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|— City —|
|Time zone||IRST (UTC+3:30)|
Qom pronunciation (help·info) (Persian: قم [ɢom], also known as Qum 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. At the 2006 census, its population was 957,496, in 241,827 families. 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 AD). The city is the largest center for Shi'a scholarship in the world, and is a significant destination of pilgrimage.
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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. The number of seminary schools in Qom is now over 50, and the number of research institutes and libraries somewhere near 250.
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 156 km apart.
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 and Jafarieh.
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 ʻUmar ibn al-Khattāb, the area of Qom fell to the invading Arab armies of Islam. In 645 AD, 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. Qom gained special attention and gradually developed due to its religious shrine during Saffavid dynasty.
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.
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.
|Climate data for Qom|
|Average high °C (°F)||10.0
|Average low °C (°F)||−2.3
|Precipitation mm (inches)||16.4
|Avg. precipitation days||7.7||8.7||8.2||4.8||3.6||0.2||1.4||0.2||0.2||3.4||3.2||4.2||45.8|
|Source: World Meteorological Organisation|
Heritage sites 
Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization lists 195 sites of historical and cultural significance in Qom. But the more visited sites of Qom are:
- A'zam Mosque
- Astaneh Moqaddaseh Museum
- Atiq Mosque in Qom
- Feyzieh Seminary
- Howz-e Soltan Salt Lake
- Jami' Mosque Qom
- Jamkaran Mosque
- Kahak Cave
- Mar'ashi Najafi Library, with over 500,000 handwritten texts and copies.
- Namak Great Salt Lake
- Qom Bazaar
- Shrine of Fatimah al-Masumah
- Timcheh-ye-Bozog(Grand Timcheh) in Bazaar
- Vashnaveh Cave
Higher learning and religious studies 
Universities and Institutions 
- Computer Research Center of Islamic Sciences
- Fatemieh School of Medical Sciences
- Haghani Circle
- Imam Khomeini Education and Research Institute
- Islamic Azad University of Qom
- Mofid University
- Payame Noor University
- Qom University of Medical Sciences
- Qom Students Organisation
- The Research Institute of Hawzeh va Daneshgah
- University of Qom
- University of Religions and Denominations
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 6,000 from Pakistan alone. 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.
Clerical associations 
- Assembly of Qom Seminary Scholars and Researchers (reformist)
- Qom Seminary Scholars Association (conservative)
The following is a list of some Grand Ayatollahs and the most senior ranking Ayatollahs in or directly related to Qom.
- Grand Ayatollah Hossein Vahid Khorasani
- Grand Ayatollah Mousa Shubairi Zanjani
- Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
- Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi
- Grand Ayatollah Yousef Sanei
- Grand Ayatollah Lotfollah Safi Golpaygani
- Grand Ayatollah Sadiq Hussaini Shirazi
- Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Javad Fazel Lankarani
- Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Alavi Gorgani
- Grand Ayatollah Khomeini
- Grand Ayatollah Borujerdi
- Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri
- Grand Ayatollah Fazel Lankarani
- Allameh Tabatabaei
- Ayatollah Jawad Tabrizi
- Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Taqi Behjat
- Ayatollah Mohammad Shirazi
- Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti
- Ayatollah Hassan Modarres
- Ayatollah Morteza Motahhari
- Ayatollah Mahmoud Taleghani
Science and technology 
Fordow uranium enrichment facility 
The Fordow uranium enrichment facility is located 20 miles north east of Qom. In January 2012 the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced that Iran had started producing uranium enriched up to 20% for medical purposes and that material "remains under the agency's containment and surveillance.” Iranian authorities state the facility is built deep in a mountain because of repeated threats by Israel to attack such facilities, which Israel believes can be used to produce nuclear weapons. However, attacking a nuclear facility so close to a city considered so holy in Shia Islam brings concern of a potential risk of a Shiite religious response.
Qom space center 
See also 
- Qom can be found at GEOnet Names Server, at this link, by opening the Advanced Search box, entering "-3080355" in the "Unique Feature Id" form, and clicking on "Search Database".
- "Census of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1385 (2006)" (Excel). Islamic Republic of Iran. Archived from the original on 2010-11-16.
- Christopher de Bellaigue, The Struggle for Iran, New York Review of Books, 2007, p.24
- Momen, Moojan, An Introduction to Shi'i Islam, Yale University Press, 1985, 247
- "مرکز تحقیقات کامپیوتری علوم اسلامی - Contenten". Noorsoft.org. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
- "qabas.net". qabas.net. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
- "qom-iau.ac.ir". qom-iau.ac.ir. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
- Payame Noor University
- "muq.ac.ir". muq.ac.ir. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
- "nasimeandisheh.com". nasimeandisheh.com. Retrieved 2013-02-11.
- [dead link]
- Nasr, Vali The Shia Revival, Norton, (2006), p.217
- Pro-reform clerical body protests Iran elections. July 5, 2009[dead link]
- Russia 'regrets' reported Iran nuclear activity in Qom facility, Haaretz, January 10, 2012.
- "Iran enriching uranium at Fordo plant near Qom". BBC. 10 January 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- Azmat Khan. "Did Santorum Suggest Iran Wants Nukes to Bring Back Messiah?". Public Broadcasting Service date= January 13, 2012.
- Akluf Benn (September 3, 2009). "Cries of 'hold me back' may lead Israel to strike Iran". Haaretz.com.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Qom|
Religiously affiliated 
- Holy City of Qum: Past and Present
- Noor Fiqh Library, Qom
- Imam Ali commemorative website, based in Qom.
- Society of Islamic Teachers of Qom's Hawzah (Persian)
- Qom Seminary Islamic Propagation Office 1
- Qom Seminary Islamic Propagation Office 2
- Qom Seminary Islamic Propagation Office 3
- Qom Seminary Islamic Propagation Office 4
- Qom Seminary Publishers
- Sharah Hawzah Seminary Information Network
- Islamic International Foundation of Cooperation (IslamIFC)
Non-religiously affiliated 
- Qom Province Dwelling Foundation of Islamic Revolution
- Qom Management and Planning Organization
- Governor of Qom website
- Qom Province Transportation and Terminals Organization
- Irani, Hamed (2 November 2005). Qom Concerned over New Intelligence Appointments. ROOZ (ROOZ Online). Archived from the original on 25 March 2006. Retrieved 28 June 2009
- Province of Qom on Iran Chamber Society
- Sādeq Sabā, Visiting Iran's ayatollahs at Qom, Tuesday, 17 June 2008, BBC
- Supreme Leader's Visit to Qom - PressTV video
- Qom Photos