Iran: Qom

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As the world center of Shia studies, the city of Qom is a unique city due to the Holy Shrine of Hazrat Masumeh, Jamkaran Mosque, and international students in seminary schools from 100 countries.

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Narration: Qom province, with an area of 14,631 square kilometers, occupies less than one percent of the entire territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The province is linked to Tehran province in the north; to Saveh, Tafrash, Ashtian and Delijan in Markazi province from the northwest. From the south it links to Saveh, Tafrash, Ashtian and Delijan in Markazi province. It lies to the southeast of Kashan/Isfahan province; and from the east, Kavir valley and Namak lake.

About one-fifth of the province is covered with mountains and foothills with the remaining four-fifths a large valley or basin.

The holy city of Qom is situated in the center of the province and close to the surrounding towns of Salafchegan, Khalajestan, Kahak and Jafariyeh.

Given its historic structures, discoveries of artifacts and the recordings of historical documents, Qom was a reputable and relatively large cityin the Pre-Islamic era.

When Islam was introduced to Iran, Qom developed rapidly and became semi-autonomous during the sovereign reign of the, Bani-Ommayah and Bani-Abbas.

Qom is the home of the heavenly court, the historic mausoleum and shrine of Hazrat Masoumeh (PBUH), also known as ‘Fatima’ Masoumeh and daughter of Imam Moses Kazem (PBUH), the Seventh Imam of Shia Islam.

Hazrat Masoumeh (PBUH) is honored by Muslims worldwide and so her resting place being in Qom lifted the dignity and status of the city and brought religious significance of art.

Among the other notable tourist attractions in the province are the holy Jamkaran Mosque and more than 400 other Imamzade (offspring of Imams) shrines, seminaries, theological schools, historical and important mosques such as Friday Mosque, Imam Hasan mosque, Baboljanah mosque, Rafat mosque; and educational and international institutes and Qom road Lake.

When the seventh Abbasi Mammon invited Imam Reza (PBUH) to Marv, Hazrat Masoumeh moved to Iran in the company of a number of Shia Muslims to meet with and join Imam Reza (PBUH), but just outside of Qom she was taken ill.

In her 80s of the time, she was bed roomed in Qom for 17 days before passed away.

Her body was buried in a well-respected place in the city of Bagh Babolan. Today Bagh Babolan is famous because of Hazrat Masoumeh’s shrine (PBUH) and is house of magnificent monuments.

This stately edifice and is one of the most important religious shrines of the Islamic world. The original shrine was built in the middle of the 3rd century of Islam and was expanded quite substantially between the 4th and 6th centuries when a dome and artwork were added to it.

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Narration: Qom Azam Mosque, Located right next to Hazrat Masoumeh’s Mausoleum (PBUH) is Qom Azam Mosque, known widely as Ayatollah Borujerdi’s Azam Mosque. It was built in 1918 through the efforts of Sayed Hussein Tabatabaei Borujerdi.

The architect of this splendid monument was a man named Hussein Lorzadeh. It is classified among the large three-veranda mosques, its dome stands at 24 meters high.

Today, this mosque is the Qom Seminary, the most important teaching center the mosque now has merged with Hazrat Masoumeh shrine (PBUH. Recently, this dome was decorated by large thin flakes of lusterware, donated and produced under the supervision of Haj Hasan Jabir-Ansari.

The Tabatabaei Mosque:

The Tabatabaei Mosque through the efforts of Hojatoleslam Agha Mohammad Tabatabaei, the son of Ayatollah Haj Agha Hussein Qomi, a great mosque with an elevated dome was built adjacent to Hazrat Masoumeh mausoleum (PBUH), famously known as Tabatabaei mosque, it built between 1981 and 1991.

In the 10th century era, Shah Tahmasb Safavi used brick to build the first sepulcher on the mosque, sometime later, an additional sepulcher made with transparent white steel was installed around the original sepulcher and a wooden door was fitted in the northern frontage.

In the 13th century Islamic era, Fath-Ali Shah Qajar replaced this door with a luxurious golden door. He also upgraded the sepulcher by having it covered with layers of silver and installing on a malachite pillar.

