Today is Thursday; 26th of the Iranian month of Farvardin 1400 solar hijri; corresponding to 2nd of the Islamic month of Ramadhan 1442 lunar hijri; and April 15, 2021, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1102 lunar years ago, on this day in 340 AH, the Iranian Arabic literary figure, lexicographer, and theologian, Abdur-Rahman ibn Ishaq az-Zujaji an-Nahawandi, passed away in Damascus. He was a student of the celebrated Ibn Durayd, and among his valuable compilations, mention can be made of "Kitab al-Izzah” and "al-Jamal”. In his other work, "al-Amali”, he has recorded the statements and maxims of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS).
740 lunar years ago, on this day in 702 AH, the Battle of Marj as-Saffar took place in Syria between the Mamluks of Egypt led by the Qipchaq Turkic Bahri ruler, Sultan Nasser ad-Din Qalawun, and an army of Mongols and Armenians sent by the Iran-based Ilkhanid Emperor, Ghazan Khan, whose general Qutlugh-Shah suffered a disastrous defeat near Kiswe, south of Damascus. The defeat ended Ghazan Khan’s invasions of Syria. It is interesting to note that Ghazan Khan, the 7th ruler of the Ilkhanid Dynasty, although born a Buddhist, was baptized and raised as a Christian, and on ascending the throne, embraced the truth of Islam.
626 solar years ago, on this day in 1395 AD, Amir Timur (Tamerlane) defeated Tokhtamysh, the ruler of the vast Golden Horde Khanate of Eurasia, at the Volga in the Battle of Terek River, during the bloody 16-year struggle between the two, known as the Tokhtamysh–Timur War. The Golden Horde capital city, Sarai, was razed to the ground and Amir Edigu, installed on the throne. Tokhtamysh escaped to Lithuania, where with help from Duke Vytautas, he made a bid to regain his throne, but the combined forces were defeated in the Battle of the Vorskla River in 1399 by Edigu and Timur’s general, Khan Temur Qutlugh. In the late 1370s, Timur had helped Tokhtamysh to assume supreme power in the White Horde against the latter’s uncle Urus Khan. Tokhtamysh united the White and Blue Hordes to form the Golden Horde, and launched a massive military campaign between 1381 and 1382 to re-establish Turko-Tartar Muslim suzerainty over Russia. In 1383, after defeating Lithuania, Tokhtamysh thirsted for territorial ambitions in Iran and Central Asia, by turning against his ally, Timur, who resolved to punish him. After a series of defeats, Tokhtamysh was pursued and killed in Tyumen, Siberia, in 1406.
569 solar years ago, on this day in 1452 AD, the Italian painter, sculptor, architect and engineer, Leonardo da Vinci, was born. He designed buildings, bridges, canals, forts and war machines. He kept huge notebooks sketching his ideas. Among these, he was fascinated by birds and flying, and his sketches include such fantastic designs as flying machines. These drawings demonstrate a genius for mechanical invention and insight into scientific inquiry. He is regarded as one of the greatest painters of all times, best known for such masterpieces as "Mona Lisa” and "The Last Supper”. He died in 1519.
552 solar years ago, on this day in 1469 AD, founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak, was born in what is now Nankana Sahib, Punjab, near Lahore in Pakistan. On growing up he became disillusioned by the weird practices of the Hindus such as idol-worship, the divisive caste system, etc. He travelled widely, as far as Baghdad and holy Mecca, and as is clear from his teachings, he became profoundly impressed by the egalitarian teachings of the divine message of Islam. He thus taught that God is One, is Omnipotent, Omnipresent, without shape and form, not bound by time, and cannot be perceived by the physical eye of creatures. According to him the Sikhs should have control over their internal vices and adhere to the virtues clarified in their religious book, the Guru Granth Sahib. He died in 1539 at the age of 70. Among prohibitions in Sikhism are idol-worship and superstition, ban on consumption of all sorts of intoxicants (alcohol, drugs, and even tobacco), abstention from adultery and extra marital relations, and refraining from cutting hair. The Sikh population is estimated to be 30 million worldwide, with the majority of them living in India, especially in Punjab State.
