Sep 06, 2018 05:00 UTC

Today is Thursday; 15th of the Iranian month of Shahrivar 1397 solar hijri; corresponding to 25th of the Islamic month of Zi’l-Hijjah 1439 lunar hijri; and September 6, 2018 of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.

2066 solar years ago, on this day in 48 BC the Battle of Pharsalus broke out between two key members of The First Triumvirate ruling the Roman Empire, Julius Caesar and Pompey Magnus. Caesar emerged victorious and his former friend Pompey was killed. Born in October 101 BC, Caesar refused to be crowned as emperor, but nevertheless continued to wield dictatorial powers until he was assassinated at the Senate in Rome by several senators in a political conspiracy, including his friend Brutus.

Some 1430 lunar years ago, on this day God Almighty revealed ayahs 5 to 22 of Surah Dahr of the holy Qur'an in praise of the Ahl al-Bayt or Blessed Family of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny) when in fulfillment of a vow, his daughter Hazrat Fatema Zahra, along with her husband Imam Ali and her two sons Imam Hasan and Imam Husain, as well as her African maid Fizza (peace upon them) had fasted for three consecutive days, but on each night gave away for the sake of God whatever meagre food they had, when a destitute, an orphan, and a freed prisoner, happened to knock on their door. This day is observed in the Islamic Republic of Iran as the day of Family.

1404 lunar years ago, on this day in 35 AH, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), the divinely-designated heir of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny), formally started his rule of social justice when the caliphate came begging at his door, after usurpers had deprived of him of his right to be political head of the Islamic state for a quarter century. A week earlier on the 18th of Zi’l-Hijjah, incidentally the 25th anniversary of the Prophet’s historic proclamation of his God-given Wilayah or authority, the Muslims had begged him to take up the caliphate following the killing of Osman Ibn Affan on that day. The Imam reluctantly agreed on condition that he would rule only on the basis of God's Revealed Word, the holy Qur'an, and the Prophet’s Sunnah. Imam Ali (AS), knew that whether or not he was given political authority, he was the righteous divinely-appointed heir of the Prophet in all affairs, as per the historic proclamation at Ghadeer-Khom in 10 AH, as is evident by ayah 67 of Surah al-Ma'edah. The Imam's four-year and nine-month rule of justice has never been equaled to this date, and serves till this day as a model for all seekers of justice and human rights.

707 solar years ago, on this day in 1311 AD, Spanish physician Arnaldus de Villa Nova of Villanova, who through acquaintance with the Muslims of Spain, learned Arabic and transferred vital medical information on the heart, drugs, and health regimens to Europe, died in a shipwreck off the coast of Genoa, at the age of 76. He travelled widely and translated into Latin the works of Abu as-Salt and of the famous Iranian physician, Abu Ali ibn Sina, known to medieval Europe as Avicenna. As a result the Christian Church became his enemy and Pope Benedict XI ordered his imprisonment in Paris in 1309, while the Sorbonne University ordered the burning of his books. The inquisitor of Tarragona condemned him, and fifteen of his propositions were censured.

596 solar years ago, on this day in 1422 AD, Sultan Murad II ended the first full-scale Ottoman siege of Constantinople, in retaliation to Byzantine Emperor Manuel II's attempts to interfere in the succession of Ottoman Sultans, after the death of Mohammad I a year before. When Murad II emerged as the winning successor to his father, he marched upon the capital of the Byzantine Empire, which in fact had been reduced to a few disconnected strips of land besides the city of Constantinople itself. It was also facing grave economic problems and severely lacked soldiers. Although Murad II lifted the siege, the respite did not last long for the Byzantines, who were obliterated from history 32 years later by the next Ottoman Sultan, Mohammad II in 1453.

452 solar years ago, on this day in 1566 AD, Suleiman I, the 10th Ottoman sultan and the 2nd self-styled Turkish caliph, died at the age of 72 at Szigetvar, Hungary, as his troops besieged a fortress during their expansion in south central Europe. His corpse was brought to the capital Istanbul for burial. Son of Selim I and a daughter of Mengli Giray Khan of the Crimean Khanate, during his 46-year long rule, the Mediterranean Sea became a Turkish lake, as his admirals, especially Khayr od-Din Pasha (Barbarossa to the Europeans), took most of the North African coasts and successfully raided the southern European coasts of Italy, France, and Spain, and the Adriatic islands, defeating the navies of the Christian powers and the pope. In the east, Suleiman’s all three invasions of Iran’s Safavid Empire ended in failure, because of the wise policies of Shah Tahmasp I, who let the Ottomans take Baghdad by evacuating his forces, but strongly blunted their attacks in western Iran and the Caucasus, resulting in signing of the 30-year Peace of Amasya. Suleiman’s empire began a gradual decline under his slothful son, Selim II. An accomplished poet in Turkish and Persian, Suleiman was known as “Qanouni” (Lawgiver), and carried out administrative reforms that included the switch to Turkish as the state language from Persian in which all officials records had hitherto been kept for centuries. Suleiman built several monuments such as libraries, baths, and mosques, such as Suleimaniyeh Mosque, perhaps the finest mosque built by the Ottomans.

