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A city of south-central Iraq near the Euphrates River. A center of Shiite Islam, it is a starting point for the pilgrimage to Mecca.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Placename) a holy city in central Iraq, near the River Euphrates; burial place of the Caliph Ali and a centre of the Shiite faith. Pop: 639 000 (2005 est)
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈnædʒ æf)

also An-Najaf

a city in central Iraq: holy city of the Shi‘ites; shrine contains tomb of Ali (a.d. c600–661). 472,103.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
BAGHDAD, July 5 (KUNA) -- A Kuwaiti delegation visited city of An-Najaf to thank Grand religious scholar Ali Sistani for praising His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah's "national unity" sentiments following Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque terrorist attack.
This is the northern most Brigade of USD-S with forces in Karbala, Babil, Wasit, Diwaniyah, and An-Najaf Provinces.
The division also traveled down to An-najaf, southwest of Baghdad, one of the holiest Shia Muslim sites in the world."
Nayif Shindakh Thamir Ghalib: Baath Party Regional Chairman An-Najaf Governorate.
A Jerusalem Post reporter "embedded" with a 3rd US Infantry unit said the site had been discovered in the city of An-Najaf, about 90 miles from Baghdad.