The achievements of the religious seminaries in the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution until now have been substantial. The transformations and accomplishments in the religious seminaries have greatly increased their role in society. Due to the Islamic Revolution, today, religious authorities and prominent clerics are the most influential social group, exerting significant influence on the behavior of the people and the decisions of many government officials. The presence of the clergy in over 50 areas of public service after the Revolution has transformed the religious institution into a service-oriented entity, serving the people, youth, and students. The establishment of hundreds of major religious preaching institutions worldwide, under the guidance of scholars and religious authorities, has been one of the blessings of the Islamic Revolution in promoting Islam. The dispatch of hundreds of religious missionaries around the world is one of the outcomes of the developments after the Revolution in spreading the teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt (a) by the religious seminaries.
The Islamic seminaries and Clergymen and Fundamental Developments
- In organizing and leading the Islamic Revolution, the Shiite clergy has been able to lead the largest anti-imperialist, and justice-seeking movement in the recent century.
- All the social and independence-seeking movements in the past two centuries have been under the leadership of the clergy and religious seminaries.
- The religious seminaries take pride in being at the forefront of promoting unity among Islamic sects and advocating peaceful coexistence and cooperation among all religions to defend the rights of nations in the struggle against global oppressors.
- The revolutionary Shiite clergy, through guiding the people's revolutionary movement and establishing a jurisprudential-based system, has opened up new horizons for the global human society.
- The Islamic Revolution has expanded jurisprudential approach focused on personal matters, to a comprehensive jurisprudence that extends to all aspects of life.
- After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the most significant freedom movements worldwide were initiated by graduates of the Qom religious seminary, and today, clerics lead the largest revolutionary movements globally.
- With the great Islamic Revolution, under the leadership of Shiite clergy in Iran, the nation, for the first time in history, turned away from the secularist mindset existing in the pursuit of justice against the capitalist system, giving this holy struggle a religious identity.
- The severe and criminal reactions of the global hegemony towards the revolutionary clerics, including imprisonment, exile, and the killing of prominent figures in the religious seminaries such as Seyyed Muhammad Beheshti, Muhammad Sadughi, Seyyed Ali Asghar Dastgheib, Seyyed Asadullah Madani, Asgrafi Isfahani, Seyed Abbas Mousavi, Seyed Mohammad Baqer Hakim, Seyed Mohammad Baqer Sadr, Seyed Aref Al-Hosseini, Mazari, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, Sheikh Isa Qassim, Sheikh Ragheb Harb, Sheikh Zakzaky, Sheikh al-Batuti, and others, demonstrate the deep impact and effectiveness of the religious seminaries in confronting international oppressors and laying the groundwork for the downfall of global tyrants.
- The establishment of an Islamic system based on Shiite jurisprudence and the forty-year continuity of this system, while preserving all its fundamentals, principles, and core values, despite countless comprehensive and all-encompassing international conspiracies, has showcased the immense capacity of jurisprudence to civilize society.
- After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the active engagement of jurisprudence in complex issues and all the necessary areas of human societies, the issuance of independent and diverse religious decrees, and presenting distinct theories in scientific and practical challenges vis-a-vis the Western world have advanced scientific progress worldwide.
- Through discourse and the necessary institutionalization, the religious seminaries have engaged religious scholars in various fields of humanities, facilitating theoretical exploration and fundamental transformation in the human sciences.
The Role and Impact of the Clergymen in Society and Government
- Before the Revolution, religious authorities and prominent clerics in Qom and Najaf had no role in policymaking, guidance, or administration of the country. Not only were these esteemed individuals not allowed to express their opinions in these areas, but those who took positions to defend the country's independence and the dignity of Iranians were subjected to imprisonment, exile, torture, and even murder. Imam Khomeini, Ayatollah Saeedi, Ayatollah Ghafuri, and the late Ayatollah Taleghani are examples of such confrontations.
- Thanks to the Islamic Revolution, today, religious authorities and prominent religious scholars are the most significant social reference group, with a profound influence on the behavior of the people and the decisions of many government officials. The Islamic Revolution has replaced the previous approach of sidelining and marginalizing the clergymen with utilizing their tremendous potential for the country's advancement.
- The Islamic Revolution has placed the religious seminaries and the clergymen, who had been marginalized through well-planned international conspiracies, at the center of global attention and significant developments.
- One of the signs of the continued trust of the people in the clergymen in the years following the Revolution is the great numbers in elections, choosing a religiously dressed individual to lead the country.
