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"Arabia Without Spices": An Alternate Hypothesis

Gene W. Heck
Journal Of The American Oriental Society, 2003, Volume 123, pp. 547-576.

© American Oriental Society

First Composed: 6th January 2005

(We do not necessarily agree with everything written in this article - Islamic Awareness)

The Issue of "Makkan Trade and the Rise of Islam"

I. The Historiographic Challenge
1. The Methodological Confrontation More than fifteen years have passed since Patricia Crone stunned the world of orientalism by positing dramatically new hypotheses regarding the role of Makkah in sixth to seventh-century A.D. trans-Arabian trade. Seeking to discern the economic dynamic of the early Islamic state, her thesis contended that both the composition and direction of Hijazi-Najdi trade in the era leading up to the rise of Islam were not as they have been commonly portrayed. Her presentation derived its strength from its sophisticated scientific analyses of the prevalence of specific commodities, particularly "spices," in contemporary trade flows. Its core analysis centered upon certain critical commonalities between sixth to seventh-century Makkan imports and exports, and in its effort to make trade patterns fit, even speculated that the Qurashis' primary base of commercial operation was not where modern Makkah stands today. The essence of this theme was compellingly argued in part 2 of her 1987 work, Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam, which she titled: "Arabia Without Spices." Crone's work has been aggressively attacked by various scholars in recent years - an assault that has focused, in particular, upon her employment of what is termed "negative evidence argumentation": to wit, the absence of source references to trade implies the actual absence of trade. Such analytic techniques, of course, are not uncommon in medieval historiography, nor are they unique to Islamic scholarship. Six decades earlier, it will be recalled, it was a decline in references to eighth-century trans-Mediterranean commerce, documented primarily in Western ecclesiastical sources, that produced the Pirenne thesis positing that an Islamic trade blockade had precipitated Western Europe's "Dark Ages." That the results are similar should come as no surprise. Both arguments have failed to persuade because each confronts the complex challenge of seeking to reconstruct the structure of any economy, medieval or modern, based on evaluating a market-basket of commodities cited in export trade. The examples found are often too sporadic to have serious economic consequences. Despite the fact that some seventy-five percent of its governmental revenues are generated by oil production, for example, modern Saudi Arabic typically generates less than three percent of its gross domestic product formation from non-oil export earnings. In both modern and medieval contexts, then, using select trade data as barometers of economic dynamism does not invariably yield accurate results. In Crone's case, they have produced quite controversial results. Indeed, seldom have hypotheses predicated upon an absence of commercial evidence invoked such intense scholarly scrutiny. R. B. Serjeant, in a 1990 article, for instance, describes her contentions as:

calculated to attract publicity by shocking Islamists through the strange theories that it advances on pre-Islamic Mecca, novel theories to be sure, but founded upon misinterpretation, misunderstanding of sources, even at times incorrect translations of Arabic.[1]

The acrimony has been longstanding. For while Crone and Serjeant have polarized the Hijazi trade discussion, Watt, Wolf, Kister, Shaban, Simon, Peters, Donner, and Ibrahim - and before them, Sprenger, Lammens, and sundry others constructed the basic intellectual infrastructure upon which it is built.[2] Much of the controversy centers on the continuing debate over the general reliability of the medieval Arabic sources as a foundation for sound economic analysis. Such a dialogue does enjoy a certain logic, since the topic is historical and original sources are a prime tool of the historian. The earliest classical sources are vulnerable to criticism since, founded on oral traditions as captured by often biased literary antiquarians, they are, by their very nature, anecdotal. As such, they can be useful in illustrating certain incidents and trends, but unless taken in aggregate, as a basis for serious commercial history, in a non-pejorative sense, they are often little more than the early medieval equivalents of tabloid journalism. This is not itself a formal criticism, but rather a characteristic common to most chronicled medieval sources. While they can be useful in research, they must be recognized for what they are and treated accordingly. Both Crone and Serjeant concede the challenge of attempting to ascertain the existence or non-existence of particular types of trade based on fragmentary evidence.[3] While the former calls the early sources "of questionable historical value," the latter describes them as "selective and the data that they record so fragmentary that argument from negative evidence has little value."[4] In the ongoing early Makkan trade debate, both contentions probably are correct. The problem is threefold. First, a prime reason that Crone and Serjeant struggle in their argumentation is that they are trying to force early transpeninsular Arab commerce into something that it most likely was not: to wit, the overarching economic raison d'etre of Makkah. Such an approach, however, is little more than the exercise of "recreating the elephant by feeling the dimensions of its trunk." For an ever-present danger of engaging in negative evidence argumentation using limited trade data is that it can build toward conclusions that did not, in reality, obtain.

Second, they are arguing from the shaky foundations of modern historiographic invention respecting sixth to seventhcentury Hijazi transit trade. Crone and Serjeant, as well as F. E. Peters, properly take issue with the conventional notion that the longstanding commerce in spices and other luxury goods to the Mediterranean basin during the early Christian centuries had continued to the rise of Islam.[5] This was an interpretation pioneered by Lammens, popularized by Watt and Wolf, and promoted, to a certain degree, even by Donner. It has often been accompanied by a notion that the success of contemporary Makkah as a trade emporium was highly instrumental, morally, economically, and socially, in the rise of Islam. Watt asserts:
By the end of the 6th century A.D., they (Hijazi traders) had gained control of most of the trade from Yemen to Syria - an important route by which the West got Indian luxury goods as well as South Arabian frankincense. Commercial prosperity had let not merely to greater disparities in wealth, but also to a partial breakdown in the system of clans and tribes on which the security of Makkah depended.... It is against this social and moral background that we must look at the religious beliefs current in Makkah immediately before Muhammad's call.[6]

But even Watt, who has contributed two important works - Muhammad at Makkah and Muhammad at Medina - as cornerstones for these socioeconomic contentions, devotes but two brief paragraphs to the nature of this hypothesized trans-Hijazi luxury trade and just five others to the underlying indigenous industrial base that would have made a more vibrant Makkah-centric regional trade economically viable.[7]

Though this traditional notion, as noted, has been rejected by Crone, Serjeant, and others - at times, even attributing the inherent misinterpretations to the ambiguity of the medieval Arabic sources themselves - such exegesis is no more than a "straw man" dialogue, as the sources never seriously claimed a trade in oriental luxury commodities coincident with the rise of Muhammad. Instead, they document a more voluminous trade in lower unit-value, indigenous West Arabian products - animals, leather, foodstuffs, cloth, perfumes, and similar consumer goods - a reality recognized by Sprenger, Kister, Simon, and Peters.[8] Some of the regional import-export ventures in such commodities were, in reality, quite large, with commercial caravans consisting of as many as 1,500, 2,000, and even 2,500 transport camels at the dawn of Islam, as cited in the sources.[9]

There are passim references to a sixth and seventh-century trade in luxury goods in the sources, to be sure. Ibn Sa`d indicates that early in his career, the Prophet Muhammad owned silk garments that he subsequently abandoned as ostentatious.[10] Ibn Habib relates that the would-be Hijazi king `Uthman b. Huwayrith al-Asadi al-Qurashi contracted a commercial pact to send spices to the Byzantines. Al-Isfahani contends that al-Nu`man b. al-Mundhir imported silk (harir) and other cloth from Aden to al-Hirah.[11] Silk cloth also apparently was imported to the region to produce some other elegant clothing reported in the late pre-Islamic era. But overall, the urban centers of the erstwhile Roman empire, whose requirements for oriental luxury goods had for centuries been the lifeblood of trans-Arabian commerce, were now in economic chaos; and in the Hijaz itself, the demand for widespread importation of silk that had prevailed in earlier centuries has been explicitly explained by the compiler of historical traditions, al-Bukhari. With the rise of Islam, Muhammad banned Muslim men from wearing silk.[12] Hence, the striking silence of the sources on a more general sixth to seventh-century trans-Hijazi trade in spices and other oriental goods likely signaled exactly what was meant. That trade had died.[13] Accordingly, Crone most probably is correct when she asserts that: "Meccan trade was thus a trade generated by Arab needs, not by the commercial appetites of the surrounding empires," yet she errs when she continues: "and it is as traders operating in Arabia rather than beyond its borders that the Meccans should be seen."[14] For, as will be demonstrated, it is not what early Makkan trade was not, but what it was, that merits further scrutiny. Yet comprehending its composition also requires an understanding of the economic base from which it was derived. For what the sources do describe, as indicated, is a substantial, economically consequential, trade in fundamental staples: consumer and industrial goods that the contemporary Hijaz unquestionably did produce. Finally, the sketchy evidence from which orientalists debate is most often gleaned from the folklorist format the Arab chroniclers present. The early sources do not pretend to be detailed economic compendia. They are instead collections of human interest stories purporting to have, and generally enjoying, some basis in fact. But to attempt to portray the economic vitality of the sixth to seventh-century Hijazi based on the early Arabic sources alone, without ancillary evidence and more advanced analytic techniques, is tantamount to attempting to reconstruct the economy of New York state based solely upon the archives of the New York Post. Prudent scholarship dictates that the trivialities in such details not be magnified. As Watt states of the traditional accounts, they are "not true in the realistic sense of the secular historian."[15] Indeed, Crone herself acknowledges the futility of the undertaking using "the methodology that currently prevails in the field."[15]

Though damning, however, the sheer frankness of such concessions nonetheless simultaneously suggests that perhaps a somewhat different perspective and a different set of analytic tools are required to define more precisely the trade and industrial structures of the Hijaz at the rise of Islam. To these ends, seeking to reconcile the conflicting views, the analysis that follows augments the ongoing sixth to seventh-century Makkan "commercial structures dialogue," by synthesizing source documentation with extant physical evidence. We then view the findings through the prism, and using the tools, of the modern business economist - in so doing, drawing analogies with the operational dynamics of contemporary commerce that display similar characteristics. This can be a productive analytic approach. For, given the horizontally integrated free market economy that then prevailed in West Arabia, "modified upstream development regression analysis" - i.e., tracing the commodities of trade back to their basic production processes, and in turn, further back to their original resource inputs - can, in this instance, yield illuminating insights.[17] 2. The Issues in Question and the Tools Needed to Address Them That this inquiry seeks new methods - including archaeology, radiocarbon dating, industrial production and distribution analysis, and other modern scientific techniques - to capture more accurately the commerce and industry of early medieval West Arabia is no mere happenstance. Crone herself calls for better evaluative tools and evidence. To wit: "Without correctives from outside the Islamic tradition, such as papyri, archaeological evidence, and non-Muslim sources, we have little hope of reconstituting the original shapes of this early period."[18]

A review of her principal concerns, thus, is in order. For, given the vigor of the early Makkan trade dialogue precipitated by Crone through her critical source analysis, it is illuminating to examine the principal contentions of her thesis. Among them, she is baffled by certain bilateral trade transactions. A two-way exchange of certain cloths, agricultural foodstuffs,

analysis of the trading patterns of a major modern Mideast entrepôt such as Dubai. Indeed. there is a frequent recurrence of common commodities. based on anecdotal newspaper accounts of proximate. then. the two confrontations nonetheless appear at two separate. was legendary in its role as a key entrepôt where competing goods from throughout the region were sold. with the same precious metals-denominated investment capital. Harithah does serve as expedition leader in both the al-Qaradah and al-`Is engagements.[23] While Zayyid b. to wit. is not the case. of course.[21] Within this ongoing series of armed military expeditions and raids. It is not at all surprising. 6 alone.common to all caravans. This market reality is precisely why French restaurants are to be found in New York and there are "McDonald's" on the Champs-Elysees. "mirror images."investment capital" . both the political and economic dynamics in play become noteworthy.H. distinct. So the fact that he is cited in engagements at two sites. as well as of key individuals. For Makkah. we see the Meccans engaged in the peculiar activity of exporting coal to Newcastle while at the same time importing it from there. is incongruous to her: "Once again. and as will be demonstrated below. then any evidence suggesting that "Country Y" shipped certain commodities within the same commercial categories back to "Country X" clearly must be flawed. these are the very factors that cause Pakistani leisure suits to be sold in haberdasheries in urban centers of the West today. Second. was money . Given these realities. Such. the prime role of precious metals in such caravans was for use as "currency" in barter transactions for other commodities that actually were the prime targets of the multilateral trade missions.portraying a caricature of this dynamic twenty-first century free port as a mere economic backwater in the course of Euro-Afro-Asian commerce. quality. this was an extremely active era. moreover. the year of his raid at al-`Is. probable for each individual caravan. would doubtless result in anomalies identical to those found by Crone in sixth and seventh-century West Arabia . This circumstance makes a different commodity mix. making a qualitative reevaluation of the source evidence highly appropriate.[20] Yet upon closer scrutiny.[22] What the Muslims were plundering. Umayya or Abu Sufyan in the Qarada story. Al-Waqidi documents at least ninety-three major Muslim "ghazawat" and "saraya" in the first Hijri decade. it is not surprising that early medieval Busrans and Hijazis should have displayed mutual affinities for each others' clothing and the foodstuffs." Though the circumstances are somewhat similar.[24] Such raids. the possibility that these parallel stories actually are "doublets" is not as obvious as it may appear. or that such products should have been exchanged in the contemporary markets of Makkah and its environs. among them at least five cited by al-Dhahabi in A." in Crone's view. Consequently. this is also why Toyotas are common in the streets of Detroit and Fords grace the parking lots of Tokyo. it seems. if "Country X" were to produce a commodity and ship it to "Country Y. for instance. price. by its very nature. while Ibn Sa`d cites eighty-five and alDhahabi seventy-two. From a military standpoint. for instance. the latter both as force commanders and as caravan leaders. to find a diverse product mix circulating in the early medieval Hijaz. The silver is owned or guarded by Safwan b. and occur three years apart. Because demand. by Safwan b.and animals between Syria and the Hijaz. then. another phenomenon that concerns Crone. ranked among his prime preoccupations. Crone is vexed by certain quantification concerns. he likewise appears in numerous others. Haritha in both. productive "fixed plant" industrial activity. Speaking of two reported early Muslim raids on northbound Makkan commercial caravans. Umayya or Abu Sufyan in that about `Is. For as Ibn Ishaq claims. Nor is the claim that each caravan was carrying silver that was subsequently stolen a remarkable coincidence. known sites."[19] In other words. with its integrated network of seasonal markets. we may observe the following of this particular "doublet. Indeed. a Qurashi caravan loaded with silver (coined or uncoined) is raided by Muhammad's men. both historical and modern. and consumer preference do invariably create their own trade patterns. this is the entrepôt's prime role: to serve as a commercial meeting ground. . It likewise explains why these caravans were carrying silver both to and from Syria. It is hard to believe that the same commander twice intercepted a Meccan caravan loaded with the same commodity and manned by very much the same people. In both stories. she states: That the stories of the raids at Qarada and `Is are doublets is obvious. Yet such two-way market flows abound in trade statistics. that certain episodes in the sources appear to be duplicates. Here." of each other. and the Muslim commander is Zayd b.

