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Qom (Arabic: قُم) is the second religious city of Iran and one of the bases of Shi'ism. The city dates back to before the rise of Islam. The city was conquered by Muslims in 23/644-645 but the people of Qom converted to Islam with the immigration of al-Ash'ari Family in 85/704-705, the beginning of the development of Qom as a Shi'a city was from that time.

Immigration of Lady Fatima al-Ma'suma (a) to Qom and her shrine in the city, and after that, immigration of other Imam's descendants and Sayyids, made the city the base of Shi'ism in Iran. Foundation of Qom seminary added to the Shi'a fame of the city.

Today, the city is the greatest base of Shi'ism from which the Shi'a knowledge is promoted to the world.


In Hadith

According to a hadith from the Prophet (s), the reason of the city being named as "Qom" is that its people will gather around the "Qa'im Al Muhammad" (the rising person of the family of Muhammad (s), i. e. Imam al-Mahdi (a)) and will support him in his uprising.[1] The word "Qom" is from the same root as "Qa'im" (the rising person). In another hadith, the reason is that God has ordered the Shaytan (Satan) to get up and leave the land.[2]

In History

In the "Tarikh-i Qom" (the history of Qom) book there is two possibilities mentioned for the naming:

  • The area was containing some scattered villages, so it was called "Kuma" (Farsi: کومه, a group of villages), the word reduced to "Kum"[3] (Farsi: کُم) and then Arabicized to "Qom".[4]
  • In the time of entrance of Ash'ariyun to the area, there were seven villages: Mamajan, Qardan, Malun, Jamar, Sakan, Julanbadan;[5] later the villages became one and named "Kumidan" which later reduced to "Kum" and then to Qom.[6]


In hadith and historic books different names are mentioned for Qom, like: Qomm[7]; Bahr (sea)[8]; Ma'din al-Shi'a (source of Shi'a)[9]; 'Ushsh Al Muhammad (house of the family of Muhammad (s))[10]; Ma'wa l-Shi'a (refuge of Shi'as)[11]; Ma'wa Fatimiyyin (refuge of people who follow Fatima (a))[12]; The little Kufa[13]; Haram Ahl al-Bayt (a) (Shrine of Ahl al-Bayt (a))[14]; Qat'at min Bayt al-Maqdis (a part of Bayt al-Maqdis)[15]; Kuma[16]; Kum[17]; Kumidan[18]; Mamajan[19]; Taymara.[20]


Some historians believe that Qom is founded before Islam, some believe that Qom is one of the oldest residences in the Iranian Plateau.[21][22] Mustuwfi considers Tahmurath as the founder of Qom.[23] Al-Ya'qubi considers Qom as one the pre-Islamic cities.[24] The fact that Muslims conquered Qom empowers the theory.[25] Baladhuri,[26] al-Ya'qubi,[27] Tha'alabi,[28] Ibn A'tham al-Kufi,[29] Abu Hanifa al-Dinawari,[30] Ibn Faqih al-Hamdani,[31] Hamza al-Isfahani,[32] Hasan b. Muhammad al-Qummi,[33] Ferdowsi,[34] and al-Sayyid Zahir al-Din al-Mar'ashi;[35] have mentioned the ancient Qom.

In contrast, some historians like Abu Dulaf al-Khazraji,[36] al-Sam'ani,[37] Abu l-Fida',[38] and Yaqut al-Hamawi,[39] considered the time of the foundation of Qom after Islam, in 85/704[40] or 93/712.[41]

Maybe the second group meant that Muslims founded a new city over the old city.[42]

After Islam

After Muslims defeated Sassanids, Qom entered the territory of Muslims, most of historians mentioned the conquest of Qom in 23/644 and by the command of Abu Musa al-Ash'ari.[43]

Entrance of Shi'ism

Although Qom entered the territory of Muslims in the first years of Islamic conquests, the people of Qom remained to their Zoroastrianism religion, after the entrance of Ash'ariyyun to Qom and their invitation to Islam, people of Qom converted to Islam. Although there's not an exact report about the sect of Ash'ariyyun, the participation of Sa'ib b. Malik al-Ash'ari in the uprising of Mukhtar, and the opposition of Muhammad b. Sa'ib al-Ash'ari with Hajjaj b. Yusuf, shows their attraction to Ahl al-Bayt (a), their communication with Imams (a) empowers the theory that they were Shi'a. Anyway, their descendants were Shi'a and people of Qom were the first in Iran to openly announce themselves as Shi'as. According to al-Qummi, the first to announce Ash'ariyyun as Shi'as and to start inviting people to Shi'ism, was Musa b. 'Abd Allah b. Sa'd al-Ash'ari.[44]

Roots of Shi'ism in Qom

Migration of Ash'ariyyun

Ash'ariyyun were a Yemeni tribe who converted to Islam in the time of the Prophet (s), and inhabited Kufa in the time of ruling of the Caliphs, and migrated to Qom in 85/704.

