Today is Sunday; 16th of the Iranian month of Shahrivar 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 17th of the Islamic month of Muharram 1442 lunar hijri; and September 6, 2020, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
2068 solar years ago, on this day in 48 BC the Battle of Pharsalus broke out between two key members of The First Triumvirate ruling the Roman Empire, Julius Caesar and Pompey Magnus. Caesar emerged victorious and his former friend Pompey was killed. Born in October 101 BC, Caesar refused to be crowned as emperor, but nevertheless continued to wield dictatorial powers until he was assassinated at the Senate in Rome by several senators in a political conspiracy, including his friend Brutus.
709 solar years ago, on this day in 1311 AD, Spanish physician Arnaldus de Villa Nova of Villanova, who through acquaintance with the Muslims of Spain, learned Arabic and transferred vital medical information on the heart, drugs, and health regimens to Europe, died in a shipwreck off the coast of Genoa, at the age of 76. He travelled widely and translated into Latin the works of Abu as-Salt and of the famous Iranian physician, Abu Ali ibn Sina, known to medieval Europe as Avicenna. As a result the Christian Church became his enemy and Pope Benedict XI ordered his imprisonment in Paris in 1309, while the Sorbonne University ordered the burning of his books. The inquisitor of Tarragona condemned him, and fifteen of his propositions were censured.
598 solar years ago, on this day in 1422 AD, Sultan Murad II ended the first full-scale Ottoman siege of Constantinople, in retaliation to Byzantine Emperor Manuel II’s attempts to interfere in the succession of Ottoman Sultans, after the death of Mohammad I a year before. When Murad II emerged as the winning successor to his father, he marched upon the capital of the Byzantine Empire, which in fact had been reduced to a few disconnected strips of land besides the city of Constantinople itself. It was also facing grave economic problems and severely lacked soldiers. Although Murad II lifted the siege, the respite did not last long for the Byzantines, who were obliterated from history 32 years later by the next Ottoman Sultan, Mohammad II in 1453.
544 lunar years ago, on this day in 898 AH, the prominent Persian poet and literary figure, Noor od-Din Abdur-Rahman Jami, passed away at the age of 82 in the northeastern Iranian city of Herat which is currently in Afghanistan. Born in the city of Jam, in Khorasan Province, he went to Samarqand to learn Islamic sciences, literature and history, and visited several other lands before settling in Herat, which was then the capital of the Timurid Dynasty. He has left behind a large number of works in prose and verse, including "Baharestan”. He composed beautiful odes in praise of the Ahl al-Bayt of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
489 lunar years ago, on this day in 953 AH, renowned religious scholar, architect, engineer, mathematician, astronomer and poet, Baha od‐Din Mohammad ibn Hussain al‐Ameli, known popularly as Sheikh Bahai, was born in Ba’lbek, Lebanon. His father was one of the prominent ulema of the Jabal al-Amel region of Lebanon, who brought him to Iran in his childhood. Given his sublime talents, Sheikh Bahai mastered a number of sciences of his day in a short period. He has left behind more than 100 books and treatises in Arabic and Persian. He passed away at the age of 77 in the Safavid capital, Isfahan, and according to his will, his body was taken to Mashhad and buried in the premises of the holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS), the 8th Infallible Successor of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). Shaikh Bahai is regarded as a leading scholar of his age and a "mujaddid” or revivalist. His erudition won him the admiration of Shah Abbas I, and he was appointed the Shaikh ol-Islam or the Chief Theologian of Isfahan. He wrote works on a wide variety of topics such as exegesis of the holy Qur’an, hadith, grammar, jurisprudence, mathematics, astronomy, and poetry. Among his famous works are "Jama’e Abbasi” on jurisprudence, "Kashkoul” on philosophy and poetry, "Khulasat al-Hisaab” on mathematics, and "Tashrih al‐Aflaak” or Anatomy of the Celestial Spheres, a summary of theoretical astronomy where he affirms the view that supports the positional rotation of the Earth as it orbits around the sun. A number of architectural and engineering designs in Isfahan stand proof to the genius of Shaikh Bahai, including the Naqsh-e Jahan Square and the Grand Shah Abbas Mosque known as the Imam Mosque today. He also designed and constructed a furnace for a public bathroom, which still exists in Isfahan. The furnace was warmed by a single candle, which was placed in an enclosure. The candle burned for a long time, warming the bath’s water. According to his instructions, the candle would be put out if the enclosure was ever opened. This happened during the repair of the building and no one has been able to make the system work again. He also designed the "Minar-e Jonbaan” (Shaking Minaret), which still exists in Isfahan.
