Today is Thursday; 19th of the Iranian month of Farvardin 1400 solar hijri; corresponding to 25th of the Islamic month of Sha’ban 1442 lunar hijri; and April 8, 2021, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
1804 solar years ago, on this day in 217 AD, Roman Emperor Caracalla was assassinated after a 6-year reign by his guards while urinating at a roadside in Edessa in northern Mesopotamia (presently in Turkey), a year after he tricked the Iranians into believing he was sincere in his peace and marriage proposal to the daughter of Parthian Emperor, Artabanus V (Ardavan), but then massacred the bride and guests at the wedding celebrations at the royal palace in Arabela – present day Arbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. Of mixed Punic and Syrian descent, he was named Lucius Septimius Bassianus on his birth in Lyon, France, to Emperor Septimius Severus. Of mean character, on the death of his father in York in Britain, he was proclaimed joint emperor with his brother, Publius Septimius Antoninus Geta, whom he treacherously murdered in front of his pleading mother. A contemporary account of Caracalla’s massacre of the Iranians says that a huge gathering had stood about casually, eager to see the bridegroom and expecting nothing out of the ordinary, when the signal was given by the Roman emperor to his army to attack and massacre all. Totally astounded at this onslaught the people fled – wounded and bleeding. Artabanus managed to escape with a few companions, while the rest of the Parthians, lacking their indispensable horses, were cut down – for they had sent the horses out to graze. The Roman army then carried out a campaign of massacres in northern Mesopotamia and around Media, where Caracalla dug open the royal tombs of the Parthians, and scattered their bones. The Iranians soon regrouped and fought the Romans to a bloody standstill at the Battle of Nisibis (in southeastern Turkey), making them pay war reparations of 200 million sestertii.
1620 solar years ago, on this day in 401 AD, the youngest emperor in Roman history, Theodosius II, was born to Emperor Arcadius at whose death seven years later he was crowned emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire. During his 42-year reign he presided over the outbreak of two christological controversies, that is, Nestorianism and Eutychianism, and fought an almost two-year inconclusive war with the Sassanid Empire of Iran. In 421, when Bahram V succeeded his assassinated father Yazdegerd I and continued the latter’s persecution of Christians as reprisal for attacks on Zoroastrian temples that led to killing of the Christian counselor, James Intercisus, in Jondishapur, Theodosius declared war, citing friction in trade ties and border issues. The conflict raged across the borders of the two empires, mostly in southeastern Turkey, northern Syria and to some extent in Armenia. In 422, the two sides signed a peace treaty restoring the status quo. Theodosius died at the age of 49.
1337 lunar years ago, on this day in 105 AH, Yazid II, the 9th self-styled caliph of the usurper Omayyad regime, died of tuberculosis at the age of 37 after a 4-year reign, a fortnight after the death of his paramour, the slave girl Hayyaba, in whose debauched love he had neglected state affairs in pursuit of drinking and other wanton pleasures. His father was Abdul-Malik ibn Marwan while his mother Atika was daughter of the Godless tyrant Yazid ibn Mu’waiyya – perpetrator of the heartrending tragedy of Karbala. On the suspicious death of Omar ibn Abdul-Aziz, he was installed as caliphs and immediately reversed the latter’s positive policies by seizing the large orchard of Fadak in Medina from the Prophet’s noble progeny. Oblivious of the civil wars in Spain and North Africa as well as in Khorasan, where the Abbasids were building a power base for toppling the Omayyads, he was so infatuated with Hayyaba that when she died, he kept her corpse in his palace unburied, indulging in lewd acts, until the stench made the courtiers to press him to bury her. When Hayyaba’s corpse was lowered in the grave, Yazid II, who had clearly lost his mind, ordered it to be brought up and indulged in senseless behaviour, until forcibly separated. He was succeeded by his half-brother, the bloodthirsty Hisham.
