1. A brief history
2. During the reign of the Safavids
3. During the reign of the Qājārs
4. After the victory of the Islamic Revolution
5. The construction of the burial chamber to the present time
6. The holy shrine at the present time
7. The golden domeLady Fatima Masuma (A)
8. Inscriptions within the shrine
9. Inscriptions within the dome
10. Inscriptions on the tomb
11. Miracles that have occurred at the holy shrine
A brief history
After the burial of Lady Fatima Masuma (A), Mūsā ibn Khazraj placed a ceiling made of wicker over the grave, which remained unchanged until Zaynab, daughter of Imam al-Taqī (A), came to Qum and had a dome built on the grave.
The dome was built of bricks and mortar. This event occurred in the m iddle of the third Islamic century.
After the passing of some time, two other domes were built near the first dome and it was under the third dome that Zaynab, daughter of Imam al-Taqī (A) was herself buried.
These three domes remained till the year 457 A.H, when the vizier ofTughrul the Great, Mīr Abū al-Fadl al-`Īrāqī, at the urging of the great scholar, ShaykhTūsī (d.460 A.H) built one high dome in place of the three domes.
During the reign of the Safavids
From the time of the replacement of the three domes by one, until the time of the reign of the Safavids,
 the condition of the shrine of Lady Fatima Masuma (A) remained somewhat the same. At this time there was no chamber above the grave, nor any porches or courtyards.
In the year 925 A.H Shāh Ismā`īl I built a gold porch on the North side and laid the foundation of what is now called the old courtyard. After him, ShahTahmāsb I, built a burial chamber, with glazed tiles, around the holy grave. He also built a porch on the South side of the grave (in the old courtyard).
In the year 1077 A.H ShāhSafīy built a courtyard for women, in the south of the threshold of the grave, which is now the area surrounding the enclosed area of the Mosque ofTabātabā’ī. This courtyard is the burial place for Shāh `Abbās and Shāh Sulaymān and Shāh Sultān Husain.
In the time of the reign of Shāh `Abbās, the burial chamber was covered with white steel and the present chamber contains some of the same steel with sheets of silver added to it.
During the reign of the Qājārs
After the reign of theSafavīds, further repairs to the shrine of Lady Fatima Masuma (A) did not take place until the time of the reign of the Qājārs in Iran . 
In the year 1218 A.H Fath Ali Shāh Qājār made a dome of gold using 12000 gold-covered bricks. In the year 1236 A.H, the mosque known asMasjid-e Bālā Sar [the mosque at the head of the holy body of Lady Fatima Masuma (A)], was built.
In the year 1276 A.H, the porch of Shāh Ismā`īlSafavī was decorated with gold and in the year 1275 A.H the steel burial chamber of Shāh `Abbās was remade using silver.
Towards the end of the 13th century A.H, the foundation for a new, bigger courtyard was laid, and the building was completed during the reign of Nāsir al-Dīn Shāh, in the year 1303 A.H.
After the victory of the Islamic Revolution
During the course of its history, a lot of elegant and beautiful decorative work, using different materials and scripts has been added to the shrine of Lady Fatima Masuma (A), which we are unable to go into in this book.
After the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, the leader, Grand Ayatollah Khomeini, authorised a number of important changes to the layout and organisation of the holy shrine. More facilities for pilgrims were introduced. The Masjid-e A`đam, built by the Grand Ayatollah Burujadi, was annexed to the holy shrine. The shrine was enlarged and currently this expansion project is continuing. Other changes were also been made, but again the details lie outside the scope of this book.
The construction of the burial chamber to the present time
In the year 605 A.H, Amīr Ahmad ibn Ismā`īl commissioned the leading glass tile-maker and engraver of the time, Muhammad ibn AbīTāhir Kāshīkār Qummī, to decorate the tomb of Lady Fatima Masuma (A). The work was completed in 8 years.
In the year 950 A.H, ShāhTahmāsbSafavī, erected a burial chamber made of bricks and decorated with tiles of seven colours, around the tomb. The chamber had a screen through which pilgrims could see the tomb and put in donations and petitions into the chamber.
After some years, by the order of Shāh `Abbās, a steel grill was placed in front of the bricked burial chamber.
In the year 1230 A.H, Fath Ali Shāh Qājār, covered this steel grill with silver. This remained in place until it showed signs of deterioration and in the year 1280 A.H, a new chamber, using silver from the old one, as well as additional silver from the treasury, was erected, entirely replacing the old one.
