Letter: T-S Ar.36.141

Letter T-S Ar.36.141



Recto: Letter of condolence. In Arabic script, written in an elegant hand (and with diacritics). Upon the death of the addressee's brother Abū l-Ḥasan. Bewails the terrible blow that "has given the heart grief upon grief, opened a fresh wound upon a wound, brought successive evils, made tears stream, sundered livers, banished sleep. . . ." (The implication is that this bereavement is coming on the heels of a previous one.) The letter was possibly written by a Muslim for a Muslim, as it refers to "lanā fī l-sayyid al-rasūl uswatun ḥasanatun" (l. 22). But this conjecture is complicated by verso. Verso: Draft of a letter of condolence. In Hebrew and Aramaic (for the copious biblical citations, including many from Job and Ecclesiastes) and Judaeo-Arabic (for the body). Upon the death of the addressee's son. ASE