Today is Sunday; 27th of the Iranian month of Bahman 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 3rd of the Islamic month of Rajab 1442 lunar hijri; and February 15, 2021, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1431 solar years ago, on this day in 590 AD, Khosrow II was crowned the 22nd Sassanid Emperor of Persia, following his revolt against his father, Hormizd IV, who was deposed, blinded and killed. Grandson of the wise, just and benevolent ruler, Khosrow I (Anushirvan), he styled himself Perviz (Victorious) but lacked the traits of virtue, as was evident by incidents during his 38-year reign that ended in 628 with his torturous death in prison at the hands of his generals, after he had haughtily torn the letter of invitation to Islam from the Almighty's Last and Greatest Messenger, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), and threatened to attack Hijaz from Iranian-controlled Yemen, following the reversal of his fortunes in the 26-year long Roman-Iranian War. Although in art and literature, Khosrow Pervez has been immortalized for his romance with the beautiful Armenian Christian princess, Shirin, who eventually became his chief wife, he faced fluctuating fortunes as ruler. Within a year of his accession he was ousted by the rebellious general, Bahram Chubin, fled via Syria to Constantinople, and regained the throne of Ctesiphon in 1591 with help from Emperor Maurice of Byzantium (Eastern Roman Empire). In 602, the murder of Maurice and usurpation of power by Phocas, provided him the pretext to attack the Roman Empire, and in the next decade while Islam was publicly proclaimed for the first time in Mecca, Iranian armies led by the Generals, Shahrbaraz and Shahin, overran Syria, Palestine, Egypt and almost the whole of Anatolia (modern Turkey) right up to the walls of Constantinople. The victories of the Zoroastrian Persians over the Christian Romans gladdened the hearts of the Arab infidels and made them mock Muslims and Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), at which God revealed Surah Roum, foretelling the eventual triumph of the monotheists – indeed one of the eternal miracles of the holy Qur'an. In 622, a decade after Heraclius had removed Phocas to become the new Roman Emperor, and coinciding with the Prophet's migration from Mecca to Medina, the fortunes of Khosrow II began to decline with defeat after defeat in Anatolia, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Georgia, Armenia, and Iraq; resulting in his ouster, death and replacement by son, Qobad II.
1315 solar years ago, on this day in 706 AD, General Leontios, who in 695 had usurped the throne of Byzantine (Eastern Roman Empire) by deposing Emperor Justinian II and exiling him to Crimea after slitting his tongue and nose, only to be overthrown in 698 by Apsimarus Tiberius, was executed along with the latter by the restored Justinian. In 686 Justinian had chosen Leontios to lead the army against the Muslims in Georgia and Armenia. Ruthless even by the standards of the day, Leontios carried the war further into Azarbaijan, and forced the Omayyad caliph, Abdul-Malik Ibn Marwan, to grant heavy concessions. Leontios was less successful when war resumed in 692, and was defeated by the Muslims at the Battle of Sebastopolis in Cilicia (southern Turkey). A furious Justinian imprisoned Leontius, but two years later in 695 freed him and appointed him commander. Instead Leontius organized a revolt, deposed Justinian and seized the throne. During his unpopular 3-year reign, Leontios lost Carthage in North Africa to the Muslims in 697, and his bid to retake it the next year failed. The Germanic naval commander, Tiberius Apsimarus, realizing the futility of facing the Muslims in Carthage, sailed instead to Constantinople, deposed Leontius, and seized the throne as the new emperor. In 705, Justinian II returned from exile to oust Tiberius. Both Tiberius and Leontios, with their tongues and nose slit, were paraded through the streets while the citizenry pelted them with ordure, before being executed in the Hippodrome.
1189 lunar years ago, on this day in 254 AH, Imam Ali an-Naqi al-Hadi (AS), the 10th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), was martyred in Samarra at the age of 42, as a result of a fatal dose of poisoning administered by Mo’taz, the 13th self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime. His period of Imamate was 34 years during which he groomed a large number of scholars in various branches of knowledge, and institutionalized the system "Wikala” (representation), which would efficiently serve the followers of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt during the "Ghaybat as-Sughra” or Minor Occultation of his grandson, the 12th Imam, who will reappear in the end times as "Qa’em al-Mahdi” to establish the global government of peace, prosperity and justice by weeding out oppression.
