This Day in History (12-06-1397)
Today is Monday; 12th of the Iranian month of Shahrivar 1397 solar hijri; corresponding to 22nd of the Islamic month of Zil-Hijjah 1439 lunar hijri; and September 3, 2018, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1379 lunar years ago, on this day in 60 AH, the staunch Muslim, Maysam at-Tammar (Date-Seller), was brutally martyred in Kufa, Iraq, by Obaidollah Ibn Ziyad, the tyrannical governor of the Godless Yazid. Of Iranian origin, he was born near Nahrawan and circumstances had made him a slave of an Arab family, which imposed upon him the Arabic name “Salem”. He was purchased and manumitted by the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (AS), who not only restored to him his original name “Maysam” given by his parents at birth, but also taught him the correct meaning and interpretation of the holy Qur’an, spiritual values, and exoteric and esoteric sciences. The Imam had prophesied Maysam's martyrdom, saying he would be hanged from a tree, and that after chopping off his hands and feet, the ungodly Omayyads would cut his tongue for his defence of Islam and his speaking of the merits of the Prophet and the Ahl al-Bayt. His death happened in the exact manner as Imam Ali (AS) had prophesied. Earlier, while in prison, Maysam had also briefed his cellmate, Mokhtar ibn Abu Obaidah, on the manner of his death; and foretold him not to worry of his own fate, for he would be set free, and after the impending martyrdom of the Prophet’s grandson, Imam Husain (AS) – who was on his way to Iraq for his date with destiny – he would avenge the blood of the martyrs of Karbala, by eventually killing Ibn Ziyad.
1155 solar years ago, on this day in 863 AD, Amr bin Abdullah, known as al-Aqta or the One-Handed, the Emir of Malatya (in southeastern Turkey), was killed in a heroic fight in the Battle of Lalakaon (northeastern Turkey) with a huge Byzantine army that encircled his force of 8,000 Muslims, while he was returning from a successful expedition to the Black Sea port of Amisos. He was a thorn in the Byzantine side for over three decades, opening the way for the spread of Islam in Anatolia, and had participated in the victorious Battle of Dazimon in 838 under the Iranian Abbasid general, Afshin. In the 840s, he provided shelter to survivors of the Paulician sect of Christianity, who were fleeing persecution from the Greek Orthodox Church of Byzantium. In 844, Amr participated in another decisive victory over the Byzantines at the Battle of Mauropotamos. In the 850s, he often joined forces with Ali IbnYayha al-Armani, the Emir of Tarsus and decisively defeated Byzantine Emperor Michael III. Though unable to stop a raid in 856 by Petronas deep into Muslim territory, all the way to Amida (Diyarbakr), in 860 he teamed up with the Paulician Christians to inflict a major defeat on the Byzantines deep into Anatolia where he reached the Black Sea port of Sinope. His death three years later was a relief to the Byzantines. His reputation lived on and a literary tradition grew around his exploits, which became popular in Anatolia, with the emergence of the Seljuq Turks.
958 lunar years ago, on this day in 481 AH, the famous Iranian Gnostic and poet, Khwaja Abdullah Ansari, known as “Pir-e Herat”, or Senior Citizen of the Khorasani city of Herat, passed away at the age of 85 in his hometown – currently in Afghanistan. He traced his lineage to Abu Ayyub Ansari, a companion and host in Medina of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). He mastered Arabic and Persian literature, theology, hadith, and exegesis of the Holy Qur'an. He was a frequent visitor to the city of Naishapour – a centre of science – to meet and confer with prominent figures, and add to his erudite knowledge. He lived a spiritual life and avoided the company of the rich and politically powerful. He wrote valuable books including an exegesis of the Holy Qur'an in Arabic titled “Kashf al-Asraar”. He composed excellent poetry in his native Persian, and authored several works in both Arabic and Persian, such as "Munajaat-Namah", and “Kitab al-Arba’een". He is the ancestor of the Heravi-Khwajavi line in Iran that once dominated Khorasan and eastern Iran. Some of his descendants moved to the Subcontinent. Among them was Hakim Shaikh Ilm ud-din Ansari, better known as Wazir Khan, who was a governor of the Mughal Emperors in Multan, in what is now Pakistan – best known for building the famous Wazir Khan Mosque in Lahore. His other prominent descendent was Qutb ud-din Ansari who founded the famous Firangi Mahal school of religious education near Lucknow in India.
