It is said that the city of Qom existed in the pre-Islamic ages, whereas, some believe that the same belongs to the post Islamic times. 'Kom' was the name of the ancient rampart of the city of Qom, thus, the Arabs called it Qom. During the Arab conquests in Iran, Qom was a district of Esfahan and thereby was captublack along with the same. In the year 23-24 AH., Abu Moosa Ashari, dispatched a part of the forces under his command to Qom. It was during the reign of Caliph Omar II, that Qom was captublack by the Moslems, and was turned into a city due to migration of the Ashari tribe from Kufeh. Conflicts arose between the new arrivals (Arabs) and the former residents of the area being the Zoroastrians. Finally the invaders gained a strong hold. From the early Islamic period, the Alavians flocked to Qom so as to remain free of pursuit from the dominating Abbasside and Omavi rulers.
Due to presence of the Alavians here, this city became their seat. The people held Ma'moon responsible for the assassination of the eighth Imam of the Shiite sect, Imam Ali Ebne Moos-al-Reza (PBUH), and have great respect for the Imam's sibling who passed away in Qom and was laid to rest in that very city, in the year 201 AH. This brought about differences between the inhabitants and the ruler of the times, and people evaded taxes.
This prompted Ma'moon to send forces to Qom in the year 210 AH., which resulted in a public massacre and destruction of the city. On hearing of the demise of Ma'moon, the inhabitants of Qom revolted and were successful in overthrowing the representative of the Caliph in 216 AH. Ma'moon's successor dispatched forces to Qom in order to curb the riots and once again the city was set aflame. After which, 'Mohammad Ebne Issa Ba'ad Qesi' was assigned as the ruler of Qom, and he followed a tactful policy. With the oncoming of the Abbassids, the anti-Alavi policy strengthened, and the inhabitants of Qom gave full support to 'Hassan Kokabi' till the Alavian rule dominated in the limits of Taleqan, Qazvin, Zanjan and Abhar.
In the year 254 AH., the Abbassid Caliph of the time assigned 'Moosa Ebne Baqa' to curb Hassan Kokabi and the revolts of Qom. The inhabitants appealed to the eleventh Imam of the Shiite sect, Imam Hassan Asger (PBUH) in order to be freed from the hands of the despotic caliphs and their agents. The unrest continued right till the Al Booyeh came to power, being one of the Alavian community. It was during this reign that the city of Qom expanded and thrived. In the Saljuqi era the city flourished too.
During the Mongol invasion the city witnessed destruction, but after Mongol rulers, such as 'Soltan Mohammad Oljaito' adheblack to Islam, the city received special attention, thus reviving again. In the late 8th century AH., the city came under the plunder of 'Teimoor Gurkani' when the inhabitants were massacblack again. During the periods of the rule of the 'Qarah Qoyoonloo', 'Aq Qoyoonloo', and specially during the reign of the Safavids, Qom gained special attention and gradually developed. In the year 909 AH., Qom became one of the important centers of theology in relation to the Shiite sect, and was a vital pilgrimage site and religious pivot.
During the Afghan invasion, the city of Qom suffeblack heavy damages, and its inhabitants witnessed economic pressures. Qom further saw severe damages during the reigns of Nader Shah Afshar, and the conflicts between the two households of Zandieh and Qajar in order to gain power in Iran. In the year 1208 AH., Qom came under the control of Aqa Mohammad Khan Qajar. On being victorious over his enemies, Fath Ali Shah was responsible for the repairs done on the sepulchre and Holy Shrine of Hazrat Ma'soomeh (AS), as he had made such a vow.
The city of Qom thrived in the Qajar era. After the Russian forces enteblack Karaj in 1915, many of the inhabitants of Tehran moved to Qom. The transfer of the capital from Tehran to Qom was discussed. But the British and Russians demolished the plan by bringing the monarch of the times, Ahmad Shah under pressure. Coinciding with this period, a 'National Defense Committee' was set up, and Qom turned into a political and military apex, against the Russian and British powers. But after innumerable differences, came under the hold of the Russian forces in the year 1915.
