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Abbas the Great

Abbas the Great or Abbas I of Persia was the 5th Safavid Shah of Iran, is considered the strongest ruler of the Safavid dynasty. He was the third son of Shah Mohammad Khodabanda. Although Abbas would preside over the apex of Iran's military and economic power, he came to the throne during a troubled time for the Safavid Empire. Under his weak-willed father, the country was riven with discord between the different factions of the Qizilbash army, who killed Abbas' mother and elder brother. Meanwhile, Iran's enemies, the Ottoman Empire and the Uzbeks, exploited this political chaos to seize territory for themselves. In 1588, one of the Qizilbash leaders, Murshid Qoli Khan, overthrew Shah Mohammed in a coup and placed the 16-year-old Abbas on the throne, but Abbas was no soon seized power for himself. Under his leadership, Iran developed the ghilman system where thousands of Circassian and Armenian slave-soldiers joined the civil administration and the military. With the help of these newly created layers in Iranian society, Abbas managed to eclipse the power of the Qizilbash in the civil administration, the royal house and the military.

These actions, as well as his reforms of the Iranian army, enabled him to fight the Ottomans and Uzbeks and reconquer Iran's lost provinces, including Kakheti whose people he subjected to widescale massacres and deportations. By the end of the 1603-1618 Ottoman War, Abbas had regained possession over Transcaucasia and Dagestan, as well as swaths of Eastern Anatolia and Mesopotamia, he took back land from the Portuguese and the Mughals and expanded Iranian rule and influence in the North Caucasus, beyond the traditional territories of Dagestan. Abbas was a great builder and moved his kingdom's capital from Qazvin to Isfahan, making the city the pinnacle of Safavid architecture. In his years, following a court intrigue involving several leading Circassians, Abbas became suspicious of his own sons and had them killed or blinded. Abbas was born in Herat as the third son of the royal prince Mohammad Khodabanda and his wife Khayr al-Nisa Begum, the daughter of the Marashi ruler of the Mazandaran province, who claimed descent from the fourth Shi'a Imam Zayn al-Abidin.

At the time of his birth, Abbas' grandfather Shah Tahmasp I was the Shah of Iran. Abbas' parents gave him to be nursed by Khani Khan Khanum, the mother of the governor of Herat, Ali-Qoli Khan Shamlu; when Abbas was four, Tahmasp sent Abbas' father to stay in Shiraz where the climate was better for his fragile health. Tradition dictated that at least one prince of the royal blood had to reside in Khorasan, so Tahmasp appointed Abbas as the nominal governor of the province, despite his young age, Abbas was left behind in Herat. In 1578, Abbas' father became Shah of Iran. Abbas' mother soon came to dominate the government, but she had little time for Abbas, preferring to promote the interests of his elder brother Hamza; the queen consort antagonised leaders of the powerful Qizilbash army, who plotted against her and murdered her on 26 July 1579 for having an affair with Adil Giray, brother of the Crimean Tatar khan, held captive in Qazvin. Mohammad was a weak sovereign, incapable of preventing Iran's main rivals, the Ottoman Empire, but the Uzbeks, from invading the country or stopping factional feuding among the Qizilbash.

The young prince, was more promising and led a campaign against the Ottomans, but he was murdered suspiciously in 1586. Attention now turned to Abbas. At the age of 14, Abbas had come under the guardianship of Murshid Qoli Khan, one of the Qizilbash leaders in Khorasan; when a large Uzbek army invaded Khorasan in 1587, Murshid decided the time was right to overthrow Shah Mohammad. He rode to the Safavid capital Qazvin with the young prince and pronounced him king on 16 October 1587. Mohammad made no objection against his deposition and handed the royal insignia over to his son during the following year on 1 October 1588. Abbas was 17 years old; the kingdom Abbas inherited was in a desperate state. The Ottomans had seized vast territories in the west and the north-west and the Uzbeks had overrun half of Khorasan in the north-east. Iran itself was riven by fighting between the various factions of the Qizilbash, who had mocked royal authority by killing the queen in 1579 and the grand vizier Mirza Salman Jabiri in 1583.

