This post is the initial translation of the Introduction of a book written by Ayatullah Khamenei titled Insaane 250 Saale (انسان 250 ساله). Literally meaning “250 Year Old Human”. In this book, he analyzes the life of the Ma’sumeen (as) as if they were one person who lived for 250 years. The book showcases their lifestyle in scenarios where they apparently exhibit different actions, however essentially are all still going towards one direction and fulfilling one objective. This book allows us to see why and how they followed this one direction and how we can understand it with relation to our lives. Currently, the Introduction of this book is being translated by a friend of mine (who is a student in the Hawzah) who has allowed me to share it on my blog.
The Introduction itself will have 8 parts in total, and this is the first of it. The rest of the book as I was told, will be available in the near future inshAllah.
Introduction [Part 1]
The loneliness of the Aa’ima (as) did not reach its peak in the lives of these great personalities, rather in all the centuries, the absence of attention in regards to an important and maybe even the primary dimension of the lives of these great personalities, has presented continuity to the darkness of their loneliness. Certainly the books and writings which have taken place in the length of these centuries have been taking care of an immeasurable value; this is because, they have been able to maintain the collection of the traditions relating to the lives of these great personalities, for the posterity to recollect. However, the element of the intense political challenges, that have shaped the continuous time line of the lives of the leaders of guidance (as) over 250 years, has been lost in the layers of traditions, narrations and the present explanations relating to their spiritual and educational movements.
We need to take the lives of our Aa’ima (as) as lessons and examples and not just as glorious and valuable stories; and this is not possible without taking into account the political methods and nature of these great personalities. (The next sentence has not been translated yet). Even though I was familiar with the Aa’ima (as) in relation to their great struggle in the path to declare the words of Tawhid (Unity of Allah) and their sacrifices for the establishment of the divine government, suddenly the point that became clear for me was this that the lives of these great personalities, despite their apparent variations and, for some, contradictions between some parts of their lives, in totality it was all one continues and extensive movement that started from the 10th/ 11th year of Hijrat, and then continued for 250 years till the year 260 AH, which was the year of the minor occultation, where it reached its closure.
These great personalities are one unit, one individual. It cannot be doubted that their direction and objective was one. So rather than us coming to analyse the life of Imam Hasan (as) separately, the life of Imam Hussein (as) separately and the life of Imam Sajjad (as) separately and before we fall into this dangerous trap which suggests that the lives of these three personalities were conflicting with one another (because of the apparent differences), we must picture one person that lived for 250 years and that he started walking on a path in the 11th year of Hijrat and continued this journey till 260 AH.
Sayyid Ali studied in the seminary of Qom from 2012 to 2021, while also concurrently obtaining a M.A in Islamic Studies from the Islamic College of London in 2018. In the seminary he engaged in the study of legal theory, jurisprudence and philosophy, eventually attending the advanced kharij of Usul and Fiqh in 2018. He is currently completing his Masters of Education at the University of Toronto and is the head of a private faith-based school in Toronto, as well as an instructor at the Mizan Institute and Mufid Seminary.