This Day in History (18-06-1397)
Today is Sunday; 18th of the Iranian month of Shahrivar 1397 solar hijri; corresponding to 28th of the Islamic month of Zi’l-Hijjah 1439 lunar hijri; and September 9, 2018, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1446 solar years ago, on this day in 572 AD, the 7-year war broke out between the Persian Empire and the Byzantine or Eastern Roman Empire with the invasion of Sassanid territories by Emperor Justin II, who eventually suffered a shattering defeat at the hands of the Iranian Emperor, Khosrow I Anushiravan. Justin was forced to abdicate and was succeeded by Tiberius as the new emperor. The Romans paid 45,000 gold coins to Iran as war reparations.
1376 lunar years ago, on this day in 63 AH, the Battle of Harrah and the brutal massacre of the people of Medina took place in less than two years after the tragedy of Karbala, when the Godless Yazid dispatched a huge army led by the notoriously immoral Muslim bin Uqbah to sack the city of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). It happened that after the heartrending martyrdom of the Prophet's grandson, Imam Husain (AS), the people of Medina who had failed to support him, sent a delegation to Damascus to ascertain Yazid's character. The delegation found him completely devoid of all Islamic values, and as a result the people of Medina expelled the Omayyad governor and refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of Yazid's un-Islamic rule. The ungodly tyrant sent a force of 10,000 Syrians who attacked the defenders at Harrah, northeast of Medina. The well-equipped Omayyads after slaughtering a large number of Muslim defenders pursued them into the city and mercilessly butchered the people, including those that had sought refuge in the Prophet's Mosque and the Prophet's shrine. As many as 10,000 people, including 700 prominent persons comprising the Prophet's companions and scholars were massacred in cold-blood. Next, Muslim Ibn Uqbah, who has earned notoriety in Islamic history as the criminal transgressor who violated all bounds of sanctity, ordered his troops to plunder and desecrate the property and womenfolk of Medina for three days, before marching upon Mecca and blasphemously attacking the holy Ka'ba. For generations the heinous crime of Harrah was remembered. Of the women of Medina gang-raped by Yazid's soldiers, over a thousand gave birth to illegitimate children with no clue about their fathers. These are known in history as the “Offspring of the Sedition of Harrah”, and it is said that the schismatic ideas known as Wahhabism today, especially the prohibition on visiting the graves and recitation of Fateha for the dead, could actually be traced to these children of unknown and illegitimate parentage.
1154 lunar years ago, on this day in 285 AH, the Arab grammarian Abu'l-Abbas Mohammad al-Mubarrad died in Baghdad. He is regarded as leader of the Basran grammarians against the Kufan School. He has criticized some points in the grammar of the famous Iranian grammarian of Arabic language, Sibawayh, the greatest writer of his own school. His main work is the grammatical book "al-Kamel". Although a Sunni Muslim, al-Mubarrad has mentioned the account that Princess Shahr-Banu – daughter of Yazdegerd III, the last Sassanid Emperor of Iran – had married Imam Husain (AS) and was the mother of Imam Zayn al-Abedin (AS).
877 solar years ago, on this day in 1141 AD, Yelu Dashi, the Mongol Liao dynasty general who founded the Qara-Khitai dynasty in the northern parts of Central Asia, defeated the combined army of the Iran-based Seljuqid Empire and its Qara-Khanid vassals at the Battle of Qatwan near Samarqand, in what is now the Republic of Uzbekistan. The decisive defeat, with Sultan Ahmad Sanjar barely escaping alive, signalled the beginning of the end of the Great Seljuq Empire. Yelu Dashi had moved west from Northern China when the Jurchens invaded and destroyed the Liao Dynasty in 1125. In 1137 he took the Eastern Qara-Khanid capital of Balasaghun and later the same year he defeated at Khojand the Western Qara-Khanids, who were vassals of the Seljuqs. Qara-Khanid ruler Mahmud II appealed to his Seljuq overlord Sultan Sanjar for protection. After defeating Sultan Sanjar, Yelu Dashi spent ninety days in Samarqand, accepting the loyalty of Muslim nobles and appointing Mahmud's brother Ibrahim as the new ruler. However, he did allow the Muslim Burhan family to continue to rule Bukhara. After this battle, Khwarezm became a vassal state of the Qara-Khitai. In 1142, Yelu sent Erbuz to Khwarezm to pillage the province, which forced Atsiz to agree to pay 30,000 dinars annual tribute.
