Today is Wednesday; 16th of the Iranian month of Mehr 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 19th of the Islamic month of Safar 1442 lunar hijri; and October 7, 2020, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1271 lunar years ago, on this day in 171 AH, Iranian Islamic astronomer, Abu-Ma’shar Ja’far ibn Mohammad al-Balkhi, was born in the Khorasani city of Balkh (presently in Afghanistan). He wrote a large number of books; the most important of which is "al-Mudkhal al-Kabir”. He wrote a number of practical manuals on astrology that profoundly influenced Muslim intellectual history and, through Latin translations, that of Europe. Of his works used by Roger Bacon and others are "Kitab ad-Dalalaat ala’l-Ittesalaat wa-Qiranaat al-Kawakeb” (Book of Indications of the Planetary Conjunctions), and "Kitab al-Milal wa’l-Duwal” (Book on Nations and Dynasties).
449 solar years ago, on this day in 1571 AD, the decisive Battle of Lepanto took place on the northern edge of the Gulf of Corinth, off the western coast of the Turkish province of Yunanistan (now known as Greece), when a fleet of southern European Catholic maritime states, backed by the Church in Rome, managed to defeat the Ottoman navy in five hours of fighting. According to historians classifying strategic battles, a Turkish victory could have led to Western Europe being overrun by the Muslims, as was the fate of the Byzantine Empire a little more than a century earlier. Lepanto was the last major naval battle in the Mediterranean fought entirely between galleys.
283 solar years ago, on this day in 1737 AD, 40 foot waves sank 20,000 small craft and killed 300,000 people in Bengal, India.
257 solar years ago, on this day in 1763 AD, King George III of Britain issued a parliamentary degree closing aboriginal lands in North America north and west of Alleghenies to white settlements. Some 15 years later the revolt of the colonists in what were then the 13 New England states, annulled the British king’s decree, and led to the genocide of the Amerindians by the White settlers from Europe who now spread in all directions to the detriment of the so-called Red Indians.
224 solar years ago, on this day in 1796 AD, Scottish mathematician and philosopher, Thomas Reid, died at the age of 86. He was the founder of the School of Common Sense and believed that common sense should be at the foundation of all philosophical inquiry. He advocated direct realism, or common sense realism, and argued strongly against the Theory of Ideas advocated by John Locke, and Rene Descartes.
214 solar years ago, on this day in 1806 AD, Englishman Ralph Wedgwood secured the first patent for carbon paper, which he described as an "apparatus for producing duplicates of writings.” In his process, thin paper was saturated with printer’s ink, and then dried between sheets of blotting paper.
160 solar years ago, on this 1860 AD, during the 2nd Opium War against China, British troops on the outskirts of Beijing began to plunder the beautiful gardens of Yuanmingyuan (the garden of perfection and light), and the imperial summer palace built by the Qing emperor Qianlong in 1709. Lord Elgin’s cavalry soon set fire and let the gardens burn for 3 days and nights.
92 solar years ago, on this day in 1928 AD, troops stormed the house of prominent leader of Iran’s Constitutional Movement, Ayatollah Seyyed Hassan Modarres, and arrested him along with his family and friends on the orders of the British-installed dictator, Reza Khan Pahlavi. The Ayatollah, who in 1925 had unsuccessfully opposed the dissolution of the Qajarid dynasty by the Pahlavi upstart, was exiled to Khaf and then to Kashmar in southern Khorasan, where in 1937 he was poisoned on the orders of Reza Khan and attained martyrdom.
80 solar years ago, on this day in 1940 AD, during World War II, Romania was occupied by German Nazi troops, thus paving the way for Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union.
70 solar years ago, on this day in 1950 AD, a year after establishment of the communist system, China seized Tibet, and nine years later crushed the uprising of the Tibetan people, forcing the Dalai Lama or the Buddhist religious-political to seek refuge in India, where he is still based.
59 lunar years ago, on this day in 1383 AH, the Source of Emulation, Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Morteza Langeroodi, passed away at the age of 77. He was born near the city of Langerood on the Caspian Sea coast of Gilan Province in northern Iran. After studying in Qazvin and benefitting later from the classes of senior ulema, such as Ayatollah Tonekaboni, he went to Iraq for higher studies at the famous seminary of holy Najaf, where he attended the classes of Ayatollah Mirza Hussain Na’ini for several years, until he attained the status of Ijtehad. He taught for some time in Najaf before returning to Iran to teach for long years at the seminary in the holy city of Qom. He authored several books.
49 solar years ago, on this day in 1971 AD, prominent researcher, writer and preacher, Seyyed Mohammad Musawi Shirazi, son of Sultan al-Va’ezin Ali Akbar Shirazi, passed away at the age of 75. Born in Tehran, he left for Iraq with his father at the age of 12 and in the holy city of Karbala completed his studies. On his return to Iran, he resided for a time in Kermanshah, before embarking on research and scholarly tours abroad that took him to Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt and the Subcontinent. During these trips he held dialogues and debates with Sunni Muslims as well as followers of other creeds, such as Jews, Christians, and Hindus. In India, in 1927, he had a marathon 8-hour long discussion with the Leader of the independence movement against the British, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, which was widely reflected in the Indian press. His most famous debate, however, was in Peshawar in what is now Pakistan in 1927 that lasted for ten days (beginning on January 27), with two prominent Sunni religious scholars of Afghanistan – Hafiz Muhammad Rashid, and Sheikh Abdu’s-Salaam; both of whom from Kabul. A condition of the dialogue was that only sources acceptable to both sects would be cited. The dialogue was held in Persian, common to both parties, while four reporters recorded its details in the presence of approximately 200 people (both Shi’as and Sunnis). The dialogues were a model of mutual respect and in spite of the seriousness of the subject, there was no breach of decorum. The transcript of the dialogue was first published in the newspapers each day the following morning. Later it was published in book form titled "Shabha-e Peshawar” (translated into English as Peshawar Nights) that became a classic authority in the Islamic World. He also authored the book titled "Sad Maqala-e Sultani” (100 Essays on Refutation of Judaism and Christianity) as well as the 2-volume "Grouh-e Rastaragaan” also known as "Firqa’e Najiyya” – reference to the famous hadith of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA): After me the Ummah will split into 72 sects of which only one will attain salvation and enter paradise.
19 solar years ago, on this day in 2001 AD, the US invaded Afghanistan and occupied it after ousting its agents the Taleban militia by accusing it of collaboration with the al-Qa’eda outfit – also created by the CIA to spread terrorism. The US wrongly accused the Afghan-based groups of being involved in the implosion of New York’s 110-storey-high Twin-Towers. The US, which along with its NATO accomplices has killed hundreds of thousands of Afghan civilians and destroyed the country, is still in occupation of Afghanistan. Over the past 12 years, the US-NATO troops have killed well over a hundred thousand Afghan civilians and destroyed the country.