Qom About this sound pronunciation is the 8th largest city in Iran. It lies 125 kilometres by road southwest of Tehran and is the capital of Qom Province. At the 2011 census its population was 1,074,036, comprising 545,704 men and 528,332 women. It is situated on the banks of the Qom River. Qom city enjoys a dry and warm climate with low annual rainfall due to remoteness from the sea and being situated in the vicinity of desert.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. The city is the largest center for Shi'a scholarship in the world, and is a significant destination of pilgrimage.Qom is famous for a brittle toffee called "Souhan", considered a souvenir of the city and sold by 2000 to 2500 "Souhan" shops.Qom has developed into a lively industrial centre owing in part to its proximity to Tehran. It is a regional centre for the distribution of petroleum and petroleum products, and a natural gas pipeline from Bandar Anzali and Tehran and a crude-oil pipeline from Tehran run through Qom to the Abadan refinery on the Persian Gulf. Qom gained additional prosperity when oil fields were discovered at Sarajeh near the city in 1956 and a large refinery was built between Qom and Tehran.