Al-Najaf * is one of the famous and holiest cities in Iraq. Najaf is an Arabic word that means a high land where water cannot be reached. It's a city situated on high plateau over a sandy ground looking down from northern and eastern sides on wide scope camp of domes and tombs called (valley of the peace).
In the ancient history of Iraq , Najaf was recognized as an extensive large city in Iraq with a large number of population,nice buildings and good markets where many of princes used to enjoy their summer time .Although Najaf was far away from Euphrates , they built canals and streams to bring water to the city.
In the middle of the city there is a tremendous and most remarkable tomb for Imam Ali Bin Abi Talib (The Prophet Mohammed's' Cousin). The great fantastic tomb made of pure silver and covered with golden dome, decorated by fantastic colored mosaic , mirrors and valuable golden candles presented by Nadir Shah (King of Persia).
There are many treasures , full of rare jewels , silky carpets and ornaments provided by famous kings of India and Persia.
Najaf is an Islamic center for scientific , literary and theological studies for the whole Islamic world and mainly for the Shiites , therefore Najaf was the attractive for a large number of people , poets , authors and other visitors from China , /India , Lebanon , Tibet , Afghanistan , Pakistan and Iran which is estimated annually over half a million.
Such a phenomena has a great effect on the economics , social and ritual life of Najaf.
* Encyclopedia of Islamic countries , volume (2) Najaf - Ja' far Al- Khalili.