Today is Wednesday; 5th of the Iranian month of Khordad 1400 solar hijri; corresponding to 14th of the Islamic month of Shawwal 1442 lunar hijri; and May 26, 2021, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1570 solar years ago, on this day in 451 AD, the Battle of Avarayr between Armenian rebels and the Sassanid Empire took place in what is now the Republic of Armenia in the Caucasus. The Iranians led by Yazdegerd II defeated the Armenians militarily, but were unable to reconvert them to Zoroastrianism. In 484, Emperor Peroz I, as per the Treaty of Nvarsak, granted the Armenians freedom to openly practice Christianity, after the Armenian Church formally separated from the Latin Catholic Church of Rome and the Greek Orthodox Church of Constantinople.
1358 lunar years ago, on this day in 84 AH, the 5th caliph of the usurper Omayyad regime, Abdul-Malik Ibn Marwan, died in Damascus at the age of 61 after a reign of 20 tyrannical years during which among a spate of crimes against Islam and humanity, he ordered his Godless general, Hajjaj bin Yusuf, to defile the sanctity of the holy Ka’ba with fire and brimstone in order to kill the rival caliph, Abdullah Ibn Zubayr. Born in Mecca to the despicable Marwan, who along with his pagan father Hakam, was expelled by the Prophet for ridiculing Islam, he grew up in Medina, where his father as the cousin and son-in-law of caliph Othman Ibn Affan manipulated all state affairs and was the actual cause of the latter’s murder. When Mu’awiyyah Ibn Abu Sufyan seized the caliphate from Imam Hasan Mujtaba (AS), the elder grandson of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), Marwan was appointed governor of Medina, and years later in 63 AH, along with his son Abdul-Malik, was lucky to be allowed to go alive to Syria on the seizure of Arabia by Abdullah ibn Zubayr. In 64 AH he found himself propelled to the truncated caliphate in those tumultuous years following the death of the tyrant Yazid, abdication of the latter’s son Mu’awiyyah II, and his own father Marwan’s surprising rise as caliph and death in the harem nine months later. Abdul-Malik cast aside the holy Qur’an with the words “It is now separation between me and you”. He faced an uncertain future with the Omayyad caliphate shrunken to Damascus and its environs as Mokhtar Ibn Abu Obaidah, the Avenger of the Martyrs of Karbala, was all set to wipe out the Omayyads with his string of victories against the killers of the Prophet’s younger grandson, Imam Husain (AS). At this crucial juncture, Abdullah Ibn Zubayr blundered by refusing to join forces with Mokhtar and instead sent his brother to attack and kill the latter, thereby giving breathing space to Abdul-Malik and in fact allowing him to regroup and attack the divided armies of Iraq and Hijaz. What followed was revival of Omayyad supremacy and suppression of true Muslims, especially the Prophet’s progeny and their followers, while boundaries of the realm continued to rapidly expand in both the east and the west – in Central Asia and North Africa. Abdul-Malik initiated brazenly racist and chauvinistic policies against the letter and spirit of Islam that made Arabs (especially Omayyad supporters) the dominant class of the empire, hand-in-hand with rabid Arabization that deprived Syrians, Egyptians, and North Africans of their native languages and rich cultural heritage. In the eastern parts of the empire, however, these apartheid policies failed to erode the Persian language and culture of the Iranians and other Muslim peoples, who in accordance with the message of the holy Qur’an, mastered Arabic language, literature and grammar, as well as hadith and Islamic sciences, while preserving for posterity the positive aspects of the legacies of the past.
1193 solar years ago, on this day in 818 AD, as per the Gregorian Calendar, Imam Ali ibn Musa ar-Reza (AS), the 8th Infallible Successor of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), was martyred, through poisoning in the city of Toos, Khorasan, northeastern Iran, by the crafty Abbasid caliph, Mamoun. The 8th Imam, whose blessings are evident to all, needs no introduction. Today Toos is known as Mashhad – short form of “Mashhad-ar-Reza” or Martyrdom Place of Imam Reza (AS). The sprawling golden-domed shrine of the Imam draws millions of pilgrims from all over Iran and the world, while there is no trace of even the graves of the Abbasid or Omayyad caliphs, anywhere in any Muslim land.
