This Day in History (10-11-1396)
Today is Tuesday; 10th of the Iranian month of Bahman 1396 solar hijri; corresponding to 12th of the Islamic month of Jamadi al-Awwal 1439 lunar hijri; and January 30, 2018, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1492 lunar years ago, on this day 53 years before Hijra, Abdullah, the father of the Almighty’s Last and Greatest Messenger, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), passed away in Yathreb at the age of 25, after a bout of illness while returning to Mecca from a trade trip to Syria. The year is known as “Aam al-Feel” (Year of the Elephant), since earlier in the year Yemen’s Abyssinian governor Abraha led an army equipped with elephant corps to attack the holy Ka'ba that brought swift divine wrath upon the aggressors in the form of a flock of small birds which showered them with a hail of deathly pebbles. Abdullah was the youngest son of Abdul-Muttaleb, the custodian of the holy Ka’ba, and scion of the monotheist Hashemite clan of the Qoraish tribe, directly descended from Prophet Ishmael (AS), the firstborn son of Prophet Abraham (AS). Abdullah passed away some two months after his virtuous wife, Amena bint Wahb, gave birth to the future Prophet, whom he was not destined to see because of his journey. He was laid to rest in Dar an-Nabigha in the Banu Najjar quarters of Yathreb, which 53 years after his death became known as Medinat-an-Nabi or the City of the Prophet, following his son’s migration and transforming of the city into the capital of the first-ever Islamic state. In 1925 Wahhabi heretics of the Aal-e Saud clan destroyed his grave.
486 lunar years ago, on this day in 953 AH, Sunni Muslim scholar Shams od-Din ibn Tuloun ad-Dimashqi, passed away in his hometown Damascus at the age of 73. He was well versed in several sciences such as jurisprudence, hadith, history, geography, medicine, literature and poetry. He wrote several books such as “Safinat-al-Tulouniya” and “Shadharaat az-Zahabiyyah”. In the last named work he has mentioned through reliable chain of authority the famous Hadith Thaqalayn, which Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) proclaimed to a huge gathering on the plain of Arafaat from atop Jabal ar-Rahmah (Mount of Mercy) on 9th Zilhijjah during his Farewell Hajj Pilgrimage, saying:
“I am leaving behind among you the Two Precious Things (Thaqalayn), the Book of Allah (holy Qur’an) and my progeny the Ahl al-Bayt. Hold fast to them and you will never go astray, for the two never part with each other, even when they return to me at the Fountain (of Kowthar on the Day of Resurrection).”
462 solar years ago, on this day in 1556 AD, the 2nd Moghal Emperor of Hindustan (northern subcontinent), Naseer od-Din Mohammad Humayun, died in Delhi, as a result of a fatal blow to his head, three days after tumbling down the stairs of his library with his arms full of books, when he caught his foot in his robe, while bowing in reverence on hearing the call of the muezzin for prayer. He was 48 years old and his death occurred only a year after recovering with Iranian help the kingdom he had lost 15 years earlier to the Pashturn adventurer, Sher Shah Suri. Born in Kabul (in present day Afghanistan), he was 22 years old when he succeeded his father, Zaheer od-Din Babar in India in 1530, while his step-brother Kamran Mirza, obtained the sovereignty of Kabul and Lahore. His peaceful personality, patience and non-provocative methods, in addition to his addiction to opium, cost him the kingdom ten years later, forcing him to flee to Safavid Iran, where he was cordially received by Shah Tahmasp I, who provided him aid to regain the Moghal Empire. Humayun's return from Iran, accompanied by a large retinue of Iranian noblemen, signaled an important change in Moghal court culture, as the Central Asian origins of the dynasty were largely overshadowed by the influences of Persian art, architecture, language and literature. His most noted achievement was in the sphere of painting. His devotion to the early Safavid School, developed during his stay in Iran, led him to recruit Persian painters of merit to accompany him back to India. These artists laid the foundation of the Moghal style which emerged from its Persian chrysalis as an indigenous achievement in which Indian elements blended harmoniously with the traditions of Iran and Central Asia. Even Humayun's tomb, built by his widow, Hamida Bano Begum (daughter of Shaikh Ali Akbar Jami, an Iranian Shi'ite Muslim descended from the mystic Shaikh Ahmad Jami of Torbat-e Jam in Khorasan), fits into the Iranian tradition of imperial mausoleums. It is said Humayun had embraced the school of the Prophet's Ahl al-Bayt. He was succeeded by his son, Akbar.
357 solar years ago, on this day in 1661 AD, in a sadistically repulsive act, King Charles II of Britain on the 12th anniversary of the execution of his father, King Charles I by Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, exhumed the latter’s grave and ordered the ritual beheading of the corpse more than two years after burial.
229 solar years ago, on this day in 1789 AD, the forces of Vietnam’s Tay Sơn emerged victorious against Qing armies of China, and liberated the capital Thang Long.
228 lunar years ago, on this day in 1211 AH, the Iranian astronomer and mathematician, Mirza Hussein Doost Mohammad Isfahani, was born. He passed away at the age of 81 years and was laid to rest in the holy city of Najaf in Iraq.
