This Day in History (28-10-1397)
Today is Friday; 28th of the Iranian month of Dey 1397 solar hijri; corresponding to 11th of the Islamic month of Jamadi al-Awwal 1440 lunar hijri; and January 18, 2019, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1793 solar years ago, on this day in 226 AD, following the death of the last king of kings (Shahanshah) of the Parthian Empire, Ardavan V – called Artabanus by the Romans – the dynasty collapsed after 473 years of rule over Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, parts of Anatolia (modern Turkey), the Caucasus, and parts of Central Asia. He was killed in the uprising of Ardeshir Babakan of Fars, the founder of the Sassanid dynasty, which retained the Parthian capital Cteisphon or Madaen (near modern Baghdad) in Iraq, as its own capital for the next four centuries, until it was captured by Muslims. The Parthians, who came to power after defeating the Greek Seleucid successors of Alexander, were ethnic Iranians from the northeast, and revived Iranian culture.
1058 lunar years ago, on this day in 382 AH, the Mu’tazalite theologian, Ali ibn Eisa ar-Rummani, passed away. Among his important works is the “E’jaz al-Qur’an” on the Living Miracle that the holy Qur’an is. Here it would not be out of context to note his encounter with the famous Shi’a Muslim scholar, Shaikh Mohammad bin Nu’man and the reason he conferred upon him the title “Shaikh al-Mufid” (Most Beneficial Scholar). The Shaikh’s tutor had sent him to attend the theology lessons of Rummani, along with a letter of introduction. The Shaikh says: I entered his class, and was impressed by the large number of students. I sat at the end of the crowd and crept forward as some got up and left. Then I saw a person enter, saying: "(O Master), there is someone at the door from Basra who insists on being admitted to your presence." On permission the man from Basra entered and after a long conversation, asked ar-Rummani: "How do you view the event of “al-Ghadeer” (the day the Prophet, on God’s commandment, proclaimed Imam Ali [AS] as his vicegerent on 18th Zilhijja, 10 AH while returning from his Farewell Hajj pilgrimage) as well as the report of “al-Ghar” (or incident of the cave in which Abu Bakr accompanied the Prophet on the night of Hijrah)?" Ar-Rummani replied that "the report of al-Ghar was a recognised event, while al-Ghadeer was just a narration; and a narration is not as mandatory as a recognised event." The man from Basra left without making any reply. The Shaikh says: Then I stood up and said: "I have a question." Ar-Rummani said: "Ask." I said: "What do you say about the one who fights a Just Imam?" He said: "Such a person would be an infidel." Then, after a pause, he rectified himself and said: "He would be a transgressor." I asked: "What do you say about the Commander of the Faithful, Ali bin Abi Taleb (AS)?” He said: "I believe he was an Imam." So I asked: "Then what do you say about the Day of Jamal and about Talha and Zubair?" Ar-Rummani retorted that both of them had repented for their revolt. I said: "The Battle of Jamal is a recognised event, while their repentance is a mere narration." Upon this, he said: "Were you present when the man from Basra put his question?" I said "yes." Then he asked: "What is your name and who is your tutor?" I said: "I am known as Ibn al-Mu’allem, and my tutor is Abu-Abdallah al-Jual." He said: "Stay a moment." Then he went to a room and came out with a letter, instructing me to hand it over to my tutor. When I gave the letter to my tutor, he read it and laughed, saying: "What transpired between you in his class? He has asked me to confer upon you the title “al-Mufid”.
1023 solar years ago, on this day in 896 AD, Khomarawayh bin Ahmad Tuloun, the rich and powerful ruler of Egypt and Syria, was murdered by his servant at the age of 32. Born in Samarra, Iraq, to Ahmad bin Toloun, a Persianized Turkic slave-soldier of the Abbasid caliphate who on becoming governor of Egypt made it independent from Baghdad, he squandered the wealth of the Tulounid Dynasty during his 12-year rule, thereby contributing to its eventual collapse in less than ten years after his death. He build numerous palaces for himself and his favourites, besides engaging in displays of extravagance, such as a quicksilver-filled basin in which he was rocked to sleep on top of air-filled cushions, or the million-dinar dowry of his daughter – considered the most sumptuous wedding gift in medieval Muslim history, accompanied by lavish marriage ceremonies which remained the stuff of folk legends in Egypt for six centuries until well into the Ottoman period.
