This Day in History (August 27)
Today is Thursday; 6th of the Iranian month of Shahrivar 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 7th of the Islamic month of Muharram 1442 lunar hijri; and August 27, 2020, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
Over three millennium lunar years ago, on this day, God Almighty spoke for the first time with Moses, entrusting him with Prophethood and the mission to invite the tyrannical Pharaoh to monotheism and to ask for the release of Israelites from bondage. As is evident by ayah 9 onwards of Surah TaHa of the holy Qur’an, while searching for fire in the wilderness, Moses saw flames atop Mount Sinai and was startled to see a bush on fire but with all its green leaves and branches miraculously intact. Here he heard the voice of the Almighty Creator asking him to take off his shoes, throw his walking staff down that miraculously turned into a snake and to remove his hand from the armpit to find the palm glowing with light.
2499 solar years ago, on this day in 479 BC, Persian forces led by Mardonius, the Iranian governor of Greece and Macedonia and son-in-law of Emperor Darius 1, were routed by Pausanias, the Spartan commander of the Greek army in the Battle of Plataea, which marked a turning point in the Greek-Persian Wars. The battle was fought near Plataea in the Peloponnese Peninsula, between an alliance of Greek city-states, including Sparta, Athens, Corinth and Megara, against the Achaemenid Empire of Xerxes I. The previous year the Iranian army, led by the emperor in person, had scored victories at the battles of Thermopylae and Artemisium and conquered Thessaly, Boeotia and Attica. However, at Salamis, the allied Greek navy won an unlikely victory, preventing the conquest of the Peloponnesus. Xerxes then returned to Iran with much of his army, leaving his brother-in-law, General Mardonius, to finish off the Greeks the following year. It is said that the rashness of Mardonius was the cause of the loss of the battle and his own loss of life, despite the fact that in the past twenty years he had been a key element of Iranian domination over the Greeks.
1381 lunar years ago, on this day in 61 AH, Obaidullah ibn Ziyad, the tyrannical Omayyad governor of Iraq, dispatched more forces to Karbala to besiege Imam Husain (AS) and ordered the commander of his army, Omar ibn Sa’d, to cut off access to the waters of the River Euphrates in order to extract oath of allegiance to Yazid’s illegal rule from the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). Omar ibn Sa’d promptly stationed Amr ibn Hajjaj az-Zubaidi with a detachment of five hundred horsemen on the river banks, but the Imam’s valiant brother, Hazrat Abbas (AS), managed to fetch water from the Euphrates during a night raid and stored it in the encampment, until all resources ran dry on the following day.
1271 solar years ago, on this day in 749 AD, Abbasid general Qahtaba Ibn Shabib-at-Ta’i, who played a leading role in uprooting of the Omayyad caliphate, died in battle near Kufa. He was a Khorasani, belonging to the Yemeni tribal confederation that formed the bulk of the local Muslim population.
841 lunar years ago, on this day in 601 AH, the historian and geographer, Yusuf Ibn Yaqoub Shaybani Dameshqi Ibn al-Mujawir, was born in Damascus, Syria. He spent his childhood and youth in Baghdad, Iraq, learning sciences under the prominent scholars. He traveled all over the Arabian Peninsula and wrote the important work, "Tarikh al-Mustabsir”, which contains valuable political, geographical, and social information of the whole region. He died at the age of 89 in 690 AH.
490 lunar years ago, on this day in 952 AH, on his return march from exile in Iran to reconquer Afghan-occupied Hindustan with Iranian help, Moghal Emperor Naseer od-Din Humayun took Qandahar, and as promised by him to Shah Tahmasp, handed it over to the Safavid Empire. Qandahar, which is currently in Afghanistan, formed the border between the Safavid and Moghal Empires in those days. It was often a bone of contention, exchanging hands many times.
