State document: T-S Ar.39.452–53

State document T-S Ar.39.452–53

Description

State document. Dating: Beginning of 12th century CE. Appointment of a Christian dignitary by the government and confirmation that the ordinances of previous caliphs are still valid, mentioning al-Mustanṣir, al-Āmir and al-Afḍal. (Information Khan, CUDL, and Goitein's index card)

T-S Ar.39.453 1r

1r

Transcription

Translation

Geoffrey Khan, Arabic Legal and Administrative Documents in the Cambridge Genizah Collections (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993).
  1. ... the noble, prophetic (dynasty), may (God) extend its life, over 

  2. all the Christians dwelling in his dominion and living 

  3. [in ] the provinces of his kingdom, in order that he may execute 

  4. their inheritances as required by his statements and pronouncements, both in their general principles and in their specific stipulations. 

  5. The commander of the faithful is the most worthy person to execute the instructions of his ancestor and to act 

  6. upon his noble and glorious deeds, which are found in his noble and glorious sunna, 

  7. to water what he has planted and to elevate what he has built and founded. 

  8. He has executed in a glorious and magnificent manner the instructions of this 

  9. gracious decree.' 

  10. He has made these Christians conform 

  11. to his mighty judgments and strengthened 

  12. his sacred and established principles.

 

T-S Ar.39.453 1v

1v
  1. He assumes the responsibility for the welfare of the members of minority groups and of dhimmīs. He offers 

  2. consideration and justice to the weak man

  3. that he may be equal to the strong. He has delegated the present authority to them 

  4. on the basis of the precedent set by his ancestors [     ] 

  5. and with the sanction of the instructions that they issued 

  6. in their time to follow (this precedent) and to continue to act

  7. as is customary, in the knowledge that they are the representatives of God

  8. on earth. He, praise him, has granted 

  9. them the power to extend or restrain. 

  10. Those who are close to them are clothed in their justice

  11. and they have concern and care for all their subjects irrespective of rank. 

  12. In this open decree

  13. the instructions issued by al-Mustanṣir.

T-S Ar.39.452 1r

1r
  1. and by al-Āmir - God increase them in loftiness, pre-eminence,

  2. sublime nobility, glory and splendour for us - have been specified, by virtue of

  3. [       ] the pure, holy presence

  4. [        ] ... consideration of executing them,

  5. and assuming responsibility for implementing the wish of his caliphal throne

  6. and the power of his kingdom, in accordance with what has been specified in this decree

  7. and also with precedents and analogous cases.

  8. This is because the commands of his ancestors, the pure imāms,

  9. the blessings of God be upon them all, require

  10. obedience, and their examples (of conduct), while being

  11. visible or hidden, are binding and irrefragable, since they

  12. derive from their kind consideration for everyone

  13. and express their fine resolutions

  14. of sympathy [ ] and mercy.

 

T-S Ar.39.452 1v

1v
  1. All the judges, arbiters, governors in the provinces -

  2. let them observe this resolution and prescription of the commander of the faithful

  3. and let it be acted upon. Let it be kept

  4. by him who requests it, after being registered where such documents are registered,

  5. if God wills. It was written with ten days remaining of RabīʿII,

  6. in the year four-hundred and fifty-four.

  7. It contains registration marks of all the offices of the pure

  8. presence, God bless him

  9. The verso of this gracious decree contains an endorsement

  10. by the lofty presence of al-Afdal

  11. may God make his days eternal,

  12. at the top of which there is the sublime signature,

  13. which has the form: 'Praise be to God for his gifts.

  14. The glorious, prophetic [commands] have been issued ......'

 

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  • T-S Ar.39.453: Provided by Cambridge University Library. Zooming image © Cambridge University Library, All rights reserved. This image may be used in accord with fair use and fair dealing provisions, including teaching and research. If you wish to reproduce it within publications or on the public web, please contact genizah@lib.cam.ac.uk.