Today is Sunday; 22nd of the Iranian month of Mordad 1396 solar hijri; corresponding to 20th of the Islamic month of Zil-Qa’dah 1438 lunar hijri; and August 13, 2017, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
Sunday 13 August 2017 hour 13:35
1435 Solar years ago, on this day in 582 AD, Maurice became Emperor of Byzantine or the Eastern Roman Empire in the midst of war with Iran’s Sassanid Empire, shortly after his marriage to Constantina the daughter of Emperor Tiberius II Constantine, who died the following day. He brought to an end the intermittent wars between the Iranians and Romans. The opportunity came in 590 when Prince Khosrow after overthrowing his father, Emperor Hormuz IV, and ascending the throne of Ctesiphon as Khosrow II was defeated by the rebellious general Bahram Chobin, who now seized the Iranian throne. Khosrow fled to the Byzantine court in Constantinople. Maurice helped him regain the Sassanid Empire in 591 when the combined Byzantine-Persian army under generals John Mystacon and Narses defeated Bahram Chobin's forces near Ganzak at the Battle of Blarathon. Khosrow II took the title of Pervez and rewarded Maurice by ceding western Armenia up to the lakes Van and Sevan, including the large cities of Martyropolis, Tigranokert, Manzikert, Ani, and Yerevan. Maurice and Khosrow signed a treaty called ‘perpetual peace’ which meant that for the first time in two centuries the Romans were no longer obliged to pay the Iranians millions of pounds of gold annually as tribute. In 602 after a 20-year reign Maurice was overthrown by the general Phocas, who usurped the throne and murdered him. Before being beheaded he was forced to watch his six sons executed. His eldest son and designated heir, Theodosius, fled to the Sassanid court for aid, prompting Emperor Khosrow Pervez to renew the traditional wars between the two empires, and resulting in Iran’s capture of Syria, Egypt and all of modern day Turkey, right up to the gates of Constantinople. Though Phocas was killed and replaced by Heraclius, the 26-year long war proved cataclysmic for both the empires, which within the next five years were overrun by Arab Muslims, who completely changed the demography and history of the region.
1168 lunar years ago, on this day in 270 AH, the founder of the short-lived Tulunid Dynasty of Egypt, Ahmad Ibn Tulun, died after a 17-year rule during which he killed at least eighteen thousand people. His father, Tulun, was a Turkic slave sent as part of a tribute by the Iranian governor of Bukhara to the Abbasid caliph, Ma'mun. The Abbasids used to recruit Turkic slaves to serve as military officers. Ibn Tulun received military training in Samarra, the new Abbasid capital, where he was appointed commander of the special forces of the tyrannical caliph, Mutawakkil. After serving in military campaigns against the Byzantine Empire in Tarsus, he gained the favor of Musta'in, and in the reign of the next caliph, Mu'taz, he was sent as governor to Egypt. Since, the then capital of Egypt, al-Fustat, was too small to accommodate his armies, he founded a new city nearby called "Madinat al-Qatta'i” (or the Quartered City), to serve as his capital. It was laid out in the style of the grand cities of Iran, including a large public square, a palace, and a large ceremonial mosque, which was named after Ibn Tulun. This city was razed on the fall of the Tulunid Dynasty, and only the mosque has survived. Ibn Tulun asserted his independence from the Baghdad caliphate by minting coins in his name and seizing control of large parts of Syria. He defeated an Abbasid army sent to Egypt against him. Within two decades after his death, the inefficient rule of his son and grandsons brought about the collapse of the dynasty and re-imposition of Abbasid rule on Egypt.
1068 lunar years ago, on this day in 370 AH (980 AD), the prominent Iranian Islamic genius, Abu Ali Hussain Ibn Abdullah Ibn Sina, was born near Bukhara, capital of the Iranian Samanid Dynasty – presently in the Republic of Uzbekistan. He memorized the Holy Qur'an at a young age and soon mastered logic, medicine, astronomy, geometry, and philosophy, such that at the age of 18 years, he was an authority in all the sciences of his day. After curing the Samanid King, Nouh ibn Mansour, of an ailment, he was allowed to use the large royal library at Bukhara. He was a genius, who because of his political views and religious inclinations towards the Prophet's Ahl al-Bayt found himself persecuted by Sultan Mahmoud of Ghazna. As a result he joined the Buwaiyhid court in Rayy before settling in Hamedan and later Isfahan where he served as vizier as well. Known as Avicenna to medieval Europe, his works were translated into Latin and for several centuries were taught at most western universities. Among his books mention can be made of "ash-Shefa” on philosophy; "al-Qanoun fi't-Tibb” (Canons of Medicine), and "Isharaat wa'l-Tanbihat" (Remarks and Admonitions). He wrote almost all his works in Arabic and of the few books written by him in his native Persian is the "Danishnama-e Alai" (Book of Knowledge for [Amir] Ala od-Dowlah). It covers such topics as logic, metaphysics, music, and other sciences of his time. He passed away in Hamedan at the age of 58.
