This Day in History (20-06-1397)
Today is Tuesday; 20th of the Iranian month of Shahrivar 1397 solar hijri; corresponding to 1st of the Islamic month of Muharram 1440 lunar hijri; and September 11, 2018, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
Several thousand years ago, on this day, Prophet Idris was raised to the heavens on completion of his mission to restore monotheism to mankind after people had deviated from the worship of the One and Only God, and taken to weird forms of polytheism including fire-worship. His name was Anoukh (Enoch in the Bible) and he is believed to be 7th in line of descent from the Father of the human race, Adam. The reason he was called Idris is because of possessing great wisdom and knowledge, which he used to teach others. According to exegesis he taught to mankind the art of weaving cloth and sewing garments, since in those days people used to wear animal skins. He was the first to invent writing and use the pen, as well as being the first to record and measure the movement of the stars and set up scientific weights and measures. He was the great-grandfather of Prophet Noah and his house was the Sahla Mosque that lies outside the city of Kufa in Iraq. Idris is often called the "Prophet of the Philosophers" and several works are attributed to him. He built many cities including monuments in western Egypt. Interestingly, the Sahla Mosque will be the home of Imam Mahdi (AS), the 12th and Last Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) who will establish the global government of peace, prosperity and justice.
1446 lunar years ago, on this day, in the 6th year before Hijra, the pagan Arab leaders of Mecca, fearful of the spread of the monotheistic liberating creed of Islam, signed an accord to impose economic-social sanctions on Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), thereby banning all trade ties and any relations with the fledgling Muslim community. The Prophet's uncle and guardian, Abu Taleb (AS) took the Muslims under his care and retired to a gorge outside Mecca which still bears his name as Sh'eb Abi Taleb. During this 3-year period, the Muslims suffered acute hardships, and in order to ease their economic plight, the Prophet's wife, Omm al-Momineen Khadija (SA), spent all her vast wealth on their basic needs, to the extent that she passed away in poverty for the sake of Islam. It was the duty of the Prophet's young cousin and ward, Imam Ali (AS) to procure grains for the besieged Muslims by risking his life and limbs. As the sanctions and boycott failed to have their effect, the frustrated Arab pagans lifted the siege three years later, and when they unlocked the box containing the accord, they were surprised to see that all its contents, except the Name of God, had been eaten by termites. Sadly, just before the lifting of the siege and sanctions, the Prophet became a widower as his one and only wife of twenty-five long years, the Mother of all True Believers, Hazrat Khadija (SA) passed away, leaving as orphan her young daughter, Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA).
1420 lunar years ago, on this day in 20 AH, the ancient land of Egypt was liberated by Muslim forces from the oppressive rule of the Byzantine or Eastern Roman Empire. The Egyptian people welcomed the Muslims as liberators, and most of them by renouncing Christianity, accepted Islam.
1359 lunar years ago, on this day in 81 AH, Mohammad al-Hanafiyya passed away at the age of 66. He was a son of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (AS), while his mother was Khowla, whom the Imam had married a couple of years after the martyrdom of his beloved wife, the Prophet's daughter, Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA). Known for his piety, courage and rectitude; during his father's caliphate he was one of the four chief lieutenants, and distinguished himself in the Battles of Jamal and Siffin. Due to ill health he did not accompany his brother, the Prophet’s younger grandson, Imam Husain (AS), to Karbala, and after the tragedy, he was considered head of the House of Imam Ali (AS), since his nephew Imam Zain al-Abedin (AS) preferred to keep a low profile. It was in Mohammad al-Hanafiyya's name that Mukhtar Ibn Abu Obaida launched the uprising in Kufa to avenge the martyrdom of Imam Husain (AS).
1136 solar years ago, on this day in 883 AD, the famous Greek Muslim admiral, Damian of Tarsus, known by his Islamic name of Ghulam Yazman al-Khadim, decisively routed a large Byzantine invasion army by a carrying out a lightening night attack at Bab Qalamyah, some 12 km from Tarsus that resulted in the death of tens of thousands of Roman soldiers, including their commander-in-chief, Kesta Styppiotes – an ethnic Slav who had recently replaced Andrew the Scythian on his defeat by Muslim armies. For a decade Yazman was a thorn in the Byzantine side, and won several land and sea battles against the Christians, sometimes in alliance with another valourous Greek convert to Islam, Cleo or Rasheeq al-Wardami, who is famous for besieging the Byzantine capital, Constantinople, and briefly taking over Thessalonica, the second largest city. According to the historian al-Mas’udi, his fame was such that he was among the ten illustrious Muslims whose portraits were hung in Byzantine churches in recognition of their valour. Yazman died in 891 during the siege of the Byzantine fortress of Salandu in what is now southwestern Turkey, as a result of a catapult wound. His troops carried him to his seat of power Tarsus, and buried him there.
