This Day in History (06-10-1396)
Today is Wednesday; 6th of the Iranian month of Dey 1396 solar hijri; corresponding to 8th of the Islamic month of Rabi as-Sani 1439 lunar hijri; and December 27, 2017, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1207 lunar years ago, on this day in 232 AH, Imam Hasan al-Askari (AS), the 11th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), was born in the city of Medina. He later moved to Samarra to join his father, Imam Ali al-Hadi (AS), who was forced to come to Iraq by the tyrant Mutawakkel, the 10th self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime. The mantle of Imamate or divinely-decreed leadership of mankind came to rest on Imam Hassan Askari’s (AS) young shoulders at the age of 22, following the martyrdom of his father through poisoning by the 13th treacherous caliph, Mu’taz. For six years, the 11th Imam guided the ummah, until his own martyrdom in the prime of youth by another tyrannical caliph, Mo’tamed. During this period, his son and successor, Imam Mahdi (AS) was born and brought up in secrecy –safe and secure from the Abbasid spies. The 12th Imam, who is currently in occultation by God’s Will, will emerge in the end times as the Redeemer of mankind to cleanse the earth of all vestiges of corruption and oppression by establishing the global government of peace, prosperity and justice. We hereby felicitate the auspicious birth anniversary of Imam Hassan Askari (AS) and later in our programme will present to you a special feature on his life and times.
1082 lunar years ago, on this day in 357 AH, the famous Arabic poet, statesman, and warrior, Harres bin Sa’eed, known popularly as Abu Firaas Hamdani, passed away. He was a cousin and brother-in-law of the Hamdanid ruler of Aleppo and northern Syria, Sayf od-Dowlah, and was one of commanders in the campaigns against the Byzantine Empire. He, like the rest of the Hamdanids was a devotee of the Ahl al-Bayt, and wrote his odes describing the injustices committed by the caliphs against the progeny of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). He was once captured by the Byzantines and was freed four years later through payment of ransom. In another battle, he was injured and finally succumbed to his wounds. The reputation of Abu Firaas owes much to his personal qualities. Handsome in person, of noble family, brave, generous, and extolled by his contemporaries as “excelling in every virtue”, he lived up to the Islamic Arab ideal of chivalry which he expressed in his poetry. His poems are popular till this day, especially the “ar-Roumiyaat”, written during his captivity by Byzantines or eastern Romans. His diwan was edited with a commentary (largely from the poet himself) shortly after his death by his tutor, the famous Iranian grammarian of Arabic language, Ibn Khalawaiyh, who lived in Syria at the Hamdanid court.
499 solar years ago, on this day in 1518 AD, Mahmood Shah II, the last independent sultan of the Bahmani kingdom of Iranian origin of the Deccan (southern India), died at the age of 48 after a reign of 36 years and with his death the 171-year old sultanate disintegrated into five independent Muslim kingdoms. Mahmood Shah II had ascended the famous Turquoise Throne of Bidar as a 12-year old boy, under a regency council headed by his widowed mother on the death of his father Mohammad Shah Lashkari. His early reign was characterised by the conflict between the Deccan nobles and the rising power of the Iranian migrant nobles, who were protégés of the assassinated highly capable Prime Minister Mahmood Gavaan of Gilan, Iran, especially the governor of Bijapur province, Yusuf Adel Khan Saveji of Saveh, Iran. An attempt to assassinate the Sultan by a group of disgruntled Deccani nobles in 1487 led to the slaughter of many of the conspirators and the strengthening of the position of the Iranian migrant nobles. The Sultan's obviously weak position led to increasing unrest amongst the nobles, particularly the powerful regional governors, some of whom, like Fathullah Imad ul-Mulk of Berar who quietly assumed the titles of royalty and styled himself Imad Shah. Others started open rebellion. Qasim Bareed, a Persianized Turk from the Caucasus, defeated the royal army in the capital, Bidar, and imposed himself upon Mahmood Shah II as prime minister and de facto ruler of the sultanate. Mahmood Shah II now lived a life of indulgence, and in order to meet his high expenditure, he had jewels extracted from the Turquoise Throne and used for payment. On 28 May 1490, the governor of Ahmadnagar, Malik Ahmad Nizam ul-Mulk, defeated the royal army and established the Ahmadnagar Sultanate, styling himself as Nizam Shah. Yusuf Adel Khan Saveji followed suit creating the Adel Shahi dynasty at Bijapur, while in 1518, another Iranian migrant noble, the governor of Telangana, Sultan Quli Qutb ol-Mulk Qara Qoyounlu of Hamedan, Iran, declared himself independent at Golkandah with the title of Qotb Shah. The Bahmani Sultan’s son and successor, Ahmad Shah II, had no authority and was a mere powerless puppet of the new Bareed Shahi dynasty of Bidar. The Bahmani dynasty promoted Persian language, culture, art and architecture in southern India, inviting poets, architects, scientists, ulema and talented persons from Iran, Iraq and Central Asia, including the family of the famous Iranian mystic, Shah Ne’matollah Vali of Kerman.
