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KUFA, a Moslem city, situated on the shore of the Hindieh canal, about 4 m. E. by N. of Nejef (32 4' N., 44 20' E.), was founded by the Arabs after the battle of Kadesiya in A.D. 638 as one of the two capitals of the new territory of Irak, the whole country being divided into the sawads, or districts, of Basra and Kufa. The caliph 'Ali made it his residence and the capital of his caliphate. After the removal of the capital to Bagdad, in the middle of the following century, Kufa lost its importance and began to fall into decay. At the beginning of the 1pth century, travellers reported extensive and important ruins as marking the ancient site. Since that time the ruins have served as quarries for bricks for the building of Nejef, and at the present time little remains but holes in the ground, representing excavations for bricks, with broken fragments of brick and glass strewn over a considerable area. A mosque still stands on the spot where 'Ali is reputed to have worshipped. (For history see CALIPHATE.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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