Today is Thursday; 27th of the Iranian month of Khordad 1400 solar hijri; corresponding to 6th of the Islamic month of Zil-Qa’dah 1442 lunar hijri; and June 17, 2021, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1365 solar years ago, on this day in 656 AD, Othman ibn Affan, after a 12-year rule as caliph (political ruler), was murdered by Muslims because of nepotism and violation of the principles of the holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). On the death of Omar ibn Khattab, he was chosen caliph by his kinsman Abdur-Rahman ibn Owf on readily agreeing to accept all conditions stipulated by the 6-man council, when the Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS) on being offered the caliphate refused to follow the innovations that had crept in after the passing away of his cousin the Prophet, saying he will abide only by the Law of God and the Practice of the Prophet. Of weak character, Othman alienated the pious Islamic elite through his acts, including discrimination against the prominent companion of the Prophet, Ammar ibn Yasser and exiling of Abu Zar Gheffari the Prophets’ famous companion – first to Syria and then to the desert of Rabadha. Othman greatly strengthened his dubious Omayyad kinsman Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan, who was confirmed as governor of the large formerly Roman province of Syria, and then to the shock and surprise of the Muslims, he recalled to Medina two of the most wicked Omayyads, Hakam bin Aas, and his son, Marwan bin Hakam, whom the Prophet had exiled because of their extremely evil nature. These and other factors led to his killing, despite the earnest efforts of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (AS), to try to find a solution to the crisis that was exacerbated when a group of Egyptian revolutionaries who had met Othman and promised redress to their complaints, caught the caliph’s emissary carrying a secret letter to the governor of Egypt, with orders to execute them on their return. He was buried in the Jewish cemetery when the Muslims prevented his burial in the sacred Jannat al-Baqie Cemetery.
909 lunar years ago, on this day in 533 AH, prominent Iranian Muslim theologian and mathematician, Abu’l-Hassan Sohrevardi, passed away. He was a polymath in sciences and was a student of the Iranian Sunni Muslim philosopher, Mohammad Ghazali. His famous book is on Algebra “Usoul al-Jabr wa’l-Muqabelah”.
777 solar years ago, on this day in 1244 AD, following the June 12 Disputation of Paris between Christian priests and Jewish rabbis, in which the followers of Judaism were found guilty of slandering the Immaculate personalities of Prophet Jesus and his mother, the Virgin Mary (peace upon them), twenty-four carriage loads of Jewish religious manuscripts were burnt in Paris.
695 solar years ago, on this day in 1326 AD, Malik Maqboul Telangani was made minister in Delhi by Sultan Mohammad Tughlaq and bestowed the title of Qawwam ul-Mulk. Born as Kattu Yugandhar in a noble Hindu family of Warangal in the Deccan, and made commander of the Kakatiya Kingdom with the title Ganna Nayaka by King Prataparudra, he was captured in battle by the army of the Delhi Sultanate, and embraced the truth of Islam. Because of his sincerity and loyalty he won the confidence of Sultan Mohammad Tughlaq and was appointed governor of Multan (in today’s Pakistan). His administrative abilities in the Punjab won praise and he was later sent to his native Deccan to deal with the rebellion of his former overlords, the Kakatiyas. On return to Delhi he rose rapidly in ranks to the extent that the next king, Feroze Shah Tughlaq, made him finance minister and then vizier (prime minister) with the title Khan-e Jahan. He mastered the Persian language and accompanied the Sultan on the expedition to Gujarat and successfully subdued the rebels. Feroz Shah would refer to him as “my brother” and during the Sultan’s six-month absence in Sindh, Khan-e Jahan Telangani ably administered Delhi. He never exceeded his powers, and had a strong desire to perform the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, which he couldn’t undertake because of state responsibilities. He built several mosques in and around Delhi and on his death his son, Jauna Khan, inherited his position as vizier. Built in 1388, his tomb adjacent to the Sufi shrine of Seyyed Nizam od-Din Awliya was the first octagonal mausoleum in Delhi. The only other octagonal mausoleum predating it in the Subcontinent is the Sufi shrine of Shah Rukn-e Alam in Multan.
