Qom (Persian: قم [ɢom], also known as Q'um or Ghom) is a city in Iran. It lies 156 kilometres (97 mi) by road southwest of Tehran and is the capital of Qom Province. At the 2006 census, its population was 957,496, in 241,827 families. It is situated on the banks of the Qom River.
Qom is considered holy by Shi`a Islam, as it is the site of the shrine of Fatema Mæ'sume, sister of Imam `Ali ibn Musa Rida (Persian Imam Reza, 789–816 AD). The city is the largest center for Shi'a scholarship in the World, and is a significant destination of pilgrimage.
Part of a series on Shī‘ah Islam
Qom is counted as one of the focal centers of the Shi'a both in Iran and around the globe. Since the revolution the clerical population has risen from around 25,000 to more than 45,000 and the nonnclerical population has more than tripled to about 700,000. Substantial sums of money in the form of alms and Islamic taxes flow into Qom to the ten marja-i taqlid or "Source of Imitation" that reside there. The number of seminary schools in Qom is now over 50, and the number of research institutes and libraries somewhere near 250.