Literally the “Valley of Peace,” Wadi us-Salaam (Arabic: وادي السلام) in Najaf, Iraq, is the largest graveyard in the world spanning an area of 1485.5 acres and housing millions of bodies. It is symbolic to the Shiite faith, which maintains that the souls of faithful men and women will rest there, no matter where their bodies were buried. However, the souls of the unfaithful will suffer in Wadi-e-Barhoot.
The cemetery is located near the shrine of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib, the first Imam of the Shia doctrine. As a custom, all followers of the Shia belief request to be buried in the same site. It is estimated that 500,000 bodies are buried here every year. Due to the presence of Iraqi militia within the grounds, the cemetery is heavily guarded by the military.
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