Today is Tuesday; 26th of the Iranian month of Esfand 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 2nd of the Islamic month of Sha’ban 1442 lunar hijri; and March 16, 2021, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
2618 solar years ago, on this day in 597 BC, the Babylonian tyrant, Nebuchadnezzar II (or Bokht an-Nasar) after capturing the holy city of Bayt al-Moqaddas, replaced the Israelite king, Jeconiah (Yaqunia) with his own uncle Zedekiah (Sadqiya), thereby bringing under direct rule of Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) the kingdom of Judah (Palestine), which until then was a tributary. Jeconiah was taken to Babylon as prisoner. Nine years later in 588 BC, when the evil Zedekiah, ignoring the advice of Prophet Jeremiah (Irmiyah), dared to side with Pharaoh Hophra of Egypt, the tyrant Nebuchadnezzar II descended with a mighty army and after an 18-month siege, captured Bayt al-Moqaddas, plundered it, and razed to the ground all edifices, including Solomon’s Mosque for the worship of the One and Only God. Zedekiah, along with his followers attempted to escape, but was captured, made to see his sons put to death, before his own eyes were pulled out, and carried fettered as a captive to Babylon, where he remained a prisoner until death. Nebuchadnezzar transported almost all the population of Palestine to Mesopotamia. It is worth noting that the recently executed Iraqi tyrant, Saddam of the repressive Ba’th minority regime, used to regard himself as reincarnation of Nebuchadnezzar, who is said to have been weaned on sow’s milk.
1984 solar years ago, on this day in 37 AD, Roman Emperor Tiberius died at the age of 77 after a reign of 34 years in a paranoid state following the invasion of Syria by Iran’s Parthian Empire. The stepson and successor of Emperor Augustus Caesar, decades earlier he had been sent at the head of a large army to Armenia to try to wrest its control from Parthia, but failed to defeat the Iranians. However, after a year of negotiations, he was able to reach a compromise whereby the Iranians agreed to preserve Armenia as a buffer zone between the two empires and returned the prestigious standards of the legions they had captured during the wars against Parthia of the Romans under Marcus Crassus (53 BC – at the Battle of Carrhae), Decidius Saxa (40 BC), and Marc Antony (36 BC).
1240 lunar years ago, on this day in 202 AH, Fadhl ibn Sahl ibn Zaadaan-Farrukh Sarakhsi, the powerful Iranian prime minister of Mamoun (the 7th self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime), was slain under mysterious condition while in the bathhouse of the city of Sarakhs, which today straddles the Iran-Turkmenistan border. Known for his craftiness in devising the plan to force Imam Reza (AS), the 8th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), to leave Medina and come to Mamoun’s capital in the Khorasani city of Merv (presently in Turkmenistan), he was entrusted with both the military command and civilian administration with the title "Dhu’r-Riyasatayn” (Possessor of Two Offices). A convert to Islam from Zoroastrianism, Sahl and his brother, Hassan, were instrumental in consolidation of the caliphate of Mamoun, whose mother was Iranian. Sahl was the de facto ruler of the caliphate until the year before his death, having played a crucial role in the civil war between Mamoun and his brother Amin. According to the historian Ibn Atheer, he was suspected of being a follower of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt and was thus murdered – probably on the orders of Mamoun. Following his death the public turned against Mamoun, who pleaded with Imam Reza (AS) to use his influence to calm down the agitators.
1046 lunar years ago, on this day in 396 AH, the renowned Iranian scholar, poet and mystic, Khwaja Abdullah Ansari, was born in Herat, which is now in Afghanistan, but was then an integral part of Khorasan. He was a commentator of the holy Qur’an, a compiler of hadith, and known for his oratory and poetic talents in Arabic and Persian. He wrote several books on Islamic mysticism and philosophy. His most famous work is "Munajaat- Namah”, which is considered a masterpiece of Persian literature. His exegesis on the holy Qur’an is titled "Kashf ul-Asrar”, and was compiled in 10 volumes by his disciples after his death. He used to avoid the company of the rich, powerful and the influential. Abdullah Ansari was a direct descendant of the Prophet’s companion and host in Medina, Abu Ayyub al-Ansari. He died in 1088 in his hometown Herat. He is the ancestor of the line of the Heravi Khwajavi in Iran, who once dominated Khorasan and eastern Iran. Some of his descendants moved to the Subcontinent. Among them was Hakim Shaikh Ilm ud-din Ansari, better known as Wazir Khan, who was a governor of the Mughal Emperors in Multan, in what is now Pakistan. He is best known for having built the famous Wazir Khan Mosque in Lahore. His other prominent descendent was Qutb ud-din Ansari who founded the famous Firangi Mahal school of religious thought and education, near Lucknow in India. He passed away in 481 AH.
