This Day in History (08-10-1396)
Today is Friday; 8th of the Iranian month of Dey 1396 solar hijri; corresponding to 10th of the Islamic month of Rabi as-Sani 1439 lunar hijri; and December 29, 2017, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1839 solar years ago, on this day in 178 AD, the Roman city of Izmir on the Aegean Sea coast of Asia Minor, in what is now Turkey, was flattened due to a major quake. This quake killed almost half of the city’s pagan population, while making numerous others homeless. Izmir was later rebuilt by Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius.
1252 solar years ago, on this day in 765 AD (as per the Gregorian calendar) is the birth anniversary of Imam Reza (AS), the 8th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). Born in Medina on the 11th of Zilqa’dah 148 AH, he was 35 years old when the divinely-decreed mantle of Imamate came to rest on his shoulders following the martyrdom in Baghdad of his infallible father, Imam Musa Kazem (AS), as a result of poisoned food in the dungeon of Haroun Rashid, the 5th self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime. For the next 20 years he ably guided the ummah and as a result his popularity spread throughout the Muslim World and beyond. This alarmed Mamoun, the 7th self-styled Abbasid caliph, who forced the Imam to leave Medina and come to distant Khorasan where the city of Merv was his capital. Here the Prophet's Heir was declared against his will the Heir Apparent of Mamoun. The plan was to confine the Imam to the court and thereby drive a wedge between him and the ummah. However, to the bewilderment of the caliph, when the Imam held memorable debates with the scholars of other religions and philosophical schools of thoughts to convince them of the truth of Islam, his popularity increased. Mamoun treacherously martyred the Imam through a fatal dose of poison at the age of 55. Imam Reza (AS) was laid to rest in the suburbs of the city of Tous, which soon grew into Mashhad-ar-Reza or the Martyrdom Place of Imam Reza (AS), and is a world famous centre of pilgrimage today in Khorasan, northeastern Iran.
1238 lunar years ago, on this day in 201 AH, Hazrat Fatema al-Ma’soumah (peace upon her), the venerable daughter of the Prophet of Islam’s 7th Infallible Heir, Imam Musa Kazem (AS), succumbed to the wounds she suffered 17 days earlier when her caravan was attacked near Saveh, and attained martyrdom in the city of Qom. The young 28-year old lady was on her way from her hometown Medina to Merv in Khorasan to meet her brother, Imam Reza (AS), who was forced to come to northeastern Iran by the crafty Abassid caliph, Mamoun. She was a picture of piety, knowledge, wisdom, virtue, and generosity that earned her the title of “Karimey-e Ahl al-Bayt” or Munificent Lady of the Household of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). Her holy shrine draws millions of pilgrims every year from all over Iran and the world, and has transformed Qom into a prime centre of Islamic learning.
509 solar years ago, on this day in 1508 AD, Portuguese naval commander, Francisco de Almeida, attacked the port of Dabhol on the Konkan coast of India, and massacred its inhabitants, both Muslims and Hindus, to avenge the death of his marauding son, Lorenzo de Almeida, who was killed earlier in the year in the Battle of Chaul, which was won by a joint Egyptian-Indian naval force, led by Mir Hussain Kurdi, the admiral of the Mamluk Dynasty, and the Zamorin of Kerala's Muslim ambassador, Mayimama Marakkar. Dabhol (also known as Dabul) was the main Arabian Sea port of the Bahmani Empire of Iranian origin of the Deccan, and later fell under the jurisdiction of the Adel-Shahi kingdom of Bijapur – also of Iranian origin.
204 solar years ago, on this day in 1813 AD, British soldiers burned Buffalo, the second largest city in New York State, during the War of 1812.
182 solar years ago, on this day in 1835 AD, the Treaty of New Echota was imposed on Amerindians by the white Anglo-Saxon government in Washington that forced the Cherokees to cede all the lands east of the Mississippi River to the United States of America. The US has a bleak, black and bloody history of genocide against the natives, who were almost exterminated and their homelands seized.
172 solar years ago, on this day in 1845 AD, the United States annexed the Republic of Texas, which had been independent since the Texas Revolution of 1836, and thereupon made it the 28th state. Texas was a Spanish and consequently Mexican state in which the US first instigated a rebellion to set up an independent republic and then annexed it as part of its expansionist policies.