1057 lunar years ago, on this day in 381 AH, the famous Greek Muslim general and statesman of the Fatemid Ismaili Shi'ite Muslim dynasty of Egypt and North Africa, Jowhar bin Abdullah as-Siqili, or the Sicilian, passed away. He conquered Egypt and built the city of Cairo including the famous al-Azhar Mosque and academy. Born a Christian on the island of Sicily near what is now Italy, he embraced the truth of Islam and joined the service of the Fatemids, soon rising into prominence as "al-Kateb” (the Chancellor) and "al-Qa'ed” (the General). He subdued North Africa as far as the Atlantic coast and then turned towards the east to wrest control of Egypt from the Ikhshidid Turkic governors of the Abbasid caliphate. He built Cairo as the new capital of the Fatemids, by publicly bearing testimony in the Azaan, or the call to prayer, to the imamate of Imam Ali (AS) after the Prophethood of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA). The phrase "hayya ala khayr il-amal", meaning ‘hasten to the best of deeds’, which was dropped from the Azaan by the second caliph, was also revived and echoed from the minarets of "al-Azhar", which is a derivative of "Az-Zahra" or the Radiant, the famous epithet of Hazrat Fatema (SA) the Immaculate Daughter of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
982 lunar years ago, on this day in 456 AH, the North African Arabic poet, literary figure, and critic, Abu Ali Qairawani, passed away at the age of 66. Born in what is now Morocco, after basic studies, he travelled to Qairawan, in what is now Tunisia, to study under prominent scholars. His poems are mainly odes, which depict the different phases of his social and literary life. He created a new approach in criticism of literary works. He wrote several books including a biography of poets.
720 solar years ago, on this day in 1297 AD, the powerful Mongol Muslim chieftain, Nawrouz, was executed for treason by Ghazaan Khan Mahmoud, the 7th ruler of the Iran-based Ilkhanate Empire. He played an important role in the politics of 13th century Iran. In 1289-1290, he revolted against the 4th Ilkhanate ruler, Arghun Khan who defeated him, and forced him to take refuge in Transoxonia. In 1295, Nawrouz helped Ghazaan Khan Mahmoud to seize power from Baydu and ascend the throne in Maragheh as the 7th Ilkhan. The two soon fell out with each other and Ghazaan eliminated the partisans of Nawrouz for treason in May 1297. He then marched against Nawrouz, then commander of the army of Khorasan, and vanquished him near Naishapur. Nawrouz took refuge at the court of the Malik Fakhr od-Din of Herat, who betrayed him and delivered him to the Ilkhan.
706 solar years ago, on this day in 1311 AD, Alfonso XI, the king of Castile, Leon and Galicia, who was notorious for his enmity towards Spanish Muslims, was born to Ferdinand IV of Castile and his wife Constance of Portugal. In 1313 he became an infant king on the death of his father, under a regency council. In 1325 he assumed power, made a bloody purge of all potential rivals to his throne, and immediately launched military attacks on the Muslim dynasties of Spain. For the next quarter century until his death in 1350 during the 5th unsuccessful Siege of Gibraltar because of the Great Plague (seen as divine affliction by Muslims), he used to terrorize Spanish Muslims. In 1344 he occupied the Muslim kingdom of Alegeciras. Four years earlier after a string of defeats at the hands of the joint army of Marinid Muslim Berbers of Morocco and the Emir Yusuf I of Granada, he had resorted to ruse, treachery and use of Christian mercenaries from all over Europe to win the Battle of Rio Salado. He was ruthless and bloodthirsty.
496 solar years ago, on this day in 1521 AD, Tenochtitlan – present day Mexico City – fell to the Spanish invaders led by Hernan Cortes, who unleashed a great slaughter of the native Mexicans and destroyed their palaces, temples, homes and hearths, in his greed for gold.
