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News ID: 88380
Publish Date : 08 March 2021 - 22:01
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Today is Tuesday; 19th of the Iranian month of Esfand 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 25th of the Islamic month of Rajab 1442 lunar hijri; and March 9, 2021, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1259 lunar years ago, on this day in 183 AH, Imam Musa al-Kazem (AS), the 7th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), attained martyrdom at the age of 55 in the prison of Baghdad, three days after being served poisoned dates by the jailor Sindi bin Shahak on the orders of Haroun Rashid, the 5th self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime. His period of Imamate was 35 years, during which, as the son and successor of Imam Ja’far as-Sadeq (AS), he guided the seekers of truth in those days of Abbasid tyranny. He groomed a large number of scholars who spread the teachings of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt in different lands, before passing the mantle of divinely-decreed leadership to his son and successor, Imam Reza (AS). We extend our heartfelt condolences to all listeners on this doleful day, and later in our programme will present you a special feature on the life and times of the 7th Imam, the "Bab al-Hawa’ej” (Gateway of Needs), whose sprawling shrine in Kazemain, north of Baghdad attracts pilgrims from all over the world.
1181 lunar years ago, on this day in 261 AH, the Iranian Sunni scholar and compiler of hadith, Abul-Hussain Muslim ibn Hajjaj al-Qushayri Nayshapuri, the author of "Sahih Muslim”, passed away at the age of 55 years in his hometown Nayshapur in Khorasan, northeastern Iran. He was a student of the other famous Iranian Sunni Muslim hadith compiler, Mohammad bin Ismael Bukhari, and among his students was the third famous Iranian Sunni Muslim compiler of hadith, Mohammad bin Eisa Tirmizi. After travelling throughout Iran, the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Iraq and Syria, he settled down in his hometown Nayshapur where he first met Bukhari, with whom he would have a lifelong friendship. Of the thousands of hadith he has collected in his "Sahih”, 2000 are common with Bukhari’s "Sahih”. There are many hadith in "Sahih Muslim” on the merits of the Ahl al-Bayt including the unrivalled position of Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS) compared to the companions of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). He has mentioned that the term Ahl al-Bayt as referred to by God Almighty in ayah 33 of Surah Ahazab exclusively pertains to Imam Ali (AS), Hazrat Fatema (SA), Imam Hasan (AS) and Imam Husain (AS) and does not include the Prophet’s wives.
1135 solar years ago, on this day in 886 AD, the Iranian Islamic astronomer, Abu-Ma’shar Ja’far ibn Mohammad al-Balkhi, passed away in the Iraqi city of al-Waset at the age of almost hundred years. Born in the Khorasani city of Balkh (presently in Afghanistan) he spent most of his life in Iraq, especially in Baghdad. He used ancient sources written in Pahlavi, Arabic, Sanskrit, Syriac, and Greek. He believed that all sciences have a divine origin, and the signs of God’s revelation are observed in every science. He has left behind a large number of books; the most important of which include "al-Mudkhal al-Kabir”. Known to Europe by his Latinized name "Albumasar”, he wrote several manuals on astrology that profoundly influenced Muslim intellectual history and, through Latin translations, that of Europe. Some of his works that were used by Roger Bacon and others are: "Kitab ad‐Dalalaat ala’l‐Ittesalaat wa‐Qiranaat al‐Kawakeb” (Book of Indications of the Planetary Conjunctions), and "Kitab al‐Milal wa’l-Duwal” (Book on Nations and Dynasties).
963 lunar years ago, on this day in 479 AH, Sultan Mo’iz od-Din Ahmad Sanjar, the last great ruler of the Iran-based Seljuq Empire that included Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and parts of Turkey and Central Asia, was born. As son of Malik Shah I, he ruled for 36 years, initially as sultan of Khorasan until he gained the rest of the territory upon the death of his brother Mohammad I. His capital was Nayshapur, and in addition to internal revolts, he faced external invasions from beyond the River Jaxartes in Central Asia, especially from the Sultan of Kashghar in what is now China, and the Qara Khitai Turks against whom he suffered a devastating defeat near Samarqand and lost all territory east of the Jaxartes. Oghuz Turks from Khuttal and Tukharistan captured Sanjar and held him prisoner for three years. A year after release he died in the Khorasani city of Merv which is presently in Turkmenistan and was buried there.
