Letter: T-S NS 305.54

Letter T-S NS 305.54

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Letter in Arabic script. Tall and skinny. Damaged at the beginning. Dating: Perhaps 12th century. The sender is evidently a merchant en route to India: ". . . I have taken Hiba (or: a gift?) with me . . . to give to him in India. . ." (last two lines of recto). The letter is addressed to a woman, perhaps the merchant’s wife: “wa-mā taḥtājī waṣiyya. . . wa-tashkurī. . .” (recto margin). He instructs the addressee to diligently look after (وصيتك بهم غاية الوصية) the house (al-dār), the scales (al-mīzān), the warehouse, the codex (al-muṣḥaf), something else (الصدر؟), and all his other goods. May mention 30 dinars in recto, l. 6. Mentions al-shaykh Ṣanīʿat al-Mulk twice (the addressee is told to buy something for him in recto, ll.15–16, and to greet him in recto margin). Starting in recto, l. 27, the sender says that he woke up one morning in the "middle of the holiday" (wusṭ al-ʿīd = ḥol ha-moʿed?) and measured out a maqṭaʿ cloth for someone. Verso contains greetings to numerous people: the sender's maternal uncles and cousins, his paternal uncle Abū l-Faḍl and cousin Abū l-Baqāʾ, Abū Naṣr, Bayān al-Kharrāz, Abū l-Riḍā al-Naqqād and his son, his maternal aunt, and Wafāʾ. Hiba sends his regards. Regards again to Ṣanīʿat al-Mulk. The sender then gives the date the letter was written (Jumādā I, but the year is rubbed out), mentions al-Shaykh Maḍmūn, and asks for the addressee's prayers. The whole thing requires further examination and should be edited. ASE