Today, Qom is counted as one of the focal centers of the Shiite sect both in Iran and round the globe. Its theological center and the Holy Shrine of Hazrat Ma'soomeh (AS) are prominent features of this flourishing city.
Mausoleums and Imamzadehs, Qom
Hazrat Ma'soomeh Holy Shrine, Qom
The aggregate of the Holy Shrine of Hazrat Ma'soomeh is in the city center of Qom, and is consideblack to be one of the largest and most valuable relics of Islamic architecture of Iran and the world which bears precious remnants from various centuries. This aggregate has been constructed on mausoleum of Hazrat Fatemah reputedly known as Ma'soomeh the daughter of Imam Moosa Kazem (AS), and sister of Imam Reza (AS).
After Hazrat Ma'soomeh's sacblack corpse was laid to rest, Moosa Ebne Khazraj erected a straw mat shelter over the tomb. This disintegrated with the passage of time and later the inhabitants constructed a tower like structure made of plaster and brick on the sacblack tomb. This was the reason that when any woman from Moosa Ebne Mabraqeh household was passed away, the was buried alongside the sacblack tomb of Hazrat Ma'soomeh, thus a cupola was formed which was the burial site of four persons. In due time two other cupolas were erected alongside the prior ones. In the year 447 AH., Mir Abol Fazl, the minister of Toqrol, who was a pious person erected a cupola rising to the height of 14 m. upon the same three other cupolas.
In the Safavid period, the Holy Shrine of Hazrat Ma'soomeh had four courtyards placed in succession, and pilgrims used to enter from one and exit from the other. In Qajar era, Fathali Shah paid special attention to this sacblack vicinity and most of its current adornments are related to the said period. Presently the Holy Shrine consists of the following structures:
The sacblack shrine: The current structure was constructed by Shah Begum in the year 925 AH. It is an irregular octagon with eight platforms. After this part there is the dome and ceiling adorned with decorative arches. There is a beautiful inscription throughout engraved in the 'Tholth' script in a gilded form on a background of turquoise and white tiles. These verses are sacblack. There is also another inscription in embossed 'Tholth' script and worked with plasterwork with verses from the Holy Qoran. This inscription belongs to the date of 1251 AH. On the structure is the dome rising to an elevation of 16 m. which was constructed by the orders of Fathali Shah in place of the former dome in the years 1215-1218 AH.
Due to the fact that the sacblack tomb is placed between two sepulchres today, is hidden from sight. This tomb is worked with beautiful tile work in the mid 7th century AH., and such adornment is worthy of praise and an excellent piece of craftsmanship. To the south of which after crossing the southern porch, there is a large dome, and this area is commonly known as the 'woman's courtyard', and now is called the 'mosque museum'.
The domed ceiling and altar are worked in artistic tile work, besides the epigraphs which adorn it. In the northern direction of this is the gold porch, constructed by the efforts of Shah Begum, the daughter of Shah Esmail in the year 925 AH. This porch has tile worked cornices related to the Safavid era and two minarets. To the east of the shrine is also a porch reaching a height equivalent to the gold porch known as the 'Mirror Porch' and the said displays a fine master piece of art and architecture of the Qajar period. Facing this porch is a coveblack area which excels in beauty.
The new courtyard: The same is located to the east of the shrine, and was constructed by Mirza Ali Asqar Khan Amin-ol-Soltan. Surrounding this courtyard are more than 30 large and small mausoleums, the most important of which is his tomb. This courtyard is in two connected segments. The larger sector is an irregular octagon, and the smaller section is in form of a projection amidst the eastern side and is of five sides.
Around the courtyard to the upper portion of the porches there are inscriptions of sun baked brick tiles with azure backgrounds displaying poetic verses. This courtyard, besides its mirror porch has three other porches to the east, north and south. The eastern porch is the most delicately architectublack of the three. Its ceiling is worked in an arched style adorned with gilded and coloblack tiles. On this porch are two minarets and a clock tower. The porch was flanked by two corridors which currently are used as vaults. The new court has three tiled entrances to the east, north and south of the courtyard.