481 solar years ago, on this day in 1536 AD, Buddhist monks from Kyoto's Enryaku-ji temple set fire to 21 Nichiren temples throughout Japan in what is known as the Tenbun Hokke Disturbance. The Buddhists, despite their massive propaganda to be peaceful, have a violent history of mass massacres and destruction. In China, the Buddhist dynasties have a long history of internecine wars for power. The bloodthirsty Mongolian warlord, Chingiz Khan, who devastated large parts of Asia including the Muslim world, massacring millions of people, was a Buddhist. Today, Buddhist monks in Myanmar (Burma) are cruelly killing the Rohingya Muslims and destroying mosques, homes, and businesses.
186 solar years ago, on this day in 1831 AD, enslaved black African, Nat Turner, who was descended from highly civilized people of Ghana kidnapped by Europeans and sold in the Americas, saw a solar eclipse and interpreted it as a sign of God to launch an uprising against the Anglo-Saxon racists. Eight days later, after assembling the freedom-seeking black people enslaved in the US, he started his uprising in Southampton County, Virginia, by freeing many African people from slavery. The uprising was brutally crushed after a few days by the White racist government. Turner survived in hiding for over two months afterwards, but was hunted down and hanged. His corpse was flayed, beheaded and quartered by the white Americans who went on to massacre over 200 black people in the southern states, where state legislatures passed new laws prohibiting education of the so-called slaves as well as free black- people, in addition to restricting rights of assembly and other civil rights for them.
149 solar years ago, on this day in 1868 AD, a massive earthquake near Arica, Peru, caused an estimated 25,000 casualties, and the subsequent tsunami caused considerable damage as far away as Hawaii and New Zealand.
118 solar years ago, on this day in 1899 AD, the famous English filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock was born. His films were mainly horror movies, such as "North from Northwest”, "A Man Who Knew Too Much”, and "Vertigo”. He died in 1980.
107 solar years ago, on this day in 1910 AD, the famous English Nurse, Florence Nightingale, died at the age of 90. She established modern nursing practice. Her contributions to public health included developing methods of applying and displaying statistics to demonstrate the need for improvements. Her mission began from experience during the Crimean War as a nurse at a British hospital in the Ottoman Empire where she witnessed appalling conditions endured by the sick: overcrowding, poor sanitation, lack of basic supplies, even malnutrition. Through her determination and influence, by the war's end in Jul 1856, she had greatly improved the comfort of the patients, increased efficiency and reduced the death toll. Throughout her life, she continued to advocate reform in the military medical system, supported by her compelling, novel graphical display of statistics and advice on hospital planning and organization.
99 solar years ago, on this day in 1918 AD, Noor Mohammad Hassan-Ali, the first Trinidadian of Indian origin to hold the office of President and the first Muslim head of state in the Americas, was born in San Fernando. After graduating from Canada and qualifying as a lawyer from Britain, he returned to his homeland Trinidad to practice law and after serving as a member of the Senate, rose to become the Chief Judge. He won the 1987 elections and served as president for two 5-year successive terms till 1997. As a Muslim, Hassan-Ali chose not to serve alcoholic beverages during functions at the President's House. He was married to Mrs. Zalayhar Mohammed and had two children, Khalid and Amena. He died on August 25, 2006.
80 solar years ago, on this day in 1937 AD, the Battle of Shanghai began as the first of the twenty-two major engagements between the National Revolutionary Army of the Republic of China and the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. It was one of the largest and bloodiest battles of the entire war, described as Stalingrad on the Yangtze. It lasted 3 months, 1 week and 6 days before ending on November 26, 1937, involving over a million troops and resulting in huge casualties. The Chinese suffered 200,000 killed and 83,500 injured or missing, while 91 of their planes were downed. The Japanese suffered 70,000 killed and 22,640 injured or missing, losing 85 planes and 51 ships. The battle can be divided into three stages. The first stage lasted from August 13 to August 22, during which the Chinese attempted to eradicate Japanese troop presence in downtown Shanghai. The second stage lasted from August 23 to October 26, during which the Japanese launched amphibious landings at Jiangsu coast and the two armies fought a Stalingrad-type house-to-house battle, with the Japanese attempting to gain control of the city and the surrounding regions. The last stage, ranging from October 27 to the end of November, involved the retreat of the Chinese army in the face of Japanese flanking maneuvers, and the ensuing combat on the road to China's capital, Nanjing.
