We all remember our personal past that all of us treasure. Our past experiances, some sweet and sour are easily remembered as we pass through time.
The same is true for the history of the world. People remember an era for prosperity and happiness and not by the dates. Events that have taken place are vital for a common man to learn and not the dates that make our history leason so dry and boring. Humans have the tendency to learn and grow by knowing the past. The prosperity of the past leads us a step forward while our mistakes make us cautious.
History has long been a target to a tug of war between science and art. Masters of these branches of knowledge have tried to pull the magnificient subject to their arena by thier own reasons and views.
The Fatimi philosophy of history revolves and evolves around the Sahib al-Zaman, whose presence is inevatibale at all times. The Fatimi legacy has undoubtedly argued that since the creation of man and his existence on earth the presence of Sahib al-Zaman is a compulsory and profound reason for creation. The Sahib al-Zaman is a guide of mankind towards Allah, the creator and a one who reveals his will to the world.
The question I have personaly raised over years of learning history, both world history and Islamic history, is that are the dates really important. Does the chronology of events really matter to a student of history, and what would be the gains to remembering dates to both the masters of the past and the common man.
Science is a branch of knowledge that looks for evidence and logical analysis. History can be considered its branch if you look at the mechanism and formation of days and night which enetually result in dates. Astronomy and Astrology are both part of history and thus history can be treated as science but not in a way of fact finding and interpretation of the human past.
Art on the other hand is the result of what the human mind perceives from its own experience and belief. A very common phrase can be quoted here "Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder." People have sexed up with history to prove their views and theories and their understanding to satisfy their ego. Its the thought of man the so-called great scholars who have written history according to their beliefs. They have successfully blended the method of scientific research andjustified their view of history by their home made evidence. Thus to an extent history is regarded as Art.
The Fatimi philosophy on the other hand has built its foundation on a generation of the trustworthy people. The generation of Sahib al-Zaman to interprete both world history and that of the human race. It is a philosophy which engulfs both Art and Science in its own unique way. To quote an example from Syedna Qadi al-Noman in Sharh al-Akhbar, he says, "I have collected and written the past from various authors and trustworthy men of the Shiate and Sunnni sects of Islam and finally presented to the Imam. The fact that he establishes are then kept and the rest is removed from my work."
This is why remembering events and the lifetimes of the Sahib al-Zaman is an important aspect of study to a student of the history, and not the dates.