Today is Wednesday; 13th of the Iranian month of Dey 1396 solar hijri; corresponding to 15th of the Islamic month of Rabi as-Sani 1439 lunar hijri; and January 3, 2018, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.

2124 solar years ago, on this day in 106 BC, Marcus Cicero, Roman orator, statesman and author, was born. He was elected Consul in 63. He chose to support Pompey over Julius Caesar and was murdered by Mark Antony in 43 at the age of 63 years. One of his sayings is: "What is more unwise than to mistake uncertainty for certainty, falsehood for truth?"

517 solar years ago, on this day in 1501 AD, the Amir Ali Shir Navai, the acclaimed Central Asian politician, mystic, linguist, painter, and poet, passed away at the age of 63 in Herat and his body was taken to Mashhad for burial in the porch he had built at the holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS), the 8th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). Born in the Khorasani capital, Herat, which is currently in western Afghanistan, he is considered the Father of Chagatai Turkic literature, and was a prolific author. He also wrote and composed poems in Persian under the penname Fani, and has excellent compilations in this language as well to his credit. He studied in Mashhad, Herat and Samarqand, and when his childhood friend, Sultan HusaynBayqarah became the principal Timurid ruler of Khorasan, he joined his service and for almost 40 years devoted his efforts to cultural developments including fine arts and the building of public utility works like schools, mosques, caravanserais and hospitals. In Mashhad, he carried out extensions in the holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS). He is regarded as a national hero in the modern republic of Uzbekistan and is famous all over the Turkic-speaking world.

241 solar years ago, on this day in 1777 AD, American General George Washington defeated British General Charles Cornwallis at the Battle of Princeton in a victory that inspired people of the thirteen New England colonies with confidence to defeat the king’s forces. Cornwallis later earned lasting notoriety for his imperialist policies against the people of India and the violation of the treaty to impose the war on Fath Ali Khan Tipu Sultan of Mysore to kill the king and annex the Muslim kingdom.

236 solar years ago, on this day in 1782 AD, the Sylhet District in what is now northeast Bangladesh was taken over by the British as part of their expansion policy. It was previously called Jalalabad in memory of Shah Jalal Naqshbandi, a Sufi saint of Iranian origin, who was born in Konya in what is now Turkey in the time of the famous Persian mystic and poet, Mowlana Jalal od-Din Roumi Balkhi. In 1303 AD, with his arrival in Sylhet along with 360 disciples, Islam began to spread and the local Hindus, Buddhists and pagans of the area, embraced the truth of Islam. At the same time Muslim rule was established by Sikandar Ghazi and the region was included in the dominion of the Delhi-based Tughlaq Turkic Dynasty of India. His shrine is the main center of pilgrimage in Sylhet till this day, along with that of Seyyed Zaker Shah Zaidi al-Fatemi, a descendent of Martyr Zaid, the son of Prophet Mohammad’s (SAWA) 4th Infallible Heir, Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS). Today, almost 90 percent of the people of Sylhet are Muslims.

150 solar years ago, on this day in 1868 AD, Emperor Meiji ascended the throne of Japan and assumed power. The Meiji Restoration re-established the authority of Japan's emperor and heralded the fall of the military rulers known as shoguns. The feudal clan system was abolished and industrialism was started.

143 solar years ago, on this day in 1875 AD, the French literary figure and linguist, Pierre Larousse, passed away at the age of 58. After years of study, he compiled the Larousse Lexicon.

107 solar years ago, on this day in 1911 AD, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake destroyed the city of Almaty in Russian Turkestan, and which is now the Republic of Kazakhstan.

60 solar years ago, on this day in 1958 AD, the British created the politically short-lived West Indies Federation in Caribbean Sea which included Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad, Tobago and the Windward and Leeward Islands. Because of numerous problems, it was dissolved by the British in 1963, with nine provinces becoming independent sovereign states. Despite the collapse of the Federation, the West Indies (with addition of Guyana) continues to field a joint cricket team for international competition.

57 solar years ago, on this day in 1961 AD, the United States severed diplomatic relations with Cuba after Fidel Castro announced he was a communist. The US has refused to relinquish its occupation of Guantanamo Bay base where it has set up a subhuman prison that holds nationals of several countries, who are denied any legal access and are brutally tortured.

38 solar years ago, on this day in 1980 AD, the first gathering of the world’s liberation movements opened in Tehran. The main goals of this gathering was to familiarize the international community with the wide-scale dimensions of the Islamic Revolution; to introduce the world’s liberation movements; and to set the stage for further unity of these movements against the injustices of Global Arrogance.

25 solar years ago, on this day in 1993 AD, the treaty for reduction of atomic weapons was signed by Russian president, Boris Yeltsin, and the US president, George Bush Sr., with the two countries pledging to reduce their nuclear arsenal by two thirds. The US agreed to the treaty because following the collapse of Soviet Union, Moscow had started to cooperate with the West and was not considered as a major threat to Washington. Nonetheless, instead of dismantling its nuclear arms, the US stockpiled them, and Russia, in protest to Washington’s refusal to deliver on its vows stopped dismantling its nuclear warfare. Meanwhile, in April 2010, the US and Russian presidents signed a new START, according to which the number of nuclear warheads of each side is reduced to 1550.