- Despite the fact that a handful of elements within the clergymen have distanced them from piety and have become the target of extensive propaganda campaigns by enemies, with a focus on foreign media, the majority of clerics, while maintaining a modest lifestyle, continue to serve as a model for an Islamic society.
- The unique asceticism, simplicity, and purity of life exemplified by the leaders of the Islamic Revolution, which has even earned the recognition of the enemies, is unparalleled among world leaders and serves as a testament to the Shiite cleric's commitment to preserving principles and refraining from worldly desires.
- The pioneering role of the clergymen in awakening the people to the injustices and tyranny of Pahlavi dynasty, the inefficienc and the dependence of the previous regime on foreigners, as well as their endurance in the face of imprisonment, torture, exile, and their readiness to sacrifice their lives for the realization of the people's demands for freedom, serves as evidence of the pivotal role played by this revolutionary class in shaping and leading the Islamic movement.
- The ratio of martyred clergymen is the highest among all segments of society, and they, by offering 4,300 martyrs, have demonstrated their commitment to the cause they invite people to more than anyone else.
- The widespread presence of clerics on the frontlines of resistance, in defense of holy shrines, and their dedication in presenting dozens of martyrs confirms their continued role in the fourth decade of the Revolution.
- The extensive presence of the clergymen in over 50 areas of public service after the Revolution has transformed the religious institution into a service-oriented entity, serving the people, youth, and university students.
Islamic Seminaries, International Preaching and Role-Playing
- Before the Revolution, the clerics' preaching during religious occasions like Muharram, Safar, and the blessed month of Ramadan was disorganized, sporadic, and limited. However, after the Revolution, this movement became more systematic, continuous, widespread, and organized, thanks to better institutionalization in the seminaries.
- The dynamism and updating of theological seminaries in specialized fields and training specialized personnel for activities in mosques, schools, universities, radio and television, cyberspace, Friday prayer leadership, interfaith dialogue, children and youth programs, arts, cultural management, and international outreach provide hope for a promising future in the Islamic world.
- After the Islamic Revolution, seminaries have introduced transformative initiatives in religious education, such as the "Amin program" in education and training to cultivate knowledgeable and revolutionary students. This initiative has also aimed to create an Islamic management model for the country's schools.
- In addition to the widespread involvement of seminary students and clerics in student and youth jihadi groups and their presence in the most deprived areas of the country, the connection between the clergymen and marginalized segments of society has been deepened.
- Among the remarkable innovations in theological seminary efforts today are the establishment of associations for poetry, writing, screenwriting, oratory, and the launch of four short-term seminaries and "Safiran-e-Hedayat" (Ambassadors of Guidance) program, the implementation of comprehensive academic and practical programs, enabling seminary students to study various specialized fields at the third and fourth levels of higher education, and the implementation of temporary migration programs.
- The establishment of hundreds of major religious preaching institutions worldwide, under the supervision of scholars and religious authorities, is one of the blessings of the Islamic Revolution in promoting the pure teachings of Prophet Muhammad (s).
- One of the unparalleled achievements of seminaries after the Revolution is accepting and training over 15,000 foreign students from various countries around the world, many of whom have become intellectual leaders in their regions.
- The dispatch of hundreds of religious missionaries to various parts of the world, spreading the teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt (a), is another significant contribution of theological seminaries.
- The utilization of modern technologies as a means of guidance by clerics and the establishment of radio, television, satellite networks, informative websites, social media groups, and channels for addressing contemporary questions and doubts in various languages have created significant opportunities for global human guidance.
- In the light of the pioneering global role played by the Islamic Revolution, people's thirst for knowledge about the fundamental teachings of the Revolution has resulted in the translation of thousands of religious books into contemporary languages worldwide. The translation of the Quran into 110 living languages and the translation of reference books (Shi'a heritage), hadith, exegesis, theology, philosophy, and… are remarkable examples of this effort.
Intellectual Development of Seminary Students and the Enhancement of Their Personalities
- In the previous regime, there were hardly any seminaries in most counties. After the Revolution, with the establishment of 500 seminaries throughout the country, the access to religious sciences has been facilitated.
- The establishment of seminary management centers in provinces under the guidance of religious authorities has led to the preservation of the quality and standards of newly founded seminaries, which are abundant in the country.
- Organizing the seminaries and creating strong structures for their principled development, maintaining their scientific and traditional standards, is one of the achievements of the Revolution and ensures the continuity of the seminaries' path based on dynamic traditional jurisprudence at the global level.