808 lunar years ago, on this day in 632 AH, the Iranian Shafei mystic, Shehab od-Din Omar Ibn Mohammad Suhravardi, passed away. Born in the village of Suhravard, near Zanjan, 300 km northwest of Tehran, in a family that traced its descent to Martyr Mohammad Ibn Abu Bakr – an adopted son and governor of Egypt of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali Ibn Abi Taleb (AS) – he expanded the Suhravardiyya Sufi order founded by his paternal uncle, Abu Najib Suhravardi. He wrote the mystical work, “Awaref al-Ma’aref” (Gifts of Deep Knowledge) and among his disciples was the famous Iranian poet, Shaikh Sa’di Shirazi. It is worth noting that Qamar od-Din Khan Asef Jah Nizam ul-Mulk the Founder of the Asef Jahi Dynasty of Haiderabad-Deccan in India, was a direct descendent of Shehab od-Din Suhravardi the Mystic – not be confused with his namesake, compatriot and contemporary, the philosopher of the Illuminationist School.
721 solar years ago, on this day in 1297 AD, Battle of Stirling Bridge, during the First War of Scottish Independence resulted in a decisive defeat for the English by the Scots jointly-led by William Wallace and Andrew Moray.
453 solar years ago, on this day in 1565 AD, Ottoman forces lifted the Great Siege of the Island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea during the period when the Mediterranean Sea had virtually turned into a Turkish Lake. The Turks, however, continued to raid Malta and coast of Italy and Spain in order to check the ambitions of Christian powers.
429 lunar years ago, on this day in 1011 AH, Shaikh Hassan Ibn Zain od-Din, passed away at the age of 52 in his homeland Lebanon. Son of the famous “Shaheed Thani” (Second Martyr), he was a product of the Najaf Seminary in Iraq. He wrote the famous book “Ma’alem al-Usoul”. In Lebanon he groomed numerous students.
409 solar years ago, on this day in 1609 AD, Philip III issued expulsion order for the Moriscos of Valencia, at the instigation of the Duke of Lerma and the Viceroy of Valencia, Archbishop Juan de Ribera. Hundreds of thousands of Spanish who under compulsion outwardly appeared as Catholics but inwardly were Muslims, had to leave Valencia in hundreds of thousands. This was the beginning of the expulsion of all Moriscos from Spain by the year 1614, and led to the migration of over a one million Spanish Muslims to North Africa. They were ordered to depart "under the pain of death and confiscation, without trial or sentence... to take with them no money, bullion, jewels or bills of exchange... just what they could carry." The charge against them was that they were secretly planning to facilitate the invasion of Spain by the Ottoman Turks from the sea and by the Huguenots or Protestant Christians of France from the northern land route.
321 solar years ago, on this day in 1697 AD, the Battle of Zenta was fought in Serbia, on the east side of the Tisa River, resulting in a victory for the Austrians and decisive defeat for the Ottoman Turks. While the Ottoman army was in the process of crossing the river, the Austrians launched a surprise attack and massacred at least 30,000 Turkish Muslims. As a result, the Ottoman Empire lost control over Bosnia, and so demoralized was Sultan Mustafa II that he signed the Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699, giving away large parts of Central Europe including Hungary.
226 solar years ago, on this day in 1792 AD, the Hope Diamond was stolen along with other French crown jewels when six men broke into the house where they were stored. It is a large, 45.52-carat deep-blue diamond, now housed in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C. It is valued at 250 million US dollars. Ever since its discovery in the 17th century in Guntur, southern India, in what was then the Qutb-Shahi Kingdom of Iranian origin of Golkandeh, it has changed hands numerous times on its way from India to France to Britain and eventually to the United States.
