Today is Saturday; 25th of the Iranian month of Bahman 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 1st of the Islamic month of Rajab 1442 lunar hijri; and February 13, 2021, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
Today starts sacred Rajab, the month that opens the gates of Divine Mercy for the seekers of good and virtue, and the month in which fasting, along with certain other wonderful acts of worship, has been recommended. Rajab, in addition to the next two months of Sha’ban and Ramadhan, is a period of self-reform, self-consciousness, and self-development for progress on the path towards perfection for attaining the proximity of the Almighty Creator. It is the month of special acceptance of repentance in the Divine Court. In Rajab certain very significant events took place in the history of mankind, such as the day of the formal entrustment by God of the universal mission of Islam to Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), and the auspicious birth in the holy Ka’ba of the Prophet’s First Infallible Successor, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS).
1385 lunar years ago, on this day in 57 AH, was born in the holy city of Medina, Imam Mohammad Baqer (AS), the 5th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). He is acknowledged as "Baqer al-Uloum” or the "Splitter and Spreader of Sciences”, and during his fruitful life of 57 years, of which 19 years were as the divinely-decreed leader of mankind, he spared no efforts to enlighten minds and souls in those days of Omayyad tyranny, before bequeathing the legacy of his ancestor, the Prophet, to his son and successor, Imam Ja’far Sadeq (AS).
1080 solar years ago, on this day in 942 AD, Mohammad ibn Ra’eq, a military officer of Khazar origin who exploited the weakness of the Abbasid caliphate to become the first "Amir al-Umara” (Commander of Commanders), and has earned lasting notoriety for impairing the agriculture of Iraq for several centuries by blocking the Nahrawan Canal in his fight against a rival, was assassinated. He came into prominence in the reign of Mu’tadid-Billah (892-702) as a military officer and served the next ruler, the debauched Muqtadir-Billah (908-932), as Saheb ash-Shurta (Police Chief), before promotion as Hajeb (Chamberlain). On the deposition and murder of Muqtadir and accession of Qahir-Billah (932-934), he fell into disgrace. He nevertheless managed to be named governor of Basra, and on the accession of Radhi (934-940) returned to favour and obtained the governorship of Waset, before becoming "Amir al-Umara” in 936 – a post that entailed overall command over the army, as well as the supervision of the civil administration, hitherto the province of the vizier. Deposed by Turkic guards in 938, he regained the post in 941 under Muttaqi-Billah but was assassinated the next year – allegedly on the orders of Naser od-Dowla, the Hamdanid ruler of Mosul who succeeded him. The frequent coups and violent struggle for control of the caliphate had by this time greatly enfeebled the caliphs and reduced them to a purely symbolical role. The main pillars of support for Ibn Ra’eq were Turkish troops under Bajkam and Tuzun (former subordinates of Mardavij the Founder of the Ziyarid Dynasty of Iran), who now turned against him. In a vain bid to impede Bajkam’s advance towards Baghdad, Ibn Ra’eq ordered flooding of the centuries-old irrigation system of the Sawad. The breach of the Nahrawan Canal was symbolic of the end of Abbasid power just as the breach of the Marib Dam was end of the prosperity of pre-Islamic Yemen.
1079 lunar years ago, on this day in 363 AH, Nu’maan ibn Mohammad at-Tamimi, known as Qazi Nu’maan, the Ismaili jurist and official historian of the Fatemid Shi’a Muslim caliphate of Egypt-North Africa-Syria, passed away in Cairo. Born in what is now Tunis, he began his career in Ifriqiya (modern-day Tunisia, western Libya and eastern Algeria) under Mahdi Billah, the Founder of the Fatemid Dynasty, quickly rising to become the most prominent judge. In his fifty years of service, he wrote a vast number of books on history, biography, jurisprudence and exegesis of the holy Qur’an. After the Fatemid conquest of Egypt and Syria, he came to and settled in the newly founded city of Qahera (Cairo), the new capital of the empire. Nu’maan’s most prominent work, the "Da’em al-Islam” (دعائم الاسلام) or ‘The Pillars of Islam’, which took nearly thirty years to complete, was the official code of the Fatemid state, and serves to this day as the primary source of shar’ia law for some Musta’ali Ismaili communities, especially the Tayyibis, in Yemen and India. Another of his famous books is "Sharh al-Akhbar” in which he has reproduced in details the statements and sermons of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) and the Ahl al-Bayt till Imam Reza (AS), the 8th Infallible Leader – although the Fatemids had parted ways with the mainstream Shi’ite Muslims after Imam Ja’far as-Sadeq (AS), the 6th Infallible Leader.
979 lunar years ago, on this day in 463 AH, the Spanish Muslim poet Abul-Waleed Ahmad bin Abdullah, Ibn Zaidoun, died. Born in Qortoba (present day Cordova) into the Arab tribe of al-Makhzoum, he brought into Spanish Arabic poetry the rhetorical command, the passionate power, and grandeur of style that marked contemporary poetry in the Islamic east. He was also involved in politics and was opposed to the ruling Omayyad regime.
