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KUFAH, AL-:

Ruined city of Asiatic Turkey, 88 miles south of Bagdad, situated on an affluent of the Euphrates; founded by Omar on the ruins of Ctesiphon in 639. A strip of land near it was given by him to the Jewish exiles from Arabia. An important Jewish community existed at Al-Kufah from the time of the unfortunate Calif 'Ali, with whom the Jews sided in his struggle against Mu'awiyah. Benjamin of Tudela visited the place at the end of the twelfth century, and found there 7,000 Jews. Tradition made the site of Al-Kufah the burial-place of King Jeconiah; and at the time of Benjamin of Tudela the supposed sepulcher was still in existence. It consisted of a large building in front of which was a synagogue.

Bibliography:
  • Abu al-Fida, Annales, ed. Adler, i. 135;
  • Weil, Gesch. der Chalifen, i. 56;
  • Grätz, Gesch. v. 114;
  • Benjamin of Tudela, Itinerary, ed. Asher, p. 69.
G. I. Br.
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