1054 lunar years ago, on this day in 388 AH, the Islamic-Iranian mathematician and astronomer, Abu'l-Wafa Mohammad ibn Mohammad ibn Yahya al-Bouzjani, passed away in Baghdad at the age of 60. Born in the northeastern Iranian town of Bouzhgan (present day Torbat-e Jam) in Khorasan, at the age of 19 he moved to Baghdad and remained there for forty years. He made important innovations in spherical trigonometry, and his work on arithmetic for businessmen contains the first instance of using negative numbers in an Islamic text. He was the first to build a wall quadrant to observe the sky. Bouzjani participated in an experiment to determine the difference in local time between his location in Baghdad and that of his famous contemporary, Abu Rayhan al-Berouni in Kath, Khwarezm, which is now part of the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan. The result was very close to present-day calculations, showing a difference of approximately 1 hour between the two longitudes. The 3rd Lunar Inequality (the variation) was first discovered by Bouzjani, a fact admitted by European scientist, Tycho Brahe, who often quotes this Iranian Islamic scientist's work. His "Kitab al-Majisti" (Almajest) covers numerous topics in the fields of plane and spherical trigonometry, planetary theory, and solutions to determine the direction of Qibla – the focal point of the daily ritual prayers for Muslims worldwide. The crater "Abu'l-Wafa” on the Moon is named after him. Bouzjani wrote several books that have not survived, including "Tarikh-e Ilm al-Hesab” (The History of Calculus).
973 lunar years ago, on this day in 469 AH, the Arabic grammarian of Fatemid Egypt, Abu’l-Hassan Taher Ibn Ahmad Ibn Babshad, passed away. He was of Iranian origin and was born in Basra, Iraq, in a family of pearl-dealers who migrated to Cairo. In his youth he came to Baghdad to learn sciences, and eventually returned to Egypt. He wrote several books, and was a rich businessman but later in life, donated to charity all his possessions, and became a hermit.
547 lunar years ago, on this day in 895 AH, Ahmad Nizam ul-Mulk Bahri defeated Sultan Mahmud Shah II of the Bahmani kingdom of the Deccan in south-central India, to establish the Nizam-Shahi kingdom of Ahmadnagar and took the title of Ahmad Nizam Shah. He was son of Hassan Nizam ul-Mulk Bahri, a Kanarese Brahmin who embraced the truth of Islam and was appointed governor of the northern parts of the Bahmani kingdom of Iranian origin. Two years later Ahmad Nizam Shah died, but the dynasty he founded continued to rule with fluctuating fortunes for over 125 years, until its annexation by the Mughal Empire of the northern Subcontinent. The second king, Burhan Nizam Shah, became a follower of the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), due to the influence of the Iranian migrant religious scholar, Seyyed Shah Taher Hussaini. The Nizam-Shahis, like the other two Shi’ite Muslim sultanates of the Deccan, the Adil-Shahis of Bijapur and the Qutb-Shahis of Golkandah-Haiderabad, maintained cordial relations with Iran’s Safavid Emperors, exchanging ambassadors, hosting Iranians of various walks of life, and patronizing Persian literature, art, and architecture.
457 solar years ago, on this day in 1564 AD, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei, was born in the city of Pisa where he mastered physics and mathematics. With the usage of lens, invented by the famous Muslim astronomer, Ibn al-Haytham, he developed a telescope for observing stars. With the help of this instrument, and with the aid of the writings of Islamic scientists, he wrote that the surface of the moon has plains and altitudes, while each galaxy is made of small and large stars. He also recorded as his own, the discoveries of Islamic scientists that the Sun is at the centre of the Solar System and other planets, including the Earth, revolve around it. These discoveries were already made several centuries earlier in the Islamic world by the renowned Iranian astronomer, Abu-Rayhan Birouni, who as a follower of the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), had proved the circular movement of the spherical Earth around the Sun. Following publication of Galileo’s theory on the movement of the Earth and other planets around the Sun, the Cathlotic Church charged him with blasphemy, forcing him to renounce his views or risk execution. He died in 1642.
383 solar years ago, on this day in 1638 AD, Moghal princess and poet, Zeb un-Nissa, was born in Daulatabad in the Deccan as the eldest child of Prince Mohy-od-Din Mohammad, who later became Emperor Aurangzeb. Her mother was Dilras Banu Begum, daughter of the governor of Gujarat Mirza Badi-uz-Zaman Safavi titled Shahnawaz Khan – a descendant of Shah Ismail I of Iran. At a young age she memorized the holy Qur’an and was taught philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, and literature by the famous Persian poet Saeed Ashraf Mazandarani. As a poet, she wrote under the pseudonym of "Makhfi". She lived in a period when many great poets flourished, such as Abdul Qader Bedil, Kaleem Kashani, Sa'eb Tabrizi and Ghani Kashmiri. There is a noticeable influence of Hafez Shirazi's style on the poetry of Zeb-un-Nissa, who, however, followed the Sabk-e Hindi or Indian School of Persian poetry. She never married although she had proposals from several noblemen, including Prince Farrokh Mirza, a son of Iran’s Shah Abbas II. She was imprisoned for 20 years till her death in 1702 in Salimgarh Fort, near Delhi, when her father found her secret correspondence with her younger brother, Prince Mohammad Akbar, who after an abortive rebellion had fled to the Safavid court in Isfahan. Her poetical work known as "Diwan-e-Makhfi” was published posthumously and the latest edition was printed in Tehran after the Islamic Revolution.
