Today is Sunday; 24th of the Iranian month of Esfand 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 30th of the Islamic month of Rajab 1442 lunar hijri; and March 14, 2021, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1237 lunar years ago, on this day in 204 AH, the jurisprudent, Mohammad bin Idris ash-Shafe’i, who founded the Shafe’i School, passed away in Fustat, Egypt at the age of 54, as a result of injuries sustained from an attack by supporters of a scholar named Fityan, who was follower of the Maleki School of Jurisprudence. Born near Asqalan in Gaza, in the Banu Muttalib clan – a sister clan of the famous Banu Hashem – he lost his father in childhood and grew up in poverty. His Yemeni mother moved to Mecca where he had his basic education, before shifting to Medina to learn about Islam. He became a student of Malek ibn Anas, who had studied for sometime under Imam Ja’far as-Sadeq (AS), the 6th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), before deviating and founding the Maleki School. He was taken in chains to the tyrant Haroun Rashid in Raqqa in Syria on charges of supporting the Alawis or descendants of Imam Ali (AS).The Chief Judge, Shaybani, used his influence to acquit him. He settled in Baghdad, where he set up his own school of jurisprudence in opposition to the schools of Abu Hanifa and Malek. Under pressure from the Hanafis, he left Baghdad for Egypt in 198 AH. Perhaps, because of fear of the repressive Abbasid regime, Shafe’i failed to establish direct contact with Imam Musa al-Kazem (AS) and Imam Ali ar-Reza (AS), respectively the Prophet’s 7th and 8th Infallible Heirs, and thus could not ascertain the authenticity of the legal code he had learned and collected. Nonetheless, in obedience to the Prophet’s famous Hadith Thaqalayn, he was deeply influenced by the blessed Ahl al-Bayt, and has explicitly stated that the daily ritual prayer is invalid if salawaat or blessings are not sent on the Prophet’s progeny in the tashahhud. He says in this regard in a quatrain:
"O Ahl Bayt of the Prophet of Allah! Allah has decreed your love obligatory for us in the revealed Qur’an; It is sufficient for your dignity (that); His (ritual) prayer is invalid, if there is no blessings sent upon you.”
In many of his Arabic poems, Shafe’i has shown his devotion to the Prophet’s divinely-decreed vicegerent Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS),
"They say: You are a Rafedhi (heretic), I say: No; Never did I reject my religion or my belief; But in my heart without the least doubt; There is much love (and respect) for the Greatest Leader (Imam Ali); If loving the Wali of Allah (Friend of God) is Rafdh; Then I am the foremost Rafedhi!
He has also said:
"When I saw different creeds and jurisprudential schools steering towards ignorance and misguidance; I embarked in the Name of God on the Ark of Salvation; That is the progeny of Mustafa the Seal of Prophets; And got hold of the Divine Rope which is the very love of them; Indeed, God commands us to hold fast to the (Divine) Rope.
Today, the Shafe’i School of jurisprudence is followed in Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt, Somalia, Yemen, Sri Lanka, southern parts of India, and the Kurds of Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria.
240 solar years ago, on this day in 1781 AD, after only two years as ruler of Iran, Sadeq Khan Zand was killed by Ali Murad Khan Zand – who was to be killed himself four years later by his victim’s son, Ja’far Khan Zand. The fratricide amongst the Zands brought about the collapse of the 44-year dynasty founded by Nader Shah’s general, Karim Khan, who reigned for 29 years by placing Ismail III Safavi as a figurehead. In 1794, Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar established the Qajarid dynasty by eliminating the Zands.
231 solar years ago, on this day in 1790 AD, Ludwig Emil Grimm, German painter and engraver, and the youngest of the three talented Grimm Brothers, was born in Hanau. Upon completion of his studies, he published his first work; a sketchbook of engravings based on his Italian journey. In 1819 AD, he also contributed the frontispiece for the second edition of "Kinder- und Hausmärchen”, popularly known as "Grimm’s Fairy Tales”.
142 solar years ago, on this day in 1879 AD, on this day in 1879 AD, the prominent physicist-mathematician, Albert Einstein, was born in Germany. He became a Swiss citizen in 1905. The same year he published three articles, which laid the foundation of three new branches in physics. In 1912 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for physics, given his studies on photons. In 1917, he published the general relativity theory, which led to new viewpoints in sciences. In 1933, he migrated to the US to escape Adolf Hitler’s totalitarian rule. As the forerunner of the age of atom, his theories became highly influential in development of nuclear studies, including the manufacture of atomic bombs. He was very disappointed after he realized that unintentionally he had set the stage for development of weapons of mass destruction by the US. He died in 1955, and it is said that in his closing years he was no longer an atheist but his viewpoints had moved closer to the concept of God and spiritual values in Islam, especially in accordance with the school of the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
138 solar years ago, on this day in 1883 AD, the German philosopher and founder of Marxism, Karl Marx, died at the age of 65. He initially studied law and later history and philosophy. For a while, he was the editor-in-chief of a publication, and in cooperation with his compatriot, Friedrich Engels, published his beliefs in the book "The Communist Manifesto”. Two years later, Marx was banished from Germany due to political activities and took up residence in England for the rest of his life. His other important book is "Das Capital”. The core philosophy of Marxism is materialism. According to his theory with the rise of the working class, capitalism will end and a proletariat dictatorship will be formed, before giving way to a uniformed community. Marx’s thoughts were presented in different frameworks for more than a century across the world. With the collapse of the Communist Soviet Union in 1991, Marx’s thoughts were exposed as baseless. The process of world developments has proved the falsity of Marx’s interpretation of history and community.
