Today is Saturday; 18th of the Iranian month of Bahman 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 23rd of the Islamic month of Jamadi as-Sani 1442 lunar hijri; and February 6, 2021, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1278 solar years ago, on this day in 743 AD, Hisham ibn Abdul-Malik, the 10th self-styled caliph of the usurper Omayyad regime, died at the age of 53 after an oppressive rule of 20 years over an empire stretching from Spain and southern France in the west to the borders of China and India in the east. Hisham was the murderer of Imam Mohammad Baqer (AS), the 5th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). He also brutally martyred the 5th Imam’s younger brother, Zaid ibn Ali and had the body mutilated after taking it out from the grave. Hisham was notorious for his misery, despite accumulating a vast treasure that his troops brought as loot from different parts of Africa, Europe, and Asia. He was succeeded by his nephew, Waleed, who refused to give him any shroud or burial, saying Hisham has left no legitimate and lawful income, and whatever he had accumulated was through plunder and seizure. Seven years after him, the Omayyad dynasty was thrown into the dustbin of history with the rise of the equally oppressive Abbasid usurpers.
1235 lunar years ago, on this day in 207 AH, Taher ibn Hussain, the Iranian general of the Abbasid regime, also known as "Dhu’l-Yaminayn” (The Ambidextrous), and "al-A’waar” (The One-Eyed”), was poisoned to death on the orders of the self-styled Abbasid caliph, Mamoun, shortly after he had omitted the caliph’s name from the Friday Prayer sermons and declared the independence of Greater Khorasan – covering what is now western Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kirghizstan, parts of Turkmenistan, and most of Uzbekistan. Born in Pushang, a village near Herat, he rose into prominence during the rule of Haroun and after him served the cause of Mamoun for the caliphate against the rule of Amin in Baghdad. In the decisive Battle of Rayy he scored a surprise victory over the formidable army of Ali ibn Isa ibn Mahan, and after killing him, led the armies into Iraq to defeat and kill Amin and proclaim Mamoun as the sole caliph. He is considered the founder of the short-lived Taherid dynasty of Khorasan that was overthrown by the Saffarids, who were also Iranians.
766 lunar years ago, on this day in 676 AH, the great Islamic scholar and researcher, Shaikh Abu’l-Qasim Ja’far bin Hasan al-Hilli, who has earned lasting fame as Muhaqqiq Hilli, passed away. He was maternal uncle of the immortal scholar Allamah Hilli as well as his tutor. He wrote several books on Fiqh. The most important among them are: "ash-Shara’e”, "Ma’arij, Mu’tabar”, "al-Mukhtasar an-Naf’e” etc. Muhaqqiq Hilli was a student of the students of great scholars such as Ibn Idris Hilli.
404 solar years ago, on this day in 1617 AD, Italian physician and botanist, Prospero Alpini, died at the age of 64 in Padua. His best-known works are: "De Medicina Egyptiorum”, "De Plantis Aegypti liber” (published in his native Venice in 1591 & 1592) is said to contain the first account of the coffee plant published in Europe.
357 solar years ago, on this day in 1664 AD, Mustafa II, the 22nd Ottoman Sultan and the 14th self-styled Turkish caliph, was born in Edirne to Sultan Mohammad IV and his Greek Cretan slave-girl, Evemia Voria, who on becoming Muslim was given the Persian-Arabic name Mahpara Amatullah Rabia Golnoush.
103 solar years ago, on this day in 1918 AD, British women over the age of 30 got the right to vote. Women in West were never considered equal to men by the Christian society, and it was only in the late 19th century and early 20th century they got voting rights. In contrast, Islam has always emphasized on the equality of men and women. It is worth noting that when the Pledge of Allegiance was given to Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) by a delegation from Medina, women were also included in it. Another glaring example is the Pledge of Allegiance at Ghadeer-Khom by women following the Prophet’s proclamation of Imam Ali (AS) as vicegerent on God’s orders. Since Islam does not permit physical contact between unrelated men and women, the Prophet ordered a tub of water to be placed, and after Imam Ali (AS) had dipped his hands in it and withdrawn, the women queued up to dip their hands as confirmation of their pledge of allegiance.
