Today is Saturday; 22nd of the Iranian month of Azar 1399 solar hijri; corresponding to 26th of the Islamic month of Rabi al-Sani 1442 lunar hijri; and December 12, 2020, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1393 solar years ago, on this day in 627 AD, the Battle of Ninevah was fought in Iraq in which a Byzantine army under Emperor Heraclius of the Eastern Roman Empire defeated the Persian forces of Emperor Khosrow II Pervez of Iran’s Sassanid Empire, commanded by the Armenian General, Rokh Vehan (Rahzadh).
977 lunar years ago, on this day in 465 AH, the Iranian Muslim mathematician, physician, and philosopher, Ain az-Zamaan Abu’l-Hassan ibn Ali al-Qattani al-Marvazi, was born in the Khorasani city of Marv (presently in Turkmenistan). His writings have not survived except for a book on astronomy written in Persian and entitled "Kayhan-Shenakht” (Knowledge of the Cosmos). The book, however, is not confined to cosmology, but covers a wider range of subjects such as the configuration of the Earth, geographical factors, works dealing with the determination of the calendar and issues related to the passage of time.
924 lunar years ago, on this day in 518 AH, prominent Ismaili missionary of Iran, Hassan Sabbah, died in his stronghold Alamut at the age of 89.
922 solar years ago, on this day in 1098 AD, during the First Crusade, the Christian invaders from Europe not just massacred over 20,000 Muslim men, women, and children of the Syrian city of Ma’arrat an-Numan after deceiving them to surrender peacefully, but resorted to cannibalism by eating the bodies of their victims. These barbaric events were chronicled by Fulcher of Chartres, who wrote: "I shudder to tell that many of our people (European Christians), harassed by the madness of excessive hunger, cut pieces from the buttocks of the Saracens (Muslims) already dead there, which they cooked, but when it was not yet roasted enough by the fire, they devoured it with savage mouth.”
511 solar years ago, on this day in 1509 AD, Portuguese admiral, Francisco de Almeida, in a bid to avenge the death of his marauding son, Lorenzo de Almeida, who was killed in the naval Battle of Chaul off the coast of Gujarat by the joint fleet of the Zamorin of Kerala and the Mamluks of Egypt led by Mir Hussain Kurdi, pursued the latter, after indiscriminately burning several Indian ships in the ports of Calicut and Cannanore. Unable to corner Mir Hussain, he took the defenseless town of Dabhol on India’s western coast on December 30, plundered it, and massacred its inhabitants including women, children, and elderly men.
446 solar years ago, on this day in 1574 AD, Selim II, the 11th Ottoman Sultan and the 3rd self-styled Turkish caliph, died at the age of 50 after an incompetent 8-year rule, due to drunkenly slipping on the wet floor of a bath-house, and fatally injuring his head. Son of Suleiman the Magnificent and the Rutherian (Polish-Ukrainian) concubine, Khorram Sultan (original name: Alexandra Lisowska), he succeeded to the throne through intrigue and fraternal dispute. Despite claiming to be caliph and having a powerful fleet that controlled the Mediterranean Sea, he refused the pleas for help by the Spanish Muslims during the 3-year Morisco Revolt (1568-71) in Granada, southern Spain. As a result the uprising was ruthlessly crushed by a joint Christian army of Spain, Austria, and Italy, after which hundreds of thousands of Spanish Muslims were forcibly Christianized and all books and documents in Arabic burned.
267 solar years ago, on this day in 1753 AD, British adjutant of Virginia, 22-year old George Washington, who over two decades later became US president, delivered an ultimatum to the French forces at Fort Le Boeuf, south of Lake Erie, reiterating Britain’s claim to the entire Ohio river valley. He was sent by Governor Robert Dinwiddie to warn the French soldiers that they were trespassing on English territory, because of his apparent loyalty to the British crown. Over the two decades later on the outbreak of rebellion against the crown in the 13 New England colonies, Washington switched sides, joined the rebels, led them to victory over the British forces, and became the first president of the United States of America (USA).
