Ask A Question About Islam And Muslims
Are there English classes in the Hawza in Najaf? If not, what level of Arabic language understanding is needed to study there? And where can I find information on their courses?
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:
With prayers for your success.
How can we get admission in Hawza? What is the maximum age limit to apply and how much does it cost?
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:
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:
With prayers for your success.
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.
How do students and scholars in the hawzas of Najaf or Qum generate their income? And how much free time do they have?
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.