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Coordinates: 34°39′N 50°53′E / 34.65°N 50.883°E / 34.65; 50.883

Qom
قم
—  City  —
Fatima al-Masumeh Shrine in Qom

Seal
Qom is located in Iran
Qom
Coordinates: 34°39′N 50°53′E / 34.65°N 50.883°E / 34.65; 50.883
Country  Iran
Province Qom
Population (2005)
 - Total 1,042,309
  estimate
Time zone IRST (UTC+3:30)

Qom (Persian: قم, also known as Q'um or Ghom) is a city in Iran. It lies 156 kilometres (97 mi) by road southwest of Tehran and is the capital of Qom Province. It has an estimated population of 1,042,309 in 2005.[1] It is situated on the banks of the Qom River.

Qom is considered holy by Shi`a Islam, as it is the site of the shrine of Fatema Mæ'sume, sister of Imam `Ali ibn Musa Rida (Persian Imam Reza, 789–816 A.D.). The city is the largest center for Shi'a scholarship in the world, and is a significant destination of pilgrimage.

Contents

History

Qom as an urban settlement existed in the pre-Islamic ages. Architectural discoveries indicate that Qom was a residential area from the 5th millennium BC. Pre-Islamic remaining relics and historical texts point to the fact of Qom being a large regional city. Kum was known to be the name of this ancient city, thus, the incoming 7th century Arabs called it Qom during the conquests of Iran.

During the caliphate of ˤUmar ibn al-Khattāb, the area of Qom fell to the invading Arab armies of Islam. In 645 A.D., Abu Musa Ash'ari also dispatched forces under his command to the area. Conflicts resulted between the incoming Arab army and the residents of the area.

In Seljuki times, the city flourished as well. During the Mongol invasion of Persia the city witnessed widespread destruction, but after the Mongol ruling dynasty, also known as the Ilkhanate, converted to Islam during the reign of Öljeitü (Persian Muhammad Khudabænde), the city received special attention, thus undergoing a revival once more.

In the late 14th century, the city was plundered by Tamerlane and the inhabitants were massacred. But during the periods of rule of the Qara Qoyunlu, Aq Qoyunlu and especially during the reign of the Safavids, Qom gained special attention and gradually developed due to its religious shrine.

By 1503 Qom became one of the important centers of theology in relation to the Shia Islam, and became a significant religious pilgrimage site and pivot.

The city suffered heavy damages again during the Afghan invasions, resulting in consequent severe economic hardships. Qom further sustained damages during the reigns of Nadir Shah and the conflicts between the two households of Zandieh and Qajariyeh in order to gain power over Iran.

Finally in 1793 Qom came under the control of Agha Muhammad Khan Qajar. On being victorious over his enemies, the Qajar Sultan Fæteh Æli Shah was responsible for the repairs done on the sepulchre and Holy Shrine of Hæzræt Mæ'sume, as he had made such a vow.

The city of Qom began another era of prosperity in the Qajar era. After Russian forces entered Karaj in 1915, many of the inhabitants of Tehran moved to Qom due to reasons of proximity, and the transfer of the capital from Tehran to Qom was even discussed. But the British and Russians defeated prospects of the plan by putting Ahmad Shah Qajar under political pressure. Coinciding with this period, a "National Defense Committee" was set up in Tehran, and Qom turned into a political and military apex opposed to the Russian and British colonial powers.

As a center of religious learning Qom fell into decline for about a century from 1820 to 1920, but had a resurgence when Shaykh Abdul Karim Haeri Yazdi accepted an invitation to move from Sultanabad (now called Arak, Iran), where he had been teaching, to Qom.[2]

In 1964 and 65, before his exile from Iran, the Ayatollah Khomeini led his opposition to the Pahlavi dynasty from Qom. After the Islamic revolution in 1979, Khomeini also spent some time in the city before and after moving to Tehran.

