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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.
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). In other hadiths the Euphrates is mentioned as a believer and a heavenly river.
In the Apocalypse
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.
- Ibn Shahrshub, Vol.3, P.351
- Al-Kulayni, Vol.6, P.392
- Al-Kulayni, Vol.6, P.389
- Al-Tabrisi, P.586
- 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.