the first caliph of Spain, by breaking all allegiance with the Abbasid caliphate of Baghdad. Born to a Christian concubine (his father’s mother was also a Christian concubine), he succeeded his grandfather, Abdullah, as Emir at the age of 23 years. During his 49-year rule until his death at the age of 72, his legitimacy was under serious question as a result of the bid by the Fatemid Ismaili Shi’ite Muslim Dynasty of North Africa to expand its sphere of influence in Spain, where Muslims considered the Omayyads as usurpers and the descendants of the Prophet more worthy of governance. In order to check the Fatemids, he signed a treaty with the Christian ruler of Leon, Ordono III, and backed the Maghrawa Berber rebels in Northwest Africa. Instead of confronting the European Christian rebels who were slowly encroaching upon the northern territories of Islamic Spain, he devoted his time and energy to creating inter-Muslim rivalries, as was evident by his support for the Idrisids, which was also a Shi’ite Muslim Dynasty of what is now Morocco. Abdur-Rahman’s efforts were brought to naught in 958, after a decisive Fatemid victory that ended for good any Omayyad influence in North Africa.
980 solar years ago, on this day in 1040 AD, Sultan Mas’oud I of the Ghaznavid Empire was killed in the prison shortly after being deposed by his twin brother Mohammad, who was the nominee of their father, Sultan Mahmoud to the throne.
759 lunar years ago, on this day in 682 AH, Fakhr al-Muhaqqin Mohammad ibn Hassan al-Hilli was born in Hilla in Iraq. He was the son of the celebrated Allamah Hilli, under whose guidance he grew up and reached the status of Ijtehad – independent reasoning based on Holy Qur’an and Prophet’s Hadith. He lived a life of piety. He wrote prolifically on a wide variety of topics including exegesis of the holy Qur’an, theology, jurisprudence, and philosophy. Among his books, mention can be made of "al-Kafia”, and "Tahsil an-Nejaat”. He passed away in 771 AH.
704 lunar years ago, on this day in 737 AH, the North African Islamic scholar, Abu Abdullah Mohammad ibn al-Haj al-Abdari al-Fasi, passed away in Egypt. He wrote the book "Madkhal ash-Shara ash-Shareef ala’l-Madhaheb” (Introduction to Islamic Jurisprudence According to the Schools of Thought). Published in 4 volumes, it treats many different subjects. His views are very much influenced by the Iranian scholar al-Ghazali’s "Ihya’ Uloum ad-Din”. He spent much of his life in Tunis and Egypt and, for some time taught at the Universities of Fez in Morocco.
629 solar years ago, on this day in 1391 AD, Mohammed V, the 8th Nasrid Emir of Granada in al-Andalus or Islamic Spain, died at the age of 53 after a reign of 34 years split in two periods. The eldest son and heir of Yusuf I by his slave Butayna, he took power in 1354 but five years later was overthrown by his half-brother Ismail II and sought protection with the Marinid sultan of Fez in Morocco, where he was inspired with fresh examples of architecture. Ismail was murdered less than a year later in 1360 by his brother-in-law, Abu Sa’eed, who ruled as Mohammad VI. The new ruler, unnerved by the return of Mohammad V from Morocco in 1361 and his gradual capture of Malaga, Loja, Antequera, Velez and Alhama, panicked and fled Granada only to be murdered at Tablada near Seville in 1362 on the orders of King Peter of Castile. Mohammad V now retook the throne of Granada to rule for 29 long years during which he completed the grand "Alhambra” with the Palace of the Lions and the Mexuar, or Cuarto Dorado.
473 solar years ago, on this day in 1547 AD, Prince Ivan IV, known as "Ivan the Terrible,” crowned himself the Czar of Russia in Moscow – the first Russian ruler to assume that title. He was Grand Prince of Moscow from 1533 to 1547 and Czar of All the Russias from 1547 until his death in 1584, during which he launched brutal attacks to conquer the Muslim Khanates of Kazan, Astrakhan, and Siberia, transforming Russia into a multiethnic and multi-confessional state. For instance, in 1552 AD, Kazan, the capital of Tataristan, was occupied after a long siege by Ivan the Terrible, who massacred as many as 110,000 Tartar Muslims, and forcibly converted to Christianity many others, after destroying mosques or turning them into churches.