612 lunar years ago, on this day in 830 AH, the famous mystic and Arabic-Persian poet, Shah Ne’matullah Vali, passed away in Mahan, Kerman, at the age of 105. He was laid to rest in the same town where a shrine built by his devotee, Ahmad Shah of the Bahmani kingdom of Iranian origin of the Deccan (southern India), stands as a site of pilgrimage. Born in Aleppo, Syria, he traced his descent from Imam Musa al-Kazem (AS), the 7th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). Ne’matullah travelled widely through the Muslim world, learning the philosophies of many masters. He studied the works of the great Spanish Gnostic philosopher, Sheikh Mohy od-Din Ibn Arabi. In Mecca, he met Abdullah Yafe’i and became his disciple, studying for seven years. Spiritually transformed, he was set out on a second round of travels. Ne’matullah took up temporary residence near Samarqand, along the Central Asian Silk Road, where he met the fearsome Turkic conqueror, Amir Timur, but in order to avoid conflict with the worldly ruler, soon left for Kerman. From here, his fame spread far and wide, throughout Iran and the Subcontinent, winning him thousands of adherents. He was invited to the Deccan by Ahmad Shah Bahmani, but citing old age, sent his grandson, who was warmly welcomed in the capital Bidar. Ne’matullah has left behind treatises and a bulky divan of Persian poetry that contains prophecies on the end of monarchy in Iran, emergence of rule of the deputy of the Imam of the Age, the eventual reappearance of the Prophet’s 12th and Last Successor, Imam Mahdi (AS), and establishment of the global government of peace, prosperity and justice. On his death, his son and spiritual successor, Shah Khalilullah shifted the headquarters of the Ne’matullahi Sufi Order from Mahan to Bidar in the Deccan, and over a century later on the rise of the Safavids in Iran, the Order openly declared adherence to the School of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt. In 1194 AH, after over three-and-a-half centuries in the Deccan, during the reign of Nizam Ali Khan of the Asaf-Jahi Dynasty, the Ne’matullahi Order was relocated to Shiraz, Iran, by Reza Ali Shah Deccani in the last decade of the Zand Dynasty. Around 80 years ago, with the passing away in Mashhad of the religious scholar Shahsavar Ali Shah (lineal and spiritual heir of Shah Ne’matullah) and the subsequent Gowharshad massacre by the British agent Reza Khan Pahlavi, his son, the religious scholar Shah Abbas Mansouri, migrated to Haiderabad Deccan where he lived till the end of his life (well after the victory of the Islamic Revolution), while his brothers returned to Iran. A deviant group claiming to be the Ne’matullahi Order which colonial agents set up in Gonabad during the Pahlavi regime and which has now shifted to the US, has no connection with the teachings of Shah Ne’matullah Vali and has been denounced by his lineal and spiritual descendants.
567 solar years ago, on this day in 1454 AD, Italian astronomer, navigator and cartographer, Amerigo Vespucci, whose name the Europeans gave to the new landmass discovered for the Europeans by Christopher Columbus as "America”, was born in Florence. He first served the Portuguese and then the Spanish. He demonstrated that Brazil and the so-called West Indies did not represent Asia’s eastern outskirts as conjectured from Columbus’ voyages, but instead constituted an entirely separate landmass unknown to the Europeans – although the Muslims had known this great landmass and travelled it. He reportedly traveled four times to the hitherto uncharted Atlantic Ocean, and was the first recorded European who landed on what was called America.
