Qom is the seventh metropolis and also the seventh largest city in Iran. Qom is the capital of Qom Province. It is located 140 km (87 mi) to the south of Tehran. At the 2016 census, its population was 1,201,158. It is situated on the banks of the Qom River.
Qom is considered holy by Shiʿa Islam, as it is the site of the shrine of Fatimah bint Musa, sister of Imam Ali ibn Musa Reza (Persian Imam Reza, 789–816 CE). The city is the largest center for Shiʿa scholarship in the world, and is a significant destination of pilgrimage, with around twenty million pilgrims visiting the city every year, the majority being Iranians but also other Shi’a Muslims from all around the world. Qom is famous for a Persian brittle toffee known as sohan, considered a souvenir of the city and sold by 2,000 to 2,500 “Sohan” shops.
Qom has developed into a lively industrial centre owing in part to its proximity to Tehran. It is a regional centre for the distribution of petroleum and petroleum products, and a natural gas pipeline from Bandar Anzali and Tehran and a crude oil pipeline from Tehran run through Qom to the Abadan refinery on the Persian Gulf. Qom gained additional prosperity when oil was discovered in 1956 and a large refinery was built between Qom and Tehran.
As the second holiest city in Iran (after Mashhad), many architectural, cultural, and natural sites it has to offer.
Fatemeh Ma’sumeh was born in Medina in early 173 AH (789 AD). Her father was Mūsá ibn Ja‘far al-Kāzim, the seventh Shiite Imam, and his mother was Najmah who was known as “Tahereh” (chaste) because she led a chaste decent life. Hadrat Ma’sumeh was martyred in Qom on Rabi al Sani 12, 201 AH (October 28, 816 AD) at the age of 28. Today, her sacred shrine shines like the Sun in the center of Qom County and spiritually satisfies its pilgrims.
The tomb of Hadrat Ma’sumeh is located in the middle of a tall monument, and it is covered with gold tiles (early century 7). Around the shrine, there is a two-meter-high wall that was built in 950 and adorned with mosaic. Today, this wall is covered with a reticulated shrine made of silver.
After she passed away and was buried in Babylon Garden, her garden underwent many changes over time, and the extent and glory of its neighboring shrine and monuments gradually increased. Eventually, the garden became the most glorious and famous shrine in Iran after Astan Quds Razavi (i.e. Imam Reza’s Shrine).