223 solar years ago, on this day in 1795 AD, in the Battle of Krtsanisi in the Caucasus, the Iranian army demolished the joint forces of the Kartl-Kakheti kingdoms, as Heraclius II of Georgia fled and Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar took possession of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi. The cause of the war was the alliance of Heraclius with the Russian Empire, despite the fact that for the past two millenniums Georgia had intermittently been part of the various Iran-based empires. Since 1555 Eastern Georgia, which had been under Safavid suzerainty, asserted its independence in 1747 on the death of Nader Shah Afshar. After his triumph in Georgia, Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar subdued all rivals by 1796 and crowned himself king of Iran to formally establish the Qajarid dynasty. The next year he died issueless and was succeeded by his pleasure-loving nephew, Fath Ali Shah Qajar, who during his long reign lost much of Iranian territory in the Caucasus and Central Asia.
215 solar years ago, on this day in 1803 AD, the British troops decisively defeated the Marathas in the Battle of Delhi, thereby strengthening their rising control over India.
70 solar years ago, on this day in 1948 AD, the Founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, passed away in his hometown Karachi. Born in an Ismaili Shi'ite Muslim family, later in life, he became an Ithna Ash'ari or Twelver Shi'ite. Educated in London and a lawyer by profession, he was a brilliant orator who was one of the founders of the Muslim League of India for the struggle against colonialism and a separate homeland for Muslims of the Subcontinent, after being dissatisfied with the Hindu-oriented policy of the Indian National Congress, of which he was initially a member. For this reason, he was affectionately called all over India, and later after the birth of Pakistan, as Qa'ed-e Azam or the Great Leader. Following the birth of Pakistan on August 14, 1947, he became Governor-General.
45 solar years ago, on this day in 1973 AD, General Augusto Pinochet of Chile was used by the notorious US spying agency, CIA, to topple the legal and elected government of President Salvador Allende, three years after this Secretary-General of the Chilean Socialist Party was voted by the people to power. Allende's plan to nationalize banks, mines, and industries meant the end of the vested interests of US companies in Chile, and to sabotage his policies, the CIA engineered the coup and killed him. Pinochet was subsequently put in charge of Chile and suppressed the people for the next 25 years. Despite handing power to an elected civilian cabinet in 1990, he continued to terrorize the Chilean people until ill health forced him to relinquish military power in 1998. The families of tens of thousands of his victims called for prosecution, but because of US support, Pinochet and his cohorts were never brought to trial. He died in 2006.
45 lunar years ago, on this day in 1395 AH, Ayatollah Seyyed Abu’l-Hassan Rafi’i Qazvini, passed away at the age of 85 in his hometown Qazvin and was laid to rest in Qom in the mausoleum of Hazrat Ma’souma (SA). A student of Grand Ayatollah Abdul-Karim Ha’eri, the Reviver of the Qom Seminary, he was in turn the teacher of such famous figures as Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani, Ayatollah Hassan Hassanzadeh Amoli and the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA). He belonged to a family with a long line of Mujtaheds and Gnostic ancestors. In the last thirty years of his life, he settled in his hometown and revived the Qazvin seminary.
40 lunar years ago, on this day in 1400 AH, some 300 men, led by Juhaiman al-Otaiba seized Islam's holiest site, the Masjid al-Haraam or Sacred Mosque that houses the holy Ka'ba in Mecca, as part of their uprising against the British-created Saudi regime. The Wahhabi minority regime refused to listen to the demands for reforms by the group and after besieging them for two weeks in the Masjid al-Haraam it sacrilegiously stormed this holiest site with the assistance of non-Muslim French troops, resulting in a great bloodbath around the holy Ka'ba. At least 244 people were massacred. The captured were never brought before public or given a fair trial. Over a year-and-a-half later, 36 more people were beheaded by the Saudi regime.
37 solar years ago, on this day in 1981 AD, the prominent scholar, Ayatollah Seyyed Asadollah Madani, was martyred by MKO terrorists in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz, while leading the Friday Prayer at the age of 67. He completed his studies at the Qom and Najaf Seminaries, and attained the status of Ijtehad. He was active in the struggle against the despotic British-installed and US-backed Pahlavi regime, revealing the evil nature of the Shah during the 15th Khordad Uprising of June 4, 1963. As a result, he suffered imprisonment and banishment to remote areas of the country. Following the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, he was appointed Friday Prayer Leader of Tabriz by the Founder of Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini (RA).
