Today is Monday; 24th of the Iranian month of Shahrivar 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 25th of the Islamic month of Muharram 1442 lunar hijri; and September 14, 2020, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1347 lunar years ago, on this day in 95 AH, Imam Ali Zain al-Abedin (AS), the 4th Infallible Successor of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), attained martyrdom at the age of 57 as a result of a fatal dose of poison administered on the orders of Waleed I, the 6th self-styled caliph of the usurper Omayyad regime. The 4th Imam, who was born in Medina in 38 AH, was the son of the Immortal Martyr of Karbala, Imam Husain (AS). His mother was Princess Shahrbano (SA) of Iran, the daughter of the last Sassanid Emperor, Yazdgerd III. Following the tragedy of Karbala, the 23-year old Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS) was made a prisoner along with the womenfolk and children of the Prophet’s blessed household, and taken to the courts of the tyrants in Kufa and Damascus. He waged a unique jihad in this state of captivity and despite being in chain and fetters, rocked the court of Yazid through his eloquent sermons that exposed the hypocrisy and Godlessness of the Omayyads. During the 34 years of his imamate (divinely-decreed authority), he revived the genuine teachings of Islam and groomed a large number of scholars at the fledgling academy of Medina which was to blossom under his son, Imam Mohammad al-Baqer (AS) and later under his grandson Imam as-Ja’far as-Sadeq (AS), at whose feet 4,000 scholars used to study various branches of science. The 4th Imam was also known as "Seyyed os-Sajedin” or simply "Sajjad”, because of his long hours of prostration to God Almighty. Among his immortal legacy is the Treatise on Rights (Risalat-al-Hoqouq), which is more perfect than the UN Charter of Human Rights. He also bequeathed to humanity the brilliant collection of supplications known as "Sahifat as-Sajjadiyah” that not only covers morals and fundamentals of faith, but also scientific issues, including the weight of light.
1234 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.
1088 lunar years ago, on this day in 354 AH, the Imami scholar Muhassin Ibn Ali Qazi Tanukhi passed away. He was a master of Arabic literature and wrote a fitting reply on the God-endowed merits of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt by rejecting the superficial eulogy composed by Ibn Mo’tazz on the forged superiority of the Abbasids.
874 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.
258 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.
251 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.
208 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.
191 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.
189 lunar years ago, on this day in 1253 AH, the first Iranian monthly newspaper: "Kaghazi Akhbar” was published by Mirza Saleh Shirazi in two pages in Tabriz. Its articles were about Tehran and other Iranian cities, as well as Arab countries, Turkey, and the Subcontinent. A copy of this monthly is kept in the British Museum.
168 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. As a colonel in 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.
61 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.
60 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.
33 solar years ago, on this day in 1987 AD, prominent Iranian astrologer, Habibollah Nojoumi, passed away at the age of 72.
21 solar years ago, on this day in 1999 AD, Iranian historian and researcher, Dr. Abdul-Hussain Zarrinkoub, passed away due to a heart stroke at the age of 77. Among his books, mention can be made of "Familiarity with Literary Criticism”.
15 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.