Today is Thursday, 20th of the Iranian month of Khordad 1400 solar hijri; corresponding to 29th of the Islamic month of Shawwal 1442 lunar hijri; and June 10, 2021, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1911 solar years ago, on this day in 110 AD, following 50 years of peace with the Parthian Empire, the Roman army under orders of Emperor Trajan attacked Armenia which was a northwestern province of the Iranian Empire. After two years, the Iranians liberated Armenia and drove out the Romans.
1514 lunar years ago, on this day, 72 years before hijra (549 AD), Imran Ibn Shayba (Abdul-Muttaleb), known as Abu Taleb, the beloved uncle and guardian of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) was born in Mecca. As consanguineous brother of the deceased Abdullah (the Prophet’s father), he took charge of his 8-year orphaned nephew on the death of his own father, Abdul-Muttaleb. He became head of the noble Bani Hashem clan following the death of his elder brother, Zubayr Ibn Abdul-Muttaleb. He subsequently became known as “Shaikh al-Bat-ha” (Senior-Most Chief of Mecca). As a follower of the monotheistic creed of his ancestor, Prophet Abraham (AS), he firmly believed in the message of Islam when God formally appointed his 40-year old nephew as the Last and Greatest Messenger to mankind. He thereafter protected the Prophet against the taunts and plots of the pagan Arabs. When the Meccans imposed the socio-economic boycott on the Prophet, he took his nephew and the whole neo-Muslim community under his protection to the safety of the gorge outside Mecca which is still called “She’b Abi Taleb”. The greatest contribution of Abu Taleb to Islam were his faithful and steadfast sons, Ja’far, Aqeel, and especially the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (AS), whom God appointed as vicegerent to the Prophet. The marriage of Imam Ali (AS) with Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA) meant that along with the Prophet, Abu Taleb became the grandfather of Imam Hasan (AS) and Imam Husain (AS) and subsequently the noble ancestor of the Ahl al-Bayt and all Seyyeds. His death at the age of 70, over two years before hijra, emboldened the pagan Arabs to plot against the Prophet, who on the command of God Almighty migrated to Medina.
1267 solar years ago, on this day in 754 AD, Abu’l-Abbas al-Saffah, the first self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime, died after a rule of four years, following the overthrow of the Godless Omayyad dynasty, and was succeeded by his crafty and cruel brother, Mansour Dawaniqi. Named Abdullah, he claimed descent from Abbas, an uncle of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). Although he returned the vast orchard of Fadak to the Prophet’s progeny, from whom it was seized by the first and second caliphs, he usurped political power of the state himself, despite the deceptive slogan of his political-military campaign to return to the Ahl al-Bayt the rule of the Islamic realm. The reason he is known as ‘as-Saffah’ (Shedder of blood), is because of his ruthless massacre of the Omayyads, whose male members he exterminated, almost to the last single person, except for a youth called Abdur-Rahman, who managed to flee Syria to Spain, where he seized power and set up a dynasty that ruled for a century. Saffah also dug up the graves of the Omayyads in Damascus, including that of their founder, Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan, and burned their bones and skeletons.
1101 lunar years ago, on this day in 341 AH, Ma’adh Abu Tamim al-Mu’iz le Din-Allah, assumed power as the fourth caliph of the Fatemid Ismaili Shi’ite Muslim dynasty of North Africa in his capital Mahdiyya in what is now Tunisia. He reigned for 22 years during which he conquered Egypt, where in 362 AH, he shifted his capital to the newly built city “al-Qahera” (Cairo), built by his loyal Sicilian general, Jowhar as-Saqali. Jowhar, an ethnic Greek who embraced the truth of Islam and became a devout follower of the Ahl al-Bayt, also built in Cairo the grand al-Azhar Mosque, which derives its name from “az-Zahra” the famous epithet of Hazrat Fatema (SA), the daughter of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). The Fatemids restored the full form of the “Azan” from the minarets of al-Azhar and other mosques, by bearing testimony to the vicegerency of Imam Ali (AS) after the mission of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). The phrase “hayya ala khayr il-amal” (hasten to the best of deeds), which was dropped from the “Azan” by caliph Omar ibn Khattab, after the passing away of the Prophet, was also revived.
1081 solar years ago, on this day in 940 AD, the Islamic-Iranian mathematician and astronomer, Abu’l-Wafa Mohammad ibn Mohammad ibn Yahya al-Bouzjani, was born in the northeastern Iranian town of Bouzhgan (present day Torbat-e Jam) in Khorasan. After acquiring the sciences of the day, he moved to Baghdad at the age of 19 and remained there for forty years. He made important innovations in spherical trigonometry, and his work on arithmetic for businessmen contains the first instance of using negative numbers in an Islamic text. He was the first to build a wall quadrant to observe the sky. Bouzjani participated in an experiment to determine the difference in local time between his location in Baghdad and that of his famous contemporary, Abu Rayhan al-Berouni in Kath, Khwarezm, which is now part of the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan. The result was very close to present-day calculations, showing a difference of approximately 1 hour between the two longitudes. The 3rd Lunar Inequality (the variation) was first discovered by Bouzjani, a fact admitted by European scientist, Tycho Brahe, who often quotes this Iranian Islamic scientist’s work. His “Kitab al-Majisti” (Almajest) covers numerous topics in the fields of plane and spherical trigonometry, planetary theory, and solutions to determine the direction of Qibla – the focal point of the daily ritual prayers for Muslims worldwide. The crater “Abu’l-Wafa” on the Moon is named after him. Bouzjani wrote several books that have not survived, including “Tarikh-e Ilm al-Hesab” (The History of Calculus).
831 solar years ago, on this day in 1190 AD, leader of the Third Crusade against Muslims, the self-styled Holy Roman Emperor Fredrick Barbarossa of Germany, drowned in River Saleph, known currently as Goksu Nehri in what is now Turkey. On the instructions of Pope Urban III, he had assembled a huge army in alliance with the kings of France and England, and marched overland towards Syria through the Byzantine Empire, but before reaching his cherished goal, i.e. the Islamic city of Bayt al-Moqaddas in Palestine, Barbarossa and his horse were struck by divine wrath and swept away to a terrible death that aborted the joint military campaign against Muslims. His leaderless army lost heart and fled, and many European Christian knights, afraid of fighting Muslims, committed suicide.
808 solar years ago, on this day in 1213 AD, Iranian philosopher and Sufi writer, Fakhr od-Din Ibrahim Iraqi, was born in Hamedan, western Iran. He spent many years in Multan, (present day Pakistan) as well as in Konya and Toqat in present day Turkey. He was highly educated in both theology and literary disciplines and not only knew the Holy Qur’an, hadith and its exegesis, but also Persian and Arabic literature. In Multan he became a disciple of the Head of the Suhrawardi Sufi Order, Shaikh Baha od-Din Zakariyya, married his daughter, and stayed for twenty-five years. He then traveled first to Mecca and Medina, and later visited Konya, where he became a good friend of the famous Persian mystical poet, Mowlana Jalal od-Din Rumi. He also met Sadr od-Din Qunawi, who helped to shape him intellectually, as Shaikh Baha od-Din Zakariyya had shaped him spiritually. After Rumi’s death, he moved to Toqat, at a time when there was much upheaval on the Byzantine border. The local ruler did not like him because of his influence over the people; so he fled to Cairo in Egypt. Later he settled in Damascus where he died at the age of 78. His writings include “Lama’at” (Divine Flashes). His Diwan has been published in Iran under the title “Kulliyaat-e Iraqi”. Another of his works is the “Ushshaq-Namah” written during his stay in Multan and dedicated to the vizier Shams od-Din Juwayni.
692 solar years ago, on this day in 1329 AD, the Battle of Pelekanon resulted in a Byzantine defeat by the rising power of the Ottoman Turks, led by Orhan I. The defeat suffered by Emperor Andronicus III meant that no Byzantine army would again attempt to attack Anatolia. The Ottomans built up a strong base from which they eventually swept away the Byzantine Empire as a whole, a century-and-a-half later.
603 lunar years ago, on this day in 839 AH, Taj od-Din Mohammad Shah, the 3rd ruler of the Ghorid kingdom of Malwa in central India, was murdered only 4 years after succeeding his famous father, Husam od-Din Hoshang Shah, by his vizier, Mahmoud Khalji, who took the title of Ala od-Din Mahmoud Shah and established the Khalji dynasty that ruled the small kingdom for the next 96 years till its annexation by Bahadur Shah of Gujarat. Shadiabad (present Mandu), the capital of Malwa is famous for its Islamic style architectural wonders, built by the Ghorids, Khaljis, and later under the brief rule of Baz Bahadur. Malwa was a Persianate society throughout its 170-year history as an independent kingdom under three separate dynasties, with its rich contribution to Persian arts and literature.
237 lunar years ago, on this day in 1205 AH, the great scholar, Mohammad Baqer ibn Mohammad Akmal, popular as “Waheed-e Asr” (Unique of the Age) and also known as Allamah Waheed Behbahani, passed away at the age of 90 in Karbala in Iraq and was laid to rest in the holy mausoleum of Imam Husain (AS). Born in Isfahan, he was the grandson (that is, daughter’s son) of the celebrated scholar, Allamah Mohammad Baqer Majlisi. On the occupation of Safavid Iran by the Afghans he moved to Behbahan near the Persian Gulf, before migrating to Iraq, where he headed the Usuli intellectual challenge to the Akhbari dominance led by Yusuf al-Bahrani. Waheed Behbahani, at first tentatively challenged the neo-Akhbari tendencies, before building up followers and scholastic confidence to lead the Usuli revival. The Akhbaris believed that the sole sources of law were the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith, in particular the Four Books accepted by Shi’a Muslims, maintaining that everything in these sources was in principle reliable, and outside them there was no authority competent to enact or deduce further legal rules. The Usuli believed that the Hadith collections contained narrations of very varying degrees of reliability, and that critical analysis was necessary to assess their authority. On this view, the task of the “faqih” (jurisprudent) is to establish intellectual principles of general application, known as usul al-fiqh, from which particular rules may be derived by way of deduction: accordingly, “ijtihad” or legal scholarship has the tools in principle for resolving any situation. Known as “Ostad-e Koll” (Master of All), and “Muhaqqiq Thalith” (3rd Great Researcher), Allamah Waheed Behbahani groomed a large number of scholars and wrote several books, such as “al-Ijtehad wa’l-Akhbar”, “Masabih az-Zalam” (in 11 volumes), “ar-Rasa’el al-Usuliyyah”, “Tanbih al-Ghafeleen wa Ayqaz al-Raqedeen”, “at-Tuhfat al-Husainiyyah”, and Persian translation of the holy Qur’an.
235 solar years ago, on this day in 1786 AD, a landslide dam on the Dadu River created by an earthquake ten days earlier collapsed, killing 100,000 in China’s Sichuan province.
231 solar years ago, on this day in 1790 AD, British troops attacked and occupied Malaya. Upon the infiltration of Britain, the Dutch troops were forced to retreat from Malaya and even parts of Indonesia. In 1824, British sovereignty was firmly established in what is now Malaysia, while Indonesia remained a colony of the Netherlands called the Dutch East Indies. These two European powers wantonly looted the wealth of these two Muslim lands. Malaysia gained independence from British rule in 1956 while Indonesia gained independence in 1957.
216 solar years ago, on this day in 1805 AD, the First Barbary War ended when the Ottoman Pasha (governor) of Tripolitania (Western Libya), Yusuf Karamanli, signed a treaty ending hostilities with the United States, which was forced to pay huge war indemnity. The war occurred off the coast of Tripolitania between the North African Berber Muslim states and the intruding US fleet. The principalities of Tripoli, Algiers, and Tunis, which were quasi-independent entities nominally under the Ottoman Empire, along with the semi-independent Sultanate of Morocco, defeated the US navy. The war lasted four years, and the US, as per the advice of France and Spain had to pay war indemnities in order to procure the release of its prisoners. In 1815, the US, now no longer engaged in hostilities with Britain, again attacked the North African states in the Second Barbary War. With Ottoman naval power on the wane and the Mediterranean Sea no longer the Turkish Lake of the past three centuries; the Barbary States were forced to seek peace by paying heavy damages to the US. Within decades, European powers built more sophisticated ships which the Turks and the Barbary States could not match in numbers or technology. These iron-clad warships of the late 19th century and the early 20th century ensured European dominance of the Mediterranean. As a result Algeria and Tunis were occupied by France, although the Turks continued to hold Tripolitania (Libya) till 1911, when it fell to Fascist Italy.
214 lunar years ago, on this day in 1228 AH, the Golestan Treaty was imposed on Qajarid Iran by Czarist Russia in the village of the same name in the Caucasus, following ten years of warfare that led to the loss of vast areas of northwestern Iran. As per the treaty that was mediated by the crafty British, the Russians occupied what are now the republics of Daghestan and Georgia, as well as Baku in northern Azerbaijan. Thirteen years later in 1241 AH, Russia once again invaded Iran, and occupied other regions, such as Armenia, Nakhichevan and what is now the Republic of Azerbaijan.
185 solar years ago, on this day in 1836 AD, French mathematician and physicist, Andre Marie Ampere, died. He lectured at the Paris Polytechnic and made important discoveries. He invented the electrical telegraph. He is known as the founder of electrodynamics, now known as electromagnetism. To honour his efforts, the unit of electrical current has been named after him, as Ampere.
