Ask A Question About Islam And Muslims

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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.

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.