349 solar years ago, on this day in 1669 AD, the longest siege in history ended with the victory of the Ottomans who took the Venetian-ruled city of Candia (modern Heraklion in Crete) after 21 years, having begun the siege in 1648.

210 solar years ago, on this day 1808 AD, Algerian freedom fighter, Abdul-Qader ibn Mohi od-Din al-Hassani al-Jaza'iri, was born near Mascara in Oran. He claimed descent from Imam Hasan Mojtaba (AS), the elder grandson of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). In 1825, he set out for the Hajj pilgrimage. In Mecca, he met with and was impressed by Imam Shamil of Daghestan, the leader of the struggle against Russian expansion in the Caucasus which had recently been seized by the Czar from the Qajarid rulers of Iran. He also visited Syria and Iraq. After five years, he returned to his homeland in 1930 a few months before the Ottoman Turks lost it to the French invaders. He led the military struggle against France, organizing guerrilla warfare over the next decade. His failure to get support from the eastern tribes and the Berbers of the west led to the quelling of his uprising. On December 21, 1847, after being denied refuge in Morocco because of French pressure, he surrendered and was exiled to France, where he remained under detention until 1852. He was released on taking an oath never again to question French rule in Algeria. In 1855 he settled in Damascus, where he died in Damascus on 26 May 1883. Abdul-Qader had unfortunately become a member of the notorious Jewish secret organization, the Freemasons.

61 solar years ago, on this day in 1957 AD, Iranian painter, sculptor, and journalist, Ali Divandari, was born in Sabzevar in Khorasan Province. He is an excellent cartoonist, painter, graphic designer, sculptor and journalist. He studied Graphics at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Tehran University. He began his career as Graphic Designer and Cartoonist in 1975. In 1997, he directed a new International Cartoon Festival in Iran with a main theme of "Man and Nature - Only One, Share & Care". He has also presided as a jury member of several cartoon exhibitions in Iran and Turkey. His works have been published in many international newspapers and magazines and have been exhibited in over than 34 countries

53 solar years ago, on this day in 1965 AD, the second war between India and Pakistan broke out over the disputed region of Kashmir. It ended three weeks later through ceasefire mediated by the Soviet Union. The leaders of India and Pakistan negotiated as of January 10, 1966, in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, where shortly after signing of a peace accord with Pakistani president, Field Marshal Ayub Khan, India’s Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri died of a heart attack. Kashmir remains a matter of dispute between the two sides.

44 solar years ago, on this day in 1974 AD, Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Mahmoud Hussaini Shahroudi, passed away in holy Najaf, Iraq, at the age of 91. Born near Bastaam in northeastern Iran, after studying at the seminary of holy Mashhad, he went to Iraq for higher studies at the famous seminary of holy Najaf. On attaining the status of Ijtehad, he became “Marja” or Source of Emulation for world Muslims. He wrote several books, and among his services was the revival of the traditional walk from different cities to the holy city of Karbala for pilgrimage to the shrine of Imam Husain (AS)

41 lunar years ago, on this day in 1398 AH, the prominent jurisprudent, Ayatollah Mohammad Gharavi Kashani passed away at the age of 85. Born in Kashan, after studying under his scholarly father, Allamah Shaikh Mohammad Hussain Mojtahed Natanzi Kashani, he left for Iraq for higher studies at the famous seminary of Najaf, where his teachers were Ayatollah Mirza Hussain Na’ini, Ayatollah Seyyed Abu’l-Hassan Isfahani, and Ayatollah Zia od-Din Iraqi. After attaining the status of Ijtehad, he returned to Iran, and took up residence in Tehran, where he groomed a number of scholars in various branches of Islamic sciences. He was socially active and campaigned against corruption and un-Islamic practices of the Pahlavi regime.  

40 solar years ago, on this day in 1978 AD, with the progress of struggles of the Iranian people against Shah's despotic regime, huge demonstrations were held nationwide. The regime scared of the people's anger banned public protests. The Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA) issued a fatwa from his exile in the holy city of Najaf in Iraq, calling on the Iranian people to continue their struggles until the downfall of the oppressive regime, and terming the holding of demonstrations for attainment of Islamic goals as “a form of worship." 