With time the sepulcher lost its radiance, so in the 14th century in Islamic era it was again repaired. Finally, in 1973 the form of the sepulchers was altered and its height was increased.

Fath-Ali Shah Qajar had the shrine flag-stoned with marble; he believed that the spiritual gusts around Hazrat Masoumeh (PBUH) shrine must step on the best of stones.

Atigh Courtyard:

In the 10th century in the Islam era Shah Begum Khatoon, the daughter of Shah Ismaeel Safavi, built a square-form courtyard with three verandas; later Fathali Shah had it remodeled into an irregular octagonal shape.

This octagonal form is set to have built on the memorial of Imam Reza Thamenolhojaj (PBUH), the brother of this holy one, to point to the fact that Imam Reza was the eighth Shia Imam.

Gradually, the number of verandas in the courtyard increased. At the moment it has seven verandas, four on the south side and three on the north.

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Narration: The verandas of Atigh courtyard are the most famous within this court. They were built under order of Shah Begum and gild it during rein of Fath-Ali Shah Qajar. They constitute the entrance of the heavenly courtyard.

A top each veranda, a Hadith inscription in white Tholth is displayed on the azure background, above it, a myriad of tiles and inscriptions.

Imam Khomeini Great sanctuary, It is one of the greatest architecture of fits after the 1979 Islamic revolution, during the multitude of porches, entrance ways and facilities.

Called Balasar (overhead) mosque, In the Safavid period, it served as a motel.

Inside the shrine and next to the holy tomb of Hazrat Masoumeh (PBUH), a mausoleum houses the remains of Grand Ayatollahs, scholars and outstanding scientific and religious figures, the largest grouping of revered Muslims anywhere – particularly in the Shia world.

Qom is called Daroolama. Some renowned and compassionate scholars buried in the mausoleum here are Allame Tabatabaei, Khansari, Golpayegani and Bahjat. A martyr of love and writingsand important ideologist, Morteza Motahari, is also buried here.

In the Ayeneh (‘mirror’) courtyard of the holy shrine lays the mausoleum of freedom crusader, Sheikh Fazlollah Nuri, born in 1843 and killed in 1909. Sheikh Nuri’s memorial is symbolic among liberalist crusaders for constitutionalism.

This is the tomb of Martyr Ayatollah Dr. Mofateh. He was born in 1889 and martyred in 1939.

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The Fezieh Theological School:

Fezieh Theological School was founded in the middle ages of Islamic history and is located in Qom next to the Hazrat Masoumeh shrine in Astane Mogadase (Holy Threshold) square. It was registered as national heritage in 2007.

Astaneh School was replaced by Feizieh School in 13th Islamic century. According to valid historical documents, the school was established in the middle of the 6Th Islamic century and was renewed in the Safavid era. The school building has four-verandas and, the 40 chambers on the first floor were built in the Qajar period and other 40 on the second floor were built in the 14th Islamic century. The oldest part of the seminary is where the southern veranda is decorated with beautiful tiles belonging to the Safavid era of 939 A.H. (1560AD); it is regarded as the gateway to the Atigh courtyard and Hazrat Masoumeh (PBUH) shrine.

Darulshafa theological School:

The Darulshafa Theologicial School is joined to Feizieh seminary. It was founded in the beginning of the Qajar period. Originally it was called Fath-Ali Shah School until 1928AD. Kamran Mirza Qajar had the entrance renewed and its chambers refurnished. Since then it has been called Darulshafa. The building deteriorated to ruins, but was renewed after the Islamic revolution in the 1979. This seminary now has 200 chambers and modern conference hall.

The house of deceased Ayatollah Sayed Rouhollah Khomeini,The house of the deceased AyatollahSayed Rouhollah Khomeini is located in Safaieye district, Qom city. It’s about 100 years old. Imam Khomeini Purchased it in, He lived there until 1963. Eventually, in 1994it was donated to the house of Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei by Sayed Ahmad Khomeini. It was recorded as Iranian National Heritage in 1996 by the Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization.

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Narration: The museum of Astane Moghadase (Holy Threshold) is one of the oldest in the country, instructed in 1935.inside the holy shrine of the Marty Motahari mosque. Its curatorial activities continued until 1974.

