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The rules of Barat. Tribal documents from Yemen

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Paul Dresch

Part 3. Texts and translations

Agreement among the Fifths of Dhū Muḥammad (text A, AH 1177/AD 1763)

قاعدة الملازم بين أخماس ذو محمد

Texte intégral

Text A (AH 1177/AD 1763), photocopy: Agreement among the Fifths of Dhū Muḥammad
قاعدة الملازم بين أخماس ذو محمد

Text A (AH 1177/AD 1763), photocopy: Agreement among the Fifths of Dhū Muḥammadقاعدة الملازم بين أخماس ذو محمد

Qawaʼid al‑Malazim Text A (1177 hijrī) in Arabic

1بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

2ومِن أما بعد فالحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على سيّدنا محمد وآله سفن النجاة

3(1)
حضروا ذو محمد وتواجبوا بينهم على عادة أب وجدّ وأنّهم مجدّدين صَحْبهم وضمناءهم وإنّ ما قد حصل فيها مِن الخرقات مِن هذا التاريخ وأول ما عاد بعد بينهم في وجيه الضمناء وإنّها قامت الصَحّة ثرا وثريَّا وكان ما ذُكَر لحدودهم وصَحْبهم (وكان تجدودها وصحّتها عادة أب وجد) وكانت فِرق لِمَن حصل بينه وبين صاحبه لٌوَا فهذا فِرق وهي خمس قواعد متناظرة الفظة باللفظة

4(2)
أول شيء (في ) إنّ ما فيه عَرْض على مَن تعدّى في السوق وطرقه إنّ ما فيه عَرْضَة إلا مَن اعترض وطَرَح بنادقه في حُكْم السوق بشرعه وقواعده وقاعدة السوق الاصلية على حُكْمها وَوُثْرَها

5(3)
وكان فِعل الشَوْفة (فِعل المرأة) ما فيه سِنَّة إلا اذا به أفعال في رجال واعتذر فاعل الشَوْفة أنّها غاربة فعنده ديَن العَمْد وكان فيها شرعها (كان يسوق شرعها) واذا فعل الليل فكان فيه دَين العَمْد

6(4)
ومَن فعل في المُرْغَل كان ما له سِنَّة إلا يخرج في العَمْد ويدي شَرْع المُرْغَل فإن قُتل فديته ومائة سِنّ (فشرعها مائة قرش) وبعير (وبعير بخمسة وعشرين قرش) وسباعية (والسباعية بخمسة قروش) وإن كوَّن المرغل فكان على قدره ( فكان يُقدَّر بين كَوْن وقَتْل في الرُغْلة) ويوم يقتتلا مرغلين وأيهما قَتَل رفيقه فكانت الرُغلة تُسَرَّح بشرعها والسِنَّة تَمْضي فإنه كوّن فعلا ما قد وُثَر

7(5)
ويوم يقتتلا اثنين ويجئ في أيهما شَوْفة (ويجيء فِعل بالوجه) فإن خرج في العَمْد ففي الشَوْفة سِتْرها وإن ما يخرج في العَمد فكان ما له سِنَّة (والرَفَق مَلْوِي بالسِنَّة)

8(6)
وجار الطُلَق (بين اهل الملازم) له ثنو اربع أيام البدوي والقروي وكان صنعاء والمغرب وأبو عريش ثمان أيام وباقي تهامة و (مولا) اليمن خمسة عشر يوماً ومِن بعدها صَحَّت (صَحَّت السِنَّة) في وجه الجار ومَن عيِّب صاحبه في سِنَّته قصد فكان ماله صَحْب في وجيه الضمناء

9(7)
ورفيقه رفيق الجنب يساير رفيقه ورفيق القفا ما لها إجازة ولو أظهر وكان مَن عيّب رفيق الجنب وجار البيت فكان ما له صُحْبَة ولا سِنَّة في وجيه الضمناء وكان جار البيت مَن هو حال فيه ويُحكَمه )(مَن هو جار بيته وغنمه) على شروع القُبل وكان النقيلة ما له إجازة وكان مَن عنده نقيصة لذو محمد سلاح او قَرشة يشتهر بها او قَتْل مِن ارباع القبل فكان ما له جَماع ولا إجارة ومَن رابعه على نقيصة سلاح او قَرشة فإن لثغ الودا الى ربيعه وجماعته كان الرَباع له وإن ما يدي (وإن ما لثغ الودا)فكان ما له جَماع ولا رَباع ولا إجارة

