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News ID: 90274
Publish Date : 16 May 2021 - 21:43
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This Day in History (27-2-1400)
Today is Monday; 27th of the Iranian month of Ordibehesht 1400 solar hijri; corresponding to 5th of the Islamic month of Shawwal 1442 lunar hijri; and May 17, 2021, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1406 lunar years ago, on this day in 36 AH, the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), started from his capital Kufa in Iraq towards Syria with a force of 90,000 to meet the threats of the rebellious governor, Mua’wiyyah ibn Abu Sufyan. The result was the protracted War of Siffeen in the place of the same name, in the vicinity of Aleppo near Reqqa that exposed the hypocrisy of the Omayyads and proved the righteousness of the Imam as the First Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
1075 solar years ago, on this day in 946 AD, al-Qa’em-be-Amrillah, the second self-styled caliph of the Fatemid Shi’a Muslim dynasty of Ifriqiya or what are now Tunisia, Algeria and Libya in northern Africa, died at the age 51 in Mahdiya in present day Tunisia after a 12-year reign, and was succeeded by his son, Ismail al-Mansur. Born in Salamiyah in Syria and named Abdur-Rahman by his father Abdullah who in 910 seized power in Ifriqiya and styled himself al-Mahdi-Billah in order to deceive the unsuspecting Berber Muslims, he led several unsuccessful campaigns into Abbasid Egypt from 914-to-921 that ended in heavy casualties. In 934, on the death of his father he became caliph after which he never again left the royal residence at Mahdia. In his reign, the Fatemid realm became an important power in the Mediterranean. After conquering Sicily, he carried out successful campaigns in the Byzantine province of Calabria and the southern coasts of Italy and France. But from 944 to 947 the realm was plunged into crisis by the revolt of the Kharejite or renegade from Abu Yazid, who led Berber tribes of the Aures Mountains of eastern Algeria. The Fatemids, who eventually conquered Egypt, founded the city of al-Qahera or Cairo, and occupied Syria and Hijaz, during their ruler of over two-and-a-half centuries, claimed descent from Ismail, the predeceased son of Imam Ja’far as-Sadeq (AS), the 6th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny).
481 solar years ago, on this day in 1540 AD, the Battle of Bilgram near the town of the same name in northern India led to the resounding defeat of Mughal Emperor, Naseer od-Din Humayun, by the Afghan warlord Sher Khan Suri, who now became the master of Delhi and Agra and assumed the title of Sher Shah. Humayun, who could not use his artillery during the surprise attack because of heavy rains, barely escaped with his life and became a fugitive, finally fleeing to Iran to the court of Shah Tahmasp Safavi. Later, with Iranian military help, he returned to the Subcontinent and on the death of Sher Shah reclaimed the throne of Delhi.    
272 solar years ago, on this day in 1749 AD, English physician and surgeon, Edward Jenner, who discovered vaccination for smallpox, was born. There was a common story among farmers that if a person contracted a relatively mild and harmless disease of cattle called cowpox, immunity to smallpox would result. On 14 May 1796, he removed the fluid of cowpox from dairymaid Sarah Nelmes and inoculated James Phipps, an eight-year-old boy, who soon came down with cowpox. Six weeks later, he inoculated the boy with smallpox. The boy remained healthy, proving the theory. He called his method vaccination, using the Latin words "vacca”, meaning cow, and "vaccinia”, meaning cowpox. Jenner also introduced into English the word "virus”.
216 solar years ago, on this day in 1805 AD, Albanian general, Mohammad Ali Pasha, who was dispatched to Egypt by the Ottoman Sultan, following the withdrawal of Napoleon Bonaparte and his occupying French forces in 1801, proclaimed himself the "Khedive” (Persian for Viceroy or Ruler) of Egypt and Sudan by eliminating all rivals. During his almost half-a-century rule he transformed Egypt into a regional power which he saw as the natural successor to the decaying Ottoman Empire. He initiated wide ranging reforms and established for the first time a professional bureaucracy. In the 1820s, he sent the first educational mission of Egyptian students to Europe. This contact resulted in the birth of literature that is considered the dawn of the Arabic literary renaissance, known as the "an-Nahdha”. To support the modernization of the industry and the military, Mohammad Ali set up a number of schools in various fields where French texts were studied. Rifa’a at-Tahtawi supervised translations from French to Arabic on topics ranging from sociology and history to military technology. In 1835, Mohammad Ali Pasha founded the first indigenous press in the Arab World, the Bulaq Press, which published the official gazette of the government. Bulaq also published rare old Arabic books, as well as Persian and Turkish. He pursued military campaigns initially on behalf of the Ottoman Sultan, Mahmoud II, in Arabia and Greece (capturing Athens in 1827 before the combined attack of the British-French forced him to retreat). Later he came into open conflict with the Ottoman Empire, because of his personal ambitions, which brought Syria under his control for ten years and made him advance as far as Konya in 1832. He launched the expedition into the Hijaz to liberate the holy cities of Mecca and Medina from desert brigands of the Najd led by Abdullah ibn Saud, who followed the heretical Wahhabi cult and had desecrated the holy shrines. After purging Hijaz of the Wahhabis, he sent his son, Ibrahim Pasha, in 1812, to completely destroy and rout out the Aal-e Saud from Najd itself. After a two-year campaign, the Aal-e Saud clan was crushed and most of them captured. The leader, Abdullah ibn Saud, was sent to Istanbul, and executed for having desecrated the holy shrine of Imam Husain (AS) in Karbala, before his sacrilegious attack on the Hijaz. In short, Mohammad Ali Pasha established the dynasty that lasted till the military coup of 1952 and the ouster of King Farouq by General Mohammad Najib and Colonel Jamal Abd an-Nasser.