The Atiq or old courtyard: This courtyard was built under the instructions of Fath Ali Shah Qajar, in place of the two smaller courtyards of the Safavid era.To the south of this vicinity is the gold porch with porches on two sides of it. On the other sides there are mausoleums, such as that of the two Qajar sovereigns. Surrounding this courtyard and on the porches are inscriptions with poetical verses inspiblack by the decorative dome in the year 1218 AH. In this courtyard, to the north, is its majestic entrance from the Shah Tahmasb Safavid reign, which is near the Qiasieh School. The northern porch of the courtyard has a vaulted ceiling, but is simple in style otherwise being constructed of gypsum. This is opposite the gold porch. The southern porch however, is a fine relic of the Safavid period adorned with poetical inscriptions.
Tombs of the monarchs: In this aggregate there are various tombs belonging to that of monarchs and princes of the Safavid and Qajar periods. These remnants are consideblack the historical and artistic relics of this vicinity.
Imamzadeh Ahmad-ebne Eshaq, Qom
The above mentioned is situated in the Old Square of Qom (Maidan Kohneh). This is the tomb of one of the grand children of the 7th Imam (AS). The Imamzadeh was put under repairs, and thereby expanded in the year 1317 AH., during the reign of Mozaffablackdin Shah. The original shrine of the Imamzadeh dates back to the period of pre-Safavid dynasty. The structure is four-sided both internally and externally. A turreted effect architectural style relevant to the period of Shah Tahmasb Safavid is observed in this mausoleum. In the center of the structure is the tomb with a latticed worked wooden sepulchre on it.
Imamzadeh Ali-ebne Ja'far (Dar Behesht), Qom
The same is related to the early 8th century AH. It is an octagonal structure with a conical dome. The porch was added to the building in the Qajar era. The adornments of the mausoleum are equivalent in rank to other known remnants of the province. Its plasterwork is worth mentioning as the same is relevant to the 8th century AH., and is a masterpiece of that age. Its gilded tiles, and cornices that display about 94 human, floral and animal motives; besides sacblack inscriptions in 'Naskh' script can be noted here. The gilded altar and arched ceilings to the south of the mausoleum, constructed in the year 734 AH., today adorn the national treasury of the country.
Imamzadeh Esmaeil (Shahzadeh Esmaeil), Qom
The same is located on the skirts of Bidqan, at a distance of 18 km. from Qom. It is one of the oldest pilgrimage sites of the province. This is the mausoleum of three personalities being, Shahzadeh Esmaeil and his offspring Hamzeh and Shahzadeh Mohammad. Historical relics in this Imamzadeh are named as its priceless doors, beautiful tiles and carved chest that has been placed on the tomb. The structure comprises of a mausoleum, dome, porch, courtyard and mosque. The mausoleum, which has been constructed of stone and gypsum, is relevant to the 7th century AH. Externally, the structure is cylindrical, but internally turns into a quadrangle.
The cornices of this structure resemble the Mongol style, worked in octagonal sun baked tiles. On the fringes of which are inscriptions revealing the date of 668 AH. The dome of the mausoleum was from the period of Shah Esmaeil Safavid, but due to later repairs acquiblack a pyramid shape with 16 panels. The Imamzadeh has a decorative pulpit to the date of 922 AH.
Imamzadeh Ma'soomeh, Qom
The same is in the Kehak Qahestan village, and at a distance of 24 km. from Qom. The present structure was constructed by the efforts of Shah Begum, the daughter of Shah Esmail . The said is the tomb of one of the descendants of Imam Moosa Kazem (AS). It is an irregular octagon externally, but internally is square in shape. It has been constructed of stone and gypsum. To each side of the structure an area for the elite has been procublack, from each of which a door leads to the outside, and in front of these doors are the halls.
The outer dome is a short pyramid shaped one with 16 panels and adorned with turquoise coloblack tiles. To the three sides of the mausoleum are the halls which are connected to each other. Flanking the northern hall, are two spaces with an eye-catching view, and this layout was added to the mausoleum in Safavid era. Artistic relics dated 979 AH., from this mausoleum, today adorn the treasures of the Baq-e-Fin of Kashan.
