Today is Tuesday; 28th of the Iranian month of Ordibehesht 1400 solar hijri; corresponding to 6th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan 1442 lunar hijri; and May 18, 2021, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1190 lunar years ago, on this day in 252 AH, the 12th caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime, al-Musta’in-Billah, was killed in the prison of Baghdad after being deposed and replaced by his cousin, Mu’taz ibn Mutawakkel, by the Turkic guards. The executioner brought the severed head to the capital Samarra at a time when the new caliph was playing chess, and told him: “Behold your cousin’s head!” The heartless Mu’taz –who two years later was to martyr through poisoning Imam Ali an-Naqi (AS), the 10th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) – replied: “Lay it aside, till I have finished the game.” Then having satisfied himself that it was really the head of Musta’in, he ordered 500 gold pieces be given to the assassin as reward. Musta’in, a grandson of the infamous Mu’tasem-Billah, was propelled to power as caliph in 248 AH by the Turkic guards on the mysterious death of his cousin, Muntasir – a devotee of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt who had killed his father, the notorious Mutawakkel for showing hatred towards Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS). He ruled for four years before falling out with his benefactors who chased him to Baghdad and after a skirmish following exchange of harsh words, forced him to abdicate the caliphate, and eventually killed him in prison.
973 solar years ago, on this day in 1048 AD, the Iranian Muslim mathematician, astronomer, and poet, Omar Khayyam, was born in Naishapur, Khorasan in northeastern Iran. Around 1074 AD, he set up an observatory and led work on compiling astronomical tables. To him goes the credit of reforming the Iranian solar hijri calendar on the basis of the Spring Equinox, which is still in use in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and parts of Central Asia, the Caucasus, Iraq, Anatolia, and the Subcontinent. This calendar is more perfect than the Gregorian Christian calendar that was imposed on Muslim countries by the colonialists after World War 1. Among Khayyam’s works, his book on algebra was until the last century taught as textbook in Iran. In geometry, he reformed the generalities of Euclid and contributed to the theory of parallel lines. His contributions to other fields of science included developing methods for the accurate determination of specific gravity. He is known to English-speaking readers for his “Rubaiyyaat” (quatrains), published in 1859 by Edward Fitzgerald, although in the Islamic world he remains the astronomer and mathematician that he was, rather than a poet, since whatever he composed of poetry were casual expressions during his rare leisure hours after strenuous scientific studies and experiments. He died in 1131 AD at the age of 83 and was buried in his native Naishapur in the courtyard of the shrine of Imamzadah Mahruq, a descendant of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). A lunar crater “Omar Khayyam” was named after him in 1970. In 1980, a minor planet discovered by Soviet astronomer Lyudmila Zhuravlyova, was named: “3095 Omarkhayyam”.
925 solar years ago, on this day in 1096 AD, during the First Crusade launched by the Christians of Europe against Muslims in West Asia, over 800 Jews were massacred in Worms, Germany by the European hordes on their way to Syria. Count Emich von Leiningen and his army swept through their own German homeland, murdering thousands of Jews, whom they had declared “Murderers of Jesus”. When Emich arrived in the town of Worms in May, he slaughtered some 500 people who had taken shelter in a palace, and killed another 300 Jews.
753 solar years ago, on this day in 1268 AD, the Crusader state of Antioch in Syria, fell to the Egyptian Mamluk Sultan, Zahir od-Din Baibars, after he had taken Caesarea, Haifa, Arsuf and Galilee. By the time of his death in 1277 AD, he had confined the Crusaders to a few castles along the coast of Palestine. Three decades later, the Muslims succeeded in completely driving out these European invaders from Islamic lands.
730 solar years ago, on this day in 1291 AD, with the liberation of Acre by Muslim armies of the Mamluk Dynasty of Egypt, the illegal presence of European Crusaders ended in Palestine. The Mamluks were led by Sultan Ashraf Khalil, son of Sultan Qalawun, who had begun preparations for the siege but died in November 1290.
656 lunar years ago, on this day in 786 AH, Arabic poet and hadith scholar, Ismail ibn Mohammad Ibn Bardis, passed away. Born in Ba’lbak in what is now Lebanon, he pursued higher studies in Damascus before visiting several Islamic lands. He embarked on a career of teaching, and was known for his frank views. He wrote many books including “Kashf an-Neqaab Amma Rawa ash-Shaykhaan lil-As-haab”
523 solar years ago, on this day in 1498 AD, Portuguese navigator, Vasco da Gama, with the help of Arab navigators managed to discover the sea route around Africa, and reached the port of Calicut, India. Da Gama was a treacherous and murderous person, and killed many Hindus and Muslims, including the Arab navigator who had guided him.
217 solar years ago, on this day in 1804 AD, Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself French emperor, thus reviving the monarchy 15 years after the French Revolution.
191 solar years ago, on this day in 1830 AD, France invaded Algeria by refusing to repay seven million Francs it had borrowed from the Algerian rulers. The Algerian people, inspired by Amir Abdul-Qader Jazaeri, fought against the French. Although the French occupied Algeria and plundered the wealth of this North African Muslim land, they were finally forced to leave in 1962 after killing more than a million Muslims.
