This Day in History (18-11-1396)
Today is Wednesday; 18th of the Iranian month of Bahman 1396 solar hijri; corresponding to 20th of the Islamic month of Jamadi al-Awwal 1439 lunar hijri; and February 7, 2018, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
757 lunar years ago, on this day in 682 AH, Fakhr al-Muhaqqin Mohammad ibn Hassan al-Hilli was born in Hilla in Iraq. He was the son of the celebrated Allamah Hilli, under whose guidance he grew up and reached the status of Ijtehad – independent reasoning based on Holy Qur'an and Prophet’s Hadith. He lived a life of piety. He wrote prolifically on a wide variety of topics including exegesis of the holy Qur'an, theology, jurisprudence, and philosophy. Among his books, mention can be made of “al-Kafia”, and “Tahsil an-Nejaat”. He passed away in 771 AH.
702 lunar years ago, on this day in 737 AH, the North African Islamic scholar, Abu Abdullah Mohammad ibn al-Haj al-Abdari al-Fasi, passed away in Egypt. He wrote the book “Madkhal ash-Shara ash-Shareef ala'l-Madhaheb” (Introduction to Islamic Jurisprudence According to the Schools of Thought). Published in 4 volumes, it treats many different subjects. His views are very much influenced by the Iranian scholar al-Ghazali's "Ihya’ Uloum ad-Din". He spent much of his life in Tunis and Egypt and, for some time taught at the Universities of Fez in Morocco.
540 solar years ago, on this day in 1478 AD, Thomas More, English lawyer, social philosopher, author, and statesman, who coined the word "Utopia" in the novel of the same name, was born in London to the lawyer and judge, John More. He served as Councilor to King Henry VIII of England and was Lord Chancellor from 1529 to 1532. A bitter opponent of the Protestant Movement, he ridiculed the German Church reformer, Martin Luther, as a heretic in the book "Responsio ad Lutherum", in which he also opposed the English monarch's separation from the Catholic Church and refused to accept the king as Supreme Head of the Church of England. As a result, he was imprisoned in 1534, and the next year was tried for treason, convicted on perjured testimony, and beheaded. In 1516 he had published "Utopia", a name he gave to an ideal and imaginary island nation, the political system of which contrasts the contentious social life of European states with the perfectly orderly, reasonable social arrangements. In "Utopia", with communal ownership of land, private property does not exist; men and women are educated alike; and there is almost complete religious toleration. Utopia tolerates different religious practices but does not tolerate atheists, since Thomas More believed that if a person did not believe in God or in afterlife he/she could never be trusted. He also coined the English phrase "grasp at straws" to mean "desperately trying even useless things", in his book "Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation."
293 solar years ago, on this day in 1725 AD, in Isfahan, Mahmoud Ghilzai Hotaki, the Afghan occupier of Iran, brutally slaughtered 39 family members of the deposed Safavid monarch, Shah Sultan Hussain, including 11 princes. Mahmoud who had seized control of the Persian Empire in 1722 went mad and was killed in April 1725 by his cousin, Ashraf, who now styled himself king, until he was defeated in battle four years later in 1729 by Nader Quli Afshar (later Nader Shah), the commander of the army of the last Safavid king, Shah Tampasp II. The 6-year Afghan occupation of Iran was a period of great chaos. To the Safavid Dynasty that ruled Iran and adjoining lands for two-and-a-quarter centuries, goes the credit of giving Iran religious identity, national solidarity, cultural affinity, territorial integrity, and sovereignty.
206 solar years ago, on this day in 1812 AD, the English author and novelist, Charles Dickens, was born. His masterpiece is “A Christmas Carol”, which depicts how a very rich but stingy person was finally forced to change his miserly habits to help the poor. Some of his more famous novels include "Oliver Twist", “Great Expectations, “Hard Times” and "A Tale of Two Cities." Dickens who was editor of “Bentley’s Miscellany” a general interest monthly magazine, from January 1837 to 1839, paid tribute to the Martyr of Karbala in it, by writing:
“If Husain had fought to quench his worldly desires…then I do not understand why his sister, wife, and children accompanied him. It stands to reason therefore, that he sacrificed purely for Islam.”
Dickens was founder of the Realism Style in English literature.
