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In the Name of God بسم الله

Howza In Iran

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rajaa

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Salaam ladies, I am trying to find information on how to apply to howza in iran and I know there is a lot of threads on here -sorry to start a new one- but I am looking for updated information......the website....http://en.miu.ac.ir/ in regrads to admissions is not working properly....I have downloaded the application form but there is not email to send it to- I dont even know if they accept emails- and when you click on english and place the country the website no longer functions properly...stays at the same page...

Does anyone have any information regarding al mustafa applications for women??

Salamat

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(salam)

Sorry to intrude into the female forum, but seeing as I could help I thought I should post;

At the bottom of the application form two emails are listed on page 4.

They are: svp@miu.ac.ir and info@miu.ac.ir.

Insha'Allah that helps and you could always email them with your enquiries about how best to proceed with the application.

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(salam) sister,

There's actually a website that I can find for you. It has a bit of details about the female hawzaat in Qom.

I'm also curious about why some people have recommended Najaf.

Qom and Najaf have a different curriculum. For the introductory classes, I'm sure they're alike but after that they differ.

If you were to go to Qom, you'd spend about a year learning Farsi, I'm not so sure about Najaf. I know they give you Arabic classes for sure but I think they may be more advanced classes.

What I've heard is that in Iraq they teach you as they would an Islamic scholar while in Iran they teach you as a mubaligh (a person who will take his knowledge and pass it on) therefore they teach psychology, sociology and classes of the sort.

I personally plan on attending the hawza in Najaf because I plan on going to university later on too. I wouldn't need the social science classes that get give in Qom. I want just the islamic info.

Also, the language of the Quran is Arabic. If you want to learn about islam, You should understand the Quran before you decide to learn another language.

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I'm also curious about why some people have recommended Najaf.

Because people by nature love divisions, scandals, and general commotion for pure entertainment sake.

Najaf and Qum seminaries are no different in their syllabus. Qum is a whole lot resourceful due to their much higher number of scholars, and the number of ulema who are involved in Dars-e-Kharij. In fact even those who are in Najaf tend to go to Qum for the expansion and depth at some point again due to lack of resources in Najaf. Najaf is more traditional, is close to Imam Ali (as) and Karbala, a bit unstructured (although that is changing fast) as they are reorganizing the syllabus and structures to make it at par with Qum. And to the chagrin of all those who hide their intellects from the political aspect of Islamic sciences, Najaf is tilting fast towards political leadership training lead by Ay. Sistani and Ay. Najafi. Ay. Sistani has been leading the Iraq's political transition from dictatorship to democracy and with him a very strong current of political activism is taking roots in Najaf howza. Add more to the salt of those who think Shia Islam is apolitical, Ay. Shahroudi (former CJ of IRI) has moved back to Najaf and Ay. Baqir us Sadr legacy is already enliven in Najaf howza.

Besides for anybody who goes for more than basic Islamic studies (spending 7-10 years is considered very basic) has to shuttle between Najaf and Qum multiple times throughout his/her educational tenure to gain understanding and learn from various scholars. A serious ijtihad level studies easily takes more than 30 years of study with less emphasis on writing books and more emphasis on discussions and debates at the research level; for obvious reason because writing is a one way street, debating is more multi dimensional discourse with rebuttals and further analysis. Both Najaf and Qum are known for splintering word to word the concepts in Islamic sciences, of both ulema of old and new, in their analysis; Qum winning again just due to the higher number of those researchers available. Don't discount the howza in Syria either but if you indeed want a deep dive in Islamic sciences, get ready for a years of learning both from Najaf and Qum. Ulema are by the way above this stupid Najaf versus Qum divide that you hear in media and from the ignorant (Jahil) shia scandal loving masses.

Hope this insight helps.