10(8)
وكان عُرْوَة الدم واللحم مِن ارباع القُبل مِن ذو عَمْر وخارج الى جيران ذو عَمْر وقراهم فالمَلْزَم لهم حي على الجميع وأما مِنهم وخارج فكلهم يثور على لحمة خميسه آل أحمد بن كول على آل أحمد بن كول وسائر لِحَام ذو محمد كذلك (وآل صلاح بن كول على آل صلاح بن كول وآل دمينة على آل دمينة وذو فَرَج على ذو فَرَج وذو عاطف وذو زيد على ذو زيد وذو موسى على ذو موسى) كلهم على لحمته كل خميس على خميسه إلا ما قد حدث مِن هذا التاريخ وأول فكان في وجيه الضمناء ومَلْزَمه يسرّحوه ومِن هذا التاريخ وعقب بعد القِطاع حسبما ذُكَر كلاً يردّ (كل أحد يرد) على لحمته وزاد البطن كلاً يردّ على لحمته على ما ذُكَر في عُرْوَات اللحم والدم

11(9)
وجرات ذو محمد (وتواجبوا ذو محمد) إن واحد ومائة سواء وكان ما أيهم يَشِدّ صاحبه على عادة أب وجدّ في وجيه الضمناء ويوم يحصل قَتْل في جراتهم (في جيرانهم) وينحّى الطَرْد على بَدَنَة وطلب غُرْم الطِراد كان ذو محمد يردّوا على لِحَامهم ذي يسيروا ولو ما كان إلا واحد في البدنة كان في وجيه ضمناء البدنة على نقاء (أن تنقّى) الجميع حسب القواعد ومَن شرد عيّب ضمينه القريب وكان بدنته تدي غُرْمه وكان مقطوع مِن سِنَّة ومَلْزَم وصُحْبَة وأول قِطاع مِن قبيلته ثم مِن ذو محمد الجميع في وجيه الضمناء ومَن منه شَوْفَة في ارباع القُبل وخرج في عَمْدها كانت على ذو محمد الجميع في وجيه الضمناء

12(10)
وكان مَجْمَع ذو محمد ومواعيدهم الذي تَجَمَّع ذو محمد وإلا لحمتين مِن ذو محمد وفعل كان ما له أمنه (ما له سِنَّة) إلا رفيقه يُوَصِّله بيته وبَعْدما يوصّله ما له مَلْزَم في مجامع بلاد ذو عَمْر مشرق ومغرب ومَوكَب العِنَان والموسع مَجْمَع محدّد ومحذّر ومَن فعل فيها فما له مَلْزَم ولا سِنَّة إلا رفيقه يوصّله بيته

13(11)
ودكّاتهم على سوقهم وإلا حدودهم على ما ذُكَر له رفيقه

14(12)
واذا كان وأي ذو محمد طلب صاحبه (طلب رفيقه) عَتْب كان ما يطلبه إلا على أنظار ذو محمد وكان للمطلوب خمسة عشر يوماً أن يدوه (أن يردّوا) البيضاء على ما وُثَر في قواعدهم وإلا فكان يشتمه صاحبه عند اهله وكان في وجيه الضمناء ما أيهم مِن ذو محمد يشتم صاحبه في السوق

15(13)
واذا أيهم نجّد عند صاحبه عَتْب أما ضمان وإلا صلح وإلا زاد بطن وإلا ما يعتب على شروع ذو محمد أما بقاعدة او بشهود {عدول فكان أما حشم وساق الحشم فكانت السِنَّة له وإن ما ساق الحشم فكانت ما له سِنَّة فإن ما نجّده بقاعدة وإلا بشهود فكان عند غريمه} دَين أنّ فعل على مَحْض النقاء وإن يحصل شهود كان دَينه يُوفيه على شهادته (يوفيه على ما يثبّت مِن الشهادة) وذا كان ووصّل أي ذو محمد وإلا أي ذو عَمْر بِسِنَّة قبيلته وطلب صاحبه عَتْب كان الجار يستقيم مصان أما ينجد على وُثْرَه وإلا فما كان عنده إلا دَين أنّ فَعَل على مَحْض النقاء وكان الجار كفيل ويَحْجِب على ذو محمد وكان اللزيم على رأي مُلَزِّمه ويوم يخرج مِن رأي مُلَزِّمه ويوم يخرج مِن رأي مُلَزِّمه فكان ما له بيضاء وعيّب ضمينه

