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Leading center of Shii theological seminaries and site of Hazrat-i Masumah, which is the second most important Shii shrine in Iran. Burial site of numerous shahs of the Safavid and Qajar dynasties and many religious scholars. Major center of political activity in 1963, 1975, and 1977–79. The shrine and the Borujerdi mosque are important places for leading communal prayers and sermons. The shrine has been an economic and state institution, the focus of endowments and commercial rents dedicated to its upkeep, and a symbolic site whose opening and closing each day are accompanied by state-appointed guards extolling the sovereignty of the reigning government under God. Qom's madrasas in particular were a major center of resistance to the Pahlavi monarchy. When Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran from exile, he went immediately to Qom, which remains a key seat of the ulama's educational and political organizations.

Subjects: Islam.

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