Today is Wednesday; 15th of the Iranian month of Ordibehesht 1400 solar hijri; corresponding to 22nd of the Islamic month of Ramadhan 1442 lunar hijri; and May 5, 2021, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1169 lunar years ago, on this day in 273 AH, the Iranian Sunni Muslim compiler of hadith, Mohammad Ibn Yazid Ibn Majah al-Qazvini, passed away at the age of 64 in his hometown Qazvin – west of modern Tehran. His grandfather had converted from Zoroastrianism and was a client of the ar-Rabi’ Arab tribe. He traveled widely over Iran, Iraq, Arabia, Syria and Egypt in search of hadith, before returning to his birthplace Qazvin. Although he has admitted some of the merits of the Immaculate Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), he, like his five contemporary compatriots, Mohammad Bukhari, Muslim Naishapuri, Abu Dawoud Sijistani, Abu Isa Tirmizi, and Ahmad Nisa’i, failed to have direct contact with the Infallible Imams of the Prophet’s Household or their disciples – probably because of the fear of incurring the wrath of the usurper Abbasid regime – and thus could not collect authentic hadith from the right source. His collection known as "Sunan Ibn Majah” is regarded by Sunni Muslims as one of their six canonical hadith books (Sihah as-Sitta) – the authors of which were all Iranians and grandsons of recent converts to Islam. Ibn Majah also wrote "The History of Qazvin”.
761 solar years ago, on this day in 1260 AD, Kublai Khan became the 5th Khaqan or Great Ruler of the Mongol Empire. He was the second son of Tolui, and a grandson of the ruthlessly fearsome Mongol marauder, Genghis Khan. He succeeded his older brother Mongke as Khaqan in 1260, after having conquered the northern parts of China in the preceding decade as a prince, along with the Iranic Sogdanian Muslim administrator, Mahmud Yalavach, who devised the census system, accounting for the people in the newly formed Mongol Empire for the purpose of taxation and who later served as mayor of the capital, Khanbaliq (or modern Beijing). In 1271, Kublai established the Yuan Dynasty and assumed the role of Emperor of China, ruling over present-day Mongolia, China, Korea, and some adjacent areas, in addition to the nominal position of overlord of the Mongol khanates of the Golden Horde in Eurasia and the Ilkhanids in Iran, Iraq, and parts of Syria. By 1279, the Yuan forces had overcome the last resistance of the Southern Song Dynasty, and Kublai became the first non-Chinese Emperor to conquer all of China. He failed to conquer Japan and Vietnam during his 34-year rule, which saw development and economic prosperity, including use of paper currency, as attested by the Venetian traveler, Marco Polo, who visited and stayed in China at Kublai’s court for long years.
527 solar years ago, on this day in 1494 AD, Italian navigator, Christopher Columbus, on his second voyage, with the help of Spanish Muslim seafarers who were familiar with the New World, landed on the island of Jamaica in the Caribbean Sea and claimed it for Spain, which had financed his travels. He named it Santa Gloria. Later called Santiago, in 1655 it came under the rule of England, and was renamed Jamaica. It achieved full independence from Britain on 6 August 1962. With 2.8 million people, it is the third most populous Anglophone country in the Americas, after the United States and Canada. Kingston is the country’s largest city and its capital. Descendants of black African people who were forced into slavery by the Europeans, form 90 percent of the population.
203 solar years ago, on this day in the year 1818 AD, German philosopher and founder of Marxism, Karl Marx, was born. He studied law, history and philosophy. For a while, he was editor-in-chief of a publication, and in cooperation with his compatriot, Friedrich Engels, published his beliefs in the book "The Communist Manifesto”. Two years later, Marx was banished from Germany due to political activities and took up residence in England for the rest of his life. His other important book is "Das Capital”. The core philosophy of Marxism is materialism. According to his theory with the rise of the working class, capitalism will end and a proletariat dictatorship will be formed, before giving way to a uniformed community. Marx died in 1883, but his thoughts were presented in different frameworks for more than a century across the world. With the collapse of the Communist Soviet Union in 1991, Marx’s thoughts were exposed as baseless. The process of world developments has proved the falsity of Marx’s interpretation of history and community.
200 solar years ago, on this day in 1821 AD, French Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, died in exile on St. Helena Island in the South Atlantic Ocean at the age of 52 – as a result of slow food poisoning by his British captors. He gained power in 1789 following the French Revolution, and triumphed in battles against most of the European countries. In 1804 he crowned himself emperor and started a series of wars to occupy all of Europe. In 1812 AD, he suffered a serious setback when his troops failed to break the resistance by Russian troops and retreated with heavy losses from Moscow. In 1814, he suffered a disastrous defeat at Waterloo by the joint forces of Britain, Russia, and Austria. He was forced to step down from power and exiled to the Mediterranean island of Elba. He escaped in 1815, landed in France and ruled for another 100 days, before being captured by the British forces and deported to St. Helena, where he died six years later.
161 solar years ago, on this day in 1860 AD, Giuseppe Garibaldi, set sail from Genoa, to conquer the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies – Kingdom of Sicily and Kingdom of Naples – that had been set up in 1816. Earlier he was involved in military enterprises in Brazil, Uruguay and some parts of Europe, and had served as General of the Roman Republic in 1849. He led the Expedition of the Thousand to unify Italy as one single kingdom in 1861. In Italy, he is considered one of the three "Fathers of the Fatherland”, along with Count Camillo Cavour, King Victor Emmanuel II for unifying Italy.
