This Day in History (14-11-1396)
Today is Saturday; 14th of the Iranian month of Bahman 1396 solar hijri; corresponding to 16th of the Islamic month of Jamadi al-Awwal 1439 lunar hijri; and February 3, 2018, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1101 lunar years ago, on this day in 338 AH Ali ibn Buyeh Daylami, titled Emad ad-Dowlah, the founder of the Buwaiyhid dynasty of Iran-Iraq-Oman, died. He first entered the services of the Iranian Samanid dynasty of Bukhara in Central Asia under Nasr II, and later joined Maakaan, who ruled Gorgan and Rayy as a governor of the Samanids. He managed to occupy a high position and gained army commissions for his two younger brothers, Hassan and Ahmad. When Maakaan rebelled against the Samanids by seizing Khorasan, and was attacked by Mardavij the Ziyarid prince, Ali, along with his brothers, switched sides. Soon Ali was granted administrative rule over Karaj (near modern Tehran). When warned of Mardavij's plan to eliminate him, Ali with a small number of Daylamite troops decided to expand his position. Moving against the heretical Khurramites, who controlled the surrounding mountains, he gained control of the region, and in order to further secure his position, he decided to take control of Isfahan, which was then under control of the Abbasid governor Yaqut. Mardavij's appearance, however, forced him to abandon Isfahan. Ali now took Arrajan, between Fars and Khuzestan, and after a series of battles, entered Shiraz. Mardavij continued to pose a threat but before he could invade Khuzestan, he was assassinated. Bolstered by many of Mardavij's Turkish mercenaries that had joined him, as well as the collapse of Ziyarid control over central Iran, Ali decided that Isfahan should be taken and sent his brother Hassan to accomplish this. After Hassan took Isfahan, Ali sent his other brother Ahmad to take Kerman. Ali next sent Ahmad to Khuzestan, from where he entered Iraq, and finally Baghdad. The Abbasid caliph conferred upon him the title of Mo'iz ad-Dowla, while Ali and Hassan were given the titles of Emad ad-Dowla and Rokn ad-Dowla, respectively. The Buwaiyhid dynasty ruled Iran, Iraq and Oman for 110 years, and were patrons of learning and literature, both Arabic and Persian. They encouraged the development of science and technology, and built many architectural monuments, including hospitals, bridges, dams, mosques, and the holy shrines of the Infallible Imams and Imamzadehs.
858 solar years ago, on this day in 1160 AD, the self-styled holy Roman emperor, Frederick Barbarossa of Germany, barbarically hurtled prisoners, including children, at the Italian city of Crema, forcing it to surrender. The siege was marked by several episodes of brutality against fellow Christians by the Germans, who hung Cremaschi prisoners to siege machines, resulting in bloody manslaughter. Barbarossa, who on the instructions of Pope Urban III had assembled a huge anti-Muslim army of crusaders in alliance with the kings of France and England, and marched overland towards Syria through the Byzantine Empire; miserably drowned in River Saleph (Goksu Nehri) in what is now Turkey, before reaching his cherished goal, i.e. the Islamic city of Bayt al-Moqaddas in Palestine. Barbarossa and his horse were struck by divine wrath and swept away to a terrible death that aborted the 3rd European crusade against Muslims. His leaderless army lost heart and fled, and many Christian knights, afraid of the prospect of fighting Muslims, committed suicide.
779 lunar years ago, on this day in 660 AH, famous scholar, Izz od-Din Abdul-Aziz Ibn Abdus-Salaam, passed away in Cairo at the age of 83, spending his last 21 years in Egypt. Born in Damascus, his expertise in Islamic jurisprudence made him the Friday Prayer Leader of the Omayyad Mosque, from where he delivered scathing sermons forbidding the selling of weaponry to the Crusaders with whom the Ayyubid ruler of Syria was openly dealing, despite the fact that these arms were being used against Muslims. As a result, he was dismissed and left for Egypt where he was welcomed, but got into controversies in Cairo as well.
641 solar years ago, on this day in 1377 AD, some 5,000 people of the Italian city of Cesena were slaughtered by troops of Pope Gregory XI for refusing to follow the irrational laws of the Catholic Church. The various Christian sects have a long bloody history of internecine warfare.