869 lunar years ago, on this day in 573 AH, the well-known Iranian Imami theologian, jurisprudent, hadith scholar, and exegete of the Holy Qur’an, Qotb od-Din Rawandi, passed away and was laid to rest in Qom in the courtyard of the holy mausoleum of Hazrat Ma’souma (SA), the daughter of Imam Musa Kazem (AS), the 7th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). He was from Rawand near Kashan and spent several years acquiring knowledge under the prominent Islamic scholars of his day. He has left behind 80 compilations, including an exegesis of the Holy Qur’an, and exegesis of the “Nahj al-Balagha” and several other books including “Risalat al-Fuqaha”, and “Ayaat al-Ahkaam”.
728 solar years ago, on this day in 1293 AD, an earthquake struck Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan, killing about 30,000.
600 solar years ago, on this day in 1421 AD, the 5th Ottoman Sultan, Mohammad I Chalabi, died after a reign of 8 years, at the age of 31 and was buried at Bursa. He was a son of Bayezid I, while his mother was Dowlat Khatun, was a daughter of Yaqoub Shah, the ruler of the principality of Germiyan and a descendant of the famous Iranian mystic and Persian poet, Mowlana Jalal od-Din Roumi. Although his 8-year reign as sultan started with his victory at the Battle of Jamurlu over Musa Chalabi, his brother, Mohammad I as the most powerful brother contending for the throne, was the de facto ruler of most of the empire for nearly the whole preceding period of 11 years of the Ottoman Interregnum since his father’s defeat and capture at Ankara by Amir Timur.
509 solar years ago, on this day in 1512 AD, the 8th Ottoman sultan, Bayezid II, died after a 31-year reign, a month after being forced to abdicate the throne by his rebellious son, Selim I. Bayezid II, who brutally suppressed several popular uprisings by the Qizilbash or Shi’a Muslims of Anatolia that were influenced by the Safavid Empire of Iran, is notable for resettling tens of thousands of Jews from Spain throughout the Ottoman Empire after proclamation of the Alhambra Decree by the Christian rulers of Spain, Ferdinand and Isabella. Bayezid II engaged in numerous campaigns to conquer the Venetian possessions in Morea. The last of these wars ended in 1501 with his gaining control of the whole Peloponnese Peninsula or present day southern Greece.
384 solar years ago, on this day in 1637 AD, A combined Protestant and Mohegan force under the English Captain John Mason attacked a Pequot village in Connecticut, massacring over 500 Native Americans. The white settlers from Europe were notorious for their genocide of the so-called Red Indians, and their enslavement of the black people kidnapped from Africa and made to toil as slaves in the New World.
368 solar years ago, on this day in 1653 AD, Robert Filmer, the English political theorist who irrationally defended the divine right of kings, died at the age of 65. His best known work, “Patriarcha”, published posthumously in 1680, was the target of numerous Whig attempts at rebuttal, including Algernon Sidney’s “Discourses Concerning Government”, James Tyrrell’s “Patriarcha Non Monarcha” and John Locke’s “Two Treatises of Government”. Filmer also wrote critiques of Thomas Hobbes, John Milton, Hugo Grotius and Aristotle, but he failed to prove his divine right theory.
318 solar years ago, on this day in 1703 AD, British naval administrator and Member of Parliament, Samuel Pepys, who is now most famous for the detailed diary of important events he kept for a decade, died at the age of 70. Through hard work and talent for administration, he rose to be Chief Secretary to the Admiralty under both King Charles II and subsequently King James II. The detailed private diary Pepys kept from 1660 until 1669 was first published in the 19th century and is one of the most important primary sources for the English Restoration period. It provides a combination of personal revelation and eyewitness accounts of such important events, as the Great Plague of London, the Second Dutch War, and the Great Fire of London. Often regarded as the most celebrated diary, it contains over a million words, and the author’s frankness in writing his own weaknesses, has made historians ascertain the accuracy of his record of daily British life and major events in the 17th century.
