Today is Wednesday; 2nd of the Iranian month of Tir 1400 solar hijri; corresponding to 12th of the Islamic month of Zil-Qa’dah 1442 lunar hijri; and June 23, 2021, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
741 solar years ago, on this day in 1280 AD, the Spanish Muslim defenders of the Emirate of Granada decisively defeated an invasion by European Christian mercenaries at the Battle of Moclin. Amir Mohammad II personally led the attack on the Castilian and Leonese invaders around the city of Moclín, inflicting heavy casualties. In addition to the common foot soldiers, over 2,800 Castilian-Leonese knights, most of the knights in the service of the Order of Santiago, were defeated and killed by the Muslim forces.
666 lunar years ago, on this day in 776 AH, the eminent scholar, Abu Ja’far Mohammad ibn Mohammad Buwayhi, popularly known as Qotb od-Din Razi, passed away in Damascus, Syria. Born in Varamin near Rayy in Iran, he was a student of the famous Allamah Hilli, and in turn was among the teachers of Shaikh Jamal od-Din, the First Martyr (Shaheed Awwal). Among his works mention could be made of “al-Mohkamaat”, which is the author’s judgment on a comparative study of the philosophical views of the Iranian religious philosophers, Khwaja Naseer od-Din Tousi and Fakhr od-Din Razi. His other works include, A Commentary (Sharh) on the “Shamsiyya” of Kateb Qazwini, “Sharh Matale’ al-Anwaar”, and an Annotation (Hashiyya) on the “Qawa’ed Ala-al-Ahkaam” an explanation of the jurisprudential masterpiece of the famous Allamah Hilli.
485 solar years ago, on this day in 1536 AD, French priest, John Calvin formally raised his objections in Geneva, Switzerland, against the beliefs of the Catholic Church, as part of the Protestant Movement founded earlier by Martin Luther. He set up a council of priests to administer Geneva as per his beliefs which he elaborated in a book, in which he rejected the power of the Pope and the Church. Calvinism, as his belief is known, erred in ascribing predestination to God Almighty, alleging that good or bad deeds committed by human beings have no impact on their fate in afterlife. This wrong belief led many Christians to freely commit all sorts of abominable sins on the false assumption that Jesus will save them in the Hereafter. Calvin was burnt alive in 1564 by the orders of the Catholic Church for distorting the teachings of the Bible.
456 solar years ago, on this day in 1565 AD, Ottoman naval commander, Turgut Ra’ees, died during the Siege of the Mediterranean island of Malta by the Turks. Born into a Greek family, he had converted to Islam at an early age, and grew up into an expert gunner and sailor, whose services were utilized by the Ottomans during the conquest of Mamluk Egypt. He subsequently served as admiral in the Mediterranean Sea, and for over forty years subjugated and captured many islands and the coastal areas of the Italian kingdoms and Spain, never allowing the Genoese, the Venetians, and the Spanish fleets to dominate the region or setting foot on the north African coast. He freed the Libyan sea port of Tripoli from the 21-year occupation of the Christian Knights. He liberated the fort of Jerba near Tunis from Spanish occupation after a 63- day siege, and earlier he took control of the Mediterranean island of Corsica and the city of Catania in Malta to free some seven thousand Muslim captives. For his services, Sultan Sulaiman appointed him Beglarbeigi of Algeria and later promoted him to Pasha (governor) of Tripolitania. He greatly adorned Tripoli and made it the most beautiful of the Mediterranean coast. He also built Tunis and made it into a leading trade centre. At the time of his death, he was serving as supreme Ottoman naval commander of the Mediterranean, having succeeded to the post in 1546 on the death of the famous Khayr od-Din Pasha (Barbarosa or Redbeard).
405 solar years ago, on this day in 1616 AD, Moghal Prince Shah Shuja was born in Ajmer to Prince Khorram, who was later crowned Emperor Shah Jahan. Shuja’s mother was the lady of Iranian origin, Arjamand Bano, titled Momtaz Mahal, in whose memory her beloved husband built the famous wonder of the world, the white marble mausoleum Taj Mahal in Agra. Shuja, who was a follower of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt, was appointed governor of the provinces of Bengal and Bihar in 1641 and in 1648 his father added the province of Orissa to his dominions – a post he held till 1661 when he was killed in the 2-year war of succession. The bid for the throne started in 1659 among the four sons of the bedridden Moghal Emperor Shah Jahan. Shah Shuja after declaring himself emperor in Dhaka (currently capital of Bangladesh) marched towards Delhi, but lost a decisive battle at Khajwa to his younger brother Aurangzeb, who sent the Iranian general Mir Jumla to pursue him. Shah Shuja fled to Arakan in what is now Myanmar or Burma, where the local ruler after receiving him, demanded jewels for a safe passage to Mecca, but in the end betrayed and killed him, along with his sons and daughters.