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  • 4 weeks later...
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Well if you arent living in iran then dont go there. I mean if youre libing in tjhe Western world. Iran is not safe for women, seriously..even married young girls and women are harrassed by men..i dont like to degrade the country, but there are lots of individuals who do that. If you can afford it, better go to London..just cautioning you as a brother

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Salaam,

Does anyone know information about "Maktab e Narjes" in Mashhad? I wanna study there and the website is in farsi =(.

http://www.m-narjes.org/

(wasalam)

Yes, my wife studies there. What information exactly do you require? I am not aware of an English website for them, but we could get you an email and/ or phone number to get in touch with them if you are interested.

(wasalam)

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Because people by nature love divisions, scandals, and general commotion for pure entertainment sake.

Najaf and Qum seminaries are no different in their syllabus. Qum is a whole lot resourceful due to their much higher number of scholars, and the number of ulema who are involved in Dars-e-Kharij. In fact even those who are in Najaf tend to go to Qum for the expansion and depth at some point again due to lack of resources in Najaf. Najaf is more traditional, is close to Imam Ali (as) and Karbala, a bit unstructured (although that is changing fast) as they are reorganizing the syllabus and structures to make it at par with Qum. And to the chagrin of all those who hide their intellects from the political aspect of Islamic sciences, Najaf is tilting fast towards political leadership training lead by Ay. Sistani and Ay. Najafi. Ay. Sistani has been leading the Iraq's political transition from dictatorship to democracy and with him a very strong current of political activism is taking roots in Najaf howza. Add more to the salt of those who think Shia Islam is apolitical, Ay. Shahroudi (former CJ of IRI) has moved back to Najaf and Ay. Baqir us Sadr legacy is already enliven in Najaf howza.

Besides for anybody who goes for more than basic Islamic studies (spending 7-10 years is considered very basic) has to shuttle between Najaf and Qum multiple times throughout his/her educational tenure to gain understanding and learn from various scholars. A serious ijtihad level studies easily takes more than 30 years of study with less emphasis on writing books and more emphasis on discussions and debates at the research level; for obvious reason because writing is a one way street, debating is more multi dimensional discourse with rebuttals and further analysis. Both Najaf and Qum are known for splintering word to word the concepts in Islamic sciences, of both ulema of old and new, in their analysis; Qum winning again just due to the higher number of those researchers available. Don't discount the howza in Syria either but if you indeed want a deep dive in Islamic sciences, get ready for a years of learning both from Najaf and Qum. Ulema are by the way above this stupid Najaf versus Qum divide that you hear in media and from the ignorant (Jahil) shia scandal loving masses.

Hope this insight helps.

Interesting. Everyone has to follow Islam but it takes 7-10 years to even know the basics properly.

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Interesting. Everyone has to follow Islam but it takes 7-10 years to even know the basics properly.

Basics in hawzah is very different than basics of Islam for normal people.

What he is saying is that you become a basic "scholar"!

Edited by repenter
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Well if you arent living in iran then dont go there. I mean if youre libing in tjhe Western world. Iran is not safe for women, seriously..even married young girls and women are harrassed by men..i dont like to degrade the country, but there are lots of individuals who do that. If you can afford it, better go to London..just cautioning you as a brother

And men don't harass women in the Western World?

It happens in London too.

The main two Hawza's are in Qom and Najaf, not London so why you are suggesting the sister goes there is beyond me.

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And men don't harass women in the Western World?

It happens in London too.

The main two Hawza's are in Qom and Najaf, not London so why you are suggesting the sister goes there is beyond me.

Well I was trying to just warn her to be cautious about her choice, especially if she has no family there. If you haven't been in Iran, or don't have family who tell you this, then better trust me, i'm not saying this just to scare her away from there, but the situation is aggravating by the day. She can go to London and then if she really likes Najaf or Qom, then go one year, but with the care of the London school. Anyway, i'm not forcing anything, just telling my experience and the stories i've heard so far from Iran.

