The Sacred Shrine of Qom
The shrine of Fatima al-Masumeh in Qom is regarded as a very sacred mosque by the Shia Muslims of Iran. Qom which houses the mosque is regarded as the second most holy city in Iran after Mashhad. The shrine was built in honor of Fatimah al-Masumah who was buried in Qom in 816 AD. The site became a popular place for pilgrimage and reverence during the 9th and 10th century. The shrine complex was first built by Shah Abbas I in the early 17th century. The shrine was raided twice by the Mongols and the Tamerlane. In 1519, the restoration of the dome and the courtyard was done by Shah Bigum, daughter of the Safavid King, Shah Ismail, in his honor. In 1523, the complex of the shrine was further expanded by Shah's wife Taju Khanum, who donated her own adjacent property to the shrine. The burial chamber was built by Shah Tahmasp. Expansion of the shrine complex continued further in the 17th century when Shah Abbas I built schooling and other facilities in the shrine complex. During the 19th century, it was Fath Ali Shah Qajar who coated the dome in gold. The gold coated dome has remained untouched since then for 200 years. Amazing isn't it! The acrylic fridge magnet depicting the golden domed shrine is indeed a memorable piece of souvenir for art lovers and also a sacred symbol of reverence for many devout Muslims.
Some Interesting Facts about the Mosque of Qom
The mosque consists of a burial chamber, three courtyards and three large prayer halls covering an area of 410,000 square feet. The three prayer halls are named: Tabatabat, Bala Sar and A'dham. In 2004, Iran issued the picture of the holy shrine on the reverse of the Iranian 50 rials coin.