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The History of Education in Shi‘i (Hawza) -Karbala Hawza as a model
Asst. Prof. Dr. Morteza Maddahi

Al-Hikmah Institute, Al-Mustafa International University


A rapid review of Islamic teachings shows a strong emphasis of this religion on gaining knowledge. The establishment of an institution to accomplish such teachings and encouragements is a long process and uneven history, starting with masjids, houses, madrasas, and ending with hawzas and scientific schools. The history of education in Shi‘a culture, particularly at the time of Imam disappearance, has led to the establishment of different seminaries, among which are the schools of Qum, Ray, Baghdad, Najaf, Isfahan, Karbala, etc.

This paper first briefly looks at some of the most important Shi‘i schools which during the course of history and then touches upon the school of Karbala and its contribution to the Shi‘a heritage. The characteristics of this seminary school, its great scholars, and its important works in Islamic sciences are presented. Different approaches applied by the scholars of this school in particular, the events which took place at Akhbari-Usuli disputes as well as its role against colonial powers are also investigated.

Keywords: seminary schools, Shi‘a history, education in Islam, knowledge in Islam, Hawza of Karbala.