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Euphrates

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The map of Euphrates

Euphrates (Arabic: Furāt, الفرات, literally: fresh water),[1] 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. Many historical civilizations developed in this area; for example, Babylon the capital of the Babylonian Empire was built on the banks of the Euphrates.[2]

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.[3] In hadith, the Euphrates is mahr of Lady Fatima (a).[4] In other hadiths the Euphrates is mentioned as a believer and a heavenly river.[5]

It is recommended to perform ghusl (ritual bath) in the water of the Euphrates before ziyara of Imam al-Husayn's (a) shrine, this ghusl results in the forgiveness of sins.[6]

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).[7]

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".[8]

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 to water.[9] 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.[10]

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 to give the blessing.

Notes

  1. Dihkhudā, Farhang-i lughat.
  2. Muhaddithī, Farhang-i Āshūrā, p. 341.
  3. Kulaynī, Uṣūl al-Kāfī, vol. 6, p. 392.
  4. Ibn Shahrāshūb, Manāqib Āl Abī Ṭālib, vol. 3, p. 351 quoting from Muhaddithī, Farhang-i Āshūrā, p. 440.
  5. Kulaynī, Uṣūl al-Kāfī, vol. 6, p. 392.
  6. Fattāl al-Nayshābūrī, Rawḍat al-wāʿiẓīn wa baṣīrat al-muttaʿzīn, p. 320.
  7. Majlisī, Tuḥfat al-zāʾir, p. 186.
  8. Ṭabrisī, Iʿlām al-warā bi-aʿlām al-hudā, p. 586.
  9. Dīnawarī, al-Akhbār al-ṭiwāl, p. 255; Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 3, p. 180; Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 5, p. 412; Mufīd, al-Irshād, vol. 2, p. 86.
  10. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 5, p. 446-449; Ibn Shahrāshūb, Manāqib Āl Abī Ṭālib, vol. 4, p. 108.

References

  • Balādhurī, Aḥmad b. Yaḥyā al-. Ansāb al-ashrāf. Edited by Muḥammad Bāqir Maḥmūdī. 1st edition. Beirut: Dār al-Taʿāruf, 1977.
  • Dīnawarī, Aḥmad b. Dāwūd al-. al-Akhbār al-ṭiwāl. Edited by ʿAbd al-Munʿim ʿĀmir and Jamāl al-Dīn Shiyāl. Qom: Manshūrāt al-Sharīf al-Raḍī, 1368 Sh.
  • Fattāl al-Nayshābūrī, Muḥammad b. al-Aḥmad al-. Rawḍat al-wāʿiẓīn wa baṣīrat al-muttaʿzīn. Edited by Maḥmūd Mahdawī Dāmghānī. Tehran: Intishārāt-i Ney, 1366 Sh.
  • Ibn Shahrāshūb, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī. Manāqib Āl Abī Ṭālib. Qom: ʿAllāma, 1379 AH.
  • Kulaynī, Muḥammad b. Yaʿqūb al-. Uṣūl al-Kāfī. Edited by ʿAlī Akbar Ghaffārī. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmiyya, 1388 AH.
  • Muhaddithī, Javād. Farhang-i Āshūrā. Qom: Nashr-i Maʿrūf, 1376 Sh.
  • Majlisī, Muḥammad Bāqir al-. Tuḥfat al-zāʾir. Qom: Payām-i Imām Hādī, 1386 Sh.
  • Mufīd, Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-. Al-Irshād. Beirut: Muʾassisa al-Aʿlamī li-l-Maṭbūʿāt, 1399 AH.
  • Ṭabrisī, Faḍl b. al-Ḥasan al-. Zindigānī-yi chāhārdah maʿṣūm translation of the book Iʿlām al-warā bi-aʿlām al-hudā. translated by ʿAṭārudī, ʿAzīz Allāh. Tehran: Intishārāt-i Islāmiyya, [n.d].
  • Ṭabarī, Muḥammad b. Jarīr al-.Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk. Edited by Muḥammad Abu l-faḍl Ibrāhīm. Second edition. Beirut: Dar al-Turāth, 1967.