Located in Astane Square the museum was built a couple of years after the Islamic Revolution of Iran. Originally it covered an area of 500 square meters, but in 1992, the building’s basement was added to the museum increasing its total usable area to 1,000 square meters.

The oldest Qur’an in the museum dates back to 198 A.H. (819AD) and written at the beginning the name of Mamoun Abbasi at the first page. Some of the Qur’ans are written on animal skin, some are written on fabric and the rest on paper.

The Collection within the museum has various parts and includes handwritten Qur’ans from the 2nd Islamic century to those written in the contemporary period; coins from Islamic and pre-Islamic periods; painted tabloids and miniatures; wooden works of art including marquetry and parquetry, terra cotta bowls, glass bowls and golden inlaid tiles with designs and beautiful inscriptions belonging to the 6th to 8th Islamic centuries; stonemasonry works and decorative stones; metal instruments and engravings; hand-woven silk carpets of the Safavid and Qajar eras; and hand-woven cloth.

Samples of expensive marquetry are kept in the museum of Astane Moghadase (Holy Threshold) in Qom. One such sample is a rare marquetry door belonging to the Qajar period built when Naserdinsh Qajar reigned and Mirza Taghi Khan Amir Kabir was vizier, and forms part of the tomb of Mohammad Shah Qajar.

Another marquetry piece from the Qajar period, with inscriptions of famous poems by Mohtasham Kashani describing Ashura in Nastaligh calligraphy, are engraved beautifully on bone.

Chehel-Akhtaran Shrine in Qom, the mausoleum of Moses Mobargha (PBUH), the son of Imam Mohammad Taghi (PBUH) and other offspring of the Imam. That’s why the large courtyard of this collection contains, three popular shrines: The Moses Mobargha (PBUH), the Chehel-Akhtaran and the Imamzade Zeid.

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Narration: This monument was built in 1571 ordered by Shah Tahmasb Safavid and it was designed by Master Soltan Qomi was amongst the most famous architects of the Safavid era. His name is recorded in the shrine. In 1574 the roof was renovated with brick, the ceiling is very high and number of Sayeds and off spring of Imams are burring here, they include the sons and offspring of Imam Moses Mobargh. It is said that 40 women, 40 men and 25 children are entombed in this shrine.

Qom’s traditional Bazaar, scented with perfumes, has played the host of travelers from far and wide to come here to buy souvenir such as Sohan and Mohr (pray stone) and Sajjade (prayer’s mat)

The fresh Sohan, is prepared next to the retail shops, draws every the travelers and pilgrims to itself.

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Narration: Qom’s Grand Bazaar houses a beautiful historical monument, located near the mausoleum of Hazrat Masoumeh (PBUH). It buries the whole marks of Qajar era architectural style and It was registered as National Heritage sight in 1997.

This building has two floors with 12 chambers and it used to have long cloth sashes that are now mostly ruined. Above the chambers and in the vaulted corners is chalk architecture. The roof of the shopping center has three openings and the middle section opens up to a height of 15 meters.

The mosque in the old square of Qom is 900 years old and on its fine architecture is the first minaret or dome built in Iran - and third built in the Islamic world.

Imamzade Ali-ebne-Jafar:

It is an octangular-shaped monument with a dome and two pyramid-shaped covers on top. It was built during the rule of Qajar period at the beginning of the 8th Islamic century. Later a veranda and some other monuments were added to it.

The shrine of Imamzade Ali-ebne Jafar, after Astane Moghadase, transient the all other monuments and mausoleums of Qom province in terms of its spectacular decorations. One of the most important features of this rounded shrine is its plasterwork, which is among the most outstanding artistic works of the 8th Islamic century.

There are 94 pieces of gold inlaid tiles on the monument showing plant, animal and human designs. Naskh inscriptions containing Qur’anic verses and religious stories, and Persian literature are among other unique decorations of this shrine while other inscriptions and decorations are common throughout Iran and museums around the world.