803 lunar years ago, on this day in 639 AH, the Muslim botanist and physician, Rashid od-Din Souri, died. As his surname Souri suggests, he was from the region of Sour or Tyre in what is now Lebanon, and is considered the founder of modern botany. His most important compilation is an illustrated encyclopedic book on herbs and plants.
672 solar years ago, on this day in 1349 AD, Christians expelled all Jews from Burgsdorf, Switzerland, because of the age-old enmity with the followers of Judaism for their slandering of Prophet Jesus and his mother, the Virgin Mary.
593 lunar years ago, on this day in 849 AH, the famous Egyptian hadith scholar, lexicographer, and exegete of the holy Qur’an, Abdur-Rahman Jalal od-Din Suyuti, was born in Asyut in a family of Persian origin that had migrated from Iran during the Mamluk period and settled in Upper Egypt from where it derived the family name as-Suyuti. A follower of the Shafe’i School, he was an expert in hadith, history, jurisprudence, exegesis of the Holy Qur’an, and Arabic grammar and literature. His learning and knowledge earned him the title "Ibn al-Kutub” (Son of Books). His books are still taught today in Islamic seminaries. In his exegesis titled "ad-Dur al-Manthour” (Scattered Pearls), he has pointed to the ayahs revealed by God Almighty on the outstanding merits of the Ahl al-Bayt or Blessed Household of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), i.e. Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA), Imam Ali (AS), Imam Hasan (AS) and Imam Husain (AS). He also wrote a separate book on the Merits of the Ahl al-Bayt. Suyuti traveled to Syria, Hijaz, Yemen, India and Morocco, and settled down towards the end of his life in his homeland Egypt. Among his works are "al-Itqaan fi Uloum al-Qur’an” which means The Perfect Guide to the Sciences of the Qur’an, the two books on hadith titled "al-Jaame’ al-Kabeer” and "al-Jaame’ as-Sagheer” and the "Tarikh al-Khulafa” (History of the Caliphs), in which he has exposed the true nature of many of the tyrannical caliphs of the Omayyad and Abbasid regimes.
343 lunar years ago, on this day in 1098 AH, prominent Iranian Islamic scholar of the Safavid era, Hussain ibn Mohammad, popularly known as "Mohaqqiq Khwansari” passed away. He was an expert in jurisprudence, theology, and other Islamic sciences. He groomed numerous students. Among his valuable works, mention could be made of a translation of the Holy Qur’an into Persian along with annotations. In the field of jurisprudence, he wrote "Mashareq ash-Shomous”, which is in fact a splendid elucidation of the book titled "Durou” written by the First Martyr.
282 solar years ago, on this day in 1739 AD, the historic Battle of Karnaal was fought near a village of the same name, some 110 km north of Delhi, between the Iranian army of Nader Shah Afshar and the army of the Indian Moghal ruler, Mohammad Shah, known as "Rangeeleh” or colourful, because of his patronizing of singers and dancers, at the expense of negligence of state affairs. The Iranians won a decisive victory losing only 2500 soldiers, while the death toll of the Indian army was over 20,000. The cause of the invasion was the failure and inability of Mohammad Shah to prevent the entry into Moghal-controlled Kabul and the eastern areas of Afghanistan and Punjab, of Hotaki and Ghilzai rebel leaders who were driven out from Iran by Nader Shah, following his ending of the Afghan occupation of the country. When a series of letters from Nader Shah did not entail any positive result or response from Mohammad Shah, the Iranian army began its invasion from Qandahar, and after taking Kabul and Peshawar, marched unopposed all the way till Karnaal, where the Indian army was defeated in little more than three hours. The battle began after one o’clock in the afternoon, with a discharge of arrows from both sides. The superior artillery power of the Iranians that continued for two hours threw the Moghals and their war elephants into disarray. Moghal forces began to disintegrate and of their commanders, Khan-e Dowraan was killed, while Sa’adat Khan Burhan ol-Molk was taken prisoner. The Iranian cavalry was swifter and out-maneuvered the Moghals. As the Indian morale plummeted, soldiers started to flee while Indian camp followers looted their own camps. Mohammad Shah was taken prisoner but was treated with respect by Nader Shah, who entered Delhi along with him and after a stay of some weeks, returned to Iran by restoring the Moghal ruler his rule, but taking with him the fabulous Koh-e Noor Diamond, the Darya-e Noor Diamond, the famous Peacock Throne, the Tent of Pearls and other jewels.
255 solar years ago, on this day in 1766 AD, Thomas Robert Malthus, English economist and demographer, was born in Westcott, Surrey. Although an Anglican Christian priest, his theories, as is evident from his work "An Essay on the Principle of Population”, betrayed his lack of belief in the Infinite Power of the Almighty Creator. He wrote "population would always outrun the food supply and would result in famine, disease or war to reduce the number of people.” His views became controversial, across economic, political, social and scientific thoughts, while his reputation as economist dropped for the rest of his life. He died in 1834.
138 solar years ago, on this day in 1883 AD, German songwriter and musician, Richard Wagner, died at the age of 70. He started his career by writing operas. During the political developments of the late 1850s, he joined the revolutionaries but their failure made him leave Germany and live in exile for 13 years.