264 solar years ago, on this day in 1757 AD, the Battle of Plassey took place in Bengal between the forces of Nawab Mirza Mohammad Siraj od-Dowlah and the British, who with the help of traitors like Mir Ja’far, Rai Durlabh and Omichand, defeated the Indian forces. The young Siraj od-Dowlah, who was of Iranian origin was caught and murdered, and Robert Clive, the commander of the British forces, installed Mir Ja’far – also of Iranian origin – as the new Nawab of Bengal, after extracting huge concessions from him. With this battle the British established their foothold in India and would over the next half-century take control of most of the Subcontinent.
138 lunar years ago, on this day in 1304 AH, Ayatollah Moḥammad Taqi Amoli was born in Tehran. 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. He passed away in Tehran at the age of 85 and his body was taken to Mashhad for burial in the mausoleum of Imam Reza (AS).
113 solar years ago, on this day in 1908 AD, Iran’s first parliament following the victory of the Constitutional Movement, was attacked by the Qajarid king, Mohammad Ali Shah and closed down. On the Shah’s orders, the Cossack brigade, led by Russian Colonel Vladimir Liakhov, besieged the parliament resulting in a confrontation with the constitutionalists. Several Iranian freedom fighters were martyred, while many others were incarcerated or sent into exile. Among those hanged by the king were the prominent preacher Malik ul-Motakallemin and Mirza Jahangir Khan Shirazi, the editor of the daily “Soor-e Israfeel”.
98 lunar years ago, on this day in 1344 AH, the prominent Iranian poet, Abdul-Jawad Adib Naishapouri, passed away at the age of 63. He went blind in childhood due to smallpox, but continued to learn sciences enthusiastically and after honing his skills in Arabic literature and other sciences of his era, he started to lecture these subjects. Gradually, he turned into a skilled poet. Selection of appropriate terms and precise meanings are the strong points of his poetry. His Diwan of poems consists of beautiful verses in Persian and Arabic.
82 solar years ago, on this day in 1939 AD, the French colonialists illegally handed over to Turkey the Syrian port city of Iskenderun, along with the historical city of Antakya (Antioch) and what is now called the Hatay Province, as reward to Kamal Ataturk for his anti-Islamic policies. This led to flare up of anti-French sentiments in Syria, which has not given up its claim to this region, which has now become the base of terrorists operating against the government of Syria with the support of Turkey, France, Britain, the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
60 solar years ago, on this day in 1961 AD, during the Cold War, the Antarctic Treaty, which set aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and banned military activity on this continent of the South Pole, came into force.
36 solar years ago, on this day in 1985 AD, a bomb planted by Sikh terrorists aboard Air India Flight 182 brought down the Boeing 747 down off the coast of Ireland killing all 329 aboard. The flight was on its way from Montreal, Canada to Delhi, India, with a stopover in London.
32 solar years ago, on this in 1989 AD, the Syrian Christian Michel Aflaq, who founded the terroristic Arab Ba’th Party, died in Baghdad at the age of 79. He was a personal friend of the tyrant Saddam, but was derided by the Syrian Ba’th Party which expelled him from Syria and called him a thief who actually stole the ideas of the Alawite Arab nationalist Zaki al-Arsuzi. Aflaq and the Ba’thists believed in violent measures in seizing power and brutally crushing any resistance to their chauvinistically seditious designs. Saddam had built a turquoise-domed mausoleum for Aflaq, but today his heavily-damaged tomb, after being used by US troops as a temporary barracks, has been turned into a shopping mall, with the grave disappearing under a supermarket stacked with a variety of goods, such as foodstuff, track suits, and DVDs hailing the freedom of Iraq from the 35-year reign of terror of the repressive Ba’th minority regime.
8 solar years ago, on this day in 2013 AD, Egypt’s prominent religious scholar, Sheikh Hassan Shehata, was brutally martyred by a gang of Takfiri terrorists in the village of Abu Mussalam in Giza Province, in the early morning hours after holding night prayers and supplications on the auspicious eve of 15th Sha’ban, the birth anniversary of the Lord of the Age, Imam Mahdi (AS), the 12th and Last Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny). The Takfiris, who are the avowed enemies of the Blessed Household of the Prophet of Islam, burst into the house and dragged Shehata and four other Muslims, beating them violently until they died. Unfortunately, Egypt’s first ever democratically elected president, Mohammad Morsi, despite his claims of Islamic unity, turned a blind eye to this horrible act of terrorism, and was overthrown in a US-Saudi backed military coup ten days later.