Migration of Ash'ariyyun to Qom is considered as a turning point in the history of Qom, as their migration was the beginning of Shi'ism to Qom and Iran.

After the defeat of the uprising of Mukhtar and killing of Sa'ib b. Malik al-Ash'ari,[45] and also the killing of Muhammad b. Sa'ib by Hajjaj b. Yusuf, Ash'ariyyun migrated from Kufa and inhabited in different places of Iran; two of them in Ahwas and 'Abd Allah the sons of Sa'd b. Malik al-Ash'ari entered Qom and were welcomed by Yazdan Fadar, the governor of Qom.[46]

Shrine of Lady Fatima al-Ma'suma

Holy Shrine of Lady Fatima al-Ma'suma (a), located in the center of Qom

After Ash'ariyyun inhabited in Qom, and people of Qom accepted Shi'a Islam, Qom became a refuge for Shi'as and the followers and descendants of Ahl al-Bayt (a). Hasan b. Muhammad al-Qummi in Tarikh-i Qom, dedicated a chapter to the descendants of 'Ali b. Abi Talib (a) who were known as "Talibiyya", inhabited in Qom and its surroundings. Also Nasir al-Shari'a dedicated a chapter to the Imam's-descendants of Qom, and on top of them Lady Fatima al-Ma'suma (a).

In the course of the immigration of Lady Fatima al-Ma'suma (a) form Medina to Marw, when they reached Saveh, a group of the enemies of Ahl al-Bayt (a) attacked them and killed all the brothers and nephews of Lady Fatima al-Ma'suma (a), she changed her path to Qom and demised after 17 days, and was buried in Qom.

Her shrine, made Qom the second holy city of Iran, and the first Shi'a base of the country, and after him many of the descendants of the Prophet (s) immigrated to Qom and its surrounding cities, like Kashan.[47]

Faqihs and Muhaddiths

One of the reasons of the growth of Shi'ism in Qom, is the presence of the companions of Imams (a) and their students in Qom, some of their most precedents are:

According to Nasir al-Shari'a, Abu Ishaq al-Qummi, who was from Kufa and was a student of Yunus b. 'Abd al-Rahman, is the first to narrate the hadiths of Kufis in Qom.

Nasir al-Shari'a reports form Najashi: he is one of the great reliable Muhaddiths and Imam al-Rida (a) had trusted him, it is narrated from Imam al-Rida about him:

"Peace be to him, the day he was born, and the day he dies, and the day he is raised alive"[48]

He is considered as the leader of the scholars of Qom and had narrated from Imam al-Jawad (a) and Imam al-Hadi (a), and was one of the close companions of Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari (a).

Najashi had mentioned him among people who are announced as trustworthy by Imams (a).[49]

One of the Shi'a scholars who inhabited Qom was 'Ali b. Babawayh al-Qummi. His son, Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. 'Ali b. Babawayh al-Qummi, known as al-Shaykh al-Saduq (d. 381/991) is one of the greatest Shi'a scholars.

Connection with Ahl al-Bayt (a)

People of Qom and Ash'ariyyun were the first to send their Khums to Imams (a).

Shi'as of Qom remained loyal to the Imamate of the twelve Imams and no division occurred among them, as occurred for Fatahis and Waqifis.[50]

First Connection

Some of the sons of 'Abd Allah b. Sa'd b. Malik al-Ash'ari, who was one of the first immigrants to Qom, were companions of Imam al-Baqir (a) and Imam al-Sadiq (a), this is the oldest report about the connection of the people of Qom and Imams (a). Musa b. 'Abd Allah al-Ash'ari was one of the companions of Imam al-Sadiq (a), and according to al-Shaykh al-Tusi, had also narrated from Imam al-Baqir (a). Shu'ayb b. 'Abd Allah al-Ash'ari is also considered as one of the companions of Imam al-Baqir (a) and Imam al-Sadiq (a). Adam, Abu Bakr, 'Abd al-Malik, Yasa', Ya'qub, and Ishaq; are also other sons of 'Abd Allah b. Sa'd al-Ash'ari, who were companions of Imam al-Sadiq (a).

Imam al-Rida (a)

After Imam al-Rida (a) presented his shirt to Di'bil al-Khuza'i, people of Qom proposed to buy the shirt with a high price for blessing. This shows the love of people to Imam al-Rida (a).