- The Islamic Revolution sparked such enthusiasm among talented youth and university students to join seminaries that it resulted in the establishment of a selection system through entrance exams for religious seminaries.
- The thirteenfold increase in the number of religious students and clergy pursuing studies in seminaries after the Revolution reflects the strong inclination of young people towards studying religious sciences.
- The establishment of 160 research institutes and hundreds of research centers by religious seminaries after the victory of the Revolution, which have solidified the foundations of Islamic studies and Islamic world issues, are among the fruits of the the Islamic Revolution.
- The current systematic process of recruiting and admitting students to seminaries is highly organized and structured. For formal students with student codes, in addition to the nationwide entrance exam, interviews, and research, age and educational qualifications are also considered as criteria. Various services are provided in a systematic manner.
- Before the Revolution, the number of seminary students was approximately 15,000, whereas with a thirteenfold growth, the number of these students has exceeded 200,000 across the country.
- One of the remarkable achievements of religious seminaries after the victory of the Islamic Revolution is the research-oriented education of religious students with a jurisprudential approach and knowledge production. The execution of thousands of research projects, studies, and theses by religious students is the result of this intelligent guidance.
- The repeated presence and outstanding performance of many prominent clergymen in international conferences have made the acceptance of Islam as a leading school of thought and perfection accessible to the world's elites.
- There is no area within the scientific, cultural, military, governmental, spiritual, and other realms that does not witness the significant presence of seminary and religious students actively working, striving, and responding to the religious needs of the audience and society in the country.
- Despite the fact that Western research centers, guided by espionage organizations generate doubts against Islam, the institution of religious seminaries has shown that it is well-prepared for this intellectual struggle by not leaving even a single unanswered religious doubt.
The Clergy and Their Academic Position after the Revolution
- Clerics have become some of the most prominent authors in the country, with thousands of excellent books authored and published by them annually.
- Before the Islamic Revolution, there were only a few specialized publications in the field of religion. However, after the revolution, hundreds of magazines and journals have been produced by religious scholars with a revolutionary perspective.
- Before the Revolution, there were fewer prominent clerics engaged in contemporary theoretical discussions and developments. However, today, dozens of clerics and scholars are actively involved in scholarly and theoretical discussions at an advanced level.
- Institutions related to education and culture managed or established by the clergymen before the Revolution were condemned to closure and dissolution. After the Revolution, hundreds of institutions are actively involved in promoting Islam in Iran and around the world.
- In the previous regime, clerics were allowed to be present in universities in very limited and unstable circumstances. The Islamic system, on the other hand, has encouraged clerics to be present in universities and has entrusted them with thousands of teaching positions.
- After the Revolution, a wave of university graduates turned their attention to religious studies, and to this day, over ten thousand university graduates having master and even doctoral degrees, have started studying religious sciences in seminaries. This demonstrates the rising prominence and growth of theological seminaries among scholars of various disciplines.
- Many of the contemporary leading scholars and authorities in Islamic seminaries worldwide have been educated in Qom seminaries.
Seminaries for Women
- Establishing 450 seminaries for women in the country, which had no precedent before the Islamic Revolution, has resulted in the training of 65,000 female seminary students and 43,000 graduates in religious sciences.
- Creating an educational and training system for female seminary students who are well-versed in Islamic ethics and capable of engaging in preaching activities at the undergraduate, master, and doctoral levels, with a focus on knowledge production and theoretical discussions, is one of the fundamental initiatives of seminaries and clerical establishment after the Revolution.
- The possibility of full-time, part-time and virtual education for female seminary students and the extensive and influential presence of female preachers in various fields reflect the valuable role of women in the Islamic Republic.
- One of the fruits of the seminaries for women in the education of students of religious studies is their presence and religious, cultural and educational roles in schools, mosques, families, etc., even in organizations and institutions compared to the time before the Revolution.
- The Islamic Republic not only hosts female seminary students in the country but also sends female missionaries to various parts of the world. The statistics of female missionary delegations to different corners of the world testify to the dynamism of Iran's female seminaries, which is unparalleled in the region and the world.
- While before the revolution, the contributions of female scholars and cultural figures in the religious and cultural arena were scarce and almost non-existent, afterward, female seminary students have made extensive and notable contributions to scientific and research domains. Their works include thousands of books, research projects, theses, and being active in virtual spaces, which are one of the main reasons for the Islamic Revolution's ideological superiority over secular systems concerning women's rights.
- This article is mainly taken from "دستاوردهای حوزه علمیه پس از انقلاب اسلامی" on Persian Wikipasokh.