70 solar years ago, on this day in 1951 AD, the Iranian parliament (the Majlis) voted to nationalise the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) and its holdings, and shortly thereafter Iranians democratically elected the champion of nationalisation, Mohammad Mossddeq, as Prime Minister. This led to the Abadan Crisis where foreign countries, under pressure from Britain, boycotted the purchase of Iranian oil and the Abadan refinery was closed. On 26 May 1951, Britain took Iran to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), demanding that the 1933 agreement be upheld and that Iran pay damages and compensation for disrupting the UK-incorporated company’s profits. On 22 July 1952, the ICJ dismissed the case, resulting in the strengthening of Prime Minister Mosaddeq’s position and the fleeing of the British-installed Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in 1953. This was a main reason leading to the Anglo-American coup of August 1953 to remove Mosaddeq and re-install the Pahlavi potentate on the throne of Iran. Founded in 1908 as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC) following the discovery of a large oil field in Masjid Soleiman, it was the first company to extract petroleum from Iran. In 1935 APOC was renamed the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) and in 1954 it became the British Petroleum Company (BP).
67 solar years ago, on this day in 1954 AD, the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, which determined the fate of French colonial forces in Indochina, started. In this battle, the Viet Minh forces, fighting for Vietnam’s independence, clashed with French colonial troops, who had sheltered in the Dien Bien Phu Castle. Finally, on May 7, following the submission of the French commander, Colonel Christian de Castries, and the triumph of Viet Minh forces, the battle terminated and French colonial rule over Vietnam ended.
43 solar years ago, on this day in 1978 AD, the Zionist army invaded and occupied southern Lebanon, in what it called Operation Litani, on the pretext of stopping attacks by Palestinian combatants. The invasion, resulting in the massacre of Lebanese and Palestinian civilians, brought the region south of River Litani under complete control of the usurper state of Israel, which deprived the Lebanese of river waters. When UN Security Council Resolution 425 stationed 4,000 peace-keepers and forced the Zionists to withdraw, Israel formed a Christian militia under its Lebanese agent, S’ad Haddad in order to have presence by proxy. In 1982, the Zionists once again attacked and occupied southern Lebanon, resulting in the massacre of over 5,000 Palestinian men, women, and children in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatilla. However, with the emergence of the legendry anti-terrorist movement, the Hezbollah, and its heroic resistance, Israel was forced to pull back from the outskirts of Beirut, and in 2000, it finally retreated from Lebanese soil, although some farmlands are still under occupation.
41 solar years ago, on this day in 1980 AD, the first legislative elections were held in Islamic Iran, thereby materializing one of the prime goals of the Islamic Revolution to choose lawmakers in a free and fair atmosphere, at a time when enemies were hatching conspiracies to undermine the government. The Iranian people, under the leadership of the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA) foiled all conspiracies, as the Majlis started its activities. Today the Majlis has 290 lawmakers, who are chosen by people’s votes for a 4-year term. Iranian Sunni Muslims in the Kurdish, Turcoman, and Baluch areas, elect their own representatives to the national parliament, while non-Muslim minorities, such as the Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians, also elect representatives from their own community to the Majlis. The laws passed by the Legislature ought not to violate the fundamental principles of Islam and the Constitution. The Majlis grants or refuses vote of confidence to ministers, and has the power to impeach them, including the President.
36 solar years ago, on this day in 1985 AD, agents of foreign powers triggered a bomb blast in the massive Friday Prayer gathering at Tehran University Campus, martyring and injuring many innocent worshippers. Meanwhile, timed with this terrorist operation during the height of the imposed war, Iraqi warplanes flew over Tehran to create panic in the city. The bomb blast failed to disrupt the Friday Prayer gathering and President Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, who was delivering the Tehran Friday Prayer sermons, continued his speech.
26 solar years ago, on this day in 1995 AD, Sheikh Abdul Ali Mazari, Secretary-General of Afghanistan’s Hizb-e Wahdat, was tortured and martyred at the age of 49 by the Taliban terrorists in midair during a helicopter flight and his body thrown out. An ethnic Hazara and a Shi’a Muslim, he was born in the city of Mazar-e Sharif; hence his surname Mazari. He fought against the Soviets during their occupation of Afghanistan, and his initiative led to the creation of the Jonbesh-e Shamal or Northern Movement, in which the country’s most significant military forces joined ranks, leading to the eventual downfall of the Communist regime in Kabul. He believed the solution to the internal divisions in his homeland was in a federal system of governance, with each ethnic group having specific constitutional rights. The Saudi supported militias, especially Abdur-Rasoul Sayyaf’s faction caused sedition and open street battles. On March 12, 1995, the Taliban terrorists invited him for a political dialogue on an alliance against the Islamic State but then deceitfully imprisoned him along with his five companions in Chaharasyab, near Kabul. He was martyred while on a flight to Qandahar. Later his body and those of his companions were handed over to Hezb-e Wahdat, all mutilated and showed signs of torture. Mazari’s body was carried on foot from Ghazni in the west to Mazar-e-Sharif in the north of Afghanistan by his followers over a period of forty days. Hundreds of thousands attended his funeral in Mazar-i Sharif.
24 solar years ago, on this day in 1997 AD, in northeastern Iran a C-130 military cargo plane crashed near Mashhad and all 86 people aboard were killed.
20 solar years ago, on this day in 2001 AD, Ayatollah Abdur-Rahman Mohammadi Hidaji, passed away at the age of 75. A product of the seminary of holy Qom, he was socially active in his hometown Hidaj near Zanjan, teaching and building library, and leading prayers. He was an expert in literature and history as well, in addition to jurisprudence.
10 solar years ago, on this day in 2011 AD, the repressive Aal-e Khalifa minority regime of the Persian Gulf island state of Bahrain imposed martial law in a bid to quell the people’s popular uprising. At the same time, the regime invited some 1,000 Saudi troops to invade Bahrain and crush the Islamic movement.