Letter: CUL Or.1080 4.42

Letter CUL Or.1080 4.42



Letter probably from a cantor named Sayyid al-Ahl, in Alexandria, to his son Faḍāʾil and other family members, in Fustat. In Arabic script. Well preserved. The sender fell sick on the journey to Alexandria, and had to make a pit stop in Idfū, near Rashīd, before continuing. When he arrived in Alexandria, he found it in a terrible state, with no muqaddam and no cantor (ḥazzān). It was rumored that the judge (dayyān) Ḥiyyā would come out (from Fustat?), but nobody has come yet. (This may be the judge Ḥiyya b. Yiṣḥaq, active ca. the second quarter of the 12th century.) The Maghribī cantor will inform the family about the sender's state. He mentions several other towns of the Delta he traveled through (al-Maḥalla, Minyat Zifta, and Minyat Ashna), sending 10 dinars from each of them. It seems he intends to travel onward to al-Maḥalla, Damīra, and/or Sunbāṭ. He may also be preparing for the wedding of a certain Faḍāʾil, the tax farmer (? ẓāmin) of صحا(?) (verso, l. 7). He complains that he has no money and his clothes have all worn out, and he asks for assistance. He asks for news of everybody and also Mufaḍḍal. He gives instructions about not emptying the shop. Regards to various people including Abū Isḥāq. He adds that he had trouble with the capitation tax in Alexandria, but God delivered him.