Today is Tuesday; 14th of the Iranian month of Bahman 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 19th of the Islamic month of Jamadi as-Sani 1442 lunar hijri; and February 2, 2021, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1156 solar years ago, on this day in 865 AD, The Battle of Morcuera in Spain saw the Muslims led by Mohammad I, the Emir of Cordoba, defeat the Christian forces of Castile and Asturias under Rodrigo of Castile. The historian Ahmad Ibn Mohammad Ibn al-Edhari has given a detailed account of the battle in "al-Bayan al-Mughrib fI Akhbar Mulouk al-Andalus wa’l-Maghreb” (or ‘Amazing Story of the History of the Kings of Spain and Western North Africa’). This book is regarded by modern researchers as containing valuable information not found elsewhere, including excerpts from older works now lost, and has been translated into European languages.
904 lunar years ago, on this day in 538 AH, famous Egyptian reciter of the Holy Qur’an, Qasem Ibn Fira ash-Shatebi, known as "Imam al-Qurra” was born. Although he was blind, he had a sharp memory and authored a book on the seven different ways of recitation of the holy book. He passed away in Cairo in 590 AH.
813 solar years ago, on this day in 1208 AD, notorious anti-Muslim King James I of Aragon was born. He occupied the prosperous Spanish Muslim Ta’efa of Valencia (Arabic Balansiya), through treachery, granting asylum to its deposed ruler, the apostate Zayd Abu Zayd, who adopted the Christian name Vicente Bellvis, married a Christian woman, and betrayed the Muslims. The Siege of Burriana in 1233 and the Battle of the Puig in 1237 launched by James were resisted by Zayyan ibn Mardanish of Valencia, who was overpowered in 1238, thereby ending over five centuries of glorious Muslim rule over this region on Spain’s eastern coast. James next attacked and occupied the Muslim-ruled Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, exterminating the local Spanish Muslim population and settling Christian Catalans in their place.
563 solar years ago, on this day in 1448 AD, the hadith scholar, poet, and historian, Shahab od-Din Ahmad ibn Ali Ibn Hajar Asqalani, passed away at the age of 76 in his hometown Cairo, and his funeral was attended by an estimated 50,000 people including the Mamluk Sultan. He had memorized the Holy Qur’an at the age of ten and thereafter traveled to different lands to acquire different sciences. A prolific writer, he compiled some 150 books and treatises on various topics including the God-given merits of the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny).
527 solar years ago, on this day in 1494 AD, Italian navigator Christopher Columbus, who was commissioned by Christian Spain to explore the Atlantic Ocean and with the help of Spanish Muslim seafarers reached the Caribbean islands near the Americas, attacked the peaceful natives, took many of them captives and enslaved them, thus starting the sordid practice of slavery in the New World, where soon hundreds of thousands of black-skinned Africans were forcibly brought to work as slaves.
485 solar years ago, on this day in 1536 AD, the Argentine city of Buenos Aires was founded on the western shore of the estuary of Río de la Plata, by Pedro de Mendoza of Spain, who killed and drove away the Querandies tribal people from their lands, despite the fact that they had provided the Spanish invaders with food and provisions.
173 solar years ago, on this day in 1848 AD, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was imposed on Mexico by the expansionist US, thereby ending the war and forcing it to cede a huge portion of what is today the American West and Southwest, including California and New Mexico.
139 solar years ago, on this day in 1882 AD, Irish novelist and poet, James Augustine Aloysius Joyce, was born in the Dublin suburb of Rathgar. In 1904, in his early twenties, after finishing college, Joyce emigrated permanently to continental Europe and lived in Trieste, Paris and Zurich. Though most of his adult life was spent abroad, he contributed to the modernist avant-garde in English, and is regarded as one of the most influential and important authors of the 20th century. He is best known for "Ulysses”, which he wrote in 1922 – a landmark work in which the episodes of the ancient Greek historian Homer’s "Odyssey” are paralleled in an array of contrasting literary styles. Other well-known works are the short-story collection "Dubliners” and the novels "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” and "Finnegans Wake”. His other writings include three books of poetry, a play, occasional journalism and his published letters. He died in Zurich on 13 January 1941.
114 solar years ago, on this day in 1907 AD, Russian scientist and chemist, Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleev, died in Saint Petersburg, at the age of 73. An important outcome of his researches was regulation of the Periodic Table, which enlisted the existing chemical elements on Earth. This table is still used by the world’s chemists.