102 lunar years ago, on this day in 1340 AH, the Islamic scholar, Ayatollah Mullah Habibollah Sharif Kashani, passed away at the age of 78. He reached the status of Ijtehad at the young age of 18. In addition to focusing on scientific and ethical issues, he also participated in political affairs. He has left behind a large number of compilations, including "Asrar al-Aarefin” (Mysteries of Gnostics).
99 solar years ago, on this day in 1922 AD, a conference on restriction of arms in world countries ended in Washington, the US, with the signing of a treaty by the five participants – the US, Britain, France, Italy, and Japan. The treaty forbade use of fatal poisonous and chemical gas in wars. It is worth noting that the Islamic Republic of Iran remains the prime victim of chemical warfare, because of Saddam’s extensive use of internationally-banned chemical supplied by Germany and the US during the 8-year imposed war for use against Iranian soldiers and civilians, as well as against Iraq’s own Kurdish dissidents – the city of Halabche being the glaring example.
85 solar years ago, on this day in 1936 AD, the coldest region on Earth was identified in the Siberian City of Verkhoyansk, in northern Russia by a scientific delegation after four-year research in cold regions across the globe. Prior to collapse of the Soviet Union, this was the place of exile for political offenders as a form of torture. The temperature falls to as low as 70 degrees Celsius in winter.
58 solar years ago, on this day in 1963 AD, the Moroccan freedom fighter, Amir Abdul-Karim al-Khattabi, passed away in Cairo at the age of 80.
42 lunar years ago, on this day in 1400 AH, Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Baqer as-Sadr, and his equally learned sister, Amena Haidar, popular as Bint al-Hoda, after days of torture in prison were martyred by Saddam, the tyrannical ruler of the Ba’th minority regime of Baghdad. Ayatollah Sadr was a brilliant scholar and studied under such immortal ulema as Grand Ayatollah Mohsin al-Hakeem and Grand Ayatollah Abu’l-Qassem Khoei. At a young age he had reached the status of Ijtehad – or independent reasoning based on Holy Qur’an and Prophet’s Hadith. His lectures at the Najaf Seminary, during which he used to critically evaluate the western and eastern materialistic schools of thought, were widely attended by youths and academicians. He wrote outstanding works on Islamic economic and philosophy titled "Iqtasadona” (Our Economics) and "Falsafatona” (Our Philosophy). The awareness which he instilled in the Iraqi people, especially political consciousness, greatly alarmed the oppressive Ba’thist regime, in view of his attachment to the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA). Following the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the jubilation of the Iraqi people for repeating this experience in Iraq, Ayatollah Sadr and his socially active sister, were imprisoned, tortured and brutally martyred. Grand Ayatollah Baqer as-Sadr authored many valuable books. His religious-political legacy is alive today, since many of the statesmen in the Iraqi administration are either his students or inspired by his thoughts.
42 solar years ago, on this day in 1979 AD, people of various walks of life thronged the residence of the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA), to pledge allegiance to him. The same day officers of the armed forces came to the Beloved Leader, and in a moving ceremony hailed him as the "Saviour of Iran” by reciting a rhythmical anthem in his praise. In his speech to the audience the Imam insisted that the fugitive Shah be brought to justice, and once again called on Prime Minister Shapour Bahktiar to resign.
15 solar years ago, on this day in 2006 AD, Iranian newspaper Hamshahri announced that it would hold a competition for cartoons on the alleged Holocaust to test whether the West extends the principle of freedom of expression to this doubtful incident, as it did to the insulting caricatures it attributed to the Almighty’s Last and Greatest Messenger, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
10 solar years ago, on this day in 2011 AD, the Islamic Republic of Iran unveiled four new domestically produced research satellites as part of a space programme for exploring outer space.