I didn't say a single word about Najaf as i don't know what's going on there. So it was an advice to take or not, but I felt obliged to tell as we are all brothers and sisters right? ^_^

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Well I was trying to just warn her to be cautious about her choice, especially if she has no family there. If you haven't been in Iran, or don't have family who tell you this, then better trust me, i'm not saying this just to scare her away from there, but the situation is aggravating by the day. She can go to London and then if she really likes Najaf or Qom, then go one year, but with the care of the London school. Anyway, i'm not forcing anything, just telling my experience and the stories i've heard so far from Iran.

I didn't say a single word about Najaf as i don't know what's going on there. So it was an advice to take or not, but I felt obliged to tell as we are all brothers and sisters right? ^_^

I was only surprised because having spent time in each of the 3 places, I was surprised that you made it seem that sisters got more unwanted attention in Iran then in Western countries when from my experience it has always been the other way around. Still, you are entitled to your opinions and I'm sure your intentions were good.

Edited by *Sayyeda*
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(salam)

I am assuming you are single and not married. As a female, you are probably better off going to Qum. If you aren't married, you'll be living in the dorms. There is a large Western community here who will go to lengths to help you out especially once you are here. I've been blogging about my Qum Student Life experiences on my blog - though I'm married and a male so my experiences will be different than what a single female will be going through.

The best way to apply is through someone, and someone who can keep following up on your application. That's honestly the best way, I don't know if there is any credibility to their online application system, or whether applications submitted through e-mails are even looked at. I did ask a Pakistani student here once and he said that's how he did it, but then again things differ between males and females. Do you not know anyone here who can submit your application?

PS - There is a student in my class who studied in Najaf for almost a decade and decided to come to Qum, won't go into details, but it was generally due to the limitations on the types of things you can study in Najaf. For someone above who mentioned that you will probably study (you don't always have to, depending on your program) a lot of other sciences and arts in Qum, such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy etc. that is probably one of the things that differentiates the hawzah. The hawzahs need to produce well-rounded intellectuals, not mere fatwa-spitting machines. Especially if you will be coming back to the West, and expect yourself to be a tad bit influential, then you best be aware of how the world works or else they will make a joke out of you like they have of many Sunni and also some Shi'a scholars.

Wassalam

Edited by Aal-e-Imran
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I was only surprised because having spent time in each of the 3 places, I was surprised that you made it seem that sisters got more unwanted attention in Iran then in Western countries when from my experience it has always been the other way around. Still, you are entitled to your opinions and I'm sure your intentions were good.

Yes my intentions were good :), and maybe you spent time with your family and you did not go alone outside, and I don't know how long ago it was that you went so.. things change in time. So I guess we both saw another side of Iran then, and no i didn't see only the bad things. Anyway, I would never go and live there, especially as an Afghan.

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(salam)

I am assuming you are single and not married. As a female, you are probably better off going to Qum. If you aren't married, you'll be living in the dorms. There is a large Western community here who will go to lengths to help you out especially once you are here. I've been blogging about my Qum Student Life experiences on my blog - though I'm married and a male so my experiences will be different than what a single female will be going through.

The best way to apply is through someone, and someone who can keep following up on your application. That's honestly the best way, I don't know if there is any credibility to their online application system, or whether applications submitted through e-mails are even looked at. I did ask a Pakistani student here once and he said that's how he did it, but then again things differ between males and females. Do you not know anyone here who can submit your application?

PS - There is a student in my class who studied in Najaf for almost a decade and decided to come to Qum, won't go into details, but it was generally due to the limitations on the types of things you can study in Najaf. For someone above who mentioned that you will probably study (you don't always have to, depending on your program) a lot of other sciences and arts in Qum, such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy etc. that is probably one of the things that differentiates the hawzah. The hawzahs need to produce well-rounded intellectuals, not mere fatwa-spitting machines. Especially if you will be coming back to the West, and expect yourself to be a tad bit influential, then you best be aware of how the world works or else they will make a joke out of you like they have of many Sunni and also some Shi'a scholars.