64 solar years ago, on this day in 1953 AD, the British-installed and American-backed Pahlavi potentate of Iran, Mohammad Reza, secretly dismissed the popular Prime Minister, Dr. Mohammad Mosaddeq, and replaced him with Major General Fazlollah Zahedi, on the orders of his masters in London and Washington following the nationalization of Iran’s oil industry that was a loss for colonial powers. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, in a bid to be safe from the consequences of the dismissal of Mosaddeq, traveled to northern Iran, and after the plot to dismiss Mosaddeq failed, he fled to Iraq and consequently to Italy. Six days after his humiliating escape from the country, a coup was plotted and implemented by the US and Britain on August 18, 1953, leading to the fall of Mosaddeq and restoration of the Pahlavi regime. Thereafter, the Shah continued his repressive and autocratic policies against the Iranian people, while the US and Britain continued to plunder Iran’s riches, especially its oil reserves, more than ever.
56 solar years ago, on this day in 1961 AD, construction work started in the divided German city of Berlin for the famous wall by the communist authorities of East Germany to prevent influx of American spies and capitalist ideas. The wall completely cut off (by land) West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin until the dismantling process started in November 1989.
39 solar years ago, on this day in 1978 AD, massive rallies were staged by the Iranian people against the Shah’s despotic regime in the central city of Isfahan, making the frightened Pahlavi regime impose martial law on this historical city.
7 solar years ago, on this day in 2010 AD, the Bosnia's war crimes court confirmed charges of genocide for 4 former Serb army soldiers over the brutal killing of at least 800 Bosnian Muslims from Srebrenica in July, 1995. Franc Kos, Stanko Kojic, Vlastimir Golijan and Zoran Goronja all served with the Serb army's 10th commando unit and were involved in the genocide of Bosnian Muslims, who were massacred in tens of thousands.
3 solar years ago, on this day in 2014 AD, at the International Congress of mathematicians in South Korea, Iranian mathematician Prof. Maryam Mirzakhani of Stanford University, US, became the first woman to be awarded the Fields Medal for her work in understanding the mathematical symmetry of curved surfaces and saddle-shaped spaces. Mirzakhani died on July 14 this year at the age of 42 following a breast-cancer surgery in the US, which did not allow her to go to Iran despite her longing to return to her homeland.
13th August, 1966: China has announced It's Cultural Revolution and that by reorganizing the current small farming collectives into great communes workers would be released to work in industry. With the Cultural Revolution came persecution of radical students and teachers and colleges were effectively closed down, and Chairman Mao also used the time to purge his rivals. A bi-product of the Cultural Revolution was that grain output declined leading to the country's largest famine in history. What Happened in 1966.
13th August, 1905: Chinese residents were shaken up by an earthquake and nine hours of aftershocks. To avoid quivering buildings throngs went to parks. Chinese religious leaders compounded the terror by predicating doom. As a result, Hong Kong was flooded with refugees.
13th August, 1920: The Soviet Union begins it's assault on Warsaw in Poland which the Poles managed to halt and eventually gained independence for Poland from the Soviet Union.
13th August, 1943: Under a volley of five hundred anti-aircraft guns, Nazi soldiers fled across the Messina Strait to Italy. It was reported that the German army was in full retreat after being pounded by the allies. German Captain Ludwig Sertoius admitted on the radio that, (it was) “a systematic, new disengagement movement by German and Italian troops.”
13th August, 1961: German communists closed the border between East and West Germany stopping refugees from leaving and Going to West Germany , they also started laying barbed wire as the first step to building the Berlin Wall.
13th August, 1979: After Watergate and President Nixon’s downfall, President Ford promised to listen and cooperate with Congress. At the time Congress was predominantly Democrat and Ford was a Republican, so the relationship was particularly challenging. During Nixon’s presidency the limits of executive power verses the power of Congress had been a huge issue.
13th August, 2007: The Taleban freed two South Korea aid workers after three weeks of captivity. The Taleban initially captured a total of 23 South Korean Christian aid workers but had killed two earlier. The remaining 19 hostages were not released until the end of August 2007.
13th August, 2007: After the severe Tropical Storm Pabuk hit the Guangdong province of China, over 3,600 homes were destroyed. The storm caused an estimated $171 million in damage and disrupted business and everyday activities in Hong Kong and other major cities.
13th August, 2009: A South-Korean worker who was arrested by North Korea in a joint industrial zone was released. The worker was arrested after being accused of criticizing the North Korean government. His release came after the head of the Hyundai Group, his employer, visited North Korea.
Today in history
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