School of Islamic and Occidental Studies

The School of Islamic and Occidental Studies (SIOS) is the first Hawza in Qum founded by, and for, scholars and students from the West. Centred on the Qurʾān, and specializing in the intellectual and traditional streams of knowledge flowing forth from this last Revelation, the school provides a comprehensive introduction to Islam for seekers of knowledge who come from the West, or from places in the East that have been Westernized.



Accredited by the main Hawza, with a Program based on its classical curriculum.

Affiliated with two internationally recognized universities, which can confer degrees at the end of each phase of the Program.


Offers in-person classes providing direct interaction with teachers and enriching the education (taʿlīm) and edification (tarbiyyah) of students.

Upholds the noble tradition of learning in Islam of providing education gratis.


Addresses the crisis of the modern world, provides a principled understanding of our times, and facilitates students to derive intelligent responses and practical solutions by making use of the great intellectual and traditional heritage of the Hawza.


Allows for extended and in-depth studies.

Located in a Holy City and Centre of Knowledge

Offers a unique opportunity to be in the city of Qum and in the sacred precincts of the Holy Shrine of Lady Maʿṣūmah (s), providing students with solace, tranquility, and a truly serene spiritual ethos.

Allows access to a considerable number of leading scholars, as Qum is currently one of the greatest centres of Islamic knowledge in the world.

Provides support to students who have left the comfort of their home to seek knowledge by including them in a tight-knit student community and affording them mentorship by experienced faculty.

Nourishes and invigorates students, along with their families, as they will be able to experience Islam as a living tradition by residing in a Muslim city that has experienced and is at the epicentre of the revival of Islam in the contemporary world.


Hawza Program:
Comprehensive thirteen-year program offered in three phases.
Phase One (5yrs)
Classical and Spoken Arabic; Qurʾānic Studies; Qurʾānic Exegesis; Islamic Theology, Ethics, and Law/Jurisprudence, Principles of Jurisprudence; Logic and Philosophy; Ḥadīth; Occidentology; Comparative Theology; History; World Religions. Over forty specialized seminars and workshops, and weekly contemporary book discussions.
Phase Two (3yrs)
Core Curriculum: Topical Qurʾānic Exegesis; Intermediate Theology, Ethics, and Jurisprudence, Principles of Jurisprudence; Islamic Philosophy; Islamic Mysticism; Islamic Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology; Critique of Modernity; Contemporary History. Over twenty specialized seminars and workshops.

  • Islamic Philosophy: Peripatetic Philosophy; Philosophy of Illumination; Transcendental Philosophy; Western Philosophy; Comparative Philosophy; Research Paper.
  • Islamic Mysticism: Theoretical Mysticism; Practical Mysticism; Comparative Mysticism; History of Islamic Mysticism; Mystical Anthropology; Research Paper. [Coming soon.]
  • Qurʾānic Exegesis: Sequential Qurʾānic Exegesis; History of Qurʾānic Exegesis; Principles of Qurʾānic Exegesis; Methodology of Qurʾānic Exegesis; Textual Criticism; Hermeneutics; Research Paper. [Coming soon.]
Phase Three (5yrs)
Part I: Sequential Qurʾānic Exegesis; Advanced Theology, Ethics, and Jurisprudence, Principles of Jurisprudence; Advance courses in the area of Specialization. Part II: Treatise (risālah).
Classes selectively offered in English, Farsi and Arabic, depending upon Phase, Year, and Subject.

A Certification of Completion will be issued to students who successfully complete the Program.

Intensive Language and Maʿārif (ILM) Program:
  • Language: six-month course in Classical and Spoken Farsi.
  • Maʿārif (Teachings): six-month introductory course in Islamic sciences (offered in English)
Short Courses:
  • Two-to-four-week Intensive programs during Spring, Summer, and Winter (offered in English)
Requirements for the Hawza Program (Phases 1, 2, and 3):
  • Commendable Academic Record
  • High proficiency in the English language
  • Successful completion of the ILM Program or equivalent
  • Successful completion of previous Phase or equivalent
  • Successful completion of the Admissions Interview
Requirements for the ILM Program:

  • Commendable Academic Record
  • High proficiency in the English language
  • Successful completion of the Admissions Interview
Start your application here.
Deadline for applications: July 31, 2021
Academic year starts September 5, 2021 (Muarram 27, 1443)
Introductory Program starts October 18, 2021 (Rabīʿ al-Awwal 11, 1443)