This Day in History (07-10-1396)
Today is Thursday; 7th of the Iranian month of Dey 1396 solar hijri; corresponding to 9th of the Islamic month of Rabi as-Sani1439 lunar hijri; and December 28, 2017, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1223 lunar years ago, on this day in 216 AH, the Arabic grammarian, philologist, and religious scholar, Sheikh Abu’l-Baqa Abdullah ibn Hussain Baghdadi al-Ukbari, passed away. Though blinded by smallpox, he authored some 60 books on various subjects such as literature, theology, and exegesis of the Holy Qur’an.
1148 lunar years ago, on this day in 291 AH, the cruel and corrupt vizier, Wali od-Dowla Qasim ibn Obaydullah, who for three-and-a-half years served al-Muktafi, the 17thself-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime, died, making people rejoice. A member of the Banu Wahb family of Nestorian Christian origin that had served in the caliphal bureaucracy since late Omayyad times, he was notorious for ordering the executions of anyone who displeased him or presented a potential challenge. Among the prominent persons killed by him were the Saffarid Emir of Sistan and most of Iran, Amr ibn Layth, the distinguished general Badr al-Mu’tadidi and the half-Iranian half Roman Shi’ite Muslim poet, Ali Ibn Abbas Ibn ar-Roumi. The powerful finance secretary Ali ibn al-Furat, who later became vizier, was saved from a similar fate only by Qasim's illness and death. His death ended the Banu Wahb's hold on power.
1124 solar years ago, on this day in 893 AD, a devastating earthquake destroyed the city of Dvin and most of its 70,000 people, in Armenia. Dvin was built by Khosrow III of Armenia in 335 on a site of an ancient settlement and fortress from the 3rd millennium BC. Since then, the city had been used as the primary residence of the Armenian Kings of the Arsacid dynasty. In 428, it became the residence of Sassanid appointed “marzipans” or governors, Byzantine “kouropalates” and later Omayyad and Abbasid appointed “ostikans” (governors). Dvin prospered as one of the most populous and wealthiest cities east of Constantinople. Its prosperity continued even after the partition of Armenia between Romans and Sassanid Persians, and eventually it became a target during the height of the Muslim conquests. Situated along the banks of the Metsamor River, 35 km to the south of modern Yerevan, the site of the ancient city is currently not much more than a large hill.
829 lunar years ago, on this day in 610 AH, Iranian physician and pharmacist, Najib od-Din Abu Hamed Ali ibn Omar Samarqandi, was killed during the Mongol attack on the Khorasani city of Herat (currently in Afghanistan). He is author of the book “al-Asbaab wa’l-Alamaat” (Causes and Symptoms), which is a comprehensive manual of therapeutics and pathology. His treatises were widely read and often commentaries were written on them.
556 solar years ago, on this day in 1461 AD, Jam Nizam od-Din II, the most powerful ruler of the Samma Dynasty, succeeded his father Sanjar Sadr od-Din and ruled for 47 years over Sindh, parts of Punjab, Baluchestan and Gujarat. Towards the end of his reign he defeated a Mughal army sent against him by Shah Beg Arghun from Qandahar. Founded by Rajputs who had embraced the truth of Islam, the Samma civilization contributed significantly to the evolution of the "Sindhi-Islamic" architectural style, which is a blending of Persian art as well. Thatta, which is in modern Pakistan, was the capital of this kingdom that lasted almost two centuries from 1335 to 1527. The city is still famous for its necropolis, which covers 10 square km on the Makli Hill. Every year thousands perform pilgrimage to this site to commemorate the saints buried here. The graves testify to a long period when Thatta was a thriving center of trade, religion and scholarly pursuits.
395 solar years ago, on this day in 1622 AD, the English East India Company's ships defeated a Portuguese fleet of twenty-one sail under Admiral Ruy Frere, attacking them near Iran’s Jask Island in the Persian Gulf.
186 solar years ago, on this day in 1831 AD, Samuel Sharp, an enslaved black African youth led an uprising in Jamaica that was brutally crushed by the British at a great cost. The 8-day uprising led to the death of around 186 Africans. In revenge, the colonial authorities convicted over 750 black people and sentenced to death 138.
158 solar years ago, on this day in 1859 AD, British historian and politician, Thomas Babington Macaulay, died at the age of 59. Born in Leicestershire in a Scottish highlander family, he studied law and worked as an attorney, before turning to politics. He became a member of parliament, and after resigning was sent to India as Secretary to the Board of Control. An expert of the English language, during his 4-year tenure in British-ruled India from 1834 to 1838, he made English compulsory and discouraged the use of Persian which for centuries had been the court and official language of the Subcontinent, besides being the strategic cultural and religious link of the Muslims of South Asia with Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia. He was scornful of the wisdom of the east, including the rich Arabic, Persian, and Sanskrit heritage of India. He made English the medium of education in order to create Anglicised Indians, detached from their native culture and serving the interests of their colonial masters. Till this day in Indian culture, the term “Macaulay's Children” is used to refer to people born of Indian ancestry who adopt western culture as a lifestyle, or display attitudes influenced by the colonisers. On his return to Britain, Macaulay was elected to the parliament and later appointed war minister.
