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Kufa
Kufa
(Arabic: الكوفة‎ al-Kūfah) is a city in Iraq, about 170 kilometres (110 mi) south of Baghdad, and 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) northeast of Najaf. It is located on the banks of the Euphrates
Euphrates
River. The estimated population in 2003 was 110,000. Presently, Kufa
Kufa
and Najaf
Najaf
are joined into a single urban area that is mostly commonly known to the outside world as 'Najaf'. Along with Samarra, Karbala, Kadhimiya
Kadhimiya
and Najaf, Kufa
Kufa
is one of five Iraqi cities that are of great importance to Shi'ite Muslims. The city was the final capital of the fourth Rashidun Caliph, that is Ali
Ali
ibn Abu Talib, and was founded during 639 CE (17 Hijrah) by the second Rashidun Caliph, that is Umar
Umar
ibn Al-Khattab.[1] It is also related that, Muslims after conquest of Al-Madain were searching to have a suitable place for habitation. Likewise others, Salman and Hudhayfa bin al-Yamman were also looking for. Just choosing the land they offered prayers there. Since that day the foundation of Kufa
Kufa
had taken place.[2]

Contents

1 History

1.1 Establishment during Umar's era 1.2 Uthman's era

1.2.1 Governorship of Al-Walid 1.2.2 Setbacks and governorship of Abu Musa

1.3 Ali's era 1.4 Umayyad
Umayyad
era

1.4.1 Governorship of Ziyad

1.5 Revolts 1.6 Abbasid
Abbasid
era

1.6.1 Kufa
Kufa
in Islamic theology and scholarship

1.7 Post- Abbasid
Abbasid
history

2 Religious significance 3 People related to Kufa 4 See also 5 References 6 Bibliography 7 External links

History[edit] See also: Ancient Mesopotamia

The Great Mosque of Kufa, 1915 CE

Even in the days of the Rashidun Caliphate, Kufa
Kufa
was prominent in literacy and politics, being founded before Uthman
Uthman
(whom Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri among others credited with the canonisation of the Quran's text). From the perspective of 8th-century CE (2nd-century AH) Medina and Damascus, Kufa
Kufa
was associated with "variant" readings and interpretations of the Qur'an, typically in the name of Ibn Mas'ud
Ibn Mas'ud
and often (it was claimed) read from the pulpit as if they were part of the Qur'an itself. It became said that Uthman
Uthman
had sent an exemplar of the text to Kufa, but that it was burnt during the wars of Mukhtar and Ibn Zubayr. Al-Hajjaj restored or at any rate promulgated the standard text under Abd al-Malik, castigating even the memory of Abd Allah ibn Mas'ud as "Ibn Umm Abd (son of a slave's mother)". But a faction in Kufa
Kufa
preserved the readings "of ‘Abd Allah/Ibn Mas‘ud", whence Mujahid
Mujahid
and his fellow mujtahids compiled them along with other readings and interpretations. From there these readings entered the vast repository of Near Eastern hadith, ultimately to be written down into collections of hadith and tafsir.[citation needed] Establishment during Umar's era[edit] The Arabs, led by Caliph
Caliph
Umar, conquered Iraq
Iraq
and began ruling Suristan around 637. Umar, who assigned the land of the Jews in Arabia to his warriors, ordered the relocation of the Jews of Khaybar
Khaybar
to a strip of land in Kufa, in 640.[3] After the Arab victory against the East Roman Empire at Battle of Yarmouk in 636, Kufa
Kufa
was founded and given its name in 637–638 CE, about the same time as Basrah. The Companion of the Prophet Saʻd ibn Abī Waqqas founded it as an encampment adjacent to the Lakhmid
Lakhmid
Arab city of Al-Hīrah, and incorporated it as a city of seven divisions. Non-Arabs knew the city under alternate names: Hīrah and Aqulah, before the consolidations of ʻAbdu l-Mālik in 691.[4] However, in the 640s, the Kufan commons were agitated that Umar's governor was distributing the spoils of war unfairly. In 642 ʻ Umar
Umar
summoned Saʻd to Medina
Medina
with his accusers. Despite finding Sa'd to be innocent, Umar deposed him to avert ill feelings. At first, Umar
Umar
appointed Ammar ibn Yasir and secondly Basra's first Governor Abū Mūsā al-Ashʻarī; but the Kufan instigators accepted neither. ʻ Umar
Umar