110 solar years ago, on this day in 1911, the famous Urdu poet of the subcontinent, Faiz Ahmed Farooq, popular by his penname "Faiz”, was born in Karachi in undivided India. He learned Arabic, Persian, Urdu languages and the holy Qur’an, but because of the social injustice, turned towards Marxism. He was politically active both before and after the founding of Pakistan. He opposed the dictatorial rule of General Zia ul-Haq and was imprisoned and exiled for his views, which he expressed through poetry and novels. He passed away in Lahore at the age of 73. Among his important works are "Naqsh-e Faryadi”, "Dast-e Saba”, and "Zindan-Namah”.
90 solar years ago, on this day in 1931 AD, British Viceroy, Lord Irwin, inaugurated the new capital of British India, which four years earlier in 1927 was officially named "New Delhi”, since it was built on the outskirts of the old Indian Muslim capital Delhi. The foundation stone of the city was laid on 15th December 1911 and it was planned by two leading British architects, Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker, who in their designs incorporated Iranian styles including Persian paintings on the ceiling of what is now called Rashtrapathi Bhavan or Presidential Palace. New Delhi houses the national government and administrative buildings, and has a population of 250,000, while Old Delhi, which is a national heritage of over six-and-a-half centuries of Muslim rule, and where Persian was the dominant language for over 600 years, has a population of 16 million. The previous capital of the British colonialists, who had entered Moghal-ruled Subcontinent as traders, before gradually occupying it through deceit and wars, was Calcutta in Bengal.
76 solar years ago, on this day in 1945 AD, during the closing months of World War 2 warplanes of the Allied forces began bombing the German city of Dresden. The British used 873 heavy bombers in Operation Thunderclap to firebomb the city, killing 135,000 people. A look at aerial maps of the city before and after the terror attacks clearly shows the large white oil tanks owned by British-controlled Shell Oil. These tanks remained entirely untouched by the bombardment.
50 solar years ago, on this day in 1971 AD, during the Vietnam War, a frustrated US unable to defeat the Vietnamese people, ordered troops of the artificial South Vietnamese state to invade neighbouring Laos by providing them air and artillery support, on the pretext that Vietcong freedom fighters were operating from Laotian soil. US stratagems ended in failure and American troops had to disgracefully withdraw from Vietnam in April 1975, thereby ending the 20-year disastrous war.
39 solar years ago, on this day in 1982 AD, the Río Negro massacre took place in Guatemala, resulting in the killing of more than 5,000 Amerindians of the Maya Achi tribe in and around the village of Río Negro alone, because of the refusal of the natives to vacate their ancestral lands.
33 solar years ago, on this day in 1988 AD, Kuwait’s leading Shi’a Muslim religious leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Abbas Musawi al-Mohri, passed away in Tehran at the age of 73. Born in Fars Province, after completing his religious education in holy Najaf, Iraq, he was invited to Kuwait by the people of that tiny Persian Gulf Sheikhdom, and soon became a naturalized citizen. As a staunch follower of the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA), his house in Kuwait served as the link between Najaf and the outside world, especially Iran, for broadcast of the latter’s speeches and announcements. An eloquent orator himself, he awakened the Kuwaiti people through his lectures and religious discourses. He wrote several works including "Shu’a min at-Tarikh” (Ray of History). Within a year of the establishment of the Islamic Republic in Iran, Ayatollah Abbas al-Mohri was expelled to Tehran by the Kuwaiti regime. His eldest son, Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Baqer Musawi al-Mohri, who was a respected scholar in Kuwait, passed away in that sheikhdom, two years ago. His second son, Ayatollah Seyyed Murtaza Musawi al-Mohri, is still active in Kuwait.
32 solar years ago, on this day in 1989 AD, the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA), issued the historic death verdict against the Indian-born British apostate, Salman Rushdie, for writing the blasphemous book ‘The Satanic Verses’, days after the devilish novel drew Muslim blood in India and Pakistan. Rushdie, who was commissioned by the Zionists and certain western regimes for writing this sacrilegious book to insult Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), Prophet Abraham (AS), and the sanctities of Islam, has been hiding ever since under protection of Britain to escape execution. World Muslims and all conscientious people hailed the Imam’s dynamic fatwa, while the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) endorsed it. As per divine laws the Late Imam’s fatwa is irrevocable since it concerns an unrepentant apostate born of Muslim parents.
30 solar years ago, on this day in 1991 AD, during the Persian Gulf War, US warplanes fired two laser-guided smart bombs to destroy the Amiriyah civilian shelter in Baghdad, killing over 400 men, women and children on the pretext of targeting a military communications outpost. The US is the most blatant violator of human rights and known for its wanton killing of world people.
8 solar years ago, Azizollah Joweini, prominent Persian language scholar and an authority on the classical Iranian poet, Abu’l-Qasem Ferdowi’s epic "Shahnameh” and its various manuscripts, passed away in Tehran at the of 87. Born in Isfaraen, he devoted his life to literary pursuits writing and editing some 80 books and articles on Persian and Arabic masterpieces, especially the "Shahnameh”.