135 lunar years ago, on this day in 1304 AH, Ayatollah Haj Mirza Abdur-Rahim Nahavandi, passed away. Born and brought up in Nahavand in western Iran, he went to holy Najaf in Iraq for higher studies, attending the classes of prominent ulema, especially the celebrated Ayatollah Sheikh Morteza Ansari Dezfuli. He educated numerous scholars in Iraq and Iran.
135 lunar years ago, on this day in 1304 AH, the famous poet of Iraq, Seyyed Ḥaidar bin Sulayman al-Ḥilli, passed away at the age of 59 in his hometown Hillah and was laid to rest in Najaf in the courtyard of the holy shrine of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS). Descended from Prophet Mohammad’s (SAWA) 4th Infallible Heir, Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS), through Zaid the Martyr, he dedicated his poems to the unsurpassed merits of the Immaculate Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet’s Household.
132 solar years ago, on this day in 1885 AD, the Indian National Congress was founded by members of the occultist movement known as the Theosophical Society by Allan Octavian Hume, Dadabhai Naorozji, Dinshaw Wacha, Surendranath Banerjee, and William Wedderburn. It led the Indian Independence Movement against British rule. After independence in 1947, it became the dominant political party, led by the Nehru-Gandhi family for the most part. Today its dominance has been eroded, and it is only able to form coalition governments with other parties.
122 solar years ago, on this day in 1895 AD, a motion picture was shown for the first paying audience Grand Café in Paris, marking the debut of the cinema. It was produced by the celebrated French inventors and founders of the film industry, the Lumiere Brothers – Auguste and Louis – who earlier in March the same year had screened at a private audience the first movie showing workers leaving the Lumières' factory in Lyon.
109 solar years ago, on this day in 1908 AD, an earthquake of 7.2 degrees hit the city of Messina, in Sicily, killing over 75,000 people. The Italian mainland also suffered heavy damage, and the shocks were felt within a 300 km. Moments after the quake, a 12 m tsunami struck nearby coasts causing even more devastation. 91% of structures in Messina were destroyed.
49 solar years ago, on this day in 1968 AD, the illegal Zionist entity, in violation of international laws, attacked Beirut International Airport, destroying 13 civilian planes of several countries sitting on the tarmac. The pretext was an alleged attack on an Israeli airliner in Athens that was blamed on the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), but it was no justification to breach the sovereignty of an independent country and destroy the airliners of third countries.
43 solar years ago, on this day in 1974 AD, prominent religious leader, Ayatollah Hussain Ghaffari, attained martyrdom in the dungeon of the Shah's despotic regime. He led a simple life, and through writing books and publication of a magazine, exposed the crimes of the Pahlavi regime against the nation. A brilliant orator, his speeches revealed to the people the widespread corruption of the Pahlavi regime. As a result he was frequently detained by the regime, which tortured him to death this day.
38 solar years ago, on this day in 1979 AD, the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA), ordered public mobilization in Iran for uprooting illiteracy by launching the Literacy Movement Organization. Part of his historical declaration reads: “Now, without wasting time and without any unnecessary formalities, we launch the movement for rapid uprooting of illiteracy so that, God-willing, everyone would be able to read and write in the near future.” Today, over three decades later, Iran has the one of the highest literacy rates in the world, as per UNESCO records.
17 solar years ago, on this day in 2000 AD, the prominent religious leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Baqer Musavi Hamedani, passed away at the age of 75.Born in Hamedan, he enrolled the seminary of holy Qom at the age of 16 and had the honour of being a student of the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA). He was active during the 15th of Khordad Uprrising (June 5, 1963) against the British-installed and US-backed Pahlavi regime. A prolific writer, his proficiency in Persian and Arabic, led to his masterly rendering into Persian of the al-Mizan Exegesis of the holy Qur’an, the masterpiece of the great philosopher, Allamah Seyyed Mohammad Hussain Tabtabai. He also translated into Persian the 2-volume jurisprudential manual “Tahrir al-Wasila” of Imam Khomeini. He authored in Arabic the excellent book “Imam Ali fi Kutub Ahl as-Sunnah” (Merits of Imam Ali (AS) in Sunni Books).
8 solar years ago, on this day in 2009 AD, on Ashura, the 10th of Muharram, in Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, some fifty mourners were martyred and hundreds of others injured while commemorating the tragedy of Karbala and the martyrdom of Imam Husain (AS), the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), when Takfiri terrorists blew up through remote control in the midst of a procession of mourners an unsuspecting person to whom they had handed a suitcase full of explosives, along with money as bribe to carry it through the crowd. On the same day, in Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, a similar cowardly act of terrorism was carried out by the Takfiris at a procession of mourners, resulting in the martyrdom of a dozen people and wounding over a hundred others. The Takfiris are financed by Saudi Arabia and provided ammunitions by CIA and Zionist agents to tarnish the image of Islam through such dastardly acts.
4 solar years ago, on this day in 2013 AD, the repressive Aal-e Khalifa minority regime of Bahrain, arrested prominent religious leader, Shaikh Ali Salman, the head of the main opposition bloc al-Wefaq, as part of the US-Saudi-Zionist plot to crush the Shi’a Muslim majority. Though released, in 2015 he was again illegally arrested and in a sham trial sentenced to a 9-year prison term on trumped up charges, despite the fact he and his followers advocate a peaceful non-violent struggle for materialization of their birthrights.