Qom Seminary

Last updated
Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei at the Qom Seminary, 15 March 2016 Ali Khamenei meets Qom Seminary's students 2016 (2).jpg
Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei at the Qom Seminary, 15 March 2016
Qom Seminary Qom Seminary.jpg
Qom Seminary

The Qom Seminary (Persian : حوزه قم) is the largest Islamic seminary ( hawza ) in Iran, established in 1922 by Grand Ayatollah Abdul-Karim Haeri Yazdi in Qom. [1]

Persian language Western Iranian language

Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is one of the Western Iranian languages within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is a pluricentric language primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and some other regions which historically were Persianate societies and considered part of Greater Iran. It is written right to left in the Persian alphabet, a modified variant of the Arabic script.


A Hawza or Ḥawzah ʿIlmīyah is a seminary where Shi'a Muslim clerics are educated.

Abdul-Karim Haeri Yazdi Iranian grand ayatollah

Grand Ayatollah Hajj Sheikh Abdolkarim Haeri Yazdi was a Twelver Shia Muslim cleric and marja. He was known as the founder of an important Islamic seminary (hawza) in Qom, Iran, and for his "studied disinterest in politics". Among his students was Ruhollah Khomeini.



Although big Shi'a academies existed in Qom dating back as early as 10th century CE, [2] the hawza of the city became prominent at the time of the Safavids when Shi'a Islam became the official religion of Iran. The famous teachers of that era included Mulla Sadra and Shaykh Bahai. The modern Qom hawza was revitalized by Abdul Karim Haeri Yazdi and Grand Ayatollah Borujerdi and is barely a century old. There are nearly three hundred thousand clerics in Iran’s seminaries. [3] Grand Ayatollah Hossein Vahid Khorasani currently heads the Qom Seminary.

Ṣadr ad-Dīn Muḥammad Shīrāzī, also called Mulla Sadrā, was an Iranian Twelver Shi'a Islamic philosopher, theologian and ‘Ālim who led the Iranian cultural renaissance in the 17th century. According to Oliver Leaman, Mulla Sadra is arguably the single most important and influential philosopher in the Muslim world in the last four hundred years.

Seyyed Hossein Borujerdi Iranian ayatollah

Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Hossein Borujerdi March 1875 – 30 March 1961) was an Iranian Shia Marja' and the leading Marja in Iran from roughly 1947 to his death in 1961.

Notable teachers

Abdul-Karim Mousavi Ardebili Iranian politician

Seyyed Abdul-Karim Mousavi Ardebili was an Iranian reformist politician and Twelver shi'a marja.

Ahmad Khonsari, also Aḥmad Khvānsārī, or Khvunsārī was an Iranian Grand Ayatollah and attained marja status after the death of marja Boroujerdi in 1961. In contrast to the other maraji of his time, who lived in the holy cities of Qom or Najaf, he was based in Tehran, where he ran his own hawza. Khonsari was one of the teachers of Ayatollah Khomeini.

Ali Meshkini Iranian ayatollah

Ali Akbar Feyz Aleni, more known as Ali Meshkini, was an Iranian hardline cleric and politician.

See also

Fatima Masumeh Shrine sanctuary in Iran

The Shrine of Fatima Masumeh is located in Qom, which is considered by Shia Muslims to be the second most sacred city in Iran after Mashhad.

Society of Seminary Teachers of Qom

The Society of Seminary Teachers of Qom was founded in 1961 by the leading Muslim clerics of Qom, established by the students of Ayatollah Khomeini after his exile to Iraq in order to organize political activities of Khomeini's followers and promote his revolutionary interpretation of Islam such as the idea of Islamic government. Since the 1979 revolution, it has largely become the body to keep the regime's registrar of who counts as a grand ayatollah, an Ayatollah and a Hojjat ul Islam. It has a head who is appointed by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic. It currently heads the Supreme Council of Qom Hawzas, and proposes judges to the judiciary system. The body gained international prominence when it announced in 1981 that Ayatollah Shariatmadati was no longer a source of emulation (marja'). It has demoted a number of clerics over the last three decades. A recent case was that of Ayatollah Yousef Saanei who for his solidarity with the green movement was demoted from marja' to hojatoleslam. The Society also include Ayatollah Sistani on its list.

Hawza Najaf Hawza schools in Najaf, Iraq

The Najaf Seminary, also known as the al-Hawza al-Ilmiyya, is the most important Shia seminaries (hawza) in the city of Najaf, Iraq. The school also operates a campus in Karbala.

Related Research Articles

Ayatollah high-ranking title given to Usuli Twelver Shī‘ah clerics

Ayatollah or ayatullah is a high-ranking Usuli Twelver Shī‘ah cleric. Those who carry the title are experts in Islamic studies such as jurisprudence, Quran reading, and philosophy and usually teach in Islamic seminaries. The next lower clerical rank is Hujjat al-Islam.

