Al-'alqami River is the renowned river of the holy city of Karbala, and it has been linked to the hero of the timeless revolution of At-Taf; Aba Al-Fadl Al-Abbas (peace be upon him), so where is this river right now, and where is its source?
Al-'alqami River is one of the rivers that irrigated anciently the lands of Karbala, and now it is one of the forgotten heritage of the city. And as for its trajectory and its source, the historians have three views:
First opinion: Al-Masoudi in his book Tanbeeh wa ichraf and Ibn khardadhbeh in Al-Masalik stated: When the Euhrates passes Hit and Anbar, it splits into two, one of them goes to the West called "Al-'alqami" until it reaches Al-Kufa.
When it enters to Karbala, it passes by the north of the shrine of 'Awn and goes towards the south to irrigate the lands [ghadiriyah] of Bani Asad, and the lands on its eastern side, along of which there is the source of Imam Ja'far son of Mohammed (peace be upon both of them) on the western shore of Al-'alqami.
And the bridge of Ghadiryah links between it and the source, then it veers to the Northwest, dividing the eastern part of Karbala at the foot of the shrine of Al-Abbas (peace be upon him), then it goes to the south-east of Karbala passing through the village of Nineveh where the rivers Al-'alqami and Ninveh connect to irrigate the adjacent lands...
Second opinion: Another group of historians believe that the digging of the adjacent part of this river to the At-Taf in Karbala had been assigned to a man from Bani 'Alqamah (part of bani tamim), their grand-father was 'Alqamah son of Zurarah ibn Adas so this why it was called Al'-alqami river in the late second century (after migration). Thus, Mohamed Ibn Ali Tabataba'i known by Taqtaqi in his book "Tarikh fakhri" when mentioning Abi talib mu'ayyad din son of Al-'alqami the minister in the time of Al-Musta'sim Al-Abbasi and Hulaku Al-Aylkhani, that is was called the son of Al-'alqami because of his grand father 'Alqamah who have dug the 'Alqami River.
Third opinion: According to some historians who named the river by the bitter ['alqam], Nuwayri in his book "boloogh irab fi funoon al-adab" that the Euphrates after passing Anbar, split into two, one of them is the one going towards the south called Al-'alqam because of the large number of bitter melon around it. noting that Al-'alqam is any bitter fruits trees. which made the water wells so bitter that they used to drew the fresh water of this river.
It is worth noting that in the book of "Tarikh Aal Saljooq" of Imad din Al-Asfahani the Islamic historian who lived in the eighth century that the Al-'alqami was passing through Karbala and Najaf.
Al-'alqami River has remained flowing until 697 AH, when the sand and mud hampered its flow, so the Sultan Mahmood Al-Ghaznawi had sent his minister Ali Al-Juwayni to Karbala who has ordered to clear the river and to remove the sand and silt from it, and the water flowed again. But in the 915 AH the sand returned to cover the river to stop its flowing again.