117 solar years ago, on this day in 1901 AD, the world's tallest geyser was discovered by Dr Humphrey Haines on the North Island of New Zealand. It appeared after an enormous eruption of Mount Tarawera in 1886. The Waimangu Geyser was the largest geyser in the world and erupted on a 36 hour cycle for four years, hurling black mud and rocks in the air. Waimangu is Maori for "black water." It stopped in 1904 when a landslide changed the local water table. Eruptions would typically reach 600 feet. Some super bursts are known to have reached 1,600 feet (10 times as high as Yellowstone's famous Old Faithful, and which would be higher than the Empire State Building.)
93 solar years ago, on this day in 1925 AD, US electrical engineer Douglas Carl Engelbart, inventor of the computer mouse which he patented in November 1970, was born. For input, he collaborated with others in the invention of joystick, track ball and light pen devices. It was part of his larger work developing a computer graphical user interface (as opposed to merely keyboard input and text display). This involved a multiple window display, and the ability to display not only text, but also images, audio, video in a single document. After earning his Ph.D. in 1955, he joined the Stanford Research Institute. On 9 December 1968, at a computer conference, he conducted the world's first video conference, multiple window display, as well as collaboration online, and his mouse device for input.
84 solar years ago, on this day in 1934 AD, the dictatorial rule of German Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler, as chancellor and president commenced. Earlier in 1930, his National Socialist Party had won the legislative elections by securing 107 seats in the Reichstag. Soon Hitler proclaimed himself the sole leader. He set up the dreaded SS security organization and sent his opponents to labour camps. A person of doubtful parentage, Hitler massacred millions of people for his racist goals. He ignited the flames of World War II by occupying the Danzig Corridor in Poland in 1939. Germany and its Axis allies were defeated in World War II and Hitler committed suicide.
76 solar years ago, on this day in 1942 AD, following Iran’s invasion by British and Soviet forces in 1941 in violation of Iran’s neutrality in World War II, a trilateral treaty was signed between the three countries, according to which the Pahlavi regime agreed to put Iran’s ground, air, and sea routes at the disposal of Allied Powers in the war against Germany. Moscow and London pledged to leave Iran, at the most, eight months after termination of World War 2. The occupation of Iran by Britain and the Soviet Union inflicted irreparable damages on this country. After end of World War 2, the crafty British withdrew their troops but controlled the Shah and his regime, while the Soviet Union refused to leave Iran and tried to disintegrate the country by planting puppet regimes in the provinces of Azarbaijan and Kurdistan. The plot, however, failed and the Red Army was forced to leave Iran’s soil.
70 solar years ago, on this day in 1948 AD, leader of India's struggle for independence from British colonial rule, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, was assassinated by a Hindu anarchist at the age 79. Born in the port city of Por Bandar in Gujarat, he graduated in Law from England, and for a while was in South Africa where he tried to improve the situation of Indian settlers. After returning to India he involved himself in politics and was sentenced to six years in prison in 1922. After his release, he advocated the policy of passive resistance against the British, and although a non-Muslim, he said that he learned this non-violent movement by studying the exemplary life of the Martyr of Karbala, Imam Husain (AS), the younger grandson and 3rd Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). India gained independence in August 1947.
70 solar years ago, on this day in 1948 AD, American inventor and aviator, Orville Wright, who along with his brother, Wilbur, had invented on 17 December 1903 the first powered airplane, “Flyer”, capable of sustained, controlled flight, died at the age 76. At Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville made the first ever manned powered flight, airborne for 12 seconds. By 1905, the two brothers had improved the design, built and made several long flights in Flyer III, which was the first fully practical airplane able to fly up to 38-min and travel 24 miles (39-km). In 1908 they produced Model A, capable of flight for over two hours. After Wilbur died of typhoid in 1912, Orville sold his interest in the Wright Company in 1915. The history of aviation is as old as Man’s quest to fly since antiquity. In the heyday of Islamic science and civilization, there are records pertaining to the Spanish Muslim polymath, Abbas ibn Firnas, who flew from Jabal al-Arous Hill by employing a rudimentary glider in the 9th century AD.
50 solar years ago, on this day in 1968 AD, during the Vietnam War, the Viet Cong forces of the south along with the North Vietnam army decisively confronted the US occupiers in fifty towns and cities simultaneously. They mobilized public opinion against the US meddlers, and despite being massacred in large numbers by the savage Americans, they continued their resistance until final victory in 1975 that expelled the US and reunited Vietnam.
39 solar years ago, on this day in 1979 AD, in the wake of the sit-in of ulema at the Tehran University Mosque, teachers and other strata of the community announced their solidarity and joined the protest against the Pahlavi regime. While the number of strikers rose every moment, Shapour Bakhtiar, the prime minister of the fugitive Shah, was forced to lift the obstructions he had placed at the airports to prevent the return home from exile of the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA). The welcoming committee announced that the beloved leader would arrive in Tehran on February 1, 1979, at 9 a.m. Meanwhile, with the opening of Tehran airport, the US military planes flew the Americans out of Iran.
33 solar years ago, on this day in 1985 AD, the US openly gave a 47-million dollar loan to Saddam of Baghdad’s repressive Ba’th minority regime for procurement of weapons, during the 8-year war Washington had imposed on the Islamic Republic of Iran through Iraq. The total declared US grants to Saddam during his war were 1.5 billion dollars, in addition to supply of internationally banned chemicals, latest defence technology, and information on movement of Iranian forces through spy aircraft.