[29] It is no way implausible to conclude from the evidence. like Serjeant.[28] Though there is undeniable overlap in the participations reported in these two events. but instead in better comprehending what the trade base really was. without doubt. as it is more likely to find embellishment by devout followers in their descriptions of the accomplishments of someone whom they believe to be the "Seal of the Prophets" than in their more mundane accounts relating that Abu Sufyan customarily led commercial caravans. Thus.or that participation by a merchant. II. There is admittedly some confusion in the sources as to who actually was in charge of these two trade missions. it is not at all surpris ing to find the names of certain principal merchants recurring in the narration of various commercial events. in conjunction with trade missions in general and with these two in particular. among them al-Aswad b. argues that the longstanding trans-Hijazi-Mediterranean trade in "spices" and other luxury goods that characterized the early Christian centuries had lost much of its vitality by the sixth century A. may not be all that extraordinary. places Safwan b. as there is strong countervailing evidence that suggests two separate incidents.500 camels. Peters. AlDhahabi places Abu Sufyan as a member of the caravan ambushed at al-Qaradah and Abu al-`As b. integrated organizational commercial structures then in place. Abi Rabi`ah within the al-Qaradah caravan and Safwan b. such as at al-Qaradah. as she also attempts. in fact.[31] But her contention may be as important for what it doesn't claim as for what it does. though there are parallels in the dual accounts. Umayyah and Abu al`As within that at al-`Is. quasipermanent functional units frequently containing many of the same key players . then. Yet they consisted of finite numbers of participants who habitually carried the goods of others.D. The ultimate solution. Indeed. it is not unequivocal that the primary source treatment of these two raids is indeed a "doublet. it would be surprising if this scenario were not the case. At the close of her book. however.[32] For an effective examination of the incipient dynamism of the Qurashi Makkan economy probably should not initially target export trade at all. she returns to this allegation of "recurring themes" with more compelling evidence. For such Makkan caravans served in a key private sector transport role run by the same "shipping company" carrying the goods of many people. An analogy to the economic structure of modern Saudi Arabia is likely a more productive inquiry. The quest perforce begins with precious metals. Such realities are not ipso facto failures of scholarship. `Abd al-`Uzza. al-Rabi` in that at al`Is. Umayyah and `Abd Allah b. that Makkan caravans formally operated as ongoing. Crone doubtless is correct when she. The Preeminence of Precious Metals As suggested above. her claim may be more plausible. did not perforce preclude them from involvement in another. in the search for alternate hypotheses to explain the role of trade in forging that dynamic. The evidence is finite. In sum. lies not in geographically transforming the Qurashis further to the north. or group of merchants. alMuttalib. For Qurashi caravans generally were quite large. such as at al-`Is.[27] Ibn Sa`d. given the complex. . or that Caliph Mu`awiyah was a grower of grapes. though.[30] Here. at times comprising as many as 2. They merely indicate that further examination of the economic circumstances is required. his son Zam`ah. similar trade mission three years later. of course. and Huwaytib b." as Crone contends. Such realities thus suggest that a more productive analytic course might be to commence by examining what we do know about the Hijazi economic dynamic at the time of the Prophet Muhammad's religious ascendancy. detailing "miracle stories" attributed to the Prophet Muhammad.separated in time by three years. in a given mission. But it can unquestionably be restructured to make more economic sense .recasting the industrial determinants of the early medieval Hijaz into a new commercial model. underscoring the cogency of Crone's call for more tangible non-documentary evidence to augment the Islamic sources. nor of numerous other prominent merchants similarly cited in the sources. the odds are likely that it was not. In this instance. For it is not what the sources do not say that is important. that the banu Sulaym mined gold. that in itself does not necessarily render them apocryphal.[25] as does Ibn Ishaq. it is what they do say. synthesizing chronicled testimony with physical artifacts representing the workings of early medieval industrial activity residual in the region.[26] Al-Waqidi places Safwan b. in turn. and others. Umayyah as a spokesperson within the al-Qaradah caravan and confirms the presence of Abu al-`As and `Abd Allah b. Abi al-Rabi`ah in the al-`Is caravan.

The reason: liquid minerals . Gold.. at least in part. capital looking for a place to happen. whether for export or transactional purposes. Elsewhere. the sources make quite clear that it was the latter function . refining. it had to perforce be.[34] Yet. Meccan trade thus cannot be identified as a trade in gold. in fact. the combination of source documentation and residual onsite physical evidence makes readily apparent that one cannot begin to comprehend the functioning of the early medieval Hijazi economy without first perceiving the indispensable role of precious metals.petroleum and its derivatives .88% of its annual gross domestic product (GDP) formation. and iron were inputs in other industrial production. They were.. and appears to have actually been. conducting.still constitute about seventy-five percent of the nation's aggregate annual budgetary revenues. no external indications that Mecca was prosperous or that there was any capital to invest. when she asserts that the early Makkans did not export vast amounts of gold and silver.. in fact.they would have missed entirely the fact that the Kingdom.. moreover.upwards of ninety percent . Had modern trade economists sought to capture the vigor of the modern Saudi Arabian economy based on these non-oil export figures . as subsequent analysis will demonstrate. and second. For what the foreign recipients of such metals ultimately did with such metals is not germane to the nature of the trade of the Hijazis. The absence of gold and silver coins is perhaps somewhat startling. before the discovery of oil.. wherein Saudi Arabia's non-oil goods and services export sales have fluctuated between 1.the identical retail trade that had sustained the Qurashis fourteen centuries before. And two conclusions immediately present themselves in consequence: that Mecca was not involved in international trade.. although. For careful reading of the medieval Arab geographers leaves little doubt that at the rise of Islam. Makkan merchants undeniably did carry substantial quantities of bullion on their international trading caravans. a quite different economy emerges. the analogue in seventh-century Arabia's western province to its twenty-first century eastern province's abundance of liquid minerals was hard minerals . Merchandise exports then were modest.. but only because we assume that the city lived on a monetary economy. here a clarification of the role of precious metals in shaping trade is critical.used as currency payments for commodities . in fact. may not be commercially significant. The lesson: absent a concerted analytic focus on other key economic. But the comparison to modern Saudi Arabia in explaining the early medieval Qurashi economy does not end with raw export data. measurements of merchandise and service exports are often no more an effective gauge of economic activity today than they are for the seventh century. despite its reduced oil revenues. and financial factors. Mining created a variety of production. and gold used as "currency" to purchase other goods. the linguistic distinction between gold "exported" in countertrade for other goods. Yet.. nonetheless has produced record real GDP creation in recent years.. however. commercial.. Jewelry-making further contributed to expansion of the local employment base. an overwhelming proportion of Hijazi public revenues . For Crone may well be right. silver. For Crone likewise asserts the quite striking claim that precious metals played no economically significant role in the contemporary Hijazi commerce: "The Meccans cannot be said to have exported gold and silver at all. Equally significantly.undeniably far more comprehensive in its coverage than mere fragmentary commercial references contained in the medieval Arabic sources . that the precious metals seized by Muslims in their various raids on caravans was intended for use as coin. not unlike those recorded in much of the most recent (1993-2003) decade.[35] Indeed. the investment capital that underwrote that production..precious metals. in fact.32% and 2. in an age of bulk bullion transactions.[36] Ibn Ishaq explicitly says.Early in the twentieth century. Precious metals were. it was trade investment capital they .that was more common.was derived from providing for the needs of religious pilgrims . they lubricated commerce. whatever business the Quraysh were. Responding to Crone's specific concern that they reportedly carried gold and silver both to and from Syria. here both scholars can be challenged. When the Muslims won silver as booty in their raid at al-`Is in 8/630."[33] Peters take the argument further still: There are. copper. quite literally barter. Their industrial and commercial contributions cannot be underestimated. the prominent role of indigenous Hijazi gold and silver mining in driving the operating dynamic of the early Islamic state has been amply documented. serving as its currency base for financing import acquisitions as well as "import substitution" indigenous industrial development.. which it almost certainly did not. For when they are factored into the contemporary equation. and distribution jobs at over a thousand separate sites.

use of precious metals in their uncast state was the preponderant transactional practice.[39] Important for understanding the economic dynamic of contemporary west Arabia.[41] and the waraq[42] . There were other proximate currencies percolating throughout the Near East in pre-Islamic times.the latter defined by al-Mawardi also as a "silver coin. in the caliphal reign of `Umar b.was also prevalent.employing them as numeraires . Umayyah b."[43] most probably of Himyaritic issue .000 mithqals of gold invested in one of Abu Sufyan's periodic northbound Syrian caravans concurrently makes clear that it was carried in the form of bullion to be used as currency to underwrite commerce.000 sites in West Arabia mined in the early Middle Ages. irrespective of the provenance of any particular currency denominator.[44] a claim affirmed by alMaqrizi[45] and Ibn Sa`d. Ibn Hajar quotes members of the banu Lihb as asserting "We brought the Prophet of God ore from al-`Aqiq. Both he and al-Bakri cite a variety of mining properties that were tax-farmed as "iqta`at" to local entrepreneurs by the Prophet Muhammad. `Amir b. Al-Baladhuri attests to the widespread operation of this bulk bullion trading practice. hundreds of early medieval Hijazi-west-central Najdi mining locations are known. the khums levy . then. in turn. and all of the stimulatory economic multiplier effects normally attendant thereto. the qintar was a bullion coin weight equivalent to 4. is the reality that precious metals were the prevailing current denominator. For.and the twenty percent tax (khums) is to be levied on precious metals. Indeed.[47] Many others of the more than 1.000 dinars.[49] Private exploration and discovery likewise appear to have played key roles in mine ownership. Khalaf 1. to be sure. Mahd al-Dhahab. But it was in their contemporary use as "money" that precious metals made their greatest financial impact. it is his . Thus.'" Given the abundance of . claims that it was this quite common use of bullion in monetary transactions that caused one Syrian customs agent to query `Umar b.[37] Abu Baqa'.were plundering. the Qur'an explicitly mentions the dinar. of necessity. Al-Waqidi's report that al-Harith b. and because of them. al-Khattab in some astonishment: "A caravan of Quraysh coming to Syria without gold? That isn't possible!"[38] Contending that gold was the driving force behind their commerce.000 mithqals.000 mithqals.and it was the specific weights of such foreign currencies that were the denominational basis for determining by proxy the value of the Hijazis' precious metal bullion used in commerce. including the Byzantine gold dinar and the Persian silver dirham. and he wrote us a letter stating: 'Whoever finds something. Several sites merit particular attention. marketable products. A review of the extant evidence is illuminating. and the banu Makhzum 5. carbon 14 datings from wood residuals at the smelters that supported these mining operation activities suggest that many dated to the pre-Islamic age and the earliest decades of Islam. incomes.[46] In sum.are directly linked by Arabic historical geographies to contemporary activities of the Prophet Muhammad's Quraysh tribe. the productivity of "al-Mindah" mine is lavishly lauded in pre-Islamic poetry. he adds that the Ghassanids would customarily relieve Makkan merchants of a portion of it in transit fees whenever Hijazi caravans passed through their territories. members of the banu `Abd Manaf 15. there exists much physical testimony that documents their continuing existence. making possible acquisitions that were not directly attainable through barter. Bahran. Among them. al-Khattab will be described presently. as there were very few "Arabic" coins struck in the first half century of Islam. In compelling confirmation that the medieval Arab chronicler's claims of abundant wealth in precious metals were not entirely apocryphal. By way of example.monetary benchmarks corresponding to specific common-use bullion weights. at the rise of Islam.000 mithqals. indigenously produced Hijazi gold and silver were the "capital bridge" that compensated for commodity trade deficits.[40] the dirham. the tax-farming of state mining properties whereby mines would be consigned to private interests in exchange for payment of the zakat. the values of commodity exports did not. likely were also active in his era. The purchase of one particular mine by `Umar b. and Biram among them . and some are even now being reopened for production. `Abd al-`Aziz. Indeed. whose residual evidence remains.[48] The financing of these early medieval Arabian mining operations appears to have been a "hybrid" individual/corporate system wherein private capital was employed. al-Nuqrah. and several others . Nawfal had 1. the Arab sources commonly describe early Muslim commercial transactions in dinar and dirham terms . and the collective ownership of the principal banu Sulaym mine. Al-Baladhuri relates that. Indeed.Mahd al-Dhahab. have to equal the values of product imports. or alternately. Early Hijazi mining proceeds created quality jobs.

however careful their construction or compelling their contentions. Hence. the scope of analytic inquiry must be more encompassing than mere concerted focus on a single scholar's contributions. many of these mining sites clearly were "big business. indigenously produced consumer goods. Production volumes also were impressive. Simon states that "the rise of Makkan trade and the beginning of North Arabian history were not bolts from the blue. nor did they evolve in isolation. In the early medieval Hijaz. The Question of an "Arabia Without Spices" (Instead With Gold and Silver) I.privately owned medieval mining properties that are documented in the Arabic sources whose physical evidence remains. (iii) a series of traderelated alliances and counter-alliances between them and the Abyssinians and Yemenis. because of the unyielding natures both of the region and of its diverse inhabitants. Credit precious metals with their proper role in driving the operating dynamic of the Hijaz economy at the dawn of Islam." Source evidence and the remnants of on-site barrack-like structures indicate that they were often labor-intensive. (vi) Abyssinian occupation of Yemen in A. predominant components of both local industry and commerce. the convenient convergence of a sixth-century series of significant events had. and F. scientific evaluation must transcend historiographic revisionism. the Ghassanids and the Lakhmids respectively. and the remaining dimensions of the contemporary commercial and industrial picture fall readily into place. and that more than 1. Mecca's history was part of contemporary world history. To take these valued commodities out of the contemporary West Arabian trade scene. Peters. Questions of both the chronology and character of pre-Islamic commerce have recently received considerable attention from other. Mahmood Ibrahim.. would unquestionably produce the same economically vacuous results as if oil were to be deleted from modern Saudi Arabia's export data. employing as many as two thousand men.[51] These sundry conspiracies and intrigues predictably failed. To project the full economic picture.000.500. For the economies of the early medieval Red Sea littoral and southern Mediterranean basin were neither "static" economic systems. (ii) attendant exorbitant tariffs and import and export controls imposed by these twin combatants upon goods transiting their borders.e. then. if a fuller contemporary commercial picture is to exist. delivered control of ongoing commerce directly into their hands. Indeed. E. must be factored in. which significantly disrupted Sasanid northbound commerce and diplomacy. i. equally distinguished medieval Near East historians. Describing the unsuccessful attempt of the Byzantines to install Christian . Indeed. included: (i) an intensely hostile military confrontation between the Byzantines and the Sasanids within the region throughout much of the sixth century. They were the key determinants that distinguished the relatively wealthy Makkan economy from its early medieval Near East counterparts. (v) various skirmishes between these twin superpowers' trade vassals within the western peninsula. are likely quite correct in their concurrence that the sixth century witnessed dramatic geopolitical developments that precipitated the culmination of the gradual transformation of the Makkan economy from a transit trade in luxury goods to the regional distribution of more basic.D. however. it appears in retrospect. then. for instance. largely economic at their origin. to ensure optimal accuracy. The Framework for Debate Analysis to this point has focused upon Crone's controversial trade claims. Robert Simon. but were in close causal relationship with the history of the neighboring powers. almost by default. 525. Yet. precious metals. but instead were profoundly impacted by powerful synergies between them."[50] There is much to commend this contention. Evidence suggests that in historic times an estimated 1. and finally.000 ounces of gold were produced at al-Hamdah in the early medieval era as well. the Qurashis' preeminence in early medieval Hijazi trade was no accident. Those events. gold and silver reigned preeminent. (iv) attempts to set up allied local tribal chiefs as "kings" on the Arabian Peninsula. Indeed.000 ounces of gold were produced from the more than one million tons of ore mined at the still producing mine Mahd al-Dhahab. tempering existing evidence with tests of classic economic theory. it is clear that precious metals production was a key private sector industry in Muhammad's era.

a series of petty intertribal wars for commercial control of West Central Arabia circa A." such as ginger. and from the south. Among their various initiatives.[53] The failure of the Yemeni invasion of the Hijaz in A." high unit-value oriental goods previously demanded by the rapidly degenerating urban centers of the Roman Empire as well as by Byzantium's war-ravaged and economically deteriorating provinces. al-Huwayrith al-Asadi al-Qurashi as a proxy "King of Makkah" as part of their strategic commercial initiative. while the primary Arabic sources for sixth-century Arabia do speak of an ongoing trade in "aromatics. 580 wherein the Qurashis vanquished the banu Hawazin.would ultimately assure the Hashimis preeminent trade hegemony.[52] Adroitly perceiving the resulting commercial vacuum. Bakkar calls the Qurashis "a fiercely independent people who would never subject themselves to the sovereignty of a king. There are similar indications that ginger was exported to Aden from India and Ceylon. clothing. as well as with other indigenous tribes guaranteeing them shares of the profits in exchange for security for Qurashi caravans as they transited their territories. 570. in framing an . for example.investment capital employed to underwrite facilities of production. the Hijaz continued to be a venue for at least some Indian subcontinent "luxury goods" . In such a focus.surplus capital generated as profits at the margin through commercial exchange and "industrial capitalism" . and attendant changes in Mediterranean-based market demand levels. the sources provide certain indications that throughout this era. multidirectional commercial emporium trading in the exchange of basic staples and the import of fundamental economic needs. The fourth/tenth-century Arab scholar. From the north arrived the oils. and weaponry of Syria and Iraq. while the Byzantines and Sasanids were militarily engaged with each other.convert `Uthman b. while discounting industrial capitalism. from the west. from classic antiquity through the sixth and seventh centuries. al-Zubayr b. for instance. lower unitvalue Arab goods. and with the Byzantines and Sasanids mutually preoccupied. For the Hashimi ruling elite quickly demonstrated far-reaching economic and diplomatic talents. the Qurashis' political and commercial interests were now effectively unleashed and unconstrained." the evidence is not entirely unequivocal. from the Hijaz to Syria. Ibrahim. and it is likewise cited in the Qur'an using its Indian name: zanjabil. and other allies of the regional commercial power. of course.[54] Combined with these tectonic political and economic shifts. as well as cloth and leather goods. For. combined with the "Hurub al-Fijar" . wines. clear distinction must be drawn between "mercantile capitalism" . pepper." such as frankincense and laudanum. to higher volume. for instance. producing a flourish of regional trade expansions involving key exports as well as imports. the Arabic chronicles are likely quite accurate in portraying the first/seventh-century Hijaz as an integrated. the effective range of which transcended the borders of the peninsula. the slaves. from Persia to the northeast. with Yemen and al-Hirah also both in decline. the analyses of Simon. foodstuffs." with only passing references to "condiments. musk. the Qurashis quickly moved in to fill the resultant economic and administrative voids. and not the more general "condiments. al-Hirah . indigenous to the Arabian peninsula."[55] Yet. the Hashimi clan of the banu Quraysh now moved with great dispatch. Various sources. for instance. iron products. ivory. Accordingly. it is likely not coincidental that the commodity mix of trans-Hijazi trade now gradually devolved from those "upscale. Thus.D. Concurring in the commercial portrayal that the sources describe. cite an aloewood used as incense in the Hijaz at the dawn of Islam called "Indian wood" (`ud al-Hind). moreover. the cloths and perfumes of Yemen. and jewels. and other seasonings that Crone evaluates in her broader interpretation of the English term "spices. in order to meet more fundamental consumer requirements in the proximate Near East. ambergris. banu Qays. accepts the contemporary utility of mercantile capitalism.D. grains. Mahmood Ibrahim." Accordingly. and Peters are probably generally correct in identifying within its trade flows "aromatics. [56] The fundamental nature of the private financial system that underwrote economic activity in the contemporary Hijaz is likewise a source of scholarly contention that merits further scrutiny. and incense of Abyssinia. Their achievements concurrently enhanced the geographic mobility of Qurashi merchants within an ever-expanding network of mercantile activities. according to medieval Arabic sources. These developments would likewise soon prove seminal not only for the Qurashis' own economic interests but also for the evolution of the Hijaz itself as a formidable commercial force.most likely to meet Arabian peninsula and other proximate southwest Asian market demand. they immediately concluded trade agreements with local representatives of the regional superpowers situated at their Arabian peninsula borders to broker their goods. asserts that the Quraysh also exported pepper. alQummi.