1305 lunar years ago, on this day in 137 AH, Iranian agent of the usurper Abbasid regime, Abu-Muslim Khorasani, whose string of military victories against the Omayyads, starting from Khorasan and continuing all the way up to Syria, resulted in regime change, was killed by his own masters, who feared his growing power might pose a danger to their newfound caliphate. The Abbasids and their agents had deceived the masses, especially Iranian Muslims, through their slogan of restoring power of the Islamic state to its rightful owners, the Prophet’s progeny, but after exterminating the Omayyad usurpers, digging up their graves and burning the bones of the dead caliphs, including those of Mu’awiyya ibn Abu Sufyan, they usurped the power themselves. As part of the elaborate propaganda to mislead the masses, Abu Muslim, who launched his uprising against the Omayyads in Balkh, actually on behalf of Abu’l-Abbas as-Saffah (the blood-shedder), shortly after the martyrdom in Jowzajan of Yahya ibn Zayd ibn Imam Zayn al-Abedin (AS), ordered his followers to wear black, brought down from the gallows the headless corpse of the young martyr, buried it, and instructed the naming of boys born that year in Khorasan as Yahya. This led to the mass popularity of the uprising and decisive victories against the hated Omayyads. In the meantime, the Prophet’s 6th Infallible Heir, Imam Ja’far Sadeq (AS), on being offered the caliphate by one of the victorious generals of the uprising, coolly burned the letter without opening it, thereby implying that such dubious political authority that depends upon the whims and inclinations of unprincipled elements, is definitely not the God-given "wilaya” which he already possessed. Thus, Mansour Dawaniqi, on succeeding his brother Abu’l-Abbas as-Saffah as the second caliph of the usurper Abbasid dynasty, had Abu-Muslim Khorasani murdered.
1145 solar years ago, on this day in 876 AD, the usurper Abbasid caliphate survived annihilation when pride and overconfidence cost the Iranian general, Yaqoub ibn Laith Saffari, victory in the Battle of Dayr al-Aqoul at Estarband, 80 km southeast of Baghdad. Yaqoub, who from his base in Zaranj in Sistan, after taking control of Sindh, Baluchestan and Kabul, had carried the banner of Islam to the then Buddhist areas of Bamiyan, Balkh, Badghis, and Ghor (in present-day Afghanistan), now turned towards the west, and swept through Khorasan, conquering Fars and Khuzestan on his way to Iraq. The Abbasids, terrified at the idea of the Saffarids joining the raging Zanj revolt in Basra and southern Iraq, offered Yaqoub the governorships of Khorasan, Fars, Tabaristan, Gorgan, and Rayy, if he spared Iraq. Yaqoub, however, sensing the weakness of the caliphate, from which Egypt, North Africa, Syria and Central Asia, had already broken away, resolved to end Abbasid rule. He advanced north of Waset, but here the clever tactic of the pro-Abbasid Iranian general, Masrour al-Balkhi, in flooding the adjoining lands slowed down his march. This provided the Abbasids ample time to gather troops and Turkic mercenaries, and thus save their rule that had been established a century and 26 years ago in 750 by Abu’l-Abbas Saffah by overthrowing the Omayyads with Iranian help. The result of the battle, completely halted Yaqoub’s advance, as he fell back broken-hearted after a valiant fight, and in the next three years that he was alive, did not make any campaigns in Iraq. In 879, his brother and successor, Amr ibn Laith concluded peace with the caliph. The Abbasids, who had become puppets of Turkic slave generals, continued to be in power, until all executive authority was taken away from them by the Iranian general, Moiz od-Dowla Daylami on the fall of Baghdad in 945 to the Buwaiyhids, who ruled Iraq and most of Iran for 110 years. Next the Seljuq Turks reduced the Abbasids to vassals. In 1258 the Abbasids were eventually thrown into the dustbin of history by Hulaku Khan’s Buddhist Mongol hordes.