14 solar years ago, on this day in 2004 AD, in a miraculous event, rescuers in Iran pulled a 97-year old woman named Sharbanou Mazandarani from the rubble in the city of Bam, 9 days after the devastating earthquake that killed about 40,000.

7 lunar years ago, on this day in 1432 AH, the prominent scholar and combatant religious leader, Ayatollah Mohammad Sadeqi Tehrani passed away at the age of 87. His father was one of the famous orators. Mohammad Sadeqi entered the Islamic seminary of Tehran at the age of 14. His teachers were Ayatollah Sheikh Mohammad Ali Shahabadi, and Mirza Mahdi and Mirza Ahmad Ashtiani. He acquired deep knowledge of Qur’anic exegesis from Ayatollah Shahabadi and later accomplished it in Qom under Allamah Seyyed Mohammad Hussain Tabatabaei – author of the famous exegesis “Tafsir al-Mizan”. He completed jurisprudence under Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Hussain Borujerdi, and attained the status of Ijtehad. Thereafter he attended the lectures of Imam Khomeini (RA) in philosophy and ethics, and was profoundly influenced by his teacher’s political thoughts. Ayatollah Sadeqi returned to Tehran after ten years at the Qom seminary, and in addition to teaching at the university, he obtained PhD in Islamic studies and Masters in four other subjects, including law. At the same time, he attended the lectures in mysticism of Ayatollah Sheikh Mohammad Taqi Amoli as well as philosophical lectures of Ayatollah Rafi’i Qazvini. After ten years of political struggle against the despotic Pahlavi regime and giving lessons on the exegesis of the holy Qur’an in Tehran, he was invited in 1962 AD by the scholars of Qom to attend an important meeting in commemoration of the first anniversary of the passing away of Grand Ayatollah Boroujerdi. At the gathering he delivered a fiery speech exposing the oppressive policies of the British-installed and American-backed Shah. As a result, he was prosecuted by the SAVAK and sentenced to death in absentia, since he had already left for holy Mecca, where during the Hajj rituals he further exposed the tyranny of the Shah. He was imprisoned by the Saudi regime but released following protests by the scholars of Iran and Iraq. He moved to holy Najaf in Iraq, where besides teaching Islamic sciences, exegesis of the holy Qur’an in particular, he continued his political activities against the Pahlavi regime, especially since his mentor Imam Khomeini was in Najaf on being exiled by the Shah. Forced to leave Iraq by the repressive Ba’th minority regime, he went to Lebanon, where he stayed for five years and then proceeded to Mecca again. His 2-year stay he held classes on Qur’anic exegesis and jurisprudence in the Masjid al-Haraam behind the "Maqam-e Ibrahim" where more than six hundred students from various countries used to attend his lectures. He organized peaceful debates with scholars of various jurisprudential schools, and convinced them by his strong arguments. As a result, the Wahhabi regime again expelled him. He went back to Beirut and three months later, after 17 years of exile, he returned home to Iran following triumph of the Islamic Revolution, to assist his teacher Imam Khomeini in establishment of the Islamic Republic. A few months after triumph of the Islamic Revolution, he arrived back in Qom for teaching Qur’an and jurisprudence. His lectures were wholly based on the Holy Qur’an. He authored about 110 books on various subjects. His main work is the 3-volume exegesis of the holy Qur’an titled “Tafsir al-Furqan”.  He also wrote a critique on the Bible titled “Aqaidona” (Our Beliefs). He made vigorous criticisms of the prevailing philosophy at Islamic seminaries, saying its foundation is inconsistent with the Qur’an and Sunnah. He also challenged Western and Eastern philosophers in a significant book titled “Talks between Monotheists and Materialists”.

6 solar years ago, on this day in 2012 AD, the Source of Emulation, Grand Ayatollah Mojtaba Shahidi Kalhori Tehrani, passed away at the age of 75. Born in Tehran in an academic family, at the age of 18 he entered the seminary in holy Qom and studied under prominent Ulema such as the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA), Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Hussain Boroujerdi, and the famous exegete of the holy Qur’an, Allamah Seyyed Mohammad Hussain Tabatabai. At the young age of 25, he attained the status of ijtehad. As a close associate of the Late Imam, he played an important role in collection of his mentor’s theological works. He taught ethics and theology in Tehran for 40 years, grooming numerous students. Among his works, mention can be made of “Akhlaaq-e Ilahi”, and “Solouk-e Ashurai”.

3 solar years ago, on this day in 2015 AD, Saudi supported Boko Haram Takfiri terrorists razed the entire town of Baga in northeast Nigeria, starting the 2015 Baga massacre and slaughtering as many as 2,000 men, women and children.

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Jan 03, 2018 08:44 UTC
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