Qom today

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim Part of a series on Shī‘ah Islam
Twelvers

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The Fourteen Infallibles

Muhammad · Fatimah · Ali · Hasan · Husayn · al-Sajjad · al-Baqir · al-Sadiq · al-Kadhim · al-Rida · al-Taqi · al-Naqi · al-Askari · al-Mahdi


The Twelve Imams
Ali · Hasan · Husayn
al-Sajjad · al-Baqir · al-Sadiq
al-Kadhim · al-Rida · al-Taqi
al-Naqi · al-Askari · al-Mahdi

Concepts

Fourteen Infallibles
Occultation (Minor · Major)
Akhbar · Usul · Ijtihad
Taqleed · 'Aql · Irfan
Mahdaviat

Principles

Monotheism
Judgement Day · Justice
Prophethood · Imamate

Practices

Prayer · Fasting · Pilgrimage
Charity · Taxes · Jihad
Command Justice · Forbid Evil
Love the family of Muhammad
Dissociate from their Enemies

Holy cities

Mecca · Medina · Jerusalem
Najaf · Karbala · Mashhad
Samarra · Kadhimayn

Groups

Usuli · Akhbari · Shaykhi
Nimatullahi · Safaviya
Qizilbash · Alevism · Alawism
Bektashi · Tabarie

Scholarship

Marja · Ayatollah · Allamah
Hojatoleslam · Mujtahid
List of marjas · List of Ayatollahs

Hadith collections

Peak of Eloquence · The Psalms of Islam · Book of Fundamentals · The Book in Scholar's Lieu · Civilization of Laws · The Certainty · Book of Sulaym ibn Qays · Oceans of Light · Wasael ush-Shia · Reality of Certainty · Keys of Paradise

Today, Qom is counted as one of the focal centers of the Shi'a both in Iran and around the globe. Since the revolution the clerical population has risen from around 25,000 to more than 45,000 and the nonnclerical population has more than tripled to about 700,000. Substantial sums of money in the form of alms and Islamic taxes flow into Qom to the ten marja-i taqlid or "Source of Imitation" that reside there.[3] The number of seminary schools in Qom is now over 50, and the number of research institutes and libraries somewhere near 250.[3]

Its theological center and the Fatima al-Masumeh Shrine are prominent features of the provincial capital of Qom province. Another very popular religious site of pilgrimage formerly outside the city of Qom but now more of a suburb is called Jamkaran.

Qom's proximity to Tehran, Iran's capital, has allowed the clerical establishment easy access to monitor the affairs and decisions of state. Many grand ayatollahs hold offices in both Tehran and Qom; many people simply commute between the two cities as they are only 100 km apart.

Nearby Towns

South East of Qom is the ancient city of Kashan. Directly south of Qom lie the towns of Delijan, Mahallat, Naraq, Kahak, and Jasb. The surrounding area to the east of Qom is populated by Tafresh, Saveh, and Ashtian.

Attractions of Qom

Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization lists 195 sites of historical and cultural significance in Qom. But the more visited sites of Qom are:

Fordow uranium enrichment facility

Fordow lies just north of Qom. Its uranium enrichment facility is under construction and is planned to be operational in 2011[4]. Although Iran has clearly stated that the facility is for civil purposes, there is a lot of scepticism about it among the western powers.[5]

At the 2009 G-20 Pittsburgh summit, U.S. President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the United Kingdom, and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France made statements regarding a purportedly undisclosed nuclear enrichment facility still under construction at Qom, drawing parallels with a similar facility at Natanz.[6]

Qom space center

Qom space center is, with the Emamshahr space center, one of the two places where the Iranian Space Agency is launching its suborbital Shahab 3s space rockets.

Universities and Institutions in Qom

Seminaries

Qom is currently the largest center for Shi'a scholarship in the world. There are an estimated 50,000 seminarians in the city coming from 70 countries including 6000 from Pakistan. Qom has seminaries for women and some non-Shia students. Most of the seminaries teach their students modern social sciences and Western thought as well as traditional religious studies.[7]

Clerical associations

Senior ranking clerics

The following is a list of some Grand Ayatollahs and the most senior ranking Ayatollahs in or directly related to Qom.

Current

Deceased

See also

References

  1. ^ Cities in Iran: 2005 Population Estimates
  2. ^ Momen, Moojan, An Introduction to Shi'i Islam, Yale University Press, 1985, 247
  3. ^ a b Christopher de Bellaigue, The Struggle for Iran, New York Review of Books, 2007, p.24
  4. ^ http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2009/gov2009-74.pdf
  5. ^ Figuring Out Fordow
  6. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8274903.stm
  7. ^ Nasr, Vali The Shia Revival, Norton, (2006), p.217
  8. ^ Pro-reform clerical body protests Iran elections. July 5, 2009
  9. ^ Pro-reform clerical body protests Iran elections. July 5, 2009

External links

Religiously affiliated

Non-Religiously affiliated

Others

  • Sādeq Sabā, Visiting Iran's ayatollahs at Qom, Tuesday, 17 June 2008, BBC.