1003 solar years ago, on this day in 1018 AD, renowned Iranian vizier of the Seljuqid Dynasty, Hassan Ibn Ali Tousi, known by his title Khwaja Nizam ul-Mulk, was born in Radkan in the vicinity of the northeastern Iranian city of Tous, near holy Mashhad in Khorasan. His father was a financial officer of the Ghaznavid Dynasty. He initially served the Ghaznavids as chief administrator of Khorasan. Four years later with the rise of the Seljuqs, he served Alp Arslan and Malik Shah I as vizier. Under his guidance the Seljuq armies contained the Ghaznavids in Khorasan, rolled back the Fatemids in Syria, defeated other Seljuq pretenders to the throne, turned Georgia into a tributary state, compelled the submission of regional governors, and kept the Abbasid caliphs in a position of impotence. In addition to his administrative duties, he established in various cities, including Isfahan, Naishapur, Mosul, Basra, and Herat, educational institutes known as "Madrasa-e Nizamiyyah”, which were named after him. In many aspects, these schools turned out to be the predecessors and models of universities that were established in Europe in later centuries. Nizam ul-Mulk is also widely known for his voluminous treatise on kingship titled "Siyasat-Nama” or "Siyar al-Molouk” (The Book of Government). He also wrote a book titled "Dastour al-Wuzara”, for his son Abulfath Fakhr ul-Mulk on administrative norms. He was assassinated near Nahavand en route from Isfahan to Baghdad at the age of 75. His son-in-law Muqatel bin Atiyyah, who was eyewitness to a polemical debate, says he was assassinated in the same year as Malik Shah I, after a debate between Sunni and Shi’ite scholars, which resulted in his conversion and that of the Seljuq sultan to the school of the Ahl al-Bayt.
750 solar years ago, on this day in 1271 AD, the 4th Turkic Mamluk Sultan (slave-king) of Egypt and Syria, Rukn od-Din Baybars al-Bandouqdari, conquered the fortress of Krak des Chevaliers by defeating the crusaders and expelling them back to Europe. Known in Arabic as "Hisn al-Akraad” (Castle of the Kurds), it sits atop a 650-metre high hill east of Tartus, Syria, in the Homs region on the way to Tripoli in Lebanon. The castle was made a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2006. Recently this fortress was liberated by Syrian troops from the Takfiri terrorists who are backed by US, Turkey, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Baybars, earlier as a general, had taken part in the resounding defeat of the 7th crusade led by the French king, Louis IX, at the Battle of Fareskour in Egypt (1250) and the decisive Muslim victory over the Mongols at Ain Jalut in Palestine (1260).
739 solar years ago, on this day in 1282 AD, Ahmad Fanakati, the Persian Muslim of Central Asia, who for twenty years served as finance minister of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty of China and Chief Minister of Emperor Kublai Khan, was assassinated by his jealous Chinese rivals, Wang Zhu and Gao Heshang. Born in Fanakat (or Banakat), a town on the upper Syr Darya or River Jaxartes in what was then Qara Khitai kingdom, he joined the service of the Mongols when they conquered his homeland. He was entrusted with state finances in 1262. He was successful in managing the financial affairs of Northern China that brought huge tax revenues to Kublai’s new government. In 1270, he assumed the full power of the new financial department known as the Department of State. After the conquest of the Song dynasty in 1276, Ahmad Fanakati entered the financial matters of Southern China. He prepared a state monopoly in salt, which came to account for a large portion of state income. In his 20-year term of office, he created his strong faction with his clan and Persian and Turkic Muslims from Central Asia. Ahmad is usually portrayed as an evil bureaucrat in Chinese records, but other sources positively evaluate his assistance to Kublai’s administration. Recent Mongolian studies also tend to make positive reference to his role in establishing the dynasty’s unique financial system.
560 solar years ago, on this day in 1461 AD, Austrian mathematician and astronomer, Georg von Peurbach, died at the age of 37 in Vienna. He studied the Islamic scientist, Ibn Haytham’s book "On the Configuration of the World”, and replaced the Greek scientist Ptolemy’s chords in the table of sines with the Islamic Arabic numerals that were introduced 250 years earlier in place of Roman numerals and which today are in use in the whole world (e.g. 1,2,3,4,5 etc.).
500 lunar years ago, on this day in 942 AH, Ottoman Prime Minister "Damaad” Ibrahim Pasha, who was the Sultan’s son-in-law, inked a treaty with France for lease of the French Port of Toulon to set up a Turkish naval base for checking Spain’s ambitions. During the lease period, the French permitted the Ottomans to build mosques and use Toulon as a safe haven to raid Spanish coasts and dominate the Mediterranean Sea.
