It is also spelled as Ghom, is the eighth largest city in Iran. It lies 125 kilometers or 78 miles by road southwest of Tehran and is the capital of Qom Province. At the 2011 census its population was 1,074,036 (957,496 at the 2006 census, in 241,827 families), comprising 545,704 men and 528,332 women. It is situated on the banks of the Qom River.
Qom is considered holy by Shia Islam, as it is the site of the shrine of Fatima Mæ'sume, sister of Imam `Ali ibn Musa Rida (Persian Imam Reza, 789–816 AD). The city is the largest center for Shiʿa scholarship in the world, and is a significant destination of pilgrimage. Qom is famous for a brittle toffee called “Sohan” is a traditional Persian saffron brittle toffee.
Its ingredients consist of wheat sprout, flour, egg yolks, rose water, sugar, butter or vegetable oil, saffron, cardamom, and slivers of almond and pistachio.
It is a regional center 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.