The Old Burial Chamber (Darīh) of Lady Fatima Masuma (A)
In this last and latest version of the burial chamber several changes have been made:
- the poems and verses that were inscribed on the upper part of the old chamber were collected and inscribed in gold lettering to go at the top of the new chamber.
- the section between the top of the chamber and the area accessible to the pilgrims, which was formerly made of silver, was replaced with gold.
- The upper chambers and grills which contained over 5000 spheres and tubes were all replaced and made thicker and sturdier. For this section alone, over 200 kilograms of pure silver was used.
- The old wooden foundations, which are not visible, were also replaced with better and more hardwearing wood.
The chamber itself is 4 meters high, 5.25 meters long and 4.73 meters wide. Although outwardly the latest chamber does not seem much different from the former one, it has been made much stronger, sturdier and durable. The total cost of these renovations to the chamber was approximately 3 billion Rials (nearly £250,000).
The project took 5 years to complete. However, by the swift work of the builders who worked three shifts round the clock, the installation of the new chamber was completed in just one month, thereby not unduly inconveniencing the pilgrims.
The new burial chamber was re-opened to the public on the day of Ghadīr 1422 A.H, by Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Taqī Bahjat.
The holy shrine at the present time
The total area of the grounds of the shrine is over 13,000 square meters, which includes the burial chamber (darīh), the porches, the halls, the three courtyards and the two earlier mosques (Tabātabā’ī and Bālā Sar).
More recently, a new mosque (Masjid-e A`đam), which was built by the great Marja’, Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Husain Burūjirdī, was annexed to theH aram . Its dimensions alone exceed 25,000 square meters. His tomb is situated at the entrance of the mosque that he built.
In this mosque, in the mornings, the leading scholars of today give classes to advanced students. The mosque is also used for all the congregational prayers.
Between Masjid-e A`đam and thedarih of Lady Fatima Masuma (A) is situated the mosque known as Masjid-e Bālā Sar. Within this mosque are buried several great scholars of the past, including:
- Grand Ayatollah Shaykh `Abd al-Karīm Hā’irī.
- Grand Ayatollah Shaykh Muhammad Ali Arākī,
- Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Ridā Gulpaygānī
- Grand Ayatollah SayyidSadr al-DīnSadr
- Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Taqī Khānsārī.
- Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Hasan Shirāzī
- Allāmah Sayyid Muhammad HusainTabātabā`ī
- Shahīd Shaykh Murtadā Mutahharī
The Graves of Some Grand Ayatollahs in Masjid Bālā Sar, in the Shrine of Lady Fatima Masuma (A)
The golden dome
In 1218 A.H, Fath Ali Shāh Qājār commissioned the original golden dome of Lady Fatima Masuma (A), using 12000 gold-covered bricks. The dome remained unchanged for over 200 years.
In the year 1421 A.H, plans were made to change it. The event took place as follows:
Ayatollah Mas’udi, the custodian of the holy shrine, narrates:
“One day I went near the dome to study its condition closely. I found that some of the gold had come off and the bricks under it were worn away.
Specialists were called for their opinion on the matter and, after some discussion, they advised that the dome in its present state was not repairable. It needed to be completely covered with copper first, before gold could be placed over it.
It was calculated that the gold that would be recovered from the present dome would be about 20 kilograms, but the restoration would require 10 tonnes of copper and 200 kilograms of 24 carat gold, the cost of which would be about 30 billion Rials (approximately 3 million pounds)
In a special meeting the matter of the cost was brought forth for discussion and I said: “I cannot undertake the responsibility for procuring this cost and furthermore my age does not allow me to take on this great task.”
The discussion took place in a private meeting with only those present in the meeting having knowledge of it.
Some days later, I went to Ayatollah al-`Uđmā, Muhammad Taqī Bahjat to discuss the matter of the reconstruction of the dome. I had not previously informed him of the reason for my visit.
To my great surprise, after greeting me and asking me about my health, he himself said: ‘Why is the dome of Lady Masuma (A) not being fixed, the dome is very worn, start the work, God will send the money needed for this work and He will also grant you a long life.’
I was indeed surprised because the matter of the reconstruction, the problem of the cost involved and my own reservations, were not public knowledge. It was a matter which no one other than those present in the initial meeting knew of.
I answered: ‘The cost of this work is very high and at the present time we do not have the necessary funds.”
After a few days, Ayatollah Behjat contacted me and said, “Start the work, God will send the money for it. Meanwhile, inform the Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khāmene’ī.”
I went to the office of the Leader and explained the matter to him. He said, “I agree with whatever Ayatollah Behjat recommends.”