and the Kufans finally agreed on Al-Mughīrah ibn Shuʻbah. Uthman's era[edit] Governorship of Al-Walid[edit] Following Umar's death (644), his successor Uthman
Uthman
replaced Mughirah with Al-Walid ibn Uqba in 645. This happened while the Arabs were continuing their conquest of western Persia under Uthman
Uthman
ibn Hakam from Tawwaj, but late in the 640s, these forces suffered setbacks. Setbacks and governorship of Abu Musa[edit] Uthman
Uthman
in 650 reorganised the Iranian frontier; both Basra
Basra
and Kufa received new governors ( Sa'id ibn al-'As in Kufa's case), and the east came under Basra's command while north of that remained under Kufa's. The few but noticeable trouble makers in Kufa
Kufa
sought in 654 and had Sa'id deposed and instead showed satisfaction with the return of Abu Musa, which Uthman
Uthman
approved seeking to please all. Kufa
Kufa
remained a source of instigations albeit from a minority. In 656 when the Egyptian instigators, in co-operation with those in Kufa, marched onto the Caliph
Caliph
Uthman
Uthman
in Medina, Abu Musa
Abu Musa
counselled the instigators to no avail. Ali's era[edit] Upon Uthman's assassination by rebels, governor Abu Musa
Abu Musa
attempted to restore a non-violent atmosphere in Kufa. The Muslims in Medina
Medina
and elsewhere supported the right of Ali ibn Abu Talib
Ali ibn Abu Talib
to the caliphate. In order to manage the Military frontiers more efficiently, Ali shifted the capital from Medina
Medina
to Kufa. The people of Syria
Syria
and their governor, Muawiyah, who seized the Caliphate
Caliphate
for himself and his family by using the confusion caused by the assassination of Caliph
Caliph
Uthman
Uthman
and being disturbed by the brutal assassination of the Caliph
Caliph
Uthman, demanded retribution. As Muawiyah mounted his campaign to hold Ali
Ali
responsible for the murder of Uthman, factions developed. In an already emotionally charged atmosphere, Muawiyah's refusal to give allegiance to Ali
Ali
as the Caliph
Caliph
without Ali avenging Uthman
Uthman
first eventually, led to war. While praying in the Great Mosque of Kufa, Ali
Ali
was attacked by the Khawarij
Khawarij
Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljam. He was wounded by ibn Muljam's poison-coated sword while prostrating in the Fajr prayer. Umayyad
Umayyad
era[edit] Governorship of Ziyad[edit] Muawiyah I appointed Ziyad ibn Abihi
Ziyad ibn Abihi
as the Governor of Kufa, after Hasan's migration to Medina, which was a peace treaty which dictated he abdicate his right to caliphate to avoid an open war among Muslims. Some of Hasan's followers, like Hujr ibn Adi, were unhappy with the peace treaty, and did not change their ways according to the edicts of the new Governor. This became increasingly noticeable, since it created a rebellion against the ruler. However, Ziyad ibn Abihi
Ziyad ibn Abihi
was an equally keen strategist and politician, and was able to put down all challenges posed by the rebels against his rule.[citation needed] Revolts[edit] Throughout the Umayyad
Umayyad
era, as was the case since the inception of the city by Umar
Umar
ibn Khattab, there were those among Kufa's inhabitants who were rebellious to their rulers. Yazid I
Yazid I
was declared as the Second Umayyad
Umayyad
Caliph
Caliph
which led to a rebellion among Kufans and they turned to Muhammad's grandson Husayn for help and leadership. Yazid appointed Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad
Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad
as the new Governor to put down the rebellion, and kill Husayn if he did not acknowledge his Caliphate, culminating in the Battle of Karbala. There was a period of relative calm during the short reign of Al-Mukhtar's rulership, and the Umayyad-era Governorship of Al-Hajjaj.[citation needed] Abbasid
Abbasid
era[edit] In 749, the Abbasids
Abbasids
under al-Hasan ibn Qahtaba took Kufa
Kufa
and made it their capital. In 762, they moved their seat to Baghdad. Under the Umayyad
Umayyad
and early Abbasid
Abbasid
decades, Kufa's importance gradually shifted from caliphal politics to Islamic theory and practice.[citation needed] Kufa
Kufa
in Islamic theology and scholarship[edit] Wael Hallaq notes that by contrast with Medina
