Hawza

A Hawza (Arabic: حوزة‎) or Ḥawzah ʿIlmīyah (Arabic: حوزة علمیة‎) is a seminary where Shi'a Muslim clerics are trained. The institutions in Najaf, Iraq and Qom, Iran, are the preeminent seminary centers for the training of Shi'a clergymen. However, several smaller hawzas exist in other cities around the world, such as at Karbala, Iraq, Isfahan and Mashhad in Iran, Beirut, Lebanon, Lucknow, India, Lahore, Pakistan, Europe and North America.

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Zaid Alsalami, Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from... Answered 4 months ago

Bismihi ta'ala

Seeking knowledge of Islam and Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) is the most valuable thing one is able to do. It is a long-term investment in which not only you will benefit from, but so will those around you. 

You do not necessarily need to travel to Qom or Najaf to learn the important sciences of Islam, unless of course you wish to become a cleric or a qualified religious scholar. 

Along with your day job, or secular studies, you are also able to allocate time to study religion, but just make sure you are following a syllabus and have correct guidance from a fellow Hawzah graduate. I am sure you will be able to find someone local, and in your language as well. 

I have put together a Facebook page that shares useful information regarding Hawzah, and initial stages that can be taken to pursue Hawzah studies, even from a distance. 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Community/Hawzah-Studies-Resourc...

I also have a 10 episode program on my Youtube channel on this topic. 

In shaa Allah you will be able to pursue your interest in Islamic studies, in any level it may be. 

With prayers for your success. 

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Zaid Alsalami, Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from... Answered 1 year ago

Bismihi ta'ala

As far as there being an English speaking curriculum, or madarasa is concerned, in Najaf al-Ashraf, I do not think there is such an establishment. 

However, I also do not recommend that if you were interested in joining the Hawzah, that you study only in English. It is imperative that a Hawzah student not only learns Arabic, but also masters it. Ultimately, you are going to be working not just with Arabic Hawzah texts, but also the Quran and hadith, and with deeper insight and stronger comprehension. 

You will be able to pick up on the language quickly, and learn it like how all other non-Arabs have learnt it. 

As for information, I have a FB page where I have put together some sources and material for Hawzah studies. Hopefully it will be of benefit:

https://www.facebook.com/Hawzah-Studies-Resource-Page-1424569624476422/

With prayers for your success. 

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Zaid Alsalami, Shaykh Dr Zaid Alsalami is an Iraqi born scholar, raised in Australia. He obtained a BA from Al-Mustafa University, Qom, and an MA from the Islamic College in London. He also obtained a PhD from... Answer updated 1 year ago

Bismihi ta'ala

The answer to this question would vary, based on which country and which Hawzah institute you will to apply to. The age limit would depend on individual cases, and educational history. As for costs, there is usually no costs for joining the Hawzah.

For the holy city of Qom, the administrative body for non-Iranian students is Al-Mustafa International University. Their website is:

http://en.miu.ac.ir/

You are able to read information there.

Also, for general information and various options for Hawzah studies, I have a Facebook page that might be useful to visit:

https://www.facebook.com/Hawzah-Studies-Resource-Page-1424569624476422

With prayers for your success.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 1 year ago

The Hawza every where is a gathering of scholars who teach the students the Islamic knowledge. Najaf Ashraf is in Iraq where main language is Arabic and most of the teachings and classes are in Arabic language. In the Holy city of Qum, most of the primary classes are in Persian language.

Wassalam.

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answer updated 2 years ago

Thank you for your question. The answer to this question varies from individual to individual. A basic income is provided by the hawza for students in accordance to their different levels of study and whether they are married or not, but the amount at each level is very basic and most students need alternative sources of income. That could come from teaching, translating, owning businesses, working in the holidays or another private source. The burden of earning naturally takes away from the time a student has to concentrate on their studies. Many students I know have had to give up the path of further study simply for financial considerations. The field of Islamic knowledge, especially in the traditional seminary, is not the field someone should be looking to if they want to make money.

As for free time that is again dependent on the number of commitments and individual takes on. Knowledge is also something that needs to be complemented with practice and thought.

At the higher levels of study, you are afforded more free time as there are many things that need to be studied which are not officially taught. Time needs to allotted for outside reading, research, writing papers and books, speech preparation and delivery, answering queries, helping people solve their personal problems, etc. Most of that work is unpaid and a labor of love. At the same time, the freedom that is afforded to students can also be misused and some may abuse the system in order to secure more freedom without perhaps using it as it is supposed to be used.

Abbas Di Palma, Shaykh Abbas Di Palma holds a BA and an MA degree in Islamic Studies, and certifications from the Language Institute of Damascus University. He has also studied traditional Islamic sciences in... Answered 2 years ago

Usually at the Hawza non-married students live in a dormitory while a minimum monthly salary and modest meals are given to them. Married couples receive also a minimum monthly salary but they are asked to rent their own place. The situation and conditions may vary from place to place but generally married couples receive more salary than non-married students. The salary for married couples would not be sufficient to cover all the family expenses (especially for rent) so married students are encouraged to find other incomes as well. This may take place by translating religious books, student sponsorships, or working part-time for religious projects and institutions. The free-time you have at disposal will depend on how much you are willing to put into your studies. Personally, I advice Hawza students not to limit themselves to curriculum-subjects but to find some time for extra-curriculum studies for what can be learnt during special extra-curriculum researches has great benefit on the student and improve his quality as a scholar. Furthermore, memorization of Qur'an and and purification of the soul by supererogatory acts should be taken into account. This may diminish drastically your free-time but you should understand that studying religion is a full-time commitment, day and night, as religion is neither an hobby nor a profession but it is about how you live, how you eat and how you sleep... Therefore a good student of religious sciences should be ready to sacrifice much of his time and energy.

With prayer for you success.