State document: T-S Ar.51.108

State document T-S Ar.51.108



Recto, with address on verso: Petition/letter from Muslim b. ʿAlī b. Muslim to Abū l-Faraj Mawhūb b. Yūḥannā. The sender is a state official or at least a sugar cane tax farmer in the Delta. He opens with a report of the 1,550 or 1,650 conical pots/moulds (ublūja) of raw sugar (qand) which he has shipped from the plantations in Fuwwa and سححاط(?) on three ships. (The discrepancy is because he initially states 1,550, while the subtotals add up to 1,650. For a description and image of the ublūja and related equipment, see Ian Jones, "Economy, Society, and Small-Scale Industry: Social Approaches to Middle Islamic Period Copper Production in Southern Jordan" (PhD Diss., 2018), 189–90, and Tsugitaka Sato, Sugar in the Social Life of Medieval Islam, p. 43.) He then transitions into using petition-like language to ask the addressee to take care of selling them and bringing the proceeds to the dīwān and obtaining the receipt for him. He bemoans his heavy expenses on juʿl (brokerage), mawn (provisions), and on ʿamāʾir (building) and maṣāliḥ ('interests'?) which amount to over 600 dinars a month, while he cannot even obtain a revenue of 100 dinars a month from anywhere in this district. He continues with petition-like language, calling himself a 'rajul mastūr' who is not accustomed to this sort of request. He compares himself to a trader who ceases buying and selling and quickly goes bankrupt. He asks the addressee to intercede on his behalf or write a 'ruqʿa' for him to a higher official (al-majlis al-sāmī). Concludes with a raʾy clause, ḥamdala, and ḥasbala. On verso there is the address in Arabic script.

T-S Ar.51.108 1r




T-S Ar.51.108 1v

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