525 solar years ago, on this day in 1493 AD, Ottoman Sultan, Bayezid II defeated a joint army of the kingdoms of Croatia and Hungary at the Battle of Krbava, a part of Lika region in southern Croatia. The Ottoman forces were led by Khadem Yaqub Pasha, the Governor of Bosnia.
433 solar years ago, on this day in 1585 AD, French clergyman and statesman, Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal-Duke of Richelieu, was born. He was consecrated as a bishop in 1607 and was appointed Foreign Secretary in 1616. Richelieu soon rose in both the Catholic Church and the French government to become a cardinal in 1622, and King Louis XIII's chief minister in 1624. He remained in office until his death in 1642. Cardinal Richelieu was often known by his title of the King's "Chief Minister" or "First Minister". He sought to consolidate royal power and crush domestic factions. By restraining the power of the nobility, he transformed France into a strong, centralized state. His chief foreign policy objective was to check the power of the Austro-Spanish Habsburg dynasty, and to ensure French dominance in the Thirty Years' War that engulfed Europe. Although he was a cardinal, he did not hesitate to make alliances with Protestant rulers in attempting to achieve his goals. Richelieu was also famous for his patronage of the arts. He is also a leading character in The “Three Musketeers” by Alexandre Dumas, and portrayed as a main antagonist.
279 solar years ago, on this day in 1739 AD, the Stono Rebellion, the largest uprising of the enslaved black people in Britain's North American colonies, erupted near Charleston, South Carolina. The uprising was led by Africans who were likely from the Kingdom of Congo. Their leader, Jemmy (referred to in some reports as "Cato") was a literate person who led other enslaved Africans, who may have been former soldiers, in an armed march south from the Stono River. After crushing the rebellion, the British executed most of the captured blacks and sold the few survivors in the West Indies.
227 solar years ago, on this day in 1791 AD, Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States, was named after President George Washington.
190 solar years ago, on this day in 1828 AD, Russian author and literary figure, Leo Tolstoy, was born. He joined the Caucasian army and wrote his first novel: "Childhood". Later he left the army, and spent all his time studying and writing novels. Among his most important works, mention can be made of “Anna Karenina” and "War and Peace". Tolstoy died in the year 1910.
163 solar years ago, on this day in 1855 AD, during the last phase of the Crimean War, the Siege of Sevastopol ended when Russian forces abandoned the city. Sevastopol is one of the classic sieges of all time. The city of Sevastopol was the home of the Tsar's Black Sea Fleet, which threatened the Mediterranean Sea and the Ottoman Empire. The Russian army withdrew before the allies the British, French and Ottoman allies could encircle it. The siege was the culminating struggle for the strategic Russian port in 1854–1855 and was the final episode in the Crimean War. The Siege of Sevastopol was the subject of Crimean soldier Leo Tolstoy's “Sebastopol Sketches”. The Battle of Balaklava was made famous by Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" and Robert Gibb's painting “The Thin Red Line”.
150 lunar years ago, on this day in 1289 AH, the great Iranian theologian and philosopher, Mullah Hadi Sabzevari, passed away at the age of 78. He was born in Sabzevar in Khorasan in a wealthy family, but lived a life of piety and asceticism, spending whatever he had for the poor and the needy. He studied, first in holy Mashhad and then in Isfahan for several years, and was an authority in the exegesis of the Holy Qur'an, logic, mathematics, literature, and medicine. He used to lecture both in Mashhad and his hometown Sabzevar, and trained a large number of students from Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Turkey, Caucasus, Afghanistan and the Subcontinent. He was a great exponent of the Transcendent Philosophy of Mullah Sadra, and has written 52 books in Arabic and Persian, including the famous versified “Manzoumah” and its commentary, which, along with another of his famous work, "Asrar al-Hekam", are taught till this day in Iran and other countries. The poet-philosopher of the Subcontinent, Allamah Iqbal Lahori, has paid glowing tributes to Mullah Hadi Sabzevari as one of the most prominent Islamic thinkers.
96 solar years ago, on this day in 1922 AD, the 3-year long Greek invasion of Turkey ended with Turkish victory over the Greeks in Smyrna near Izmir.