82 solar years ago, on this day in 1939 AD, Akbar Adibi, Iranian scientist, and father of electronics in Iran, was born in Songhor in Kermanshah Province. After obtaining masters in Electrical Engineering from Tehran University in 1965, he worked for the Alestom Power Plant and taught at the university. In 1973 he left for the US, where at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) in 1973, he obtained two Master of Science degrees – the first in Microprocessor-based Computer Systems and the second in Solid State and Semiconductor Device. He completed his PhD in 1977 on Barrier Solar Cells. On return to Iran he resumed his job of lecturer at Tehran Polytechnic, which after the victory of Islamic Revolution became the Amir Kabir University. His notable achievements are: The creation of Iran’s first Solar Cell in 1978, more than 100 articles in internal and international publications, becoming Full Professor in 1995, earning the prestigious Khwarezmi National Prize for his contribution as one of the best projects in 1995, earning the respected title of "The Most Recognized and Elite University Professor of Iran” in 1996, and being named the "Father of Electronics and VLSI in Iran”. He was a member of numerous academic societies, including; New York Academy of Sciences, New York Planetary Society, Optical Society of America, and Iran’s IEEE Student Branch Counselor. He was involved in many industry-based projects, namely; the design and implementation of a 32 channel PCM system, the design and construction of a DSP-based high voltage network protection system, and the design of a DCS-based control, until his death due to heart failure on August 26, 2000. Adibi is the author of several technical books such as "Pulse Techniques”, "Theory and Technology of Semiconductor Devices”, and "Digital Electronics”. He believed that electronics and VLSI technology could help Iran lower its dependency on oil.
75 solar years ago, on this day in 1946 AD, a press conference was held at the US University of Pennsylvania for what is considered the first computer, the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (ENIAC). The machine took up an entire room, weighed 30 tons and used more than 18,000 vacuum tubes to perform functions such as counting to 5,000 in one second. ENIAC was designed by the US Army during World War II to make artillery calculations. It paved the way for modern computer.
51 solar years ago, on this day in 1970 AD, British mathematician, and philosopher, Bertrand Russell, died at the age of 98. He was from Wales, and in 1910 with Alfred Whitehead, he co-authored "Principia Mathematica”. Russell is regarded as one of the important logicians of the 20th century. He was active in social and political campaigns, and advocated pacifism and nuclear disarmament. In 1950 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. The Late Iranian philosopher Allamah Mohammad Taqi Ja’fari held lively discussions with Bertrand Russell through correspondence, opening up for the latter many concepts unknown to him.
50 solar years ago, on this day in 1971 AD, the "Ramsar Convention” on wetlands of international importance, especially waterfowl habitat, was adopted by participating countries at a meeting in the Iranian city of Ramsar in Mazandaran Province on the Caspian Sea. It recognizes the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural, scientific, and recreational value. Known as Ramsar Sites, wetlands of international importance number over 2,000 sites, covering over 200 million hectares worldwide. Iran has ten of its wetlands registered on this list with a total area of 1.5 million hectares. Presently 168 countries are members of the Ramsar Convention. They meet every three years in a member state.
42 solar years ago, on this day in 1979 AD, in a press conference amidst nationwide festivities marking his return home from exile, the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA), announced he would set up an interim revolutionary government to set the stage for a referendum after drafting of Islamic Iran’s Constitution. He warned the fugitive Shah’s Prime Minister, Shapour Bakhtiar, that in case of continued suppression of the people, he will issue a Jihad decree. The Imam also called on the army to join the people. Meanwhile, it was announced that till then 35,000 Americans had left Iran’s soil and 10,000 others would soon leave Iran.
31 solar years ago, on this day in 1990 AD, the prominent Iranian expert of Persian language and literature, Dr. Seyyed Hassan Saadaat Naseri, passed away while on a scientific mission to Afghanistan. He spent a lifetime lecturing on Persian language and literature. He compiled valuable works in the cultural, literary and religious fields.
12 solar years ago, on this day in 2009 AD, the Islamic Republic of Iran successfully launched into orbit a missile carrying "Omid” (hope in Persian), its first domestically-made satellite. In 2005, Iran had launched its first commercial satellite on a Russian rocket in a joint project.