[64] The institutions of sadaqah (alms-giving. by the first half of the seventh century. Umayyah and sundry Sulamis that was financed with a mudarabah contract.[59] But there likewise were collective forms of productive investment. The region was instead a significant production center that manufactured commodities in surplus to be marketed by its merchants in regional commerce. as in Mecca.. therefore. "Look at what was extracted from it and what I spent on it. Kilab levied taxes on both indigenous and incoming merchants. the notion of pooled merchant capital as a welfare institution. While the evidence is less comprehensive for the pre-Islamic era. Contending that Makkan merchants merely traded in the goods of others. Having on surplus of their own.[63] It may be concluded. At the rise of Islam. well as the banning of monopolistic practices (ihtikar) . as in Yemen. and later zakat). Given the general pedagogic skepticism regarding the reliability of the early Arabic sources. For often a mass of anecdotal data must be woven together in the quest for a more consistent. though source references more commonly appear in commercial transactions. and other Sulamis in the caliphal reign of `Umar b. in turn. much of the current scholarly debate has centered upon "evaluative methodology. Mecca's merchants thus accumulated capital only through trade occasioned by the institution of the haram. both conclusions may be challenged. in the ascendancy . For as subsequent sections demonstrate. Thus. according to Ibn Qutaybah. Abu Talib. it was integral to the Qurashis' innovative marketing approach of brokered security (khafarah) caravan (ilafi) traffic. deserves further study in combination both with what the Arab chroniclers claim and what today remains in the form of tangible physical evidence. the Qurashi progenitor Qusayy b. al-Qurtubi among them. al-Khattab. as Ibrahim contends. progenitor of the Quraysh.were similar mechanisms aimed at wealth redistribution as well as at attracting pilgrim merchants to Makkah. rifadah (providing food). indicate that Hashim.. It is how that productive investment was financed at its inception that merits further consideration." he complains. West Arabia was far more than a mere string of way-stations on the classic trade routes of antiquity. Ibrahim states: Merchant capital is that fraction of capital that is generated purely through exchange. accumulating profit as they increased commercial activity and enlarged the area of their market.[57] Yet here. practically every wealthy Makkan was invested in agrarian properties near al-Ta'if. and siqayah (providing water) .[58] Al-Baladhuri relates the grudging assessment by `Umar b.. `Abd al-`Aziz of an unproductive mining property that he had purchased from the offspring of Bilal b. it is nonetheless clear that. For the sources suggest that this was an age of keen mercantile competition. Such comparative advantage appears to have been critical. To underwrite the costs of such provisions. Indeed. al-Harith al-Muzani which had been previously awarded to his family as a land concession by Prophet Muhammad. whether merchants controlled the means of production. with munafarah. even leading at times certain commercially unfortunate Makkan merchants to contemplate ritual suicide (i`tifad). Meccan merchants merely bought and sold their merchandise.[65] The evolution of each of these commercial phenomena. providing us with a classic illustration of exchange as the origin of merchant capital. For the sources clearly suggest that both capitalistic structures were very much in evidence. whereas Simon and Peters do not." Which analytic tools can most effectively be employed to substantiate or discredit extant data? The forensic undertaking is complicated by the highly fragmentary nature of the source accounts themselves.[60] Al-Baladhuri describes a land reclamation partnership between Harb b. speaks of a dispute at Mahd al-Dhahab gold mine among the original investors. However. rational whole. the narration of functional economic history was . for example.[62] Hence.[61] Al-Bakri..economic model for sixth-century Arabia. that the more prevalent commerce-based form of aggregate capital employment was due to its use as much as an income transfer mechanism aimed at wealth redistribution as to its use as a capital mobilization instrument.. Some sources. As they did not own means of production at the time. The difficulty has been compounded further by the targeted focus of modern inquiry. as well as a commercial capitalization tool.. was among the Makkan wheat growers who sold their own produce. must not be discounted. an intense vying for social status based on wealth and material strength. mine workers. or not. for instance. the concept of "pooled investment capital" to finance goods production was not unknown in the sixth and seventh centuries. urged lesser merchants to pool their capital in order to gain from strength in numbers.and with financial failure according to some sources. many first/seventh-century entrepreneurs were sufficiently wealthy that no external investment capital was necessary to underwrite their productive ventures. particularly in the era of Muhammad when the dynamics of "Islamic economics" were initially being forged.

the crucial distinction may often be less one of kind than of degree. Among them are physical remains. But while scientific evaluation as well as the application of modern economic theory can aid in the discovery process. even an abundance of artifacts to prove the workings of particular crafts.usually not the foremost objective of the medieval Arab chronicler." when the data are viewed in aggregate. to develop a fuller picture. the challenge is to ascertain whether. they nonetheless still require the reliability of corroborating evidence. Given such challenges. it is often complementary. both chronicled and physical. Yet such tools often do exist. The prospects for corroboration thus compel the analyst to evaluate any given body of textual evidence as a "data composite. Part of the analytic challenge is subjective. The textual evidence is undeniably finite. The challenge is daunting. Absent incontrovertible evidence. Crone and others have called for new analytic tools to examine the extant body of finite evidence. not at manufacturing a case for destroying them in toto. In the first instance. Analysis thus must focus on people. For while there are residual tailings that indicate the undertaking of medieval West Arabian mining. what the totality of information. Serjeant has aptly stated: "criticism of historical sources should aim at eliciting from them what is possible to accept as evidence. and complex. despite a possible embellishment in numbers. diverse. such as mining tailings. heuristically and inadvertently derived an . a substantial measure of deductive reasoning often is required to ascertain underlying economic realities. At the same time.such as infrared sensing and radiometric dating can fill in the blanks left by the written manuscripts. artifacts and advanced technology-based analytic tools . and (v) accounts of regulation of that trade by Muhammad and other contemporary authorities. To wit. as well as the evaluative techniques of modern economic analysis. and hence deserve a certain attention in measuring their merit. if the testimony of a given source is suspect. corroborating. they are remarkably accurate in depicting the mechanical operations of early medieval precious metals mining. have made the identical mistake? In the latter case. including the veracity of the medieval Arabic sources. must again revert to the subjective issue of "preponderant plausibility. The underlying determinant. for instance. (ii) chroniclers' accounts of private sector undertakings of such productive activities. there remains no basis for meaningful commercial and industrial reconstruction of the first/seventh-century Hijaz. without a reasonable willingness to accept elements of truth in the early source accounts. For. could other. working quasiautonomously on an ad hoc basis. In other words. Concurrently." seeking to discern. and the ruins of contemporary dams to suggest the cultivation of agriculture. (iii) source references to official attempts to promote their operational development. events. of which there is ample physical proof. to be sure. may reveal about a particular economic function's operation and chronology. and artifacts whose existence can be linked to times and places certain. perhaps through an error in transmission or reception. with each part comprising a piece of a greater puzzle. Moreover. since at least five documented cross-checks can be combined to offer a fuller economic picture. the sources provide a certain corroborative utility. chroniclers."[66] This goal is crucial in reconstructing early medieval Arab economic history. they too clearly have their limitations. a full seven centuries before Adam Smith. does a given source provide a probable underlying truth in its data documenting the functioning of a particular industrial sector? The medieval Arab chroniclers were not entirely oblivious to economic reality. and agriculture. The historiographic challenge thus is significant. however. in each instance. capturing a collage of synergistic production and distribution functions that can be retrofitted to recreate the operations of a functional market-driven industrial system. B. (iv) documentation attesting to systematic trade in the resulting products. As R. the possibility cannot be discounted that certain economic manifestations that do exist are ex post facto phenomena produced in later Umayyad or even early `Abbasid times. part must be empirical. of which there is less tangible proof? Here. remnants of dams and other edifices. nor often. in detail. does the combination of what the sources have to say convey a coherent economic logic? If in microeconomic functioning. acting independently. They include: (i) Qur'anic references to the pursuit of specific industries and crafts. For while they may provide snapshots of specific economic phenomena at a given time. there is no market produce that reveals a specific commercial commodity mix. why should one then conclude that they are categorically wrong about trade. analysis is left with the improbable conclusion that Arab chroniclers. In this quest. in a particular circumstance. nor "Geniza documents" to demonstrate the incidence of trade. the crafts.

also were ubiquitous and were used not only as a basic foodstuff but also as an in-kind currency to settle commercial obligations. Numerous Qu'ranic verses testify to the abundance of dates.was particularly known for its grape and raisin production. Khaybar similarly was known for its fine dates. `Abbas. the challenge becomes that of fitting into place remaining pieces of the contemporary industrial and commercial puzzle . In al-Madinah region. Indeed. and `Amr b. 1. al-`As all owning large vineyards there. Talhah . a review of the uses to which these capital resources were put. Abu Talib. as well as of the operations of the economic base industries to which they were committed will be helpful. `Abd al-Muttalib. source data. Al-Samhudi relates that Ja`far b. Because of their durability. with the latter credited as the first to grow wheat in Wadi Qanah north of the city. whereas Hamzah b. when viewed in aggregate.almost perfect (albeit fictitious) working model of what today is known as "free market economics. Wadi al-Qura. citrus and other fruits.a match made possible by the availability of significant.a beneficiary of a substantial 200-450 millimeters of rain annually . Mu`awiyah b. to the south. Fadak. Zubayr owned a grove of 20. both as commercial goods and consumables. Al-Ta'if. The famed Muslim conqueror of Egypt. `Abd Allah b. resulted annually in the production of 150. whereas Dumat al-Jandal (modern al-Jawf) was situated in an area propitious for the production of dates as well as cereals. grasses. The fruit and date farms of al-Ta'if were famous both for their quantity and quality of output. another farm product. dates. throughout al-Madinah region. olives. `Ubayd Allah appear as major wheat growers.000 camel loads of wheat. and fertile oases existed at al-Ta'if. Wadi al-`Aqiq. Yanbu`.[70] This future caliph also dedicated special care to developing properties in the Wadi al-Qura area and elsewhere that had been previously owned by Jewish farmers. and with such finance available in abundance. was also legendary for exporting quality wines made from dates and grapes. there can be little doubt that agriculture played a key role in the commercial vitality of the first/seventh-century Hijaz. a greater understanding of the other factors of production falls into place. and plants. Indeed. [69] Hijazi agriculture was frequently carried out on a significant scale. The region's landscape was dotted with trees. with wealthy citizens often cited as major financiers of agrarian activities. and through the analytic prism of modern economic theory. Turabah. the Qur'an states: "We grow for you gardens of date palms and vines. raisins too were extremely convenient foodstuffs. al-Nakhlah. The ready availability of adequate supplies of investment capital to support production has previously been demonstrated. alfalfa. but as complementary components of a highly functional. who owned numerous grain and dateproducing properties in the vicinities of Makkah and al-Madinah. grapes. integrated microeconomic system. called by al-Qalqashandi "a little bit of Heaven transported by God from Syria to the Hijaz" .[67] Dates. and elsewhere. al-`As. in them. Khaybar. Abi Sufyan and Talhah b. The `Asir. and vegetables produced in the vicinity of al-Madinah. and of them. Capital availability was a key to its success. sorghum. The farm produce of these areas included grains such as wheat and barley. a wide variety of vegetables. Of these farm products.000 camel loads of dates and 100. you have abundant fruit. grapes. Abi Sufyan. the latter particularly on lengthy trade and military expeditions. At this stage. They likewise could be used in local desalination and water-purification processes."[68] Various regions throughout the Hijaz distinguished themselves through their cultivation of particular farm products." Defining the Economic Dynamics of The First/Seventh-Century Hijaz Having fixed the primacy of precious metals at the core of early medieval Western Arabian economic operations. It. the chroniclers' accounts often may be seen not as mere human interest stories. The Productivity of Agriculture Despite the barren setting. bushes. and al-Istakhri indicate that their production was another prime industry of al-Ta'if region. `Amr b. and pomegranates. grains. is said to have had a vineyard in al-Ta'if that contained more than one million vines. albeit anecdotal. raisins. you eat.000 date palms in al-Furu`. fruits. and leather goods seized from a Qurashi caravan in their raid at al-Nakhlah. al-`Abbas b. with Mu`awiyah b. `Abd Allah b. al-Suwarqiyah. also historically served as a key breadbasket for West Arabia. the very first booty won by Muhammad's newly formed Muslim forces were al-Ta'ifi wines. The sources report that investments in ten farms by Mu`awiyah. together with al-Madinah.