After the approval of the Leader, I decided to proceed with the reconstruction of the dome. Ayatollah Bahjat gave me 100 million Rials. and an amount of gold to start the work.” 
The Old Golden Dome of the Shrine of
Lady Fatima Masuma (A)
This work commenced at the beginning of the Iranian New Year two years ago and is presently continuing apace. It is aimed to complete the task in the year 1426 A.H, (2005 C.E), Inshā Allah. Continuous progress reports are published in the monthly newspaper of theH aram ,Payām-e Āstān.
The importance of maintaining and looking after the holy shrines is underlined by the following tradition, where the Holy Prophet (S) said to Imam Ali (A):
يا عَليُّ مَنْ عَمَّرَ قُبورَكُمْ وَتَعاهَدَها، فَكَانِّما اَعَانَسُلَيْمانَ ابْنَ داوُدَ عَلى بِناءِ بَيْتِ الْمُقَدَّس
“O Ali, whoever maintains, repairs and reconstructs your tombs, and is constantly engaged in this task, it is as if he has helped Sulaymān ibn Dāwūd (A) build the Bayt al-Muqaddas.”
Inscriptions within the shrine
On the walls of the buildings within the shrine are inscriptions of poems, traditions and verses from the Qur’an in different scripts and using different materials. These decorate the walls, porticos and minarets. A small sample of some of these inscriptions is given below so as to familiarise the reader with the shrine and its markings.
Inscriptions within the dome
On the inside of the dome, and within the burial chamber that was fixed in place in the year 1240 A.H, there are inscribed poems in Nasta`līq script, by Fath ‘Ali Khān Sabā. Both poems are in praise of Lady Fatima Masuma (A) and the Ahl al-Bayt (A).
In the inside of the dome, a gold balcony has been constructed using glazed multicoloured tiles.
On a background of cobalt blue, in the Thulth script, the following tradition has been inscribed in Arabic: (this tradition has been reported by both Shi`a and Sunni scholars)
روى الزّمخشري في تفسيره الموسوم بالكشّاف والثّعلبي في تفسيره الموسومبكشف البيان، عن رسول الله (ص) قال: ألا ومن مات على حبّ آل محمّد مات شهيداً، ألاومن مات على حبّ آل محمّد مات مغفوراً، ألا ومن مات على حبّ آل محمّد مات مؤمناًمتكمّلاً، ألا ومن مات على حبّ محمّد وآل محمّد بشّره ملك الموت ونكير ومنكربالجنّة، ألا من مات على حبّ محمّد وآل محمّد زفّ الى الجنّة، ألا من مات على حبّمحمّد وآل محمّد فتح الله له فى قبره بابين الى الجنّة، ألا ومن مات على حبّ محمّدوآل محمّد جعل الله قبره مزار ملائكة الرّحمة، ألا ومن مات على بغض محمّد وآل محمّدجاء يوم القيامة مكتوب بين عينيه آيس من رحمة الله، ألا ومن مات على بغض آل محمّدمات كافراً، ألا ومن مات على بغض آل محمّد لم يشمّ رائحة الجنّة.
The translation of the text is as follows:
Zamakhsharī in his al-Kashshāf and Tha`labī in his Kashf al-Bayān [two great Sunni scholars] have both narrated from the Messenger of Allah, who said:
“Be aware that whoever dies having love for the family of Muhammad dies a martyr.
Be aware that whoever dies having love for the family of Muhammad dies forgiven.
Be aware that whoever dies having love for the family of Muhammad dies with faith and perfection.
Be aware that whoever dies having love for Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, the angel of death and the two angels, Nakīr and Munkar will give him good tidings of Heaven.
Be aware that whoever dies having love for Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, will be raised to Heaven.
Be aware that whoever dies having love for Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, Allah will open two doors leading into Heaven in his grave.
Be aware that whoever dies having love for Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, Allah will make his grave a place of pilgrimage for the angels of Mercy.
Be aware that whoever dies having enmity for Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, on the Day of Judgement, in between his two eyes will be written, “He has no hope of receiving the mercy of Allah.”
Be aware that whoever dies having enmity for the family of Muhammad, dies an unbeliever (Kāfir).
Be aware that whoever dies having enmity for the family of Muhammad will not even smell the fragrance of Heaven.”