550 lunar years ago, on this day 892 AH, Shah Ismael I, the Founder of the Safavid dynasty, was born in Ardebil, northwestern Iran. His father Haidar was head of the Safaviyya Sufi order established by his venerable ancestor Safi od-Din Ardebeli. His mother, Martha, was daughter of the Aq Qoyonlu king, Uzun Hasan by his Greek wife Theodora, known as Despina Khatoun – daughter of King John IV of Trebizond. Ismail was only one year old when his father was martyred in what is now Daghestan, and at the age of 7 he succeeded his elder brother Sultan Ali, who was also martyred. He went into hiding along with his loyal followers before emerging at the age of 12 to set up rule in Azarbaijan. Soon he was joined by thousands of devotees of the Safavid order and gradually took control of all of today’s Iran, as well as Iraq, the Caucasus, parts of Anatolia, Central Asia, and western Afghanistan. During his 24-year rule, he declared as state religion the School of the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). To Shah Ismail and his successors, who ruled for 235 years, goes the credit of giving Iran its present religious, cultural, lingual and national identity and unity. Shah Ismail wielded spiritual influence outside Iran as well in Iraq, Syria, Anatolia (modern Turkey), the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Deccan Plateau of India. The Timurid prince, Babar, who later founded the Moghal Empire in northern India, regarded him as his suzerain, and so did the Deccan Sultanates of Yusuf Adel Shah of Bijapur and Sultan Qoli Qotb Shah of Golconda.
124 solar years ago, on this day in 1897 AD, the great pan-Islamist thinker and pioneer of the anti-colonial struggles of Muslim lands, Seyyed Jamal od-Din Asadabadi, attained martyrdom in Istanbul at the age of 59 on being poisoned on the orders of the Ottoman Sultan, Abdul-Hamid II. Born in Asadabad near the western Iranian city of Hamedan, he honed his skills in religion, philosophy, astronomy, and history. He was well-versed in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, English, French, and Russian languages. He strove for Islamic solidarity and was a staunch opponent of infiltration of colonialists in Islamic lands. At the age of 17, he started his travels abroad, first studying theology in Iraq, and then visiting India, at a crucial period in its history, a year after the British overthrew Wajed Ali Shah of the Naishapuri kingdom of Iranian origin of Awadh, and then in 1857 brutally crushed the uprising by massacring Muslims and exiling to Burma, the last king of the once mighty Timurid Mughal Empire, Bahador Shah Zafar. The young Jamal od-Din was profoundly affected by the events, and lived for several years in the semi-independent Muslim state of Haiderabad-Deccan under patronage of its famous prime minister, Salar Jung Mokhtar ol-Mulk. Here he countered through pamphlets and treatises the "naturist” views of the pro-British Sir Seyyed Ahmad Khan, the founder of the Anglo-Mohammadan College that later became Aligarh Muslim University. These were later published in book form for the first time in Haiderabad in 1881 under the title "Haqiqat-e Madhhab-e Naychari wa Bayan-e Hal-e Naychariyan” (Truth about the Neichari Sect and an Explanation of the Necharis). After a brief detention in Calcutta, he had to leave India under pressure from the British, and after performing the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, he returned to Iran. A few years later in 1866 he left for Afghanistan to serve as advisor to Amir Dost Mohammad Khan. On being expelled from Kabul by the next ruler, Sher Ali Khan, he went to Egypt in 1871, where until his expulsion in 1879, he won several admirers and students – the most prominent being Shaikh Mohammad Abduh, who wrote a commentary on the Nahj al-Balagha (the Collection of Imam Ali’s [AS] sermons, letters and maxims). Forced to leave Egypt, he went to Istanbul, from where he travelled around Europe, visiting Paris, London, Munich, Moscow and St. Petersburg. From