This Day in History (August 14)
Today is Wednesday, 23rd of the Iranian month of Mordad 1398 solar hijri; corresponding to 12th of the Islamic month of Zil-Hijjah 1440 lunar hijri; and August 14, 2019, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1437 solar years ago, on this day in 582 AD, Emperor Tiberius II Constantine of the Byzantine or Eastern Roman Empire, died at the age of 47 after an 8-year reign during the war he had restarted with the Sassanid Empire of Iran, in Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Armenia. The seesaw struggle was a strategic blunder by Tiberius, who on becoming ruler had concluded a deceitful 3-year truce with Khosrow Anushirvan, the 22nd Sassanid Emperor, in order to buy time for renewal of the war that had started two years earlier in 572 by his predecessor Justinian, and was to last 19 years till 591. The almost four centuries of inconclusive warfare between the Sassanids and Byzantines (respectively the heirs of the warring Parthian and Roman empires), sapped the energy of the two superpowers and led to their collapse as Arab Muslim armies swept across the region to completely change the destiny of the region, in which Iran soon emerged as a powerful Islamicized pole with far greater influence on the region and beyond than in pre-Islamic eras.
1304 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.
738 solar years ago, on this day in 1281 AD, during the second Mongol attempt to conquer Japan, a fleet sent by Kublai Khan disappeared in a typhoon. A Mongol army of 45,000 from Korea, joined an armada of 120,000 men from China to land at Hakozaki Bay. The typhoon destroyed the fleet. Survivors ended up as slaves.
604 solar years ago, on this day in 1415 AD, Henry the Navigator of Portugal, taking advantage of the weakening of Muslim rule in Spain and northwest Africa, launched a surprise attack on the Maranid Dynasty of Morocco and occupied the port city of Ceuta in the battle of the same name. He mercilessly slaughtered Muslim defenders in what is known as "baptism of blood”.
500 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”.
427 solar years ago, on this day in 1592 AD, the naval Battle of Hansan Island, also known as the Battle of Hansando, occurred near the Korean island of Hansan, and was one of the most important battles of the Imjin War. Korean admiral Yi Sun-sin destroyed at least 47 Japanese ships and captured 12. Yi's victory in this battle became a turning point in the campaign. This battle is considered the third largest naval battle in world history, after the Battle of Salamis between the Greeks and Achaemenid Persia, and the Battle of Gravelines between England and Spain.
421 solar years ago, on this day in 1598 AD, during the Nine Years' War, in the Battle of the Yellow Ford, Irish forces under Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, defeated an English expeditionary force under Henry Bagenal.
177 solar years ago, on this day in 1842 AD, during the genocidal conflicts waged by the US against the native Amerindians, the Second Seminole War ended, and the Seminole people were forcibly relocated to Oklahoma from their ancestral homes in Florida. The US has a very black, bleak, and bloody record of genocide and persecution of the native Amerindians and the black people.
128 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.
115 solar years ago, on this day in 1904 AD, the cattle-herding Hereros, a tribe of Southwest Africa (later Namibia), became the first genocide victims of the 20th century, when the German occupiers launched a brutal massacre. General Lothar von Trotha, sent by Kaiser Wilhelm II to put down the native uprising, drove the Hereros into the desert and issued a formal "extermination order" (Schrecklichkeit) authorizing the slaughter of all who refused to surrender. Out of some 80,000 Hereros, 60,000 were killed. Of the 15,000 who surrendered, half of them died in prison camps, while some 9,000 escaped to neighboring countries. In 2004 a senior German government official apologized for the genocide during a ceremony in Namibia marking the 100th anniversary of the massacre. In 2005 a German minister acknowledged violence by colonial Germany and admitted that following uprisings, the surviving Herero, Nama and Damara were interned in camps and put to forced labor of such brutality that many did not survive.
74 solar years ago, on this day in 1945 AD, Japan surrendered during World War II and was occupied by the US, which a few days earlier had committed crimes against humanity by destroying the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic bombs, even though Japanese were on full retreat from war zones.