454 solar years ago, on this day in 1566 AD, Suleiman I, the 10th Ottoman sultan and the 2nd self-styled Turkish caliph, died at the age of 72 at Szigetvar, Hungary, as his troops besieged a fortress during their expansion in south central Europe. His corpse was brought to the capital Istanbul for burial.
351 solar years ago, on this day in 1669 AD, the longest siege in history ended with the victory of the Ottomans who took the Venetian-ruled city of Candia (modern Heraklion in Crete) after 21 years, having begun the siege in 1648.
278 lunar years ago, on this day in 1164 AH, Nasser Jang Nizam od-Dowla, the 2nd ruler of the Asaf Jahi Dynasty of the Deccan (southern India), before start of battle with the French was treacherously shot by his own subordinate Himmat Khan, the Afghan Nawab of Kadapa, who quickly mounted the ruler’s elephant, cut off his head, and proclaimed his imprisoned nephew, Muzaffar Jang, as the next ruler. The French colonialist protégé was not destined to rule long and was killed treacherously within a few months by the Afghan Nawab of Karnool. Nasser Jang, who ruled for only two years, was entrusted with the governance of the Deccan a decade earlier during the 4-year absence of his father, the celebrated Asaf Jah Nizam ul-Mulk, at the court of the Mughal Emperor in Delhi during the invasion of India by Nader Shah Afshar of Iran.
212 solar years ago, on this day 1808 AD, Algerian freedom fighter, Abdul-Qader ibn Mohi od-Din al-Hassani al-Jaza’iri, was born near Mascara in Oran. He claimed descent from Imam Hasan Mojtaba (AS), the elder grandson of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
55 solar years ago, on this day in 1965 AD, the second war between India and Pakistan broke out over the disputed region of Kashmir.
46 solar years ago, on this day in 1974 AD, Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Mahmoud Hussaini Shahroudi, passed away in holy Najaf, Iraq, at the age of 91. He wrote several books, and among his services was the revival of the traditional walk from different cities to the holy city of Karbala for pilgrimage to the shrine of Imam Husain (AS).
36 solar years ago, on this day in 1984 AD, Ayatollah Mirza Mohammad Baqer Ashtiyani, passed away at the age of 79. Besides grooming students, Ayatollah Baqer Ashtiyani, wrote several books, such as "Guidance in View of Islam” in Persian and "Ownership in Islam” in Arabic.
17 solar years ago, on this day in 2003 AD, prominent jurisprudent, Ayatollah Seyyed Hussain Bodala, passed away at the age of 96 and was laid to rest in the holy mausoleum of Hazrat Fatema al-Ma’sumah (SA) in Qom.
15 solar years ago, on this day in 2005 AD, the Islamic Republic of Iran offered to send the US 20 million barrels of crude oil to help it overcome the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, as part of its Islamic and humanitarian policy of assisting the afflicted people of even a hostile state that imposed illegal sanctions upon it.
15 solar years ago, on this day in 2005 AD, noted Pakistani journalist, writer and a senior Urdu language poet, Hassan Abedi, passed away in Karachi at the age of 76. His compilations of poetry are "Navisht-e Nai” (1995), "Jareeda” (1998) and "Farar Hona Huroof Ka” (2004). As a poet he mainly wrote ghazals (lyrics), as well as other poems, which are a narrative of the socio-political aspects of the society.
7 solar years ago, on this day in 2013 AD, Ayatollah Seyyed Hassan Taheri Khorramabadi, passed away at the age of 75 in holy Qom.