Legal document: T-S K25.153

Legal document T-S K25.153


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In PGP since 2017


Legal document. Partnership agreement. A deal between an investor, possibly named Ibrahim, and three unnamed indigo dyers opening a workshop in Damietta. The active partners agree to behave according to industry norms and business practices in Damietta. The active partners will receive two-thirds of profits and losses (except for the first ten dinars of losses due to ordinary business operations). The investor is responsible for the daily maintenance of the active partners and assumes responsibility for losses due to force majeure, though in such cases the active partner is required to swear an oath disclaiming negligence. Notably, the partnership structure is a hybrid of both the partnership model ("torat ʿisqa") and the commenda model. The active partners’ testament to “ward off treachery and fulfill good faith” indicates that the investor isn't present in Damietta, but he retains a modicum of control over their business activities. If the assets of the shop are found to have declined in value, the partners are to communicate with Ibrahīm and to follow his orders; if he fails to respond, they are free from liability for misconduct. (Information from Lieberman, "A Partnership Culture," 245-246)

T-S K25.153 1v




Phillip Ackerman-Lieberman, "A Partnership Culture: Jewish Economic and Social Life Seen Through the Legal Documents of the Cairo Geniza" (PhD diss., Princeton University, 2007).


  1. … we will purchase indigo with it and we will go with it to the port-city of Damietta and […]
  2. We will dye it and we will sell and buy with that amount various types of dyes, and we will transact in accordance
  3. with the (established) practice of the people who engage in this business, for the term of one complete year, the beginning of which being the date of this document, the end of which
  4. fixed by the laws of partnership (‘isqa). Whatever God, praised be He, facilitates in terms of profit, we, the workers, will receive
  5. two thirds hereof, and the investor of the commenda will receive one third. Likewise, God forbid, in the case of a loss—after (the investor pays) the expense of the provisions
  6. and (material) costs. We are only entitled to consume out of the partnership assets of this shop our daily provisions for the term
  7. of our partnership (shirka) with him, for the aforementioned term. We will ward off treachery and fulfill the trust, doing (the work)
  8. by ourselves as we are able to in this business. The aforementioned Elder Ibrahīm said to us:
  9. “Perform a qinyan with us and testify concerning me that I have already paid them the aforementioned amount
  10. in the manner mentioned above […] In addition to that, I take upon myself that, God forbid,
  11. //if// anything happens to this (amount) causing its destruction, something other than a loss in selling or buying,
  12. (they) are absolved if (the merchandise) sinks or is stolen or they are compelled (to give it) to the authorities or their agent. They are free from liability
  13. therefrom and they are only required to take an oath that they have not been negligent therein. If there happens to them …
  14. … and I will forgive them what would fall as their share therein due to a loss (from buying and selling) from one dinar
  15. up to ten (dinars), an effective release effective immediately, a complete release, with (my) mouth and with (my) heart. If they appraised
  16. the shop and that found that it had depreciated a little, they will send a letter to inform me, and I will let them know what to do therein.
  17. If I do not answer concerning its management, the depreciation will not be upon them, rather they will be free from liability from what they lose
  18. thereafter. The qinyan was executed with each of us, a complete qinyan, with an item suitable for doing so,
  19. orally, effective immediately, in accordance with their will, without any sort of duress whatsoever, nullifying all secret dispositions and conditions concerning all that
  20. is written and specified above.

T-S K25.153 1r

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