The gold inlaid altar of this monument, situated at the southern end of the shrine, was built in 734 A.H. It is one of the great artistic works of its time. Today, this altar decorates the museum of the Islamic period in Iran’s National Museum.

Jamkaran Mosque:

Jamkaran Mosque where Shia Muslim believe that Mohammad al Mahdi, the hidden twelve Imam who would lead the world to an era of universal peace once appeared an offered prayers

The mosque is located in Qom-Kashan road, six kilometers outside the city of Qom. According to Mohadeth Nuri, a contemporary religious scholar, the foundation of this mosque is credited to a man named Hasan-ebne-Mothle Jamkarani who was contracted to build a mosque upon the request of the 12th Imam.

On Wednesday evenings and especially on the 15th night of Shaban -Imam Zaman’s birthday, Shia Muslims come here to pray.

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Imam Hasan Asgari (PBUH) Mosque:

Imam Hasan Asgari mosque is also located in Qom near Alikhani Bridge and next to Astane Street is the monument of 11th Shia Imam Hasan Asgari. It used to be called the Atigh Friday Prayer Mosque. According to various accounts, it was built by the Imam’s representative Ahmad-ebne-Eshagh Ashari in the 3rd Islamic century. Since then, this monument has been renewed on several times. Today, the oldest part of the monument is the southern veranda, built in 1750.

The Imam Hasan Mosque has always held in high esteemed. Since the 9th Islamic century, the custodians of Astane Moghadase have been taking care of this mosque. Rebuilt in the late years of the Safavid period, today only the southern veranda remain standing. This monument sustained extensive damage during the Qajar flooding.

Baghe Gonbade Sabz (Green Dome Garden):

At the end of Qom’s Chahar-Mardan Street and inside a small garden called Baghe Gonbade Sabz the Green Dome Garden, there are three historical monuments remains from the 8th Islamic century. It is known as the Kashan entrance. According to available historical documents, two domes of this site are the tombs of the rulers of the Ali Safi house - independent sovereigns of Qom.

The inscription of the third dome has been destroyed and no one knows when it was made and who made it but going by documents from different sources this third dome historically-speaking date back to the same period and probably also belongs to the other members of Ali Safi House.

The people of Qom call this collection of mausoleums, ‘Sad, Said and Masoud’, who were three senior Ashari Arabs that revitalized Qom during their time.

The plasterwork at these three monuments is one of the kind: 1) the tomb tower of Khaje Asilodin representing the tomb of two rulers of Safi house in 761 A.H. 2) The tomb tower of Khajeh Ali Sali representing the tomb of three rulers of Safi house in 792 A.H., and 3) the northern tomb tower belonging to late 8th and early 9th Islamic centuries.

The tombs at the Green Dome Garden were registered on the national heritage list in 1931. The tomb towers located in the garden include a southern dome, middle dome, and northern dome.

From among the valuable remembrances of the Persians architecture are the old caravansaries were built in past eras in a different communicative, economic, military, geographical and religious environment and then gradually over time developed and expanded.

Stone Caravansary:

Two kilometers from Mohammad Abad village stands a clay castle on the edge of Qom road. In the north of the village, two castles exist: one is famous stone castle and Islamic monument; and the other is called ‘Clay Castle’ and is made of mud. It is located north of Sefid Kouh (White Mountain) in the lower north region of Qom province. According to collected documents, this castle belongs to the Ashkani era and was reside in succeeded historical period.

The castle is 45 meters long and 29.5 meters wide with various heights, but not higher than 10 meters.

The castle may have served as a protective outpost monitoring travelers entering via Varamin and the fringe of Ray into Qom district. It would have been portrayed as the landmark entrance to the city.

Stone Caravansary located in Qom road, in the 35 kilometers from Qom city. It is a four-veranda caravansary, which lies in ruin and belongs to the Safavid period. The construction material used is mainly stone and has four semi-circle shaped towers on the western and eastern sides.

Qom owes most of its global recognition to the holy shrine of Hazrat Masoumeh (PBUH), which glitters like a diamond setting in the middle of the city and every year attracts a large number of pilgrim visitors.

It is the smallest province of Iran, but is conveniently situated on the main interstate highway linking several major cities. 


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