WikiShia:Featured Article/2015/36

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Shaykh ʿAbd al-Karīm Ḥāʾirī Yazdī (Farsi: "شیخ عبدالكریم حائری یزدی") (b. 1276/1860 _ d. 1355/1937) was a Shi'a marja' (supreme legal authority) and the founder of Islamic seminary of Qom which was under his leadership during 1921-1937.

He studied for many years in the seminaries of Samarra, Karbala and Najaf. In 1915 , he returned to Iran and was in charge of the Seminary of Arak. At the invitation of the scholars of Qom, he migrated to that city in 1921, and established the Seminary of Qom and was in charge of the seminary up to his death.

As the head of the seminary, he always looked for an organized program for having more prominent and advanced hawza. Evolution of the learning methods in Hawza, specializing different sections of fiqh (jurisprudence), widening the scope of student's knowledge and even learning other languages, and in short, training mujtahids and scholars were among his main plans.

He avoided to take the responsibility of Marja'iyya and after demise of Sayyid Muhammad Kazim Yazdi (1919), rejected the invitation for traveling to al-'Atabat al-Muqaddasa and becoming Marja' and said that his duty is staying in Iran. Nonetheless, by rise of his reputation in Qom, he was chosen as the Marja' by many Iranians as well as some from other countries.

He was reluctant to participate in political issues and even in the disputes over Mashruta he did not take side. But due to his social status, he was forced to play a more active role in politics. He objected to Kashf-i Hijab and thus until his death, tensions mounted between him and Rida Shah.

Some of his students such as Sayyid Ruhollah Khomeini, Muhammad 'Ali Araki, Gulpaygani, Shari'atmadari and Khawansari became marja's in the next years. He was always looking for providing comfort and convenience for people. He established Sahamiyya Hospital and supported the building of Fatimi Hospital in Qom to help the public service.Continue reading...