France in 1884, he published the daily "al-Orwat al-Wosqa” and from Britain "Zia al-Khafeqin” to awaken the Muslims. He was invited back to Iran by Nasser od-Din Shah Qajar to serve as political advisor, but soon fell out with the autocratic king and took refuge in the holy shrine of Seyyed Abdul-Azim al-Hassani, before being expelled seven months in 1891 to Iraq. He informed the most prominent marja’ of the times, Ayatollah Mirza Hassan Shirazi of the ruin brought on Iranian economy by the granting of the tobacco concession to the British. The Ayatollah’s fatwa against tobacco consumption saved Iran. In 1892, he was invited to Istanbul by the Ottoman Sultan Abdul-Hamid. Here, several of his disciples including Mirza Reza Kirmani came to visit him. It was Reza Kirmani who assassinated Nasser od-Din Shah in 1896. Jamal od-Din Asadabadi eventually fell out with the Ottoman Sultan and was poisoned to death. His reformist and pan-Islamist ideas were opposed by colonial powers and the repressive Muslim regimes. Among his works is "ar-Radd ala ad-Dahriyyiin” (Refutation of the Materialists), in answer to Darwin’s absurd theory of evolution titled "On the Origin of Species”. Seyyed Jamal od-Din Asadabadi, who at times called himself ‘Afghani’ in order to conceal his Iranian and Shi’a Muslim identity, profoundly impacted many thinkers of his age and the subsequent generations. Among these were the famous Persian-Urdu poet Mohammad Iqbal Lahori, Mohammad Ali Jinnah (Founder of Pakistan), and prominent Indian Muslim educationist, Abu’l Kalaam Azad. In Egypt, he deeply impacted Mohammad Abduh, Rashid Redha, Ali Abdur-Razeq, Qasim Amin, Lutfi as-Sayyid and Osman Amin, while in Turkey: Namik Kemal, Said Nursi and Mohammad Akef Ersoy. The Constitutional Movement that triumphed in Iran in 1905 was also influenced by him.
87 solar years ago, on this day in 1934 AD, Russian Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin who became the first recorded human being to travel into outer space, was born in the Soviet Union. He performed the first manned orbital flight in Vostok 3KA-2 (Vostok 1). In 1968, he was killed in an air accident.
76 solar years ago, on this day in 1945 AD, the Bombing of Tokyo by the United States Army Air Forces began, one of the most destructive bombing raids in history. A total of 334 US B-29 Super-Fortresses attacked Tokyo with 120,000 fire bombs, devastating the city and killing over a hundred thousand innocent men, women, and children.
32 solar years ago, on this day in 1989 AD, the well-known Iranian astronomer and mathematician, Dr. Abbas Riazi Kermani, passed away at the age of 72. Following completion of his academic studies, he left for France. In Paris, he continued his studies in mathematics and astronomy and got a PhD in Astronomy from Sorbonne University. After returning to Iran, he started lecturing at Tehran University and other higher education institutes. In 1966, he prepared Iran’s official calendar. He wrote several books, including: "Moqadama bar Nujoum-e Aali” (An Introductory to Astronomy).
29 solar years ago, on this day in 1992 AD, Menachem Begin, one of the founders of the illegal Zionist entity (Israel), died at the age of 79. He was from Belarus and had no connection to Palestine or to the ancient Israelites. He illegally entered British-ruled Palestine and set up the terrorist outfit Irgun. He played a leading role in the massacre of innocent Muslim men, women and children, and the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of others in 1948, at the illegal birth of Israel. He was so ruthless and bloodthirsty that even his own colleague, David Ben-Gurion, used to call him a second Hitler. After holding ministerial posts in several Zionist cabinets, he was appointed as premier in 1977. Following the cold-blooded slaughter of over 5,000 Palestinian refugees in the Sabra and Shatila Camps of Lebanon in 1982 by his henchman, Ariel Sharon, he was forced to step down from his post, before melancholia and death overtook him.
