Qom is considered as one of the focal centers of the Shiite sect both
in Iran and around the globe. Its theological center and the Holy Shrine
of Hazrat Ma'soomeh are prominent features of the provincial capital of
Another religious site of pilgrimage is outside the city of Qom, and
is called Jamkaran. Qom's proximity to Tehran has given it an advantage
Qom has at times again been considered as a possible candidate for
moving the political capital of Iran, as Tehran faces an increasing
probability of an overdue major earthquake, aside from its notorious
pollution and traffic congestion. The conservative factions are
favorable to this idea while the business and economic base of Tehran
opposes any such moves.
Major Colleges and Universities of Qom include:
- University of Qom
- Mofid University
- Islamic Azad University of Qom
- The Research Institute of Hawzeh va Daneshgah
- Computer Research Center of Islamic Sciences
- Imam Khomeini Education Institute
- Qom University of Medical Sciences
- Qom's Feyzieh Seminary (called The Hawzah)
- Payam Noor University of Qom
Today, 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.
Its theological center and the Fatima al-Masumeh Shrine are
prominent features of the provincial capital of Qom province. Another
very popular religious site of pilgrimage formerly outside the city of
Qom but now more of a suburb is called Jamkaran.
Qom's proximity to Tehran, Iran's capital, has allowed the clerical
establishment easy access to monitor the affairs and decisions of state.
Many grand ayatollahs hold offices in both Tehran and Qom; many people
simply commute between the two cities as they are only 100 km apart.
Qom is currently the largest center for Shi'a scholarship in the
world. There are an estimated 50,000 seminarians in the city coming from
70 countries including 6000 from Pakistan. Qom has seminaries for women
and some non-Shia students. Most of the seminaries teach their students
modern social sciences and Western thought as well as traditional
Major clerical associations of Qom include:
- Assembly of Qom Seminary Scholars and Researchers.
- Qom Seminary Scholars Association.