Hossein Waheed Khorasani Iranian grand ayatollah

Grand Ayatollah Hussain Waheed Khorasani is one of the most senior Twelver Shia Marja' living in Iran.He is the current head of Qom Seminary in Qom.

Abbas Kabi Iranian ayatollah

Ayatollah Abbas Ka'bi Nasab is an Iranian Twelver Shi'a cleric who was born in Ahwaz in 1962 in a religious family. He has records of being as one of the 12 members of the Guardian Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a member of Society of Seminary Teachers of Qom, a professor of university, a member and the vice-president of the security committee of the Assembly of Experts for Leadership, and other significant position(s)

Mohammad-Reza Golpaygani Iranian grand ayatollah

Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Golpaygani was an Iranian Shia Islam cleric and marja. He was born in Gogad village, near the city of Golpaygan, Iran. He was taught preliminary studies by his father, Mohammad Bagher. At the age of 9, his father died, and he moved to Golpaygan to continue his studies. At the age of 20, he moved to Arak to study under Abdul-Karim Ha'eri Yazdi. After Ha'eri Yazdi and Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Khansari founded the hawza of Qom, he moved there and delivered lectures in the Islamic Seminary. He was one of the highest-ranking Islamic clergy to participate in the Islamic Revolution of 1979, and a one-time serious contender to succeed Ruhollah Khomeini as the Supreme Leader of Iran in 1989. However, his candidacy was voted down by the Assembly of Experts, in favor of the eventual successor and current leader, Ali Khamenei.

Mohammad Ali Araki Iranian Twelver Shia Marja

Mohammad Ali Araki was an Iranian Twelver Shia Marja'. Araki was teacher of many Iranian revolutionary person and was the last survivor from Ruhollah Khomeini's era. When he died, IRNA declared that "he was considered the greatest living Marja'".

Ataollah Ashrafi Esfahani Iranian Ayatollah

Ayatollah Ata'ollah Ashrafi Esfahani was an Iranian religious leader. He was born near Esfahan and educated in Esfahan and at the Qom Seminary. He became a mojtahed when he was 40. After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, he was selected as the Imam Jumu'ah for the city of Kermanshah. He was killed by a member of the Mujahideen-e Khalq during Friday prayer on 15 October 1982.

Alireza Arafi

Alireza Arafi Iranian Shia cleric, Chairman of Al-Mustafa International University, Qom Friday prayer leader and head of Iran's Seminary.

Fethullah Qa'ravi Isfahani Child of Mohammad Javad Namazi the marja who was born in 1850 in Isfahan. After the death of Muhammad Taqi Shirazi, and in general the authority of the German Empire led an uprising against the Iraqi people in Great Britain continued.

Morteza Haeri Yazdi was the son of Shia Islam Faqīh Abdul-Karim Haeri Yazdi.

Mehdi Shabzendedar Jahromi

Mehdi Shabzendedar Jahromi is an Iranian Shia jurist and member of the Guardian Council."

Karbala'i Kazem Karimi Saruqi as illiterate person. He claimed to have received the memorization of the entire book of the Quran in an instant in a miraculous manner. His claim was confirmed by many scholars, government officials and academics through tests. According to him, he happened to receive the memorization of the entire Quran all at once at the Saruq Imāmzādeh Haftādodowtan which is a local holy shrine or sacred mausoleum. His tomb is located in new cemetery of Qom.

Mirza Shirazi Iraqi clergy

Sayyid Mohammed Hassan Husayni Nouri Shirazi, commonly known as Mirza Shirazi, was an Iranian Shia marja'. He is known for his 1891 verdict against the usage of tobacco in what became known as the Tobacco Protest in the Qajar era.

Marja highest clerical rank in Usuli Twelver Shia Islam

In Shia Islam, marjaʿ, also known as a marjaʿ taqlīd or marjaʿ dīnī, literally meaning "source to imitate/follow" or "religious reference", is a title given to the highest level Shia authority, a Grand Ayatollah with the authority to make legal decisions within the confines of Islamic law for followers and less-credentialed clerics. After the Qur'an and the prophets and imams, marājiʿ are the highest authority on religious laws in Usuli Shia Islam.


  1. Walbridge, Linda S. The most learned of the Shiʻa: the institution of the Marjaʻ taqlid Oxford University Press, p.217.
  2. Thinking ahead: Shi'ite Islam in Iraq and its seminaries, Christoph Marcinkowsi, Nayang Technological University, Singapore
  3. A History of Tension between Iran's Clerics and the State, Mehdi Khalaji July 26th 2010 Washington Institute

Coordinates: 34°38′29″N50°52′48″E / 34.6414°N 50.8800°E / 34.6414; 50.8800

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.