843 lunar years ago, on this day in 597 AH, the famous Iranian Islamic theologian and scientist, Mohammad ibn Hassan, known as Khwaja Naseer od-Din Tousi was born in Tous in Khorasan. An outstanding philosopher, scientist, mathematician and astronomer, who made valuable contributions to science and civilization, his genius was acknowledged even by the Mongol invader Hulagu Khan. As scientific advisor to the ruler, he built the observatory at Maraghah and its instruments such as a 4-meter wall quadrant made from copper and an azimuth quadrant which was his unique invention. Using accurately plotted planetary movements, he modified Ptolemy's planetary model based on mechanical principles. The observatory and its library became a centre for a wide range of work in science, mathematics and philosophy. Ṭousi in his book on astronomy “at-Tadhkirah fi Ilm al-Hayyah” written three centuries before the Italian Galileo, has described the real essence of the Milky Way: “The Milky Way, i.e. the galaxy, is made up of a very large number of small, tightly-clustered stars, which, on account of their concentration and smallness, seem to be cloudy patches. Because of this, it was likened to milk in colour.”
Tousi wrote some 80 books in both Arabic and Persian on various subjects such as “Tajrid al-Eʿteqad” on theology, “Akhlaq-e Naseri” on ethics, “Sharh al-Isharaat Ibn Sina” on philosophy, and “Kitab ash-Shakl al-Qatta” on mathematics, etc. It is to be noted that a 60-km diameter lunar crater located on the southern hemisphere of the moon is named after him as "Naseereddin". A minor planet discovered by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh in 1979 is named after him “10269 Tusi”. Naseer od-Din Tusi died in Iraq and was laid to rest in the holy mausoleum of Imam Musa al-Kazem (AS), the 7th Infallible Successor of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
330 solar years ago, on this day in 1689 AD, the French philosopher, Charles de Montesquieu, was born. His views highly influenced the French Revolution and he was the first European to present the theory of separation of the three branches of government. His important book is “The Spirit of the Laws”, published in Geneva in 1748 in which he has attempted to discuss the evolvement of different forms of government during history. His other important books include “Persian Letters” –a novel on the travel through France of two Iranian noblemen from Isfahan. It was used by him as a biting satire on the theories of Scottish economist, John Law. He died in 1755.
104 solar years ago, on this day in 1915 AD, a secret pact was signed by France, Britain, and Russia during World War I against the Ottoman Empire, following its joining of the Axis powers, namely the German and the Austro-Hungarian Empires. To weaken the Turks, the Allied Powers attacked the Dardanelles Strait, which links the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea.
100 solar years ago, on this day in 1919 AD, the Paris Conference opened at the Versailles Palace attended by representatives of 27 countries, after the end of World War I. The defeated Axis powers were further humiliated at the conference, with Germany forced to pay huge compensation, while the Arab territories of the Ottoman Empire were occupied by Britain and France.
83 solar years ago, on this day in 1936 AD, Rudyard Kipling, English author, and Nobel Prize laureate died in London at the age of 71. Born in Bombay, he travelled widely over the English-speaking world, and is chiefly remembered for his tales and poems of British soldiers in India, as well as his tales for children, such as “Jungle Book”, and “Kim”. He was an unabashed supporter of British imperialism.
64 solar years ago, on this day in 1955 AD, the famous Urdu novelist, Sa'adat Hassan Manto, passed away in Lahore, Pakistan, at the age of 43. He was born in Ludhiana in what is now India's Punjab state. He is best known for his short stories, such as 'Bu' (Odour), "Khol Do" (Open It), "Thanda Gosht" (Cold Meat), and his magnum opus, "Toba Tek Singh". For a while he lived in Bombay and wrote film scripts, before migration to Pakistan in 1948. In his short life, Manto published twenty-two collections of short stories, one novel, five collections of radio plays, three collections of essays, two collections of personal sketches.