73 solar years ago, on this day in 1945 AD Japanese occupation troops in China laid down their arms and decided to withdraw. The victory was the outcome of the unification of the armed communist forces and the Chinese state army. The Empire of Japan formally surrendered to China.
70 solar years ago, on this day in 1948 AD, following the end of World War II, withdrawal of Japanese occupation forces, and occupation of the southern half of the Korean Peninsula by the US, North Korea declared its independence. Less than a month earlier, American-occupied South Korea had announced its independence. North Korea shares borders with Russia and China to the north, and South Korea to the south. It covers an area of over 120,000 sq km.
49 solar years ago, on this day in 1969 AD, the Iranian author and critic, Jalal Aal-e Ahmad, passed away at the age of 46. Born in Tehran, he graduated in Persian Literature from Tehran University. During the tough years of World War II, he entered the scene of politics and started his career in journalism. As of 1953, he focused on research, compilation of books, and teaching, and published critical articles and short stories. He maintained a particular style in writing stories. He used verbal language precisely and in a delicate manner within the framework of attractive stories, and social and political criticisms. The infiltration of Western culture in Iran's society was the grave concern of Aal-e Ahmad. Hence, he published the book “Gharbzadagi” (Westoxication) in the year 1962, warning against this unwanted phenomenon, and saying the strengthening of belief in sacred religion of Islam is the solution in this regard. Among his other important books, mention could be made of "Modir-e Madraseh", and "Nafrat-e Zamin".
42 solar years ago, on this day in 1976 AD, China’s communist leader, Mao Zedong, died at the age of 83. In 1921 he founded China's Communist Party and won the support of the rural masses. In 1934, he led the 100,000-strong communist forces on a long march from the South to the North on foot to prevent clashes with the governmental forces. During this march which lasted for a year, more than 60,000 people lost their lives. After the termination of World War II the communists, led by Mao, defeated Chiang Kai-Shek, who was supported by the West, and declared the foundation of People's Republic of China in the year 1949. Mao managed to form a powerful central government in China. The ideas of Mao about communism were different to those of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin, and are popularly known as Maoism.
39 solar years ago, on this day in 1979 AD, the renowned Iranian traditional musician and celebrated player of the ‘taar’, Ali Naqi Vaziri, passed away at the age of 92. Son of Musa Khan (a prominent official in the Persian Cossack Brigade) and Bibi Khatoon Astarabadi, a notable Iranian writer and satirist (founder of the first girls schools in Iran), he founded the Academy of Music of Iran as well as Iran's National Orchestra. His younger brother was the celebrated painter Hasan Vaziri. Ali-Naqi was a master of Iran's classical music and always looked for new dimensions and perspectives in musical expression, and by doing so he revolutionized the style of playing the taar. He was the first to transcribe the classical ‘radif’ of the Persian music. He was removed from the Academy of Music by the British-installed Pahlavi dictator, Reza Khan, for refusing to conduct an orchestra at one of the private functions of the court. After the fall of Reza Khan, Tehran University appointed him professor of the Art and Aesthetic Department. After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, he participated in production of the first national anthem of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and produced such masterpieces as “O Motherland”, and “Soil of Iran”.
27 solar years ago, on this day in 1991 AD, the Central Asian country of Tajikistan declared its independence from the Soviet Union. Since the 6th century BC, Tajikistan was part of the Iranian empires of the Achaemenian, Parthian and Sassanid Dynasties. After the advent of Islam, it became part of the caliphate and subsequently was an integral part of the Bukhara-based Iranian Muslim Samanid Dynasty. It fell to waves of Turkic conquerors and in the 19th century was occupied by the Russians. The people speak Tajik, a form Persian language. Tajikistan covers an area of more than 143,000 sq km, and shares borders with China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan.
17 solar years ago, on this day in 2001 AD, former Afghan defence minister, Ahmad Shah Massoud, and leader of the Persian speaking ethnic Tajiks, was assassinated at the age of 49 by two al-Qaeda terrorists disguised as Arab journalists wanting an interview. A brilliant military tactician, known as “Shir-e Panjshir” (Lion of Panjshir Valley), he fought the Soviet communist forces for ten years from 1979. He also successfully fought the Taliban terrorist militia, which had seized power in Kabul.