Karbala (كربلاء; Al-Karbalā’; also spelled Karbala Moalla) is one of the holiest places of the world located in current day Iraq. Geographically it is located about 100 km southwest of Baghdad, the capitol city of Irag. It is at 32.61°N, 44.08°E. In the time of Imam Husain ibn Alī AS's life, the place was also known as al-Ghadiriyah, Naynawa, and Shathi'ul-Furaat, and many other names. The estimated population of this city in 2003 was around 572,300 people. Karbala is also known to be a compound word in Arabic. "Karb" means anxiety and torment while "bala" means trial or tribulation.

The City

The city is one of Iraq's wealthiest, profiting both from religious visitors and agricultural produce, especially dates. It is made up of two districts, "Old Karbala," the religious centre, and "New Karbala," the residential district containing Islamic schools and government buildings.

At the centre of the old city is the Masjid Al-Husain AS, the tomb of Husain ibn Alī AS(حسين إبن علي إبن أﺑﻲ طالب)‎, the grandson of Rasulullah SA, by his daughter Maulatena Fatimah az-Zahra AS and ˤAlī ibn Abi-Taalib AS.

 
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