9 solar year ago, on this day in 2011 AD, the Iranian bibliographer and Iranologist, Dr. Iraj Afshar, passed away at the age of 86. Born in the central city of Yazd, he studied law at Tehran University. His PhD thesis was on "Minorities in Iran”. In 1952, he launched the cultural magazine "Farhang-e Iran Zamin”. In addition to lecturing, he carried out extensive research on Iranology and bibliography, as is evident by his writing of at least 2000 articles. He also published 300 books on Iran’s culture, history, and literature.This Day in History (March 9)
Today is Tuesday; 19th of the Iranian month of Esfand 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 25th of the Islamic month of Rajab 1442 lunar hijri; and March 9, 2021, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1259 lunar years ago, on this day in 183 AH, Imam Musa al-Kazem (AS), the 7th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), attained martyrdom at the age of 55 in the prison of Baghdad, three days after being served poisoned dates by the jailor Sindi bin Shahak on the orders of Haroun Rashid, the 5th self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime. His period of Imamate was 35 years, during which, as the son and successor of Imam Ja’far as-Sadeq (AS), he guided the seekers of truth in those days of Abbasid tyranny. He groomed a large number of scholars who spread the teachings of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt in different lands, before passing the mantle of divinely-decreed leadership to his son and successor, Imam Reza (AS). We extend our heartfelt condolences to all listeners on this doleful day, and later in our programme will present you a special feature on the life and times of the 7th Imam, the "Bab al-Hawa’ej” (Gateway of Needs), whose sprawling shrine in Kazemain, north of Baghdad attracts pilgrims from all over the world.
1181 lunar years ago, on this day in 261 AH, the Iranian Sunni scholar and compiler of hadith, Abul-Hussain Muslim ibn Hajjaj al-Qushayri Nayshapuri, the author of "Sahih Muslim”, passed away at the age of 55 years in his hometown Nayshapur in Khorasan, northeastern Iran. He was a student of the other famous Iranian Sunni Muslim hadith compiler, Mohammad bin Ismael Bukhari, and among his students was the third famous Iranian Sunni Muslim compiler of hadith, Mohammad bin Eisa Tirmizi. After travelling throughout Iran, the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Iraq and Syria, he settled down in his hometown Nayshapur where he first met Bukhari, with whom he would have a lifelong friendship. Of the thousands of hadith he has collected in his "Sahih”, 2000 are common with Bukhari’s "Sahih”. There are many hadith in "Sahih Muslim” on the merits of the Ahl al-Bayt including the unrivalled position of Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS) compared to the companions of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). He has mentioned that the term Ahl al-Bayt as referred to by God Almighty in ayah 33 of Surah Ahazab exclusively pertains to Imam Ali (AS), Hazrat Fatema (SA), Imam Hasan (AS) and Imam Husain (AS) and does not include the Prophet’s wives.
1135 solar years ago, on this day in 886 AD, the Iranian Islamic astronomer, Abu-Ma’shar Ja’far ibn Mohammad al-Balkhi, passed away in the Iraqi city of al-Waset at the age of almost hundred years. Born in the Khorasani city of Balkh (presently in Afghanistan) he spent most of his life in Iraq, especially in Baghdad. He used ancient sources written in Pahlavi, Arabic, Sanskrit, Syriac, and Greek. He believed that all sciences have a divine origin, and the signs of God’s revelation are observed in every science. He has left behind a large number of books; the most important of which include "al-Mudkhal al-Kabir”. Known to Europe by his Latinized name "Albumasar”, he wrote several manuals on astrology that profoundly influenced Muslim intellectual history and, through Latin translations, that of Europe. Some of his works that were used by Roger Bacon and others are: "Kitab ad‐Dalalaat ala’l‐Ittesalaat wa‐Qiranaat al‐Kawakeb” (Book of Indications of the Planetary Conjunctions), and "Kitab al‐Milal wa’l-Duwal” (Book on Nations and Dynasties).
963 lunar years ago, on this day in 479 AH, Sultan Mo’iz od-Din Ahmad Sanjar, the last great ruler of the Iran-based Seljuq Empire that included Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and parts of Turkey and Central Asia, was born. As son of Malik Shah I, he ruled for 36 years, initially as sultan of Khorasan until he gained the rest of the territory upon the death of his brother Mohammad I. His capital was Nayshapur, and in addition to internal revolts, he faced external invasions from beyond the River Jaxartes in Central Asia, especially from the Sultan of Kashghar in what is now China, and the Qara Khitai Turks against whom he suffered a devastating defeat near Samarqand and lost all territory east of the Jaxartes. Oghuz Turks from Khuttal and Tukharistan captured Sanjar and held him prisoner for three years. A year after release he died in the Khorasani city of Merv which is presently in Turkmenistan and was buried there.