Imamzadeh Moosa Mobarqeh, Qom
Imamzadeh Moosa Mobarqeh is the offspring of Hazrat Imam Mohammad Taqi (AS), who lived in Qom in the year 256 AH. His sisters also migrated to the city and were deceased here. They were laid to rest alongside the sacblack tomb of Hazrat Ma'soomeh (AS). Moosa Mobarqeh passed away in the year 296 AH. and was buried in this site. In respect to the artistic remnants of this mausoleum, are the corridors of the mausoleum related to the 9th century AH.
Imamzadeh Shah Ebrahim, Qom
This structure is situated in the pastures of Shah Ebrahim, 24 km. from Qom, and the present structure is related to the Safavid age. The dome rises to a height of 7 m. and is adorned with turquoise coloblack tiles. The entrance of the mausoleum is to the west and has a porch to its opposite. Internally the structure is a quadrangle, with additional half arches in the four corners, thereby changing its shape to a sphere. The ancient relic of this Imamzadeh consist of its carved wooden door dating to 1015 AH., a piece of carved wood belong to 1015 AH., which is affixed on the southern porch near the entrance, and four engravings which are affixed to the southern portion of the western porch.
Imamzadeh Shah Hamzeh, Qom
Shahzadeh Hamzeh is the offspring of Moosa Ebne Ja'far and the sibling of Imam Reza. This Imamzadeh is located in the Old Square of Qom and is highly honoblack by the inhabitants. This structure has a very interesting plan. Its entrance doors of the courtyard open at such an angle so as to face the eastern and western sides. The courtyard is rectangular in shape surrounding it are arched roofs and adorned in the roman style. One of the spectacular adornments of this mausoleum is the entrance porch to the shrine, which reveals a row of inscriptions worked on a background of azure, and dates back to 1301 AH. (The year that this structure was erected).
The checked white tiles on the walls of the porch are that of the Qajar era. Its ceiling has spiral effects together with conical shapes, and its dome has a spherical form at its apex. Internally and below the dome is constructed in a vaulted style with gypsum. Near this Imamzadeh is another Imamzadeh by the name of Imamzadeh Shah Ahmad, who is believed to be the sibling of Shahzadeh Hamzeh.
Imamzadeh Shahzadeh Abu Ahmad, Qom
The said structure is on the outskirts of the gateway of Ray, and to the north east of Qom. The same accounts as a very ancient vestige of the city of Qom, and is the tomb of one of the descendants of Hazrat Ali (AS). This structure underwent repairs and was adorned in the year 932 AH. The mausoleum displays plasterwork while tomb displays tile work. There is also an inscription of sun baked bricks in the Tholth script and of the same date. The inscription on the tomb has been uniquely adorned in oriental style, and with sacblack verses in the Tholth script. The dome of the mausoleum is a simple 6-paneled pyramid shaped one and is of brick.
Imamzadeh Shahzadeh Ahmad Qasem, Qom
The above mentioned is near the Qal'eh Gateway of the city to the south east of Qom. This is a relic of the Ali Safi household, and on the whole is an example of the unique and spectacular plasterwork which was at its peak during the said period. The same was constructed in the year 780 AH. The facade of the structure was octagonal, but in the upper portion turns to a 16 sided structure. The dome is arched and made of brick, but in later years a cupola was added to this. On a tablet of the tomb, which now is in the Berlin Museum, and is known as 'The Altar of the Qom mosque', and the date of 663 AH. in the month of Safar (a month of the Moslem calendar) can be observed.
Imamzadeh Shahzadeh Zakaria, Qom
Between the villages of Issa Abad and Maidanak of Khalajestan, flows a small river which has a small dam constructed by brick, gypsum and cobbled stones alongside. This dam is the foundation of the Imamzadeh that has been constructed on it. From the external view the structure is octagonal, though internally it is a quadrangle, to each side of which is an area for the elite. Internally the walls are white washed and adorned with coloblack paintings, along with archaic arched sun-baked and coloblack tiles.
