A Finnish delegation visited the International Institute for Islamic Studies (IIIS) on March 22nd, 2014.
In that meeting, first the IIIS’s deputy of research, H. I. Mohaddes introduced the IIIS and its academic activities and then Finnish guests asked their questions regarding academic activities carried out in the IIIS and in the seminary of Qom and raised some discussions regarding the current global religious happenings in the world.
Some of the questions and answers were as follows:
Q) Who are the students studying in the seminary of Qom and which countries do they come from?
A) H.I. Mohaddes: The students are mostly Iranian but non-Iranian students can also study if they pass the entrance exam. There are some limitations about the entrance exam therefore they mostly go to Al-Mustafa International University. Our entrance exam requires students to have the knowledge usually acquired in ten years of seminary education therefore many applicants fail. We have accepted only 3 foreign students this year and in previous years we had only 1 PhD student.
He added, “However, we can organize short term courses for those who have not passed the exam; and the curriculum beside the Seminary classes are titles such as Jurisprudence, philosophy of ethics, spirituality in Islam, religions, principles of Jurisprudence, theology, Islamic philosophy, etc.”
Q) Who funds the institute? Is it the government?
A) H. I. Mohaddes: No, the Islamic seminary is funding. Islamic Shia seminary works using Khoms (one fifth of Shia Individuals’ interests) which is non-existent in the Sunni seminary and is received by Islamic authorities (Maraji’) during the time of Occultation of our Twelfth Imam (aj).