Medina
and to a lesser extent Syria, in Iraq
Iraq
there was no unbroken Muslim
Muslim
or Ishmaelite population dating back to the prophet Muhammad's time. Therefore, Maliki
Maliki
(and Azwa'i) appeals to the practice amal () of the community could not apply. Instead the people of Iraq
Iraq
relied upon those Companions of the Muhammad
Muhammad
who settled there, and upon such factions from the Hijaz
Hijaz
whom they respected most. A primary founder of a Sunni
Sunni
school of thought, Abu Hanifa, was a Kufan who had supported the Zaydi Revolt
Zaydi Revolt
in the 730s; and his jurisprudence was systematised and defended against non-Iraqi rivals (starting with Malikism) by other Kufans, such as al-Shaybani. Shirazi's "Tabaqat", which Hallaq labels "an important early biographical work dedicated to jurists", covered 84 "towering figures" of Islamic jurisprudence; to which Kufa
Kufa
provided 20. It was therefore a center surpassed only by Medina
Medina
(22), although Basra
Basra
came close (17). Kufans could claim that the more prominent of Muhammad's Companions had called that city home: not only Ibn Abu Waqqas, Abu Musa, and Ali; but also Abd Allah ibn Mas'ud, Salman the Persian, Ammar ibn Yasir, and Huzayfa ibn Yaman. Among its jurists prior to Abu Hanifa, Hallaq singles out Sa'id ibn Jubayr, Ibrahim al-Nakha‘i, and Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman; and considers Amir al-Sha‘bi a pioneer in the science of judicial precedent. Additionally, Imam Muhammad
Muhammad
al-Baqir and his son Jafar al-Sadiq
Jafar al-Sadiq
made decisions from Medina
Medina
that contributed to the law of Kufa; and to this day Shi‘ite law follows their example. Imam Abu Hanifa
Abu Hanifa
too learnt from al-Baqir and especially al-Sadiq. As a result, while Hanafi school is doctrinally Sunni, in practical terms Hanafi
Hanafi
law is closer to Imami law than either is to the other schools of jurisprudence i.e. of Malik, Shafi‘i, and Ibn Hanbal. Kufa
Kufa
was also among the first centers of Qur'anic interpretation, which Kufans credited to the exegete Mujahid
Mujahid
(until he escaped to Mecca
Mecca
in 702). It further recorded general traditions as Hadith; in the 9th century, Yahya ibn ‘Abd al-Hamid al-Himmani compiled many of these into a Musnad. Given Kufa's opposition to Damascus, Kufan traditionists had their own take on Umayyad
Umayyad
history. The historian Abu Mikhnaf al-Azdi (d. 774) compiled their accounts into a rival history, which became popular under Abbasid
Abbasid
rule. This history does not survive but later historians like Tabari quoted from it extensively. Kufa
Kufa
is also where the kufic script was developed, the earliest script of the Arabic language. As the scholar al-Qalqashandi maintained, "The Arabic script [khatt] is the one which is now known as Kufic. From it evolved all the present hands." The angular script which later came to be known as Kufic
Kufic
had its origin about a century earlier than the founding of the town of Kufa, according to Moritz in the Encyclopaedia of Islam. The kufic script was derived from one of the four pre-Islamic Arabic scripts, the one called al-Hiri (used in Hira). (The other three were al-Anbari (from Anbar), al-Makki (from Mecca) and al-Madani (from Medina)). The famous author of the Kitab al-Fihrist, an index of Arabic books, Ibn al-Nadim (died ca. 999), was the first to use the word 'kufic' to characterize this script, which reached a state of decorative perfection in the 8th century, when surahs were used to decorate ceramics, for representations of nature were strictly forbidden under the Islamic regime.[citation needed] Post- Abbasid
Abbasid
history[edit] Kufa
Kufa
began to come under constant attack in the 11th century and eventually shrunk and lost its importance. Over the last century, the population of Kufa
Kufa
began to grow again. It continues to be an important pilgrimage site for Shi'ite Muslims.[citation needed] Religious significance[edit] See also: Iraq
Iraq
in the Quran The town has produced several Shi'ite Muslim
Muslim
scholars.[5] It also contains buildings of importance to Shi'ites:

The Great Mosque of Kufa
Great Mosque of Kufa
was constructed in the middle of the 7th century, after the Caliph
Caliph
Omar established the city. The mosque contains the remains of Muslim
Muslim
ibn Aqeel — first cousin of Husayn ibn Ali, his companion Hani ibn Urwa, and the revolutionary Al-Mukhtar. The Mosque also contains many important sites relating to Prophets and ‘Alī, including the place where he was fatally struck on the head, while in Sujūd (Arabic: سُـجـود‎, Prostration). Ali's house The tomb of Zayd ibn Ali Al-Hannanah Mosque, which contains some of the skin that was ripped off Husayn posthumously by his adversaries The tomb of Maytham al-Tammar The tomb of Kumayl ibn Ziyad Al-Sahlah Mosque, which is associated with the Twelfth Imam
Twelfth Imam
of the Twelver
Twelver
Shia

People related to Kufa[edit]

Ali
Ali
– Caliph Husayn bin Ali
Ali
– Battle of Karbala Muslim
Muslim
ibn Aqeel Yaqub ibn Ishaq al-Kindi
Yaqub ibn Ishaq al-Kindi
– theologian Abu Hanifah Sufyan al-Thawri Alqama ibn Qays Dawud al-Zahiri Abd Allah ibn Mas'ud Abd-Allah ibn Aamir Hadhrami Al-Aswad ibn Yazid Masruq ibn al-Ajda'

See also[edit]

Al-Hirah Ghurabiyya Shia Great Mosque (Kufa) Shiism

References[edit]

^ Al-Tabari, Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn Jarir (2004). Tareekh Tabari (Urdu translation). Syed Muhammad
Muhammad
Ibrahim Nadavi & Habib-ul-Rehman Siddiqui (Devband Scholar). Nafees Academy, Karachi, Pakistan. pp. 52–53 (Vol.III Part–1 Events of 17 AH).  ^ Web Admin. "Salman Farsi, the Son of Islam". Sibtayn International Foundation. Retrieved September 20, 2015.  ^ History of the Jews, Heinrich Graetz, Vol 3. Page 84, Trans. Bella Lowy, London 1892. ^ Tareekh e Tabri, vol 3 page 52. ^ The United States Army in Operation Iraqi Freedom, p 330, Donald P. Wright, Timothy R. Reese

Bibliography[edit]

Crone, Patricia. Roman, Provincial and Islamic Law: The Origins of the Islamic Patronate. Cambridge University Press, paperback ed. 2002 Hallaq, Wael. The Origins and Evolution of Islamic Law. Cambridge University Press, 2005 Hawting, Gerald R. The First Dynasty of Islam. Routledge. 2nd ed, 2000 Hinds, Martin. Studies in Early Islamic History. Darwin Press, 1997 Hoyland, Robert G. Seeing Islam as Others Saw It. Darwin Press, 1997

External links[edit]

Kufa

Coordinates: 32°02′N 44°24′E / 32.033°N 44.400°E / 32.033; 44.400

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