First, Abbas settled his score with his mother's killers, executing three of the ringleaders of the plot and exiling four others. His next task was to free himself from the power of Murshid Qoli Khan. Murshid made Abbas marry Hamza's widow and a Safavid cousin, began distributing important government posts among his own friends confining Abbas to the palace. Meanwhile, the Uzbeks continued their conquest of Khorasan; when Abbas heard they were besieging his old friend Ali Qoli Khan Shamlu in Herat, he pleaded with Murshid to take action. Fearing a rival, Murshid did nothing until the news came that Herat had fallen and the Uzbeks had slaughtered the entire population. Only did he set out on campaign to Khorasan, but Abbas planned to avenge the death of Ali Qoli Khan and he arranged for four Qizilbash leaders to kill Murshid after a banquet on 23 July 1589. With Murshid gone, Abbas could now rule Iran in his own right. Abbas decided. To this end he made a humiliating peace treaty – known as the Treaty of Istanbul

Joe Holland (American football)

Joe Holland is an American football linebacker, a free agent. He was signed by the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League as an undrafted free agent in 2012. Holland attended Bishop Chatard High School in Indianapolis, where he played football and ran track; as a senior, Holland was named all-state, Indianapolis City Player of the Year and All-North Football Player of the Year after rushing for 2,048 yards on 239 carries and 35 touchdowns and added nine receptions for 153 yards and one touchdown. He returned nine punts for 137 yards and returned three kickoffs for 124 yards and one touchdown, he led his team to Class 3A state championship. His junior year, he totaled 2,257 rushing yards on 331 carries and 32 touchdowns with 19 receptions for 239 yards; as a sophomore, he rushed for 961 yards on 11 touchdowns. He set the school record for career rushing yards with 5,270 yards, he was named the 2007 city athlete of the year. Holland played college football at Purdue University from 2007 to 2011.

After redshirting his first year, Holland moved from safety to outside linebacker during training camp in 2008. He started at outside linebacker for the Boilermakers in 48 of the possible 49 games amassing 324 tackles and 23.5 tackles for a loss for his career. Excelling in the classroom, Holland was a two time Academic All American and in 2011 was one of eighteen players in the nation chose as a National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete, he was a captain of the 2011 team. On May 4, 2012, Holland signed with the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent. On August 31, 2012, he was released. On October 16, 2012, he was signed to the Miami Dolphins practice squad. On October 23, he was released. On November 14, 2012, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Holland to their practice squad. On November 21, 2012, he was released from the practice squad. On November 28, 2012, he was re-signed to the Buccaneers' practice squad. On December 11, 2012, he was released from the practice squad for the second time.

On December 18, 2012, he was re-signed to the practice squad. On January 3, 2013, Holland was signed to a reserve/future contract by the Buccaneers. On August 21, 2013, he was waived by the Buccaneers. On August 22, 2013, the San Francisco 49ers claimed Holland off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Joe Holland is in his fourth year of dental school at IUPUI in Indianapolis, he has two sisters. San Francisco 49ers bio Tampa Bay Buccaneers bio

Parable of the Unjust Judge

The Parable of the Unjust Judge, is one of the parables of Jesus which appears in the Gospel of Luke. In it, a judge who lacks compassion is approached by a poor widow, seeking justice. Rejecting her demands, he honors her request so he will not be worn out by her persistence. One interpretation of this parable is that it demonstrates the importance of persistence in prayer, never giving up, it is found prior to the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican and is similar to the Parable of the Friend at Night. Other scholars note that the content of the parable makes no reference to prayer and that the introduction of prayer as a theme is inspired by the Lucan construction in verses 6–8 and by the fact that Luke placed the parable of the Pharisee and Publican influentially after this one. Whatever approach is taken, it is noteworthy that the judge in the parable does not act on the basis of justice. Luke reports the parable as follows: Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray for just causes and not give up.

He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea,'Grant me justice against my adversary.'"For some time he refused. But he said to himself,'Even though I do not fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she will not wear me out with her coming!'" And the Lord said, "Listen to. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" The framing material of the parable demonstrates the need to always pray like that persistent widow, for if an unjust judge will listen, God is much quicker to do so. The parable of the Friend at Night has a similar meaning. Joel B. Green sees in this parable an injunction not to lose heart, in the light of the eschatological tone of Luke 17:20-37, an echo of Sirach 35: "For he is a God of justice, who knows no favorites....

The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds. In prayer one is speaking to a Father ready to give. Donald Parry and Jay A. Parry suggests that "this parable applies to each of us who has adversaries that are harmful to our spiritual life, whether the adversaries are other mortals, evil beings, or particular sins that continue to plague us. We, like the importunate widow, must pray always for help against these adversaries; as we do, our Heavenly Father will hear our prayers and bring us deliverance." As Christ suggested in this parable the deliverance, sought for may not be offered until after "the Son of man cometh." Christ will avenge his elect, those in whom have kept the faith until his return at the second coming. Life of Jesus in the New Testament Ministry of Jesus