An Arabic Papyrus From The John Rylands Library, 65 AH / 684-685 CE

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First Composed: 21st June 2007

Last Modified: 18th July 2007

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Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:



Figure: (a) Picture of the papyrus and (b) the content of the papyrus.

[] encloses letters supplied to fill a lacuna


65 AH / 684-685 CE.

Margoliouth wrongly dated this fragment to 175 AH (or 165). Diem corrected the date to 65 AH.


15 cm x 8 cm.


The translation of the document is:

    1. [] [] [claims that]
    2. [that her adversary] usurped [her right]
    3. [so whence comes] to you this letter of mine, then if [she establishes]
    4. [proof then] extract for her [her right] and do not
    5. [] in that right, and [write]
    6. [to me with this ruling]. And peace be [upon him who follows]
    7. [the guidance. And] written by Abān bin [ in]
    8. [ye]ar five [and] sixty.


This papyrus deals with a dispute and its possible resolution. It is also the earliest papyrus to mention the phrase "peace be upon him who follows the guidance"; part of the phrase constructed as lacuna. In its content, it is similar to the Qurra papyrus such as this from 91 AH.


The John Rylands Library, Manchester (UK).

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[1] D. S. Margoliouth (Ed.), Catalogue Of Arabic Papyri In The John Rylands Library Manchester, 1933, Manchester University Press: Manchester & The Librarian, The John Rylands Library: Manchester, Plate 30, XV 39.

[2] W. Diem, "Der Gouverneur An Den Pagarchen Ein Verkannter Papyrus Vom Jahre 65 Hiğra", Der Islam, 1983, Volume 60, pp. 104-111.

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