425 solar years ago, on this day in 1595 AD, Murad III, the 12th Ottoman Sultan and the 4th self-styled Turkish caliph, died at the age of 49 in Istanbul and was succeeded by his son Mohammad III.
226 solar years ago, on this day in 1794 AD, British historian and a member of parliament, Edward Gibbon, died at the age of 57. He is the author of the famous 6-volume work "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”, which is acclaimed for its quality, its prose, its use of primary sources, and its open criticism of Judaism and Christianity. He traced the trajectory of Western civilization as well as the spread of Islam and the Mongol invasion from the height of the Roman Empire to the fall of Byzantium. He says about Prophet Mohammad (SAWA): "He breathed among the faithful a spirit of charity and friendship; recommended the practice of social virtues; and checked ... the thirst of revenge, and the oppression of widows and orphans.”
About Imam Ali (AS), Gibbon writes: "The zeal and virtue of Ali were never outstripped by any recent proselyte. He united the qualifications of a poet, a soldier, and a saint; his wisdom still breathes in a collection of moral and religious sayings; and every antagonist, in the combats of the tongue or of the sword, was subdued by his eloquence and valour. From the first hour of his mission to the last rites of his funeral, the Apostle was never forsaken by a generous friend, whom he delighted to name his brother, his vicegerent, and the faithful Aaron of a second Moses.”
About the heartrending tragedy of Karbala, Gibbon states: "In a distant age and climate the tragic scene of the death of Husain will awaken the sympathy of the coldest reader.”
174 solar years ago, on this day in 1846 AD, the US, as part of its expansionist policies, attacked Mexico on the pretext of the alleged mistreatment of Americans. The war lasted two years, and the US occupied and annexed large regions of Mexico, including Texas, California, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico.
155 solar years ago, on this day in 1865 AD, French socialist philosopher, Pierre Joseph Proudhon, died at the age of 56. He brought out several journals, including the one titled: "What’s Ownership”. He supported the rights of workers, and considered himself an anarchist. Among the books he wrote is "The Philosophy of Poverty”.
41 solar years ago, on this day in 1979 AD, the British-installed and American backed Pahlavi potentate of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah, faced by the massive tide of the Islamic Revolution fled the country under pretext of medical treatment. He was placed on the Peacock Throne by the British in 1941 after they dismissed and deported from Iran his father, Reza Khan, due to his support for Germany during World War II. In 1953, Mohammad Reza had fled the country faced with the people’s uprising, but was returned to Iran and re-installed on the throne by his godfathers, the British and the Americans, who carried out the August 19, 1953 coup to unseat Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq. Thereafter, Mohammad Reza loyally served the vested interests of the US in Iran and the region, and brutally suppressed the Iranian people, until he was forced to run away from Iran this day. The people of Iran celebrated his ouster with joy on the streets, and demanded the return home from exile of their beloved leader, Imam Khomeini (RA). In the next three weeks, the remnants of the oppressive Pahlavi regime collapsed and were thrown into the dustbin of history, with triumph of the Islamic Revolution.
32 solar years ago, on this day in 1988 AD, prominent Iraqi religious leader, Hojjat al-Islam Seyyed Mahdi al-Hakeem, son of the Source of Emulation, Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Mohsen al-Hakeem, was martyred by agents of Saddam’s Ba’th minority regime in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. He was socially and culturally active in Iraq, for which reason the tyrannical Ba’th minority party issued a death verdict against him. He went into exile, first in Pakistan and then in the UAE, where for years he was the Friday Prayer Leader in Dubai. Later, he moved to London. During the last days of the 8-year war that the US had imposed on Iran through Saddam, when efforts were underway to rid Iraq of Ba’th minority rule, Seyyed Mahdi al-Hakeem who was in Khartoum to attend a political conference, was martyred in the hotel lobby.
(Courtesy: IRIB English Radio – http://parstoday.com/en)