149 solar years ago, on this day in 1872 AD, the British philosopher and mathematician, Bertrand Russell, was born. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1950. He has left behind a number of books, including: “A History of Western Philosophy”, “The Principles of Mathematics”, and “Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy”. Russell died in 1970.
77 solar years ago, on this day in 1944 AD, Muslim Tatars, who for six centuries had formed the overwhelming majority of the population of the Crimean Peninsula on the northern coast of the Black Sea, were deported en masse by Soviet dictator, Joseph Stalin, as a collective punishment on alleged charges of sympathizing with Germany during World War 2. Over 250,000 homes and hearths of the Tatars were occupied by Russian migrants, while these hapless Muslim men, women, and children, of whom many died during the long journey, were forced to settle in special camps in Uzbekistan and other distant parts of the Soviet Union, toiling as indentured workers in the cruel GULAG system. A Turkic ethnic group, native to the Crimean Peninsula, they had accepted Islam in the 14th century, following the conversion of Ozbeg Khan. They emerged as a nation at the time of the Crimean Khanate, an Ottoman vassal state during the 15th to 18th centuries, and built a grand Islamic culture, with mosques, libraries, baths, palaces, and bazaars. In 1744, Crimea became independent according to the Treaty of Kuchuk Kaynarca, at the end of the 6-year long Russo-Turkish War, with the Ottomans renouncing their political right to protect the Crimean Khanate. After a period of political unrest in Crimea, Russia violated the treaty and annexed the Crimean Khanate in 1783. After the annexation, under pressure of Slavic colonization, Crimean Tatars began to abandon their homes and move to the Ottoman Empire in continuing waves of emigration. Particularly, the Crimean War of 1853–1856, the laws of 1860–63, the Tsarist policy and the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 caused an exodus of the Crimean Tatars. Today, an estimated six million people of Turkey are said to be descendents of Crimean Tatars, who are also found in Uzbekistan, from where they were allowed to return to Crimea in the late 1980s. Presently, they form only a 12% minority in their homeland Crimea, while in Ukraine they number only 248,200.
47 solar years ago, on this day in 1974 AD, India conducted its first nuclear test in Rajasthan Desert, near Pakistan’s border, becoming the 6th nuclear power after the US, Soviet Union, France, Britain, and China. Some 24 years later on 11th & 13th May 1998, India conducted five nuclear tests and practically built an atomic weapon. Pakistan followed with its own atomic tests on 28th May 1998 to become a nuclear-armed power.
44 solar years ago, in 1977 AD, May 18 was designated as the International Day of Museums. The goal behind museums is to preserve and display the works of the past generations and the heritage of humanity.
38 solar years ago, on this day in 1983 AD, Saddam of the repressive Ba’th minority regime of Iraq, imprisoned 90 members of the family of the Late prominent marja’ of the seminary of holy Najaf, Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Mohsin al-Hakeem, and after some days martyred six scholarly male members, followed by the execution of ten others a few days later. The Godless US-backed dictator was incensed at the establishment in Iran of the Supreme Assembly of the Islamic Revolution of Iraq (SAIRI), by the Late Grand Ayatollah’s son, Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Baqer al-Hakeem.
20 solar years ago, on this day in 2001 AD, a Russian-built Yak-40 plane crashed in Iran’s Khorasan province and at least 29 people were killed. The dead included Rahman Dadman, the Transport Minister, and some members of parliament.
9 solar years ago, on this day in 2012 AD, in Tehran tens of thousands of people, in solidarity with the oppressed people of the Persian Gulf island state of Bahrain, demonstrated in protest to a proposed union of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, which actually means occupation by the Wahhabi regime. Shi’a Muslim majority Bahrain, which is currently being ruled by the repressive Aal-e Khalifa minority regime, has been historically part of Iran. Saudi occupation forces, in cooperation with mercenaries from different Arab states and Pakistan employed by the regime, are committing untold acts of terrorism against the Bahraini people for demanding restoration of their birthrights and end to the British-American Aal-e Khalifa regime.
8 solar years ago, on this day in 2013 AD, prominent Persian poet and scholar, Mohammad Qahraman, passed away at the age of 84 in holy Mashhad. Born in Torbat-e Haideriyeh in Khorasan, besides his poetical compositions, he edited and published the works of leading Persian poets of what is known as “Sabk-e Hindi” or Indian-Style, such as Sa’eb Tabrezi (in 6 volumes), Kaleem Hamedani, Nazem Heravi, and Mohammad-Jan Qodsi Mashhadi, as well as the selected lyrics of Toghra-e Mashhadi.
Ordibehesht 28, is commemorated every year in the Islamic Republic of Iran as National Day for the prominent Iranian Muslim scientist and poet, Omar Khayyam, who was born in 439 AH (corresponding to 1048 AD). In June 2009, Iran donated a pavilion to the United Nations Office in Vienna which is placed in the central Memorial Plaza of the Vienna International Centre. Named “The Persian Scholars Pavilion”, it highlights Iranian architectural features, and is adorned with the statues of four prominent Iranian-Islamic scientists: Zakariya Razi (Rhazes), Abu Ali Sina (Avicenna), Abu Rayhan Biruni, and Omar Khayyam.