35 lunar years ago, on this day in 1405 AH, Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Abdullah Musavi Shirazi, passed away in holy Mashhad at the age of 92 and was laid to rest in the mausoleum of Imam Reza (AS), the 8th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). Born in Shiraz, he was 15 years old when he accompanied his father, Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Tahir Shirazi, into banishment to remote areas for opposing the Qajarid dynasty’s subservience to British colonial rule. In 1914, Abdullah Shirazi went to Iraq to study advanced jurisprudence at the seminary of holy Najaf, under Ayatollah Mirza Mohammad Hussain Na’eni. On his return to Iran, he became active against the anti-Islamic rule of Reza Khan Pahlavi, and following the Gowharshad Mosque protests of 1935 against the forcible unveiling of women, he was sentenced to 4 years in prison. After his release, he went back to Najaf, and soon became one of the leading Marja or Source of Emulation. In 1975, he returned to Iran and joined the movement of the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA) against Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, until the regime was overthrown in 1979. He was socially active, both inside and outside Iran, and wrote several books, such as “Umdat-il Wasa'il fil Hashiyat ila ar-Rasa'il” (on writings of Shaikh Morteza Ansari, in 4 volumes); “Azahat ush-Shubahat fi Hukm il-Afaaq al-Muttahidah wa’l Mottafiqah” (Jurisprudential Rules on Observation of the Moon for Calculations of the Solar Calendar); “At-Tuhfat ol-Kadhimiyah fi Qatl al-Hayawanat bil-Alaat al-Kahruba'iyah” (Jurisprudential Rules concerning Slaughtering of Farm Animals with Electric Devices); “Al-Ihtejajaat al-Ashra” (Discussion on the Sunni-Shi'a Debate – translated into Persian, English, Urdu, and Gujarati, and published several times); and “Imam wa Imamat” (in Persian on the topic of Imamate in Islam). Ayatollah Abdullah Shirazi founded over 180 institutes, including hospitals, schools, and libraries in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, India, and African countries.
24 solar years ago, on this day in 1994 AD, Iranian researcher and Qur'anic scholar, Dr. Mohammad Ramyar, passed away. Born in the holy city of Mashhad, after mastering Islamic sciences, he studied law and travelled to Britain, where he obtained a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Edinburgh. On his return to Iran, he served as Dean of Faculty of Theology and Islamic Teachings of Tehran University, grooming numerous students. Among his books, mention can be made of "History of Qur'an", and "Kashf al-Mataleb".
17 solar years ago, on this day in 2001 AD, two US aircraft plowed through the twin-towers of the 110-storey World Trade Center in New York. The huge building collapsed, not as a result of the impact of the supposedly hijacked aircraft but through implosions, because of the explosives planted in their basement by FBI and Mossad agents. The US blamed its own agent, Osama bin Laden of al-Qaeda, for what it called "terrorist" attacks, when in fact the real terrorist was the US regime itself. As things turned out, the Twin-Tower incidents were part of an elaborate plot by the US to let loose a wave of Islamophobia in the West and to attack and occupy one of the weakest and most backward Muslim countries, that is, Afghanistan. Later in 2003 on the same pretext, the US invaded and occupied Iraq, where over the next few years it directly or indirectly killed 1.2 million men, women, and children. At the same time, the US has used the 9/11/2001 incidents as a pretext to suppress civil liberties at home, especially the rights of the fast growing Muslim community, while increasing its military budget to terrorize the free world.
11 solar years ago, on this day in 2007 AD, Russia tested the largest conventional weapon ever, the Aviation Thermobaric Bomb of Increased Power (ATBIP), nicknamed the Father of All Bombs. It is bomber-delivered weapon of massive power, which is supposed to evaporate all living things within its radius. The ATBIP is reportedly four times as powerful as the US military's GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (whose official military acronym "MOAB" is often colloquially called the "Mother of All Bombs").The thermobaric device yields the equivalent of 44 tons of TNT using about seven tons of a new type of high explosive. Because of this, the bomb's blast and pressure wave have a similar effect to a small tactical nuclear weapon, although on a smaller scale. The bomb works by detonating in mid-air. Most damage is inflicted by a supersonic shockwave and extremely high temperatures. Thermobaric weapons differ from conventional explosive weapons in that they generate a longer, more sustained blast wave with greater temperatures. In doing so, they produce more damage over a larger area than a conventional weapon of similar mass.
5 solar years ago, on this day in 2013 AD, Iran’s Islamic scholar Abdul-Mohammad Ayati, mostly known for his translations of the Holy Qur’an and the Nahj-ul-Balagha, passed away in Tehran at the age of 87. Born in Boroujerd, he was attached to Islamic issues since high school, and in 1946 came to the capital and started studying philosophy at Tehran University. He later began a teaching career that continued for over 30 years. He was a member of the Iranian Academy of Persian Language and Literature. He wrote many books and articles on Persian literature and philosophy.