000 spring-irrigated date palms that produced 4.000 dinars in annual income. This city was especially known for its craftsmen of precious metals throughout early medieval times. the remnants of at least nineteen dams from that period still exist in various state of preservation in the Hijaz . 50 horses. (i) Jewelry-Smithing. in turn. and other productive undertakings. with animal herds frequently very large. and swords.[79] Al-Waqidi. there is physical evidence. bows. citing Ibn Zubalah. Bakkar relates that a prime occupation of Hakim b. Medinese jewelers.500 camels are cited in the sources. affirms that the principal products sold in "suq bani Qaynaqa` in the pre-Islamic era were jewelry.and include descriptions of opulent rings. Abi Sufyan similarly was reportedly the beneficiary of an animal bequest involving 2. Prophet Muhammad is said to have employed seventy camels in his cavalry. Al-Salihi al-Shami relates that when Prophet Muhammad vanquished the banu Qaynaqa` in al-Madinah.thirteen in alTa'if region. Ibn `Abd al-Barr asserts that future caliph `Uthman b. [81] Makkah. Indeed. together with the goldsmiths of Fadak and Khaybar. the Hijaz. rivers will flow. . "Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things they covet. Amongst the various enterprises. pendants. and three near al-Madinah. as Hijazi craftsmen were engaged in diverse productive activities that created a noteworthy selection of marketable commodities. let us focus on five key sub-sectors: (i) jewelry-smithing. The victorious Muslim forces reportedly seized 24.[82] Gold and silver plating also was a handicraft pursued by early medieval Hijazi jewelry smiths. he seized great numbers of swords and blacksmithing and jewelry-making equipment. to support the documentary sources. beneath them. and al-Samhudi. Hizam was marketing camels at the Makkah market."[77] Malik b. While many of these dams were built in the early Islamic era. and "For them will be Gardens of Eternity. it was logical that jewelry-making would become a key profession. they will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold. indicates that there were more than three hundred jewelers at this time in the Medinese suburb of al-Zuhrah alone. such as "Sadd Qasr al-Bint. One lady of al-Madinah. women and sons.spent 200. were regionally renowned for the quality of their work.[74] He likewise relates the purchase of a female slave in exchange for 100 shecamels. heaped up hoards of gold and silver". recent archaeological expeditions investigating their structural design and provenance suggest that some. Because of the proliferation of indigenous gold and silver.[76] 2. The sword of Abu Jahl.000 camels in the battle of Hunayn in the year 8/630. and 1. as references to jewelry permeate the sources . The Output of Manufacturing The non-agricultural industrial base of the early medieval Hijaz was likewise quite diverse. `Affan personally contributed 950 camels.[78] Jewelry-making was a specialty of Jews in general . which contained 20. in the form of remains of irrigation canals and dams dating to this period. Zaynab bint Mu`awiyah al-Thaqafiyah.[73] and Zubayr b.[75] Thus.000 dinars for land reclamation on his estate in Umm `Iyyal. The sword worn by Prophet Muhammad upon his triumphant entry into Makkah in 630 reportedly had gold and silver inlay. indigenous manufacturing was an industrial sector that consisted of several substantial sub-sectors. and the Qur'an abounds with references to gold and silver as esteemed possessions.000 sheep.[72] Mu`awiyah b. earrings. Their output doubtless enjoyed a receptive market.000 dinars to the embryonic Islamic army. bracelets and anklets. and other objects of adornment. (iii) tanning.and of the Jewish banu Qaynaqa` in al-Madinah in particular. (ii) black-smithing.[76] Indeed. three in the vicinity of the Khaybar Oasis. and Wadi al-Qura likewise reportedly had sizable jewelry-smithing sectors. and (v) perfumes. For illustrative purposes. We have already noted that caravans consisting of as many as 2. bangles. ranging from mining to hunting and fishing. (iv) textiles." in the Khaybar region. lances. Over 1. For instance. Anas relates that so passionate were local Arabs in their reverence for gold and silver tableware at this time that the Prophet felt compelled to ban its production and use as being an ostentatious detraction from religious observance. And again. to construction and manufacturing. Hijazis were historically known for their love of decoration with precious metals.000 horses participated in the Muslims' conquest of Makkah in 8/630. reportedly owned a necklace whose gold content weighed more than twenty mithqals. farming clearly was a significant industry within Islam's birthplace.[71] Livestock likewise was a key industry at the dawn of Islam. al-Ta'if. and in the battle of Badr in 2/624. likely are attributable to late pre-Islamic times.

and made for you out of the skins of animals dwellings which you find most light when you pause in your travels. Yemen. balancing well the rings of chain armor". devotes an entire chapter to iron. To this end. water basins. as well as local copper kitchenware and piping. and other containers. Egypt. They further relate that at the siege of alTa'if. is said to have had similar features. for instance. tribal chieftain of the banu Jumah. and other instruments of war. which. Al-Azdi reports the presence of wholesale iron dealers operating in al-Madinah at this time as well. AlAzraqi. had been seized as booty by the Muslims from the Quraysh in the battle of Badr. after the battle of Hunayn in 8/630. al-`As b. Muhammad armed his troops for battle with two hundred suits of armor provided by Safwan b. Indeed. Surat al-Hadid. Another of his close acquaintances was the Makkan blacksmith. floor coverings. and al-Azraq b. and "It was We who taught the making of coats of mail for your benefit to guard you from each other's violence. Even certain very prominent Makkans. Umayyah."[88] Muhammad's son Ibrahim's day-care was provided by the wife of a blacksmith. Harb and Ayyub alSakhtiyani. it was logical that the preparation (al-dibaghah) of animal hides and skins (adm) for leather should likewise become a key contemporary industry. `Uqbah al-Thaqafi are among other Arab blacksmiths known to history. the latter. `Uqbah alThaqafi after defecting to the Muslim camp and embracing Islam. The fourth/tenth-century Yemeni geographer al-Hamdani marvels at the extent of alTa'if's leather industry. an encounter wherein.000 lances. having been a slave freed by Prophet Muhammad after the conquest of al-Ta'if. Given the abundant livestock resources of the early medieval Hijaz."[90] Leather-making was particularly prominent in al-Ta'if area. as well as having many benefits for mankind. Upon the Muslims' subjugation of the banu Qurayzah in 5/626. An apprentice. a region famous for the quality of its production to the extent that it enjoyed a significant export market.[89] (iii) Tanning and Leather-Making.[84] When the first/seventh-century Arab conquests dramatically increased the contemporary demand for weaponry such as swords. and 500 shields. according to al-Baladhuri. arrowheads. in fact. but also to Syria. they reportedly embellished the Prophet's favorite sword. shields. Wa'il. sacks. bottles. and Abyssinia. and together. the sources indicate that there were at least thirty prominent blacksmiths plying their trade during the Prophet's era in Khaybar. Hisham. among them Abu Sufyan b. He is cited in the sources as having made a number of swords for al-`Isa b. The sources relate that both men and women were involved in the tanning profession. an ingredient for war. and al-Qutbi relate that in pre-Islamic times.[86] The Qur'an makes frequent references to body armor ." and al-Waqidi and other chroniclers as well cite numerous commercial caravans departing from there bearing leather goods. and sundry other iron goods. reportedly worked as leather merchants. who also specialized in the manufacture of swords. Iraq. Marzuq al-Sayqal. who took the name al-Azraq b. Doors and window frames were a particular focus of gold-leaf decoration.seized as booty in the Battle of Badr in the year 2/624. the chroniclers claim. al-Fasi. belts. shields. utensils. Production included weapons. [83] (ii) Blacksmithing. the economic significance of which is indicated in the Qur'anic verse: "It is God who made your habitations homes of rest for you. and makes out of their wool and soft fibers valuable things and articles of convenience to serve you."[87] The Qur'an. additional iron ore was imported from India and Persia via al-Basrah for use in armaments production. Pre-Islamic poetry extols the virtues of professional iron-working. Persia. not only to Suq `Ukaz and other neighboring areas. calling it "a land of tanners. and lances and shields likewise were often embellished in this manner.500 swords. where we find the following verse: "We sent down iron. 300 suits of armor. blacksmithing was another craft practiced in many of the towns and villages of the sixth and seventh-century Hijaz. knapsacks.[85] Local metal-working output appears to have been substantial. sword sheaths.for instance. worked with him as a "metal-polisher". al-Mughirah. clothing. 2. "Make thou coats of mail. Khabbab b.[91] . sandals. Ibn Sa`d reports. a Roman slave skilled in smithing. Walid b. With iron ore and copper available in commercial quantities on the Arabian peninsula. shoes. food containers. Abu Sayf. Three thousand lances are also said to have been employed in the battle of Hunayn in 8/630. the victorious troops reportedly seized 1. Qurashi tribal chieftains would take great pride in embellishing the Ka`bah with elaborate gold and silver overlay . Hijazi craftsmen thus made metalworking a significant cottage industry at the rise of Islam.a practice that has been perpetuated until the present day. bridles. saddles. dhu al-Faqar. became renowned for his work. tools. al-Aratt. leather craftsmen would purchase hides from local tanners to manufacture tents.

and future caliphs Abu Bakr and `Uthman b. both in trade and manufacture.000-dirham thiyab said to have been worn by contemporaries of Muhammad . Wool was available in abundance. made each year to cover the Ka`bah during the pilgrimage season evince sophisticated tailoring. the most recent kiswahs . the sources relate that Hashim b. `Ubayd Various Companions of the Prophet . importing their qaraz from Wadi al-`Aqiq." his early successors had dressed it with cloth made of Egyptian "Coptic" linen. al-`As and others selling Hijazi leather goods in Egypt and Abyssinia. al-Fasi.[97] that members of the banu Makhzum employed slaves for the same purpose.500 articles of clothing and twenty bales of Yemeni cloth on sale in al-Madinah during the time of the Prophet. and indeed to `Amr b. Abi Rabi`ah owned seventy slaves who were engaged in weaving. Though it was not until the onset of the eighth/fourteenth century. `Abd Manaf commenced his commercial career by gaining official permission to sell leather goods in Byzantine-occupied Syria. `Awwam. Al-Waqidi cites the inventories of one merchant consisting of 1. local decorative and inlay workmanship often appears to have been intricate.[92] An abundance of both wild and domesticated animals. The heretofore cited 100-dinar gowns and 1.[96] Slaves appear to have been extensively involved in indigenous clothing manufacture. in their raid on a Makkan caravan at alNakhlah. were indigenous to both the Hijaz and the Najd.[94] (iv) Textiles and Weaving. It was an input in the production of yarn. a practice that appears to have grown increasingly more elaborate with the passage of time. as one Companion of Muhammad reportedly became so wealthy brokering it that he was known as "Sa`d alQaraz. $4." of course. al-`As.have required for production each year the Saudi Riyal equivalent of more than U. Weaving was an art form in early medieval Arabia that capitalized upon the ready availability of various raw materials. This product appears to have enjoyed a brisk demand.[100] They were not invariably entirely "Hijazi.among them `Abd al-Rahman b. and other sources indicate that at one point in Muhammad's era. particularly at the peak of the pilgrimage season.not to mention the Prophet's grandfather's burial gown. even with modern automated technologies.[101] Nonetheless.[98] and still others were involved in weaving datepalm leaves into baskets and other useful products. combined with a suitable climate. Egyptian and Coptic textiles likewise made their way along well-plied trade routes to a variety of Hijazi markets. the Makkan historian al-Fasi relates that whereas Muhammad covered the Ka`bah with "al-thiyab al-Yamaniyah. which local craftsmen specialized in weaving into useful household and clothing articles. Talhah b. They likewise contain various references to camel caravans bearing leather goods from the Hijaz to Syria as well as to `Amr b. who introduced brocaded ornamental embellishments to the kiswah. `Amr b.5 million and more than two hundred laborers. Dying and sewing cloths also were key sub-sectors of this industry. bearing gold and silver decorative embroidering (and later Qur'anic verses). that Qur'anic inscriptions first appeared. al-`As ostensibly discussing the merits of his Hijazi hides with the latter's ruler.S. and al-Bukhari devotes several chapters of his book of traditions to their pursuit.are said to have specialized as cloth (bazz) merchants. Certain sources claim that it was the third caliph.[102] By relative cost analogy. made al-Ta'if region a natural center for the processing of hides and for leather goods manufacturing. near al-Madinah. `Affan . which produced a substance used in tanning. which . In addition. Al-Isfahani states that `Umar b. A variety of sources suggest that the sale of leather goods in the regional markets was generally quite buoyant. Both Makkah and alMadinah had major hide-processing centers."[93] Other cities of the region developed significant tanning and leather-making industries as well. for the requisite cloth was often imported from Yemen or Egypt. `Affan. no less than seven caravans bearing Syrian cloth arrived in al-Madinah in a single day. Perpetuating a tradition that dated to pre-Islamic times. 'Awf. alZubayr b.[95] This was a significant regional industrial sector. a phenomenon that has been perpetuated to the present day. Amongst the first goods seized by the Muslims as booty was al-Ta'ifi leather. `Uthman b. marketing their output in the aswaq of al-Madinah.[99] Kiswahs from the early Islamic era .In this trade. qaraz trees.coverings measuring fourteen meters by forty-seven meters. five-piece silk curtains covering 658 square meters . Hijazi textiles also were a flourishing industry. the sources nonetheless make clear that the Prophet and his caliphal successors were committed to quality workmanship and spared no expense in the manufacture of the kiswah. according to a much later chronicler.

instead. a particular area. and price differentials play highly significant roles in creating particular commercial patterns." producing quite natural bilateral commercial flows. In the species of free market economics then at work in the Hijaz. The Role of Multi-Directional Trade in Forging the Medieval Hijazi Economic Dynamic. as well as serving as a crucial nexus for transit trade.[103] The latter story. `Umar b.must also have been distinguished by their fineness to have commanded such imposing prices. al-`As sold perfumes (as well as leather goods) in Egypt. Abi al-`As sold them to the Lakhmids in al-Hirah.000 mithqals of gold . while another makes more pricey.[105] Abu Jahl's mother is said to have sold perfumes in Makkah. and adds that he often procured such goods from the Yemen as well.[112] Al-Baladhuri. people who had commodities to trade. The sources thus make clear that the legend of an expansive early medieval Hijazi trade was by no means a myth. black-smiths. and al-Ta'if in particular. and other accommodations lent further impetus to regional market demand. The early Makkans did possess commodities to consume and export. producing those complex bilateral trade patterns that seem to have mystified Crone. tent housing. Perfumes likewise were in high demand in contemporary West Arabian commercial markets. and that these goods are then exchanged between them. That is why one finds today a particular industrial district of Germany manufacturing .[113] In sum. Yet Crone. (v) Perfumes. the answer is simple. Demand. and trade in them they did. Indeed. Wholesale purchases to meet the physical needs of pilgrims and other participants in the seasonal trade fairs in the form of foodstuffs. relates that there were over four hundred perfumers at this time in al-Madinah alone. taste. Why would a region export products from a specific commodity category . and then import products from the same category back again? From the standpoint of economic theory. At the same time. or foodstuffs . may border on the apocryphal. were known both for the production of fragrances and their subsequent wholesale and retail distribution. diverse. Unraveling the "Coals To Newcastle" Enigma 1.[106] Al-Isfahani states that during one pilgrimage season. causing alBukhari to title a significant section of his assembled traditions "A Chapter on Buying Perfumes and Musk. a portion of which would be dispatched annually to Makkah to perfume the Ka`bah.[107] Al-Tabari asserts that `Abbas b. Abu Talib was a perfume merchant dealing in a kind called `itr. as did `Abd Allah b. describes the operations of a first/seventh-century Qurashi merchant in al-Madinah who traded in a perfume-yielding plant called idhkir. It was. quality. It often is the case that one region manufactures a lesser quality product that meets lower or middleclass needs. Muslim. and with apparent reason. integrated economy comprised not just of merchants and financiers but of miners. among others.reportedly was gilded with 1. preference.[109] and al-Isfahani claims that Hakam b. as it was not inconsequential. The diversified economic base of early Makkah and its environs constituted a significant consumption center. wealth generated from precious metals made productive investment possible in a very diversified industrial base. jewelers. the industrial economy of the Hijaz at the rise of Islam was not as primitive as it has been it clothing. since the gold weight alone in this burial gown would have exceeded three kilograms. in short. Let us now turn to a review of her most perplexing trade concerns. we observe the truism that "trade follows demand. and that they participated with Prophet Muhammad in the defense of the city while it was under siege by Umayyad forces. in turn. the reported wealth of local businessmen suggests that Makkah's citizens possessed sufficient resources to make such acquisitions.[110] Ibn Qutaybah indicates that in addition to being a major grain broker. the story of a dynamic. wrestles with what she calls the "carrying coals to Newcastle" trade phenomenon. tailors. leather goods. both from the standpoints of production inputs and consumer purchases. Kathir.[111] The compiler of prophetic traditions. The division of labor documented in the Arabic sources suggest that local merchants and entrepreneurs met both their business and personal consumption requirements through acquisitions from others. Abi Rabi`ah purchased perfumes and cloth at the Makkan market valued at a thousand dinars. enabling local entrepreneurs to pursue a wide variety of economic ventures. Recent scholarly analysis has focused extensively upon the countertrade dimension in early medieval Hijazi commerce. farmers.[108] whereas al-Kindi testifies that `Amr b. `Abd al-Muttalib also dealt in Yemeni perfumes."[104] The Hijaz. sophisticated products of the same generic type. tanners. to export as well as to import. and other producers.

