Today is Thursday; 3rd of the Iranian month of Mehr 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 6th of the Islamic month of Safar 1442 lunar hijri; and September 24, 2020, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1252 solar years ago, on this day in 768 AD, Charlemagne was crowned the first King of the Franks at the age of 26, on the death of his father, Pepin the Short. A warlike figure he set about expanding his realm and after conquering the Lombard kingdom, he was declared as the king of Italy as well in 774. In 800, after more conquests and subjugation of central Europe, he was crowned by Pope Leo III as the first emperor in Western Europe since the collapse of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier – an imperial title that would eventually evolve into what would become known as the Holy Roman Emperor by the twelfth century. Throughout his long 45-year reign, he was brutal in his suppression of opposition to his rule, but his attempts to expand his dominion into Muslim Spain met with defeat and a historical retreat that resulted in the complete destruction of his rearguard by the Basques in the Pyrenees. When a clock was sent to him from Baghdad by the scientifically advanced Muslims (along with an Asian elephant named Abu’l-Abbas), Charlemagne and the French, who like the rest of the European Christians were living in the dark ages, were for long suspicious of the mechanical object and thought that a genie was inside it, showing the time of the day and the passing hours.
1084 solar years ago, on this day in 936 AD, Adhud od-Dowla Daylami, the greatest ruler of the Iranian Buwaiyhid dynasty of Iran-Iraq-Bahrain-Oman, was born in Shiraz and named Fana Khosrow by his father Amir Rokn od-Dowla. He became ruler of Fars on the death of his childless uncle, Amir Emad od-Dowla. He was sent by his father to crush a rebellion by his cousin Ezz od-Dowla, on whose defeat he claimed the emirate of Iraq for himself. On his father’s death, as senior Amir of the Buwaiyhid family, Adhud od-Dowla chose as his capital, Baghdad, which was suffering from violence and instability due to sectarian sedition by the Hanbalis. In order to bring peace and stability, he banned public demonstrations and polemics. He patronized scholars such as the celebrated Shaikh Mufid, and renovated the holy shrines in Najaf and Karbala. He undertook several scientific projects, such as the observatory in Isfahan, and the dam known as "Band-e Amir” between Shiraz and Istakhr to irrigate some 300 villages. He also ordered digging of the Haffar Canal joining the Karun River to the Arvand Roud at the confluence of the Rivers Tigris and Euphrates. He embellished Baghdad with several buildings including the famous public hospital known as "Bimaristan-e Adhudi”, where the great Iranian physician Zakariyya ar-Razi used to practice. Adhud od-Dowla passed away in Baghdad and was laid to rest in the mausoleum of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (AS) in Najaf.
809 solar years ago, on this day in 1211 AD, the famous biographer of Kurdish origin, Shams od-Din Abu’l-Abbas Ahmad Ibn Mohammad Ibn Khallikan was born in Arbil in northeastern Iraq. He studied in Aleppo, Damascus, and Mosul before settling in Cairo, where he served as assistant to the chief judge of Egypt. Later he became the chief judge of Damascus where he passed away at the age of 71. His most renowned work is the biographical dictionary entitled "Wafayaat al-Ayaan wa-Anba Abna az-Zamaan” (Deaths of Eminent Men and Accounts of the Sons of the Epoch), which took eighteen years to complete. This book does not include biographies of individuals already sufficiently covered, such as the Prophet and the caliphs. It was translated into English by William McGuckin de Slane.
369 solar years ago, on this day in 1651 AD, the fort of Gandikot, in Cadapa in what is now Andhra was captured by the Iranian adventurer, Mir Mohammad Ardistani entitled "Mir Jumla” for Sultan Abdullah Qutb Shah of the Deccan (southern India). Born in Isfahan to an oil merchant, he set out for the Deccan on a business trip under a diamond merchant to the Qutb-Shahi Sultanate of Iranian origin of Golkandah-Haiderabad, where he started his own business and rose to become the prime minister. Soon friction with the court made him seek service with the Mughal Empire of Hindustan (northern subcontinent), where Emperor Shahjahan made him governor of Bengal. Mir Jumla started his conquest of the remote northeast and brought under control Assam and other regions, before death overtook him.