831 solar years ago, on this day in 1190 AD, before embarking on the Crusades against Muslims in Palestine, the Christian knights of England launched a massacre of Jews in York. The terrified Jewish population fled to Clifford’s Tower, which was set on fire by a Christian priest, and hundreds of Jews were burnt to death. At a time when Jews enjoyed all rights in Muslim lands, even becoming viziers, they were subjected to periodic massacres in Europe for their rejection of Prophet Jesus and their slandering of his mother, the Virgin Mary.
232 solar years ago, on this day in 1789 AD, German physicist Georg Simon Ohm was born in Brandenburg. In 1825 he demonstrated through research and experiments on the electrochemical cell invented by Italian scientist Alessandro Volta that there are no "perfect” electrical conductors. All conductors have some resistance. The next year, he stated the famous law known in his honour as Ohm’s Law: "If the given temperature remains constant, the current flowing through certain conductors is proportional to the potential difference (voltage) across it.” or V=iR. He died at the age of 65.
180 solar years ago, on this day in 1841 AD, John Murray, Scottish naturalist who, as one of its founders, coined the name oceanography, was born. He studied ocean basins, deep-sea deposits, and coral-reef formation. As a marine scientist, he took part in the Challenger Expedition (1872-76), the first major oceanographic expedition of the world. He was first to observe the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the existence of marine trenches. He attempted with Buchan to construct from temperature and salinity observations a qualitative theory of water movement in the world’s oceans. With Alexander Agassiz, he put forward a modified hypothesis for coral reef development, arguing against Charles Darwin’s hypothesis and suggesting that subsidence was not always a controlling mechanism. He died in 1914, killed by a motor car.
176 solar years ago, on this day in 1845 AD, German mathematician and physicist, Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, was born. He conducted extensive research on different rays and discovered X-ray in 1895. The unit of radiation of X-rays and Gama rays is named after him as Roentgen. He died in 1923.
162 solar years ago, on this day in 1859 AD, the Russian inventor and scientist, Alexander Popov, was born. He conducted extensive studies to build a device that would be able to record and broadcast sound. Thus, in 1895, he succeeded in inventing the tape recorder. He died in 1905.
114 solar years ago, on this day in 1907 AD, the famous Iranian poetess, Parvin E’tesami, was born in the northwestern city of Tabriz in an academic family. Her father, Yusuf E’tesam ol-Molk, was an acclaimed translator and author who frequented the company of prominent poets and literary figures, such as the Poet Laureate Malik osh-Sho’ara Mohammad Taqi Bahar, and the Lexicographer Allamah Ali Akbar Dehkhoda. She learned Iranian and Arabic literature from her father and showed her talents for writing poems as of childhood. On graduation from high school she started teaching in Tabriz. She accompanied her father on his journeys around Iran and abroad, gaining valuable experiences and reflecting them in her poetry. Her Divan includes odes, elegies, and other styles of poetry. A realistic poetess she maintained strong ethical and religious beliefs. Parvin E’tesami passed away at the young age of 35 years in 1941.
82 solar years ago, on this day in 1939 AD, on the eve of World War II, Czechoslovakia was occupied by German Nazi forces, following Adolf Hitler’s occupation of Austria.
81 solar years ago, on this day in 1940 AD, the Swedish author, Selma Lagerlof, died at the age of 82. She was the first woman who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1909.
76 solar years ago, on this day in 1945 AD, ninety percent of the city of Wurzburg in Germany was destroyed in only 20 minutes by British bombers. Over 5,000 men, women, and children were mercilessly killed by the British.
53 solar years ago, on this day in 1968 AD during the Vietnam War, American occupation troops cold-bloodedly massacred over 500 men, women and children in the village of My Lai that shocked the civilized world.
33 solar years ago, on this day in 1988 AD, Baghdad’s repressive B’ath minority regime bombarded the northeastern Iraqi Kurdish city of Halabche with internationally-banned chemical weapons, killing 5,000 men, women, and children, and maiming 10,000 others, at a time when Iraqi Kurdish combatants welcomed Iran’s Muslim combatants as liberators from Saddam’s tyrannical rule. Western regimes, such as the US, Germany, France and Britain, which had supplied Saddam with chemical weapons, remained silent in the face of these barbaric crimes against humanity. The UN also ignored the catastrophe for several years.