16(14)
ومَن كان له نقيصة مِن ذو محمد ويَحْجِب الملازم (وتَحَجَّب عنده الملازم) وطَرَد صاحبه وزاد صاحبه احتمله فإن كان دور له كَوْن وزاد حصل منه كَوْن فوق الكَوْن الاول فما له سِنَّة وإنه يطرد طرد قَتْل وزاد قَتْل فوق الاول وقد مُضَت مَلازِمه فكان ما له سِنَّة وإن كان الطَرْد في كَوْن وزاد فوق الكَوْن قَتْل كانت السِنَّة له ماضيه في القَتْل واذا طلب كَوْنه وكان في وجه الجار يَسُوقه وكان يوم ما يسوق غُرْم الكَوْن فكان ما له سِنَّة لا في كَوْن ولا في قَتْل وكان يوم يغلب مولا الكَوْن ما يُقبل ويلتقي في كَوْنه فكانت السِنَّة تَمضي في قَتْل وكَوْن

17(15)
ومَن عيّب صاحبه في هذه الملازم المذكورة كان له صَيْحَة عليهم الجميع والغزو مِن عشرين ومنزل ويرموا الى بيته وإلا ما صاده فله الى حد ثلاث بنادق يرمي بها ويسير اذا ما صاد غريمه او أخطاه ومَن عنده فِعْل مِن ذو محمد وقد نَجَحَت ملازمه فله رفيقه في دكّة السوق والصايح الذي يجمع ذو محمد أما على حَدّ او شَوْفة او غيره او نَكْفَة تجمع ذو محمد ويوم يحضر كان رفيقه له (حتى يصل بلاد الدولة وإنه خارج فله رفيقه) يوصّله بيته (ومَن ادا لصاحبه صلح وهو خارج من بيته وابترى منه فله رفيقه الى بيته)

18(16)
وكانوا اهل برط الجيران الحَلال الذي بيوتهم فيه مِن دون الأغراب اذا حصل منه فِعل كان له يومه رَفَق والقبيلي الذي ما له مَقرّة وهو مِن الأغراب او مِن ارباع القبل وحصل منه فِعل في أي ذو محمد كان ما له ازا ولا رفيق ومَن أزاه عيّب ضمينه ولا له مَلْزَم في وجيه الضمناء وكان مَن فعل مِن ذو محمد في جرة أسواقهم وإلا جارهم وإلا شوفاتهم كان حمل ذو محمد الجميع اذا ما له فعل لنفسه

19(17)
وكان الزاد بين ذو محمد اللحم والعيش له ثمان وُجَاب والعنب والزبيب والتمر واللبن اربع وجاب والقهوة يومها حسب عادة أب وجدّ واذا أحد فعل في أحد وهو على زاد فإن خرج في العَمْد فكان ما له إلا رأس النقيصة اذا طلبها وإن مَضَى في العُذْر ساق الغالي ومَن فاوت صاحبه ملازمهم او غُرم يجمعهم فيما ذو محمد في مَلْزَم كان عيب ضمينه ولا بقا له مَلْزَم ولا عليه مَلْزَم

20(18)
ومَن تعتّب مِن ارباع القُبل في ذو محمد فكان له خمسة عشر يوماً أن يتبيّض وإلا شُتَم فإن كان ودخل السوق يتبيّض وطَرَح بنادقه ونَطَح الشتومة فرفيقه له وإن شُتَم فكان القِطاع فيه برضاء ولا يُنقض القِطاع فيه إلا برضاء في وجيه الضمناء وكان ما على ذَمّ اعتراض بين ذو محمد

21(19)
وكانوا جيران ذو محمد مُرَوَّسين الذي هم مُجَيِّرين عليهم الجميع واذا أحد في المراشي وبرط ما أيهم يلحق على صاحبه ولا له عروة ولا سمى مِن هو مجيّر عليهم ولا أيهم يشل لُحقه جار على جاره غير يساقوا الى عند قاضى شريعة يسوقوهم ضمناء الحَرَم وإلا مَن حضر مِن ذو محمد والحِجَاجة بين الجيران ما أيهم يتحجج لجار على جار