486 solar years ago, on this day in 1534 AD, Ismail Adel Shah, the 2nd king of the dynasty of Iranian origin of Bijapur in southwest India, died at the age of 36 after a reign of 24 years, while on a campaign against the neighbouring sultanate of Golkandah, ruled by the Qotb Shahi dynasty – also of Iranian origin. In the footsteps of his father, Yusuf Adel Shah, the founder of the dynasty who was from Saveh in Iran, he was a devout follower of the school of the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). He patronized ulema, scholars, poets, physicians and even soldiers migrating from Iran to the Deccan. He never lost a battle, and his artillery units were considered formidable. The kingdom of Bijapur that lasted for 187 years until its annexation by Moghal Emperor Aurangzeb of Hindustan (northern subcontinent) was a Persianate state. It is worth noting that Yusuf Adel Shah had declared Shi’a Islam as the state religion almost a decade before Shah Ismail I founded the Safavid Dynasty in Iran and decreed Shi’a Islam as state religion.
250 solar years ago, on this day in 1770 AD, German philosopher, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, was born. On France’s occupation of Germany in 1806, he was influenced by the characteristics of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Hegel divided history into several phases and believed that its course is determined by God. He wrote several books including "The Phenomenology of Spirit”, "Science of Logic”, and "Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences”. He died in 1831.
129 lunar years ago, on this day in 1313 AH, Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Hadi Milani was born in holy Najaf in Iraq in a family from Milaan in West Azarbaijan Province. He started his religious studies at a very young age, soon mastering jurisprudence, theology, hadith, exegesis of the holy Qur’an, philosophy, and Arabic and Persian literature. He reached the status of Ijtehad at the young age of 21, and migrated to holy Mashhad in Iran, where he stayed the rest of his life, passing away at the age of 82. He established the Imam Sadeq (AS) Seminary and the Husaini Institute of Islamic Sciences in Mashhad. Ayatollah Milani who groomed many scholars and wrote the 10-volume jurisprudential work "Muhadhiraat fi Fiqh-al-Imamia”, was laid to rest in the Towhid-Khanah Aivan of the holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS).
124 solar years ago, on this day in 1896 AD, the shortest war in history took place between Britain and Zanzibar, lasting only 40 minutes from 09:05 to 09:45 hours local time. The cause was death of the pro-British Sultan Hamad bin Thuwaini two days earlier and succession of Sultan Khalid bin Barghash. The British authorities preferred Hamoud bin Mohammed, who was more favourable to British interests, as sultan.
75 solar years ago, on this day in 1945 AD, English oriental scholar, Reynold Alleyne Nicholson, died at the age of 77. Nicholson, as a teacher of the great poet-philosopher of the Subcontinent, Muhammad Iqbal Lahori, translated the latrer’s first philosophical Persian poetry book "Asrar-e Khudi” into English as "The Secrets of the Self”. He also wrote the book "A Literary History of the Arabs”. Another prominent student of Nicholson was Arthur John Arberry, an Arabic-Persian expert and a Rumi admirer, who completed an academic English translation of the holy Qur’an as well as translation of Iqbal’s long ode in Persian "The Javid-Namah”.
72 lunar years ago, on this day in 1370 AH, the jurisprudent and exegete of the holy Qur’an, Ayatollah Shaikh Ja’far Nizari Naqdi, passed away in holy Najaf, Iraq, at the age of 64. He authored several books, such as "al-Anwaar al-Alawiyya wa’l-Asraar al-Murtazawiyya” on the God-given merits of Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), the 1st divinely-designated Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
29 solar years ago, on this day in 1991 AD, Moldova gained independence after long domination by Ukraine, the Ottoman Turks, Russia, and the Soviet Union. In the late 1980s, when the Soviet Union was breaking apart, calls for merger with Romania were defeated by a referendum.
28 solar years ago, on this day in 1992 AD, the revolutionary Iranian Islamic scholar, Ayatollah Seyyed Abdul-Majid Iravani, passed away at the age of 58.