Qom, Iran

Qom is one of the holiest cities in Iran and the middle East. 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 religious studies in Iran for long. Hozeye-Elmiye-Qom is the largest Theology school in Iran. Right now many Senior ranking clerics of Shia Islam live in Qom.

With an average annual rainfall of 14 mm according to the meteorological reports, it lies in a hot sandy hollow. It is located between the mountains of Kashan and the Great Salt Desert. Thus, it belongs in climate, scenery and architecture to the desert rather than to the Alborz region. Here you see the first bad-girs (wind-towers) and aab-anbaars (water-storage buildings), and a few kilometers further on the first palm trees.

Qom has always been a leading center of Shiism. The late Imam Khomeini and countless other religious figures studied and thought theology here, and the town played a particularly strong role in the anti-Shah movement, as well as throughout the Islamic Revolution. It is a major pilgrimage site, and aspirant mullahs come here from all over Iran and other countries of the world for training in numerous seminaries of Howzeh-ye Elmieh, consisting of many mosques and schools. The most famous seminaries of Qom are:

1) Madraseh Feizieh, originally built about 600 years ago. This school was twice attacked by the Shahs secret police during the last thirty five years, as a result of which many religious students and teachers were either arrested and imprisoned or killed

2) Madraseh Hojjatieh, used as a boarding school mainly for foreign students

3) Madraseh Dar osh-Shafa, originally built during the Qajar period it was totally demolished and reconstructed after the victory of the Islamic Revolution; and

4) Madraseh Masumieh, the construction works of which was completed in 1989, and started admitting students from the same year. 

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