Introduction to Traditional Islamic Seminary
Shi‘ite seminaries or what is known as “Hawzāt (plural for Hawzah) ‘Ilmiyyah” have historically played a significant role in developing Islamic as well as pure and empirical sciences. Its institute has been central in educating people and providing the Shi‘a community with spiritual, communal, and political guidance and leadership.
Islam places great emphasis on education and the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) had the overwhelming and difficult task of transforming a largely uneducated and illiterate society into a society that placed knowledge and education in the highest ranks. According to the teachings of the Prophet (PBUH), there is no limit for learning. Neither age, distance and gender of the learner, nor the beliefs and characteristics of the teacher can limit the value of learning or should be allowed to become a barrier. In Islam, there is no banned science, but there are preferred sciences. In hadiths, such examples are referred to as “‘Ilm-e Nāfiʿ” or “beneficial knowledge.” Therefore, priority is given to topics that are either beneficial by nature or that positively impact people’s lives. There are three sciences that every person should be familiar with: theology, morality, and jurisprudence, but Islamic hadiths also identify and lay great emphasis on learning other disciplines as well. Islam promotes education to the masses and specifies that it should be available for everyone. Following the development of Islamic sciences throughout the Islamic world, certain places emerged as the main places for learning.
The Study of introduction to traditional Islamic seminary at the Prehawza program comprises the following areas;
– Short history of traditional seminary school
– Elements of foundation of the seminary schools in the fourth century in Najaf
– Subjects and main faculties of the seminary school
– Evolution, development and periods of seminary school
– The great clerics in the formation and consolidation of the seminary school
– The seminary school of Najaf and Qom
– The seminary school and contemporary needs
The Pre-Hawza course is a universal introductory course to various Islamic studies which are important to know for every Muslim. This course is beneficial for two groups:
1. Those who want to study in traditional seminary school (The Hawza); this course familiarizes them with the teaching method, curriculum and prerequisites of the seminary.
2. Those students (high school or college graduated) who want to have deep awareness of Islam.
Educational Goals and Policies:
– Familiarization of generalities and the specifics of Islamic Education.
– Familiarization of existing schools and faculties inside the Islamic education system.
– To identify talented learners for entry into the traditional Islamic seminary.
– To familiarize attendees with the atmosphere of Islamic seminary and the decorum of seminary students.
– To prepare refined and educated youth, who will be familiar to the pure Islam of Muhammad PBUH&HP and will accept their responsibilities in North America.
Length and Form of the Course:
This course will be ideally conducted in four semesters consisting of 36 credit hours. All courses are in English.
Note: A certificate of Primer Course of Traditional Islamic Sciences will be awarded to the participants upon completion, which is approved by the Traditional Seminary School.
Necessity and Efficiency:
The Seminary School is a main center for publishing and defending Islamic Education. Its presence in different parts of the world is necessary so that it can prepare students according to needs of that region. North America is one of the areas where a large number of Muslims from different nationalities live but until now been deprived from this great blessing. The establishment of Seminary School needs some preliminary steps and the first step is the establishment of this Pre-Hawza Course.
This course is designed for two target audiences. Those who want:
– To learn Islam comprehensively before entering the University.
– To experience the atmosphere of a traditional seminary without leaving their homeland. This will ensure that they make an informed decision before taking the big step of moving half way across the world.
Role and Effectiveness:
With the grace of Allah Almighty and permission of Imam Mahdi (a.s.), this course will offer a comprehensive picture of Islam based on its teachings with regards to beliefs, learnings and actions. These Students will be able to defend the Islam on different fronts and opportunity to attend lectures by the teachers of traditional Islamic seminary will be provided to these students.