532 solar years ago, on this day in 1489 AD, the Ottoman master architect, Me’mar Sinan, was born in Cyprus to Greek Christian parents. At the age of 22 he converted to Islam and joined the Sultan’s court in Istanbul, where he became the chief architect and civil engineer for Suleiman the Magnificent, Salim II, and Murad III. He designed and built over three hundred structures, including mosques, bridges, caravanserais, etc., in Istanbul, Damascus, Aleppo and other cities. His masterpieces include, the Suleimaniyah Mosque Complex in Istanbul. He is often compared to the Italian Sculptor, Michelangelo.
379 solar years ago, on this day in 1642 AD, Suleiman II, the 20th Ottoman sultan and 13th self-styled Turkish caliph, was born to Ashoub Sultan, a Serb concubine of Sultan Ibrahim, originally named Katrina. Since the age of 9 he was confined for 36 years to the "qafas” or cage, which was a kind of luxurious prison for princes at the palace, designed to ensure that none could organize a rebellion, until an armed mutiny ended the long almost 40-year reign of his half-brother Mohammad IV and brought him to the throne. Suleiman II and his grand vizier Fazel Mustafa Pasha immediately reorganized the army and carried out major fiscal reforms at a time when the Austrians were making inroads in the Ottoman territory. Although Suleiman’s request to Moghal Emperor, Aurangzeb, for assistance against the Hapsburgs could not be materialized due to the Deccan War against the Shi’a Muslim sultanate of Golkandah- Haiderabad, he successfully turned the tide of the war in Europe by reconquering Belgrade in 1690. He died the next year after a 4-year reign after crushing uprisings in Bulgaria and Macedonia.
314 solar years ago, on this day in 1707 AD, Swiss mathematician, physicist, and astronomer, Leonhard Euler, was born. He made discoveries in mechanics and has left behind valuable notes about the changes in planets. He authored several books in chemistry and metaphysics. At the age of 60, he went blind and died in 1783.
265 solar years ago, on this day in 1755 AD, British writer Dr. Samuel Johnson published his "Dictionary of the English Language”, a selective English lexicon, after 9 years of work. The 1st edition had 42,773 entries.
256 solar years ago, on this day in 1765 AD, Russian poet and literary figure, Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov, died at the age of 54. Through extensive research, he standardized the Russian literary language and is known as Father of Russian Literature.
156 solar years ago, on this day in 1865 AD US President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, a few days after victory of the Unionists in the Civil War against the Confederates and the end of slavery.
109 solar years ago, on this day in 1912 AD, two hours and 40 minutes after colliding with an iceberg, the luxury British ocean liner "Titanic” sank in the North Atlantic Ocean off Newfoundland with the loss of about 1,522 lives. Only 705 passengers and crew survived the disaster.
85 solar years ago, on this day in 1936 AD, the 3-year long "Great Arab Revolt” against British occupation of Palestine and the illegal migration of European Jews to this Muslim land, started, five months after martyrdom of the famous combatant, Ezz ed-Din Qassam. His death at the hands of the British generated widespread outrage as huge crowds accompanied Qassam’s body to his grave in Haifa. The revolt consisted of two phases. The first phase was directed primarily by the urban and elitist Higher Arab Committee (HAC) and was focused mainly on strikes and other forms of political protest. The uprising was brutally suppressed by the British Army and its armed Zionist agents, who killed over 2,000 Palestinians. However, the figure is far higher as recently disclosed by the Walid Khalidi estimates which put the number of casualties for the Arabs at 19,792, with 5,032 dead. Of these 3,832 Palestinians were directly killed by the British, while the remaining 1,200 were killed by Zionist terrorist gangs. In addition, over 14,760 Palestinian men, women and children were wounded. In other words, over ten percent of the adult male Palestinian Arab population between the ages of 20 and 60 years was killed, wounded, imprisoned or exiled.
