Today is Saturday; 21st of the Iranian month of Dey 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 26th of the Islamic month of Jamadi al-Awwal 1442 lunar hijri; and January 10, 2021, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1162 lunar years ago, on this day in 280 AH, Iranian linguist and Arabic poet, Abu’l-Fazl Ahmad, popular as Ibn Abi Taher Tayfur, passed away at the age of 76 in his hometown Baghdad and was laid to rest in Bab ash-Sham cemetery in the section reserved for notables. He was the first writer to devote a book to writers. His works include the 3-volume"Kitab al-Manthour wa’l-Manzoum” (Book of Prose and Poetry), which is the first attested multi-author anthology. Another of his work was the 6-volume "Kitab Baghdad” (Book of Baghdad), of which only one volume has survived. He also compiled "Balaghat an-Nisa” (Eloquence of Women), in which he has cited the two sermons of Hazrat Fatema az-Zahra (SA), the daughter of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), following seizure of her patrimony of the orchard of Fadak and the usurpation of the right of political leadership of her husband the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS). He has also cited the eloquently moving sermon of Omm Kolthoum, the Prophet’s granddaughter, delivered in the aftermath of the tragedy of Karbala and the martyrdom of her brother Imam Husain (AS).
1161 lunar years ago, on this day in 281 AH, Iranian polymath, Abu Hanifah Ahmad ibn Dawoud Dinawari, passed away at the age of 70 in his birthplace Dinawar – a Kurdish region halfway between Hamedan and Kermanshah in western Iran. He wrote a book on this subject titled "Ansaab al-Akraad” (Ancestry of the Kurds). All his works are in Arabic including "Kitab al-Kusouf” (Book of Solar Eclipses), "Kitab al-Akhbar at-Tiwaal” (General History), "Kitab al-Boldaan” (Book of Geography), and "Kitab ash-She’r wa’sh-Shu’ara” (Book of Poetry and Poets). Dinawari’s works also deal with astronomy, meteorology and agriculture.
949 solar years ago, on this day in 1072 AD, Muslim rule ended on the island of Sicily, with the surrender of the capital, Palermo to the Norman invader Robert Guiscard, although Islamic culture and Arabic language continued to linger in Sicily for over a century-and-a-half, influencing arts and sciences.
927 solar years ago, on this day in 1094 AD, the 8th self-styled caliph of the Fatemid Ismaili Shi’ite Muslim Dynasty of Egypt-North-Africa-Syria-Hijaz, Abu Tamim Ma’ad al-Mustansir-Billah, passed away in his capital Cairo, at the age of 65, after a reign of 58 years, having succeeded his father, Abu’l-Hassan Ali az-Zahir as a 7-year boy.
546 solar years ago, on this day in 1475 AD, in the Battle of Vaslui (also known as the Battle of Racova), Stephen III of Moldavia in alliance with other Christian powers, inflicted a defeat on Suleiman Pasha, the Ottoman Governor of Rumelia, in what is now Romania. The defeat angered Sultan Mohammad II, the Conqueror of Constantinople, who resolved to personally lead the next campaign, while it brought Stephen the title "Athleta Christi” (Champion of Christ) from Pope Sixtus IV. The cause of the battle was the refusal of the Moldovan ruler, who was initially a vassal of the Ottomans, to hand over some of the liberated territories to the Turks, in addition to Stephen’s ambition to seize the principality of Radu Beg or Radu the Handsome, the Muslim brother of the notorious Dracula. The Ottomans were also distracted by the growing power of the Aq Qoyunlu leader, Uzun Hassan, on their east (in Anatolia, Iraq and Iran), and viewed it as a more serious threat to them than any army the Christians of Europe could muster. Thus, Sultan Mohammad’s ultimatum to Stephen to forfeit Chilia, to abolish his aggressive policy in Wallachia, and to come to Constantinople with his delayed homage, brought no results. In 1484, however, his son and successor, Bayezid II avenged the defeat by conquering all of Chilia and leaving Moldova landlocked.
368 solar years ago, on this day in 1653 AD, the world’s first newspaper, named "Gazeta”, was published in Venice, Italy. Since the price of each copy was one Gazeta, the Venetian currency, the daily was given the same name, which was later used for papers published in other countries. In English it became "Gazette.”
197 solar years ago, on this day in 1824 AD, cement was made for the first time by the English chemist, Joseph Aspdin, and in this manner a major development took place in the construction and development fields.
101 solar years ago, on this day in 1920 AD, The League of Nations started its work in Geneva, Switzerland, following its formation after World War I on the basis of a 16-article charter.
87 lunar years ago, on this day in 1355 AH, Source of Emulation, Grand Ayatollah Allamah Mirza Mohammad Hussain Na’ini, passed away at the age of 79. Among his most important compilations, mention can be made of "Tanbih al-Ummah va Tanzih al-Millah” which outlines the duties of ulema and people and the necessity of campaign against tyrannical regimes. This was an effective step by Grand Ayatollah Na’ini in awakening the Iranian people, whose struggles against local despotism and foreign hegemony triumphed under the guidance of the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA). Among his other books mention could be made of "Wasilat an-Najaat”.
64 solar years ago, on this day in 1957 AD, the prominent Iranian geographer and researcher, Professor Abu’l-Qasem Sehaab, passed away at the age of 70. Born in Tafresh, he studied theology and jurisprudence under the ulema of the city at a young age, and soon gained proficiency in Persian, Arabic, French, English, and German languages. He has left behind almost seventy books in different domains, including the book on the lives of the Infallible Imams; the translation of "History of the Holy Qur’an”, and the translation of "Carpenter’s Geographical Works” in six volumes from English into Persian. He established the first Geography and Cartography Institute of Iran as a private institute in 1936. Currently the Sehaab Institute of Geography and Cartography is one of the largest geographical institutes in Iran. The library of this institute has over 16,000 books on geography; 18,000 geographical periodicals, and 20,000 maps.
58 solar years ago, on this day in 1963 AD, the electronic watch was invented by two Swiss industrialists, Solvil and Titus, after twelve years of hard work, by joining hundreds of precise tools. In such a watch, the electrons automatically move the hour and minute hands, without the need to wind or rewind it.
49 solar years ago, on this day in 1972 AD, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman returned to newly independent Bangladesh as president after spending over nine months in prison in Pakistan. As a Bengali Muslim activist, he spear-headed the campaign for independence of East Pakistan from the domination of West Pakistan, which lay over a thousand miles away across the vast expanse of India.
20 solar years ago, on this day in 2001 AD, Lebanon’s prominent religious leader, Ayatollah Sheikh Mohammad Mahdi Shams od-Din, passed away in Beirut at the age of 65. He authored several books including "Ansar al-Husain” or "Companions of Imam Husain martyred in Karbala”, and "Thawrat al-Husain fi’l-Wujdan ash-Sha’bi”, which means "The Revolution of Imam Husain and its Impact on the Consciousness of Society”.
9 solar years ago, on this day in 2012 AD, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a senior official of Iran’s Natanz nuclear site was martyred in Tehran by agents of the US and the illegal Zionist entity at the relatively young age of 33 years. A post-graduate in chemical engineering, he was studying for PhD, and had to his credit several excellent scientific articles published in Persian and English. He was targeted along with Reza Qashqai – who survived – while leaving his house. The Leader of Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, in a message of condolences on the martyrdom of this brilliant young scientist, referred to Iran’s astounding scientific progress, and emphasized: "This is a historical movement, which has its roots in the indomitable resolve of the Iranian nation. We will strongly and resolutely continue this path.”