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The town of Qom is best known for its religious university Howzeh-ye Elmieh. It attracts a lot of students from all over Iran and the rest of the world who want to become a mullah. Imam Khomeini is probably the most famous among those who studied the Quran here.

Dome and minaret of the Holy Shrine


The inside of the Holy Shrine

But there are more things in Qom that are significant to Islam. The Holy Shrine of Hazrat- Ma'sumeh is the burial place of Fatima, the daughter of the 7th Imam and sister of the Reza, the 8th Imam. It is the most important one in Qom. Only the Shrine of Imam Reza himself, in Mashhad, is even more important to the Shi'ites.

The Shrine is located in the center of Qom.When you walk around it, you can admire the wonderful mosaics, the minarets and the beautiful golden dome.

If you look the other way, you'll probably see a lot of aspirant mullahs. If you're lucky, you might find one who speaks English and wants to tell you something about what it's like to study here

 Non-Muslims are not allowed

The gate

It is said in most travel books that it is forbidden for non-Muslims to enter the Shrine. And it is!! Don't try to enter by yourself. However, according to the Iranian travelbook "A travel guide to Iran" by MT Faramarzi (buy it !!!), visits to the Holy Shrine can be arranged by the Islamic Culture and Guidance Office, located at Dowr- Shahr Avenue, tel 0281-744205.

A few hundred meters from the Holy Shrine is the cemetery for the Iranian warriors in the Iran Iraq war. The cemetery is decorated with beautiful wall paintings like the one on the right. Walking around in this place demands for some time to remember those who got killed in this nasty war.

Iran Iraq cemetery

Wall painting in the Iran Iraq cemetery

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