Today is Sunday; 12th of the Iranian month of Mordad 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 12th of the Islamic month of Zil-Hijjah 1441 lunar hijri; and August 2, 2020, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
2235 solar years ago, on this day in 216 BC during the Second Punic War, the numerically superior Roman army was defeated at the Battle of Cannae by the North African Carthaginian forces led by the famous general, Hannibal.
1305 lunar years ago, on this day in 136 AH Abu’l-Abbas as-Saffah, the first self-styled caliph of the usurper Abbasid regime, died after a rule of four years, following the overthrow of the Godless Omayyad dynasty, and was succeeded by his crafty and cruel brother, Mansour Dawaniqi. His real name was Abdullah and he claimed descent from Abbas, an uncle of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). Although he returned the vast orchard of Fadak to the Prophet’s progeny, from whom it was seized by the first and second caliphs, he usurped political power of the state himself, despite the deceptive slogan of his political-military campaign to return to the Ahl al-Bayt the rule of the Islamic realm. The reason he is known as ‘as-Saffah’ (Shedder of blood), is because of his ruthless massacre of the Omayyads, whose male members he exterminated, almost to the last single person, except for a youth called Abdur-Rahman, who managed to flee Syria to Spain, where he seized power and set up a dynasty that ruled for a century. Saffah also dug up the graves of the Omayyads in Damascus, including that of their founder, Mu’awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan, and burned their bones and skeletons.
743 solar years ago, on this day in 1277 AD, Iranian statesman, Mo’in od-Din Sulaiman Pervaneh, who served as Chancellor and Regent of the Persianized Seljuq Sultanate of Roum, was killed by Abaqa Khan, the ruler of the Iran-based Ilkhanid Empire during the invasion of Anatolia (present-day Turkey), on suspicion of betrayal of Mongol interests. Pervaneh built several monuments that survive today such as the Ala od-Din Jame’ Mosque in Sinop, and the nearby Alaiye Madrasah, also called the Pervaneh Madrasah. In Tokat he built the Gok Madrasah. Originally founded as a hospital and medical school, it now houses a museum.
643 solar years, ago, on this day in 1377 AD, a huge Russian army led by Knyaz Ivan Dmitriyevich was defeated in the Battle of Pyana River by the small forces of the Khan of the Blue Horde, Arab-Shah Muzaffar. Dmitriyevich, who was drunk, was drowned along with several of his commanders; hence the river was named "Pyana”, meaning "drunken” in Russian. Arab-Shah seized Nizhniy Novgorod.
501 lunar years ago, on this day in 940 AH, the great religious scholar, Shaikh Ali ibn Abdul-Aal al-Ameli, known as Mohaqqeq Karaki, passed away. He was born in the Jabal Amel region of Lebanon, where after completing studies, he moved to the holy cities of Karbala and Najaf in Iraq for higher studies. He was invited to Iran for his wisdom and erudite knowledge, and handed over affairs of state by Shah Tahmasp Safavi. He, however, declined to assume direct political authority and asked the Shah to carry on state affairs as his representative, while he himself handled all jurisprudential and theological matters. He established seminaries in the then Iranian capital, Qazvin, and other cities of Iran, earning the title of Mohaqqeq, which means authoritative researcher. He groomed many great scholars both in Iran and his homeland Lebanon, including the celebrated Zain ad-Din al-Ameli, who was persecuted and cruelly killed, thereby earning the title of Shaheed Thani (Second Martyr). Mohaqqeq Karaki played a leading role in enlightening Iranians with the legacy of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt, and wrote several books that are taught to this day, including "Jame’ al-Maqased”, and "Resala-e Edalat”.
222 solar years ago, on this day in 1798 AD, the Battle of the Nile ended in Egypt with the defeat of the French navy by the British led by Admiral Horatio Nelson.
171 solar years ago, on this day in 1849 AD, the Founder of the Khedive Dynasty of Egypt, Mohammad Ali Pasha, died in Cairo at the age of 80 after ruling for 45 years as a nominal governor of the Ottoman Empire, but in fact the virtual ruler, who at times challenged the Grande Porte and even waged war against his overlords, as far as the interior of Anatolia (modern Turkey).
