Akhund Seminary (Najaf)

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Akhund Seminary (Najaf)
General Information
FounderAkhund Khurasani
EstablishedLarge School: 1321/1903-4
Medium School: 1326/1908-9
Small School: 1328/1910-1
Other namesLarge School: Imam al-Husayn (a) school
AreaLarge School: 700 square meters
Medium School: 420 square meters
Small School: 210 square meters

Akhund Seminary (Arabic: مدرسة اخوند الدینیة) referred to three large, medium and small schools in Najaf, which were built by Akhund Mulla Muhammad Kazim Khurasani during his religious authority.

Muhammad Kazim Khurasani

Mulla Mhammad Kazim Khurasani (b. 1255/1839-40 - d.1329/1911), known as Akhund Khurasani, was a prominent Shiite authority and a scholar of usul al-fiqh in the fourteenth/twentieth century; he was the author of Kifaya al-'usul, and was a main supporter of Iranian Constitutional Movement. Akhund Khurasani had over 1200 students; and about five hundred of them were mujtahid. He died on Dhu l-Hijja 20, 1329/December 12, 1911. He was seventy four years old when he died.

Large School

Large or Kubra School is located in al-Huwaysh neighborhood in Najaf. Akhund Khurasani bought the seven hundred square meter land of this school in 1321/1903-4 by the financial support of a charitable person called Astan Quli Beyk, the minister of Sultan Abd al-Ahad Bukhari and built the school in it. The building of this school was reconstructed due to aging in late fourteenth/twentieth century (1385/1965-6) by the efforts of Shaykh Nasr Allah Khalkhali and an Iranian charitable person from Tehran called Ali Siyahpushan. In this reconstruction, the house of Sayyid Kazim Sayyid Salman in north east of the school were bought and added to the school.

The school of Akhund was in three floors and had a square-shaped yard including a big classroom and a library. The entrances of the rooms are decorated with turquoise tiles. This school was attacked several times by Ba'ath forces during the government of Saddam but it is now among active schools of Najaf, known as Imam al-Husayn (a) school.

Medium School

Medium or Wusta school is the second school attributed to Akhund Khrasani. It has thirty three rooms and its area is 420 square meters. This school was built by Astan Quli Beyk in two floors in Buraq neighborhood in Al A'sam alley across Khan Buzurg in 1326/1908-9. It has decorations, tile works and a library which holds more than a thousand books. Scholars such as Sayyid Hasan Burujirdi and Muhammad Baqir Kuh Kamara'i lived there for a while.

Small School

Small or Sughra School is located in al-Buraq neighborhood. It has twelve rooms and was built in 1328/1910-1. Its sponsor was Fayd Allah Bukhara'i, the minister of Jan Mirza who built it by the order of Shaykh Khurasani. The area of this school is 210 square meters. It has one floor and is located near the house of Shari'at Isfahani.