Then under it, has been written:
اَللّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى الْمُصْطَفى مُحَمَّدٍ، والمرتضى عليِّ،والبتول فاطمة، والسّبطين الحسن والحسين، وزين العابدين علي، والباقر محمّد، والصّادق جعفر، والكاظم موسى، والرّضا علي، والتّقي محمّد، والنّقي علي، والزكيّالحسن، والحجّة القائم المهدي صاحب الزّمان، ائمَة الهُدى ومصابيح الدّجى، بهمأتولّى، ومن أعدائهم اتبرّءُ
Which translates as:
“O Allah! Send Your blessings on al-Mustafā Muhammad, on al-Murtadā Ali, on al-Batūl Fatima, on the two grandsons [of the Prophet], Hasan and Husain, on Zayn al-`Ābidīn Ali, on al-Bāqir Muhammad, on al-Sādiq Ja`far, on al-Kāzim Mūsā, on al-Ridā Ali, on al-Taqī Muhammad, on al-Naqī Ali, on al-Zakī Hasan and on al-Hujjat al-Qā’im Mahdi, Master of the Time. These are the Imams of guidance and the lights in the darkness; I accept their guardianship and maintain enmity with their enemies.”
Inscriptions on the tomb
The tomb is built up with bricks, which are decorated with different coloured glass tiles, and on them are inscribed:
§ The Verse al-Kursī (2:255), written in Naskh script
§ Various verses, written in Naskh script, in gold lettering
§ Various verses, written in Kūfī script
§ The Chapter al-Mulk, written in Naskh script, in gold lettering
§ Other verses from the Qur’an.
Under the inscriptions, it is written in Naskh script: “Written and inscribed by Muhammad ibn AbīTāhir ibn Abī al-Husain.”
On the glass tiles around the grave from above to below are engraved:
The Chapter Yāsīn,
The Chapter al-Rahmān,
The Chapter al-Mulk,
The Chapter Hal Atā
The Chapter al-Qadr
and also several traditions from the Prophet (S), which are reproduced below:
قالَ النَّبِي (ص) : مَنْ كَفَّ لِسانَهُ عَنْ اَعْراضِ النّاسِ،اَقالَهُ اللهُ عَثْرَتَهُ يَوْمَ الْقيامَةِ
“Whoever guards his tongue from dishonouring the people, on the Day of Judgement, God will forgive his lapses.” Tradition 2:
مَنْ فَرَّقَ بَيْنَ وَالِدَةٍ وَوَلَدِها، فَرَّقَ اللهُ بَيْنَهُوَبَيْنَ الْجَنَّةِ
“Whoever causes a separation between a mother and her child, God will cause a separation between him and Heaven.” Tradition 3:
حُسْنُ السّؤالِ نِصْفُ الْعِلْمِ
“A good question is half of learning.” Tradition 4:
اللهُ تَعالى عَوْنُ الْعَبْدِ ما دامَ الْعَبْدُ في عَوْنِ اَخيهُ
“God, Most High, helps His servant so long as the servant helps his brother.”
3.11 - Miracles that have occurred at the holy shrine
Numerous miracles have taken place at the shrine of Lady Fatima Masuma (A) over the centuries. Pilgrims come here for the blessing of the noble lady and are not disappointed. Miraculous events are scrupulously recorded in a special office within the shrine and details of some of them are regularly published in issues of the shrine’s monthly newspaper, the Payām-e Āstān.
There are so many miracles which have occurred at this holy site, that it would not be possible to mention them all. Perhaps the only non-Ma`sum whose shrine is the site for similar occurrences is Hadzrat `Abbās (A) in Karbalā and Lady Zaynab (A) in Damascus . Here, a few brief examples are mentioned:
Bihār al-Anwār , vol. 60, p. 219. 
The family of the Safavids reigned in Iran for 230 years, from 905AH until 1135AH. The rulers were: Shāh Ismā`īl I, ShāhTahmasb I, Shāh Ismā`īl II, Shāh `Abbās I, Shāh |afīy, Shāh `Abbās II, Shāh Sulaymān, Shāh Sultān Husain, ShāhTahmāsb II, Shāh Ismā`īl III and Shāh `Abbās III. 
The reign of the Qājārs in Iran was from 1200 A.H until 1339 A.H. The rulers were: Āqā Muhammad Khān, Fath Ali Shāh, Muhammad Shāh, Nāsir al- Dīn Shāh, Muzaffar al-Dīn Shāh, Muhammad Ali Shāh and Ahmad Shāh. 
Ganjīne-ye Athār-e Qum , p. 10. 
Cited f rom the monthly newspaper of the holy shrine in Qum , Payām-e Āstān, 23/09/1379 Hejrī Shamsī, p. 4. 
Bihār al-Anwār , vol. 100, p. 121. 
Cited from, Hadrat-e Ma`sūma – Fātima-ye Duvvum , pp. 227 & 228.