State document: T-S AS 150.3

State document T-S AS 150.3

Tags

Input date

In PGP since 1986

Description

State document, Mamluk period, 1442. Draft of a petition from the Jewish community of Fustat to the Mamluk government concerning the malpractices of ‘Abd al-Latif the physician, head of the Jews, who is reported to have sold portions of pious foundation properties and leased others below their value, imposed high fiscal penalties, and confiscated property of the Jews, among a litany of other harmful acts. The document requests his removal from office. (Mark Cohen, "Jews in the Mamlūk Environment: The Crisis of 1442 (A Geniza Study)," BSOAS, 1984, 431-4) EMS

T-S AS 150.3 1r

1r

Transcription

Mark Cohen, "Jews in the Mamlūk Environment: The Crisis of 1442," Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 47, no. 3 (Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 1984), 425-448.

recto

  1. אלממאליך גמאעה אליהוד רע[ייה
  2. אלמקאם אלשריף ואלאסלאם אל[כרים
  3. יקבלו אלארץ וינהו אנהם [פי] בל[א
  4. עטים מן יום תולא [[עליהם]] עבד לטיף
  5. אלמתטבב רייס עליהם אכרב קואעד
  6. מלתהום ואמור דינהם וחלל מא
  7. הוא חרם פי מלתהם ו[חרם] מא הוא
  8. חלאל וגיר דאלך מא ימכן דכרה אלא
  9. פי וקתה ואבאע גמלה מן [[אוק..]]
  10. אוקאפהם ואגר [[בנצף]] //בדון// אלקימה
  11. ליאכד מבלג מעגל ען סנין וגיי[ר
  12. עואידהם פי תצמין אלכנאיס
  13. ואלדיור חתא בקי אמרהם סאיב
  14. וחצל מא חצל ממא וגד מכתוב
  15. פי אלמנבר חשב //לא אקל כ[א]ן מן תעזירה ועזלאנה// דאלך וגרם אלממ
  16. פי מדה ולאיתה אלאף דנ`
  17. בעכסה ועדם עלמה וראייה
  18. וכתרה גהלה וקצר ל[סא]נה פ[י
  19. כל שי וקד תבת ענד אלסא[דה
  20. קצאה אלקצה אעזהם אללה תע
  21. ואלקצה עגזה ואנה גיר [צ]אל[ח
  22. ללתכלם עלא גמאעה אהל אלדמה
  23. ואקאם חואליה //צביאן// יהוד עואנייה
  24. יקתצי בראייהם ישירו עליה
  25. באלכראב ואלראי אלגיר צאלח חתי
  26. יוד[כ]ר בלקב אלבלץ וקטע אל[טריק
  27. ו]ל[ם] //יקדר// ירדעהם לאנה יכאפהם
  28. לעלמהם במעטלאתה וזלא[תא
  29. ומא הוא נאהץ וגמאעתה סוא[ת
  30. פי מצאדרה אליהוד ונהבהם
  31. ותודיר אמואלהם בגיר טריק שרעי
  32. וקד חצל אלכראב עלינא בסבבה
  33. וחצל אלכלאם בין אלסאדה קצאה
  34. אלקצה בסבבה לתגהרמה עלא

margin

  1. פעל אמר אלכנאיס בגיר אן יכון בידה חכם שרעי
  2. יגואב בה וכל קצייה יאכד מננא //פיהא// אמואל גזאף

Translation

Mark Cohen, "Jews in the Mamlūk Environment: The Crisis of 1442," Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 47, no. 3 (Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 1984), 425-448.

Recto

(1)Your slaves, the Jewish community, the su[bjects] of your noble highness and of [gracious] Islam 

(3-5) kiss the earth and report that they are [in] terrible dis[tress]. Ever since 'Abd Latif the physician took office as head over them, he has undermined the principles 

(6) of their religion and matters having to do with their faith. He has declared permissible that 

(7) which is forbidden in their religion and [declared forbidden] that which is 

(8) permitted, and (done) other things that cannot be mentioned except 

(9) at the appropriate time. He sold a large portion 

(10) of their pious foundation properties and leased (others) below their value,

(11) in order to obtain a sum as advanced payment for several years. He introduced a chan[ge] 

(12) in their customs by farming out the income from synagogues 

(13) and houses, with the result that they have been left in a forlorn state. 

