One of the outstanding educational institution that masters in both academic and traditional sciences is the ‘Hawza Ilmiyya of England’. Since its establishment in 2003, it has provided marvellous community building and community service. From providing its graduates as ‘resident scholars’ to many different communities in the UK and as the medium of teaching and learning is in English, it has become a source of spiritual, traditional and academic support to many Muslims living in the UK, Europe and Internationally. Furthermore, many of its students have graduated and travelled to the Seminaries of Qum for advance and further studies in the field of ‘Religious Sciences’. The Hawza of England has been very instrumental in also providing support to local ‘madrasas’ (the Sunday and Quran teaching schools) by having courses geared towards the methodology of Quran teachings.
The Hawza Ilmiyah of England is an extension of the very traditional Hawza (seminaries) of Najaf & Qum and this is because the curriculum of this institution has been adapted from the Seminaries of Najaf & Qum. The unique aspect of this Hawza is that along with teaching the ‘traditional (sunnati) sciences’, the students also become aware of the ‘academic’ approach towards the sciences. They are fully trained in academic writing, rational thinking and post-modern thinking. Hence, making the students equipped to attend to the critiques and challenges faced by Muslims living in the West. In order to have an insight of what Hawza is all about and how the Hawza of England is an offshoot of the traditional Hawza, we would like to give a bit of the background of this institution in the course of its history and its legacy.
This makes the hawza ilmiyyah of England first of its kind in the west with such measures and thorough understanding of the principles of the hawza and its role in the Muslim Community. The hawza illmiyah of England offers a 4-year program, which will train them enough to lead a community as a ‘resident scholar’. After completion of 4 years they have another 3 years of specilisation course in theology and fiqh. have yearly intakes, the term begins every September and the dead line for application is end of August. The hawza have two semester September to December and January to May. Sometimes they do offer summer courses and short-term courses and work-shops.
The hawza also offers a week long ‘Taster Hawza Course’ in the summer for those who are interested in knowing or joining the hawza.The hawza offers Saturday courses under the brand of pre-hawza courses. These pre-hawza runs for 1 year and is equivalent to one semester of the regular hawza and those who are interested in part-time or would like to try hawza this is the best opportunity available. The hawza ilmiyyah of England also offers part time courses and also welcome guest in a particular course such as tafseer (Exegesis), aklaq (ethics) or any subject of your choice. However this also requires and application to be filed through the Admin office.