A Glimpse at the Major Shi‘a Seminaries, Part III
The previous articles in this series focused on jurisprudence and the principles of jurisprudence – with a look into its history and sources – as well as Hadith studies, Qur’anic sciences, the Science of Exegesis, and the Science of Ethics. The next few parts delved into the historical origins of some of the most important religious seminaries in the Shi‘a world. Islamic seminaries are the most valuable institutions in promoting the instructions of the Qur’an and the Ahlul Bayt, and have generated a unique culture in the scientific, social, and political spheres. The seminaries allowed for knowledgeable and pious Shi‘a scholars who pursued ijtihad with the use of the Qur’an, sunna, and reason to respond to legislative needs and guide the Muslim community with their contemporary issues. This part largely focuses on the Islamic Seminaries of Jabal Aamel, Isfahan, and Mashhad. Jabal Aamel saw hundreds of Shi‘a scholars in the fields of hadith, jurisprudence, principles of jurisprudence, Qur’anic exegesis, theology, and ethics; Isfahan was the center of Shi‘ism, and with their invitation of Shi ‘a scholars and jurists from Jabal Aamel established great academic schools beginning an academic and cultural movement in terms of translating Shi‘a texts to Farsi and writing books on Shi’a theology; and Mashhad, home to the eighth Shi‘a Imam, Imam al-Ridha, was the starting point for the establishment of one of the greatest academic institutions in the Shi’a world.