156 solar years ago, on this day in 1865 AD, in the presence of representatives of twenty countries in Paris and following the conclusion of first international contract in the domain of communications, the International Telegraph Union was founded and its international bylaw was prepared and approved. This day is thus named as International Communications Day. In 1932, according to decisions of the Madrid Conference, the International Telegraph Union was renamed International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and all its bylaws were reviewed. In 1947, ITU became a UN affiliate.
122 lunar years ago, on this day in 1314 AH, pan-Islamist thinker and pioneer of the anti-colonial struggles, Seyyed Jamal od-Din Asadabadi, attained martyrdom in Istanbul at the age of 59; 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. Well-versed in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, English, French, and Russian languages, he strove for Islamic solidarity and strongly opposed colonialists. 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 – shortly after the British had crushed the Uprising by massacring Muslims and exiling to Burma, the last king of the once mighty Timurid Moghal Empire, Bahador Shah Zafar, a year after they overthrew Wajed Ali Shah of the Naishapuri kingdom of Iranian origin of Awadh. 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 published in book form in Haiderabad under the title "Haqiqat-e Madhhab-e Naychari wa Bayan-e Hal-e Naychariyan” (Truth about the Nature Sect and an Explanation of Naturists). 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 he left for Afghanistan to serve as advisor to Amir Dost Mohammad Khan. Expelled from Kabul by the next ruler, Sher Ali Khan, he went to Egypt, where until his expulsion eight years later, he won several admirers and students – including Shaikh Mohammad Abduh, who wrote a commentary on the "Nahj al-Balagha” (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, 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 later to Iraq. He informed the leading marja’ of the time, Ayatollah Mirza Hassan Shirazi of the ruin brought on Iranian economy by granting of the tobacco concession to the British. The Ayatollah’s fatwa against tobacco consumption saved Iran. Seyyed Jamal od-Din was invited by the Ottoman Sultan Abdul-Hamid to Istanbul, where several of his disciples visited him, including Mirza Reza Kirmani, who was to assassinate Nasser od-Din Shah. 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, besides Abduh, he deeply influenced Rashid Redha, and Ali Abdur-Razeq, while in Turkey: Namik Kemal, Said Nursi and others. The Constitutional Movement that triumphed in Iran was also influenced by him.
112 solar years ago, on this day in 1909 AD, Dutch orientalist, Michael Jan de Goeje, died at the age of 73 after half-a-century of research and publication of several valuable Arabic works of Islamic geographers and historiographers, such as Seyyed Mohammad al-Hasani al-Idrisi of Sicily, and the Iranians Abu’l-Qasim Ibn Khordadbeh and Abu Ja’far Tabari. Born in Dronrijp, Friesland, he devoted himself at an early age to the study of oriental languages and became especially proficient in Arabic. From 1860 to his death in 1909 he devoted himself to the edition – alone or in collaboration – of twenty Arabic texts, all with extensive indexes and Arabic-Latin glossaries. He also contributed to the work of other orientalists by careful proofreading and by revising books like William Wright’s "Grammar of the Arabic Language” and his edition of the "Reḥla” or "Travels of Ibn Jobayr”. At the age of seventy-one, de Goeje accepted the editorship of the first edition of The Encyclopaedia of Islam but was soon forced to resign owing to ill health; he did not live to see the first volume in print.
82 solar years ago, on this day in 1939 AD, the British occupation authorities of Palestine released a so-called White Paper on the threshold of World War II for illegally settling 100,000 more European Zionists, as a prelude to the planting of the usurper state of Israel. The Palestinians rejected the plan, which they sensed was a prelude for complete occupation of their homeland. In 1942, in a conference held in the US, European Zionists formally called for the establishment of a usurper Jewish state in Palestine called Israel.
34 solar years ago, on this day in 1987, during the 8-year war imposed by the US on Islamic Iran through Saddam, Iraqi jetfighters fired missiles at the US Warship "Stark” killing 37 American soldiers and wounding scores of others. The Ba’th minority regime of Baghdad immediately offered apology to the US, and Washington which was in league with Saddam against Iran, quickly responded by calling the attack and the death of its soldiers as a case of mistaken identity. Experts believe Iraq’s missile attack on the USS Stark and the death of US personnel was preplanned by both Washington and Baghdad to portray the Persian Gulf region as unsafe so as to enable the US send more warships for intimidating the Islamic Republic of Iran.
12 solar years ago, on this day in 2009 AD, the prominent Source of Emulation, Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Bahjat Foumani, passed away in Holy Qom at the age of 94 years. He was born in the city of Fouman, Gilan Province, in northern Iran, and completed his preliminary studies in his hometown. After learning Arabic, he left for the seminary of Holy Najaf in Iraq in 1929 for higher studies. He returned to Iran in 1945, and settled in Qom, lecturing on jurisprudence and theology, and grooming numerous students. His most important characteristic was his spotless piety that influenced every one. He was a highly knowledgeable Islamic scholar, and it is said he had been gifted by God with the vision for the unseen. He has left behind a large number of valuable compilations, including "Kitab-e Salaat” and "Jama’e al-Masa’el”.
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