Euphrates

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The map of Euphrates

Euphrates (Arabic: Furāt, الفرات, literally: fresh water), is a river originates in Turkey, flows through Syria and Iraq, then empties into the Persian Gulf.

The Tragedy of Karbala occurred in the bank of this river, and in hadith, some excellences and special characters are attributed to it.

Geographical Location

The length of the Euphrates is approximately 2900 kilometers and emerges from two main branches in southeastern Turkey. After crossing Syria and Iraq, it confluences with the Tigris in the "Shatt al-'Arab", which confluences with the Karun River, in the "Arvand Rud" and then empties into the Persian Gulf.

The Euphrates and the Tigris have formed a fertile area which is called Mesopotamia. This area is one of the oldest human civilization centers and many historical civilizations developed in this area; for example, Babylon the capital of Babylonian Empire was built in the banks of the Euphrates.

In Hadith

The Euphrates is a sacred and virtuous river. According to a hadith, two rainwater spouts from paradise pour in the Euphrates and it is a blessing river. In hadith, the Euphrates is mahr of Lady Fatima (a).[1] In other hadiths the Euphrates is mentioned as a believer and a heavenly river.[2]

It is recommended to perform ghusl (ritual bath) in the water of the Euphrates before ziyarah of Imam al-Husayn's (a) shrine, this ghusl results in the forgiveness of sins.

Drinking the water of the Euphrates is also recommended, and it is said that the person who drinks its water and the newborn baby who is fed with its water, will be a lover of Ahl al-Bayt (a).[3]

In the Apocalypse

It is narrated from Imam al-Sadiq (a) that "In the year of victory (rise of imam al-Mahdi (a)) the Euphrates will overflow and will flow in alleys of Kufa".[4]

In the Battle of Karbala

The Euphrates reminds the Battle of Karbala. In Muharram of 61/680, forces of 'Ubayd Allah b. Ziyad besieged Imam al-Husayn (a) and his followers and blocked the Euphrates and did not let the camp of Imam al-Husayn (a) access water. Al-'Abbas b. 'Ali was martyred, when he had gone to the 'Alqama Creek (a branch of the Euphrates) to bring water for thirsty children.

In Shi'a culture, the water of Euphrates like the soil of Karbala is the symbol of the tragedy of Karbala, so feeding a newborn baby with the Euphrates and the turbah of Imam al-Husayn (a) is common in order to give the blessing.

Notes

  1. Ibn Shahrshub, Vol.3, P.351
  2. Al-Kulayni, Vol.6, P.392
  3. Al-Kulayni, Vol.6, P.389
  4. Al-Tabrisi, P.586

References

  • The material for this article is mainly taken from فرات in Farsi Wikishia.
  • Kulayni, Muhammad b. Ya'qub al-. 'Usul al-kafi. Ed. 'Ali Akbar Ghaffari. Qom: Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyya, 1388/1968;
  • Tabrisi, al-Fadl b. al-Hasan al-. Zindigani-yi chahardah ma'sum tarjuma-yi kitab-i i'lam al-wara bi-a'lam al-huda. Trans. 'Aziz Allah 'Atarudi Quchani. Tehran: Intisharat Islamiyya.