E-Mujtahids: the Role of ICT on Education System of Shi‘i Seminaries

Mohammad Kalantari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since the establishment of Najaf seminary in 11th century, the Hawzahs have become one of the main places for prospective students who wish to pursue Shi’i studies in order to become Mujtahids. Through centuries the students have faced with different curriculums as in different seminaries, teachers, and with the development of the community and its demands. Though with some reservations, the change in context, have transformed the education system in Hawzah ʻIlmiyya as well. In recent years, one of the main factors, which has been dramatically changed this setup, is the utilization of Information and Communications Technology in seminaries. Today, Mujtahids along with religious students are equipped with a range of computer software that help them to find relevant Hadith or Islamic text in minutes rather than consuming days or even months finding books in libraries and flipping through hundreds of pages. This development has also enriched the education sessions in a way that with the accessibility of data in short time, students have provided with a tool, which permits them to ask more in-depth questions when they attend religious circles in Hawzah. Based on data that has been conducted with support of the Computer Research Center of Islamic Science in Qum (Noor Institute), the goal of this paper is to realise, how the exploitation of ICT in Shi’i seminaries has impacted the process of learning and teaching in Fiqh, Hadith, and Islamic Logic studies. Based on a variety of evidences, including interviews with the institutes’ founders, and inquiring data from students of Qum seminary, this paper tries to unveil the process of Shi’i studies development in todays seminaries and to propose the possible impacts this new wave may have on process of Ijtihad.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Shi'a Islamic Studies
Publication statusSubmitted - 2015


  • Hawzah
  • Ijtihad
  • Shi'i Education System

Cite this