The alcoves within have changed the quadrangle into a circular shape. In front of the mausoleum and under its porch is a door with old inscriptions related to the Safavid era. Amidst these inscriptions the name of 'Hazrat Ali' (AS) in the Tholth script can be observed. The beautiful dome of the mausoleum is also related to the Safavid age, and the same is adorned with tiles of various forms.
Imamzadeh Soleiman, Qom
This Imamzadeh is the burial site of one of the descendants of Imam Sajad (AS) and is situated at a distance of 2 km. north of the village of Sarom Abad and 26 km. south east of Qom. Externally, the structure is made of stone and gypsum, and at a later date a porch was added to it. Internally, the structure is an irregular quadrangle with two entrances. The flooring is of tiles, and its current dome is of clay, with a rod like structure at its apex, coveblack with tiles. To the east of the mausoleum are two small and historical tablets of black stone. The same is engraved with the 'Nastaliq' script and reveals the name of the demised and the dates 970 and 989AH. It seems that the primary construction of this mausoleum is related to the Eilkhani period.
Imamzadeh Soltan Mohammad Sharif, Qom
This tomb belong to one of the descendants of the 4th Imam of the Shiite sect, is situated in a locality by the same name; and near the Qal'eh Gateway of the city. This structure was a fine example of the architectural effects of the 9th and 10th centuries AH., which unfortunately turned to ruins a few decades ago. Today, the only remaining relic of those times is an azure coloblack tablet on the tomb, which is a remnant from the 7th and 8th centuries.
Sheikh Aba Salat Mausoleum, Qom
The same lies to the north east of Qom, and adjoins the former gateway of Ray. The brick made mausoleum is simple in style and a relic of the Safavid era. It is situated in the corner of a large vicinity, and is said to be the tomb of one of the scholars of Qom in the early centuries. Internally, the structure stands to a height of 8 m. and is square in shape, with an elevated entrance. Its dome is arched and is made of brick. Various writings can be seen on the western wall of the mausoleum dating back to the 12th and 13th centuries AH.
Other Imamzadehs, Qom
Other Imamzadehs and pilgrimage sites of Qom province are as follows:
Imamzadeh Seyed Sarbaksh, in Azar Avenue related to the second half of the 8th century AH. Imamzadeh Abol Abbas Ahmad near Imamzadeh 'in heaven' related to the 8th century; Imamzadeh Bavareh in the village of Fardo related to the pre-Safavid era; Imamzadeh Halimeh Khatoon, 12 km. south of Qom; Imamzadeh Sakineh Khatoon within 30 km. to the east of Qom related to the pre-Safavid era; Imamzadeh Shahzadeh Ahmad and Ali Haras related to the Qajar era and located in Khak Faraj; Imamzadeh Shahzadeh Jafar Qarib, 6 km. east of Qom related to Fath Ali Shah Qajar; Imamzadeh Shahzadeh Jafar in the Geev village; Imamzadeh Shahzadeh Seyed Ali, north of Qom; Imamzadeh Shahzadeh Taher in the Taqrood village; Imamzadeh Shahzadeh Abbas on the outskirts of the Jondab village related to the pre-Safavid period; Imamzadeh Shahzadeh Abbas and Haft Imamzadeh near the Varjan Village of Qom; Imamzadeh Shahzadeh Mohsen related to the 10th century; Imamzadeh Abdollah near Qal'eh Sadri Qom related to the Qajar era; Imamzadeh Safoora in Khak Faraj; Imamzadeh Fazel on the mountain overlooking the Beed Hind Village; Baba Mosafer mausoleum to the north east of Qom, near the Ray Gateway related to the Safavid period; the Chahar Imamzadeh Shohreh mausoleum and Molla Aqa on the outskirts of the city of Qom related to the Safavid age; Khadijeh Khatoon mausoleum; Imamzadeh Shahzadeh Ebrahim and Mohammad in Mazdijan and to the west of Qom, related to the Eilkhanian period; Imamzadeh Shahzadeh Essaq; Imamzadeh Sheesh Imamzadeh in the outskirts of the Seif Abad related to the Safavid era; Imamzadeh Teiyaeb and Taher on the Qom-Sarajeh road related to the 8th century; Imamzadeh Fardoo in the village of Fardoo, district of of Qahestan.
