Hajj Sheikh Abdolkarim Haeri
Grand Ayatollah Hajj Sheikh Abdolkarim Haeri Yazdi (1859 — January 30, 1937) was a Twelver Shia Muslim cleric and marja. He was known as the founder of an important Islamic seminary (hawza) in Qom, Iran, and for his "studied disinterest in politics". Among his students was Imam Khomeini.
Ayatollah Haeri was born in a village near Ardikan, in southeastern Iran. He studied at Yazd, then at Samarra under Grand Ayatollah Mirza Hassan Shirazi, and completed his training at Najaf with Mohammad-Kazem Khorasani and Muhammad Kazim Yazdi. In 1906, he reportedly became disenchanted with the politicization from the Iranian Constitutional Revolution and moved back to Najaf, Iraq. When Najaf became political, he moved to Karbala until political excitement cooled in 1913 when he moved back to Arak in Iran. By 1921, he was known as a "well-known and respected teacher" and "good administrator" and he accepted an invitation of Mullahs in Qom "to act as doyen" to the circles of learning in that Shrine town.
Under Haeri, Qom moved from a respectable provincial Madrasah to a major center of learning close to the level of Najaf. Although "some of his contemporaries outshone" him as jurisconsults,Ayatollah Haeri became the marja for "many religious Iranians."