36 solar years ago, on this day in 1982 AD, a massive bomb explosion was triggered by MKO terrorists at peak hours in the busy Nasser Khosrow Street of central Tehran, resulting in the martyrdom of scores of innocent men, women, and children, and injury to hundreds of others. The explosion left a huge crater in the street and was heard almost all over Tehran. It was designed to demoralize the people, following a string of defeats suffered by the invading Ba’thist army at the battlefronts of the war imposed by the US through its agent, Saddam, who was openly allied with the MKO terrorists. Of the 17,000 Iranian citizens martyred by the terrorists, the MKO have claimed responsibility for killing 12,000 of them.  

16 solar years ago, on this day in 2002, the Islamic Republic of Iran successfully test fired the solid fuel surface-to-surface “Fateh 110 A” ballistic missile which has a range of around 500 km, as part of the country’s self-sufficiency drive in the field of defence, in order to deter any would-be-aggressor. 

15 solar years ago, on this day in 2003 AD, Iranian mountaineer, Mohammad Oraz, died in Islamabad, Pakistan, at the age of 34 during an attempt to climb Mount Gasherbrum in the Himalayas. Born in Naqadeh in West Azarbaijan Province, he was the second Iranian to conquer Mount Everest. An ethnic Kurd and graduate of Orumiyeh University, Oraz and his compatriot Moqbel Honarpajhouh were caught up in an avalanche. They were rescued and transferred to Shafa Hospital in Islamabad, where his colleague survived but he died 20 days later. The successful international ascents of Oraz include: Mount Rakapushi, Pakistan in 1998; Mount Everest, Nepal in1998; Mount Cho Oyu, Nepal in 2000; Mount Shishapangma, Nepal in 2000, Mount Makalu, Nepal in 2001; Mount Ararat, Turkey in 2001; Mount Lhotse, Nepal in 2002; and up to 7900-meter of Gasherbrum I, Pakistan in 2003.

13 solar years ago, on this day in 2005 AD, the Islamic Republic of Iran offered to send the US 20 million barrels of crude oil to help it overcome the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, as part of its Islamic and humanitarian policy of assisting the afflicted people of even a hostile state that imposed illegal sanctions upon it.

13 solar years ago, on this day in 2005 AD, noted Pakistani journalist, writer and a senior Urdu language poet, Hassan Abedi, passed away in Karachi at the age of 76. Born in Jaunpur, India, and educated in Azamgarh and Allahabad, he moved to Pakistan after its creation in 1947, and settled in Karachi. He was also an active member of the Irtiqa or progressive forum. His compilations of poetry are “Navisht-e Nai” (1995), “Jareeda” (1998) and “Farar Hona Huroof Ka” (2004). As a poet he mainly wrote ghazals (lyrics), as well as other poems, which are a narrative of the socio-political aspects of the society.

12 solar years ago, on this day in 2006 AD, the Islamic Republic of Iran unveiled its first domestically manufactured fighter plane during large-scale military exercises. The bomber “Sa’eqah” or Thunderbolt is similar to the American F-18 fighter plane, but more powerful.

11 lunar years ago, on this day in 1328 AH, the famous researcher, author and religious scholar, Allamah Seyyed Morteza Sharif Askari, passed away at the age 96 in Tehran and was laid to rest in the holy mausoleum of Hazrat Fatema Masouma (SA) in Qom. Born in Samarra in a family of scholars who mostly held the title of “Shaikh al-Islam” during the Safavid era and were active in Sabzevar and Saveh, guiding masses towards the School of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt, after initial studies in his hometown he came to Qom for higher studies, because the British-installed dictator Reza Khan Pahlavi had stopped transfer of money to Iranian students in Iraq. He benefited from the classes of Ayatollah Abdul-Karim Haeri, and on his return to Samarra, studied other branches of science, such as philosophy, history, and exegesis of the holy Qur’an. In Iraq, during the 1950s he found that the young generation was being attracted to the secular universities, and this made him embark on an ambitious project to establish the Islamic University in Baghdad where along with modern sciences, religious courses and exegesis of the holy Qur’an were taught. This university was closed during the 1970s by the repressive Ba’th minority regime which persecuted him, forcing him to move to Iran, where he continued his research and teaching activities till the end of his fruitful life. He authored several valuable books, shedding light on the facts of Islamic history and refuting the baseless accusations of ignorant minds against Shi’a Muslims. Some of his works are: “Abdullah ibn Saba and Other Historical Legends”, and “150 So-Called Companions”. The latter work is a thorough research of primary Islamic books of hadith and history to expose as fictitious some 150 so-called persons who never existed but were unfortunately regarded as companions of the Prophet and spurious accounts of the Prophet’s life narrated from them, in order to mislead Muslims and keep them ignorant of the divinely-decreed rights of the Ahl al-Bayt.