758 solar years ago, on this day in 1260 AD, the Mamluks of Egypt decisively defeated the Iran-based Ilkhanid Mongols of Hulagu Khan at the Battle of Ain Jalout in Palestine, thus turning the tide against these savage invaders from the steppes of Central Asia. The battle marked the debacle of Mongol power, and was the first time a Mongol army had ever been permanently beaten back in direct combat on the battlefield. After previous defeats, the Mongols had always returned and avenged their loss, ultimately defeating their enemies. The Battle of Ain Jalout marked the first time they were unable to do so. Hulagu Khan was not able to advance into Egypt, (the dynasty he established in Iran was able to defeat the Mamluks only once in subsequent encounters, when the Ilkhan, Mamoud Ghazaan, who had converted to Islam, briefly occupied Syria and parts of Galilee for a few months in 1300). Thus, at Ain Jalout the Mongols were decisively defeated by Egyptian Mamluk Sultan Saif od-Din Qutuz and his able general, Baibars (the next Sultan). This victory over Hulagu's famous Christian Turkish general, Kitbuqa Noyan, ended the threat to Egypt and North Africa, a few years after the Mongol sack of Baghdad and the subjugation of Syria, which included the turning of Omayyad Mosque of Damascus into a cathedral.
360 solar years ago, on this day in 1658 AD, Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, died at the age of 59, and was succeeded by his incompetent son, Richard Cromwell, who resigned nine months later and fled to Europe in the face of royalist advances from Scotland to restore the monarchy. Born into the middle gentry (in a family descended from the sister of King Henry VIII's minister Thomas Cromwell), Oliver Cromwell was relatively obscure for the first 40 years of his life. After undergoing a religious conversion in the 1630s, he became an independent puritan, taking a generally tolerant view towards the many Protestant sects of his period. He was elected to the parliament for Huntingdon in 1628 and for Cambridge in the Short (1640) and Long (1640–49) Parliaments. He entered the English Civil War on the side of the "Roundheads" or Parliamentarians, and was quickly promoted from leading a single cavalry troop to become one of the principal commanders of the New Model Army that defeated the royalist forces. He was one of the signatories of King Charles I's death warrant in 1649, and, as a member of the Rump Parliament (1649–53), he dominated the short-lived Commonwealth of England. He was selected to take command of the English campaign in Ireland in 1649–50. Cromwell's forces defeated the Confederate and Royalist coalition in Ireland and occupied the country. Cromwell confiscated the lands of Catholics, and also led a campaign against the Scottish army between 1650 and 1651. On 20 April 1653 he dismissed the Rump Parliament by force, setting up a short-lived nominated assembly known as Barebone's Parliament, before being invited by his fellow leaders to rule as Lord Protector of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland from 16 December 1653. As a ruler he executed an aggressive and effective foreign policy. On his death from natural causes he was buried in Westminster Abbey, but after the royalists returned to power in 1660 they had his corpse dug up, hung in chains, and beheaded. Oliver Cromwell is one of the most controversial figures in British history – considered a military dictator by Winston Churchill, but a hero of liberty by John Milton, Thomas Carlyle and Samuel Rawson Gardiner, and a class revolutionary by Leon Trotsky. In a poll in Britain in 2002, he was selected as one of the ten greatest Britons of all time.