446 solar years ago, on this day in 1571 AD, the German astronomer and mathematician, Johannes Kepler, was born. He became interested in astronomy through his astronomer friend, Tycho Brahe. The West likes to claim that he discovered the movement of Mars in an oval orbit and the three laws of planetary motion in astronomy, which were actually discovered long before him by Islamic scientists, whose translated works he had access to.
221 solar years ago, on this day in 1796 AD, the famous Urdu and Persian poet of the Subcontinent, Mirza Asadollah Khan Ghaleb was born in Agra in a Persianized Turkic family, whose ancestors had migrated to India from Samarqand. Well versed with the Persian, Arabic, Turkic and Urdu languages, he excelled in composing “ghazals” (lyrics) in a unique style. His choice of words, philosophical references, delicate metaphors, and witticism, has made his poetry, highly popular in India, Pakistan, and wherever Urdu speakers are found. He also initiated a new style in letter-writing which greatly influenced the development of Urdu language. Ghaleb was an accomplished poet in Persian, composing “ghazals” and “qasidahs” (panegyrics) in praise of noblemen as well as Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). He was a devout follower of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS) and the Infallible Ahl al-Bayt. His Persian Diwan is four times the size of his Urdu Diwan and has been published in Iran. He died in 1869 at the age of 73.
195 solar years ago, on this day in 1822 AD, French physician and chemist, Louis Pasteur, was born. He presented new theories on contagious diseases such as rabies, and made major discoveries in this domain. His innovative methods in treatment of infectious ailments and identification of microbes revolutionized the principles of hygiene. France set up Pasteur Institute in his honour in 1888 in his memory.
171 lunar years ago, on this day in 1268 AH, the celebrated religious scholar, Ayatollah Seyyed Murtaza Kashmiri, was born in scholarly family in Kashmir. He travelled to Iraq at a young age for higher academic studies at the famous Najaf seminary. On mastering various branches of Islamic sciences he groomed a large number of students. He wrote several books, and passed away at the age of 55.