Yunus b. 'Abd al-Rahman al-Ash'ari, the representative of Imam al-Rida (a) was at a level of knowledge that when Imam al-Rida (a) was asked: "If we couldn't find you, from whom I ask my questions?" Imam al-Rida (a) introduced Yunus b. 'Abd al-Rahman. Imam al-Rida (a) told Zakariyya b. Adam: "Allah removes the disasters from the people of Qom, because of you. As He removes the disasters from the people of Baghdad because of Imam al-Kazim (a)."

Zakariyya b. Idris al-Qummi, who was one of the companions of Imam al-Rida (a) who also has narrated from Imam al-Sadiq (a) and Imam al-Kazim (a); when demised, Imam al-Rida (a) was praying for him for a whole night.[51]

Imam al-Jawad (a)

Imam al-Jawad (a) prayed for the people of Qom when he was informed about the bad condition of Qom, by the letter of 'Ali b. Mahziyar.

Imam al-Hadi (a)

Although Imam al-Hadi (a) was under surveillance in a military garrison, people of Qom would contact him to the extent that Mutawakkil, the Abbasi ruler, became frightened and thought that they are carrying arms to Samarra.

Some of the companions of Imam al-Hadi (a) are from Qom. He (a) had considered the people of Qom blessed, as they were going to Ziyarah of Imam al-Rida (a) from that time.[52]

Imam al-'Askari

The letter of Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari to the people of Qom and Awi is well known:

Allah, the exalted, with His kindness and munificence, did a favor to people by sending the Prophet (s), as a bearer of good news and a warner; and made you successful in accepting His religion and honored you with His guidance, and planted the seed of the love of the family of His Prophet (s) in the hearts of your previous and next generations.
O people! Our will and intention is firm and solid, and our mind is in ease by your good thoughts, and the connection between you and us is strong, as such a connection is one of the commendations of the elders of yours and ours.
There's an allegiance between you and us, and we are always strong with a single belief and unity, as Allah has established this close and unbreakable connection between us, as the knowledgeable (i. e. Imam al-Sadiq (a) or Imam al-Baqir (a)) said:
A faithful is like the brother of another faithful from the same father and mother.[53]

Uprisings against Abbasids

Qom was a great Shi'a base, so the people of Qom wouldn't bear a non-Shi'a governor and they would rise against him.

In the Time of al-Ma'mun

In 210/825: after the martyrdom of Imam al-Rida, Ma'mun moved the capital to Baghdad, people of Qom refused to pay tax to the Abbasids and started an uprising. Ma'mun sent an army under the command of 'Ali b. Hisham al-Marwazi, who after a heavy crackdown, suppressed the uprising.[54]

In 215/830: in the year people of Qom started an uprising again and expelled the Abbasid governor from the city, Ma'mun sent an army and suppressed the uprising.[55] Hasan b. Muhammad al-Qummi mentions the event in 217/832.[56]

In the Time of al-Mu'tasim

In the beginning of the ruling of al-Mu'tasim, the people of Qom rioted, and expelled the city governor, al-Mu'tasim sent a large army. The army burnt many gardens and homes and caused much damage to the city.[57]

In the Time of al-Mu'tazz

In the time of Mu'tazz two uprisings occurred, the first was suppressed by Muflih Turk and the second by Musa b. Bugha.[58] The oppression of Musa b. Bugha was to the extent that people of Qom complained about him to Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari, and he taught them a long supplication to say in their Qunut.[59]

In the Time of al-Muqtadir

Al-Muqtadir sent a Shi'a governor to Qom. When Husayn b. Hamdan, the Shi'a governor reached the city, the people welcomed him.[60]

In the Time of al-Mu'tadid

Al-Mu'tadid sent a non-Shi'a governor to Qom, this caused the opposition of people and they expelled the governor, al-Mu'tadid sent Ibn Kulaykh to suppress the uprising, he killed a number of people but couldn't control the situation. The Abbasi caliph asked for the help of Isma'il b. Ahmad al-Samani, he controlled the uprising without bloodshed and made a Shi'a, Yahya b. Ishaq, the governor of Qom.

Jamkaran Mosque, sha'ban 15th, 2016

Important Mosques

Jamkaran Mosque

Main article: Jamkaran Mosque

The Jamkaran Mosque is located 6 Km south-east of Qom city in Jamkaran village and have always been a destination for Ziyara.

Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari Mosque

Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari Mosque, Qom, Iran

The mosque was named Masjid-i Jami'-i 'Atiq.[61] The first building was constructed in 3rd/9th century by Ahmad b. Ishaq al-Ash'ari, the representative of Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari. Now the mosque is under development in 2500 square meters.[62]

Jami'-i Qom Mosque

The mosque dates back to 6th/12th, after the Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari mosque, the Jami'-i Qom mosque is the oldest mosque of the city.

