In January 1902 the German group holding the Anatolian railway concession was granted a further concession for extending that railway from Konia, then its terminus, through the Taurus range and by way of the Euphrates, Nisibin, Mosul, the Tigris, Bagdad, Kerbela and Nejef to Basra, thus establishing railway communication between the Bosporus and the Persian Gulf.
The Arakhtu, or " river of Babylon," flowed past the southern side of the city, and to the south-west of it on the Arabian bank lay the great inland freshwater sea of Nejef, surrounded by red sandstone cliffs of considerable height, 40 m.
NEJEF, or Meshed 'Ali, a town of Asiatic Turkey, in the pashalik of Bagdad, 50 m.
Outside the walls, over the sterile sand plateau, stretch great fields of tombs and graves, for Nejef is so holy that he who is buried here will surely enter paradise.
While the population of Nejef is estimated at from 20,000 to 30,000, there is in addition a very large floating population of pilgrims, who are constantly arriving, bringing corpses in all stages of decomposition and accompanied at times by sick and aged persons, who have come to Nejef to die.
Nejef is also the point of departure from which Persian pilgrims start on the journey to Mecca.
Of modern Nejef, by the Sa'ade canal, on the shore of the Bahr Nejef or Assyrium Stagnum.
Of Nejef (32° 4' N., 44° 20' E.), was founded by the Arabs after the battle of Kadesiya in A.D.
Since that time the ruins have served as quarries for bricks for the building of Nejef, and at the present time little remains but holes in the ground, representing excavations for bricks, with broken fragments of brick and glass strewn over a considerable area.
Between the Euphrates and the Arabian plateau lie the sacred cities of Kerbela or Meshed-Hosain, and Nejef or Meshed Ali, with a population of 20,000 to 60,000 each, while a number of towns, varying in population from 3000 to 10,000, are found along the Euphrates (Anah, Hit, Ramadieh, Musseyib, Hilla, Diwanieh and Samawa) and the Tigris (Tekrit, Samarra and Kut elAmara).
The highest authority of all is vested in the muftahid who resides at Kerbela, or Nejef, near Bagdad, and is considered by many S/ziites as the vicegerent of the Prophet and representative of the imam.