22(20)
ويوم يحصل مِن أي ذو محمد غلط على أي الجيران (مِن أي اللِحَام) وكان له ثمان أيام أن قام بوجهه وثار وأرضا فهو المقدّم وإلا فكان لَحمته ضمناء الخميس ويَرْضَوا مِنهم عليه وإن فِسَلوا فإن كان مِن أي لحام آل أحمد بن سويدان وابن عاطف كان آل أحمد بن سويدان وابن عاطف يثوروا عليه ولحمته فإن كان مِن المَحْلَف فلحمته المقدّمين عليه فإن فِسَلوا فأي اللِحَام الثانية مِن المَحْلَف يثوروا وإن فِسَلوا ضمناء المَحْلَف وكانوا ضمناء آل أحمد بن سويدان وابن عاطف يثوروا عليهم وإن فِسَلوا ضمناء آل أحمد بن سويدان وابن عاطف آل أحمد بن سويدان وابن عاطف كذلك كان ضمناء المَخْلَف يثوروا عليهم

23(21)
وكان قاعدة الحَرَم على حالها ومواثرها ما تمْحقها هذه القاعدة والضمان في وجيه الضمناء وتواجبوا أنّ الضمين المقدّم ما يخرجه إلا شروع وإلا فيقوم بضمانته وتواجبوا على الرأس الغنم المذبوح في السوق ربية وعلى الرأس البقر المذبوح ثَمْن قِرْش يُعلم ذلك الى وجيه الضمناء الجميع

24Here follows the list of guarantors. This in turn is followed by a postscript :

25(22)
ويُعلم ذلك وتواجبوا بعد ختم الضمان أنّ القوم الذي في مغزاة مِن ذو محمد وجرا بينهم شئ فالمَلْزَم بينهم حي على عادة أب وجد والمتّهم دَينه برأسه ما يصل مولا المَلْزََم واذا سدوا الجهتيين بينهم برضاء مِن غير قَصَا وبغير حصول قاعدة فلا هي مِثْل ولا تِمْحَق القاعدة ومَن عنده نقيصه وقد نَجَحَت الملازم فله رفيقه اذا حضر (اذا أخطر) الى بلاد الدولة وله ثمان أيام فقط وله رفيقه واذا خرج له ثمان أيام يصل بيته والقمّاط الذي يبيع في العِنَان بعد السوق في عَرْض الوَعْد على الرأسين الغنم ربية

26This is followed by the names of the witnesses, dated 1177 hijrī and then by the list of later copies.

Qawaʼid al‑Malazim Text A (1177 hijrī): Translation and notes

27In the name of God the compassionate and merciful. After which, praise be to God and prayers and peace on our lord Muḥammad and his kin, the means of deliverance:

28SECTION 1
Dhū Muḥammad attended [a meeting] and agreed among themselves on the custom of their fathers and forefathers, [and] that they were renewing their fellowship (
ṣaḥb) and their guarantors. Those transgressions [of custom] which have occurred until now will no longer occur among them, on the honour of the guarantors. This confirmation [or “setting right”] is established for small things and great. What is mentioned [here] concerns their borders and fellowship [or “is its renewal and correction”]1 and [provides] means of settlement (firq, faraq) for whoever has a difference occur between himself and his fellow. This is the solution/settlement. It is five equal codes [i.e. copies of the code], word for word.

  1. In one version here we have li-ḥudūd-hā wa- ṣaḥb-hā, where the gender and number of the pronoun raise doubts although the script is clear; in another we have tajdūd-hā wā-ṣaḥḥat-hā. Here and elsewhere, copies of text A show considerable minor variation although generally the sense is stable. The Dāris version given in photocopy is not the best editorially, but is at least clearly legible in most places; the version followed more closely in the typed edition is that given me by Ḥamūd Abū Raʼs.
    The four main copies used, labelled for those who found them for me, are as follows: h (Ḥamūd Abū Raʼs), a (ʿAbdullāh Nājī Dāris], s (Ṣāliḥ Muḥammad al‑Farajī], y (Yayqar Muḥammad Abū Raʼs). ʿAbdullāh Muḥammad al‑Rudaymīʼs notes, whose provenance is unclear, appear as (r).