270 solar years ago, on this day in 1748 AD, the 3rd ruler of the Afsharid dynasty, Mohammad Ibrahim Khan, was deposed by Nader Shah Afshar’s grandson, Shahrukh Afshar, less than two months after he had usurped the throne of Iran from his brother, Adel Shah, the elder nephew and successor of Nader Shah. Shahrukh, who made Mashhad his capital, was deposed and blinded a year later by Mir Seyyed Mohammad Mar’ashi – a grandson (daughter’s son) of Shah Suleiman I Safavi and caretaker of the Holy Shrines of Qom and Mashhad – who ascended the throne as Shah Suleiman II, but a few months later was dethroned, blinded and replaced by the blind Shahrukh. The eastern parts of Khorasan seceded from Iran during Shahrukh’s rule to become the new country of Afghanistan, while Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar seized Mazandaran on the Caspian Sea, and Karim Khan Zand of Shiraz took over most of the country. In 1796, after exterminating the Zands and founding the Qajar Dynasty, Agha Mohammad Khan tortured Shahrukh to death, thus ending all vestiges of the dynasty founded by the adventurer Nader Shah, who on liberating Iran from Afghan occupation had crowned himself king.
266 solar years ago, on this day in 1752 AD, “September 3” never happened, nor the next ten dates ever occurred in Britain and its colonies, including what later became the USA. The Roman era Julian calendar had become 11 days out of step from the solar cycle, making Britain adopt the Gregorian calendar, which moved this day's date up from Sep 3 to Sep 14. People rioted in the streets thinking the government stole 11 days of their lives. Instituted in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII on the model of Iranian solar hijri calendar, the 365-day Gregorian calendar has an extra day every four years (the leap year) and keeps track of the equinoxes. Russia adopted the Gregorian calendar only in 1918 (31 Jan 1918 was the last Julian date, followed the next day by 14 Feb 1918). Greece was the last country to do it in 1922.
235 solar years ago, on this day in 1783 AD, the American war of independence ended after seven years of fighting with the signing of the Treaty of Paris by Britain and the new country called the “United States of America” made up of the 13 rebellious New England colonies.
198 lunar years ago, on this day in 1241 AH, the second Russo-Iranian war started. The cause was the continued hostility of Russia that had seized the northwestern territories of Iran in the Caucasus. Despite the courage displayed by Prince Abbas Mirza who achieved initial success and pushed back the Russians, the Iranian army was defeated because of lack of supply and support from Tehran, where Fath-Ali Shah was immersed in inefficiency and pleasures. The disgraceful Turkmenchai Treaty was forced upon Iran, which had to cede to Russia the region of Daghestan west of the Caspian Sea, and areas north of the River Aras, including what is now called the Republic of Azerbaijan.
163 solar years ago, on this day in 1855 AD, US soldiers brutally massacred over a hundred men, women and children of the Sioux Amerindian tribe in Nebraska. The US army was led by General William S. Harney. The US has a sordid record of genocide and has almost exterminated the native Amerindian people.
135 solar years ago, on this day in 1883 AD, the acclaimed Russian novelist, short story writer, and playwright, Ivan Turgenev, died in self-exile in France at the age of 64. On completion of his studies in linguistics, he started his literary activities and his first major publication, was the short story collection entitled “A Sportsman's Sketches” (1852) – hailed as a milestone of Russian Realism. His novel “Fathers and Sons” (1862) is regarded as one of the major works of 19th-century fiction. Although born in a landowner family, his works show staunch support for freedom and materialization of the rights of farmers and peasants. For this reason, he was persecuted by the authorities and forced to flee to France.
103 solar years ago, on this day in 1915 AD, the leader of the anti-colonial movement in southern Iran, Raees Ali Delvari, attained martyrdom at the hands of the British invaders, at Tangestan near Bushehr, after seven years of resistance. The uprising was the result of a fatwa for jihad issued by the ulema for defence of the country. Delvari and his courageous comrades foiled the attacks of well-equipped British troops for occupation of the Port of Bushehr, before their martyrdom.