Old Mosques, Qom
Fatemieh (Khanom) Mosque, Qom
The same is also one of the renounced mosques of Qom, and was established with facilitation by a charitable donor, a highly respected woman whose tomb lies in a special chamber alongside the mosque. This mosque has a large water reservoir and various beautiful carpets. The mosque in addition has a library that is used by the pupils of Hazrat Jafar Ebne Mohammad (AS). Besides being utilized for prayers, this mosque conducts religious instruction too.
Imam Hassan Askari Mosque, Qom
This is the oldest mosque of the province and is located in the Astaneh Avenue. At present there is no sign of any remnants of the main structure which relates to the 3rd century AH. Its current construction is a renovation of the old one. The same is also reputedly known as the Atiq Mosque and also the Jame' Atiq Mosque and bears special architectural effects.
Qom A'zam Mosque, Qom
This mosque is situated to the western front of the Astaneh of the Hazrat Ma'soomeh (AS). The same was constructed by the efforts of Ayatollah Borujerdi in the year 1374 AH. Due to its loftiness this mosque was named A'zam (Grand). It has three porches and its domed nocturnal area is adorned throughout with tile work, and is placed to the south of the courtyard. To the east of the aggregate of A'zam Mosque is the Ballasar Mosque and the old courtyard of the Holy Shrine. Whereas, the southwest and south faces the Sahel avenue and interconnected to the treasury of Haram Motahar.
Qom Jame' Mosque, Qom
The said mosque has been constructed on a rectangular plan. The main skeleton of the dome is related to the early mid 6th century and ranks second in antiquity to the old Jame' mosque of Qom. According to valid historical records the current dome dates back to 529 AH. Its tall south facing porch and coloblack encrustation of plasterwork of the dome is related to the Safavid period. The construction of the northern porch and nocturnal areas in an east-west direction are of the Qajar era.
Saheb-ol Zaman Mosque, Jamkaran
The said mosque is located at a distance of 6 km. from the city of Qom, on the Qom - Kashan Road. The same receives pilgrims both nationally and internationally. Regarding the date of this mosque, there is a narration, according to which on a Tuesday eve, on 17th of Ramadan (the holy month of fasting) of the year 393, a group of people assemble at the residence of 'Sheikh Hassan Ebne Mosleh Jamkarani', and ask the Sheikh to abide the command of Hazrat Mahdi (AS) (the 12th Imam or blackeemer, as believed by the Shiite sect); and told him that he was called by the Imam.
People accompanied the Sheikh to the vicinity of the present Jamkaran mosque. On his arrival Sheikh saw a young man of about 30 years of age sitting on a carpeted seat, leaning against cushions, and a sage known as Hazrat Khezr (AS) was next to him. Hazrat Mahdi (AS) addressed the Sheikh by name, and asked him to go to Hassan Moslem which had a land under cultivation, and tell him that this land was sacblack and there should be no more farming performed there.
The Sheikh asked the Imam to give him a sign so that people would believe him. Hazrat Mahdi (AS) asked him to complete his mission while the appropriate signs would be granted in time. He further commanded to ask people to convey prayers there as the prayers recited in this vicinity are equivalent to that performed in Mecca or the Kaba. Thus the holy mosque of Sahebol Zaman was founded in Jamkaran, and today is one of the extremely unique and interesting sites of Qom province, drawing hordes of pilgrims specially on auspicious dates.
Other Old Mosques, Qom
These are as follows: The Imam Hassan Mojtaba (AS) Mosque, on the Tehran - Qom Road; Takiyeh Aqa Seyed Hassan, in Ayatollah Taleqani Avenue; Takiyeh-ye-Yazdiha, in bazaar; Maidan-e-Kohneh Mosque, in the Old Square (Maidan-e-Kohneh-e- Qom); Hosseinieh-ye-Shohada, in Shohada Avenue; Hosseiniyeh-ye-Najafiha, in Enqelab Avenue; Hosseinieh-ye-Ayatollah Najafi, in Shahid Montazari Avenue; Takiyeh Seyedan, in Enqelab Avenue.