RIVER. Arabic nahr نهر
pl. anhar; Heb. nahar. The word بهرbahr, “sea,” being also used for a large river. [SEA.]
According to Muslim law rivers are of three descriptions:
1. Those which are not the property of any, and of which the waters have not been divided, like the Tigris and the Euphrates. The care of these rivers, being the duty of the State, and the charge of keeping them in order must be defrayed from the public treasury, but, these expenses must be disbursed from the funds of tribute and capitation-tax, and not from those of tithe and alms.
2. Rivers which are appropriated and divided, and yet at the same time public rivers on which boats sail. The clearing of inch rivers must he done at the expense of the proprietors, although its waters are used for the public benefit.
3. Water-courses which are hold in property and divided, and on which no boats sail. The keeping of such streams rests entirely with the proprietors.
In countries whore much of the cultivation of land depends upon irrigation, the right to water, or as it is called in Arabic shrib, is a subject of much litigation, and chapters are devoted to the consideration of the subject in the Hidayah, Fatawa-i-’Alamgiri, .Duru ‘l-Mukhtar and other works on Muslim law.
For the Rivers of Paradise, see EDEN.
Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam