Today is Monday; 24th of the Iranian month of Khordad 1400 solar hijri; corresponding to 3rd of the Islamic month of Zil-Qa’dah 1442 lunar hijri; and June 14, 2021, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1254 solar years ago, on this day in 767 AD, the Iranian Sunni Muslim Jurisprudent, Noman ibn Sabet ibn Zuta ibn Marzuban, known as Abu Hanifa, passed away in Baghdad at the age of 68 in the prison of the 2nd self-styled Abbasid caliph, Mansour Dawaniqi. Born in Kufa in a family of Zoroastrian origin from Kabul, he learned the holy Qur’an and hadith, and after only two years of incomplete study under Imam Ja’far Sadeq (AS), the 6th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), he founded a jurisprudential school of his own, known as Hanafi. In contrary to the clear definition of Ijtihad, based on the holy Qur’an and the genuine hadith of the Prophet, Abu Hanifa resorted to “qiyas” (analogy) regarding legal issues, despite warnings from Imam Sadeq (AS) that the first one to indulge in “qiyas” was Iblis the Satan.
285 solar years ago, on this day in 1736 AD, French physicist, Charles-Augustin de Coulomb, was born. He wrote mainly on the electric and magnetism fields. In addition to teaching, he conducted research and drafted laws in physics which were subsequently named after him. He died at the age of 70.
246 solar years ago, on this day in 1775 AD, American rebels of the 13 New England colonies set up what they called the Continental Army to fight the British, marking the birth of the United States Army.
210 solar years ago, on this day in 1811 AD, American author and activist, Harriet Beecher Stowe, was born in Litchfield, Connecticut in a religious family. She is best known for her novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” written in 1852 depicting the harsh life of black Africans enslaved in the US. It reached millions as a novel and play, and became influential in the US, energizing anti-slavery forces in the northern states, while provoking widespread anger in the southern states. She wrote 30 books; including novels, three travel memoirs, and collections of articles and letters. She was influential for both her writings and her public stands on social issues of the day. She died in 1896.
201 solar years ago, on this day in 1820 AD, Egyptian troops attacked Sudan and occupied its northern regions, while the British invaded Sudan from the south. The next year on this same day Badi VII, the King of Sennar, surrendered his throne and realm to Isma’il Pasha, the Egyptian general of the Ottoman Empire, ending the existence of that Sudanese kingdom. The Muslim people of Sudan resented foreign domination and in 1881, led by al-Mahdi, they started their struggles for independence. In 1885, Mohammad Ahmad, pretending to be al-Mahdi defeated a joint Anglo-Egyptian army and liberated a vast region of the country. In 1898, however, the so-called al-Mahdi was defeated. It was not until January 1956 that Sudan gained full independence.
191 solar years ago, on this day in 1830 AD, the French forces landed at Sidi Freij, 27 km west of Algiers, marking the start of military operations for seizure of Algeria, at a time when the rapidly declining Ottoman Empire had lost control of North Africa. The resistance was led by Amir Seyyed Abdul-Qader Jazayeri al-Hassani, who was finally subjugated in 1847. In 1910, Algeria was declared as an extension of France. The struggles of Algerians against colonial rule reached their peak after the end of World War II. In 1962, French president, General Charles de Gaulle, was forced to grant Algeria full independence, but not until France had killed more than a million Algerian Muslim people.
165 solar years ago, on this day in 1856 AD, the reformer Ahmad Reza Khan was born to the scholar Naqi Ali Khan in Bareilly, India, in what is now Uttar Pradesh State in a Pashtun family originally from Qandahar, Afghanistan. He founded the Barelvi School of Hanafi theology in order to counter the deviations among fellow Sunni groups, especially the Deobandis, whose beliefs had drifted away from many fundamental tenets of Islam, including the concept of Celestial Light possessed by Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), predating creation. He wrote on numerous topics, including jurisprudence, religion, philosophy and the sciences. Ahmed Reza Khan compiled rational refutations of the beliefs of the Qadianis, the Deobandis, and Wahhabis, whom he regarded as heretics. Today, large number of Sunni Muslims in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, adhere to the Barelvi School.
157 solar years ago, on this day in 1864 AD German psychiatrist, Alois Alzheimer, who recognized the disease that was subsequently named after him, was born in Marktbreit, Bavaria. In November 1901, a 51-year old female patient with signs of dementia had been admitted to the Frankfurt hospital where Dr. Alzheimer was working. At a meeting of German psychiatrists in November 1906 he reported on this patient. The title of his lecture was “On a Peculiar Disorder of the Cerebral Cortex”. Years later, at the suggestion of Emil Kraepelin, presenile dementia was designated “Alzheimer’s Disease”. This disease is a progressive, degenerative disorder that affects the brain. The first symptoms are loss of memory, inability to think and understand and gradual behaviour changes that may last as long as 20 years.
138 solar years ago, on this day in 1883 AD, English author and poet, Edward Fitzgerald, died at the age of 74. He specialized in eastern languages, especially Persian, and translated into English the quatrains of the renowned Iranian scientist-poet, Khayyam Naishapuri, and the poems of Abdur-Rahman Jami.
126 lunar years ago, on this day in 1316 AH, Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Fesharaki passed away, at the age of 63. Born in Fesharak, near Isfahan, after preliminary studies, he was 11 years old when, along with his elder brother, he left for Iraq for higher studies at the famous seminary in holy Najaf. He attained higher status of knowledge and was known for his piety and asceticism. He declined to declare himself Marja’ or Source of Emulation, despite having the necessary qualifications, but continued to groom scholars in Islamic sciences.
112 solar years ago, on this day in 1909 AD, the Constitutionalists marched upon Tehran from two different directions of the country to take control of the capital, forcing Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar to flee the palace and seek refuge in the Russian embassy, thus ending a turbulent two-and-a-half year rule of terror. The Shah was bitterly opposed to the parliament – set up during the rule of his father, Mozaffar od-Din Shah after a hard fought struggle by the masses – to the extent that in the initial year of his short reign, he contrived with the British and Russians to shell the national parliament with artillery. The nation turned against him, and on this day the Constitutionalists from Gilan entered Tehran via Qazvin, while revolutionaries of the Bakhtiari tribes converged from the direction of Isfahan in the south. The victors of Tehran held a parliamentary session to formally depose Mohammad Ali Shah on July 16 and replace him on the Peacock Throne with his 12-year old son, Ahmad Shah.
97 solar years ago, on this day in 1924 AD, French geologist, archeologist, and orientalist, Jean-Jacques de Morgan, who carried out extensive excavation works in Egypt, Iran and other lands, died at the age of 67. On graduating in mineral engineering with interests in entomology and prehistory in 1882, he was appointed to head a survey expedition to Scandinavia and subsequently conducted surveys in Stonehenge (Britain), Germany, Austria, Turkey, India, and as far away as the kingdom of Perak in what is now West Malaysia. He next went to the Caucasus, visiting Armenia and Georgia, and his interest in the eastern origins of civilization eventually led him to Iran (Persia), where he focused on the significance of Shush (ancient Susa), the capital of the Elamite Empire, to retrace the routes of the Assyrian campaigns. Entrusted by France with his first official mission to Iran, en route he paused to explore the necropolis at Telovan near Tbilisi, then went on to Tehran, whence he paid visits to Mazandaran, Gilan, and Talesh, in order to study dialects. He then traveled south across Kurdistan and Luristan, combining both geological and archeological investigations. He was the first to recognize at Qasr-e Shirin the presence of oil in the vast fold system of the Zagros mountain chain, but neither France nor Iran showed any interest in this important discovery. He published his “Mission Scientifique en Perse”, with four volumes of geological studies; two volumes of archaeological studies on tombs and other monuments; one volume dedicated to Kurdish dialects and the languages of northern Iran; one volume of Mandaean texts; and two volumes of geographical studies. From 1892 to 1897, he was assigned to Egypt, where he saved the temple of Kom Ombo from destruction; set up the museum of Greco-Roman antiquities at Alexandria; undertook publication of a general catalogue of the monuments and inscriptions of ancient Egypt; and, laid the cornerstone for the Cairo Museum of Ancient Egyptian Antiquities. His exploration of the pyramids of Memhis and Dashur brought to light the royal treasures of the Middle Kingdom. He was back again in Shush in Iran and his important finds included the famous Stele of Naram-Sin, brought as war booty by the Elamite king Shutruk-Nahhunte, as well as masterpieces of Babylonian civilization, captured by the Elamites, intermingled with masterpieces of Elamite metalwork and sculpture. The discoveries were crowned by the appearance of the stele bearing the law code of Hammurabi. These were published, starting in 1900, in “Mémoires de la Délégation en Perse”. Unfortunately, in 1900, the inefficient Iranian king, Mozaffar od-Din Shah Qajar, signed a treaty granting to France all the antiquities discovered at Shush. In 1902 De Morgan declared: “In the Nile valley I developed the conviction that the first civilizations, from which the Egyptian empire arose, came from Chaldea (in Iraq) and that the Mesopotamian plains had therefore been the cradle of human progress.”
93 solar years ago, on this day in 1928 AD, Argentinian physician, author, military theorist and prominent Latin American guerrilla leader, Ernesto Che Guevara, was born of mixed Basque and Irish descent in a well-to-do household. He learned chess from his father and began participating in local tournaments by age 12. During adolescence and throughout his life he was passionate about poetry, especially that of Pablo Neruda, John Keats, Antonio Machado, Federico Garcia Lorca, Gabriela Mistral, Cesar Vallejo, and Walt Whitman. He could also recite Rudyard Kipling’s works and Jose Hernandez’s from memory. The Guevara home contained more than 3,000 books, which made him a voracious reader interested in the works of Karl Marx, William Faulkner, Andre Gide, Emilio Salgari and Jules Verne. He also read the works of Jawaharlal Nehru, Franz Kafka, Albert Camus, Vladimir Lenin, and Jean-Paul Sartre; as well as Anatole France, Friedrich Engels, H. G. Wells, and Robert Frost. He kept notebooks of concepts, definitions, and philosophies of influential intellectuals, which included composing analytical sketches of Buddha and Aristotle, along with examining Bertrand Russell on love and patriotism, Jack London on society, and Nietzsche on the idea of death. Sigmund Freud’s ideas also fascinated him topics such as dreams and narcissism. As a medical student, Guevara traveled throughout South America and was shocked by the poverty, hunger, and disease he witnessed. His burgeoning desire to help overturn the capitalist exploitation of Latin America by the US prompted his involvement in Guatemala’s social reforms under President Jacobo Arbenz, whose eventual CIA-assisted overthrow solidified his political ideology. Following his meeting in Mexico with Cuban leader, Fidel Castro in the 1950s, the two teamed up to lead the Cuban revolution to victory in 1959 by overthrowing US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista. He was a prolific writer and diarist, composing a seminal manual on guerrilla warfare, along with a best-selling memoir about his youthful continental motorcycle journey. His experiences and studying of Marxism–Leninism led him to posit that the Third World’s underdevelopment and dependence was an intrinsic result of imperialism, neocolonialism, and monopoly capitalism. 1959, Castro sent Guevara on a three-month tour of 14 mostly Bandung Pact countries (Morocco, Sudan, Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Yugoslavia, Greece) and the cities of Singapore and Hong Kong. He also visited China, the Soviet Union, and Palestine. In 1965, Guevara left Cuba to plan revolution abroad, first in Congo-Kinshasa and later in Bolivia to form a guerrilla group to bring down US-installed regime. He was cornered by the CIA, imprisoned and executed in 1967 at the age of 39.
41 solar years ago, on this day in 1980 AD, Ayatollah Gholam-Hussain Tabrizi Abd-Khodai, passed away at the age of 97 in holy Mashhad. A product of the Islamic seminary of holy Najaf in Iraq, where he studied under Ayatollah Mohammad Kazem Yazdi, on return to his hometown Tabriz, he published a religious magazine, which because of its political tones against the tyrannical regime of Reza Khan Pahlavi, forced him into hiding. In 1931, he shifted to holy Mashhad where he stayed until the end of his fruitful life, witnessing the victory of the Islamic Revolution and end of monarchial tyranny.
40 solar years ago, on this day in 1981 AD, a total of 120 members of parliament tabled a two-star bill in the Majlis calling for impeachment of the then Iranian president, Abu’l-Hassan Bani Sadr, for his incompetence in managing executive affairs, drifting away from the ideals of the Islamic Revolution, and growing closeness to the MKO hypocrites, which all posed dangers to the Islamic Republic at a time the Iraqi invasion was raging at the frontiers. Earlier on June 10, the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA) had relieved him of the post of Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces because of his failure to check the advance of the Ba’thist forces. On June 20, the Majlis found him guilty of political incompetence by 177 affirmative votes, 12 abstentions, and 1 negative vote. The following day Imam Khomeini dismissed him from the president’s post, as the nation hailed the move. Upon Bani Sadr’s deposal, his friends, the MKO terrorists, stepped up subversive activities, including the terrorist explosions of 27 June that led to the martyrdom of Chief Justice Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Hussaini Beheshti and 72 officials. On July 29, Bani Sadr, with his mustache shaved off and disguised as a chador-wearing woman, fled the country for France, along with MKO terrorist ringleader, Masoud Rajavi, aboard an aircraft piloted by an anti-revolutionary.
35 solar years ago, on this day in 1986 AD, the prominent Latin American author, Jorge Luis Borges, died at the age of 87. Born in Argentina, on completion of his studies, he started writing and gradually turned into one of the famous Latin American satirists. Due to blindness, he failed to complete his novels and the majority of works remaining from him are poems.
23 lunar years ago, on this day in 1419 AH, Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Sadeq as-Sadr was martyred in Iraq, along with two of his sons, by the repressive Ba’th minority regime of Saddam. The people of Iraq demonstrated against this act of state terrorism but were brutally suppressed. He was the father of the present leader of the Sadrist faction of Iraq, Hojjat al-Islam, Seyyed Muqtada Sadr. A year earlier, Saddam had martyred two other leading scholars of the Najaf seminary, Ayatollah Gharavi and Ayatollah Borujerdi.
8 solar years ago, on this day in 2013 AD, the Syrian government dismissed US charges that it used chemical weapons as “full of lies,” charging President Barak Obama with resorting to fabrications to justify his decision to arm terrorists.