A'zam Mosque

Dome of A'zam Mosque behind the dome of the Holy Shrine of Lady Fatima al-Ma'suma (a)

The mosque was built in the western side of the holy shrine of Lady Fatima al-Ma'suma (a), by Ayatollah Burujirdi in 1374/1955.

Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba Mosque

The mosque was built in the old Qom-Tehran road, by Yad Allah Rajabiyan in 1381/1961, It is said that the mosque is built by the order of Imam al-Mahdi (aj).

See also


  1. Bihar al-anwar, vol.6, p.216
  2. Bihar al-anwar, vol.6, p.217
  3. Hasan b. Muhammad al-Qummi, Tarikh Qom, p.22
  4. Dihkhuda, vol.12, p.18750
  5. Hasan b. Muhammad al-Qummi, Tarikh Qom, p.23
  6. Taqwim al-buldan, p.410
  7. Mu'jam al-buldan, vol.4, p.379
  8. Bihar al-anwar, vol.6, p.212
  9. Bihar al-anwar, vol.6, p.212
  10. Bihar al-anwar, vol.6, p.216
  11. Bihar al-anwar, vol.6, p.212
  12. Bihar al-anwar, vol.6, p.212
  13. Bihar al-anwar, vol.6, p.212 and 228
  14. Bihar al-anwar, vol.6, p.216
  15. Bihar al-anwar, vol.6, p.213
  16. Hasan b. Muhammad al-Qummi, Tarikh Qom, pp.22-25
  17. Hasan b. Muhammad al-Qummi, Tarikh Qom, pp.22-25
  18. Hasan b. Muhammad al-Qummi, Tarikh Qom, pp.22-25
  19. Hasan b. Muhammad al-Qummi, Tarikh Qom, pp.22-25
  20. Hasan b. Muhammad al-Qummi, Tarikh Qom, pp.22-25
  21. Iran az aqaz ta anjam, p.7
  22. Bastan-shinasi-i Iran-i bastan, p.124
  23. Nazhat al-qulub, p.67
  24. Tarikh-i ya'qubi, vol.1, p.144
  25. Futuh al-buldan, p.319
  26. Futuh al-buldan, p.436
  27. Tarikh-i ya'qubi, vol.1, p.144
  28. Qurar-u akhbar-i mulk al-furs, p.709
  29. Al-futuh, vol.1, pp.286-288
  30. Akhbar al-tuwal, p.67
  31. Mukhtasar al-buldan, p.209
  32. Sini muluk al-arz wa l-anbiya', p.35
  33. Hasan b. Muhammad al-Qummi, Tarikh Qom, p.91
  34. Shahnami, vol.4, p.128
  35. Tarikh-i tabaristan wa ruyan, p.4
  36. Safarnami-yi abu dulaf, p.71
  37. Al-ansab, p.461
  38. Taqwim al-buldan, p.409
  39. Mu'jam al-buldan, vol.4, p.451
  40. Mu'jam al-buldan, vol.4, p.397
  41. Hasan b. Muhammad al-Qummi, Tarikh Qom, pp. 253-256
  42. Jughrafiya-yi tarikh-i Qom, p.78
  43. Hasan b. Muhammad al-Qummi, Tarikh Qom, p.25
  44. Hasan b. Muhammad al-Qummi, Tarikh Qom, p.278
  45. Hasan b. Muhammad al-Qummi, Tarikh Qom, pp.284-290
  46. Hasan b. Muhammad al-Qummi, Tarikh Qom, p.246
  47. Hasan b. Muhammad al-Qummi, Tarikh Qom, p.215
  48. Nasir al-Shari'a, p.195
  49. Nasir al-Shari'a, p.168
  50. Kayhan-i andishi, No.152, p.153; Da'irat al-ma'arif tashayyu', vol.13, p.272
  51. Da'irat al-ma'arif tashayyu', vol.13, p.271
  52. Da'irat al-ma'arif tashayyu', vol.13, p.271
  53. A'yan al-shi'a, vol2, p.41
  54. Hasan b. Muhammad al-Qummi, Tarikh Qom, p.35
  55. Tabari, vol.13, p.5742
  56. Hasan b. Muhammad al-Qummi, Tarikh Qom, p.35
  57. Al-kamil, vol.12, p.54
  58. Futuh al-buldan, p.307
  59. Naqd al-rijal, p.331
  60. Al-kamil, vol.8, p.19
  61. Hasan b. Muhammad al-Qummi, Tarikh Qom, p.37
  62. Asar-i tarikh wa farhangi-yi Qom, p.168


  • The material for writing this article is mainly taken from قم in Farsi WikiShia.