Najaf (Arabic: اَلـنَّـجَـف) or Al-Najaf al-Ashraf (Arabic: النّجف الأشرف) is a city in central-south Iraq about 160 km (100 mi) south of Baghdad.
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.
The main four Marja's in Najaf Ashraf are:
1. Aytullah Seestani who is followed by the majority of the Shia Muslims all over the world.
2. Ayatullah Sayyed Mohammad Saeed al-Hakeem.
3. Ayatullah Shaikh Eshaq al-Fayadh.
4. Ayatullah Shaikh Basheer al-Najafi.
The Marja' who is been followed by the majority of the Shia is called ( Al-Marja al-A'la) ( The highest Marja).
We have a system of our religious leadership based on highest degree of knowledge and piousness, which is quite different from Vatican.
We should not conflate the reward of the Ziyaras or Hajj. Performing one does not mean we should not perform the other. Hajj has its specific times and the Ziyara of Imam Hussayn has a specific time. If you can afford to perform both, that would be great. Keep in mind, those who perform Hajj will also have the opportunity to visit RasulAllah, FatimaZahra, and the Imams in Baqee'.
It is not allowed to break the fast before the start of the night as we read in Quran (ثم أتموا الصيام إلى الليل ) (And complete fasting till night). This is the Quranic order which can never be challenged. This is for all people who have day and night in 24 hours.
If you live in a place where there is no day and night in 24 hours, then you need to either leave the place to another place where there is day and night in every 24 hours or to follow the timings of Salah of the nearest place to you. There is question at all to follow the timings of places which very far away from your place like Makkah, Madina, Najaf, Karbala etc.
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.
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.