Aug 31, 2018 08:13 UTC

Today Friday; 9th of the Iranian month of Shahrivar 1397 solar hijri; corresponding to 19th of the Islamic month of Zil-Hijjah 1439 lunar hijri; and August 31, 2018, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.

800 solar years ago, on this day in 1218 AD, al-Malik al-Adel I, the Ayyubid ruler of Egypt and Syria, died at the age of 73 after a reign of 18 years during a campaign against the European Crusader invaders, and was succeeded by his son, al-Kamel – who ruled for the next two decades. The younger brother of the famous Kurdish ruler, Salah od-Din Ayyubi, he was an able administrator and a successful general, known as a strategist, to whom the persistence of the Ayyubid state is indebted. He first achieved distinction as an officer in Noor od-Din Zengi's army during his uncle Shirkuh's third and final campaign in Fatemid Egypt in 1168–1169. Following Zengi’s death in 1174, some three years after the overthrow of the Fatemid Ismaili Shi’a Muslim dynasty of Egypt-North Africa-Syria, he governed Egypt on behalf of his brother, mobilizing that country's vast resources in support of Salah od-Din’s campaigns in Syria and wars against the Crusaders. He was governor of Aleppo (1183–1186) but returned to administer Egypt during the Third Crusade (1186–1192). He suppressed the revolt of Izz od-Din of Mosul following Salah od-Din's death in March 1193, and played the role of kingmaker during the succession dispute among his two nephews, al-Aziz and al-Afzal. He became governor of Damascus and used it as a base to expand his power, by championing the faction opposed to al-Afzal's inept rule following al-Aziz's death in 1198. Though closely besieged in Damascus (1199), he defeated al-Afzal at the Battle of Bilbeis in 1200 and was proclaimed Sultan.

497 solar years ago, on this day in 1521 AD, Spanish marauder, Herman Cortez, having captured the city of Tenochtitlan, Mexico, set it on fire. Nearly 100,000 native Amerindians died in the siege and some 100,000 more died afterwards of smallpox. On return to Spain he was rewarded for his crimes against humanity, and accompanied King Charles V for the attack on Algiers that was routed by the famous Turkish Muslim admiral, Khayr od-Din Pasha (Barbarossa or Red Beard to the Europeans).

449 solar years ago, on this day in 1569 AD, the 4th Moghul Emperor of the Northern Subcontinent and Eastern Afghanistan, Noor od-Din "Jahangir" (World Grasper), was born in Fatehpur Sikri near Agra, to Emperor Jalal od-Din Akbar and one of his Rajput wives. He ascended the throne in 1605 and died in Lahore in what is now Pakistan, after a reign of 22 years, during which he ruled mostly with the assistance of his Iranian wife, Noor Jahan, the daughter of the minister, Mirza Ghiyas Beg Tehrani E'temad od-Dowla. Named Mohammad Salim at his birth, he maintained excellent relations with Shah Abbas the Great of Iran. He was also a poet and writer in both Persian and his native Chaghtai Turkic. The bleak record of his rule, however, was the execution of the prominent Iranian Islamic scholar in Agra, Qazi Seyyed Noorollah Shushtari, the author of such famous books as “Majalis al-Momineen” and “Ehqaaq al-Haq”. The king was under the influence of alcohol when he signed the decree drafted by jealous court mullahs. Later he rued his decision and with the help of his wife, he executed the perpetrators of the murder of Qazi Shushtari, who is famous in India as Shaheed-e Thalis (Third Martyr).

223 solar years ago, on this day in 1795 AD, the British navy after landing on Ceylon or what is now Sri Lanka on August 26 captured all of Dutch-controlled Trincomalee by taking control of the last stronghold, Fort Ostenburghrom, in order to keep the island out of French hands. The British would go on to capture Dutch settlements in India as well, and would grant Sri Lanka independence in 1948.