109 solar years ago, on this day in 1912 AD, Iranian meteorologist and academic, Mohammad Hassan Ganji, was born in Birjand, in Khorasan. He is credited as being the father of modern geography in Iran. He established the Iran Meteorological Organization in 1955 and served as the head of Iran’s Department General of Meteorology from 1956 to 1968. He died in Tehran at the age of one hundred years.
54 solar years ago, on this day in 1967 AD, the Six-Day War ended, a day after the illegal Zionist entity’s final offensive in Syria’s Golan Heights and Damascus’ agreeing to a ceasefire, with large parts of its territory, as well as that of Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan, occupied by Israel. With military backing from the US, the Zionist entity seized Gaza and Sinai from Egypt, Bayt al-Moqaddas and the West Bank from Jordan, the Golan Heights from Syria, and southern parts of Lebanon. The Israelis violated all international norms by killing 300 Egyptian prisoners of war.
51 solar years ago, on this day in 1970 AD, Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Saeedi, attained martyrdom in the Shah’s dungeons as a result of torture, at the age of 41. A student of Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Hussain Boroujerdi and the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA), he was active in the 15th of Khordad Uprising (of June 5, 1963). He believed that mosques are bastions for enlightening people, especially youths, and in his speeches exposed the crimes of the Zionists in Palestine. As a result, he was detained and tortured by the Shah’s regime on several occasions. He wrote many books including “Ittehad al-Islam”.
51 lunar years ago, on this day in 1391 AH, Ayatollah Moḥammad Taqi Amoli passed away in his hometown Tehran at the age of 85 and his body was taken to Mashhad for burial in the mausoleum of Imam Reza (AS). After initial studies under his scholarly father, he went to holy Najaf in Iraq for higher religious studies. His teachers were such great scholars as Ayatollah Mirza Hussain Na’ini, Ayatollah Aqa Ziya od-Din Iraqi, and Ayatollah Seyyed Abu’l-Hassan Isfahani. On his return to Tehran he began teaching and writing. A pious person who avoided publicity, he groomed several scholars and wrote many books such as “Glosses on Sharh Isharat of Ibn Sina”, “Glosses on Manzuma (versified philosophy) of Mullah Hadi Sabziwari”, and “Glosses on Kitab al-Makaseb of Ayatollah Shaikh Morteza Ansari”.
45 solar years ago, on this day in 1976 AD, Iranian Taekwondo champion, Hadi Sa’ei was born in Rayy, the southern suburb of Tehran. He became the most successful Iranian athlete in Olympic history after winning gold in the 2008 Summer Olympics. He competed in the Men’s 68 kg (featherweight) at the 2004 Summer Olympics and won the gold medal. In addition, he competed in the Men’s 80 kg at the 2008 Summer Olympics and won his second Olympic gold. Earlier in his career, in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Sa’ei had won bronze medal.
22 solar years ago, on this day in 1999 AD, scientists reported wintertime cloud of air pollution the size of the US over the Indian Ocean. The soot and sulfur cloud covered an area of 3.8 million sq. miles.
21 solar years ago, on this day in 2000 AD, Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, passed away at the age of 70. He was instated as air force commander of Syria in 1964 and appointed defence minister in 1967 in the aftermath of the 6-day war imposed by Israel. Following a coup in 1970, he was elected leader of the Ba’th Party and was subsequently elected as president in a referendum. During his 30 years as president, he developed Syria and brought stability to a country where governments used to last not more than a year because of coups and counter-coups. He carried out reforms and played a major role in the 1973 war along with Egypt against the illegal Zionist entity, but because of massive US and western support for Israel, Syria was defeated and the Golan Heights continued to be occupied. The main feature of his foreign policy was refusal to compromise with Israel. He was a member of the Alawite Muslim sect and a firm supporter of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, a factor that made the West and Arab reactionary regimes despise him. After him, his son Bashar al-Assad was elected as president and is steadfastly serving the Syrian people despite the massive invasion of Syria by thousands of heavily armed terrorists from around the world, supported by Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, France and Britain.
June 10 is celebrated as World Handicraft Day worldwide under the auspices of the World Crafts Council (WCC), affiliated to UNESCO. Iranian artists have used the occasion to draw international attention to Iran’s unique art forms, including the Persian carpet. Iran is home to one of the richest art heritages and handicrafts in world history and distinguished in many disciplines, including architecture, painting, weaving, pottery, calligraphy, metalworking, stone masonry etc.