State document: T-S Ar.7.38

State document T-S Ar.7.38



Fatimid petition. Dating: 422–23/1031–32. Second half of a petition to the caliph al-Ẓāhir requesting the return of a church that had been confiscated by decree of al-Ḥākim to the Christians from whom it was taken. Requests that a decree be issued to the dīwān al-iqṭāʿāt al-murtajaʿa (office of reclaimed fiefs) ordering the payment of a sum of 24 dinars in yearly installments of 6 dinars. Cf. T-S Ar.34.241 (PGPID 20537) and Stern, Fāṭimid decrees, no. 3, a decree issued by al-Ḥāfiẓ in 524H mentioning the dīwān al-istiftāʾ ʿalā al-iqṭāʿāt al-murtajaʿa wa-l-ribāʿ wa-l-ajinna al-sulṭāniyya (office of the inspection of the reclaimed fiefs and government estates and gardens); al-Qalqashandī's reproduction of a document of appointment of the director of the dīwān al-murtajāʿ datable to the same period (Ṣubḥ al-aʿshā 10:357–59); al-Makhzūmī's reference to an office in the Fatimid administration called dīwān al-iqṭāʿāt (the office of fiefs, Kitāb al-minhāj, 70). The scribe has used ihmāl (small letters beneath undotted letters such as hā’ and ‘ayn to indicate that they are undotted) on lines 1, 3, 7, 8, and 15. Ihmāl also appears in T-S Ar. 20.92 (copy of a decree of al-Ḥākim, ed. Khan, ALAD, doc. 115). On verso there are biblical verses with a Hebrew commentary relating the verses to recent historical events such as the Arab conquest. (Information from Khan, ALAD, p. 322, and from Marina Rustow)

T-S Ar.7.38 1v



Geoffrey Khan, Arabic Legal and Administrative Documents in the Cambridge Genizah Collections (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993).


  1. [جميـ]ـع ما فيها من فضة ونحاس والات خشب

  2. ورخام يساوى ذلك جملة كبيرة فنقضها

  3. وبنا بقبضها دارا فبعضها معصرة وحوانيت 

  4. يستغلها جميع ذلك ويحصل له من اجرتها شي كبير

  5. ولما خرجت الامر العالية والسجلات المعظمة 

  6. برد سائر الكنائس الى اربابها تعزرعليهم

  7. بالحكم ومنعهم منها بيد القدرة وبقيت بيده

  8. الى هذه الغاية على الحال التي شرحها العبد

  9. وعبد مولانا صلوات الله عليه يرغب الى خروج

  10. التوقيع العالي الى ديوان الإقطاعات المرتجعة

  11. بجعل المبلغ المذكور على العبد لاربع سنين

  12. أولهن سنة احدى وعشرين واربع مائة الخراجية

  13. باربعة وعشرين دينارا حساب ستة دنانير في كل [سنة]

  14. او إعادتها الى نصارى الناحية ولمولانا

  15. صلوات الله عليه الراى العالي فيما سال فيه العبد

  16. انجز الله لمولانا وعده وخلد ملكه ونصر جنده وصلى

  17. على محمد النبي جده وسلم تسليما


Geoffrey Khan, Arabic Legal and Administrative Documents in the Cambridge Genizah Collections (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993).


  1. All the silver, copper, wooden vessels

  2. and marble that are in it. All of this amounts to a large quantity. He broke them down

  3. and with their proceeds built an enclosure designed to contain a press and shops.

  4. He is enjoying income from them and in addition to all this he is receiving large sums from their rent.

  5. When the exalted command and mighty documents were issued (enjoining)

  6. the return of the remaining churches to their owners, constraining them

  7. by law and disallowing them (to have any claims on) them by the hand of authority, (he did not heed the decree) and it has remained in his possession

  8. until now, as the slave has explained.

  9. The slave of our master, the benedictions of God be upon him, would like

  10. an exalted rescript to be issued to the office of the reclaimed fiefs,

  11. (instructing) the aforementioned sum to be paid to the slave within four years,

  12. the first (instalment) being (paid in) the kharājī year four-hundred and twenty-one,

  13. amounting to twenty-four dinārs, at a rate of six dinars in every [year]

  14. or its return to the Christians of the district. To our master,

  15. the benedictions of God be upon him, belongs the exalted resolution regarding what the slave has requested.

  16. May God fulfil his promise for our master, may he cause his reign to be eternal and his army to be victorious. May he praise

  17. Muḥammad the prophet, his ancestor, and save him.

T-S Ar.7.38 1r

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