This charter for the Supreme Council was approved by a committee made up of representatives from the Society of Seminary Teachers [Jame’eh Modareseen] and the Supreme Council of the Seminary [Shoraye Aali-e Howzeh] on 28/11/1995 [7/9/1374] and was endorsed by the Grand Sources of Emulation [Maraje’ Ozaam-e Taghlid] of the time and the Supreme Leader.
The seminary has always been a gathering place of elders, Islamic thinkers, scholars, jurists, commentators and philosophers of divinity, and other experts in the Islamic sciences. They have left thousands of academic works in different fields of the Islamic sciences, which remain as a valuable scientific heritage.
These seminaries have always been the ka’aba for the inspirations of enthusiasts of religious education, and ebullient springs for those thirsty for the Truth and the seekers of God’s path. Furthermore, since seminaries have always been close to the people-nay, in the people’s hearts-throughout history they have, in addition to the mentioned services, served as a powerful inspiration for the people’s movements against political pressures and social injustices.
A clear example is the glorious Islamic Revolution that was created by a great Source of Emulation, meaning the late Imam; furthermore, the role of the other Sources of Emulation and other jurists and preachers who emerged from the seminaries in bringing the revolution to fruition cannot be forgotten. It was a revolution that made an undeniable impact not only in our country but also in the entire region and the entire world, and is considered a milestone in the history of Islam.
Considering the conditions in this era and these times, especially after the victory of the revolution and the numerous needs and necessities that are felt in different areas, it was necessary to create a new movement in the seminaries, especially in the Qom Seminary, and to breathe a new life into its body. Therefore, in the year 1996, a committee made up of three representatives of the late Imam, three representatives of the honorable Ayatollah Golpayegani, and three representatives of the Society of Seminary Teachers was established and took effective steps in this direction.
Because advancing the goals of this committee required providing a legal entity for the committee, this charter was written after examining a number of charters of various foundations and taking into account the opinions of a number of experts. Thereafter, in a committee made up of five people (three from the Society of Seminary Teachers, and two people from the Supreme Council), it was examined carefully and approved for final opinion from the Grand Sources of Emulation and the Supreme Leader. It is hoped that the arrangement and approval of this charter is helpful towards advancing the goals of the Seminary.
This charter was arranged and approved on the first of Azar, 1374 [November 22, 1995], equivalent to the 28th of Jamadi Al-Saani, 1416 [in the Lunar calendar].
FIRST CHAPTER: Generalities
Article 1) Name: “Supreme Council of the Qom Seminary,” which for brevity will be referred to as “Supreme Council” in this charter.
Article 2) Definition: The “Supreme Council of the Qom Seminary” is composed of Islamic jurists and experts who are responsible for overall policy-making and programming in the publicity, subsistence, and different educational, ethical, and social aspects of the Qom Seminary and other seminaries who have access to the resources and services of the Qom seminary.
Article 3) The Supreme Council has an allegiance to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Article 4) The center of the Supreme Council is the holy city of Qom, and the period of its activity is from the date of its foundation to the resurrection of his holiness Mahdi [the Messiah].
Clause: The Supreme Council can establish representative offices in other locations inside and outside the country.
CHAPTER TWO: Goals
Article 5) The activities of the Supreme Council are efforts towards the following goals:
A. Creating the proper conditions for training great Islamic jurists, analysts, theologians, philosophers, preachers, and researchers in different fields of Islamic sciences and nurturing the needed staff for the Seminary and the System [of the Islamic Republic of Iran].
B. Elevating the qualitative and quantitative level of selectivity, research, publicity, subsistence, and ethical and political affairs of seminaries.
C. Maintaining the independence of the Seminary in all areas, according to the recommendations of the nation’s Imam [Khomeini], the Supreme Leader, and Grand Sources of Emulation.
D. Enabling the seminaries, ever more, to meet the cultural needs of humanity.
E. Creating the desired basis for benefitting from seminarians.
F. Planning for an all-out resistance against incursions against Islam and the principles of [the Imam’s] household [maktab-e ahl-e bayt] from enemies and the misguided.
G. Creating and legislating the necessary programs for strengthening and consolidating the fundamentals of the revolution and the Islamic System.
CHAPTER THREE: Organization
Article 6) Appointment and dismissal of members of the Supreme Council will take place according to the recommendation of the honorable Society of Seminary Teachers and approval of the Supreme Leader and the Grand Source or Sources of Emulation of the Qom Seminary.
Clause 1: Recognition of the mentioned Source(s) of Emulation is based on his reputation among the faithful and the emulation of the public.
Clause 2: Resignation of members of the Supreme Council is conditional upon acceptance by the Supreme Leader and the Grand Source(s) of Emulation.
Clause 3: The Source(s) of Emulation mentioned in this article, in addition to having a reputation among the faithful, must endorse the system of the Islamic Republic and the Rule of Jurisprudence [Velayat-e Faqih] and assessment of meeting these two qualifications rests with the Society of Seminary Teachers.
Article 7) The period of activity for each term of the Supreme Council is four years and there must be a minimum of seven members.
Clause: Re-election of members is permitted.
Article 8) The Supreme Council may establish offices in order to carry out its duties and activities.
Article 9) The Supreme Council will use the collective body of representatives, learned men, and students in preparing and presenting its plans and programs.
Article 10) After forming, the Supreme Council is required to initiate the formulation and passage of its internal bylaws.
CHAPTER FOUR: Director of the Seminary
Article 11) The Supreme Council, in order to implement its legislations and manage the Seminary, will select one qualified and deserving learned man and will place him in charge of executive duties so that with the help of assistants and other colleagues, he can implement those actions. Therefore, the Supreme Council is responsible for setting policies for the Seminary within the framework described in this charter, and the director is responsible for implementing them.