through a mudarabah trade contract. the Hijaz. Thus it is that the Qur'an speaks of annual trading caravans to Yemen and Syria. and `Amr b. al-Huwayrith contracting to sell clarified butter to Byzantine Syria. equally cogent economic factors. as it is an inescapable commercial reality that if you are to produce significant wealth through industrial production. "people's vehicles. 'Awf employing seven hundred camels to import grains and flour back from Syria after having delivered other agricultural commodities work in the early Makkan economy. what they imported may be as economically significant as what they exported. al-`As and Umarah b." she laments. as shaped by market demand. `Affan and Sa`id b. and preference . cottage cheese. Yet she remains troubled by the "common commodities" dimension to bilateral trade. Yemen. Jud`an bringing two thousand camel loads of honey. The same is true for imports. al-`As in Egypt selling perfumes and leather. Umayyah. and the early medieval Hijazis were clearly no exception. Indeed. of Makkans also bringing oils from Syria by camel caravan (al-zayt al-rikabi. Wisconsin. `Abbas b. and Abyssinia . Foreign trade has historically been prerequisite to both processes. nothing more than demand.commodities similar to those that they also made and exported to those countries. and the early sources find Hashim. in southern Syria selling leather goods and cloth. should want to export the commodities that they produced. 2.[114] What was the dynamic? Again. and Abu Sufyan in Iraq. while missing the true significance of the total trade picture. The Role of the Pilgrimage in Shaping Makkan Trade. of Syrians bringing grains and oils to Makkah in the Prophet's era. One need not be baffled by their activities. an early version of the "mobile oil corporation"). the merchandise of his future wife Khadijah. just as successful Western businessmen today often prefer Hong Kong tailored suits to local fashions. of them. and perfumes from Syria. the military commander `Amr b. Abi al-`As in alHirah selling perfumes. Crone is aware of the bilateral trade activities cited above. of wheat being brought in from Hawran and al-Balqa'. This is why the Makkans delivered clothing and foodstuffs to Syria and also brought back their Syrian commodity equivalents. since selling only to those within the same jurisdiction is economically no more than a zerosum game. which has its own dairy herds. Walid al-Makhzumi in Abyssinia on similar trading expeditions. For it is not improbable that. running a market facility in lower Makkah wherein he stored goods that he imported from Egypt. if not most. the early Makkans should have wanted to procure products within commodity categories similar to those they exported. `Uthman b. like other manufacturers. al-Mughirah in Yemen. Nor is it illogical that contemporary Hijazis. consumer base that possessed a nucleus of self-sustaining productive industries but a paucity of various specific natural resources." while another produces the more expensive Mercedes. Accordingly. one finds reports of Hashim importing wheat from Syria. and consumer preference. the Prophet himself journeying to Busra with his uncle Abu Talib to promote the sale of diverse products including. and clarified butter. textiles. Thus it is that we also find Abu Sufyan and `Abd al-Rahman b. at the rise of Islam. given a sizable. Egypt. because of other. based on a few transactions documented in anecdotal source evidence. of Safwan b. then you must export the products that you make. This fact has been recognized in all civilizations. albeit fluctuating. Abi Rabi`ah selling Yemeni perfumes in alMadinah. `Ubayd Allah carrying quantities of cloth back from the Levant as well. al-`As in Syria. and clarified butter. of `Abd Allah b. food products. clothin g. all of which were manufactured in their home base. Many. `Abd al-Muttalib. and sundry other reports documenting Hijazi imports of various armaments. the nature and content of the Makkah region's sixth and seventh-century export flows can be rationally explained by evaluating the full spectrum of commodities indigenously produced. It is a timeless axiom of macroeconomics that the only way net wealth is generated in any jurisdiction is through the sometimes quite complex combination of external exports and reverse investments. of `Abd al-Rahman b. . Abu Rabi`ah.[114] For they were on a common mission: promoting familiar products. and Walid b. unit price. price. `Uthman b. This is also why Michigan. the ostensible Qurashi founder of Makkan international trade.the basic functioning of free market economics . Hakam b. and Talhah b. imports cheeses from a sister state. As we have seen. are mentioned in her book.Volkswagens. `Awf often in Syria selling leather. This is homo economicus at work creating trade patterns dictated by the quest for net wealth generation. wheat. according to both al-Azraqi and al-Fakihi. "It makes no sense. indeed setting up an entire Qurashi trading community there. of `Abd Allah b.

the regional economic base probably was adequate to meet proximate consumption needs and even to permit some exporting.[121] In short." generally functioned economically not unlike a modern "chamber of commerce. with the incoming foreign pilgrim-merchants with their own home-based goods . were significant commercial functions in their own right.[120] Many of these responsibilities. A Yemeni pilgrim wholesale peddlar might be seeking a line of Syrian thiyab. Thus it is that al-Marzuqi states of "Suq `Uqaz": "There were in `Uqaz things that were not in any other Arab market. Also.[117] Moreover. it would be surprising were it otherwise. the Makkans had to import consumer goods in substantial wholesale volume. and other produce to sail directly to ports situated on the western coastline of the Arabian peninsula. and "siqayah" (providing pilgrims with water). Indeed. particularly for perishable goods that could not be stockpiled in this pre-refrigeration age. at retail. Al-Muqaddasi states. Hijazi market demand fluctuated by season. the market functioning of the early medieval Hijaz was no more than the dynamic of fundamental free-market economics operating in an early medieval Mideast commercial setting. then.[119] Such developments were not without precedent. There were other concurrent cogent commercial and economic factors actively at work in the early medieval Makkan marketplace as well.[116] But it does. For example. prudently attuned to market demand and profit motive.'"[118] At the same time. involving substantial logistical coordination. selling to foreign pilgrims products from their own homelands with which they were acquainted would doubtless have been more marketable than the promotion of less familiar. concomitant changes in consumer demand. so its "blueblood" banu Hashim clan was collectively involved in the regional promotion. They were a commercial midpoint for merchants of many nationalities. and holding these up in `Uqaz. obtained from a wide range of sources. hijabah (opening and closing of the Ka`bah to visitors). would have a ready selection of them in their inventories. no less than three thousand camel loads of corn were exported from Egypt to the Hijaz in a single season to meet the needs of pilgrims. that connected the Nile with the Red Sea. For just as numerous Qurashis were individually involved in trade at the rise of Islam. historically functioned as "first among equals" . sifarah (negotiating inter-tribal affairs). within the Hijazi tribal matrix. al-Khattab ordered rebuilt an erstwhile Roman canal. for instance. rifadah (providing pilgrims with sustenance). In the off-season in early Makkah. A Yemeni king would send a good sword and the finest cloths. To meet these seasonal requirements. their "Dar al-Nadwah. but not Hijazi counterparts. and perhaps lesser quality. Finally. thereby creating rational. and other consumer goods doubtless were required . would be met through local production. . more voluminous imports of transport animals. Only with additional wholesale acquisition risk could they effectively compete. therefore. and with them.a practice readily viable within the essentially laissez faire economy that characterized the contemporary Hijaz. demand shifts in both import and export requirements. thereby enabling Egyptian merchant ships bearing corn." having major trade contracts drawn up within its confines. basic production economics would dictate that annual manufacturing infrastructure capacity not be substantially expanded for just three months of increased consumption. in this tight merchandise demand market. grains. For Newcastle imports coals perforce when it cannot readily meet local demand. across Egypt north of al-Fustat. Major trading caravans are said to have started out from its doorstep. transportation economics would dictate that Hijazi merchant camel caravans not return from their destinations emptyhanded. Hijazi merchants. It was precisely this dynamic that produces the quite natural "coals to Newcastle" bilateral trade patterns. with them. a better understanding of the commercial role of key players in early Makkan trade likewise contributes to comprehending its structure and direction. Hijazi goods. of course. would say: 'Let the noblest of Arabs take these. But during the rapid upswing in numbers of consumers in the sacred months of pilgrimage. market-driven economies of scale. The annual Hajj has historically generated dramatic seasonal shifts in local populace levels. For the banu Hashim. and it was to there that they returned. that when Caliph `Umar b. Ibn Habib indicates that full-scale commercial caravans as well as individual pilgrims would be provided with such services. the seasonal trade fairs likewise allowed for "product diversity" . Indeed. and administration of trade. distinguished by price and quality differentials.offering an ideal venue for the exchange of a broad range of merchandise. creating certain infrastructural imbalances and. such as the rifadah.charged with such functions of public religious administration as the sidanah (custodianship of the Ka`bah). in slacker times. foodstuffs.commodity needs that. clothing. regulation.

tying the testimony of the chronicled sources to tangible physical evidence. It is. This is a reconciliatory. such a focus. but doubtless lacked the ability to meet the massive volume of inbound Hajji "consumer demands" entirely from internal resources. is not a commercial illusion produced by hagiographic lore. has made a considerable contribution to the study of early Islamic commercial historiography. Precious metals underwrote investments in expanding industries that produced exportable commodities. and what emerged was a wealthy.and the great contribution of Crone. Accordingly. she. Ibrahim. Peters. Now. a rational datacomposite effectively defining a complete and fully integrated free-market macroeconomy.modern scholars merely presumed that they had . (ii) that they document a quite significant import-export trade in high-volume. and others. the medieval Arabic sources must be treated as the fragmentary. but also not detailed statistical abstracts. silks. certain exports in similar commodities were possible. indigenously generated import and export trade derived from agriculture. It is sustained by both textual and extant tangible evidence. frankincense.among them. mining. their historiographic trade concerns might more precisely be addressed to Montgomery Watt (and before him. a delicate industrial and commercial fine-tuning invoking those ever-present. and myrrh of Arabi" is likely no more than a modern orientalist myth. and finally (iv) that the significance may lie in the reality that a sixth to seventh-century trade in "spices. For the reality is that the Arabic sources did not make such extravagant claims . equally significant multi-directional trade in the commodities produced. Henri Lammens) than to Muhammad al-Waqidi. converge in a compelling way to indicate that early medieval West Arabia enjoyed the presence of a substantially productive economic base and an attendant. and in this context. and manufacturing. moreover. Simon. a better understanding of the commodity demand requirements of the Hajj unravels the various bilateral trade dilemmas that Crone poses. most scholars of the region's early economic history should concur: (i) that as economic resources. market-driven economies of scale that shape all trade patterns. and enjoys the additional merit of allowing closure on a more positive note than has often characterized the early Makkan trade debate. The net result. supported by the residual physical artifacts. Because of the prevalence of gold and silver. Simon. the indigenous macroeconomy was both vibrant and productive. the local production infrastructure appears to have possessed the capacity to generate exportable commodities beyond routine local needs. anecdotal accounts that they are. instead. burgeoning economy with its own basic export mandates and import needs. somewhat revisionist interpretation. the present inquiry has developed complementary evidence presented by written sources. They also served as production inputs for key manufacturing industries."[122] Yet in debunking the notion of early Christian era trans-Arabian trade patterns perpetuating well into the sixth and seventh centuries. This was a simple case of economic rationalization. Likewise. The early Makkan trade claims of the medieval Arab chronicles thus are not incomprehensible nor are they even particularly contradictory when examined under the scope of modern economic theory. when taken in aggregate. . As such. the early medieval Arabs had at their disposal both the resource base and the business tools needed to achieve what the Islamic sources claim they did. that incontestably indicates that sixth to seventh-century Makkah was far more than a mere transit stop on the classic trans-Arabian spice route of antiquity. and others has been to prove a critical nonsequitur to be precisely what it was. like Serjeant. Indeed. Whatever the strengths or weaknesses of any particular source. For her analysis downplaying the significance of contemporary transit trade has permitted a refocusing on other critical facets of the medieval Hijazi industrial base that were far more economically significant . whereas in the pilgrimage off-season. not historical fiction. the data. In sum. then. indicating that substantial imports likely were required to meet the incoming pilgrims' needs. In this instance.Conclusions Crone ends her compelling treatment of early Makkan trade by concluding modestly: "This is a book in which little has been learnt and much unlearnt. Ibrahim. lower unit-value goods of the types then being produced in the Hijaz. on at least four issues. Peters. clearly supports the contention that the region did produce many of those commodity exports that have been the source of recent scholarly concern. Serjeant. (iii) that their noteworthy silence on perpetuation of the Near Eastern trade patterns that obtained in the second Christian century is probably significant.

Meccan Trade and Islam: Problems of Origin and Structure (Budapest: Akademiai Kiado. 3. Muhammad at Makkah (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Watt. Kazemi and R. I. Donner. Watt. who states: "It is a proven fact that the Musulman traders did not install themselves beyond the frontiers of Islam. 1904-27). 151. 1869). See Peters. ed. E. 30. 19: 75. 12ff. see al-Isfahani. E. B. M. 12: 57. M. "Meccan Trade. Press. 72-73. idem. p. 14. "Makkah as the Springboard. M. Kitab Maghazi Rasul Allah. La Mecque a la Veille de l'Hegire (Beirut: Imprimerie Catholique. Crone. Watt." Southwest Journal of Anthropology (1951): 334-36. idem. 200. idem. 174. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kubra. idem. Das Leben und die Lehre. Mecca: A Literary History. al-Waqidi. F. 16. Mecca: A Literary History of the Muslim Holy Land (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Muhammad at Madinah (Oxford: Oxford Univ." 240. Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam (Princeton: Princeton Univ. "Some Reports Concerning Mecca from Jahiliyya to Islam. Ibn Sa`d. Islamic History: A New Interpretation (London: Cambridge Univ." JESHO 8 (1965): 11763. Serjeant. Ibn Habib. Donner. 1: 456-57. 7. On Yemeni to al-Hirah trade. Das Leben und die Lehre des Muhammad (Berlin: Grosstenheils. 2: 128. 22: 30. La Mecque.. J. Press. "Mecca's Food Supply. Press. 23. Serjeant. Again. 1990). Merchant Capital and Islam (Austin: Univ. 17: 319ff. ed. H. Peters. R. "Meccan Trade. 3." in Studies in the History of Arabia: Arabia in the Age of the Prophet and the Four Caliphs (Riyadh: King Saud Univ. 1879-1901). "Makkah and Tamim: (Some Aspects of Their Relations). 1981). pt. The Early Islamic Conquests (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Shaban. Meccan Trade." JESHO 20 (1977): 249-66. "Makkah and Tamim. Sprenger.. ed. 27. F. D. If they did trade. 1942). 1. 203. 1988). Muhammad at Makkah. Kitab al-Muhabbar. vol.References 1. 198. See Serjeant. 33. Sachau (Leiden: E. Meccan Trade. Ibn Kathir. 13." 23." JAOS 111 (1990): 472. 1989). Kister. of Texas Press." 474. 1927-74). 1989). Ta'rikh al-Rusul wa al-Muluk. Crone. 33. Muhammad and Charlemagne (London: Unwin University Books. Meccan Trade. Watt. de Goeje (Leiden: E. Press. F. they did so among themselves. 1953). Press. . 1994). 171. Simon. 2.. "Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam. E. 1924)." in A Way Prepared: Essays on Islamic Culture in Honor of Richard Bayly Winder. 30. A. "Makkah as the Springboard for the Call of Islam. 12. 11. McChesney (New York: New York Univ. Lammens. 1966). idem. M. Peters. Press. "The Social Organization of Mecca and the Origins of Islam." JESHO 15 (1972): 61-91. 22: 57. Wolf. 12. 1: 9-10. 1971). 5. See al-Tabari. Lichtenstadter (Hyderabad: Da'iat al-Ma`arif al-`Uthmaniyah." 15. Press. "Meccan Trade. 6. Crone. Brill. 3. note the parallels to Henri Pirenne. Kitab al-Aghani (Cairo: Dar al-Kutub al-Misriyah." 472. R. Serjeant.. Sahih al-Bukhari (Istanbul: Al-Maktabah al-Islamiyah. 1979). M. ed. 9. Jones (London: Oxford Univ. Muhammad at Makkah. 1965). 1974). 2: 94ff. Lammens. 199. Press. 10. Muhammad at Makkah." 4. Sprenger. "The Commerce of Mecca Before Islam. Peters. J. ed. 1: 271. 8. Kister. See M. A. Mecca: A Literary History. Al-Bukhari." 116. "Mecca's Food Supply and Muhammad's Boycott. 1956). Ibrahim. Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah (Riyadh: Maktabat al-Nasr. 3. Brill. Crone. 1987).