216 solar years ago, on this day in 1802 AD, Bosnian Muslim revolutionary general, Hussain-Kapetan Gradascevic, was born in the town of Gradacac and grew up surrounded by a political climate of turmoil in the western reaches of the Ottoman Empire. He developed a reputation for wise rule and tolerance and soon became one of the most popular figures in Bosnia. When Sultan Mahmoud II attempted to forcefully mass-recruit the Bosnian populace into his new army in the year 1830, the Bosniaks led by Hussain Kapetan launched an uprising that lasted three years. His forces defeated the imperial army during the Third Battle of Kosovo and at Novi Pazar. The uprising was subdued when Ali-Pasha Rizvan-Begovic defected to the Sultan in return for rule over the Vilayet of Herzegovina. Hussain Kapetan was forced to flee to Austria from where he negotiated for his return and was ultimately allowed back but barred from ever entering Bosnia. He moved to Belgrade and then to Istanbul, where he died mysteriously at the age of 32. He was an able military commander and administrator and was well versed in Turkish and Arabic. He was taught by two dervishes of the Bektashi order of Iranian origin attached to the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). He built the famous Hussainiyya Mosque in his hometown Gradacac.

197 solar years ago, on this day in 1821 AD, German physician and physicist, Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz, was born. He made significant contributions to several areas of modern science. In physiology and psychology, he is known for his mathematics of the eye, theories of vision, ideas on the visual perception of space, colour vision research, and on the sensation of tone, perception of sound, and empiricism. In physics, he is known for his theories on the conservation of energy, work in electrodynamics, chemical thermodynamics, and on a mechanical foundation of thermodynamics. The largest German association of research institutions, the Helmholtz Association, is named after him.

182 lunar years ago, on this day in 1257 AH, one of the leading revolutionary ulema of Iran's Constitutional Movement, Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Tabatabai, was born in holy Karbala in Iraq. On attaining the status of Ijtehad he moved to Iran, and in cooperation with Ayatollah Seyyed Abdullah Behbahani, he opposed the autocratic rule of the Qajarid dynasty. Following the failure of the Iranian government to carry out its international diplomatic duties, he wrote a letter to the Japanese Emperor to treat Muslims under his rule with respect and justice. He was also an erudite scholar and groomed numerous students. He passed away in Tehran at the age of 82.

74 lunar years ago, on this day in 1365 AH, Ayatollah Mahdi Gharawi Isfahani passed away at the age of 62 in Mashhad and was laid to rest in the mausoleum of Imam Reza (AS). Born in Isfahan, he was a product of the seminaries of the holy cities of Karbala and Najaf, where his prominent teachers respectively were Ayatollah Seyyed Ismael Sadr and Ayatollah Mirza Hussain Na’ini and Akhound Khorasani. On reaching Ijtehad, he returned to Iran and settled in holy Mashhad where established the Ma’refi School and for over twenty years groomed several scholars. He wrote several books, including one on the Eternal Miracle of the Holy Qur’an, and Refutation of Deviant Sects, such as the Shaykiya.   

61 solar years ago, on this day in 1957 AD, Malaysia became independent from British rule. The Malay people in what is now Malaysia and Indonesia had gradually converted to Islam as of the 13th century. With the infiltration of Europeans, the Malay lands were occupied in the 17th century by Holland, which in 1824 was forced to give up to Britain several sultanates that joined together as Malaysia, while it kept Indonesia under its control as the Dutch East Indies. The Federation of Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy. It covers an area of nearly 330,000 sq km, and shares borders with Thailand, Brunei and Indonesia.

56 solar years ago, on this day in 1962 AD, the island state of Trinidad & Tobago in the Caribbean Sea gained independence from Britain, which had seized it from Spain and made it part of the West Indies Federation. The Republic of Trinidad & Tobago covers an area of almost 5128 sq km.