Article 12) Details of the rights and responsibilities of the director will be determined by the Supreme Council.
Clause: Passing the bylaws and selecting a director is by vote from a two-thirds majority of the membership.
CHAPTER FIVE: Rights and Responsibilities of the Supreme Council
A) Planning academic affairs:
Article 13) Formulate appropriate programs for the purpose of elevating the level of learning and teaching, especially in the area of jurisprudence.
Article 14) Plan and legislate the creation of an educational environment and the expansion of religious schools and centers for learning of Islamic sciences.
Article 15) Determine education levels, according to the intended goals, throughout and until the end of the seminary education by designating the necessary classes, content of educational books, designing, providing, and amending them at any level, and providing proper methods of examination at different education levels.
Article 16) Approve plans for coordination and support among scientific education centers in the seminary.
Article 17) Prepare programming and expansion of specialized majors, especially in jurisprudence and Islamic opinions, analysis, and philosophy; and propagation and designation of different subspecialties in higher level courses in the Islamic Sciences.
Article 18) Prepare the calendar for Seminary holidays and the criteria for emergency closures.
Article 19) Planning for the Seminary to benefit from seminary alumni and the respected learned men after graduation, or, in general planning for the ability [of alumni] to achieve higher stations.
B) Programming for recruiting, selection, supervision, and consultation affairs:
Article 20) Determine the methods for recruiting and the criteria for selection of seminary students in the religious sciences.
Article 21) Prepare the proper program for collecting data and information on the Seminary for use in programming.
Article 22) Initiate a plan for preventing the influence of foreigners/strangers [ajaneb] and protecting seminarians from deviant paths, and initiate a plan for creating a consultation center for offering needed assistance to seminary students.
C) Programming for ethical affairs:
Article 23) Prepare a program to elevate the level of spirituality, ethics, and refinement of the ego [Tahzib-e nafs] in the Seminary, and determine the related books and studies.
Article 24) Plan to create a center for supervision of the observance of Islamic morality, social mores and asceticism [zi talabegi], and write disciplinary bylaws.
Article 25) Formulate a program for creating and expanding Islamic science research centers and determine the methods for their cooperation in support of the goals of the Seminary.
D) Programming for public affairs:
Article 26) Formulate a program for training qualified spokespersons with the needed specialties and create appropriate programs offering certain benefits to the devoted [isargaran].
Article 27) Formulate a program to increase the social and political awareness of seminarians.
Article 28) Approve the necessary programs to maintain defensive preparedness in the seminaries and create the appropriate plans for offering certain benefits to the devoted [isargaran].
Article 29) Observe and examine social events and occurrences that are in any way related to the Seminary and adopt the necessary responses.
E) Planning for subsistence:
Article 30) Examine and determine the tuition rates at each level of education and the requirements and methods of payment, for recommendation to the Grand Sources of Emulation and the Supreme Leader.
Article 31) Examine and approve the methods for providing secondary services to seminarians.
Article 32) Examine and approve appropriate plans to establish the financial sources of the seminaries.
Article 33) Approve the appropriate plans to resolve housing issues for seminary students.
F) Other issues:
Article 34) Appointment, dismissal and acceptance of resignation from the director of the seminary.
Article 35) Formulate and approve the organization and management and explain the duties of the director, deputy, and the assistants.
Article 36) Confirmation of the deputy and assistants, after being introduced by the director.
Article 37) Supervise the implementation of legislation by the Supreme Council and evaluate its results, and prepare evaluation reports on the director, for the purpose of assessment and evaluation of the director’s proposals.
Article 38) Approve the annual budget for the Supreme Council and the management and examination of its sources; examine its financial balance sheet at the end of the year.
Article 39) Approve the charters of academic, research, publicity, pedagogical, and service centers and other affiliates of the Seminary.
Article 40) Study and determine the proper way to establish contact between the Seminary and other centers of learning and cultures inside as well as outside the country.
Article 41) The Supreme Council may plan for recruiting, publicity, acceptance, and education of non-Iranian seminary students as well as sister seminary students by coordination with the available centers.
Article 42) The Supreme Council is responsible for reporting the performance of the Council and its management (after being determined by the director) to the Supreme Leader and the Grand Sources of Emulation.
CHAPTER SIX: Financial and Legal Issues
Article 43) The Supreme Council of the Qom Seminary is a non-profit institute and possesses a legal identity. All movable or stationary property that have been given to the Council through any means belong to the Council and will only be used towards achieving the goals defined in this charter.
Article 44) The property and belongings of the Supreme Council consist of those things given to it by the Supreme Leader and Grand Sources of Emulation, gifts and stationary or movable property that are bequeathed by charitable individuals or institutions, and any revenues derived from them.
Article 45) Any time the Council cannot continue its work for whatever reason and is dissolved, all property will be placed under the control of the Grand Sources of Emulation and the Supreme Leader in order to be spent on the seminaries.
Article 46) Any transfer of this property must be approved by the Council and signed off by financial trustees. The legal representation and bank accounts of the Supreme Council must also be managed in this way.
Clause: Financial trustees consist of two members of the Supreme Council and the Director of the Seminary; the signature of two out of the three is sufficient.
Article 47) Any changes or improvements to this charter must be proposed by the Supreme Council and approved by a committee made up of representatives from the Society of Seminary Teachers and the Supreme Council and confirmed by the Supreme Leader and the Grand Sources of Emulation.
Article 48) This charter, in six chapters, 48 articles, seven clauses, and one introduction was endorsed by a selected committee from the Society of Seminary Teachers and the Supreme Council of the Seminary and confirmed by the Grand Sources of Emulation and the Supreme Leader.