The History of Qum and the Biographical Story of the Holy Massumah
.ناصر الشریعه، محمد حسین. تاریخ قم و زندگانی حضرت معصومه. قم: انتشارات دارالفکر،١۳۵٠،۳۵٠ص

Nasir al-Shariʻah, Muhammad Husayn. Tarikh-i Qum va Zindagani-yi Hazrat Maʻsumah. Qum: Intisharat-i Dar al-Fikr, 1971, 350pp. 


The History of Qum and the Biographical Story of the Holy Massumah

تاریخ قم و زندگانی حضرت معصومه

This book has been written on the history of Qum during the Islamic era, and was published for the first time in 1945/1324 by Muhammad Husayn b. Muhammad Hasan Qumi Nasir al-Shari‘ah. Then in 1971/1350, Ali Davani edited and re-published the book, adding new information to the original work and updating some other information. Most of the information in the book has been derived from different historical and religious texts, as well as remaining evidence such as building inscriptions, which is an added value to the work. A relatively large portion of the historical information has been mainly taken from the famous book, “History of Qum”, by Hasan b. Muhammad b. Hasan Qumi, written in the 4th/10th century. The writer sometimes inserts passages of the above text within his work.

The efforts here have been to present a thorough history of the city of Qum, from its foundation date to its local geography and people. Qumi begins with the virtues of the city of Qum according to Shii narratives, and then explains the reason behind naming the city “Qum”. He goes through different accounts relating to this and finally he asserts his own opinion. He believes that the first Arab settlers of Qum were the Ashʿaris, and refers to their different disagreements and fights with the local people.

The author has strived to include all the significant points in his book. Different historical areas and buildings, rulers, scholars and saints buried in this city are all included in this book. The chapter dealing with scholars (ʿUlamaʾ), jurists (Fuqahaʾ) and narrators (Muhaddithin) of Qum is the lengthiest and appears at the end of the book. They have been listed alphabetically and a summary of their biography and works follows. 

In the third chapter, the life of Fatimah bint Musa, Imam Riza’s sister and her story of coming to Qum is mentioned. It is followed by a short history of her shrine, its foundation and different reconstructions which took place in various periods. 

The general approach of Tarikh-i Qum is narrative. The author, who was a member of the ʿUlama, is not keen on a critical approach. In terms of historical sources, he limits himself to few sources and mostly quotes them or incorporates insertions. However, as he had access to some original sources and was an eyewitness and a resident of the city, his work enjoys a great value.

Karim Javan
Javan, Karim. “English abstract of 'The History of Qum and the Biographical Story of the Holy Massumah'". Translated by Karim Javan. In Cities as Built and Lived Environments: Scholarship from Muslim Contexts, 1875 to 2011, by Aptin Khanbaghi, 135. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
Muslim Civilisations Abstracts - The Aga Khan University
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