100 lunar years ago, on this day in 1339 AH, prominent jurisprudent Fathollah bin Mohammad Namazi Gharawi, popular as Shaikh osh-Shari’ah Isfahani, was born in Isfahan in a family of scholars from Shiraz. After initial studies he enrolled at the seminary of holy Mashhad, where his teachers included Mullah Haidar Ali Isfahani, Mullah Abdul-Jawad Khorasani Modarris Kabir, and Mullah Ahmad Sabzevari. Here he established himself as a budding scholar with dynamic views. At the age of 30, he went to Iraq for higher studies at the famous seminary of holy Najaf, where his teachers were Mirza Habibollah Rashti and Shaikh Mohammad Hussain Faqih Kazemi.He soon became an authority on different branches of Islamic sciences, and the Marja’ or Source of Emulation. He wrote several books, including “Qa’eda’eh Sodoor”. He groomed many scholars, such as Seyyed Abdul-Hadi Shirazi, Shaikh Mohammad Hassan al-Muzaffar an-Najafi, Aqa Bozorg Tehrani, and Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Hussain Tabataba'i Boroujerdi. Sheikh osh-Shari’ah Isfahani was politically active against the colonialists, issuing fatwas on Italy’s aggression on Libya, the Russian attack on Khorasan and shelling of the holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS) in Mashhad, the invasion of the Ottoman state by European powers during World War 1, and the landing of British troops in Basra and their occupation of Iraq. He rejected any political, military, economic and cultural domination of Islamic lands by the colonialists. He passed away at the age of 73 and was laid to rest in the courtyard of the holy shrine of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn AbiTaleb (AS).
78 solar years ago, on this day in 1939 AD, a deadly earthquake hit Erzinjan, in Turkey, killing 30,000 people and making hundreds of thousands of others homeless.
72 solar years ago, on this day in 1945 AD, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was set up under UN auspices. IMF goals include fixation of currency rates, facilitation of balanced international commercial development and growth, and promotion of jobs. The right to vote in IMF depends on contribution. Hence, the Western states, especially the US, which is home to IMF headquarters, exploit this organization. The unrealistic conditions of IMF for payment of loans have led to protests by third world countries. IMF is now a tool of the US for pressuring independent countries, and if possible ruining their economies.
72 solar years ago, on this day in 1945 AD, following end of World War II, the Moscow Pact for division of the Korean Peninsula was inked by the US, Britain, and the Soviet Union. Korea was divided at the 38th parallel as North and South, with US forces stationed in South Korea to deter unification and to cause tension in the region.
68 solar years ago, on this day in 1949 AD, as a result of the Indonesian National Revolution, the Netherlands officially recognized Indonesia as independent, thereby marking the end of the Dutch East Indies that was set up in 1800. In 1945, after World War 2 and Japanese occupation of the country, the Indonesian people started their armed struggle until they achieved formal independence four years later. The Indonesian independence movement actually began in May 1908 – commemorated as the Tahun Kebangkitan Bangsa (Year of National Awakening). Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim country, with over 200 million following the Islamic faith.
10 solar years ago, on this day in 2007 AD, the Former Prime Minister of Pakistan and Leader of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Mrs. Benazir Bhutto, was killed in Rawalpindi, by terrorist gunfire and bomb blasts, along with twenty other people. Born in Karachi in 1953 to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who later became Prime Minister, her mother Nosrat was an Iranian settled in the Subcontinent. She completed her studies in Harvard University in the US, and at Oxford University in England. In 1977, shortly after her return home, her father was ousted in a military coup by General Zia ul-Haq, who two years later hanged him. Benazir assumed leadership of her father's party, and in 1988, following the death in accident of the dictator, Zia-ul-Haq, she was elected prime minister. Her cabinet collapsed two years later, but she again won the elections and became prime minister from 1993 to 1996. In 1999, when General Pervez Musharraf toppled the civilian government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, she went into self-exile abroad. In October 2007, she formed a coalition with her rival, Nawaz Sharif and returned to Pakistan, escaping on arrival a terrorist blast that claimed the lives of 135 of her supporters. Benazir Bhutto ran for the parliamentary elections and was expected to win, when she was gunned down by terrorists.
9 solar years ago, on this day in 2008 AD, the Zionist army launched its 22-day holocaust on the besieged Gaza Strip, but despite its brutality that resulted in the death of almost 1,500 men, women, and children, and destruction of the infrastructure, in addition to several thousand wounded, it failed to topple the popularly elected Hamas-led Palestinian government. Israel, with the support of its western backers, especially the US, has continued to besiege Gaza for the past eight years, and frequently kills the defenseless people through missiles, artillery fire, and aerial bombing.