254 solar years ago, on this day in 1766 AD, Nikolay Karamzin, Russian poet and historian, was born in the village of Znamenskoye, in Simbirsk Governorate. He is best remembered for his "History of the Russian State”, a 12-volume national history, for the writing of which he left the literary circles of St. Petersburg and Moscow and secluded himself for two years at Simbirsk.
126 solar years ago, on this day in 1894 AD, Grand Ayatollah Mirza Habibollah Rashti, passed away at age of 75 in holy Najaf, Iraq. Born in Amlash in Gilan, northern Iran near the Caspian Sea, he was gifted with a sharp mind and reached the status of Ijtehad at the young age of 25. A product of the famous Islamic seminary of holy Najaf, he studied under prominent scholars such as Ayatollah Sheikh Morteza Ansari Dezfuli and Mohammad Hassan Najafi (author of the famous jurisprudential work "Jawaher al-Kalaam”). His works include the book: "Badi al-Afkaar”.
119 solar years ago, on this day in 1901 AD, for the first time, a sentence was telecommunicated across the Atlantic Ocean through radio waves, without an extension wire. The inventor was Italian Physicist Guglielmo Marconi, who later invented the Radio.
109 solar years ago, on this day in 1911 AD, Delhi, the former Muslim capital of North India, replaced Calcutta (presently Kolkata) as the capital of British India. It was declared the capital by Britain’s King George V in the presence of some 562 Indian princes, Muslim nawabs, Hindu maharajahs, soldiers and bureaucrats. After this announcement, George V and his wife Mary of Teck were crowned emperor and empress of India. The British, who had entered the subcontinent as traders, seized the opportunity after the death of the last Great Moghul, Aurangzeb, in early 18th century, to spread their military influence on the weak Muslim successor states. In Bengal, on the banks of the River Hooghly, Calcutta, which started as the garrison town of Fort William, became the capital of all British possessions in 1772, some 15 years after these invaders ended through treachery, the rule of Nawab Siraj od-Dowla (of Iranian origin). After gradual encroachment on other parts of the subcontinent through wars and intrigues, in 1857 the British brutally brought to end the remnants of the Mughal Dynasty and sacked Delhi. The subcontinent was subjugated, the Persian language, which had been the official language of Muslim India for almost seven centuries, was banned, and Queen Victoria was declared as Empress of India. In 1927, the British started building New Delhi and completed it in 1931. In 1947, they left the subcontinent after partitioning it into India and Pakistan, and later Bangladesh.
79 lunar years ago, on this day in 1363 AH, the prominent Iranian theologian, Aqa Najafi Qochani, passed away in his hometown Qochan in northeastern Iran. He was a product of the famous Islamic seminary of holy Najaf in Iraq, where he reached the status of Ijtehad. On his return to Iran, he actively participated in the Constitutional Movement. He has widely elaborated on this era in his book: "Siahat-e Sharq”. He wrote many books, including "Siahat-e Gharb”.
72 solar years ago, on this day in 1948 AD, British colonial soldiers surrounded the Sungai Rimoh rubber estate in Batang Kali, shot 24 Malaysian rubber plantation workers and set the village on fire. In 1970 Britain’s government dropped a police investigation, claiming alleged lack of evidence. In 2012, relatives of the brutally killed workers lost their court battle for a full inquiry by the British regime.
57 solar years ago, on this day in 1963 AD, Kenya in east Africa gained independence from Britain.
32 solar years ago, on this day in 1988 AD, prominent Iranian author, translator, and researcher, Gholam-Reza Sa’eedi, passed away. He was deeply influenced by the thoughts of the Islamic thinker and Urdu-Persian poet, Allamah Mohammad Iqbal Lahori. Professor Sa’eedi authored several books, including "The Life of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).”
7 solar years ago, on this day in 2013 AD, Bangladesh Islamist leader, Abdul Qader Mullah, of the Jama’at-e Islami, was tried, sentenced and executed by hanging by the government of Prime Minister Hassina Wajed, despite objections from the UN.