612 lunar years ago, on this day in 830 AH, the famous mystic and Arabic-Persian poet, Shah Ne’matullah Vali, passed away in Mahan, Kerman, at the age of 105. He was laid to rest in the same town where a shrine built by his devotee, Ahmad Shah of the Bahmani kingdom of Iranian origin of the Deccan (southern India), stands as a site of pilgrimage. Born in Aleppo, Syria, he traced his descent from Imam Musa al-Kazem (AS), the 7th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). Ne’matullah travelled widely through the Muslim world, learning the philosophies of many masters. He studied the works of the great Spanish Gnostic philosopher, Sheikh Mohy od-Din Ibn Arabi. In Mecca, he met Abdullah Yafe’i and became his disciple, studying for seven years. Spiritually transformed, he was set out on a second round of travels. Ne’matullah took up temporary residence near Samarqand, along the Central Asian Silk Road, where he met the fearsome Turkic conqueror, Amir Timur, but in order to avoid conflict with the worldly ruler, soon left for Kerman. From here, his fame spread far and wide, throughout Iran and the Subcontinent, winning him thousands of adherents. He was invited to the Deccan by Ahmad Shah Bahmani, but citing old age, sent his grandson, who was warmly welcomed in the capital Bidar. Ne’matullah has left behind treatises and a bulky divan of Persian poetry that contains prophecies on the end of monarchy in Iran, emergence of rule of the deputy of the Imam of the Age, the eventual reappearance of the Prophet’s 12th and Last Successor, Imam Mahdi (AS), and establishment of the global government of peace, prosperity and justice. On his death, his son and spiritual successor, Shah Khalilullah shifted the headquarters of the Ne’matullahi Sufi Order from Mahan to Bidar in the Deccan, and over a century later on the rise of the Safavids in Iran, the Order openly declared adherence to the School of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt. In 1194 AH, after over three-and-a-half centuries in the Deccan, during the reign of Nizam Ali Khan of the Asaf-Jahi Dynasty, the Ne’matullahi Order was relocated to Shiraz, Iran, by Reza Ali Shah Deccani in the last decade of the Zand Dynasty. Around 80 years ago, with the passing away in Mashhad of the religious scholar Shahsavar Ali Shah (lineal and spiritual heir of Shah Ne’matullah) and the subsequent Gowharshad massacre by the British agent Reza Khan Pahlavi, his son, the religious scholar Shah Abbas Mansouri, migrated to Haiderabad Deccan where he lived till the end of his life (well after the victory of the Islamic Revolution), while his brothers returned to Iran. A deviant group claiming to be the Ne’matullahi Order which colonial agents set up in Gonabad during the Pahlavi regime and which has now shifted to the US, has no connection with the teachings of Shah Ne’matullah Vali and has been denounced by his lineal and spiritual descendants.
567 solar years ago, on this day in 1454 AD, Italian astronomer, navigator and cartographer, Amerigo Vespucci, whose name the Europeans gave to the new landmass discovered for the Europeans by Christopher Columbus as "America”, was born in Florence. He first served the Portuguese and then the Spanish. He demonstrated that Brazil and the so-called West Indies did not represent Asia’s eastern outskirts as conjectured from Columbus’ voyages, but instead constituted an entirely separate landmass unknown to the Europeans – although the Muslims had known this great landmass and travelled it. He reportedly traveled four times to the hitherto uncharted Atlantic Ocean, and was the first recorded European who landed on what was called America.
