Shaykhān Cemetery (Persian:قبرستان شیخان)is an ancient cemetery located near the Holy shrine of Lady Fatima al-Ma'suma (a) in Qom. It memorializes the lives of six notable scholars of different historical periods. Currently, over six hundred grand religious figures and scholars are buried there including Al-Mirza al-Qummi, Zakariyya b. Adam, Zakariyya b. Idris, Mirza Jawad Maliki Tabrizi and Ayatullah Fadil al-Tuni.
In addition, seven of those who were martyred in the event of seventh of Tir 1360 (June, 1981) as well as tens of people who were martyred in Iran-Iraq war are buried there. Shaykhan Cemetery is revered highly amongst ethics scholars.
There is not enough information on the time when this cemetery was named as Shaykhan (literal meaning: two scholars). The name Shaykhan is not mentioned in any ancient historical documents. Based on sources, it can be said that it was recently named Shaykhan. Apparently the majority of Babilan Cemetery was destroyed due to expansion of city and constructions and the part where two famous hadith scholars, Zakariyya b. Idris and Zakariyya b. Adam remained harmless, then people called it Shaykhan (in Arabic it means two scholars). Shaykhan Cemetery was also called Al-Shuyukh Cemetery (literal meaning: cemetery of scholars) in a number of sources.
According to historical reports on Qom, Shaykhan Cemetery was present in the time of Twelve Imams as well, as a number of companions of Imams are buried there, including Zakariyya b. Adam al-Ash'ari and Zakariyya b. Idris who were companions of Imam al-Sadiq (a), Imam al-Kazim (a), Imam al-Rida (a) and Imam al-Jawad (a). They also narrated hadiths from them. In addition, Adam b. Ishaq the companion of Imam al-Hadi (a) along with other companion are buried in Shaykhan Cemetery. Based on Mirza 'Abbas al-Fayd, Fath'ali Shah was the first one who ordered to build a dome on the grave of al-Mirza al-Qummi which was later rebuilt.
In the past Shaykhan Cemetery was vast but due to constructions and expansion of the city, it was became smaller. As a result it can be said Shaykhan Cemetery was changed a lot during different historical periods and current domes were built in the time of Babilan Cemetery. Nowadays over six hundreds of religious scholars are buried there. All the cultural, social activities and rebuilding processes of Shaykhan Cemetery are carried away by Awqaf and Charity Organization of Qom.
Figures in Shaykhan Cemetery
A large number of great Shi'ite religious scholars are buried in Shaykhan Cemetery including Muhammad Taher al-Qummi a faqih in Safavid era and Mirza Abu al-Qasim Qumi known as al-Mirza al-Qummi a grand religious scholar in the time of Fath'ali Shah the Qajar ruler.
Currently there are six mausoleums in Shaykhan Cemetery. Apparently the mausoleums of Zakariyya b. Adam and al-Mirza al-Qummi are the oldest ones there; but it is not certain which one is the oldest one. The mausoleums are:
- Al-Mirza al-Qummi (d. 1231/1815-6): In this mausoleum al-Mirza al-Qummi and his grandson, the son of Muhammad Mahdi Naraqi, are buried there.
- Zakariyya b. Adam (d. early decades of the third/ninth century): In the mausoleum of Zakariyya b. Adam a number of other scholars are buried next to him including, Mulla Muhammad Taheri Qummi (d. 1098/1687), Ayatullah Mirza Abu Talib Husayni Qummi (d. 1249/1833-4), the son-in-law of al-Mirza al-Qummi, Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Taqi Jawad Qummi (d. 1303/1885-6), Mir Sayyid Muhammad Fatimi Qumi (d. 1364/1945), Ayatullah Sayyid Murtada 'Alawi Fireyduni (d. 1415/1994-5), Sayyid Jawad Tahiri (d. 1330/1912) and Ayatullah Sayyid Hasan Sayyidi (d. 1422/2001-2)
- Ayatullah Mirza Muhammad Kabir (1369/1949-50): Two children of Muhammad Kabir are also buried there.
- Ayatullah Muhammad Husayn al-Tuni (d. 1380/1960-1): Qasim Islami (d. 1359/1940) and Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Kazim al-Musawi al-Gulpaygani) are buried there as well.
- Shaykh 'Abbas'ali Shahrudi (d. 1383/1963-4): Shahrudi's son and Ayatullah Mirza Muhammad Mujahidi Tabrizi are buried there as well.
- Sayyid 'Ali Farsh Furush al-Husayni al-Ardahali (d. 1347/1928-9): Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad 'Ali Ha'iri Tabasi and Sayyid Yahya al-Burqi'I, the mystic poet, are also buried there.
- Mirza Jawad Maliki Tabrizi
- Fatima Irawani
- Shahrbanu Safari
- Muhammad Qarib
- Sayyid Rida Burqi'i Mudarris
- Mirza 'Abd al-Hadi Hajj Akhund
- Mahdi Ha'iri Tihrani
- 'Ali Akbar Hikami Yazdi
- Sayyid Sadiq Shari'atmadari
- 'Ali Shirazi
- Muhammad 'Ali Mudarris Tabrizi
- Muhammad Baqir Maliki Miyaniji
- Fadi Muwahhidi Lankarani
Martyrs in Shaykhan Cemetery
Seven of those who were martyred in the explosion of Islamic Republic's office in the event of seventh of Tir (June 28, 1981) are buried in western part of Shaykhan Cemetery. Also tens of people who were martyred in Iran-Iraq war are buried there as well.
Shaykhan Cemetery in Religious Scholars' Perspective
Shi'ite religious scholars regarded Shaykhan Cemetery highly important and even sacred. Besides, a number of scholars including Ayatullah Kalbasi and Ayatullah Sayyid Ahmad Khwansari entered this cemetery bare-footed. In addition, it is quoted from Al-Sayyid Hashim al-Haddad that Shaykhan Cemetery is the most sacred and blessed place in Qom.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from قبرستان شیخان قم in Farsi WikiShia.