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.