162 solar years ago, on this day in 1856 AD, the Muslim Kingdom of Awadh (the granary of northern India) was annexed by the British, who imprisoned its ruler Wajed Ali Shah, after a 9-year reign and exiled him to Calcutta, thereby ending the 124-year rule of the Naishapuri Dynasty established in 1722 by Seyyed Mohammad Amin Musavi Sa'adat Khan Burhan ul-Mulk of Khorasan, the Nawab-Wazir or prime minister of the Moghal Emperor, Mohammad Shah. Before its migration to India, the family, which was descended from Imam Musa Kazem (AS), the 7th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) had been settled in Naishapur by Shah Ismail I, the founder of the Safavid Dynasty of Iran. With the weakening of Mughal rule, the 7th ruler of Awadh, Ghazi od-Din Haider, crowned himself as king of the region which is now part of the Uttar Pradesh and Utranachal Pradesh states of India. The dynasty followed the school of the Prophet's Ahl al-Bayt and adopted the Imami legal system of government that had been codified and successfully implemented for over 170 years in the Deccan (South India) by the Qutb Shahi Dynasty of Iranian origin of Golkandah-Haiderabad. The result was the spread of the teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt and the emergence of outstanding ulema, writing in Arabic, Persian, and later Urdu – such as Ayatollah Dildar Ali Naseerabadi and the celebrated Mir Hamed Hussain Musavi, the author of "Abaqaat al-Anwaar". With their capital, first in Faizabad and then in Lucknow, the rulers of Awadh gave distinct flavour to Indian Muslim culture, dress, arts, literature, cuisine, and the mourning ceremonies for the Martyrs of Karbala by building majestic Hussainiyyas, such as the Asefia Imambara. They also contributed to development projects in the holy cities of Najaf, Karbala and Kazemayn in Iraq. Wajed Ali Shah, during the 31 more years he was alive in exile, transformed the vast 4-mile long Matiaborj area on the River Hooghly near Calcutta into a mini Lucknow, building a grand Hussainiyya and spending lavishly to recreate the pomp and splendour of his opulent days of kingship.
124 solar years ago, on this day in 1894 AD, the Belgian inventor and musician, Adolphe Sax, died at the age of 80. He was the son of a seller of musical instruments, and invented the Saxaphone.
67 solar years ago, on this day in 1951 AD, during the US-backed war to divide the Korean Peninsula, South Korea butchered seven hundred and five suspected communist sympathizers with the approval of the American forces.
44 solar years ago, on this day in 1974 AD, the small island-state of Grenada in the Caribbean Sea gained independence from the British. The first Europeans to occupy it were the Spanish under Christopher Colombus in 1498. In 1674 it was seized by the French, and over a century later in 1783 it fell to the British. In 1979, five years after independence, Maurice Bishop formed a socialist government in Grenada and established close relations with Cuba. In 1982, Grenada was attacked and occupied by the US, which brutally killed Maurice Bishop. It is now ruled by a US client regime.
39 solar years ago, on this day in 1979 AD, people of various walks of life thronged the residence of the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA), to pledge allegiance to him. The same day officers of the armed forces came to the Beloved Leader, and in a moving ceremony hailed him as the “Saviour of Iran” by reciting a rhythmical anthem in his praise. In his speech to the audience the Imam insisted that the fugitive Shah be brought to justice, and once again called on Prime Minister Shapour Bahktiar to resign.
19 solar years ago, on this day in 1999 AD, King Hussein of the British created state called Jordan died at the age of 64 after a rule of 47 years. Son of Talal, who was deposed by the British on grounds of insanity only a year after succeeding his assassinated father, Abdullah Ibn Sharif Hussein of Hijaz, he was known as the CIA king, for his loyalty to Britain and the US. Though claiming descent from Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), the cousin, son-in-law and divinely-designated Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), he was in secret league with the illegal Zionist entity Israel, and was a staunch opponent of the followers of the Ahl al-Bayt, as was evident by his support for the bloodthirsty Ba'thist dictator Saddam during the 8-year war against the Islamic Republic of Iran (1980-88) and the brutal suppression of the Iraq's Shi'ite Arab majority in 1991. He was succeeded by his son, Abdullah – born to a British Christian woman.
12 solar years ago, on this day in 2006 AD, Iranian newspaper Hamshahri announced that it would hold a competition for cartoons on the alleged Holocaust to test whether the West extends the principle of freedom of expression to this doubtful incident, as it did to the insulting caricatures it attributed to the Almighty’s Last and Greatest Messenger, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
7 solar years ago, on this day in 2011 AD, the Islamic Republic of Iran unveiled four new domestically produced research satellites as part of a space programme for exploring outer space. Iran has made tremendous progress in this field without the assistance of any other country despite the hurdles placed by the US and its accomplices. Concurrent with this announcement, Iran also disclosed that it is mass-producing a ballistic missile which can travel at more than three times the speed of sound and hit targets on the high seas.