127 solar years ago, on this day in 1890 AD, the Wounded Knee Massacre, the last major conflict of the Amerindian War, occurred on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, resulting in the cold-blooded massacre of over 300 men, women, and children of the Lakota tribe of the Sioux Nation by the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the US commanded by Major Samuel M. Whitside. To pour salt on the wounds of the natives, the US army awarded twenty Medals of Honor, its highest commendation, to officers of the 7th Cavalry – similar to the Medal of Honor given to Captain Will Rogers of the Vincennes for his cowardly shooting down of the Iranian passenger plane with some 300 men, women and children on board. In 2001, the National Congress of Amerindians passed two resolutions condemning the awards and calling them “Medals of Dishonor”. It has demanded that the US government withdraw these medals.
111 solar years ago, on this day in 1906 AD, Iran's first Constitution, drafted by the newly formed parliament, was signed by the Qajarid king, Mozaffar od-Din Shah. It initially contained 51 articles, and later 107 more articles were added to it. The constitution was tampered with and changed constantly, especially during the despotic rule of the British-installed and American-backed Pahlavi regime. Passages pertaining to people's rule and the Islamic shari'ah were eliminated, while clauses were added to spread corruption and depravity in society for weakening the people's cultural values in order to strengthen the repressive rule of the Pahlavis. Following the triumph of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 that ended domestic despotism and foreign hegemony, the Iranian people voted for a popularly drafted constitution to replace the obsolete one.
109 lunar years ago, on this day in 1330 AH, the Holy Shrine in Mashhad of Imam Reza (AS), the 8th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny), was shelled by the invading Russian forces. The blasphemous attack which damaged the minarets was part of Russia’s pressures on the weak Qajarid dynasty to expel American advisor, Morgan Schuster, and appoint foreign nationals only with the permission of Russia and Britain. Many people of Mashhad were martyred and wounded in this barbaric attack.
103 solar years ago, on this day in 1914 AD, the famous Bengali painter, Zain ul-Abedin, was born in Kishoreganj in what is now Bangladesh. Much of his childhood was spent near the scenic banks of the Brahmaputra River, which would later appear in many of his paintings as a source of inspiration all throughout his career. He shot into prominence in 1938 winning the gold medal while studying art in Calcutta, and got the breakthrough in 1944 with his Famine Series paintings of 1943 on the great famine that afflicted Bengal. On the partition of the subcontinent, his hometown Kishoreganj became part of East Pakistan, which in 1971 became Bangladesh. An artist of exceptional talent and international repute, he is rightly considered the Father of Bangladeshi Art. He passed away at the age of 62.
87 solar years ago, on this day in 1930 AD, the famous poet-philosopher of the Subcontinent, Mohammad Iqbal Lahori, in his address in Allahabad as President of the Muslim League, outlined a vision for the creation of Pakistan, by joining together the overwhelmingly Muslim majority northwestern parts of the Subcontinent. He said: "I would like to see the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan (all overwhelmingly Muslim regions) amalgamated into a single state... the formation of a consolidated Northwest Indian Muslim state appears to me to be the final destiny of the Muslims (of these areas).” Iqbal also considered Kashmir to be part of his vision of Pakistan, although he did not make any specific comment on the other Muslim majority areas of India like Bengal and parts of United Provinces (Uttar Pradesh). He rejected secularism and nationalism, and was also critical of his Muslim League colleague, Mohammad Ali Jinnah (the future Founder of Pakistan), for politicizing the issue of the rights of Muslims throughout India.
80 solar years ago, on this day in 1937 AD, the accord for independence of the Irish Republic from British occupation was signed. However, on the pretext of outbreak of World War II two years later in 1939, the British regime did not implement the accord. In 1949, four years after the end of World War II, the Irish Republic officially announced its independence from Britain. The independence was the result of eight centuries-long struggle of the Irish people against Britain, which continues to occupy the six northern counties of Ireland on the pretext that the Protestant sect of Christianity has a relative majority in these areas. Catholics, however, have refused to acknowledge British rule, and continue their struggle for the exit of British forces and nationals.
45 solar years ago, on this day in 1972 AD, Operation Linebacker II ended after the most intensive US bombing campaign of the entire Vietnam War with over 100,000 bombs dropped on Hanoi and Haiphong. Fifteen of the 121 B-52s participating in the air raid were shot down by the North Vietnamese defenders. Some 1318 men, women, and children were killed by the US bombing that failed to dent the resolve of the defenders who eventually triumphed in the long drawn war.
9 solar years ago, on this day in 2008 AD, a day after the Zionist army launched its 22-day holocaust on the besieged Gaza Strip, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, issued a fatwa (religious decree) saying that anyone killed while defending Palestinians in Gaza would be considered a martyr. Despite the brutality of its attack that resulted in the death of almost 1,500 men, women, and children, and destruction of the infrastructure, in addition to several thousand wounded, the illegal Zionist entity failed to topple the popularly elected Hamas-led Palestinian government.