Wednesday, 1st April, 2015

1st April

​1488 solar years ago, on this day in 527 AD, Byzantine Emperor Justin I names his nephew Justinian I as co-ruler and successor to the throne.

On the death of Justin I in August the same year, Justinian became the sole ruler and embarked on a policy of expansionism as he strove to become the emperor of the Western Roman Empire as well, when his generals conquered North Africa, Sicily, southern Spain and most of Italy including Rome from the Ostrogoths. On his eastern borders, however, he had to conclude an “Eternal Peace” in 532 with the new Iranian emperor, Khosrow Anushirvan by paying 11,000 pounds of gold, a year after the defeat of Roman forces near Callinicum in what is now Turkey by Emperor Qobad. In 540 the ‘Eternal Peace’ was broken because of Justinian’s intrigues in Armenia which made Khosrow I capture Beroea and then Antioch in Syria, resulting in the 22-year war that ended in 562 with conclusion of the “Fifty-Year Peace” and payment of 5,000 pounds of gold, plus 500 pounds of gold more each year to the Iranians by the Romans. Khosrow Anoushirvan’s prudent policy thus thwarted Roman designs in Syria, Anatolia, Armenia and Upper Mesopotamia, as he made sure that Rome would never be a threat to Iran by keeping close contacts with the Goths, the Huns, and the Arabs. Justinian during his long reign embellished his capital Constantinople with buildings, including a new Christian basilica – the Hagia Sophia, which is Greek for “Holy Wisdom” – as seat of the Greek Orthodox Church. He also codified the Roman law which serves as the basis of modern law in most European states.

1038 lunar years ago, on this day in 398 AH, the acclaimed Iranian literary figure, author, and poet, Ahmad ibn Hussain, Badi oz-Zamaan Fazel-e Hamedani, passed away in Khorasan in the northeastern Iranian city of Herat, at the age of 40. Born in the western Iranian city of Hamedan, he was highly talented in both Arabic and Persian prose and poetry. At the age of 21 he went to Gorgan, northern Iran, where he remained for two years; then journeying through Khorasan and Sistan, he finally settled in Herat under the protection of the vizier of Sultan Mahmoud Ghaznavi. He is best known for his work titled Maqamaat” – a collection of 52 episodic stories of a rogue. Among his works is an excellent Diwan of poems.

789 lunar years ago, on this day in 647 AH, the renowned hadith scholar, Hassan ibn Dawoud Hilli, was born in Hillah in Iraq. He was a student of such great scholars as Seyyed Jamal od-Din Ahmad bin Musa Ibn Tawous, and Shaikh Najm od-Din Muhaqqiq Hilli (maternal uncle of the famous Allamah Hilli). He is the author of a famous book on Rijal or biographical evaluation of hadith narrators. He was the first person to arrange the names along with the names of fathers and grandfathers. He included in his book all the information available in other books of Rijal, although at times he seems to have erred in tracing genealogical tables, but not in his objections to the mistakes of earlier authors. Ibn Dawoud Hilli has many other works to his credit relating to jurisprudence, both in prose and poetry.

782 lunar years ago, on this day in 654 AH, the historian and Arabic literary figure, Kamal od-Din Ahmad ibn Hamdan ibn Mubarak, passed away in Aleppo, Syria. Born in Mosul in Iraq, he spent fifty years collecting material about poets and authors, resulting in compilation of the valuable book “Oqoud al-Jamaan”.

437 solar years ago, on this day in 1578 AD, the physician and father of modern physiology, William Harvey, was born in England. He improved upon the writings of Islamic scientists to determine the true nature of the circulation of the blood and of the function of the heart as a pump. He died in the year 1657.

287 lunar years agoon this day in 1149 AH, as per the Second Treaty of Istanbul between the Ottoman Turkish Empire and the Safavid Persian Empire, the 6-year war came to its end, with Iraq and the Caucasus restored to Iranian control. The military commander, Nader Qoli, who was dissatisfied by the loss of territory to the Ottomans by Shah Tahmasp II as per the clauses of a treaty signed 4 years earlier, revived the might of Iran with his victories, deposed Abbas III to end the Safavid Dynasty, crowned himself as Nader Shah, and forced the Ottomans to hand over to Iran both Tiblisi the capital of Georgia, and Yerevan the capital of Armenia, as per the terms of the new treaty.

