By: Mir M.Hosseini
Al Moghanna began an uprising against the Caliph rule in Khorasan. This uprising was one of early attempts by Iranians to regain independence. The murder of Abu Muslim after an Abbasi conspiracy gave him the pretext to rise for revenge. Considering Abu Muslim's popularity, tens of thousands of people volunteered around Moghanna. He believed in re-incarnation and claimed among close followers that he had received the soul of Abu Muslim. Iranians had joined almost all other uprisings before that against Abbasi Caliphs including that of Behafarid, Sanbaad and Isaac.
His followers wore white cloths compared to Abu Muslim's followers who were men-in-black. Moghanna wore a green mask to cover his divine face. His enemies claim that his face was too ugly and that one of his eyes was blind. Armies sent by Abbasi Caliph Al Mehdi were defeated several times. His uprising lasted for about four years (fourteen years according to Birouni). In 780 A.D., his castle came under siege, after which Al Moghanna committed suicide by throwing himself in fire.
Moghanna mastered some of sciences of his time including geometry. He designed a miracle water-well near Samarkand from which he brought up the moon. Using mercury and laws of concave mirrors he created the illusion that the moon was coming out of the well on his order. His story inspired lots of poetries and literature not only in Iran but also in west.