"The Commerce of Mecca. 25. see Crone. Ibid. `Abd Shams. and `Utbah b. Harb b. Rabi`ah b. also Serjeant. Kitab al-Maghazi. 809-15. Umayyah.. 24. "Meccan Trade. 29-31. Hisham b. 22. his brother Walid. al-Waqidi. 23." 18.. customs office). Al-Waqidi. Al-Dhahabi. Zam`ah. also 102. al-Aswad b. in comparing the two "capitalistic models." 6. Such an approach can likewise be rationally supported in assessing the historic evolution of the Near East's sixth century A. 30. Peters. Kitab al-Maghazi. Qays b. Sa`id b. 154. 1 and 2. Ibn Ishaq. and his grandson Yazid b. On this. Ibid. `Abd al-Rahman b. the evolution of capitalistic institutions . Meccan Trade. 219-21. Abu Sufyan Sakhr. `Amir b.was subsequently transmitted to the West in the 9th to 11th centuries by Italian merchants to directly circumvent the Holy Roman Empire's parallel ban on "usury" during Europe's Dark Ages. 'Abi al-`As. 354. 29. al-Muttalib. Ka`b. 19. Mecca: A Literary History. 21. 2: 354.derived from early Arabic antecedents. that no small measure of early Western capitalistic practice . 51ff. and his sons Abu Jahl and al-Harith.. 230. Peters. 90.D. Ta'rikh al-Islam. Al-Dhahabi.including carat (qirat). 810." the analogy is not to one of "kind. Crone. magazines (makhazin. in fact. 32. 2: 553. 34. al-`Abbas b. Thus. For the economies of the early medieval Red Sea littoral and southern Mediterranean Basin were neither "static" systems.. `Abd al-Muttalib.17. Crone. meaning "magazines" or "stores"). Ibid. 87.built by Muslim jurists to reconcile the Islamic ban on interest-bearing transactions (riba) to contemporary commercial exigencies . 107. 111. "Introduction. Accordingly. Crone. Umayyah and his more famous son. It can be effectively demonstrated. 1: 36. 90. 104. and tariff (ta`rifah) . Sa`d. Ibid. 27. al-Hakam b. his son Zam`ah. al-`As b. `Udi b. nor did they evolve in isolation. Ibid. `Abd Allah b. 31. Mughirah. They were key members of a small cadre of contemporary wealthy merchants engaged in international trade cited in the sources whose ranks included Abu Sufyan. Meccan Trade. 26. Meccan Trade. 1990). Ibid. Meccan Trade. 33. 90. `Uthman b. 95. in this case it can be justified . while the unilateral imposition of modern economic theory upon early medieval economic models can admittedly normally be a somewhat risky proposition." part IV. cited in Crone. `Awf.. Meccan Trade.such as the metamorphosis of the Islamic mudarabah and mukhatarah commercial and industrial investment contracts into the Italian commenda and "mohatra." 474. but instead were profoundly impacted by powerful synergies between them. Jud`an. . Ta'rikh al-Islam: al-Maghazi (Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-`Arabi. douane (diwan. Meccan Trade. 28.. 20." as well as other analogous business institutions and much medieval western commercial vocabulary ." but rather of in-kind "degree.

al-Muqaddasi.. 1906). Ibn Sa`d further contributes that the early medieval West Arabian merchants typically made 100% returns on their investments: kanu yarbahum fi tijaratihim li'l-dinar dinaran. S. indicative of the provenance of early Makkan gold. 46.35. Al-Mawardi. ed. ed. 398ff." JESHO 42 (1999): 363ff. "Une mine d'or". Kitab al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah (Cairo: Matba`at alSharifah. Kitab al-Amakin. Ansab al-Ashraf. al-Rashid. M. 452. Al-Ahkam al-Sultaniyah (Cairo: Maktabat Mustafa al-Babi al-Halabi. Kitab Sirat al-Nabi. Futuh al-Buldan. 38. 28-29. 49. 128. alSaqqa' (Beirut: `Alam al-Kutub. MS Add. 1980). 90. 500. 2: 145-46. Futuh al-Buldan. al-`Ani (Beirut: `Alam al-Kutub. Ibn Sa`d. Sirat Ibn Ishaq. Meccan Trade. "Al-Madinah: Ma'din Amir al-Mu'minin. al-`Ulum (Al-Najaf: al-Maktabah al-Haydriyah. however. Indeed. there likewise are contemporary reports of medieval mining in what is now modern Yemen. Al-Baladhuri. 2: 862-63. 1978). Ibn Hisham. 148. ed. 12:20. 1976). Byzantine dinars and Persian dirhams did reach the markets of Makkah." Museum Notes (New York: American Numismatic Society. Mu`jam ma Usta`jam min Asma' al-Bilad wa al-Mawadi`. Al-Baladhuri. Al-Hazimi. See G. 3: 102. 2: 25. It is critical to bear in mind. 43. Kitab al-Maghazi. "Gold Mining in Arabia and the Rise of the Islamic State. al-Jasir (Riyadh: Dar al-Yamamah. for instance." 102. Ahsan alTaqasim fi Ma`rifat al-Aqalim. 22-27. 18:19. in a slightly later era. "Some Early Arab Dinars. alBaladhuri. 1895)." Al-Maskukat 7 (1976): 106-9. Libraries. no. S. Casanova. and with ancestors of the Prophet Muhammad also documented in its use. Arab News (Jiddah. 47. "Some Early Arab Dinars. Brill. 2. Al-Manaqib al-Mazyadiyah (Amman: Maktabat al-Risalah al-Hadithah. al-Bakri. 40. Qur'an. 4: 196. Hamidullah (Rabat: Ma`had al-Dirasat wa al-Abhath. 44. 377. 3:75. Heck." Numerous copper fulus have likewise been found that bear similar inscriptions. 45. see Miles. al-Rashid. R. Shamma. 498. S. Ibn Hanbal. 87-95. 1: 374. M. alTabari. Qur'an. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kubra. 1973). Ibn Ishaq. Al-Saqqa (Cairo: Makatabat Mustafa al-Babi al-Halabi. that while this analysis focuses upon the Hijaz and West Central Najd. it seems quite . 23). Oman. Darb Zubaydah. 1984) (British Museum. de Goeje (Leiden: E. Al-Baladhuri states that while in the pre-Islamic era. With clear evidence of the widespread use of the qirad/mudarabah commercial investment contract in pre-Islamic times. esp. 1985). currency minting operations also may have taken place using the ore yields of these sites . Al-Kamil fi al-Ta'rikh (Beirut: Dar alKitab al-`Arabi. Crone. See Al-Waqidi. Miles. ed.: wa kanu ya`khudun shay'an mima yakun ma`a al-tujjar min al-dhahab. On these developments. 36. al-Zubayr b. 39. 37. An Umayyad dinar dating to the year 105/724. Radwan (Beirut: Dar Maktabat al-Hilal." 106-9. Ibid. M. 1967). Darb Zubaydah (Riyadh: Riyadh Univ. ed. 1996). "Al-Madinah. 42. 1955). 4. H. Al-Maqrizi. S. 1: 1374-75. Abu Baqa' Hibatallah. 1990). Ibn al-Athir." Bulletin de la Section Geographie 35 (1920): 24-33. 3: 271. "Une mine d'or au Hidjaz. July 23. ed. Bakkar. 1948). Ta'rikh. Hamidullah (Cairo: Dar al-Ma` there are numerous early Islamic coins whose metal content is directly linked to bullion mined in western Arabia. M. 1983). Casanova. 128. 101-2. J. ed. 364. Al-Musnad (Cairo: Matba`at al-Sa'adah. Shamma. G. includes the phrase "mine of the Commander of the Faithful in the Hijaz.. M. M. 48. 1: 67. ed. AlMaqrizi indicates that in the pre-Islamic era: innama kanat tata`amulu bi'l-mathaqil wazn al-darahim (wa) wazn aldananir. London. Qur'an. 41. 1: 27ff. and elsewhere on the Arabian Peninsula. Shudhur al-`Uqud fi Dhikr al-Nuqud. Ibn Hajar. ed. Al-Akhbar al-Muwaffaqiyat. M. 1959). 1995). the indigenous people traded only with one another using metals bullion: la yatabayi`un ila`ala innahatibr. 1906).

22: 54). T. 50. Bakkar. "The Commerce of Mecca. however. "The Commerce of Mecca. Wustenfeld (Leiden: E. a clear distinction must be made between Southwest Asian market demand and Mediterranean-based market demand. see al-Ya`qubi. 7. The Hanafi jurist al-Sarakhsi (Kitab al-Mabsut [Cairo: Matba`at al-Sa`adah. 135. Thimar al-Qulub (Cairo: Matba`at al-Zahir. and Peters.. "The Commerce of Mecca.a consolidated economic regime that underwrote significant region-wide trade flows. 53. al-Tha'alabi. 54. 74. 26-27. 61. 139. 65." Arabica 3 (1956): 185. Ta'rikh. M. 76. 39. 176." 6. Brill. 179. 436-41." arguing that since the agent would be engaging in actual production. 2: 144. in fact. 95. 1908). On these developments. Al-Qurtubi.D. Ibrahim. Qur'an 76: 17. 34. reject the notion of either "capital" or "production" at work in sixth-century Makkah. ed. in this interpretation. 12ff. 57. See Ibn Qutaybah. and subsequent sections below. Here. Ibrahim. Ibn Sa`d." 6-7. Ibrahim. Al-Bakri. 14-16. 32ff. Press. 51. al-Baladhuri. believed that there were ways for producers to circumvent this prohibition merely by engaging in the sale. ed. 4-6. of the goods: "If the investor instructs his agent to employ his capital to purchase leather and hides . the mudarabah could. Akhbar Makkah. Al-Jami` li-Ahkam al-Qur'an (Cairo: Dar al-Qalam. buckles. see I. see Simon. all profit and loss should accrue exclusively to the investor. al-Qali. Kitab Dhayl al-Amali wa al-Nawadir (Cairo: Matba`at Dar al-Kutub al-Misriyah. Meccan Trade. 91-95. 55. Al-Baladhuri. 60. 66. 80. Merchant Capital. 4: 74. 1850). in particular. Kitab al-Ma`arif. Maliki and Shafi'i scholars. traditionally compensated by a fixed wage rate. It must be noted that some medieval Muslim jurists were of the opinion that its use in manufacturing ventures was forbidden.g. Mu`jam ma Usta`jam. 1961). 5. 65ff. Meccan Trade. 89. 62. The Life of Muhammad (Oxford: Oxford Univ." Hence.. Ansab al-Ashraf.likely that this contract was the principal fiducial mechanism employed in such investments. 63.. as evidenced by the abundance of Byzantine gold dinars and Sasanid silver dirhams then reportedly flowing through contemporary Hijazi markets. 22ff. 70. 1938a). ed. 21.and then design them into boots. See al-Qummi. 28-29. ed. as well as in the manufacture. 98. M. al-Tabari. 1: 425. Tafsir al-Qummi. Futuh al-Buldan. Peters. Merchant Capital. 58-59. 1906/1986]. M.. F. 1926). Jamharat Nasab Quraysh wa Akhbaruha. 64. Akhbar Makkah. See al-Maqrizi. 1: 1: 578. ed. Meccan Trade. ed. Ansab al-Ashraf. 59. Ibrahim. "The Arabs in the Peace Treaty of 561 A. Hamidullah (Cairo: Dar al-Ma`arif. Merchant Capital. Al-Baladhuri. Schloessinger (Jerusalem: Hebrew Univ. 69. 61. 42-52. 2: 205. Shudhur al-`Uqud. Ta'rikh al-Ya`qubi (Najaf: al-Maktabah al-Murtadawiyah. Kilab reportedly . 14.. Shahid. Al-Jaza'iri (Najaf: Maktabat al-Huda.this is all part of the practice of merchants in their pursuit of profit. 75.but only if the producer of the commodity was also its distributor. 190. Qusayy b. Scholars often refer to this period of "commerce sans guerre" as a "Pax Makkanah" or the era of the "Makkan commonwealth" . Merchant Capital. 1959). Peters. 1939). Shakir (Cairo: Maktabat Dar al-`Urubah. Al-Zubayr b. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kubra. 1858). Merchant Capital. 11-12. F. Crone. 52. Wustenfeld (Hildesheim: George Olms. Ibrahim. 1: 201-2. however. 56. 1: 45-46. Press. Meccan Trade. and is permissible in a mudarabah contract. Al-Azraqi. and leather bags . rejected a "productive investment" application of the "mudarabah. 13. 142. 41. 107. al-Azraqi. 249-50. Ibn Ishaq. On this. 1966). On these agreements. be legally employed in production operations . 199." 47ff. Simon. 1967). 1955). 58. J. See. e. 4a: 3. Simon.

15. S. 1980). Al-Isti'ab fi Ma`rifat al-Ashab (Cairo: Maktabat Nahdat Misr. 115-16 Ibn Qutaybah. 71. 267. ed. Saudi Arabian Ministry of Agriculture and Water. E. 2: 393. 463. Mukhtasar Kitab al-Buldan (Leiden: E. al-Isfahani. 799. 1985). al-Zubayri. Wafa' al-Wafa' fi Ta'rikh Dar al-Mustafa (Beirut: Dar Ahya' al-Turath al-`Arabi. Bilad al-`Arab. n. 140. al-Zubayr b. al-Isfahani. Al-Mufassal fi Ta'rikh al-`Arab Qabl al-Islam (Beirut: 1970-80). 1969). Mughannam.). "A Preliminary Report. 69. 79. Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah." Atlal: Journal of Saudi Arabian Archaeology 6 (1982): 129-30. Al-Waqidi. M. 22. 38. . Kitab al-Manasik wa Amakin Turuq al-Hajj wa Ma`alim al-Jazirah (Beirut: Matba`at al-Mutannabi. 1968). al-Muqaddasi Ahsan al-Taqasim. Kitab al-Maghazi. 2: 222. Al-Muwatta' (Beirut: Dar al-Afaq al-Jadidah. 1272. Gilmore et al. Darb Zubaydah. 18: 33-34. 1: 16. See Qur'an 2: 261. 330. 79. Al-Sirah al-Halabiyah fi Sirat al-Amin alMa'mun (Beirut: Dar al-Ma`arif. n. 8-10. M. M. 76. Al-A`laq Al-Nafisah (Leiden: E. 4: 1130. Al-Shi`r wa al-Shu`ara' (Cairo: Dar al-Ma`arif. Kitab al-Aghani (Cairo: Dar al-Kutub al-Misriyah. 1980). 4: 267. 8: 325. Ibn Rustah." Atlal: Journal of Saudi Arabian Archaeology 9 (1985): 110.d.had wells dug and rest stops built within the city's environs to support the transient logistics needs of incoming merchants. al-Qalqashandi. J. MS 2204 (Cairo Dar al-Kutub al-Misriyah. Bakkar. 4: 1231. alSamhudi. 1948). `Abd al-`Aziz `Abd al-Haqq (Cairo: Lajnat Ahya' al-Turath al-Islami. Qur'an. Ibn Hisham. Nihayat al-Arab fi Ma`rifat Ansab al-`Arab (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-Lubnani. ed. 50: 7-11. Akhbar Makkah. "Meccan Trade. al-Harbi. 3:14. Al-Samhudi. 1: 52. Ibn Fahd. 18:31. 1984). 1966). also sources cited in the preceding note. 75. al-`Umari. Das Leben Muhammad's nach Muhammad Ibn Ishak. Jamharat Nasab Quraysh. 72. Levi Provencal (Cairo: Dar al-Ma`arif. See al-Samhudi. 1858). Al-Salihi al-Shami. 266: 6: 99. H. 4: 65. Various sources (see al-Mubarrad. Ibn Hazm. Anas. "A Preliminary Report on the First Season of Excavations at al-Mabiyat. 141. 746. 77. 68. Jamharat Ansab al-`Arab (Cairo: Dar al-Ma`arif. 36: 33-34. that `Ali b. 13: 118. Abi Talib grew an assortment of gourds on his estate in Yanbu`. 1892). J. 1971). `A. Khan and A. 1: 80. al-Jasir (Riyadh: Dar al-Yamamah. `Ali. Al-Qalqashandi.. 3: 207) relate. Kitab al-Muhabbar. 67. Al-Kamil fi al-Lughah wa al-Adab. Malik b. 263-64. 1927-74). Kitab Nasab Quraysh. ed.d.000 she-camels. Wafa' al-Wafa'. Brill. 1: 544. 66. See preceding note. for instance. Subh al-A`sha (Cairo: al-Matba`ah al-Amiriyah.d. 78. 1: 364. 23: 19. M. 1050. al-Azraqi. ed. fol. 40ff. `Abd al-'Aziz received a gift of 15.]. 20. 1072. 1914). 76:15-16. Saqar. Wustenfeld (Gottingen. Al-Ta'if fi al-`Asr al-Jahili wa Sadr al-Islam (Jiddah: Dar al-Shuruq. 3: 1044. 2: 61. Serjeant. n. al-Rashid. 3: 988. Al-Zubayr b. Gilmore et al. Wafa' al-Wafa'. 3: 130. 7: 173. an Early Islamic Site in the Northern Hijaz. Ibn `Abd al-Barr. Brill.). 74. 401. `Umar b. 1981). 1927). Ibn Habib. 178. Ibn al-Faqih. 70. 22:23. Al-Hiraf wa alSina'at fi al-Hijaz fi `Asr Rasul Allah (Riyadh: `A. Ithaf al-Wara bi-Akhbar Umm al-Qura. 1975). Qur'an 23:19. N. Water Atlas of Saudi Arabia (Riyadh. Ibn `Abd Rabbihi. Ibn Rustah. Kitab al-Masalik wa alMamalik (Leiden: E. 1973/1981). 1981). Jamharat Nasab Quraysh. Al-A`laq Al-Nafisah. Subal al-Hudan wa al-Rashad fi Sirat Khayr al-`Ubbad. al-`Umari. 69. Al-`Iqd al-Farid (Cairo: Lajnat al-Ta'lif wa al-Turjimah wa al-Nashr. 1953). 230. al-Istakhri.1981 (1401). Bakkar. 19. 424. ed. al-Halabi. Ibrahim [Cairo: Dar Nahdat Misr. 73. Ibid. "Ancient Dams in alTa'if Area . al-Isfahani. 264. 1885).. 330. relates that while serving as governor of al-Madinah. Ibn Kathir. 442-43. J. F. 3: 1040.." 486. Brill. 172. J." 20. Kitab al-Aghani.

