Today is Saturday; 11th of the Iranian month of Bahman 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 16th of the Islamic month of Jamadi as-Sani 1442 lunar hijri; and January 30, 2021 of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1021 lunar years ago, on this day in 421 AH, famous Spanish Muslim poet, Ahmad ibn Mohammad Ibn Darraj al-Qastalli, passed away at the age of 74 in his native Spain. He was from Castile as is clear from his surname ‘Qastalli’, and played a vital role in promotion of Arabic poetry in the Iberian Peninsula with his new style. His poems, in addition to their high literary and artistic value, are a reliable source of developments in Islamic Spain. These have been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, English and other languages as the Arabic heritage of Europe.
519 lunar years ago, on this day in 923 AH, Hejaz came under Ottoman authority when Sharif Barakaat II sent keys of the Holy Ka’ba in Mecca and the Prophet’s Holy Shrine in Medina to Sultan Selim I, following the victory of Turkish troops over the Mamluk dynasty of Egypt, which had hitherto held suzerainty over Hejaz, and Syria.
492 lunar years ago, on this day in 950 AH, Ottoman Turks concluded a treaty with France to run the French Mediterranean port of Toulon. The Ottoman flag was hoisted in Toulon as almost all the French left the port. The Ottomans introduced the Azan for the five-times-daily prayers in this port, and turned the cathedral into a mosque during their 8-month stay.
465 solar years ago, on this day in 1556 AD, the 2nd Moghal Emperor of Hindustan (northern subcontinent), Naseer od-Din Mohammad Humayun, died in Delhi, as a result of a fatal blow to his head, three days after tumbling down the stairs of his library with his arms full of books, when he caught his foot in his robe, while bowing in reverence on hearing the call of the muezzin for prayer. He was 48 years old and his death occurred only a year after recovering with Iranian help the kingdom he had lost 15 years earlier to the Pashturn adventurer, Sher Shah Suri. Born in Kabul (in present day Afghanistan), he was 22 years old when he succeeded his father, Zaheer od-Din Babar in India in 1530, while his step-brother Kamran Mirza, obtained the sovereignty of Kabul and Lahore. His peaceful personality, patience and non-provocative methods, in addition to his addiction to opium, cost him the kingdom ten years later, forcing him to flee to Safavid Iran, where he was cordially received by Shah Tahmasp I, who provided him aid to regain the Moghal Empire. Humayun’s return from Iran, accompanied by a large retinue of Iranian noblemen, signaled an important change in Moghal court culture, as the Central Asian origins of the dynasty were largely overshadowed by the influences of Persian art, architecture, language and literature. His most noted achievement was in the sphere of painting. His devotion to the early Safavid School, developed during his stay in Iran, led him to recruit Persian painters of merit to accompany him back to India. These artists laid the foundation of the Moghal style which emerged from its Persian chrysalis as an indigenous achievement in which Indian elements blended harmoniously with the traditions of Iran and Central Asia. Even Humayun’s tomb, built by his widow, Hamida Bano Begum (daughter of Shaikh Ali Akbar Jami, an Iranian Shi’ite Muslim descended from the mystic Shaikh Ahmad Jami of Torbat-e Jam in Khorasan), fits into the Iranian tradition of imperial mausoleums. It is said Humayun had embraced the school of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt. He was succeeded by his son, Akbar.
360 solar years ago, on this day in 1661 AD, in a sadistically repulsive act, King Charles II of Britain on the 12th anniversary of the execution of his father, King Charles I by Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, exhumed the latter’s grave and ordered the ritual beheading of the corpse more than two years after burial.
232 solar years ago, on this day in 1789 AD, the forces of Vietnam’s Tay Sơn emerged victorious against Qing armies of China, and liberated the capital Thang Long.
120 solar years ago, on this day in 1901 AD, the world’s tallest geyser was discovered by Dr Humphrey Haines on the North Island of New Zealand. It appeared after an enormous eruption of Mount Tarawera in 1886. The Waimangu Geyser was the largest geyser in the world and erupted on a 36 hour cycle for four years, hurling black mud and rocks in the air. Waimangu is Maori for "black water.” It stopped in 1904 when a landslide changed the local water table. Eruptions would typically reach 600 feet. Some super bursts are known to have reached 1,600 feet (10 times as high as Yellowstone’s famous Old Faithful, and which would be higher than the Empire State Building.)
96 solar years ago, on this day in 1925 AD, US electrical engineer Douglas Carl Engelbart, inventor of the computer mouse which he patented in November 1970, was born. On 9 December 1968, at a computer conference, he conducted the world’s first video conference, multiple window display, as well as collaboration online, and his mouse device for input.
87 solar years ago, on this day in 1934 AD, the dictatorial rule of German Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler, as chancellor and president commenced..
73 solar years ago, on this day in 1948 AD, leader of India’s struggle for independence from British colonial rule, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, was assassinated by a Hindu anarchist at the age 79. Born in the port city of Por Bandar in Gujarat, he graduated in Law from England, and for a while was in South Africa where he tried to improve the situation of Indian settlers. After returning to India he involved himself in politics and was sentenced to six years in prison in 1922. After his release, he advocated the policy of passive resistance against the British, and although a non-Muslim, he said that he learned this non-violent movement by studying the exemplary life of the Martyr of Karbala, Imam Husain (AS), the younger grandson and 3rd Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). India gained independence in August 1947.
73 solar years ago, on this day in 1948 AD, American inventor and aviator, Orville Wright, who along with his brother, Wilbur, had invented on 17 December 1903 the first powered airplane, "Flyer”, capable of sustained, controlled flight, died at the age 76.
53 solar years ago, on this day in 1968 AD, during the Vietnam War, the Viet Cong forces of the south along with the North Vietnam army decisively confronted the US occupiers in fifty towns and cities simultaneously. They mobilized public opinion against the US meddlers, and despite being massacred in large numbers by the savage Americans, they continued their resistance until final victory in 1975 that expelled the US and reunited Vietnam.
42 solar years ago, on this day in 1979 AD, the demoralized forces of the Shah’s regime staged a parade in the streets of Tehran in a futile bid to scare the Iranian Muslim nation. To the horror of the generals, during the parade, many of the soldiers joined the masses and expressed solidarity with the Islamic Movement against the despotic British-installed and US-supported Pahlavi regime. At the same time, news agencies announced that the Father of Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA) would be leaving Paris at 3:30 a.m. local time on February 1, and arriving in Tehran at 9:30 a.m. On hearing this, people poured into the streets to prepare a glorious welcome home to their beloved leader.
36 solar years ago, on this day in 1985 AD, the US openly gave a 47-million dollar loan to Saddam of Baghdad’s repressive Ba’th minority regime for procurement of weapons, during the 8-year war Washington had imposed on the Islamic Republic of Iran through Iraq. The total declared US grants to Saddam during his war were 1.5 billion dollars, in addition to supply of internationally banned chemicals, latest defence technology, and information on movement of Iranian forces through spy aircraft.
8 solar years ago, on this day in 2013 AD, Dr. Hassan Ibrahim Habibi, Iranian revolutionary politician, lawyer, scholar, head of Academy of Persian Language and Literature, and the First Vice President for 13 years (1989-2001), passed away in Tehran at the age of 76. He held a PhD in law and sociology. He was also head of the Academy of Persian Language and Literature, in addition to being a member of the State Expediency Council. Among his books are: "God” (1981), "Society, Culture, Politics” (1984), "Islam and the Crisis of Our Time” (1984).