Today is Sunday; 20th of the Iranian month of Mehr 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 23rd of the Islamic month of Safar 1442 lunar hijri; and October 11, 2020, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
934 solar years ago, on this day in 1086 AD, Chinese historian and statesman Sima Guang, died at the age of 67. Perhaps the greatest of China’s historians, he wrote in several volumes the monumental "Zizhi Tongjian” which detailed in chronological order events in Chinese history from 403 BC to 959 AD. He was also a lexicographer and spent decades compiling in 1066 "Leipian” ("Classified dictionary.
882 solar years ago, on this day in 1138 AD, a devastating earthquake, the third deadliest in recorded history, struck the city of Aleppo and its environs in Syria, killing over two hundred thousand people, during the rule of the Turkish warlord, Emad od-Din Zengi. The worst hit area was Harem, where the Christian Crusaders from Europe had built a large citadel, which was destroyed along with the church. The nearby fort of Atharib, which was in the hands of Muslims, was also destroyed.
642 lunar years ago, on this day in 800 AH, Taj od-Din Ferouz Shah ascended the Turquoise Throne in Gulbarga, as the 8th ruler of the Bahmani Dynasty of Iranian origin of the Deccan in South India by deposing the boy-king Shams ud-Din Daud Shah II, installed five months earlier as the puppet ruler by the Turkic slave-commander Tughalchin, who had blinded and dethroned the elder brother, Ghiyas od-Din Tahmatan Shah, only two months after the 17-year old had succeeded his father Mahmoud Shah. Ferouz, the son-in-law of Mahmoud Shah and a grandson of Ala od-Din Bahman Shah, the founder of the kingdom, ruled for 25 years. He was the most learned and cultured ruler, and besides his native Persian, was well versed in the Arabic, Turkic, Telugu, Kanada and Marathi languages. A poet, mathematician, and calligrapher, writing under the pennames "Uruji” and "Ferouzi”, he patronized art and literature and kept the company of scholars and religious figures. Among the public works undertaken by him was an observatory on the chain of hills near Dowlatabad. His prime minister was the Iranian migrant scholar-statesman Mir Fazlullah Inju of Shiraz, who earlier in the reign of Mahmoud Shah had invited the renowned Iranian poet, Khwaja Hafez Shirazi to the Deccan. Ferouz was inclined towards the school of the Ahl al-Bayt or Blessed Household of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
448 solar years ago, on this day in 1572 AD, Sulaiman Khan Karrani, the Afghan Sultan of Bengal, or what is now the Indian province of the same name along with Bangladesh, died after a reign of six years. He had succeeded his elder brother Taj Khan Karrani and was followed by his sons Bayazid and Daud Khan who ruled the short-lived semi-independent state that acknowledged Mughal emperor Akbar Shah as the supreme ruler by reciting his name in the Friday Prayer sermons.
386 solar years ago, on this day in 1634 AD, the Burchardi Flood, also known as the "Second Grote Mandrenke”, killed around 15,000 people in North Friesland, Denmark and Germany. It was a storm tide that struck the North Sea coast of North Frisia and Dithmarschen on the night between 11 and 12 October. Overrunning dikes, it shattered the coastline and caused catastrophic material damage. Much of the island of Strand was washed away, forming the islands Nordstrand, Pellworm and several Halligen.
189 lunar years ago, on this day in 1253 AH, the Treaty of Tafna was forced by the French occupiers on Algerian leader, Seyyed Abdul-Qader al-Hassani al-Jaza’eri, resulting in the occupation of a third of this country including Oran and Algiers. Two years later, the French breached the clauses of their own imposed treaty and gradually occupied the whole of Algeria. Abdul-Qader was taken prisoner and sent to Paris. Years later he was released, but not allowed to go back to Algeria. He went to Syria and stayed there till he died. Algeria in 1961 became independent after the French had killed at least a million Algerian Muslims.
141 lunar years ago, on this day in 1301 AH, the prominent Iranian religious scholar, Shaikh Mohammad Baqer Aqa Najafi Isfahani, passed away at the age of 67. After preliminary studies in Isfahan, he went to Iraq for higher studies at the famous seminary of the holy city of Najaf. On returning to Iran, he taught at the Isfahan seminary, grooming students and writing books. He wielded wide social influence and attached paramount importance to promotion of virtue and prevention of vice. His books include "Lobb al-Fiqh”, and "Lobb al-Osoul”.
121 solar years ago, on this day in 1899 AD, a bloody battle broke out between the British intruders and the Boers or Dutch settlers of South Africa. The Boers were defeated and South Africa became a British colony, until it gained independence in 1931.
105 solar years ago, on this day in 1915 AD, the French biologist and entomologist, Jean Henri Fabre, died at the age 92. He was the first scientist to conduct comprehensive research on the mechanism of instinctive reactions among animals, especially birds, for maintenance of their lives, gathering valuable data in this domain.
29 solar years ago, on this day in 1991 AD, the activities of the Soviet Union’s security organization, known as KGB, ended awhile before the collapse of Soviet Union. KGB was founded in 1954 to counter the operations of the CIA and other western spy agencies. Its duties included suppression of opponents of the Communist Party, as well as espionage and counterespionage operations inside and outside the Soviet Union. KGB was the most effective leverage of the communist party’s strength. With the dissolution of KGB, its duties were divided between two Russian intelligence organizations.
26 solar years ago, on this day in 1994 AD, the prominent Iranian researcher and translator, Mahmoud Riyazi, passed away. He has left behind several important works such as "Emergence and Downfall of Big Powers”, and "Energy Crisis”.
15 solar years ago, on this day in 2005 AD, Shan ul-Haq Haqqi, Urdu linguist and writer of the Subcontinent, passed away in Canada at the age of 88 while undergoing medical treatment. Born in Delhi to Ehtasham od-Din Haqqi, who wrote a study of the famous Iranian poet, Hafez Shirazi titled "Tarjuman ul-Ghayb”, along with an Urdu translation of "Diwan-e Hafez”, he was a product of Aligarh Muslim University. After migration to Pakistan in 1948, he became a notable Urdu poet, writer, journalist, broadcaster, translator, critic, researcher, linguist and lexicographer of Pakistan. In addition to his regular professional duties, he remained associated with the Urdu Dictionary Board for 17 years from 1958 to 1975, compiling a 24-volume dictionary. He compiled two other dictionaries – "Farhang-e Talaffuz” which is a pronouncing dictionary of Urdu, and the Oxford English-Urdu Dictionary, which is a translation of the eighth and ninth editions of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary. He also translated into Urdu the Hindu Sanskrit classic "Bhagvad Gita”.
10 solar years ago, on this day in 2010 AD, Callixte Mbarushimana, a Rwandan leader of the FDLR rebel group and a former UN employee, was arrested in Paris on charges of leading rebels who committed mass rapes and killings in Congo in 2009. The International Criminal Court charged him with 11 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including killings, rape, persecution based on gender and extensive destruction of property committed by the FDLR during most of 2009. He was extradited to the ICC on 25 January 2011, but was released on 23 December 2011 as the ICC, under political pressure, found there was insufficient evidence for prosecuting him.
Today, 20th of the Iranian month of Mehr, is the day for commemoration of the famous Iranian poet, Khwajah Shams od-Din Mohammad Hafez Shirazi.