550 lunar years ago, on this day 892 AH, Shah Ismael I, the Founder of the Safavid dynasty, was born in Ardebil, northwestern Iran. His father Haidar was head of the Safaviyya Sufi order established by his venerable ancestor Safi od-Din Ardebeli. His mother, Martha, was daughter of the Aq Qoyonlu king, Uzun Hasan by his Greek wife Theodora, known as Despina Khatoun – daughter of King John IV of Trebizond. Ismail was only one year old when his father was martyred in what is now Daghestan, and at the age of 7 he succeeded his elder brother Sultan Ali, who was also martyred. He went into hiding along with his loyal followers before emerging at the age of 12 to set up rule in Azarbaijan. Soon he was joined by thousands of devotees of the Safavid order and gradually took control of all of today’s Iran, as well as Iraq, the Caucasus, parts of Anatolia, Central Asia, and western Afghanistan. During his 24-year rule, he declared as state religion the School of the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). To Shah Ismail and his successors, who ruled for 235 years, goes the credit of giving Iran its present religious, cultural, lingual and national identity and unity. Shah Ismail wielded spiritual influence outside Iran as well in Iraq, Syria, Anatolia (modern Turkey), the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Deccan Plateau of India. The Timurid prince, Babar, who later founded the Moghal Empire in northern India, regarded him as his suzerain, and so did the Deccan Sultanates of Yusuf Adel Shah of Bijapur and Sultan Qoli Qotb Shah of Golconda.
124 solar years ago, on this day in 1897 AD, the great pan-Islamist thinker and pioneer of the anti-colonial struggles of Muslim lands, Seyyed Jamal od-Din Asadabadi, attained martyrdom in Istanbul at the age of 59 on being poisoned on the orders of the Ottoman Sultan, Abdul-Hamid II. Born in Asadabad near the western Iranian city of Hamedan, he honed his skills in religion, philosophy, astronomy, and history. He was well-versed in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, English, French, and Russian languages. He strove for Islamic solidarity and was a staunch opponent of infiltration of colonialists in Islamic lands. At the age of 17, he started his travels abroad, first studying theology in Iraq, and then visiting India, at a crucial period in its history, a year after the British overthrew Wajed Ali Shah of the Naishapuri kingdom of Iranian origin of Awadh, and then in 1857 brutally crushed the uprising by massacring Muslims and exiling to Burma, the last king of the once mighty Timurid Mughal Empire, Bahador Shah Zafar. The young Jamal od-Din was profoundly affected by the events, and lived for several years in the semi-independent Muslim state of Haiderabad-Deccan under patronage of its famous prime minister, Salar Jung Mokhtar ol-Mulk. Here he countered through pamphlets and treatises the "naturist” views of the pro-British Sir Seyyed Ahmad Khan, the founder of the Anglo-Mohammadan College that later became Aligarh Muslim University. These were later published in book form for the first time in Haiderabad in 1881 under the title "Haqiqat-e Madhhab-e Naychari wa Bayan-e Hal-e Naychariyan” (Truth about the Neichari Sect and an Explanation of the Necharis). After a brief detention in Calcutta, he had to leave India under pressure from the British, and after performing the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, he returned to Iran. A few years later in 1866 he left for Afghanistan to serve as advisor to Amir Dost Mohammad Khan. On being expelled from Kabul by the next ruler, Sher Ali Khan, he went to Egypt in 1871, where until his expulsion in 1879, he won several admirers and students – the most prominent being Shaikh Mohammad Abduh, who wrote a commentary on the Nahj al-Balagha (the Collection of Imam Ali’s [AS] sermons, letters and maxims). Forced to leave Egypt, he went to Istanbul, from where he travelled around Europe, visiting Paris, London, Munich, Moscow and St. Petersburg. From France in 1884, he published the daily "al-Orwat al-Wosqa” and from Britain "Zia al-Khafeqin” to awaken the Muslims. He was invited back to Iran by Nasser od-Din Shah Qajar to serve as political advisor, but soon fell out with the autocratic king and took refuge in the holy shrine of