159 solar years ago, on this day in 1862 AD, at the Battle of Pueblo, a 5,000-man Mexican cavalry force, loyal to Benito Juarez and under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza, defeated the 10,000 French troops sent by Napoleon III. The French were attempting to capture Puebla de Los Angeles, a small town in east-central Mexico. This battle represented a great moral victory for the Mexican government, symbolizing the country’s ability to defend its sovereignty against threat by a powerful foreign nation. The event became memorialized in the Cinco de Mayo annual festival. Napoleon III had intended to march through to the US and help the Confederacy in the Civil War.
144 solar years ago, on this day in 1877 AD, during the US-Amerindian Wars, Chief Sitting Bull led his band of Lakota into Canada to avoid harassment by the US Army under Colonel Nelson Miles.
80 solar years ago, on this day in 1941 AD, Ethiopian emperor, Haile Selassie, returned to his capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, after expulsion of Italian occupation forces. The date is commemorated as Liberation Day or Patriots’ Victory Day in Ethiopia, which on the same day in 1936 had seen Italian troops occupy Addis Ababa.
78 solar years ago, on this day in 1943 AD, at the age of 42, Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA), revealed the first signs of his political acumen and future greatness as a world leader, through release of his famous book "Kashf al-Asrar”, or "Exposure of Secrets”, following removal from power of the British-installed Pahlavi dictator, Reza Khan. He called on the people to rise for the sake of Islam and end of oppression. He analyzed the social conditions with references to the events of the past and his vision of the future, detailing the causes for the misery of Muslims and the Iranian nation. He cautioned the ulema of the harm to the nation and the Muslim Ummah, if they shied away from shouldering their responsibility to strive for salvation of the society in the face of the plots of the enemies of Islam. He clearly saw the Pahlavi dictator’s mortgaging of national prestige and natural resources to foreigners, the repression of the Iranian people and their traditional values, and the forced unveiling of women in the name of progress and civilization, as part of an elaborate plot conceived by world imperialism to eliminate Islam as a social and political force. He wrote: "All the orders issued by the bandit Reza Khan have no value. The laws passed by his parliament must be scrapped. All the idiotic words that have proceeded from the brain of that illiterate soldier are rotten and it is only the law of God that will remain and resist the ravages of time.”
The publishing of "Kashf al-Asrar” could be called the start of Imam Khomeini’s mission which would begin to bear fruits twenty years later in 1963 with launching of the Khordad 15 Uprising, his subsequent exile, his return home in 1979 to lead the Iranian people’s grassroots movement to victory, and his establishment of the Islamic Republic system of government, thereby ending domestic tyranny and foreign hegemony.
76 solar years ago, on this day in 1945 AD, during World War II, Canadian and British troops liberated the Netherlands and Denmark from German occupation.
75 solar years ago, on this day in 1946 AD, the International Military Tribunal began its work in Tokyo with 28 Japanese military and government officials charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity during World War 2.
40 solar years ago, on this day in 1981 AD, famous Irish fighter, Bobby Sands, lost his life for independence of Northern Ireland after weeks of resistance in the Long Kesh prison hospital after a 66-day hunger strike. His death led to a wave of protests against the British colonial administration, worsening the crisis in Northern Ireland. Bobby Sands turned into a hero of resistance of the Irish people against the British occupation.
20 solar years ago, on this day in 2001 AD, Syrian President Bashar Assad greeted Pope John Paul II in Damascus with a speech against the illegal Zionist entity. Assad appealed to the Head of the Catholic sect of Christianity to show concern for fairness and justice in view of the crimes against humanity of the Israelites including the persecution of Prophet Jesus and the continued slandering of his Virgin Mother, Mary (peace upon them).
14 solar years ago, on this day in 2007 AD, US physicist Theodore Harold Maiman, who built the first working laser, died. He began working with electronic devices in his teens, and in the 1960s, he developed, demonstrated, and patented a laser using a pink ruby medium. The laser is a device that produces monochromatic coherent light – a light in which the rays are all of the same wavelength and phase. The laser has since been applied in a very wide range of uses, including eye surgery, dentistry, range-finding, manufacturing, even measuring the distance between the Earth and the Moon.
Ordibehesht 15 is commemorated every year in the Islamic Republic of Iran as National Day for the great jurisprudent and theologian, Abu Ja’far Mohammad ibn Ali ibn Babawaiyh al-Qomi, known as Shaikh Sadouq. He was born in holy Qom in 306 AH to the great scholar, Ali ibn Babawaiyh, who had petitioned the Lord of the Age, the Prophet’s 12th and Last Infallible Heir, Imam Mahdi (AS), for a son. After studying under his father and other scholars, he travelled widely around Iran, Iraq and Central Asia. During his fruitful life of 74 years, he groomed several scholars and wrote over a hundred books and treatises, including the 4-volume jurisprudential manual "Man la yahdharuhu al-Faqih” (which means "For those without Access to a Jurist”). This book is among the "Kutub al-Arba” or Four Basic Books of Hadith referred till this day by followers of the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). Among his other famous works, are "at-Towhid” on monotheism; "al-Khisal” on moral instructions, points of scientific, historical and legal origins; "Ilal ash-Shara’i” (Cause of the Situations) which includes the reasons behind the philosophy of the Islamic ordinances; "E’teqaadaat-al-Imamiya” (Imami Creed) which presents a summary of core tenets of the creed of Shi’a Muslims – as followers of the Ahl al-Bayt are known; "Oyoun Akhbar ar-Redha” (on Imam Reza [AS], the Prophet’s 8th Infallible Heir), and "Ikamaal od-Din wa Atmaan an-Ne’mah” (Perfection of Faith and Completion of Blessings) on proofs about Imam Mahdi (AS). He was laid to rest in Rayy, south of Tehran, where his mausoleum is a site of pilgrimage.