129 lunar years ago, on this day in 1312 AD, renowned Iranian calligraphist, scholar, poet, physician, and mathematician, Abu’l-Fazl Majd od-Din Mohammad bin Fazlollah Savoji, passed away. He was a master of different styles of calligraphy, such as "”ta’liq”, nasta’liq”, "shikasta” and "naskh”, in addition to authoring books and treatises on medicine and mathematics, and composing a "divan” of Persian poetry. One of the top four intellectuals of the long 50-year era of Nasser od-Din Shah Qajar, among his immortal works are the calligraphic plaques on the walls of the holy shrine of Imamzadah Seyyed Abdul-Azim al-Hassani in Rayy.
98 solar years ago, on this day in 1922 AD, the Scottish-American inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, died at the age of 75.
56 solar years ago, on this day in 1964 AD, the US staged the Gulf of Tonkin incident by using gunboats camouflaged with North Vietnamese markings to fire on its own destroyers USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy, in order to find a pretext for American involvement in the Vietnamese War. The US is notorious for its lies, deceit, and terror tactics. In 1898, in order to find a pretext to wage war against Spain and seize part of its colonial possession, the US had destroyed its own ship, USS Maine, in the harbour of Havana and then blamed it on the Spanish as justification for the 4-year 1898-1902 War during which it occupied Cuba, Guam Island and the Philippines. The latest such examples of US deceit and terror were the 9th September 2001 incidents in New York of the supposedly hijacked aircraft that brought down the twin towers of the 110-storey high World Trade Center, as a pretext to whip up anti-Islamic sentiments in order to start the present crusade against Muslims and attack and occupy Afghanistan and Iraq.
37 lunar years ago, on this day in 1404 AH, Ayatollah Mirza Mohammad Baqer Ashtiyani, passed away at the age of 81 in Tehran and was laid to rest in Rayy.
33 solar years ago, on this day in 1987 AD, more than a million people gathered in Tehran, calling for the overthrow of the Aal-e Saud regime and administration of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina by an international Islamic body, following the killing of over four hundred mostly Iranian pilgrims near the holy Ka’ba by forces of the heretical Wahhabi cult.
31 solar years ago, on this day in 1989 AD, Indian Peace Keeping Forces in Sri Lanka carried a massacre of 64 ethnic Tamil civilians. This policy of discrimination against the ethnic Indian migrants to Sri Lanka turned the Tamils against the Indian government and resulted in the assassination of former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, who earlier during a state visit to Colombo was almost hit on the neck by the butt of a gun of a Tamil soldier during the ceremonial inspection of the guard of honour.
30 solar years ago, on this day in 1990 AD, Saddam, the tyrannical ruler of the repressive Ba’th minority regime of Iraq, occupied Kuwait, on getting a green signal from the US through its ambassador in Baghdad, April Gillespie. Soon the US denied any involvement and assembled an international military force to drive out Saddam after some seven months of his occupation of Kuwait. When Iraq’s long-suppressed Shi’ite Arab majority, rose to rid the country of the Ba’th minority regime, the US ordered Saddam to massacre the masses and desecrate the holy shrines of Najaf and Karbala.
14 solar years ago, on this day in 2006 AD, Takfiri terrorists backed by the US and Saudi Arabia triggered two bomb blasts in a Shi’a Muslim neighbourhood of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, resulting in the martyrdom of over 60 men, women, and children, including 11 young soccer players, besides injury to over a hundred other innocent people.
7 solar years ago, on this day in 2013 AD, master of Naqqali or art of story-telling with actions, Valiollah Torabi Sefidabi died in Tehran at the age of 77. Dating back to the Safavid Dynasty, Naqqali is performed in verse or prose with the Naqqal being a single person who plays the roles of all characters with a special tone and expression, at times accompanied by musical instruments and scrolls. UNESCO has registered Naqqali, as the oldest form of dramatic performance in Iran, on its World Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Naqqali was formerly performed in teahouses, tents of nomads, and caravansaries.