50 solar years ago, on this day in 1968 AD, a devastating 7.3 degree earthquake hit the Dasht-e Bayaz region in northeastern Khorasan, in Iran, killing over 10,000 people, injuring 17,000 others, and destroying 60,000 buildings

40 solar years ago, on this day in 1978 AD, the Iranian religious scholar and leader of Lebanon’s Shi'ite Muslims, Imam Seyyed Musa Sadr, went missing during his visit to Libya. Born in 1928 in the holy city of Qom, where he studied at the Islamic seminary, he later graduated from Tehran University. He was invited to Lebanon following the passing away of the famous scholar Allamah Seyyed Sharaf od-Din Musawi. At the time, the Lebanese Muslims were living under the worst social, political, and economic conditions. Hence, Imam Musa Sadr took a number of important measures to improve their status, and set up the Supreme Shi'ite Council. He backed the Palestinians’ struggles against the illegal Zionist entity, Israel. He fell victim to the sedition of Libyan dictator, Mo'ammar Qadhafi, who after officially inviting him to Tripoli, imprisoned and tortured him.

27 solar years ago, on this day in 1991 AD, the Central Asian country of Uzbekistan gained independence from the Soviet Union. As of 6th century BC, this region was part of successive Iranian empires, and was the seat of power of the Iranian-Muslim Samanid Dynasty in the early centuries of Islamic rule. In the 13th century, the region saw an influx of Turkic peoples, followed by the Mongol onslaught of Genghiz Khan that destroyed the rich civilization of the Persian-speaking cities of Samarqand and Bukhara. Later the stage was set for domination of Uzbek ethnicity in this land, before its occupation by the Russians in the 19th century. Uzbekistan covers an area of more than 447,000 sq km and shares borders with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan.

27 solar years ago, on this day in 1991 AD, the Central Asian Muslim country of Kyrgyzstan became independent from the Soviet Union. The entry of Kyrgyz ethnicity in this land started during the Mongol Empire in the 13th century. As of the year 1876, Kyrgyzstan came under the domination of Russia. The Kyrgyz Muslim people launched several uprisings and continued to resist till 1922, when they were brutally suppressed by the Soviets. Kyrgyzstan covers an area of 198,000 sq km and shares borders with China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.

21 solar years ago, on this day in 1997 AD, Iranian architect and historian, Mohammad Karim Pirnia, passed away at the age of 77. Born in Naeen in central Iran, he studied at what came to be Tehran University School of Fine Arts. His textbook on the history of Iranian architecture is still used in universities in Iran. In addition to his native Persian, he was well versed in Arabic and Hebrew, as well as the extinct Pahlavi, and Cuneiform scripts. Known as Father of Traditional Iranian Architecture, Pirnia taught for several years at Iranian universities, and wrote several books, such as “Introduction to Iran’s Islamic Architecture”, “Geometrical Designs in Architecture”, and “Styles of Iranian Architecture”.  

17 solar years ago, on this day in 2001 AD, Ayatollah Ismail Salehi Mazandarani, passed away at the age of 68. After completing his religious studies in Tehran, Qom, and Mashhad, he taught at the seminaries. He was politically active against the despotic Pahlavi regime, braving imprisonment and banishment to remote areas. After victory of the Islamic Revolution, he was entrusted with important posts and wrote several books, such as “Miftah al-Baseerah fi Fiqh ash-Shari’ah”, and “Wilyat-e Faqih” (Governance of the Supreme Jurisprudent).

13 solar years ago, on this day in 2005 AD, over two thousand pilgrims lost their life during a general stampede on hearing rumours of bomb blasts on the Jasr al-Aimmah Bridge over the River Tigris connecting the Baghdad suburbs of Kazemain and Azamiyya, on 25 Rajab the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Musa al-Kazem (AS), the 7th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).

7 solar years ago, on this day in 2011 AD, 14-year old Ali Jawad ash-Sheikh was brutally martyred on Bahrain’s Sitra Island by forces of the repressive Aal-e Khalifa minority regime of the Persian Gulf Island state, during a peaceful protest rally. The boy who died in the hospital had injuries under his chin and bruises on his face, hand, knees and pelvic area.