(14-15) In addition, there occurred what occurred on account of what was found inscribed on the minbar—for which, at the very least, he should have been reproved and removed from office. Your sl(aves) have been subjected to fiscal penalties 

(16) of thousands of dinars during his regime 

(17) through his wrongdoing, lack of knowledge and judgement, 

(18) and his great ignorance and inel[oque]nce regard[ing] 

(19-21) everything. The lords, the chief qadis, may God the exalted honour them, and the (other) qadis are well aware of his lack of ability and of the fact that he is un[fit] 

(22) to speak on behalf of a community of the protected people. 

(23) He has surrounded himself with young Jewish auxiliaries, 

(24) whose counsel he follows and who give him 

(25) destructive and improper advice. That is why

(26) he has got the name of extortionist and [highway] robber. 

(27) He is [n]o[t] able to restrain them, because he fears them 

(28) on account of what they know about his bad deeds and transgress[ions]. 

(29) And he is not competent. His gang has evill[y] 

(30) confiscated property of Jews, plundered them, 

(31) and illegally squandered their belongings. 

(32) Because of him, ruination has befallen us. 

(33) Moreover, a discussion took place among the lords, the qadis, because of him, namely, because of his defiance in 

Margin

proceeding with the matter of the synagogues without having legal authority to justify himself with. In addition, for every litigation he takes from us an arbitrary lump sum of money. 

 

T-S AS 150.3 1v

1v

verso

  1. וקד חצל אלצרר לכל אלטואיף בסבב
  2. עכסה חתא אלנצארא עכסו
  3. בסבבה וחצל להם אלצרר אל[גזי]ל
  4. ומן יום כרבת אלמנאבר גרמ[ו
  5. אלטואיף אלתלאת ניף ען א[רבעה
  6. אל[א]ף דינאר ומא יעלמ[ון
  7. למן יעטי וכם יעטי ולא י[נפע
  8. נפע במא יגרמה סוא ינפתח
  9. עלינא אלעיון ומא נקדר נחסב
  10. גמיע צרארה סוא מלכץ אל
  11. אמר וקד הלכנא ומותנא ו[דה]ב[ת
  12. ארואחנא ואמואלנא וכרובנא
  13. ומקצודנא לוגה אללה אל[צלאח פי
  14. חאל אלממ וזואלה מן [א]ל[ריאסה
  15. ואיעאדה רייס[ה]ם אלקדים אל[יהם
  16. ונחן רעייה מ[סאכ]ין מכסו[רין
  17. אלכאטר צ[עי]פין אלח[אל] אנהו א[ל
  18. ממאליך דלך יקצדו [אל]קאצי
  19. אעזה אללה ישיר עליהם במ[א
  20. יפעלה צדקה ען ראסה לוגה אללה
  21. תע לי[ז]ול ענהם הדא אלעכס

margin

  1. ותם גמאעה ישהדו עליה אנה מן גמלה טלע אלמנבר

Verso

(1)Harm has befallen all the communities because of 

(2) his wrongdoing. Even the Christians have had wrongdoing perpetrated against them 

(3) because of him, and [considerable] harm has come to them. 

(4-5)Since the day when the minbars were destroyed, the three communities have been forced to pay in fiscal penalties more than f[our] 

(6) thou[s]and dinars, and they do not kno[w] 

(7) to whom it is given nor how much. And there is no 

(8-9) gain from the penalties collected by him, other than that we are exposed to public view. We are unable to count up 

(10) all his harmful acts but rather to give only a brief summary of 

(11-13) the matter. We have already perished and died, and our souls and money have [van]ish[ed]. Our concern and aim, for the sake of God, is the [improvement of the] 

(14) situation of your sl(aves) and his dismissal from [the headship] 

(15) and the restoration of their venerable head to them. 

(16) We subjects are m[iserab]le, broke[n] 

(17-18) hearted, and poor. Your slaves have informed you about this, intending that [the] qadi, 

(19) may God honour him, would indicate to them wha[t] 

(20) he will do, out of his bounty and for the sake of God the exalted, 

(21) so that this wrongdoing may be re[m]oved from them, 

 

Margin

Furthermore, a group is prepared to testify against him that he was one of those who ascended the minbar. 

Image Permissions Statement
  • T-S AS 150.3: Provided by Cambridge University Library. Zooming image © Cambridge University Library, All rights reserved. This image may be used in accord with fair use and fair dealing provisions, including teaching and research. If you wish to reproduce it within publications or on the public web, please contact genizah@lib.cam.ac.uk.