Today is Monday; 3rd of the Iranian month of Khordad 1400 solar hijri; corresponding to 12th of the Islamic month of Shawwal 1442 lunar hijri; and May 24, 2021, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1058 lunar years ago, on this day in 384 AH, the famous Arabic literary figure and poet, Ibrahim as-Sabi, passed away. Born in Baghdad, he was also an authority on mathematics, astronomy, and geometry. Among his valuable compilations, mention can be made of “A Treatise in the Science of Trigonometry”, and “A Treatise in the Science of Astronomy”. He was affiliated to the court of Iranian Buwaihid rulers of Iraq and Iran.
670 solar years ago, on this day in 1351 AD, Abu’l-Hassan Ali ibn Othman, the sultan of the Marinid dynasty of Morocco who liberated Gibraltar from the Christian Castilian occupation, died in exile in Fez in the High Atlas Mountains at the age of 54 after a reign of 17 years. In North Africa he extended his rule over Tlemcen and Ifriqiya, which together covered the north of what is now Algeria and Tunisia. Under him the Marinid realms in the Maghreb briefly covered an area that rivaled that of the preceding al-Muwahhidin or Almohad Empire. He was forced to return from Spain due to a revolt of Arab tribes, but was shipwrecked, and lost many of his supporters. His son Abu Inan Faris seized power in Fez.
478 solar years ago, on this day in 1543 AD, the Polish astronomer, Nicolaus Copernicus, died at the age of 70. After learning of scientific facts from the Latin translation of Arabic books written by Islamic scholars, he was the first European to boldly speak of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.
412 lunar years ago, on this day in 1030 AH, the well-known Islamic scholar, theologian, astronomer, and mathematician, Baha od-Din Mohammad bin Hussain Ameli, popularly known as “Sheikh Bahai”, passed away in Isfahan at the age of 78. Born in Ba’lbak in Lebanon, in a family descended from Harres al-Hamdani, a loyal disciple of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), his father, Shaikh Hussain bin Abdus-Samad, was one of the prominent scholars who migrated to Safavid Iran with his young son. Given his sublime talents, the young Bahai soon honed his skills in sciences, such as theology, jurisprudence, Exegesis of the Holy Qur’an, hadith, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, literature, and history. He travelled extensively through Syria, Palestine, Hijaz, Egypt, Iraq, Azarbaijan and Khorasan. Because of his creative talents, he was regarded as a walking encyclopedia. He is the first jurisprudent who wrote a handbook on Fiqh for simple layman in Persian language, titled “Jame’ Abbasi” which still exists. In spite of his diverse interests, he trained great scholars like Mullah Sadra Shirazi, Muhaqqiq Sabzevari, Fazel Jawad, and Mullah Mohammad Taqi, known as Majlisi the Elder – the father of the famous Allamah Mohammad Baqer Majlisi, the author of the encyclopedic work, “Behar ul-Anwaar”. After the death of his father-in-law, Shaikh Ali Minshar, he was made the Shaikh ol-Islam of Iran. He has left behind at least 100 valuable books and treatises. Among his works, mention can be made of the books: “Kashkol” on philosophy and poetry, “Khulasat al-Hesab” on mathematics, and “Tashrih al-Aflaak” or Anatomy of the Celestial Spheres, which is a summary of theoretical astronomy where he affirms the positional rotation of the Earth as it orbits around the sun. A number of architectural and engineering designs in Isfahan stand proof to the genius of Shaikh Bahai, including the “Naqsh-e Jahan” Square and the Grand Shah Abbas Mosque known as the Imam Mosque today. He also designed and constructed a furnace for a public bathroom, which still exists in Isfahan. The furnace was warmed by a single candle, which was placed in an enclosure. The candle burned for a long time, warming the bath’s water. According to his instructions the candle’s fire would be put out if the enclosure was ever opened. This happened during the restoration and repair of the building some decades ago, and since then no one has been able to make the system work again. He also designed the “Minar Jonbaan” (or Shaking Minaret), which still exists in Isfahan.
395 solar years ago, on this day in 1626 AD, the native Amerindians of Manhattan Island, were hoodwinked and deceived by Peter Minuit, the Director of German origin of the Dutch colony of New Netherland or what is now New York State, to sell their land for a hotchpotch of European trinkets worth only a paltry amount of 60 guilders or 23 dollars. The original inhabitants of the area were unfamiliar with the European notions and definitions of ownership rights. For the Indians, water, air and land could not be traded. Such exchanges would also be difficult in practical terms because many native groups migrated between their summer and winter quarters. It can be concluded that the Amerindians went home with totally different interpretations of the so-called sales agreement that was nothing but deceit on the part of the white invaders from Europe to deprive them of their ancestral lands.