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Fatima È Massummeh Shrine
Fatima È Massummeh Shrine

Qom (Persian: قم) is a holy city between Tehran and Isfahan. Qom is near Tehran, which the distance is as far as 120 kilometers.

Understand

Qom is one of the holiest cities in Iran and the middle East and is entrenched in centuries of history. The famous thing about Qom is the Fatima È Massummeh Shrine which is a highly respected shrine and a very clean place. Non-Muslims are allowed entry to the city , but they are not allowed entry in the holy shrine unless with a Muslim companion or guide.

Qom is the main city for religous studies in Iran. Hozeye-Elmiye-Qom is the largest Theology school in Iran. Right now many Senior ranking clerics of Shia Islam live in Qom.

Get in

By air

The nearest and most easily accessible international airport is Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport (IATA: IKA, ICAO: OIIE), which is due to replace the older Mehrabad International Airport (IATA: THR, ICAO: OIII).

By train

There are train routes which take you from Tehran and other nearby cities such as Arak, Yazd and Isfahan.

  • Qom train station, +98/(0)251/6617141 (+98/(0)251/4417151).  edit

By car

Driving from Tehran might be a reasonable option, however, if you're worried about driving in Iran you can reserve a private bus to take you to Qom. After all, it is much safer to travel by private buses.

Get around

There is a pretty impressive bus and taxi system, which has many bus routes to Tehran and other cities. It is very cheap to travel by local buses in Qom. Private tour buses are generally much more expensive.

The Mahdi

Shi'a Muslims believe the Islamic redeemer, known as Imam Mahdi, the twelfth great grand son of Imam Ali, will come to save humanity along with Jesus (also known as Isa) one day. Shia Muslims believe that he is alive by miracle after more than 1000 years past his birth, and although he lives anonymously, occasionally he introduces himself to highly virtuous, trusted followers. The Jamkaran Mosque is believed to be constructed following his advice, given on one of these occasions.

  • Jamkaran Mosque, [1]. The mosque is reserved for Muslims only.  edit
  • Mar'ashi Najafi Library. Library has over 500,000 handwritten texts  edit
  • Shrine of Fatima-al-Massumeh. The Holy Shrine is the burial place of "Fatema È Massumeh". Women must wear a chador to enter.  edit
  • Howzeh lake: Rich in natural spring water which is said to purify the heart.
  • Feyze seminary: The place which devout Muslims gather up to meet and hear speeches from the religious leaders.
  • Religion University (Qom, Pardisan), (Shahrak Pardisan), 2802610, [2]. 0:20. 1500.  edit

Do

Religion University

Buy

Qom has many carpet and sweet (candy) shops. Qom is famous for it's "sohan," a flat sweet biscuit made of pistachios and saffron. "Gaz", a nougat candy is also available. Qom is also known for the unique and beautiful silk rugs which are famous worldwide for their unique silk and patterns. Naturally, as one of Islam's holy cities there are numerous religious shops which sell religious books, versions of the Koran and compact discs.

Eat

There are lots of places to eat in Qom which range from old style Persian restaurants to international restaurants. Persian restaurants offer a more authentic cultural atmosphere than international restaurants.

Drink

In Qom, there are various cafes and fruit juice shops. Pomegranate juice is popular and is said to heal the sick. In the winter when it snows, hot chocolate and Persian tea (Chai) are available.

  • Qom International Hotel, Helal Ahmar Street (Motahary SQ). Qom International Hotel is a four star hotel and is one of Qom's more well-known hotels.  edit

Respect

Qom is one of the holiest cities in Iran and the Middle East, and as such be aware that Islamic customs and values are more likely to be important here than elsewhere in Iran. Don't let this worry you at all, just ensure that you are respectful of religious and cultural practices and that you are dressed appropriately and modestly.

Get out

If you feel like visiting another quintessential Persian city, a few hundred kilometers away, you can visit Yazd which is an beautiful ancient city. Isfahan is another option and is a very beautiful city and is considered to be one of the oldest and most historic cities in the world.

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

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Alternative spellings

Proper noun

Singular
Qom

Plural
-

Qom

  1. A city in Iran.

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