26 solar years ago, on this day in 1995 AD, Hojjat al-Islam Seyyed Ahmad Khomeini, the younger son of the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (God bless him), passed away at the age of 50. Born in the holy city of Qom, he studied under his prominent father, and later joined him in exile in Najaf. He played an important role in communications between his father and the revolutionaries in Iran. Following the victory of the Islamic Revolution, he returned to Iran along with his father. During the 5 years, which he was alive after his father, he continued to support the Islamic Republic System and the leadership of Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
24 solar years ago, on this day in 1997 AD, the prominent teacher of the famous seminary of holy Qom, Ayatollah Ahmad Payani Ardebil, passed away at the age of 69. Born in Ardebil, northwestern Iran, at the age of 20 he moved to Qom for higher studies, and after completing his religious education, embarked on teaching at the seminary. He was also politically active during the events leading to the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
9 solar years ago, on this day in 2012 AD, Aziz Abu Saber, Brazilian geologist and environmentalist, passed away in his hometown Sao Paulo. He was one of Brazil´s most respected scientists, honoured with the highest awards of Brazilian science in geography, geology, ecology and archaeology. Graduated in geography, he was a former president of the Sociedade Brasileira para o Progresso da Ciência (Brazilian Society for the Advancement of Science), Emeritus Professor of the University of Sao Paulo and member of the highest rank - Order Grão-Cruz in Earth Sciences - of the Academy of Science. Among the awards, he has received the UNESCO Prize on Science and the Environment in 2001 and the Prize to the Intellectual of Brazil in 2011. The contributions of Abu Saber to science range from the first research of oil camps in Brazil’s northeast to surveys of Brazil’s natural realms and the restoration of the history of forests, camps and primitive humans over geologic time in South America. He made central contributions to biology, South American archaeology, and to Brazilian ecology, geology and geography. He has published more than 480 works, most of them scientific publications. Among his scientific proposals are FLORAM, the Code of biodiversity and his theory of refuges related to the Amazones. Abu Sáber was the first person to classify scientifically the Brazilian and South-America territory in morphoclimatic domains.
7 solar years ago, on this day in 2014 AD, the people of Crimea voted in a referendum to secede from Ukraine to join Russia. In ancient times, Crimea was the home of the Iranian tribes of Cimmerians and Scythians, before being colonized by the Greeks, who were followed by the Romans, the Goths, the Huns, the Bulgars, the Khazars, the Byzantine Empire, the Qipchak Turks, and the Muslim Mongols of the Golden Horde. The area became the site of overlapping interests and contact between the medieval Slavic, Turkic and Greek spheres, and a center of slave trade. Slavs were sold to Byzantium and other places in Anatolia during this period. In the 1230s, this status quo was swept away by the Mongol invasions, and Crimea was incorporated into the territory of the Golden Horde throughout the 14th century. The Crimean Muslim Khanate, a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire, succeeded the Golden Horde and lasted from 1449 to 1779, building a glorious Muslim civilization. In 1571, the Crimean Tatars attacked and sacked Moscow, burning everything but the Kremlin. Crimea was seized by Russia in 1783. From 1853 to 1856, it was the site of the principal engagements of the Crimean War – a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of France, Britain, and the Ottoman Empire. During the Russian Civil War, following the victory of the Red Army over the White Army, it became part of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in 1921 as the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (which became part of the Soviet Union in 1922). In the Second World War the peninsula was occupied by Nazi Germany from July 1942 to May 1944. After its liberation, it was downgraded to the Crimean Oblast, and Soviet dictator, Joseph Stalin ordered the mass deportation of the Crimean Muslim Tatars for alleged collaboration with the Nazi forces. A total of more than 230,000 people were deported, mostly to Uzbekistan, at the time about a fifth of the total population of the Crimean Peninsula. In 1954, by an internal political action by Communist Party General Secretary Nikita Khrushchev, Crimea became a territory of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic within the Soviet Union. In 1991, on the disintegration of the USSR, it became part of independent Ukraine as the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. In the wake of the crisis created in Ukraine by the West, the Crimean people held a referendum and decided to join Russia.