The Holy City of Qom
Qom is the smallest province in Iran. It was previously a district belonging to the state of Arak, and then it was attached to Tehran until it was finally certified as an independent province.
It is bounded by Tehran and Saweh to the north, Delijan and Kashan to the south, and the Salt Lake and Tafresh to the east. The province includes one city, four regions, nine rural districts and 256 villages. Since it connects the central desert, Qom has a semi-desert climate.
The population of Qom had reached about 400,000. After the revolution, the city undergo fast growth and its current population approaches 1,000,000, a large number of whom are religious students coming from all over the world to study in this great centre of Islamic Learning, under the holy support and in the blessed presence of Lady Fatima Masuma.
other than being a world-renowned centre of Islamic knowledge, Qom is also:
• An agricultural city, producing wheat, cotton, pomegranate, fig, pistachio and melon.
• An industrial city, manufacturing carpets, pottery, plastic products and building materials.
• A commercial city, due to its location at the crossroads that connects northern Iran to its south, and the vast number of pilgrims.
A slight disadvantage of Qom’s location is that its main water supply is through the salty rivers that come from the mountains around it.
Hazrat –e- Masumeh Shrine :
This shrine is the physical and spiritual center of Qom . the burial place of Imam Reza`s sister Fatemeh ,who died and was interred here in the 9th century AD , it has two huge domes , various courtyards and exquisite tiled minarets . Much of what you see today was built under Shah Abbas I and the other Safavid kings , who were anxious to establish their Shiite credentials and provide a counterweight to the sect`s shrines at Karbala and Najaf (in modern – day Iraq ) . at the time under ottoman occupation . the magnificent golden cupola was an embellishment built by Qajar ruler Fath Ali Shah . at the present time there is an project to renovate and expand the complex building .
Museum of the holy shrine
The museum, which is called “the Astane Museum”, is attached to the Madrasah Faziyeh , abutting the new courtyard. It contains the gifts and bequests that have made to Lady Fatima Masuma over the years by various well-wishers.
Prior to the establishment of the museum in the endowed treasures of the sanctuary which are now on display were stored in what was termed “the treasury”. The treasury was deemed necessary by the custodians of the sanctuary after a rash of thefts at the end of the Safavid period.