138 solar years ago, on this day in 1883 AD, Algerian freedom fighter, Seyyed Abdul-Qader ibn Mohi od-Din al-Hassani al-Jaza’iri, died in Damascus, Syria at the age of 75, and was buried near the tomb of the famous Spanish Muslim Gnostic, Sheikh Mohi od-Din Ibn Arabi. Born near Mascara in Oran in Algeria, he claimed descent from Imam Hasan Mojtaba (AS), the elder grandson of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). In 1825, he set out for the Hajj pilgrimage. In Mecca, he met with and was impressed by Imam Shamil of Daghestan, the leader of the struggle against Russian expansion in the Caucasus which had recently been seized by the Czar from the Qajarid rulers of Iran. He also visited Syria and Iraq. After five years, he returned to his homeland in 1830 a few months before the Ottoman Turks lost it to the French invaders. He led the military struggle against France, organizing guerrilla warfare over the next decade. His failure to get support from the eastern tribes and the Berbers of the west led to the quelling of his uprising. On December 21, 1847, after being denied refuge in Morocco because of French pressure, he surrendered and was exiled to France, where he remained under detention until 1852. He was released on taking an oath never again to question French rule in Algeria. In 1855 he settled in Damascus, where he died this day. During the Druze-Christian riots of 1860 in Damascus, he had sheltered a large number of Christians, earning praise and awards from European states and the USA. Unfortunately, Abdul-Qader had became a member of the notorious Jewish secret organization, the Freemasons in 1864. Among the books he wrote, the “Call to the Intelligent, Warning to the Indifferent” and “The Arabian Horse” could be mentioned.
113 solar years ago, on this day in 1908 AD, oil was recovered for the first time in Iran in the Masjid Suleiman area in the southwest, at a 60-meter depth, with oil gushing up to a height of 25 meters. The Masjid Suleiman area is of paramount importance in regard to its mines and hydrocarbons and up to now more than 250 oil wells have been drilled. Iran also possesses the world’s second largest natural gas reserves as well. Oil seepages had been noted for centuries in Iran, where the oozing was used for such purposes as the caulking of boats and the binding of bricks.
55 solar years ago, on this day in 1966 AD, Guyana became independent from centuries of British rule, and four years later became a republic. Guyana was occupied by the Spanish in late 15th century and seized by Britain in the 17th century. Situated in South America with a coastline on the Atlantic Ocean, Guyana’s indigenous people are the Arawak-speaking Lucayan, part of the Taino people, who are now a minority in their own homeland. The country has a population of 10 percent Muslims, while a slight majority of the national population is made up of Guyanese of Indian origin.
40 solar years ago, on this day in 1981 AD, the 6-nation Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC), was set up by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman. The goals were given as economic, political, and military coordination to deter foreign threats to the region, but the PGCC has turned out to be an instrument of US neo-colonialist policies in the Persian Gulf, and indulges in sowing seeds of discord and fanning ethnic tensions among Muslims of the region.
31 solar years ago, on this day in 1990 AD, Dr. Ali Akbar Siyasi, the Father of Modern Iranian Psychology, passed away in his hometown Tehran at the age of 92. He was a notable and important Iranian intellectual, psychologist and politician during the 1930s and 1960s, serving as the country’s Foreign Minister, Minister of Education, Chancellor of University of Tehran, and Minister of State without portfolio. He drafted bill and law for National Compulsory Free Education, and took necessary measures for its enforcement. Besides he was a permanent member of the Persian Academy, president of Iranian Psychological Association; and co-founder of the Iranian Youth Association. Among the books he wrote are “Introduction to Philosophy” (1947), “Logic and Methodology” (1948), “Mind and Body” (1953), “The Psychology of Avicenna and its similarities with Modern Psychology” (1954), “Logic and Philosophy” (1958), “Intelligence and Reason” (1962), “Criminal Psychology” (1964), and “Psychology of Personality” (1975).
16 solar years ago, on this day in 2005 AD, Iran’s celebrated Mo’azzen or Caller to Prayer, Rahim Mo’azzen Zadeh Ardabili, passed away in Tehran at the age of 80. Born in Ardabil in a religious family; his father Abdul-Karim Mo’azzen-Zadeh Ardabili was himself a Mo’azzen, whose Azan was broadcast on line by the radio, every morning from 1943 to1947, from Tehran’s Grand Imam Mosque in the Main Bazaar. In 1947, on his death, he was succeeded by his son, Rahim Mo’azaen-Zadeh, both at the mosque and on radio. His famous prayer call (Azan) is in Bayat Turk Style (a style in Persian music), and it was performed on the radio station located in 15th Khordad Square in 1955. This Azan is still broadcast by the radio and the TV. He used to say: “During the last years, a spiritual pride had been along with me for recording this prayer call, and this spiritual wealth is enough for me.”