Today is Tuesday; 11th of the Iranian month of Khordad 1400 solar hijri; corresponding to 20th of the Islamic month of Shawwal 1442 lunar hijri; and June 1, 2021, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1253 lunar years ago, on this day in 179 AH, Imam Musa Kazem (AS), the 7th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), was imprisoned in Medina by Haroun Rashid, the self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime, and sent to Basra in southern Iraq, from where after a couple of years he was shifted to Baghdad, and finally martyred through poisoning on 25 Rajab 183 AH at the age of 55. The 7th Imam suffered intermittent periods of imprisonment totaling some 14 years under several caliphs.
806 solar years ago, on this day in 1215 AD, Zhongdu (now Beijing), then under the control of the Jurchen ruler Emperor Xuanzong of Jin, was captured by the Mongols under Genghis Khan, ending the Battle of Zhongdu.
769 solar years ago, on this day in 1252 AD, Alfonso X was crowned king of Castile and Leon, following the death of his father, Ferdinand III two days before. Born in the occupied Islamic city of Toledo in Spain, he ruled for 32 years. Although he was successful against Portugal, and managed to occupy the Muslim regions of Murcia and Cadiz, he suffered shattering defeats at the hands of Spanish Muslims when he tried to invade the Nasrid emirate of Granada. Twice his armies were defeated, especially in 1275 in the Battle of Ecija, in which he lost his sons. The important work undertaken by him was the study and translation of Arabic scientific books into the Castilian and Latin languages, in order to acquire knowledge from Muslims and break out of the dark ages into which the Christian Church had plunged Europe. The very first translation, commissioned by his brother, Fernando de la Cerda – who had extensive experience, both diplomatic and military, among the Muslims of Southern Spain and North Africa – was the animal fable “Kalila wa-Dimna”, a book that belongs to the genre of wisdom literature with stories and sayings meant to instruct the rulers in proper and effective governance. This book originated as “Panchatantra” in India, and was translated from Sanskrit into Middle Persian in 570 AD by the Sassanid Iranian scholar Borzuwayh. This became the basis for a translation into Arabic in 750 CE by Iranian scholar Abdullah Ibn al-Muqaffa as “Kalila wa Dimna”, and spread to North Africa and Spain.
625 lunar years ago, on this day in 817 AH, the famous Iranian lexicographer of Arabic, Abu Taher Majd od-Din Mohammad ibn Yaqoub al-Firuzabadi, passed away at the age of 87 in Zabid, Yemen, where he was appointed the Chief Qazi and had married the daughter of the Sultan. Born in Kazeroun and educated in Shiraz, Waset, Baghdad and Damascus, he lived for ten years in Bayt al-Moqaddas, Palestine. He then travelled to Egypt, before settling in Mecca, where he lived for almost three decades, while spending some time in Delhi India. He returned to his native Shiraz via Baghdad, when he was around 60 years of age, and was warmly received by the Turkic conqueror, Amir Timur. He then left for Ta’izz in Yemen where he spent the last years of his life. He was a polymath in hadith, exegesis of Holy Qur’an, history, and Arabic grammar and literature. He wrote more than 40 books, the best known of which was his 60-volume dictionary, now believed to be lost. His most important surviving work, “al-Qamous al-Mohit” served as the basis of dictionaries by other Arabic lexicographers, and later for European dictionaries of Arabic. Among his other books, mention could be made of “Safar as-Sa’adah”, and “Tanwir al-Miqyas”.
273 solar years ago, on this day in 1748 AD, Qamar od-Din, titled Chin Qilich Khan Nizam ul-Mulk Asef Jah I, the founder of the kingdom of Hyderabad-Deccan in south India, passed away at the age of 77 and was buried in the city of Aurangabad. A scion of the Persianate family of Samarqand (presently in Uzbekistan) tracing its descent to the Iranian mystic, Ziya od-Din Abu’n-Najeeb Suhrawardi (not to be confused with Suhrawardi the Philosopher), he was thus a direct descendent of Mohammad ibn Abu Bakr – the first caliph’s son who was loyal to the cause of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS). Born in Agra on 20 August 1671 to Ghazi ud-Din Khan Feroze Jung I who served as general to Emperor Aurangzeb and later as governor of Gujarat, his mother was Wazir un-Nisa Begum the daughter of Emperor Shah Jahan’s Grand Vizier, Sa’dullah Khan. Nizam ul-Mulk was one of the ablest generals and statesmen of the late Mughal period, and disillusioned with the sorry state of affairs in Delhi decided to concentrate on the Deccan where in 1724, he declared his independence. During the invasion of Nader Shah Afshar, he was recalled to north India, and so greatly impressed the Iranian king in the negotiations, that he was offered the rule of all India, but politely refused. He was an accomplished poet in Persian and used the pennames “Asef” and “Shaker” in his two Divans. The dynasty which he founded ruled for 224 years until its merger in the Indian Union in 1948, a year after end of British rule. The dynasty, which hosted a large number of Iranian émigrés including statesmen, scholars, artists, and businessmen, greatly contributed to Persian literature, Islamic sciences, architecture, infrastructural-industrial development projects, and later with the establishment of Osmania University in 1918 to the promotion of Urdu language. Hyderabad-Deccan which was closely linked to the Safavid Iran is today the seat of the Iranian Consulate-General for South India.