356 solar years ago, on this day in 1664 AD, the Dutch Republic of North America ended with its occupation by the British and seizure of its capital on Manhattan Island, named New Amsterdam, which was renamed New York in honour of the Duke of York, who was later crowned James II. New York is the largest city of the US.
337 solar years ago, on this day in 1683 AD, King Louis XIV expelled all Jews from French possessions in America. The Jews, while they enjoyed all rights in the Muslim lands, were despised by Christians for their negative characteristics like miserliness and usury, in addition to their blasphemous slandering of the Virgin Mary and Prophet Jesus (peace upon them).
179 solar years ago, on this day in 1841 AD, the Sultan of Brunei was forced to cede Sarawak on the large Borneo Island to the British invaders, who installed a certain James Brooke as the White Rajah, and whose descendants ruled this land till 1946, a few years before the independence of Malaysia. Sarawak is a province of Malaysia.
150 solar years ago, on this day in 1870 AD, French chemist and engineer, Georges Claude, who invented the neon light, as the forerunner of the fluorescent light, was born. He was the first to apply an electrical discharge to a sealed tube of neon gas, around 1902 to make a neon lamp ("Neon” from the Greek word "neos”, meaning new gas). He displayed the neon lamp on 11 December 1910 in Paris at a motor show.
81 solar years ago, on this day in 1939 AD, German planes pounded the Polish Capital, Warsaw for three days on the eve of World War II, killing over 15,000 people, and forcing Poland to surrender to Adolf Hitler’s Nazi forces.
78 solar years ago, on this day in 1942 AD, the Iranian literary figure and poet, Mohammad Yousefzadeh Hamedani passed away. He was a polymath in logic, Islamic philosophy, and literature, especially Persian poems. He was active in the Constitutionalist Movement, but when colonialist agents infiltrated and diverted it from its goals he left politics and devoted himself to social and literary activities. He has left behind a diwan of poetry.
46 solar years ago, on this day in 1974 AD, Guinea-Bissau in West Africa declared independence from Portuguese rule. It was part of the Mali Muslim Empire, before its occupation by Portugal, which enslaved the people and sent hundreds of thousands of them to the Americas as slaves. In the mid-1960s, the uprising of the people against the Portuguese intensified and in 1970, the independence seekers took control of two-thirds of this land. In 1974, Portugal was forced to grant independence. Over 65 percent of the people are Muslim in Guinea-Bissau which covers an area of 36,000 sq km. It has coastlines of the Atlantic Ocean, sharing borders with Guinea and Senegal.
38 solar years ago, on this day in 1982 AD, Iranian artist and calligrapher, Reza Ma’afi, passed away. Born in the holy city of Mashhad, he learned this art under the prominent calligrapher, E’tesami. He created more than 800 works and held a number of exhibitions of his works in Iran and overseas. His last exhibition was in Tehran in 1979 in memory of martyrs of the Islamic Revolution.
32 solar years ago, on this day in 1988, the famous Urdu poet of the subcontinent, Raees Amrohi, was martyred in Karachi at the age of 74 by Takfiri terrorists. Born in Amroha in India, his name was Seyyed Mohammad Mahdi, which indicates his descent from Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). He migrated to Pakistan on 19 October 1947 and was known for his unique style of "qatanigari” (disjointed rhymed verses) and "ruba’iyaat” (quatrains). For several decades his quatrains were published in Pakistan’s leading Urdu daily "Jang”. A staunch supporter of Urdu as language of unity for Pakistani Muslims, he established an institution Raees Academy where writers were trained. During the conflict in the 1970s with the Sindhi-speakers, he wrote his famous poem Urdu satirical poem "Urdu ka janaza hai zara dhoom say niklay” (It is the funeral of Urdu, carry it out with fanfare). He also published a number of books on the topic of metaphysics, and meditation. His poetical works include "Paas-e Ghubaar”, "Hikayaat”, "Ba-Hazrat-e Yazdaan”, and "Malboos-e Bahaar”. Books written by him include "Alam-e Barzaq”, "Jinnaat” (2 volumes), and "Ana min al-Husain”.