29SECTION 2
The first thing [concerns] the market. There is no protecting (ʿ
arḍ) someone who commits aggression in the market or on its roads. There is no right of protection1 except for he who presents [himself]2 and puts down (ṭaraḥ) his rifles for the judgement of the market according to its law and codes and the original market-code, its ruling[s] and precedent[s].3

  1. right of protection, ʿarḍah (or ʿurḍah). This is the same as ʿarḍ discussed in the introductory essay, which appears as such in the preceding line, cf. also Dresch ʻḤūthʼ pp. 71, 75, 78, al‑Akwaʿ Madkhal pp. 29, 35. The offender can neither claim protection nor offer, for instance, escort in the tribeʼs name.

  2. presents [himself], iʿtaraḍa. This also appears as a transitive verb, as in text 1 section 12, meaning to present or give over something else such as pledges or payment.

  3. precedent[s], wuthra or wuthrā, cf. withr, Serjeant ‘Law casesʼ (part two) p. 44. Some at Baraṭ go so far as to insist there should be an alif maqṣūrah.

30SECTION 3
In wounding a woman there is no right (
mā fī-h sinnah) unless there are wounds to men1 and [the man] who wounds the woman claims that she was [hurt or involved] wrongly. He has the debt of intent2 and she has her [proper] judgement/amends. [Even] if the wound is done by night there is a debt of intent.3

  1. Copy (y) has min rijāl, the other versions all have fī. The meaning is simply that a fight of some kind was going on at the time the woman was hurt or killed.

  2. debt of intent, dayn al‑ʿamd, meaning one must gather oaths from twenty-two witnesses. In effect dayn here means the oath itself. Some have wanted to distinguish two terms, dayn and dīn, for debt and oath but this is not the usual understanding.

  3. done by night, fiʿl (or perhaps fuʿala) al‑layl. There is a commonly quoted understanding in ʿurf that lā bi-layl rafaq, escorts have no responsibility by night, when presumably the chance of underhand action by others is greater.

31SECTION 4
Whoever wounds an uncircumcised male has no right (
sinnah) unless he escapes the [assumption of] intent1 and pays the judgement/amends [due] the uncircumcised. If he [the uncircumcised male] is killed, his blood-money and [or “the judgement due is”]2 one hundred sheep [or perhaps “silver pieces”], a camel (baʿīr) worth twenty-five silver pieces, and a subāʿīyah [a length of cloth] worth five silver pieces.3 Wounding an uncircumcised male [is to be judged] according to its extent [or “a comparison made between the wound and killing”].4 When [“on the day that”] two uncircumcised males fight each other and one of them kills his companion, this is to be judged/paid for according to the law of offences against the uncircumcised, and the right is [again] effective.5 If he [the uncircumcised male] is wounded, do what was mentioned above.

  1. Informants from Baraṭ have all preferred kharaja fī l-ʿamd to kharaja min al‑ʿamd. Rather than being the intention itself, ʿamd here is the collective oath establishing intent or its lack.

  2. Two copies have dīyah in place of sharʿ-ah or sharʿ-hā; as if the sense were “the blood-money is a hundred sinn”. But informants agree that the judgement (sharʿ) would have been in addition to the blood-money, not in place of it. The preferred reading is thus either simply, as in copy (a) and in (r), fa-sharʿ-ah (or sharʿ-hā) miʼat sinn or, as in copy (h), wa-dīyat-ah wa‑miʼat sinn, where sinn means sheep. Copy (y) has miʼat qirsh. For further discussion see text B.

  3. Copies (a) and (s), along with (r), have 15 qirsh instead of 25. Comparative prices at the time when the texts were first written are guess-work. But in recent decades mature camels have usually cost about twenty times what a sheep does. Though the script is very hard to read, the same ratio of 20:1 seems to be given in Abū Ghānimʼs (undated) Bin Zinbaʿ text: Abū Ghānim Bunyah qabalīyah p. 381.

  4. according to its extent, ʿalā qadr-ah (or kāna taqdīr, a comparison is made). So, if for instance someone lost a leg, and a half-dīyah was thus owed as recompense, fifty sheep (sinn) or fifty silver pieces would be paid in addition. Plus the camel and cloth.

  5. the right is [again] effective, al‑sinnah tamḍī. This raises the possibility that the uncircumcised male had sinnah in the sense discussed in the introductory essay. Most informants prefer to take it as meaning his kin have sinnah, which seems to me to read more into the sentence than is there: one does not lose sinnah in this general sense because of othersʼ actions.

