• This Day in History (21-06-1397)

Today is Wednesday; 21st of the Iranian month of Shahrivar 1397 solar hijri; corresponding to 2nd of the Islamic month of Muharram 1440 lunar hijri; and September 12, 2018, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.

2508 solar years ago, on this day in 490 BC, the Battle of Marathon was fought in the place of the same name in Greece, between Athenians and their allies, and a Persian expeditionary force sent by the Achaemenian Emperor, Darius I. It resulted in a surprise defeat of the Iranians, because the main army had sailed towards a different destination. The Persian expedition was a response to Greek involvement in the Ionian Revolt, when Athens and Eretria had sent a force to support the cities of Ionia in their insurgency against Persian rule. Once the Ionian revolt was crushed by the Iranians at the Battle of Lade, Darius began plans to subjugate Greece. He sent a naval task force under Datis and Artaphernes across the Aegean. Reaching Euboea in mid-summer after a successful campaign in the Aegean, the Persians proceeded to capture Eretria. The Persian force then sailed for Attica, landing in the bay near the town of Marathon. The Athenians, joined by a force from Plataea, marched to Marathon, and succeeded in blocking the two exits from that plain. A stalemate ensued for five days, before the Athenians attacked the Iranians under the cover of night, because most of the Persian fleet had set sail. The Iranians withdrew but the next emperor, Xerxes I succeeded in subjugating Greece.

1379 lunar years ago, on this day in 61 AH, Imam Husain (AS), the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), stepped on the fateful field of Karbala where he was to be martyred on the 10th of Muharram by the enemies of humanity. Invited by the people of Kufa to help them against the tyrannical rule of the Godless Yazid, he was met with a battalion of troops led by the regime’s general, Horr, on entering the land of Iraq from Arabia. The Imam pitched his camp besides the fresh flowing waters of the River Euphrates, from which place he was evicted with the arrival of more enemy forces. The Prophet's grandson refused to endorse the illegitimate rule of Yazid and preferred martyrdom in unequal combat for the cause of justice and humanitarian values, which has immortalized his movement.

836 lunar years ago, on this day, in 605 AH, the noted scholar Shaikh Warram ibn Abi Farres passed away in his hometown Hillah in Iraq. He was a descendent of the celebrated Islamic general, Malik Ashtar, whom the Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali (AS) had appointed as governor of Egypt and written for him the famous epistle on the most efficient way of governance, which is regarded till this day as the finest ever charter of human rights. Shaikh Warram is the author of the book "Tanbihat al-Khawater" and was the maternal grandfather of the renowned scholar Seyyed ibn Tawous.

789 solar years ago, on this day in 1229 AD, a Christian mercenary army under the command of James I of Aragon disembarked at Santa Ponca, Majorca, with the purpose of conquering the Spanish Muslim Island. After over three-and-a-half months of resistance, the Spanish Muslim emirate of Majorca on the largest Mediterranean island of the same name in the Balearic Archipelago, was occupied by James I of Aragon, who changed the name of the capital from “Medina Mayurqa” to Palma, thus ending over five glorious centuries of Islamic culture and civilization. The first Muslims arrived on this island in 707, some four years before Spain was liberated by Tareq ibn Ziyad. In 902, Issam al-Khawlani, in order to save the local people from the frequent raids of Vikings and other Christian marauders, liberated the whole Balearic Archipelago, ushering in a new period of prosperity under the Emirate of Cordoba. Agriculture and irrigation networks were developed and local industries set up by the Muslims. From 1087 to 1114 Majorca was ruled by the Taifa of Denia independently, and was able to ward off raids by Christian hordes from Europe including the Crusader marauders sailing towards Syria and Palestine to stir up sedition. It then came under the rule of the al-Morawwid Muslim dynasty of North Africa, and in 1176 was taken over by the al-Muwahhed dynasty until 1229, when the last emir of Majorca, Abu Yahya, was defeated by the invaders, who forcibly Christianized the inhabitants after killing many of them. Minorca, (Manurqa in Arabic),  the other important island of the Balearic Archipelago, continued to be under Muslim control for another six decades, until it was also invaded and occupied by the Christians of Aragon, who killed, Christianized and enslaved the Muslims.

619 solar years ago, on this day in 1309 AD, the siege of the Spanish Muslim island of Gibraltar was started by Ferdinand IV of Castile with the help of Christian mercenaries from other parts of Europe. The kingdom of Gharnata (Granada) was forced to surrender this important base of 600 years of Spanish Islamic culture, which today has become a bone of contention between Britain and Spain. Gibraltar is a corruption of the Arabic term “Jabal at-Tareq” meaning Rock of Tareq in honour of Tareq Ibn Ziyad, who landed on this island on his way to liberate Spain.

335 solar years ago, on this day in 1683 AD, the Ottoman army which was on the verge of conquering Vienna, the capital of Austria as part of its sweep into the heart of Europe, was surprisingly defeated by a coalition of European powers, including Poland. The setback suffered by the Turks marked the end of Ottoman aspirations to conquer all of Europe. While leaving, the Turks unburdened their provisions by leaving behind sacks of coffee which the Christians found too bitter, so they sweetened it with honey and milk and named the drink “cappuccino” after the Capuchin order of monks.