567 solar years ago, on this day in 1451 AD, the 6th Ottoman Sultan, Murad II, died after a reign of almost three decades during which he expanded the Turkish Empire into Europe, defeating the Christian coalition of the holy Roman Empire, Poland and Serbia-Hungary in several battles in the Balkans and in Hungary. He was, however, unsuccessful in the east in Anatolia (modern Turkey) against fellow Turkic rulers, especially the forces of the Iran-based Empire of Shahrokh (son of the central Asian conqueror, Amir Timur). Murad was succeeded by his son, Sultan Mohammad II, who accomplished his father's goal of exterminating the Byzantine or Eastern Roman Empire and liberating the city of Constantinople; subsequently renamed Islambol or Istanbul – as it is known today. On entering this once formidable city, he recited the Persian couplet of the famous Iranian poet, Shaikh Mosleh od-Din Sa'di:
"The spider weaves the curtains in the palace of the Caesars;
The owl calls the watches in the towers of Afrasiyab."
An accomplished scholar with fluency in several languages such as Turkish, Persian, Arabic and Greek, he was a builder of schools, mosques and libraries. During his 30-year reign, he consolidated Ottoman rule in southwestern Europe and in Anatolia.
550 solar years ago, on this day in 1468 AD, Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the Printing Press, died. Born in Germany he lived in Strasburg in present day France. In 1443, he invented the Printing Press and introduced modern book printing, taking a major stride in circulation of books.
530 solar years ago, on this day in 1488 AD, Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias, who on reports of Spanish Muslims travelling to India via the Atlantic, had been sent on an expedition by King John II of Portugal, sighted the southern coast of Africa and landed at Mossel Bay (South Africa). He had to turn back when his crew refused to sail north. On the return journey he saw the southern tip and named it Cape of Storms, a name that was changed to Cape of Good Hope by King John to encourage explorers. In 1500 Dias died when his ship was scuttled by a storm in the Cape.
509 solar years ago, on this day in 1509 AD, the Battle of Diu off the coast of Gujarat, western India, took place between the Portuguese marauders assisted by the Raja of Cochin, and a coalition of navies of the Sultan of Gujarat, the Mamluk ruler of Egypt, the Ottoman Sultan, and the Zamorin of Calicut, resulting in a stalemate, at the end of which, the Portuguese admiral, Francisco de Almeida, treacherously slaughtered the unsuspecting Egyptians and Indians in the most barbaric way. This happened despite the release of the well-fed and well-treated Portuguese prisoners from Gujarat taken in the victorious Battle of Chaul a year earlier. For almost 40 years, the Portuguese and the Gujarat-Egyptian-Ottoman coalition fought seesaw battles off the Indian coast. The "Mirat-e Sikandari", a Persian history of the Indian Muslim Kingdom of Gujarat details some of these battles. Among the heroes of these battles were Amir Hussain al-Kurdi, the Egyptian governor of Jeddah, Malik Ayaz of Gujarat, who was a Russian convert to Islam, and Bayram Pasha the Ottoman.
139 solar years ago, on this day in 1879 AD, the first usable incandescent filament electric light bulb was demonstrated to an audience of 700 by its inventor Joseph Wilson Swan in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England. Swan soon established the world's first electric light bulb factory at Benwell in Newcastle. Later, Swan's bulbs were used to light up Mosley Street in the Newcastle city centre, the first street in the world to be lit by electric light. By 1881, Swan had introduced his bulbs in London where 1,200 of them were used in lighting the Savoy Theatre in front of an astonished audience.
103 solar years ago, on this day in 1915 AD, during World War I, the Suez Canal, which was seized by Britain, was attacked by the joint German and Ottoman forces. In view of its vital role in linking the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, its control was of paramount importance for both the Allied and the Axis Powers. Britain's loss of the canal would have endangered its colonies in Asia. The British beat off the attack through their Arab and Indian auxiliaries. In 1956, Egypt’s President Jamal Abdun-Nasser ended the British occupation of Suez Canal.