75 solar years ago, on this day in 1946 AD, Ayatollah Shaikh Mohammad Taqi Bafqi passed away at the age of 72 in Qom, and was laid to rest in the holy mausoleum of Hazrat Fatema al-Ma’soumah (SA), the daughter of Imam Musa al-Kazem (AS) – the 7th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). Born in Bafq in Yazd Province, he completed his higher studies in the seminary of holy Najaf in Iraq under such eminent scholars as Akhound Khorasani and Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Kazem Yazdi. On his return to Iran nineteen years later, he settled in Qom to assist Ayatollah Sheikh Abdul-Karim Ha’eri in reviving the seminary of this holy city. He was a staunch defender of the Shar’ia and when in 1928 the British installed Pahlavi potentate, Reza Khan, tried to insult Islamic sanctities by entering the holy shrine of Ma’soumah (SA), along with unveiled women, he personally rebuked the dictator, who whipped him in public and exiled him to Rayy near Tehran. While in Rayy, Ayatollah Bafqi was shocked at the forced unveiling of Iranian women on the orders of the Pahlavi dictator. In 1935, he suffered a stroke and some of his limbs became paralyzed on learning of the desecration of the Gowharshad Mosque in Mashhad, adjacent to the holy shrine of the Prophet’s 8th Infallible Heir, Imam Reza (AS), and the massacre of pilgrims by the regime. He returned to Qom in 1941 when Reza Khan was removed from the throne by his British masters and taken out of Iran.
41 solar years ago, on this day in 1980 AD, French existentialist philosopher, novelist and dramatist, Jean-Paul Sartre died in Paris at the age of 74. His work included "Being and Time” and "Nausea”. He won the 1964 Nobel Prize for literature.
41 solar years ago, on this day in 1982 AD, , Khalid Ahmad al-Islambouli, the 27-year old Egyptian army officer who executed Egypt’s President Anwar Sadaat in revolutionary style during the annual 6th October victory parade in 1981 for having signed in 1978 the treasonous Camp David Accord with the illegal Zionist Entity, was martyred after a sham trial by a military tribunal, along with his three fellow revolutionaries – Junior Sergeant Abdul-Hameed Abdus Salaam, Corporal Ata Tayel Hameeda Raheel, and Corporal Hussain Abbas. During the trial Khalid Islambouli proudly told the audience: O People! We have killed the Pharaoh.
35 solar years ago, on this day in 1986 AD, the US attacked the Libyan cities of Tripoli and Benghazi, on the pretext of an alleged Libyan bomb explosion in a restaurant in Germany that killed three US soldiers. The US air raid left several innocent Libyans martyred and wounded.
29 solar years ago, on this day in 1992 AD, Afghan Mujahedeen overthrew the Communist regime of President Najibullah in Kabul three years after the Soviet withdrawal from this Muslim country.
27 solar years ago, on this day in 1994 AD, an agreement was signed in Morocco to set up the World Trade Organization (WTO) by member countries of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which now became moribund. The US and certain Western states exploit WTO to make world countries bow to their illegal interests. Economists believe that the removal of trade tariffs is to the benefit of Western states and to the detriment of Third World Countries.
23 solar years ago, on this day in 1998 AD, Cambodian dictator Pol Pot died of a heart attack in Anlong Veng, northern Cambodia at the age of 73. It was later reported that he killed himself with malaria pills and tranquilizers after learning that an aide planned to hand him over to the US. The combined effects of executions, forced labour, malnutrition and poor medical care caused the deaths of approximately 25 percent of the Cambodian population during his rule – in all, an estimated 3 million people, out of a population of slightly over 8 million.
13 solar years ago, on this day in 2009 AD, Iranian scientists at the Royan Research Institute cloned a goat and planned future experiments for treatment for stroke patients. The female goat, named Hana, was born in the city of Isfahan in central Iran.