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A'zam Mosque

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A'zam Mosque
Location Qom, Iran
Islamic Sect Shi'a Islam
Established 1339 Sh/1960
Founder Ayatollah Burujirdi
Administration Sayyid Muhammad Jawad 'Alawi Burujirdi
Architectural information
Architect(s) Husayn Lurzadeh
Area 12000 square meter
Dome(s) 1
Dome Height (Outer) 15 meter
Dome Height (Inner) 35 meter
Minaret(s) 2
Minaret Height 25 meter
Current Status Active
Features An important place for the classes of Seminary of Qom

Aʿzam mosque (Persian: مسجد اعظم) in Qom is one of the greatest mosques of Shi'ite Muslims which is located near the holy shrine of Lady Fatima al-Ma'suma (a). The most crowded classes of seminary of Qom are held in this mosque. A'zam mosque was built by the support of Ayatollah Burujirdi and Husayn Lurzadeh was the architect of the mosque.

A number of significant political events took place in A'zam mosque including the speech of Imam Khomeini in 1964. This mosque is regarded as an important place where Islamic teachings are taught and marja's hold their sessions there. In addition, congregational prayers, important religious ceremonies and funerals of grand religious scholars are generally held in A'zam mosque.

This mosque covers twelve thousand square meters, it has four large space, a courtyard and a library. Ayatollah Burujirdi is buried in one of the entrances of this mosque.


Ayatullah Burujirdi told Muhammad Taqi Falsafi that he had planned to buy the houses neighboring west and southwest of the holy shrine of Lady Fatima al-Ma'suma (a) to build a huge mosque. Seminary of Qom, Astane square and a courtyard were situated around the holy shrine, which left only one side of the shrine with a dark guesthouse and old buildings which worried people.

In addition, there was not a suitable place for performing congregational prayers and holding religious ceremonies in the shrine; therefore, Ayatullah Burujirdi decided to build a grand mosque next to the shrine. As Muhammad Fadil Lankarani quoted, Ayatullah Burujirdi wanted to build a great mosque similar to Goharshad Mosque in Mashhad as he predicted Seminary of Qom would expand on the long run and it would need a large and suitable place to hold classes and what is better than a place near the holy shrine as a mosque.

On Dhu al-Qi'da 11, 1373/July 12th, 1954, concurrent with the anniversary of birthday of Imam al-Rida (a), the building of A'zam Mosque started and it took six years to complete. Ayatullah Burujirdi paid a part of expenses and the rest was paid by people's charities.

Structural Features

A'zam Mosque covers about twelve thousand square meters and its building is made by reinforced concrete which is among the most firmly strong Islamic religious buildings. It has four large shabistans, the one in the center covers four hundred square meters and the lateral shabistans are nine hundred square meters each, also there is another shabistan in northern side which is three hundred square meters; the height of its ceiling is ten meters. The lavatories and servants' room are located on its western side. A library with two halls and a storage is located on its western side as well.

The mosque is built according to Islamic architecture. It has a giant dome with a diameter of thirty meters and its height from the roof is fifteen meters and from the ground is thirty five meters. The mosque has also two tall minarets with the height of twenty five meters from the ground. A tower watch is located on the northern side which can be seen from all angles.

With respect to decoration, tiling and Islamic artistic features, A'zam mosque is quite an amazing example in recent century. All the carpets in the mosque are woven in Kerman particularly for A'zam mosque. The expenses of this mosque are paid by people and businessmen. It is estimated that it cost sixty to one hundred billion Rials to build the mosque.

Manuscripts in the library of A'zam Mosque


At first, Sayyid Husayn Burujirdi planned to build an independent library in Qom which was not successful. After the building of A'zam Mosque was finished, religious scholars of Qom proposed Ayatullah Burujirdi to build a library for the mosque. Then he asked Husayn Lorzadeh, the architect of the mosque, to build a great public library for the mosque.

The library was built in western side of the mosque which contains 7096 manuscripts, eight thousand lithographic copies, two hundred precious printed books and over 660 illustrated books as well as Manual of fatwas and textbooks of Qajar era. Today Sayyid Muhammad Jawad 'Alawi Burujirdi, a descendant of Ayatullah Burujirdi, is holding the trusteeship of the library which is administrated by Seminary of Qom.

The Burial Place of Ayatullah Burujirdi

The grave of Ayatullah Burujirdi is located on the western side of A'zam mosque. According to Muhammad Jawad 'Alawi Burujirdi, it was previously a sixty square meter house bought by Ayatullah Burujirdi; he specified his burial place and the rest of the house was dedicated to A'zam Mosque. He wanted to be buried in the hallway were pilgrims would pass to enter the holy shrine so that the dust of their shoes would lay on his grave.


According to Waqf (endowment) document of the mosque, the trusteeship of A'zam Mosque and other endowed properties were held by the founder, Ayatullah Burujirdi. After the demise of Ayatullah Burujirdi, Sayyid Muhammad Hasan Tabataba'i was holding the trusteeship from 1340/1961 to 1356/1972 during which some construction deficiencies were repaired. Then Sayyid Sadiq Tabataba'i Burujirdi was holding the trusteeship for twenty seven years. During that time, there were disagreements on the management of A'zam Mosque. Since 2004 the trusteeship was given to Sayyid Muhammad Baqir Tabataba'i who held meeting with descendants of Ayatullah Burujirdi and the trusteeship was given to Sayyid Muhammad Jawad 'Alawi Burujirdi.

Significant Historical Events

  • Meeting of Muhammad Reza Pahlavi and Ayatullah Sayyid Husayn Burujirdi in 1958.
  • The critical speech of Muhammad Sadiq Tihrani against Muhammad Reza Pahlavi on the anniversary of demise of Ayatullah Burujirdi in 1962.
  • Strike of a number of clergymen in A'zam Mosque against the cultural policies of the government in 1999.

Seminary Classes of Marja's

A'zam Mosque is regarded among the important places where classes of Seminary of Qom are held. Husayn Wahid Khurasani, Nasir Makarim Shirazi, Ja'far Subhani, Sayyid Musa Shubayri Zanjani, Husayn Nuri Hamadani, 'Abd Allah Jawadi Amuli hold their seminary sessions in this mosque. Previously a number of other Marja's were holding their classes as well.


Today A'zm Mosque is the most important place where political and religious ceremonies are held in Qom; also the funerals of religious scholars are held there. Every year I'tikaf is performed in A'zam mosque in the months of Rajab and Ramadan.