79 solar years ago, on this day in 1939 AD, Akbar Adibi, Iranian scientist, and father of electronics in Iran, was born in Songhor in Kermanshah Province. After obtaining masters in Electrical Engineering from Tehran University in 1965, he worked for the Alestom Power Plant and taught at the university. In 1973 he left for the US, where at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) in 1973, he obtained two Master of Science degrees – the first in Microprocessor-based Computer Systems and the second in Solid State and Semiconductor Device. He completed his PhD in 1977 on Barrier Solar Cells. On return to Iran he resumed his job of lecturer at Tehran Polytechnic, which after the victory of Islamic Revolution became the Amir Kabir University. His notable achievements are: The creation of Iran’s first Solar Cell in 1978, more than 100 articles in internal and international publications, becoming Full Professor in 1995, earning the prestigious Khwarezmi National Prize for his contribution as one of the best projects in 1995, earning the respected title of "The Most Recognized and Elite University Professor of Iran" in 1996, and being named the "Father of Electronics and VLSI in Iran". He was a member of numerous academic societies, including; New York Academy of Sciences, New York Planetary Society, Optical Society of America, and Iran's IEEE Student Branch Counselor. He was involved in many industry-based projects, namely; the design and implementation of a 32 channel PCM system, the design and construction of a DSP-based high voltage network protection system, and the design of a DCS-based control, until his death due to heart failure on August 26, 2000. Adibi is the author of several technical books such as “Pulse Techniques”, “Theory and Technology of Semiconductor Devices”, and “Digital Electronics”. He believed that electronics and VLSI technology could help Iran lower its dependency on oil.
75 solar years ago, on this day in 1943 AD, during World War 2, one of the bloodiest battles in history, the over 6-month long Battle of Stalingrad, ended in victory for the Soviet Union and surrender of 110,000 German troops. The combined casualties of the two sides were almost two million. The German army after advancing into the Soviet Union had launched an all-out attack on the important city of Stalingrad as of July 17, 1942. However, due to freezing weather, shortage of food and equipment, and the counter offensive of Soviet troops, the demoralized Germans were encircled and forced to surrender, resulting in a severe blow to Adolf Hitler's ambitions. The Nazi debacle in Stalingrad led to a string of defeats for Germany and turned the tide of the war in the favour of the Allied Powers. Stalingrad is currently known as Volgograd.
52 solar years ago, on this day in 1966 AD, the first-ever soft landing on the moon took place when the unmanned Soviet Luna 9 spacecraft safely landed in the Ocean of Storms three days after its takeoff from Earth. It was the first ever soft landing on another celestial body, and opened the way for manned trips to the moon, by removing doubts that the surface was an unsafe dusty quicksand. On striking the surface, the Soviet probe ejected a 250-lb capsule which then rolled upright and unfolded four spring actuated petals to steady itself. A TV camera with a revolving mirror system enabled Luna 9 to take pictures, including panoramic views of the lunar landscape and closer views of nearby rocks, which were transmitted back to earth until 6 February when the batteries ran out and contact with the spacecraft was lost.
46 solar years ago, on this day in 1972 AD, the 7-day blizzard struck northwestern Iran and killed at least 4,000 people, making it the deadliest snowstorm in history. There were no survivors in Kakkan, and near the border with Turkey. Sheklab Village and its 100 inhabitants were buried.
39 solar years ago, on this day in 1979 AD, in a press conference amidst nationwide festivities marking his return home from exile, the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA), announced he would set up an interim revolutionary government to set the stage for a referendum after drafting of Islamic Iran’s Constitution. He warned the fugitive Shah’s Prime Minister, Shapour Bakhtiar, that in case of continued suppression of the people, he will issue a Jihad decree. The Imam also called on the army to join the people. Meanwhile, it was announced that till then 35,000 Americans had left Iran’s soil and 10,000 others would soon leave Iran.
28 solar years ago, on this day in 1990 AD, the prominent Iranian expert of Persian language and literature, Dr. Seyyed Hassan Saadaat Naseri, passed away while on a scientific mission to Afghanistan. He spent a lifetime lecturing on Persian language and literature. He compiled valuable works in the cultural, literary and religious fields.
12 solar years ago, on this day in 2006 AD, the Muslim world erupted in anger at the sacrilegious cartoons re-published in Europe. In Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Malaysia, Palestine, and Pakistan, demonstrators called for boycott of European goods. The flag of Denmark, where the insulting cartoons first appeared was burned.
11 solar years ago, on this day in 2007 AD, Takfiri terrorists detonated a truck bomb in the Sadriyeh Market of Baghdad Sadr City, martyring over 150 Muslims and injuring over 350 others. Created by Saudi Arabia and the Zionist entity, with the blessings of the US, the goal of the Godless Takfiris is to tarnish the image of Islam.
9 solar years ago, on this day in 2009 AD, the Islamic Republic of Iran successfully launched into orbit a missile carrying “Omid” (hope in Persian), its first domestically-made satellite. In 2005, Iran had launched its first commercial satellite on a Russian rocket in a joint project.