148 solar years ago, on this day 1867 AD, the British forced the Sultan of Johor to cede Singapore and the surrounding 62 islands, which were later permanently separated from Muslim Malaysia and declared an independent country.

91 solar years ago, on this day in 1924 AD, German Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler, was sentenced to five years in jail for his participation in the “Beer Hall Putsch” that his party had planned for seizure of political power. However, he spent only nine months in jail, during which he wrote “Mein Kampf” (My Story), and soon shot to fame, winning the elections and becoming chancellor in 1933.

70 solar years ago, on this day in 1945 AD, the US forces’ major aggression on Japan’s Okinawa Island started. This offensive which took place in the waning days of World War II, is considered as the last and largest naval and ground confrontation between the US and Japan. During this 83-day attack, 1300 US warships and almost 10,000 US warplanes were deployed. But, the Japanese strongly defended their soil, destroying 36 US warships and damaging 389 others, mainly through Kamikaze or suicide aerial attacks. The US also lost a total 763 warplanes during these battles. The Japanese paid a heavy price for defending Okinawa Island, losing to death and injury 110,000 of the 120,000 troops deployed on the island. The Japanese also lost 16 ships and 7830 warplanes. Although the US forces ultimately occupied Okinawa Island, the resistance of the Japanese prevented the Americans from invading mainland Japan. Instead, the US officials, in an inhuman act, and in order to force Japan into submission, ordered the nuclear bombardment of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Currently the US main base in Japan is located in the Okinawa Island and the people of this Island have long demanded the closure of this US base.

69 solar years ago, on this day in 1946 AD, the Malayan Union was formed with its capital at Kuala Lumpur. The sultans of the various British-ruled Malay states agreed to its formation despite the loss of their political power. The Union ceased to exist in January, 1948 and was replaced by the Federation of Malaya, and in 1963 was joined by Sabah and Sarawak.

55 solar years ago, on this day in 1960 AD, the first weather observation satellite, Tiros I, was launched from Cape Kennedy in the US and made the first television picture from space. TIROS stands for Television Infrared Observation Satellite, and the goal was to improve satellite applications for Earth-bound decisions, such as “should we evacuate the coast because of the hurricane?” It became extremely successful for weather forecasting.

36 solar years ago, on this day in 1979 AD, the Iranian nation, in less than two months after the victory of Islamic Revolution, held a 2-day referendum and voted for establishment of the Islamic Republic System, with 98.2% yes votes. The 12th of Farvardin is thus marked as the Islamic Republic Day with a public holiday. Although the Iranian Muslims had on several occasions during the course of the Islamic Revolution demanded establishment of the Islamic system of government, the Father of Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA) emphasized on holding a nationwide referendum as a mark of respect for the people’s aspirations and their participation in the political, economic, cultural and all spheres of the society. In his message, on the manifestation of people’s vote for the Islamic System, he said: Congratulations on the day on which, following the martyrdom of courageous youths and after numerous hardships, you defeated the enemy once again, and opted for the just, divine ruling system with your resolute votes. In the holy Islamic system, all people are considered as equals based on the principle of divine justice, under the shade of the blessings of the holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).

13 years ago, on this day in 1992 AD, the Serbs started the Bosnian War, as part of their genocide of Europe’s native Muslims. The almost 4-year long war saw the coldblooded massacre of Bosnian Muslims, especially in Srebrenica and Markale, while the western world and the UN turned a blind eye. Over 100,000 Muslims were slaughtered in addition to an estimated 50,000 women raped, and over 2.2 million people displaced, making it the most devastating conflict in Europe since the end of World War II. When the Bosnian defenders, with help from Muslim countries were about to turn the tide of the war against the Serb aggressors, the US intervened to stop the conflict by imposing the Dayton Accord. Till this day, mass graves are being found in various parts of Bosnia.

4 solar years ago, on this day in 2011 AD, Bahrain human rights organization and opposition groups said at least 20 people have been killed in total, since protests began February 14 and hundreds of activists have been either detained or questioned since martial law was imposed by the repressive Aal-e Khalifa minority regime on the overwhelming population of the Persian Gulf island state in mid-March.

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