311 solar years ago, on this day in 1710 AD, King Louis XV of France was born. He succeeded his great-grandfather Louis XIV at the age of five. Until he reached maturity in 1723, his kingdom was ruled by Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, as regent. Cardinal Fleury was his chief minister from 1726 until death in 1743, on which the young king took sole control of the kingdom. His reign of more than 58 years was the second-longest in the history of France, exceeded only by his great-grandfather, Louis XIV. In 1748 he returned the Austrian Netherlands, territory won at the Battle of Fontenoy of 1745. He ceded New France in North America to Spain and Britain at the end of the disastrous Seven Years' War in 1763. He incorporated the territories of the Duchy of Lorraine and the Corsican Republic into the Kingdom of France. In 1774, he was succeeded by his grandson Louis XVI, who perished during the French Revolution. Historians give his reign very low marks, especially as wars drained the treasury and set the stage for the governmental collapse and French Revolution in the 1780s.
239 solar years ago, on this day in 1782 AD, a naval battle broke out between France and Britain off the coast of India and lasted seven months, as part of the two European colonial powers' rivalry in controlling the Subcontinent and plundering its rich resources. Earlier, France had relinquished its Indian possessions following its defeat in the 13-month long Madras War.
213 solar years ago, on this day in 1808 AD, Russia seized Finland, which since the 12th century had been occupied by Sweden. Following the Russian Revolution in 1917 Finland gained independence.
152 solar years ago, on this day in 1869 AD, the famous Urdu-Persian poet of the Subcontinent, Mirza Asadollah Khan Ghaleb, passed away in Delhi at the age of 73. Born in Agra in a Persianized Turkic family, whose ancestors had migrated to India from Samarqand, he was well versed in the Persian, Arabic, Turkic and Urdu languages, and excelled in composing "ghazals” (lyrics) in a unique style. His choice of words, philosophical references, delicate metaphors, and witticism, has made his poetry highly popular in India, Pakistan, and wherever Urdu speakers are found. He initiated a new style in letter-writing which greatly influenced the development of Urdu language. Ghaleb was an accomplished poet in Persian, and also composed "qasidahs” (panegyrics) in praise of noblemen as well as Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), Imam Ali (AS) and the Infallible Ahl al-Bayt. In fact, his Persian Diwan is four times the size of his Urdu Diwan and has been published in Iran.
123 solar years ago, on this day in 1898 AD, as a pretext to start a war with Spain, the USS Maine was deceitfully blown up and sank by US agents in Havana harbour in Cuba, killing more than 260. The resulting 4-year war with Spain saw the US seize Cuba, Guam Island and the Philippines. In our own days, the glaring example of US deceit and state terrorism was the collapse of the Twin Towers of New York's 110-storey high World Trade Center through a series of implosions, while to deceive world public opinion, two remote-controlled unmanned aircraft crashed into it, in order to blame others and provide a pretext for the occupation of Afghanistan.
79 solar years ago, on this day in 1942 AD, during World War II, Singapore fell to the Japanese with the surrender of General Arthur Percival, along with some 80,000 Indian, British and Australian troops – the largest surrender of British-led military forces in history.
42 solar years ago, on this day in 1979 AD, Chief of the Pahlavi regime’s dreaded anti-public outfit, SAVAK, Ne’matollah Naseeri, was executed for his crimes against humanity, after being found guilty of the imprisonment, torture and death of thousands of Iranian Muslims during his 13-year tenure. Although the crimes of the Shah’s officials against the Iranian nation were crystal clear, the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA), ordered the setting up of a revolutionary court to try these corrupt and murderous elements in order to make their guilt clear to the public. A personal friend of the Shah, Nassiri had gained notoriety for removing Prime Minister Dr. Mohammad Mosaddeq from power.
32 solar years ago, on this day in 1989 AD, faced with the people’s stiff resistance, Soviet forces were forced to withdraw from Afghanistan after almost ten years of occupation.
10 solar years ago, on this day in 2011 AD, Fadhel al-Matrook attained martyrdom in the Persian Gulf island of Bahrain. While, participating in the funeral procession of Ali Abdul-Hadi Mushaima, who was martyred the day before, he succumbed to his wounds in hospital after being shot at close range that caused internal bleeding and punctured his lungs. The Bahraini people are campaigning for restoration of their denied birthrights in a peaceful manner since the past seven years, but the US-supported Aal-e Khalifa minority regime, has answered them with bullets, artillery fire, razing of mosques, burning of copies of the holy Qur’an, desecration of Hussainiyahs, and torture and killing of the unarmed activists.