Seyyed Abdul-Azim al-Hassani, before being expelled seven months in 1891 to Iraq. He informed the most prominent marja’ of the times, Ayatollah Mirza Hassan Shirazi of the ruin brought on Iranian economy by the granting of the tobacco concession to the British. The Ayatollah’s fatwa against tobacco consumption saved Iran. In 1892, he was invited to Istanbul by the Ottoman Sultan Abdul-Hamid. Here, several of his disciples including Mirza Reza Kirmani came to visit him. It was Reza Kirmani who assassinated Nasser od-Din Shah in 1896. Jamal od-Din Asadabadi eventually fell out with the Ottoman Sultan and was poisoned to death. His reformist and pan-Islamist ideas were opposed by colonial powers and the repressive Muslim regimes. Among his works is "ar-Radd ala ad-Dahriyyiin” (Refutation of the Materialists), in answer to Darwin’s absurd theory of evolution titled "On the Origin of Species”. Seyyed Jamal od-Din Asadabadi, who at times called himself ‘Afghani’ in order to conceal his Iranian and Shi’a Muslim identity, profoundly impacted many thinkers of his age and the subsequent generations. Among these were the famous Persian-Urdu poet Mohammad Iqbal Lahori, Mohammad Ali Jinnah (Founder of Pakistan), and prominent Indian Muslim educationist, Abu’l Kalaam Azad. In Egypt, he deeply impacted Mohammad Abduh, Rashid Redha, Ali Abdur-Razeq, Qasim Amin, Lutfi as-Sayyid and Osman Amin, while in Turkey: Namik Kemal, Said Nursi and Mohammad Akef Ersoy. The Constitutional Movement that triumphed in Iran in 1905 was also influenced by him.
87 solar years ago, on this day in 1934 AD, Russian Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin who became the first recorded human being to travel into outer space, was born in the Soviet Union. He performed the first manned orbital flight in Vostok 3KA-2 (Vostok 1). In 1968, he was killed in an air accident.
76 solar years ago, on this day in 1945 AD, the Bombing of Tokyo by the United States Army Air Forces began, one of the most destructive bombing raids in history. A total of 334 US B-29 Super-Fortresses attacked Tokyo with 120,000 fire bombs, devastating the city and killing over a hundred thousand innocent men, women, and children.
32 solar years ago, on this day in 1989 AD, the well-known Iranian astronomer and mathematician, Dr. Abbas Riazi Kermani, passed away at the age of 72. Following completion of his academic studies, he left for France. In Paris, he continued his studies in mathematics and astronomy and got a PhD in Astronomy from Sorbonne University. After returning to Iran, he started lecturing at Tehran University and other higher education institutes. In 1966, he prepared Iran’s official calendar. He wrote several books, including: "Moqadama bar Nujoum-e Aali” (An Introductory to Astronomy).
29 solar years ago, on this day in 1992 AD, Menachem Begin, one of the founders of the illegal Zionist entity (Israel), died at the age of 79. He was from Belarus and had no connection to Palestine or to the ancient Israelites. He illegally entered British-ruled Palestine and set up the terrorist outfit Irgun. He played a leading role in the massacre of innocent Muslim men, women and children, and the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of others in 1948, at the illegal birth of Israel. He was so ruthless and bloodthirsty that even his own colleague, David Ben-Gurion, used to call him a second Hitler. After holding ministerial posts in several Zionist cabinets, he was appointed as premier in 1977. Following the cold-blooded slaughter of over 5,000 Palestinian refugees in the Sabra and Shatila Camps of Lebanon in 1982 by his henchman, Ariel Sharon, he was forced to step down from his post, before melancholia and death overtook him.
9 solar year ago, on this day in 2011 AD, the Iranian bibliographer and Iranologist, Dr. Iraj Afshar, passed away at the age of 86. Born in the central city of Yazd, he studied law at Tehran University. His PhD thesis was on "Minorities in Iran”. In 1952, he launched the cultural magazine "Farhang-e Iran Zamin”. In addition to lecturing, he carried out extensive research on Iranology and bibliography, as is evident by his writing of at least 2000 articles. He also published 300 books on Iran’s culture, history, and literature.
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