Wassalam

Almost had a heart attack when I saw your blog. Wish more students did that in Qom and Najaf.

"Fatwa spitting machines"

Ouch...

Najaf is for those who plan on becoming high scholars. I'm not sure about this but I've heard on many occasions that if one was planning on becoming an official marja' they have to go to Najaf for a certain amount of time.

Personally, I would rather take my psychology, sociology, and other courses at a university here in America.

So it would be a few years in Najaf for Islamic studies and then uni here for a bachelors.

As I said before, Qom is for those who plan on going back home and spreading the message whereas Najaf is for those who plan on becoming scholars.

Lastly, to the OP, I know a sister who goes to a hawza in Najaf with her husband. She is in town and I have been dying to meet up with her and ask her a few questions. If you'd like me to ask her questions on your behalf, I'd be more than happy to!

Yes my intentions were good :), and maybe you spent time with your family and you did not go alone outside, and I don't know how long ago it was that you went so.. things change in time. So I guess we both saw another side of Iran then, and no i didn't see only the bad things. Anyway, I would never go and live there, especially as an Afghan.

It isn't safe for female to be alone anywhere in the Middle East. -_-

Nothing special about Iran or Iraq.

I'm Iraqi, we have family all over Iraq and in Najaf and my dad still wouldn't have let me go alone and frankly, I'd be scared to.

Men are vicious over there. There is a need for a mahram to be around you when you're outside.

Seriously, I think I would just straight up and smack any guy that says anything to me that was questionable. Therefore, I think I'll just stick with my father. Lol

That being said, for some reason, I feel like Iran has this subject covered to some extent? Since there are female dorms and all...

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I'm sure big teachers who teach pharmacy at Kingston will tell you that Kingston is far better than Nottingham.

It's impossible to get a subjective view. Teachers in Qom haven't been to Najaf for the past 20 years.

Perhaps, but these are Maraji' and top teachers who comment on this, who follow and are aware of the state of the hawzat in Najaf. In any case, there is no point in discussing such a thing. May all seekers of knowledge be blessed and rewarded on this journey.

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Again, Maraji' who are in Qom. And who have't been to Najaf for at least two decades.

Maraji' in Najaf would say that Najaf is far superior. Like I said, it's nearly impossible to get a subjective view.

Instead of trying to decide 'which Hawza is better', we should recognise both as excellent places to seek knowledge, each of them more or less appropriate for different people.

(salam)

I don't understand why one has to be at a place to ascertain the academic and intellectual status of that given place. It is simply not true. One can follow - especially a Marji' - from the publications and audio material that a place has produced over a certain number of years. It is the case, that the hawzat in Najaf have not attached enough importance to the teaching of important fields like Quran and Aqaid, and this a fact supported by the notion that one can reach the level of Ijtihad without Tafsir. There are exceptions of course, but the general trends in Najaf AND Qom are perhaps tailored incorrectly, but there are more exceptions in Qom than in Najaf, and this cannot be disputed simply on the basis of the production of books and audio material by a number of Maraji' in Qom that is unrivalled in Najaf.

Anyhow I will not discuss this any longer.

(wasalam)

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Re Qum, the reality is no matter what great scholarship might or might not be there, as a foreigner you aren't going to be allowed to participate in most of it. The schools are segregated for Iranian and foreign students, and what the foreign students receive is generally going to be of a lower caliber than the level an Iranian will have access to. The goal there isn't really to produce foreign scholars (a job they seem to think only fit for proper Iranians), but foreign muballigheen who will spread the message of Iran's leadership across the world. Certainly exceptions might exist of individuals who have been able to break out of the system and gain access to the other studies, but these are exceptions, not the rule.

Add to that as a woman, you're going to get an even lower level than what the foreign students get. Your life will be heavily supervised and restricted, and you will be taught on a fairly basic and novice level.