Al-Sudayli. Al-Zubayr b. `A. 298. Ahmad Shakir (Beirut: Dar Ahya' al-Turath al-`Arabi. At length. al-Samhudi. 1981). 67. Khazanat al-Adab (Cairo: al-Matba`ah al-Salafiyah. 53ff. See Yaqut. when he had made it red as fire. Kitab al-I`lam bi-Bina' Bayt Allah al-Haram (Hildesheim: George Olms. Al-Waqidi. Anas.80. Guest (Leiden: E. Brill. 11: 391. 1: 372. 148. 587ff. M. `Awd Allah. 67. Akhbar Makkah. 3: 346. 3: 135. Al-Hamdani. 3: 404. 1978). Subal al-Hudan wa al-Rashad. 4: 1230. Bakkar. 92. 7: 55460. Ibn Kathir. 1979). 53-57. 3: 401. n. al-Baladhuri. Al-Mufassal fi Ta'rikh. 476. 314ff. 16: 80. Al-Rawd al-Unuf. al- . 4: 1230. 81. Qur'an. Kitab al-Maghazi. 316ff.. 1905).. Ta'rikh al-Mawsil. Al-Hayah al-Iqtisadiyah wa al-Ijtima`iyah fi al-Najd wa al-Hijaz fi al-`Asr al-Umawi (Riyadh: Mu'assasat al-Risalah. Al-Hayah al-Iqtisadiyah wa al-Ijtima`iyah.. 313ff. M. Fath al-Qadir al-Jami` bayna Fana al-Riwayah wa al-Dirayah min `Ilm al-Tafsir (Beirut: Dar al-Fikr. 4: 319. also 18:96: "Bring me blocks of iron. 30. Kitab al-Amwal. A. Ibn Hisham. 84. al-`Umari. 4: 60. 67. `Ali. Al-Mufassal fi Ta'rikh. 4: 1230. ed. Sifat Jazirat al-`Arab. alIsfahani. Mu`jam al-Buldan (Beirut: Dar al-Sadr. 1: 106. `A. 1928). 57:25. Kitab alMaghazi. 249-50. ed. ed. Nizam alHukumah al-Nabawiyah. 2: 57. 1924). Al-Hiraf wa al-Sina`at fi al-Hijaz. 156. 538. 3: 49. p.). Anas. 6ff. 85. on "tahliyat al-Ka`bah bil-dhahab wa al-fiddah" throughout history. 1957). alHiraf wa al-Sina`at. al-Baladhuri. Al-Mudawwanah (Cairo: Dar alSa`adah. Kitab al-Aghani. Bulug al-Arab. al-Saqqa (Cairo: Maktabat Mustafa al-Babi al-Halabi. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kubra. ed. 1912). `A. 91. Qur'an. Kitab al-Ma`arif. al-Suhayli. al-Kitani. AlJami` al-Sahih. he said: 'blow (with your bellows). 1: 537ff. Jamharat Nasab Quraysh. Makkah fi `Asr ma Qabl al-Islam (Riyadh: Da'irat al-Malik `Abd al-`Aziz. 1: 92. 1967). al-Alusi. Bakkar. 34: 11. 5: 230. al-Samhudi. al-`Umari. al-Suhayli. al-Isfahani. both cited in Qutb al-Din.. Bilad al-`Arab. see al-Kindi. al-Azraqi. Wafa' al-Wafa'. ed. al-Kitani. al-Tirmidhi. Wafa' al-Wafa'. 9: 55ff.. Akhbar Makkah. `A. 1: 372. see al-Qutbi. 3: 125-26. M. 260. 349. Wafa' al-Wafa'. 1955). 5: 447. 90.' Then. M. al-`Umari. 88. 3: 13. ed. 4: 401. M. 1982). 3: 401. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kubra. Malik b. `Ali. 2: 586. al-Zubayr b. Sahih al-Bukhari (Istanbul: al-Maktabah al-Islamiyah. al-Suhayli. Futuh al-Buldan. 1977). 1: 138-40. Hiras (Cairo: Maktabat al-Kulliyah al-Azhariyah and Dar al-Fikr.. Nizam al-Hukumah al-Nabawiyah al-Musamma al-Taratib al-Idariyah (Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-`Arabi. `A. 30: al-Baladhuri. al-Rawd al-Unuf. Bulug al-`Arab fi Ma`rifat Ahwal al-`Arab. 466. R.d. Tafsir al-Qur'an al-`Azim (Beirut: Dar al-Ma`rifah. 1975). Jamharat Nasab Quraysh. 1979). 1983). al-`Akwa (Riyadh: Dar al-Yamamah. On this trade. 408. Jamharat Nassab Quraysh. 1: 370. 2 April 1992. Bakkar. `A. Ibn Qutaybah. Qur'an. Ta'rikh al-Mawsil.'" 89.). Al-Sirah al-Halabiyah. that I might pour over it molten lead. n. 86. Ibn Sa`d. 87. al-Zubayr b. al-Baghdadi. 799. Al-Rawd al-Unuf. al-Alusi. 49. he said: 'bring it to me. Futuh alBuldan. 2: 105. 491. 156. ed. Al-Waqidi. 1: 485. 4: 286. M. Ibn Qutaybah. 2: 75. 260. Ibn Sa`d. when he had filled up the space between the two steep mountainsides. Al-Rawd al-Unuf fi Tafsir al-Sirah al-Nabawiyah (Beirut: Dar al-Ma`rifah. al-Sayf. Kitab Sirat al-Nabi. 1: 440. Bulug al-`Arab. The Governors and Judges of Egypt. J. 307. 1981). 21:80. as related by al-Samhudi. al-Azdi. 82. 83. Al-Shi`r wa al-Shu`ara. Riyadh Daily. al-Salihi al-Shami. J. Al-Muwatta'. I`lam al-`Ulama' al-A`lam bi-Bina' al-Masjid al-Haram (Riyadh: Dar al-Rifa`i. al-Sayf. `A. al-Isfahani. J. 2: 666. al-Azraqi and al-Fasi. Muhammad al-Athri (Cairo: Dar al-Kutub alHadithah. 1968). Kitab al-Isabah. al-Bukhari. al-Shawkani. 3: 260. Bilad al-`Arab. Habibah (Cairo: Dar Ahya' al-Turath al-Islami. Malik b.d. Abu `Ubayd. 2. 1: 357. 8: 152-53. Ibn Hajar. Al-Hiraf wa al-Sina`at. 3: 195. `A. Futuh al-Buldan. 49. al-Alusi. Al-Azraqi. al-Halabi. Ibn Zubalah. al-Azdi.

Subal al-Hudan wa al-Rashad. Ibn Khallikan. al-Azraqi. 28. 1: 78. 198. Ibn Kathir. al-Ruqqun. 15: 153. 107. Takhrij al-Dalalat al-Sam`iyah `ala ma Kana fi Ahd al-Rasul (Cairo: al-Majlis al-A`la li'l Shu'un al-Islamiyah. 199. Muqaddimat Ibn Khaldun (Beirut: Dar al-Hilal. 1: 13. Al-Hiraf wa al-Sina`at fi al-Hijaz. 2: 5960. Ansab al-Ashraf. Al-Fasi. 1: pt. Kitab al-Dhakha'ir wa al-Tuhuf. 96. al-Qali. Al-Waqidi. Sifat Jazirat al-`Arab. M. 330ff. Ibn Sa`d. . Nizam al-Hukumah al-Nabawiyah. AlMufassal fi Ta'rikh. `A. J.. 104.. See al-Azraqi. Ibn al-Mujawir. 5: 114. Saqar. 3: 199. Al-Hiraf wa al-Sina`at fi al-Hijaz. Arab News (Jiddah) 25 March 1998. Al-Musnad. See Ibn Khaldun. Khazanat al-Adab. 2: 664. MS 2204 (Cairo: Dar al-Kutub al-Misriyah. 326ff. "Meccan Trade. 1965). Brill. J. ed. p. 2. Ibrahim (Cairo: Dar Nahdat Misr. 8: 73. 18: 123. al-Salihi al-Shami. al-Qali. 1969). 2: 87. Al-Isfahani. 2: 56-57. Al-Tabari.). Kitab al-Aghani." 476. `A. al-Kamil fi alLughah wa al-Adab.. Al-A`laq Al-Nafisah. 594. Al-Mudawwanah. Sahih al-Bukhari. al-Zubayr b. M. Kitab Dhayl al-Amali. Ibn al-Athir. Ta'rikh al-Mustabsir. Al-`Iqd al-Thamin. M. Hamidullah (Kuwait: Da'irat al-Matbu`at wa ala-Nashr. Hughes. 105. 25ff. 52. 9: 24. 1966). 466. Takhrij al-Dalalat al-Sam`iyah. 1: 198ff. Ibn Qutaybah. 25. 4: 75. Ibn Habib. Ibid. 206. al-Bukhari. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kubra. 174. 31. 25 March 1998. 8: 345. 330. al-Baladhuri. Al-Baghdadi. plus `A. Ahsan `Abbas (Beirut: Dar al-Thaqafah. Kiswat al-Ka`bah. n. al-Salihi al-Shami. 1985). 99. Al-`Iqd al-Thamin fi Ta'rikh al-Bilad al-Amin (Beirut: Maktabat al-Risalah. al-`Umari. Ithaf al-Wara bi-Akhbar Umm al-Qura. 232. 702. 327-28. 2: 486. 280. Fath al-Qadir al-Jami`. Al-Tabassur fi al-Tijarah (Cairo: Dar al-Kitab alJadid. see Al-Waqidi. Kiswat al-Ka`bah al-Mu`azzamah `abr al-Ta'rikh (Cairo: Matba`at al-Jiblawi. 1: 195-97. 27. al-Khuza'i. Al-Bukhari. Ibn Rustah. 3: 1314. 1: 106. 5: 26. Al-Mufassal fi Ta'rikh. 11. Akhbar Makkah. Subal al-Hudan wa al-Rashad. 260. al-Jahiz. 98. 1982). `Ali.. 1864). 2: 742. `Ali. 539. 162. Kitab Dhayl alAmali. Ta'rikh. Kitab al-Ma`arif. Ibn Hanbal. 44. Kitab al-Maghazi. 32. P. 3: 41. 9: 176. 32. 19. fol. On this trade. Anas. al-`Umari.. Kitab alMuhabbar. J. 1978). Sergeant. 215. al-Shawkani. 1. T. Ibn Rustah. 1959). M. 102. al-Mubarrad. Al-Isfahani. 366. Kitab alMaghazi. Ibn Habib. al-Rashid b. 1985). 1986). Kitab al-Aghani. 8: 220. al-Kitani. See sources cited in the preceding footnote. 73. al-Isfahani. 106. Al-Waqidi. Sahih al-Bukhari. 534. 7: 525. 103. 73. al-Khuza'i. al-`Umari. 1: 101. 16. Bakkar. Al-Ta'if fi al-`Asr al-Jahili. 108. Al-A`laq Al-Nafisah. 106. 249-50. 1980). N. Ibn Fahd. Akhbar Makkah. Usud al-Ghabah fi Ma`rifat al-Sahabah (Cairo: Jam`iyat al-Ma`arif al-Misriyah. 1951). 715. `A.d. Nizam al-Hukumah al-Nabawiyah. 3: 350. 13. Ibn al-Mujawir. 101. Kitab al-Maghazi. 3: 315. al-Ruqqun. 94. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kubra. Jamharat Nasab Quraysh. Al-Fasi. 100. 1: 65. 97.Hamdani. Ta'rikh alMustabsir (Leiden: E. Riyadh Daily. Malik b. 95. `A. Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah. p. ed. 1: 167. 2: 230. al-Zubayr. 3. Thimar al-Qulub. ed. Kitab al-Munammaq (Beirut: `Alam al-Kutub. 588. 93. 7: 538-39. 587. Kitab al-Aghani. Ibn Sa`d. Dictionary of Islam (New Delhi: Cosmo Publications. Wafayat al-A`yan. 73-74. Al-Hiraf wa al-Sina`at fi al-Hijaz. al-Kitani. 411-12. 32. 35: al-Tha'alibi. 3: 190.

al-Azraqi. 369." 118. 162. Kitab al-Muhabbar. Al-Azraqi. which were plentiful and inexpensive in Syria. 9: 55ff. idem. Ansab al-Ashraf." JESHO 20 (1977): 254: ". See Qur'an. 249-50. Kitab al-Aghani. 195. Al-Kindi. Das Leben Muhammad's. 115-16. 436-41. al-Isfahani. 175. 232.. Ibn Sa`d. also states: "These are the markets of the Arabs and there is none greater than `Uqaz. n. 22: 38. 106: 1-4. 8: 143-44. al-Qali. Bilad al-`Arab. See Ibn al-Athir. 3: 989ff. 110. Ibn Habib. 1. Muslim. Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah. ed. 176ff. Kitab al-Maghazi. 97. idem. Kitab al-Ma`arif. 463. 42. 32. 4: pt. 42-43. al-Zabidi. 69. 3: 237-38. 115.. Thimar al-Qulub. Ta'rikh Makkah (Leiden. This is a point made by F. Al-Marzuqi. Ibn Habib. Meccan Trade. 2: 523. 82-83. 6ff. 117. al-Kindi. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kubra. Akhbar Makkah. A. Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kubra.. Ibn Qutaybah. Kitab al-Muhabbar. 171. al-Tha'alabi. Donner. 7. 1: pt. Ibn Ishaq. Farraj (Kuwait: Wizarat al-Irshad wa al-Anba'. See al-Muqaddasi. 114. Al-Baladhuri. 156. "Zamzam water" was another Qurashi monopoly. Ibn Hajar. Kitab al-Muhabbar. 136. 199. al-Tabari. The Governors and Judges of Egypt. Akhbar Makkah.109. 1914). 1: pt. 126ff. 7: 158. The Life of Muhammad. Kitab al-Munammaq. 1:43-44. 911. Subal al-Hudan wa al-Rashad. al-Salihi al-Shami. 267. al-Isfahani. 116.. dried fruits. 1. Ibn Hisham. Ta'rikh. 1965). Crone. Crone. Usud al-Ghabah. 474. Kitab al-Maghazi. Al-Marzuqi. Kitab Sirat al-Nabi. 122. 8: 4. 1: 192. 120. Kitab al-Aghani. 119ff. and oils. 1: 277. Ibn Hisham.. Das Leben Muhammad's. 121. al-Tabari. and gold could easily have returned carrying loads of cereals. 17: 369. 162. 531. Ahsan al-Taqasim. Kitab Dhayl al-Amali. Ta'rikh. The Governors and Judges of Egypt.. al-Fakihi. 203..). al-Azraqi. for the caravans that went north bearing spices. Al-Waqidi. 1:75. Kitab al-Azminah wa al-Amkinah (Hyderabad: Matba`at Da'irat al-Ma`arif. p. 70. 2. 1929). 111. The Qur'anic Studies . Al-Waqidi. Taj al-`Urus min Jawahir al-Qamus.. 162. "Mecca's Food Supply and Muhammad's Boycott. 215: Ibn Kathir. 2: 165." 119. ivory. Akhbar Makkah. 8: 206. 461b. 102. MS Or. 9: 232.d. 3: 115. 3: 125ff. 112. 1:395. 1: 28. fol. Kitab al-Isabah. Al-Isfahani. 1:316ff. 1051. 2: 66. echoed by Ibn Habib. Meccan Trade. Ibn Sa`d. 197. Sahih Muslim (Cairo: Maktabat Mustafa al-Babi al-Halabi. 113.