449 lunar years ago, on this day in 993 AH, the Ottomans, taking advantage of the power vacuum in Iran, breached the peace treaty with the Safavids to occupy Tabriz. The occupation lasted 18 years until Shah Abbas, after assuming power, inflicted a shattering defeat on the Ottomans to liberate Tabriz, the Caucasus, and eventually Iraq, where he reconstructed the holy shrines in Najaf, Karbala, and Kazemain on a grand scale.
162 solar years ago, on this day in 1859 AD, Austrian-German philosopher, Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl, who established the school of phenomenology, was born in Prostejov (presently in Czech Republic). He believed that experience is the source of all knowledge. He died in Nazi Germany in 1938.
71 solar years ago, on this day in 1950 AD, India and Pakistan inked the Liaqat-Nehru Pact in New Delhi after six days of talks. The signatories were Indian Prime Minister JawaharLal Nehru and Pakistani Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan. The treaty sought to guarantee the rights of minorities in both countries after the partition of the Subcontinent – Hindus in Pakistan and Muslims in India.
51 solar years ago, on this day in 1970 AD, the Bahr al-Baqar massacre was carried out by aircraft of the illegal Zionist entity, which bombed an Egyptian school in Sharqiyya (80 km north of Cairo), resulting in the martyrdom of 46 children and injury of 50 others. Earlier, on February 12 the same year, Israeli warplanes had bombarded an Egyptian factory, martyring and wounding 168 workers. On March 31, 1970, Zionist warplanes pounded the city of Mansurah, martyring 12 civilians and wounding 35 others. The usurper state of Israel has a bleak and bloody record of crimes against humanity.
41 lunar years ago, on this day in 1401 AH, Chief Justice Ayatollah Dr. Seyyed Mohammad Husseini Beheshti, along with 72 officials of the Islamic Revolution, including ministers and MPs, was martyred in a terrorist bomb blast by the MKO hypocrites at the headquarters of the Islamic Republic Party in Tehran, a few days before start of the blessed fasting month of Ramadhan. Born in Isfahan, he studied religious sciences in Qom, and at the same time continued his academic studies at the university in Tehran, obtaining PhD in philosophy. He was active in political and cultural spheres, and as a loyal follower of the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA), was involved in the 15th of Khordad uprising of June 5, 1963 against the British-installed and American-backed Pahlavi regime. Following the Imam’s exile to Iraq, he spent several years at the Islamic Centre in Hamburg, Germany. His fluency in German, English, and Arabic helped him promote Islam in Europe. He returned to Iran in 1971 and continued his struggles against the despotic Shah. Following victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, he was assigned key posts. He played a major role in drafting the constitution of the Islamic Republic, establishing the Islamic Judicial system, foiling plots of anti-revolutionaries, and standing firm against US conspiracies. He wrote several books, including "God in View of Islam”; "Banking and Islam’s Financial Laws”; and "Role of Faith in Mankind’s Life”. According to the late Imam, Ayatollah Beheshti was like a nation and his martyrdom exposed the ominous nature of the MKO terrorists.
26 solar years ago, on this day in 1994 AD, in Rwanda more than 1,400 Tutsis were massacred by Hutu militia at a church atop a hill in Kesho. About this time, when the commander of UN forces in Rwanda warned Ghana’s Kofi Annan, the head of the UN Peacekeeping operations that the Kigali government was planning to slaughter Tutsis, Annan’s office ordered General Romeo Dallaire of Canada against protecting the informant or confiscating arms stockpiles of the Hutus. Annan, who went on to become the UN Secretary-General in 1997, later claimed that he lacked the military might and political backing to stop the slaughter of more than 500,000 people.
13 solar years ago, on this day in 2008 AD, Iran’s SenIran Auto plant in Thies, Senegal’s second largest city, built its first Iran-Khodro Samand sedan. Iran Khodro is the largest carmaker in the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa regions with annual production of over a million vehicles including cars, trucks and buses.