Letter: NLI 577.1/13

Letter NLI 577.1/13

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In PGP since 2021

Description

Letter from al-Sharīf Ḥasan to the qāḍī Ṣanīʿat al-Mulk. In Arabic script, with diacritics and vowels, calligraphic. Dating: Perhaps 13th to 15th century, on paleographic grounds. This is a letter of recommendation for charity for six 'cut-off' women (nisā' munqaṭiʿāt) who have no husbands (lā azwāj la-hunna) or anybody else to provide for them: Umm Bū Muḥammad and her daughter; the midwife or wet nurse (dāya) and her daughter; and Umm Qays and her daughter. The addressee is described as a "cave (=shelter) for the cut-off and a refuge for those who ask/beg of him" (standard epithets for important and charitable people: see e.g. AIU V.B.48 and on it Cohen, Poverty and Charity, p. 48 n. 36). ASE