100 solar years ago, on this day in 1918 AD, following the end of World War 1, Damascus, the ancient and historical Islamic city of Syria, was occupied by British troops, as part of the European plot to destroy the Ottoman Empire. Syria and Damascus were handed over to France by the British, and gained independence in 1944 during World War 2.
53 lunar years ago, on this day in 1386 AH, the Iranian Gnostic and Philosopher, Ayatollah Sheikh Mojtaba Qazvini, passed away. He studied at the famous seminary of holy Najaf in Iraq under such great scholars as Ayatollah Mirza Mohammad Taqi Shirazi, Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Kazem Yazdi, and Ayatollah Mirza Mohammad Hussain Na’ini. He was a fellow student of the famous Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Abu’l-Qassim Khoeyi. On return to Iran, he attended the classes in holy Mashhad of Aqa Bozourg Hakim and Mirza Isfahani. He spent 40 years in teaching and writing books, besides his social activities. His books include “Roshangar” and the 5-volume “Bayan al-Firaq”.
47 solar years ago, on this day in 1971 AD, the small Qatar Peninsula, jutting into the Persian Gulf from mainland Arabia, emerged as an independent country after 55 years of colonial rule by the British, who had seized it after backing the revolt of the Aal-e Thani tribe against 45 years of Ottoman hegemony (1871-1916). Before the Ottomans, Qatar was until 1868 under occupation of Bahrain’s Aal-e Khalifa pirate-rulers, which had seized this area on the weakening of Iranian power in the Persian Gulf in the late 18th century. Qatar, which along with the eastern coast of Arabia was known as “Greater Bahrain” in history, converted to Islam in 628 AD, when Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), sent his envoy Ala al-Hadhrami to al-Mundhir Ibn Sawa at-Tamimi, the ruler of Bahrain (which extended from the coast of Kuwait to Qatar and its south in what is now Saudi Arabia, including al-Ahsa, as well as the Bahrain Islands). On independence, Qatar joined the United Arab Emirates Confederation, but soon withdrew from it. Qatar presently serves as a base of US intruding forces in the Persian Gulf, and has aligned itself with the illegal Zionist entity, Israel, to fund terrorist groups trying to destabilize Syria.
26 solar years ago, on this day in 1992 AD, the “Father of Modern Physics in Iran”, Professor Seyyed Mahmoud Hessabi, passed away in Geneva, Switzerland, at the age of 89. An outstanding scientist, researcher and professor of University of Tehran, the services rendered by him were deeply appreciated during the congress on "60 Years of Physics in Iran". Born in Tehran to parents from the nearby town of Tafresh, he was laid to rest, according to his will, in his ancestral town. When he was seven, his family moved from Iran to Beirut in Lebanon where he attended school. At seventeen he obtained his Bachelor's in Arts and Sciences from the American University of Beirut. Later he obtained his B.A. in civil engineering while working as a draftsman. He continued his studies and graduated from the Engineering School of Beirut. Hessabi was admitted to the Ecole Superieure d'Electricite, one of France's top engineering schools, and in 1925 graduated while working for French National Railway (SNCF) in the electric locomotive maintenance department. He was a scientific mind and continued his research in physics at the Sorbonne University and obtained PhD in physics from there at the age of twenty-five. He was the only Iranian student of the German-American genius, Albert Einstein, and wrote a treatise on his teacher’s death in 1955. Dr. Hessabi was a polymath, with five bachelor's degrees in literature, civil engineering, mathematics, electrical engineering and mining engineering. He continued lecturing at University of Tehran for three working generations, teaching seven generations of students and professors. Professor Hessabi was fluent in five living languages: Persian, Arabic, French, English, and German. He was also familiar with Sanskrit, Latin, Greek, Pahlavi, and Avestan, as well as Turkish and Italian, which he used for etymological studies. In 1947, he published his classic paper on "Continuous Particles". In 1957, he proposed his model of "Infinitely Extended Particles".