72 solar years ago, on this day in 1947 AD, Pakistan was born as an independent Muslim country on division of the Subcontinent by the British on the eve of their departure from India. It was the result of the long struggle against colonial rule by the Muslim League led by Mohammad Ali Jinnah – an Ismaili Shi’a Muslim who later became Athna Ash’ari (Twelver). The new country was made up of West Pakistan – on the borders of Afghanistan and Iran – and East Pakistan on the borders of Myanmar. In 1971, the eastern part seceded and became Bangladesh.
67 solar years ago, on this day in 1952 AD, French Economist, Alfred Sauvy, first used the term "Third World”, in an article in the French magazine L'Observateur to describe underdeveloped countries. He was paraphrasing a remark by Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyes, a delegate to the Estates General in 1789, who had said the Third Estate is everything, has nothing, but wants to be something.
48 solar years ago, on this day in 1971 AD, Britain ended its physical presence in Bahrain by declaring it independent, after reaching a deal two years earlier with the Pahlavi regime of Iran against reclaiming it, since for ages it was part of successive Persian Empires. The British have continued to exercise behind-the-scenes control over the affairs of Bahrain, along with the US, which has based its 5th naval fleet in this Persian Gulf island state. For the past seven years, Bahrain is the scene of public protests by the vast majority of people against the repressive rule of the minority regime of Aal-e Khalifa – originally pirates from Khor Abdullah waterway between Kuwait and Iraq’s Basra, who had occupied Bahrain by taking advantage of Iran’s weakness, and then sought British protection in the 19th century. Site of the ancient Dilmun civilization and famous for its pearls, Bahrain on the advent of Islam became an important centre for followers of the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). It has produced prominent Imami ulema.
45 solar years ago, on this day in 1974 AD, following massacre of 125 Muslims in Cyprus, the Turkish government dispatched troops to take control of the northern area of this island, which for centuries was part of the Ottoman Empire until Britain imposed the Cyprus Convention in 1878 to take over the Mediterranean Sea’s 3rd largest and most populous island that had a Muslim majority. Though the Ottomans retained nominal suzerainty, it was obvious that Cyprus was lost by the Muslim World, since the British lost no time in changing demographic patterns and making it a virtual Greek island. Today two-thirds of Cyprus is administered by Greeks, while the rest is called the ‘Turkish Republic of Cyprus’.
36 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. Son and grandson of religious scholars who were active during the Constitutional Movement, he was a product of the holy seminary of Najaf, where he studied under such prominent ulema as Ziya od-Din Iraqi, and Seyyed Abu’l-Hassan Isfahani. Upon return to Iran he was engaged in teaching and writing books.
31 solar years ago, on this day in 1986 AD, the exegete of the holy Qur’an, Ayatollah Ali Najafi Kashani, passed away in his hometown Kashan at the age of 65. A product of the famous seminary of holy Najaf in Iraq, where he attained the status of Ijtehad, on return to Iran, after a three-year stay at the seminary of holy Qom, he took up teaching in Kashan. Among his books is "Sincerity, the Greatest Merit”.
13 solar years ago, on this day in 2006 AD, following the UN issuance of Security Council Resolution 1701 and its acceptance by Lebanon’s Hezbollah, the 33-day Zionist-imposed war ended. The war was a US-Zionist plot, backed by reactionary Arab regimes, to try to destroy Lebanon's legendry anti-terrorist movement. But people's resistance, coupled with the military prowess of the Hezbollah, shattered the myth of military invincibility of Israel with tanks, ships and aircraft reduced to junk. Over 4,000 missiles fired at the Zionist entity by the Hezbollah endeared the movement and its dynamic leader, Seyyed Hassan Nasrollah, to Arab and other Muslims worldwide, including conscientious thinkers in the West.
12 solar years ago, on this day in 2007 AD, in Iraq, Takfiri terrorists blew up through remote control four explosive-laden trucks in Qahataniya killing over 800 Kurds of the non-Muslim Izadi creed. Two years back, the Takfiri terrorists uprooted from their homes nearly 50,000 Izadis in the Sinjar area of Iraq near the Syrian border. Several thousand Izadi girls and women are being held as sex slaves by the Takfiris – with the tacit approval of the US and Arab reactionary regimes.
(Courtesy: IRIB English Radio –