100 solar years ago, on this day in 1921 AD, the large scale Tulsa Race Riot ended after two days in Oklahoma State, in which white supremacists attacked the black community of Tulsa town’s Greenwood District (known as the ‘Black Wall Street’), burning to the ground the wealthiest black community in the United States. During the 16 hours of mayhem, some 300 Afro-Americans were killed, over a thousand blacks admitted to hospitals with injuries, more than 6,000 black people arrested and an estimated 10,000 of them left homeless. As many as 35 city blocks composed of 1,256 residences were destroyed by fire. Due to heavy censorship by the government, the events of the riot were long omitted from local and state histories, and rarely mentioned in history books, classrooms or even in private. It was only in 1996, the state legislature commissioned a report to establish the historical record of the events. Released in 2001, most of the recommendations of the report have yet to be implemented by the state and city governments that is indicative of the racist nature of the US system, which despite its claim to human rights and social liberties, brutally suppresses people at home and abroad.
98 solar years ago, on this day in 1923 AD, one of the deadliest quakes worldwide shook the Japanese Capital, Tokyo flattening the city, setting it ablaze and killing more than 150,000 people.
83 solar years ago, on this day in 1938 AD, Pakistan’s prominent Urdu and Persian poet, Khawar Rizvi was born in Punjab in a family tracing its descent from Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). Named Seyyed Sibt-e Hassan Rizvi at birth, he took the penname “Khawar” (East in Persian) for writing poetry and essays, as he was a great admirer of eastern values and way of life. An enlightened scholar, he actively participated in the political and intellectual movements as a member of the Progressive Writers’ Movement. He was against all types of tyranny, dictatorship, subjugation and exploitation. Due to his ideology and political beliefs he became a victim of the oppressive policies of General Zia ul-Haq, the dictator of Pakistan. Khawar died of a heart attack at the age of 43 in 1981.
53 solar years ago, on this day in 1968 AD, US blind-deaf author, political activist, and lecturer, Helen Adam Keller, died at the age of 88. She was the first deaf/blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. The story of how her teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become widely known through the dramatic depictions of the play and film “The Miracle Worker”. A prolific author, Keller was well-traveled, and was outspoken in her anti-war convictions. A member of the Socialist Party of the US and the Industrial Workers of the World, she campaigned for women’s suffrage, labour rights, socialism, and other causes.
39 solar years ago, on this day in 1982 AD, one of the founders of the Iran Calligraphy Society, Seyyed Hussain Mir-Khani, passed away after his life-long dedication to the art of calligraphy. He started practicing calligraphy as of childhood and honed his skills in this art by the age of 11 years. He also spent thirty years grooming numerous students of calligraphy. In addition to his artistic creativity, he was renowned for his ethical virtues.
35 solar years ago, on this day in 1986 AD, a number of primary school pupils called on children across the world to designate a day for peace. Their message partly read: “Our adults maintain fixed beliefs. They like us because we are their children. But, do they know that what kind of a world they have shaped for us? If the slightest mistake takes place in their nuclear installations we will never have a chance for growth. We demand means for growth and development. Thereafter, June 1 has been marked as the World Day of Children and every year especial ceremonies are held across the world on this occasion. On the other hand, despite all the wishes and demands of children in different parts of the world and irrespective of all efforts made by international organizations to dispel children’s problems, still every year more than 6 million children lose their life in the world due to malnutrition and 250 million children in different countries are pushed toward forced labour. Moreover, the lives of millions of children are at risk due to inappropriate health conditions across the globe.”
22 solar years ago, on this day in 1999 AD, Iranian philologist and author, Dr. Mahdi Roshan-Zameer, passed away in Tehran at the age of 80. Born in Tabriz, he completed his higher studies in Tehran and travelled to France, where he obtained his PhD in 1957. On returning to Iran, he became a professor at Tabriz University where he taught for 27 years. Among his works are: “Problems of the French Language” in 3volumes, “Diyar-e Khoubaan” in 2 volumes on literary selections, and French translation of the book “Firdowsi and Iran’s National Epic”.
20 solar years ago, on this day in 2001 AD, massacre occurred in the royal palace in Nepal when Crown Prince Dipendra shot and killed several members of his family including his father and mother, King Birendra and Queen Aiswarya. The murderer immediately committed suicide and died three days later. In 2008 Nepal abolished monarchy and became a federal democratic republic.
15 solar years ago, on this day in 2006 AD, in Quetta, southwestern Pakistan police raided a terrorist hideout and arrested Habib Ullah, a notorious leader of the outlawed Lashkar-e Jhangvi outfit. He was the mastermind of over 32 terrorist attacks that claimed the life of more than 100 Shi’a Muslims between July 2003 and March, 2004. He was also involved in the planning and execution of terrorist attacks on the Ashura procession of Moharram 10 and on a mosque on Prince Road in Quetta, as well as a failed attack on the religious procession of 8th Moharram in 2005. A hardcore criminal, involved in dubious car deals, he had shaven his beard to dodge police but could not escape detection. Terrorist outfits in Pakistan are financed by Saudi Arabia and supplied equipment by the US and the Zionists.