The Qurra Papyrus - Concerning The Fugitives - Egyptian National Library Inv. No. 330, 91 AH / 710 CE

Islamic Awareness

© Islamic Awareness, All Rights Reserved.

First Composed: 12th December 2005

Last Modified: 12th December 2005

submit to reddit

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.


Jumada II, 91 AH / April-May, 710 CE.


42 cm x 21.6 cm. Light brown papyrus. The text of the letter is written on recto in black ink, at right angles to the horizontal fibres, diacritical points are added sparingly. The black is blank. The papyrus was folded parallel to the lines and parallel to the side margin, the widths of successive folds can't be made out.

Accession No.

Inv. No. 330.


The translation of text is:

  1. [In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.]
  2. [From Qurra b. Sharīk]
  3. [t]o [Basil, administra]tor [of Ishqauh. I]
  4. praise God, besides whom there is no
  5. god.
  6. As to the rest: Hishām b. ʿUma[r]
  7. has written to me mentioning
  8. fugitives of his in thy district.
  9. And I had already applied t[o]
  10. the administrators and had written to them (to tell them)
  11. not to give refuge to a fugitive. Therefore, when
  12. this my letter reaches thee
  13. give back to him what
  14. fugitives are his in they district,
  15. and I do not wish to hear again that thou sendest back
  16. his messengers, or that he write
  17. his complaints about thee to me. And peace be on
  18. him who follows the guidance. And Yazīd
  19. has written (it) in Jumada II
  20. of the year ninety-one.


Egyptian National Library, Cairo.

Bookmark and Share


[1] B. Moritz (Ed.), Arabic Palaeography: A Collection Of Arabic Texts From The First Century Of The Hidjra Till The Year 1000, 1905, Publications of the Khedivial Library, No. 16, Cairo, Plate 105.

[2] A. Grohmann, Arabic Papyri In The Egyptian Library, Volume III (Administrative Texts), 1938, Egyptian Library Press: Cairo, No. 151, pp. 23-25.

The images above are reproduced from the stated sources under the provisions of the copyright law. This allows for the reproduction of portions of copyrighted material for non-commercial, educational purposes.

With the exception for those images which have passed into the public domain, the use of these images for commercial purposes is expressly prohibited without the consent of the copyright holder.

Back To The Arabic Papyri