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Re Qum, the reality is no matter what great scholarship might or might not be there, as a foreigner you aren't going to be allowed to participate in most of it. The schools are segregated for Iranian and foreign students, and what the foreign students receive is generally going to be of a lower caliber than the level an Iranian will have access to. The goal there isn't really to produce foreign scholars (a job they seem to think only fit for proper Iranians), but foreign muballigheen who will spread the message of Iran's leadership across the world. Certainly exceptions might exist of individuals who have been able to break out of the system and gain access to the other studies, but these are exceptions, not the rule.

Add to that as a woman, you're going to get an even lower level than what the foreign students get. Your life will be heavily supervised and restricted, and you will be taught on a fairly basic and novice level.

I wondered that if one learns the two languages (farsi & Arabic) which of course will take time, then at least u will have access to libraries that u wold not find anywhere else...albeit everything seems to be online...also for some things a teacher may be required.

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I wondered that if one learns the two languages (farsi & Arabic) which of course will take time, then at least u will have access to libraries that u wold not find anywhere else...albeit everything seems to be online...also for some things a teacher may be required.

Of course language is key, but you can get that pretty much anywhere. And out of the two, there's no comparison in the importance of Arabic vs Farsi, but for learning the former Qum might actually handicap you somewhat since they tend to be weaker there on that with much less emphasis on it. You can see foreign, non-Iranian students coming out of studying there pronouncing Arabic with a Farsi accent...

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Of course language is key, but you can get that pretty much anywhere. And out of the two, there's no comparison in the importance of Arabic vs Farsi, but for learning the former Qum might actually handicap you somewhat since they tend to be weaker there on that with much less emphasis on it. You can see foreign, non-Iranian students coming out of studying there pronouncing Arabic with a Farsi accent...

Yes, no doubt brother but can you enlighten us on whther there is any usefulness of the libraries over there? like do they have stuff there which is unavailable or is it all available online? Becuase u were mentioning that they teach wishy washy stuff so u can take ur education in ur own hands and crack open the books urself, again if its all online than the libraries are not gonna be useful so thats why im enquiring on the quality and access to libraries there.

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In terms of published Arabic material, you won't have much access to things you couldn't get elsewhere. Now, if you're into heavy unpublished old hand written manuscript research, there's the Marashi Najafi library, but I would suspect most of us (including myself) would have a hard enough time even trying just decipher and read them to make much use of it. (and it's not like it's a place you can just walk in and start leisurely browsing through thousand year old manuscripts, it's a collection you need to make special request to have access to use whatever particular manuscript you're trying to research). Suffice it to say, research of that level is much more specialized and beyond what most people there are going to engage in.

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Yes my intentions were good :), and maybe you spent time with your family and you did not go alone outside, and I don't know how long ago it was that you went so.. things change in time. So I guess we both saw another side of Iran then, and no i didn't see only the bad things. Anyway, I would never go and live there, especially as an Afghan.

I was talking about recently and I was independent of others.

Anyway, no one is asking you to live there, we each have our preferences. I believe the thread was about a sister going to study in Hawza so let us not derail this thread any further.

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Just wondering,

How is someone going to sustain themselves there? Are these student loans and maintenance loans? Are there jobs?

How will they sustain themselves after?

Do they not get to visit their family back here?

Why are there no fully online courses?

Is there sexism at Hawzah? Are females able to get the best access to the scholars?

(this is to help the OP)

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Shias are pathetic, you can tell it by a simple thread like this. Always with the little leagues kindergarden peeing contest to see who can make the longest stream.

Qum vs Najaf, Sistani vs Khamenei, Shirazi vs the rest, Fadhullah this, Sadr that. Really pathetic.

Both Hawzahs are perfectly fine. By the time you reach a level beyond basics, you will have the wits and the knowledge to know which fits your goal best. Until then, both are just fine.

Don't listen to these other so called experts here. Most of them haven't been to any hawzah, and those that have are equally biased as the other shias on this site who keep arguing about which marja is best and which political thought is best.

Wasalam

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