State document: ENA 4193.19

State document ENA 4193.19



Petition, late Fatimid period given the blessings on a vizier, from a certain Ibn Mūsā (no forename given) concerning a Jew named (2) Bū l-Faraj who took another Jew named (3) Ibrāhīm b. Isḥāq to court repeatedly over a debt. The unstated request seems to be that vizier to whom the petition is addressed should either (a) pay (3) Ibrāhīm b. Isḥāq’s debt or (b) apply force or (c) imprison him until he pays. The (1) petitioner goes on to state that if a (a-prime) different guarantor (ḍāmin) steps in to pay (3) Ibrāhīm’s debt, or if local officials step in to (c) seize his property, the vizier will be informed. If a (a) guarantor steps in, (3) Ibrāhīm will presumably have to pay more. If (a) the vizier pays on his behalf, it would not cost the debtor more; so de facto the vizier must decide whether to pay or apply force. But if the situation changes — if a guarantor steps in to pay the debt, or the treasury (al-māl, short for bayt al-māl) steps in to seize the debtor's assets, the petitioner will inform the vizier. Perhaps the petitioner is a Jewish communal official who has run out of enforcement options, so now seeks help from the state in resolving the situation as expeditiously as possible. MR