Letter: T-S 32.7

Letter T-S 32.7



Letter from Abū l-Bayān either to his father or to a distinguished elder. In Judaeo-Arabic, with the address in Arabic script. The father is titled "rayyis" (in the address). The rayyis Abū l-Bayān is mentioned in ll.6-7 and may be identical with the sender, which would mean that a scribe is writing on his behalf. The letter is very long and mentions numerous family and business matters. Sitt Ihtimām is still in the same state as when the addressee departed: one week sick, the next week healthy. Another woman ('sittnā') had a brief case of colic (qawlanj). Abū l-Riḍā is still "in the same state" (presumably sick). A woman called ṣāḥibat al-dār sent him 30 dirhams for 2 weeks, and some olive oil, then paid for another 2 weeks (this sentence is not clear). Abū l-Mufaḍḍal is doing something (mutaṣarrif fī nafsih) in the same way that he used to do. The people of Damietta and Tinnīs were apparently clamoring for the addressee's presence—the sender tries to dissuade him by asking if it is right for him to exhaust himself on the nights of holidays and sabbaths just to satisfy others and sicken himself. But Abū l-Mʿālī Ibn al-Qasqās came and reported that the addressee's arrival in Tinnīs and Damietta was a great success. There are repeated references to the addressee's factotum and slave (ʿabd, khādim) Abū l-Ḥusayn. When the addressee's letter arrived about obtaining a (tax?) receipt (wuṣūl), Abū l-Ḥusayn went to the son of the Ṣāḥib al-Dīwān, gave him the ruqʿa, and obtained the receipt, "and later, we will give it to the ḍāmin of the quarter." The sender paid 8 2/3 dinars to Abū Naṣr al-Kohen on that day. There follow detailed and lengthy reports on business transactions. People mentioned: Abū l-Riḍā, al-Ḥayawānī, Ismāʿīl, Kātib Ibn al-Saqīl(?), the sister of Abū Manṣūr, Abū l-Mufaḍḍal, Abū l-Munā, the brother of the craftsman (al-ṣāniʿ), Masʿūd, the wife of Saʿd al-Rakkābī(?), Abū Saʿd al-Ṣāʾigh, Ibn Futūḥ, Benaya, Dhakhīrat al-Mulk, and Sharaf al-Dawla. Some of the commodities (there are also many more which are difficult to read): household furnishings, sugar, clothing, honey, raisins, something which was locked up with an iron lock, something that needs to be weighed properly, maybe hemp, sheep (khirāf), and a packsaddle (bardhaʿa). Then he conveys regards from various people ("in both households"), Abū Isḥāq b. Pinḥas, Abū Ṭāhir, and the slave Abū l-Ḥusayn. There follows a report involving Dhakhīrat al-Mulk and Sharaf al-Dawla, at least in part about a Jewish baker from Jerusalem and his son, working in the market of Ḥabs Bunān in Fustat, who were cheating their customers with bad weights (arṭāl), and who were discovered and arrested. It seems that Abū l-Ḥusayn the addressee's slave interceded with Sharaf al-Dawla and used the addressee's influence to have them freed—but now the Jews are worried that this will tarnish their reputation among the gentiles. The sender reports that Abū l-Bayān has not ridden the mules; that he has purchased a new saddle for his donkey; and refers to the arrival of 'al-Shams.' There are three more postscripts in the upper margin, discussing further business matters, mentioning Cairo and Ibn al-Qāḍī, and saying that the khādim Abū l-Ḥasan has gone to Tinnīs with a power of attorney. ASE.

T-S 32.7 1r




T-S 32.7 1v

Image Permissions Statement
  • T-S 32.7: 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.