559 solar years ago, on this day in 1462 AD, Vlad the Impaler, the murderous ruler of Wallachia in Romania, attempted to assassinate the Ottoman Sultan Mohammad II, the Conqueror of Constantinople. Also known as “Dracula” which means Son of Dragon, his sadistic cruelties later inspired stories of the bloodsucking Vampire. He is said to have impaled nearly 100,000 Turkish Muslims, although despite claiming to be a defender of Christianity, he impaled and burned tens of thousands of Christians as well during his 19-year reign of terror that ended with his defeat by his consanguineous brother, Radu, who had embraced Islam and was appointed Pasha of Wallachia by the Ottoman Sultan. Vlad, who along with Radu had been sent to the Ottoman court while an adolescent, and taught martial arts, the holy Qur’an as well as the Turkish and Persian languages, developed a deep hatred for his brother because of his being favoured by the young prince Mohammad, the future Sultan. In 1447, on the death of his father he was installed as ruler of his homeland by the Ottomans, but instead of showing gratitude, he turned against them and started the brutal killing of Turkish envoys and tradesmen. In 1462, fed up with his savagery, Sultan Mohammad II led a massive army across the River Danube, with Radu at the head of the famous Jan-Nisari Corps. Vlad fled and during his retreat burned and killed everything in sight. When the Ottoman forces approached, they encountered over 20,000 of their soldiers impaled by the forces of Vlad, creating a “forest” of dead or dying bodies on stakes. This atrocious, gut-wrenching sight was too much to bear and Sultan Mohammad turned back in disgust. Four years later Vlad, who fled to Hungary, was imprisoned for ten years by the local Christian ruler for crimes against humanity. On release in 1476, when he attempted to stir up sedition once again, he was killed by the Ottomans and his head sent to Constantinople.
445 solar years ago, on this day in 1576 AD, the leader of the uprising of the Dutch against Spanish rule, William Silent, declared Holland’s independence. The uprising had started in 1568, but despite the declaration of independence, the Spanish continued to suppress the Dutch until 1609, when a peace treaty was concluded recognizing Holland’s independence from Spain. Following independence, Holland started occupying other lands, including Muslim Indonesia, and became a major colonial power, before declining in the late 17th century.
390 solar years ago, on this day 1631 AD, Empress Momtaz Mahal of Hindustan (northern Subcontinent), died during childbirth in Burhanpur in the northern Deccan. Her husband, Moghal Emperor Shah Jahan, who deeply loved her, was to spend the next 17 years building over her tomb a magnificent mausoleum of white marble, the famous Taj Mahal in Agra, which is one of the 7 Wonders of the World. Born into a family of Iranian nobility and named Arjmand Banu Begum, she was a daughter of Abu’l-Hassan Asef Khan the son of Mirza Ghiyas Beg Tehrani entitled E’temad od-Dowla. She was thus a niece of Empress Noor Jahan, the wife of previous Emperor, Jahangir. Momtaz Mahal, who was a Shi’ite Muslim, gave birth to fourteen children including Mohammad Aurangzeb the next Emperor and last of the Great Mughals.
224 solar years ago, on this day in 1797 AD, Agha Mohammad Khan, the Founder of the Qajarid Dynasty of Iran, was assassinated at the age of 56, three years after crowning himself the Shah. Son of the tribal leader, Mohammad Hassan Khan, he was castrated at the age of 6 on the orders of Adil Shah Afshar to prevent him from becoming a political rival, but this loss did not hinder his career, although it made him cruel and merciless. He became chief of the Qajarid tribe in 1758, but four years later he was captured and sent to Shiraz as a hostage at Karim Khan Zand’’s court, where he lived for 16 years, until his escape in 1779. The same year, the death of Karim Khan plunged Iran into a series of civil wars over the succession, with many members of the Zand dynasty ascending the throne in the space of only ten years. Agha Mohammad Khan took the opportunity to launch a rebellion and in 1794 succeeded in capturing Lotf Ali Khan, the last Zand ruler. Two years later he proclaimed himself Shahanshah (King of Kings). He was, however, a man of extreme violence who killed almost all who could threaten his hold on power. In 1795 he conquered Georgia in the Caucasus, which was formerly part of the Safavid Empire. In the same year he also conquered Khorasan and tortured to death its ruler Shah Rukh, the grandson of Nader Shah Afshar. In 1796 he moved his capital from Sari in his home province of Mazandaran to Tehran. Although the Russians took Derbend in Daghestan and briefly occupied Baku in Northern Azerbaijan in 1796, he successfully expanded Iranian influence into the Caucasus, reasserting sovereignty over its former dependencies. He was succeeded by his nephew, Fath Ali Shah.
145 solar years ago, on this day in 1876 AD, the Battle of the Rosebud in Montana resulted in the victory of 1,500 Sioux and Cheyenne tribesmen led by Crazy Horse over US General George Crook’s forces during the genocidal wars launched by the white American administration against the Native Amerindians.
144 solar years, on this day in 1877 AD, the Nez Perce Amerindian tribe defeated the US Cavalry at White Bird Canyon in the Idaho Territory during the genocidal wars launched by the white American administration to exterminate the natives.
128 lunar years ago, on this day in 1314 AH, the famous Islamic philosopher and Gnostic, Mirza Abu’l-Hassan Jalweh, passed away at the age of 76. Born in Ahmadabad in the state of Gujarat in western India, he traced his lineal descent to Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba (AS), the elder grandson and 2nd Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). As a child, he migrated to Iran and settled in Isfahan, where he had his basic education. At the age of 35 he moved to Tehran where for the next four decades he taught philosophy and mathematics at the Dar ush-Shefa seminary. He groomed a large number of scholars including Mirza Taher Tonekaboni, Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Shahabadi, Seyyed Hussain Badkubaie, Mullah Mohammad Ameli, Jahangir Khan Qashqai, etc. He wrote several books, such as annotations on Ibn Sina’s “ash-Shefa”, and Mullah Sadra’s “Asfaar al-Arba”.
96 solar years ago, on this day in 1925 AD, a treaty prohibiting the first use of chemical and biological weapons, called the “Geneva Protocol”, was signed in Geneva. One of the main reasons behind it was the wide scale usage of chemical weapons by Germany during World War I. Nonetheless, this treaty has up to now been breached by many states, including the US during the Vietnam War, and the Ba’th minority regime of Saddam, which with western help killed or maimed several thousand Iranians and Iraqi Muslims.
91 lunar years ago, on this day in 1351 AH, the jurisprudent and theologian, Mirza Sadeq Mujtahed Tabrizi, passed away at the age of 88. Born in Tabriz, northwestern Iran to the jurisprudent/theologian Allamah Mirza Mohammad Aqa, popular as “Mujtahed Kuchak”, left for Iraq at the age of 19, along with his elder brother for higher studies at the famous seminary of holy Najaf. He returned to Iran after 21 years on attaining the status of Ijtehad and settled in his hometown Tabriz, where he opposed the deviation of the Constitutional Movement as violation of the shari’ah. He was banished to the remote parts of the country by the British-installed Pahlavi dictator, Reza Khan. He authored some 12 books.
77 solar years ago, on this day in 1944 AD, Iceland gained independence from Denmark, and in 1949 joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Iceland is an island state covering an area of more than 102,000 sq km.
42 solar years ago, on this day in 1979 AD, the Father of Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA) ordered setting up of the Construction Jihad Organization for self-sufficiency of Iran and for eradication of poverty and deprivation. People of various strata of society, especially pupils, students, and committed and educated youths, responded to the Imam’s call and thus started the nationwide mobilization for revival and reconstruction of disadvantaged regions. Construction Jihad has done commendable services, and was active during the eight-year Holy Defence to safeguard Iran’s independence and territorial integrity against Saddam’s US-supported Ba’thist war machine. Its valuable service cover rural industries, agriculture, animal husbandry, dam construction, natural resources, watershed management and dozens of other fields. It is also active in a number of African states such as Tanzania, Ghana, and Zimbabwe. In 1983, Construction Jihad Organization turned into a Ministry, and in 2000 was merged with the Ministry of Agriculture.
39 solar years ago, on this day in 1982 AD, the Azad (Open) University was established in the Islamic Republic of Iran with nationwide branches in order to help the growing number of those seeking academic qualifications to pursue higher education. With branches throughout Iran and also in some countries abroad, it is one of the largest comprehensive systems of universities, colleges, and community colleges in the world. Over the years, IAU has promoted “higher education for all” as its key objective. Currently it has an enrollment of 1.7 million students. It has university branches in UAE, Britain, Lebanon and Afghanistan.
8 solar years ago, on this day in 2013 AD, Jalil Shahnaz, one of the greatest maestros of Persian classical music and a virtuoso of the tar, died at the age of 92. Born in Isfahan, he studied under the supervision of Abdul-Hussain Shahnazi. In 1949 he started his professional career at Radio Isfahan and in 1957 he was invited to cooperate with Radio Tehran. In the capital he worked as a soloist at Golha program for years. In 2004, he was awarded as Immortal Face of Iranian Arts and Music.