332 solar years ago, on this day in 1686 AD, the Sultanate of Bijapur fell to the Mughal Emperor, Mohammad Aurangzeb, thereby ending the 192-year rule of the Adel-Shahi dynasty of the Deccan (southern India) set up by the Iranian adventurer from Saveh (near Tehran), Yusuf Adel Khan. In the 1490s, after asserting independence from the tottering Bahmani Empire (also of Iranian origin), Bijapur declared Shi’a Islam as the state religion, several years before the founding of the Safavid Empire in Iran and declaration of the same by Shah Ismail I. Thousands of Iranians of all professions, including scholars, ulema, poets, painters, architects, craftsmen, merchants, soldiers and ordinary persons, migrated to Bijapur and contributed to the Persianate administration and flowering of the rich Indo-Persian style of art and architecture, such as the famous Ibrahim Rowza (proto type of the future Taj Mahal in Agra) and Gol-Gombad – the world's second largest dome.

295 solar years ago, on this day in 1723 AD, during the chaotic situation in Iran following the occupation of the country by the rebellious Hotaki Afghans who dethroned and imprisoned Shah Sultan Hussain Safavi in Isfahan, the year-long Russo-Persian War ended with the signing of a humiliating treaty by the weak Shah Tahmasp II, who ceded to the Russians the cities of Derbend in Daghestan and Baku in what is now the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as the Caucasus province of Shirvan, and parts of Astara, Gilan, and Mazandaran. A decade later after the rise of Nader Shah Afshar and his crushing victories over the Afghan usurpers, the Russians were forced to withdraw from the northwestern parts of the country including Derbend and Daghestan, when the Iranian king threatened to march on to Moscow. 

121 solar years ago, on this day in 1897 AD, the French chemist and physicist, Irene Curie, was born in Paris to the celebrated physicists, Madam Curie and Pierre Curie, who discovered several radioactive elements. Irene also made discoveries in regard to radioactive materials, including production of artificial radioactive material. Jointly with her husband, Frederic Joliot, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1935 for their discovery of artificial radioactivity. This made the Curies the family with most Nobel laureates. Both children of the Joliot-Curies, Helene and Pierre, are also esteemed scientists. Irene died in 1956.

104 solar years ago, on this day in 1914 AD, the famous Urdu poet of Pakistan, Raees Amrohi, was born in Amroha in what is now the Uttar Pradesh of India. His real name was Seyyed Mohammad Mahdi, which indicates the family’s descent from Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). He migrated to Pakistan on 19 October 1947 and settled in Karachi. He was known for his unique style of Qatanigari (disjointed rhymed verses) and “ruba’iyaat” (quatrains). For several decades his quatrains were published in Pakistan's leading Urdu daily “Jang”. A staunch supporter of Urdu as language of unity for Pakistani Muslims, he established an institution Raees Academy where writers were trained. During the conflict in the 1970s with the Sindhi-speakers, he wrote his famous poem Urdu satirical poem “Urdu ka janaza hai zara dhoom say niklay” (It is the funeral of Urdu, carry it out with fanfare). He also published a number of books on the topic of metaphysics, and meditation, before he was assassinated on 22 September 1988 at the age of 74. His poetical works include “Paas-e Ghubaar”, “Hikayaat”, “Ba-Hazrat-e Yazdaan”, and “Malboos-e Bahaar”. Books written by him include “Alam-e Barzaq”, "Jinnaat" (2 volumes), and “Ana min al-Husain”.

74 solar years ago, on this day in 1944 AD, during World War II, the US, Britain and the Soviet Union, concluded an accord for coordinating attacks on the Axis powers with the eventual goal of occupying Germany. The Allied armies mercilessly pounded and shattered the Nazi defense lines in both the east and the west, resulting in Germany's surrender in May 1945. The capital Berlin was seized and untold crimes committed against the civilians. In 1949 Germany was divided into two separate countries by the names of West Germany and East Germany.

44 solar years ago, on this day in 1974 AD, Ethiopian king, Haile Selassie I (“Conquering Lion of Judah”), was deposed by the military, thus ending the Christian monarchy of the ancient land of Abyssinia. Born Tafari Makonnen Woldemikael, he was Ethiopia's regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor from 1930 to 1974. He died the next year in Addis Ababa during internment.

32 solar years ago, on this day in 1986 AD, the famous Pakistani calligrapher, Hafez Mohammad Yousuf Sadidi, died in Lahore at the age of 66. He learned calligraphy under prominent artists such as Mohammad Sharif and Taj od-Din Zarrin. He wrote a book, titled: "Ta'lim an-Naskh".

17 lunar years ago, on this day in 1423 AH, Ayatollah Shaikh Abu’l-Hassan Ayazi, passed away at the age of 72 in his hometown Rustom-Kala, Behshahr in Mazandaran Province. After preliminary religious studies in the seminaries of Mazandaran, he moved to Holy Qom, where for a dozen years he studied under the leading scholars, especially Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Hussain Boroujerdi, before travelling to Holy Najaf in Iraq for higher studies. At the holy shrine of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (AS), he beseeched him to enlighten his mind with knowledge and wisdom, as he had imparted to his prominent disciple, Kumayl, in view of the famous saying of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny): “I am the City of Knowledge and Ali is its Gateway.” Having reached the status of ijtehad, he accepted the request of people and scholars of his hometown to return to Rustom-Kala and Behshahr to educate the people. Soon a seminary was established and students from all over Mazandaran came to acquire the bezels of wisdom from this great scholar who lived a simple, strictly ethical life. Ayatollah Ayazi, as a staunch follower of the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA), encouraged his students to mobilize people for the warfronts on the start of the 8-year long US imposed war through Saddam of the repressive Ba’th minority regime of Baghdad. He personally visited the warfronts to inspire the Muslim combatants, and felt honoured that some fifty of his students had achieved martyrdom.

AS/SS

Sep 12, 2018 14:12 UTC
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