43 solar years ago, on this day in 1976 AD, Lebanese Christian militias overran the Karantina sector of Beirut, and massacred at least 1,000 Muslims.
41 solar years ago, on this day in 1978 AD, scholar, critic, writer, and linguist of Urdu, Mohammad Hassan Askari, passed away in Karachi, at the age of 59. Born in 1919 in Bulandshahr District of what is now Uttar Pradesh, India, he worked for All India Radio before migrating to Karachi on the creation of Pakistan in 1947. He lectured at Islamia College, and by 1955 became wholly involved in the transition to and formulation of Pakistani national culture. "Jadidiyat" is one of his premier works. He translated western literary, philosophical and metaphysical work into Urdu, especially from English, French, and Russian. He also translated Arabic mystical literature and Buddhism into Urdu. He introduced to Indian and Pakistani Muslims the works of western metaphysical scholars such as René Guénon Abdul-Wahid Yahya of France, the Swiss-German Islamist Frithjof Schuon and the British Martin Lings Siraj od-Din. Before his death, he was working on an English translation of the Qur'anic exegesis titled "Ma'arif al-Qur'an", and finished a little more than one chapter.
21 solar years ago, on this day in 1998 AD, Iranian Kurdish poet and researcher, Sheikh Ismail Rouhani, who was an expert on Persian and Arabic literature, and wrote under the penname “Shiva”, passed away at the age of 77 in Tehran. Born in Kashtar near Sanandaj, in Kurdistan, western Iran, and known as “Baba Mardoukh”, he graduated in “Divinities” from Tehran University, and was a scholar of repute of the Sunni sect of Islam. He wrote extensively and has works to his credit in jurisprudence, exegesis of the holy Qur’an, mathematics, logics, poetry and history of Kurd notables. He compiled a complete religious course for Sunni Muslim students of middle and high schools, which for years is being taught in the Kurdish, Baluchi and other minority regions.
12 solar years ago, on this day in 2007 AD, over 60 people were martyred and more than a hundred others wounded when Takfiri terrorists on the payroll of the US and Saudi Arabia detonated 3 car bombs through remote control within minutes of each other in front of a wholesale vegetable market near a Shi’ite Muslim enclave on the edge the predominantly Sunni neighborhood of Dora in southern Baghdad.
10 solar years ago, on this day in 2009 AD, the illegal Zionist entity, Israel, was forced to halt its 22-day holocaust on the besieged Palestinian people of the Gaza Strip, after failing to overthrow the elected Hamas-led government. Over 1,400 Muslim men, women, and children, were martyred and almost 5,500 others injured in this 22-day holocaust, which inflicted 2-billion dollars damage on the infrastructure. The Zionist army’s despicable crimes forced the UN to launch investigation, and its well-documented report, called the Zionist ringleaders war criminals. It was approved by the UN Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly, but because of US support, Israel continues its crimes against humanity, including the siege of Gaza.
7 solar years ago, on this day in 2012 AD, the repressive Aal-e Khalifa minority regime of Bahrain intensified its oppression of peaceful protesters of the long oppressed Shi’a Muslim majority in the capital Manama. The Persian Gulf island state is in the state of a popular uprising that is being brutally suppressed by the regime with help from the US, Britain, and the Saudi regime.
5 solar years ago, on this day in 2014 AD, in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen Iran’s economic attaché Ali Asghar Asadi, was martyred in a drive-by shooting by US-Saudi supported terrorists.
4 solar years ago, on this day in 2015 AD, contemporary Iranian poet Abbas Kai Manish, popular by his poetical name “Mushfiq Kashani”, passed away at the age of 90. His poetical compilations include “Saraab-e Aftaab”, “Aina-e Khayal”, and annotation of the Safavid era poet Mohtashem Kashani’s famous “Twelve Strophes” on the martyrdom of Imam Husain (AS) in Karbala.