Najaf (Arabic: ٱلنَّجَف) or An-Najaf al-Ashraf (Arabic: ٱلنَّجَف ٱلْأَشْرَف), also known as Baniqia (Arabic: بَانِيقِيَا), is a city in central Iraq about 160 km (100 mi) south of Baghdad. Its estimated population in 2013 was 1,000,000 people.[2] It is the capital of Najaf Governorate. It is widely considered amongst the holiest cities of Shia Islam and one of its spiritual capitals, whilst also remaining the center of Shia political power in Iraq.[8]

An-Najaf al-Ashraf, Baniqia
Imam Ali Shrine, the holiest site of Shia Muslims and one of the most important sites of Najaf
Location of Najaf within Iraq
Coordinates: 32°00′00″N 44°20′00″E
Country Iraq
ProvinceNajaf Governorate
60 m (200 ft)
 Approximate figures[2]
Time zoneUTC+3
Najaf (Iraq)

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