335 solar years ago, on this day in 1686 AD, German-Dutch physicist and inventor of the thermometer, Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, was born. He lived in Holland most of his life, and in 1714 invented the mercury thermometer by developing the Fahrenheit temperature scale. For the zero of his scale he used the temperature of an equal ice-salt mixture; 30° for the freezing point of water; and 90° for normal body temperature. Later, he adjusted to 32° for the freezing point of water and 212° for the boiling point of water, the interval between the two being divided into 180 parts. He died in 1736 at the age of 50 years.
199 solar years ago, on this day in 1822 AD, Ecuador gained independence from Spanish colonial rule after three centuries, because of the efforts of the famous Venezuelan revolutionary leader, Simon Bolivar. Ecuador covers an area of 283,000 sq km. It is situated northwest of South America and lies on the coastlines of Pacific Ocean. It shares borders with Peru and Columbia.
121 solar years ago, on this day in 1900 AD, during the Second Boer War, Britain annexed to its colony of South Africa the Orange Free State, which was an independent Boer sovereign republic in southern Africa. Its name derives partly from the Orange River, which in turn was named in honour of the Dutch ruling royal family, the House of Orange, by the Dutch settlers under Robert Jacob Gordon. The official language in the Orange Free State was Dutch.
91 solar years ago, on this day in 1930 AD, the name “Pluto” was chosen and announced by Roger Lowell Putnam, trustee of Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona, for the newly-discovered ninth planet of the solar system called Planet X by its discoverer Clyde Tombaugh on 13 March the same year.
39 solar years ago, on this day in 1982 AD, the southwestern Iranian city of Khorramshahr was liberated from the yoke of the Ba’thist invaders by Iran’s Muslim combatants in the heroic Bayt al-Moqaddas Operations, after a year and 8 months of occupation. It was a decisive victory that completely turned the tide of the imposed war against Saddam, thereby shattering the equations of his backers in the West and the East, including the Arab reactionary regimes of the Persian Gulf, which had bankrolled his aggression on Islamic Iran. This historic event is marked every year as “The Day of Resistance and Victory”.
30 solar years ago, on this day in 1991 AD, the Zionist entity illegally settled 14,400 Ethiopian Jews in occupied Palestine. But, these black Jews are faced with numerous economic and social discriminations in Israel, and merely treated as cheap labour.
29 solar years ago, on this day in 1992 AD, Serbian forces confined over 3,000 Bosnian Muslims and Croats in inhuman conditions at the Keraterm prison camp. Damir Dosen served as a shift commander at the Keraterm prison camp in northwestern Bosnia. Detainees were killed, sexually assaulted and beaten. In 1999 Dragan Kulundzija, a former shift commander at Keraterm, was arrested on charges of killing and torturing prisoners. In 1999 Dosen was arrested for war crimes and flown to Hague for trial.
28 solar years ago, on this day in 1993 AD, Eritrea in Northeastern Africa, gained independence from Ethiopia. Between the two World Wars it was briefly occupied by Italy. Eritrea lies on the coastlines of the Red Sea. It covers an area of almost 117,000 square km, and shares borders with Ethiopia, Sudan, and Djibouti.
21 solar years ago, on this day in the year 2000 AD, Zionist occupation troops were forced to retreat from southern Lebanon and the so-called Southern Lebanese Army made up of Christian mercenaries disintegrated due to the resistance and steadfastness of Lebanese people, led by the legendry anti-terrorist movement, Hezbollah. It was the first defeat of Israel in its confrontation with popular and Islamic forces inspired by the Islamic Revolution of Iran.
16 solar years ago, on this day in 2005 AD, Iranian poet Mohammad Reza Aqasi, passed away at the age of 46. Born in Tehran, he is famous for his “Mathnavi” or Long Ode on the history of the Shi’a Muslims and the Ahl al-Bayt or Blessed Household of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). He also wrote excellent poetry on the heroics of Iran’s Muslim combatants on the battlefields of the 8-year war imposed by the US on the Islamic Republic through Saddam of Iraq’s repressive Ba’th minority regime.
10 solar years ago, on this day in 2011 AD, in India, representatives of eight countries with large wild elephant populations pledged to eradicate poaching of the animals and smuggling of ivory to ensure their survival for future generations. The “Elephant 8 Ministerial Meet” included officials from Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India, Botswana, Congo, Kenya and Tanzania. The elephant which is the largest living quadruped on earth is often the target of poachers for its tusks claimed to have aphrodisiac qualities, besides the prized ivory from which handicrafts are carved. In ancient times, elephants were used as war machines to intimidate and frighten rival armies. Today in many countries, the elephant, beside its use as a beast of burden, is trained as a riding animal on which processions are taken out, including religious, such as the famous Ashura mourning procession on the 10th of Moharram in Hyderabad, India, where the “alam” or banner of Imam Husain (AS) is carried on an elephant, behind which rows upon rows of mourners march, beating their chests in grief for the tragic martyrdom of the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).