Arabic documents from the first two Islamic centuries

By K.M. Younes & J. Bruning.
version 13.4.2015.

This overview of Arabic documents of the first two Islamic centuries contains fully searchable descriptions of all published Arabic documents from Egypt, Syro-Palestine and Khurasan. The overview is designed as an aid to navigate through the fast corpus of Arabic documentary material published in various volumes and articles over more than 150 years.

In order to ease navigation, the description of each document is restricted to the document’s date, its provenance and the type of document. For the types of document, the following descriptors are used:

administrative account official letter safe conduct
agricultural lease order of payment tax demand note
business letter petition tax receipt
legal document private letter unknown
list protocol writing exercise
non-administrative account receipt of ṣadaqa

The documents are primarily arranged according to their (assumed) hijri date. This is to say, documents that are dating to the year A.H. 90, which corresponds to A.D. 709-710, are classified under the 1st/7th-century documents.

Documents are referred to via abbreviations. Abbreviations for documents published in volumes are those of The Checklist of Arabic documents and the Checklist of editions of Greek, Latin, Demotic, and Coptic papyri, ostraca and tablets. For documents published in articles or volumes not included in the just-mentioned two checklists, the name of the author and date of publication is given. Full biographical details of these publications can be found in the bibliography at the end of the overview.

The present version of the overview includes 696 documents. It will be updated regularly. Please send remarks and/or suggestions to

Last Modified: 17-04-2015