kha'. muhajirun). © Islamic Culture. to allow all letters to be represented by a single character and .[1] but real attention seems to have stopped there. 2. There are two reasons for this: it is written in a clear cursive hand. However. half of line 5 (5b) and lines 6-8 on the recto. The wealth of circumstantial detail that they contain is such that they can only come from the period indicated. and dating from the period A. and then only in passing. The Greek occupies lines 1-3 and half of line 5 (5a) on the recto. Jabir. published in Cairo. pp. The facsimile plate. is hardly legible.[7] It was through the Aperçu that I first made my acquaintance with PERF 558.** to be set off against the year's taxes. 22-57. there are some long vowels [a. All Rights Reserved. Later plates were better. though one might question a couple of his readings. and u are all to be found. all of which are also to be found without dots].* Their authenticity has never been challenged. Volume LXXII. The subject of the texts of the papyrus is mundane. I wondered then at the general failure to recognise the central importance of the document. This was his Aperçu de papyrologie arabe. III I.[5] Yet. In the following transliteration a line underneath a letter has been used to indicate that the letter has no dot in the original. It is simply the acknowledgement of the requisition of sixty-five sheep from Herakleopolis by the forces led by `Abd-Allah b. as I hope this brief paper will show.[8] but the most legible depiction of the original Arabic text is a tracing by Beatrice Gruendler in The Development of the Arabic Scripts. i.[4] References in Muslim sources are even rarer. 95-103.[2] It is probably as a result of this that PERF 558 is only occasionally mentioned in more general historical writings by Western scholars. It has been suggested that the Greek version was written first. PERF 558 is just one of a crucial group of twenty-two papyri from Egypt. No. and of some of those interested in the early Muslim administration of Egypt. 4. written mainly in Greek but with the odd one in Greek and Arabic. dhal. however. The Arabic is not a direct translation of the Greek. The transliteration also uses the following non-standard signs..[10] Despite its age PERF 558 is relatively easy to read.† The whole group has had the attention of some papyrologists. and it contains a fair sprinkling of dots. The first serious examination of PERF 558 is to be found in the Corpus Papyrorum Archiducis Rainer. though he did know of others in the group. and over the years my wonder has grown. though a is more frequently omitted]. it should be well known to all those interested in early Islam. but the core of the contents is the same in both versions. The minutiae that we find in them would simply have not been available to anyone writing at any later stage of history.[6] published in Vienna in 1923-24. that found their way in the nineteenth century into the Erzherzog Rainer Papyrus Collection in Vienna.[9] to which I would refer those who wish to get an idea of how the original looks. I suspect that some of the problem lies with the fact that Caetani does not appear to have been aware of PERF 558 when he compiled volume 4 of the Annali. The Greek version refers to the Arab invaders as magaritai (i. notably Adolf Grohmann. shin and nun. Grohmann 's transcriptions and translations of both the Greek and the Arabic versions are a model of their kind.The Dotting Of A Script And The Dating Of An Era: The Strange Neglect Of PERF 558 Alan Jones Islamic Culture. and there is also a line on the verso. nor can I see any valid basis for such a challenge. It is now over forty years since I first came across information about the papyrus known as PERF 558.H. there are dotted forms of six letters [jim. and there are some examples of alif maqsurah. it was another work by Grohmann published in 1932 that made the document more accessible. 1998. for example in footnotes by Crone and Cook in Hagarism[3] and by Hoyland in Seeing Islam As Others Saw It. pt. edited by Adolf Grohmann. za'.*** As will be seen. but this is by no means certain.e. The Arabic occupies line 4. a bilingual Greek and Arabic document from Ihnas (known in Greek as Herakleopolis) in Upper Egypt.

H. the Arabic version contains two features that are of outstanding significance. [6] On the evidence of PERF 558 and other papyri. p. fatha (a) and kasra (i). except to the sheep and the expeditionary force. The orthographic features¥ of PERF 558 set out above would be of great interest at any time during the first century. damma (u). inserted above and below the consonants. History of the Arabs. In this orthographic reform he was prompted by the desire to prevent errors in the recitation of the sacred text. which were butchered for the men on his ships. ta'.á the elder son of Abu Qir. 22. 219: He [al-Hajjaj] contributed to the development of diacritical marks in Arabic orthography to distinguish such similarly written letters as ba'. the way that they are used in PERF 558 indicates that they are hardly likely to be a new development. and from the representative of [Chr ]istofor[ os ]. Further. Compassionate avoid using diacritics that might fuse with the underlining: Θ = tha' H = ha' Χ = kha' δ = dhal $ = shin S = sad τ = ta' E = `ayn G = ghayn h = ha' O = ta' marbutah. but the earlier the date the more important they become. of which he evidently prepared a critical revision. fifty sheep from the animals for slaughter and fifteen other sheep. Gruendler sums up the position succinctly: "the first cursive influence must therefore be expected several decades earlier.H.§§ Though the main contents of the document cannot be described as vital. the first complete Arabic document of the Muslim era. The first is the script that is used. The use .á the younger son of Abu Qir. and tha'. and there are only two of those: P Berol 15002. the second is that the date is given as the year A. These are the animals for slaughtering that `Abd-Allah ibn Jabir and his companions took from Ihnas:§ we took from the representatives of Theodor[akios]. and to the adaptation from Syriac of vowel signs. 22 and earlier means that the traditional view that these orthographic features date from the period when al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf was governor of Iraq (694714)¤ cannot be correct. This traditional view is neatly set out for us in Hitti.∞ his cavalry and his infantry in the month Jumada I of the year Twenty-Two.[11] which is unfortunately fragmentary. The scribe was Ibn Hadid. and PERF 558. [ ] surround an addition. The year 22 is the first Islamic year for which any dated documents written in Arabic survive. much of the above paragraph is misleading and must be discarded."[12] The fact that they can be traced back to A. [4] [5b] BSMALLh ALRHMN ALRHYM hδA MA AΧδEBD ALh ABN J[A]BR W-ASH[A]B-h MN ALJZR MN AhN[A]S AΧδNA MN ΧLYFO TDRQ ABN ABW QYR ALASGR W-MN CLYFO ASτFR ABN ABW QYR ALAKBR ΧMSYN $AO [7] MN ALJZR W-XMS E$RO $AO AΧRY AJZRhA ASH[A]B SFNH WKT[A]'Bh WΘQLA[`]h FY [8] $hR JM[A]DY AL-AWLY MN SNO AΘNTYN W-E$RYN W-KTB ABN HDYD W In the name of the Merciful. ‡ A is used to transliterate alif. dal and dhal.

A possible explanation may be that less cursive styles than that exhibited in PERF 558 were used for the writing of the Qur'an. 21. There are sixteen ordinary dotted letters. but the papyrus has yet another nugget of priceless information. This has the form: "30 Pharmouthi of the indiction year 1". This combination of date and script would be remarkable enough in itself. Onomasticon Arabicum. 2. which has a spike that might be considered to be either a ya' or the bearer of a hamzah.H. Such dates are commonly found in Greek papyri. Caetani and Gabrieli. The Greek version has its own Byzantine date[13] in line 5a of the recto of the papyrus. as one might expect a similar spike in the next cluster WQQLA[ ' ]h if a ya' were intended. 559 and 561. The papyri. 642-43. For my part I am confident that scientific tests would confirm the age of the papyri. I have taken from you for the purpose of feeding the Saracens who are with me in Herakle[opolis] 65 sheep (sixty3. * † I know of no one who has suggested that the papyri might have some later origin or suggested that carbon dating or other scientific tests be applied.D. 99.H.D.) Both examples may indicate hamzah. and indeed there are half a dozen other documents in the Erzherzog Rainer Papyrus group that have indiction dates for the period A. . von Karabacek and others inl Vienna in 1894.[14] The only problem is that the indiction cycle is a relatively short one of fifteen years. but this cannot have been the case with the other features. In addition. 2. Grohmann worked out "30 Pharmouthi of the indiction year 1" to be 25th April. five and no more). Literally "This is what `Abd-Allah ibn Jabir and his companions took from lhnas from the animals for slaughtering. and I have had the present document written to make this clear . The odds are slightly in favour of a bearer. the fit is remarkably good. *** ‡ Of the ta' marbutah of later times there is of course no sign. Annali. Ionnes. op. Given the virtual inevitability of imprecisions of dating at the period. (See Gruendler.¥¥ They make the last day of Jumada I equate with 26th April. 30th day of the month of Pharmouthi of the ind[iction year] 1.. See Caetani. entry 11436. numbered 552-573 in the catalogue. in line 7 the alif of ASH[A]B is preceded by a dot. 80. but the most that al-Hajjaj could have insisted on was the revival and regular use of earlier features. The date fits with two of the most commonly available conversion tables: those of Caetani[15] and of Freeman-Grenville. pp. 643 A. and thus great care is needed in working out the appropriate date in the Christian era. final ha' is employed where necessary. 32 and 18. ** Abd-Allah ibn Jabir is known only from the papyri. which must have been available to the earliest scribes of the Qur'an (whether they were used or not). Hamzah may also lurk in the cluster WKT[A]'Bh in line 7. This possible indication of hamzah must remain uncertain.D. 558. 4. no[tary] and off[icial]. pagarchs of Herakle[opolis].of signs for short vowels appears to have been new. There is a similar instance in an inscription dated A. He is referred to in PERF 555. cit. which may be translated as: § á Recto 1. and that dotting did not feature in these. In the name of God." The translation gives the name forms recoverable from the Greek version. 5a Written by me. 643 A. [From the] Amir `Abd-Allah to you Christophor[os and] Theodor[akios]. now form part of the collections of the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek. A. 556. para.¤¤ The reference codes for these papyri come from the Catalogue of the Erzherzog Rainer Papyrus Collection put together by J.

plate IV.J. Bd. 117118)). 1977). [7] A. and The Fiscal Administration of Egypt in the Early Islamic Period (Kyoto. though there are parallels in the Safaitic inscriptions. [4] R.1. PERF 558 is not dealt with. . Kitab al-Masahif. lxxvi-lxxxiii). though the emphasis is on other documents. 1923-24). 556. 1939). p. pp. 1952). 2nd edition revised by P. 1 (Leiden/ Köln. Abt. [9] B. [8] See N. the import of which is not clear. Idem. pp. ¤ Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf (c." The name lbn Hadid is followed by a further waw. Endnotes [1] See. 113-115 and plate 11. In a handful of readings it appears to be his preference rather than that of the `Uthmanic recension that has prevailed (see lbn Abi Da'ud.M. Kosei Morimoto. ¤¤ Whilst such tables as those produced by Caetani and Freeman-Grenville and others may have a spurious certainty (and this is perhaps even more so with recent versions on CD-ROM). I. 260 ff). Caetani was aware of PERF 555. Seeing Islam As Others Saw It. A. [2] Published in 1911. 13 (Princeton. p. but they are at their clearest in P558. [6] Corpus Papyrorum Archiducis Raineri III. Handbuch der Orientalistik. Tables.Verso 1. but though Frazer's introductory notes have a reasonably good section on the papyrological evidence (pp. Cook. II. Series Arabica I. pp. l. but he seems to have pursued the matter with his usual vigour. 1997). Document about sheep given to the muhajirun (Greek magaritai) and other [new] arrivals. . for example. The Rise of the North Arabic Script (Chicago.D. 1932). Abbott.157. ¥ §§ The orthographic features can be seen in other early papyri.Jeffery. The Arab Conquest of Egypt. Grohmann. had butchered. ¥¥ Freeman-Grenville. and so I may be wrong. Hagarism (Cambridge. [5] The two that I have seen are in works still under consideration for publication. leaves itto the reader to work this out. towards the payment of the taxes of the Ind[iction year] 1. Geschichte des Qorans. Butler. 71-99. 1978). . [3] P. for example. Grohmann.41-43 and plate IX. ∞ Literally "which the men on his ships. 1993). 688. Pt." Orient (Tokyo) 15 (1979). Erg. Société Royale Égyptienne de papyrologie (Cairo. pp. it would appear that they are not likely to be far out. Arabische Papyruskunde. Études de papyrologie. The Development of the Arabic Scripts. 1966). Arabische Chronologie. Gruendler. From the World of Arabic Papyri (Cairo. It may be that the basis of this was just one facet of his general quest for stability in all areas of life. Oxford. XXI-XXVI (Vienna. Crone and M. A. One might have expected something useful in Frazer's revision of Butler's Arab Conquest of Egypt (A. including P Berol 15002. Harvard Semitic series. Hoyland. 1981). and he seems to have succeeded. 661-714) is usually credited with the improvement of the script used for writing the Qur'an (See. "Aperçu de papyrologie arabe". A. 559 and 561.43 (Harvard.1 and plate 11. ed. "Taxation in Egypt under the Arab Conquest. Nöldeke. 2. Frazer. 91 no. He wanted the new text to supersede any other. no. pp. 3. Studies in Late Antiquity and Early Islam.

555 (26th December. see V. [14] PERF 553 (January-February. 642). 643). 4. p. [11] This papyrus is now housed in the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin. 643). Crone and M.[10] The fullest discussions of the Greek term. 564 (19th July. 135. Oxford. I am grateful to Dr James Howard-Johnston of Corpus Christi College. passim. [12] The Development of the Arabic Scripts. Arabic Papyri | Qur'anic Manuscripts | Qur'anic Studies . [15] Caetani. 643). 554 (25th February. 559 (1st June. 1958). Hagarism. 642). La chronologie byzantine (Paris. 674. of which there are variant spellings. 561 (29th November. are to be found in P. 642). Annali. Cook. [13] For detailed information on Byzantine chronology and in particular on the indiction cycles. for drawing my attention to this invaluable work. Grumel.

First Composed: 2nd November 2000 Last Modified: 1st December 2005 Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu: . 558 . All Rights Reserved.One Of The Earliest Bilingual Papyri From 22 AH / 642 CE Islamic Awareness © Islamic Awareness.PERF No.

I took from you at Heracleopolis 65 sheep. The place of disocvery of this document is unknown. 22 AH / 642 CE. 4. 5. Intendants of Herakleopolis! 2. The Arabic part is in italics: 1. For the maintenance of the Sarasins who are with me. We have taken 6. we have made the present confirmation. In the name of Allah. from a representative of Theodorakios. Emir ‘Abdallah. Son of Jabir. Features It has Arabic and Greek text. eldest son of Apa Kyros. the Merciful! This is what have taken ‘Abdallāh. the Compassionate. and his companions-in-arms. and as an acknowledgement of this fact. Written by me. to you. Christophoros and Theodorakios. I repeat: sixty-five and 3. and from a substitute of Christophoros. On the 30th of the month of Pharmouthi of the 1st indiction. second son of Apa Kyros. Jean. notary and deacon. Contents The translation of the document is given below. as of slaughter sheep at Heracleopolis.Date Jumādā I. no more. fifty sheep as of slaughter sheep . God! In the name of God! I.

the month of Jumādā the first in the year twenty-two. Diacritical dots on the letters ،‫ ز‬،‫ ذ‬،‫ خ‬،‫ج‬ ‫ ش‬and ‫ ن‬are clearly visible. Written by Ibn Hadid. Grohmann. 39-46. 1932. He gave them. Études De Papyrologie. 1966. Tome Premier. Comments This is one of two earliest Arabic papyri. II Arabische Papyruskunde. for providing us the papyrus. Location Austrian National Museum. Berol. pp. for slaughter. On the back Document concerning the delivery of sheep to the Magarites and other people who arrived. Related Articles P. 15002 . for the crew of his vessels. Vienna. as well as his cavalry and his breastplated infantry in 8.One Of The Earliest Arabic Parchments From 22 AH.7. educational purposes. Berol. the use of these images for commercial purposes is expressly prohibited without the consent of the copyright holder. References [1] A. and fifteen other sheep. [2] A. Handbuch Der Orientalistik. The interesting part of this document is the use of Magarites that is written in Greek and is identified as mujahirun. Back To The Arabic Papyri . This papyrus is a part of Archduke Rainer Collection (usually abbreviated as PERF). Vienna. Brill: Leiden/Köln. the other one being P. 15002. The Dotting Of A Script And The Dating Of An Era: The Strange Neglect Of PERF 558. Acknowledgement We are grateful to the Austrian National Museum. I Arabische Chronologie. This allows for the reproduction of portions of copyrighted material for non-commercial. E. This manuscript shows extensive dotting of Arabic script. as a down-payment of the taxes of the first indiction. J. "Aperçu De Papyrologie Arabe". Grohmann. The images above are reproduced from the stated sources under the provisions of the copyright law. Plate II:1. With the exception for those images which have passed into the public domain.