32SECTION 5
When [literally “on the day that”] two [men] fight and one of them suffers
shawfah [i.e. a wound to the face],1 then if [the culprit] escapes the [assumption of] intent the shawfah is [to be] paid for [literally, “has its covering”]. If he does not escape the assumption of intent then he has no right, and companionship is [here] equivalent to/included in right.2

  1. Copies (s) and (y) have fiʿl bi-l-wajh after shawfah. See also text B section 4.
    companionship is equivalent to/included in right,
    al‑rafaq malwī bi‑l‑sinnah. This occurs in copy (y) and in (r). The term malwī has been explained consistently as maʼkhūdh bi- or maʼkhūdh min.
    rafaq
    itself (cf. rufqah, text 1 section 2) may here be a very general relation, not specifically escort by rafīq al‑janb. If one encounters trouble with someone and asks one of his friends or relatives to intervene with him, then one is seeking rafaq. If the friend agrees, he may or may not formalize the arrangement, perhaps by taking from one a rifle. The formal link or ʿulqah might then be referred to as luḥqah.

33SECTION 6
The neighbour apart (
jār al‑ṭu1aq) among the allied people has twice four days whether nomad or villager.1 For Ṣanʿāʼ, the west, and Abū ʿArīsh it is [twice] eight days. For the rest of the Tihamah and [those living in Lower] Yemen it is [twice] fifteen days. After that the right becomes sound/valid, on the neighbourʼs honour.2 Whoever deliberately shames his fellow in his right (sinnah) has no fellowship, on the honour of the guarantors.

  1. the allied people ahl al‑malāzim. This phrase occurs only in copies (a) and (y), and nowhere at all elsewhere in text A. I assume that it results from having read and copied text B. But the period of four days plainly applies to the Baraṭ area, as opposed to the other places listed.
    twice,
    thanū. Copies (y) and (s) both have a terminal alif maqṣūrah, but even with this, most people have read thanū rather than thinw or thinwā, which one might have understood, by connection with ithnāʼa, as simply a “period” of time. Nearly all have explained thanū unambiguously as meaning mathnī, “twice” or “doubled”.

  2. Copies (h) and (y) have ṣaḥḥat al‑sinnah. The other copies have only ṣaḥḥat, leaving the subject of the verb implicit.

34SECTION 7
His companion is the companion at oneʼs side who accompanies his companion.
1 The companion at oneʼs back has no part (ijāzah, i.e. no claim or responsibility) even if [the relation] was announced. Whoever shames the companion at oneʼs side or neighbour of the house has no fellowship (ṣuḥbah, in the tribe) and no right (sinnah), on the honour of the guarantors. The neighbour of the house is he who settles/lives there and is [to be] ruled on [or “is he who neighbours his house and sheep there”] according to the judgement/laws of the tribes.2 The incomer has no part [in collective responsibility or debt]. Whoever from the neighbouring tribes owes compensation (naqīṣah) to Dhū Muḥammad , [be it for] a weapon or livestock that is made known or a killing, has no following (jamāʿah) and no neighbour-right.3 Whoever offers him protection (rābaʿa-h) in [the case of] compensation for a weapon or livestock, if he [the offender from elsewhere] pays [or promises to pay] his protector and his people, then he has right of protection.4 If he does not pay [or promise to pay] then he has no following, no right of protection, and no neighbour-right.

  1. The possessive suffix (“his” companion) seems meaningless. A man who had committed a deliberate disgrace (ʿayb qaṣd) would have no companion of any kind. Presumably the intention is to define an escort as someone actually with one, as opposed to the “companion at oneʼs back”. Text B section 6 is clearer.
    Copy (y) has
    rafīq al‑ʿulaq after rafiq al‑janb, as if explaining the significance of the latter term.

  2. Copies (h) and (y) both have ḥāl fī-h (from ḥalla, to live alongside someone). The first has yuḥkam-ah and the second simply ḥukm-ah. The other copies have jāra (presumably a verb) bayt-ah wa-ghanam-ah.

  3. Copy (a) has ijāzah here, echoing the line about the companion at oneʼs back; the others all have ijārah (neighbour-right), which makes better sense. The precise meaning of jamāʿah in this passage is obscure; usually it would mean support or a following in oneʼs own tribe. Copy (a) has a peculiar muddle, rabīʿah jamāʿīyah.

  4. Copy (a) has rabaʿa-h. The others all have rābaʿa-h (form III) ʿalā naqīṣah, which apparently is the usual form. (Form I would usually take a direct object: e.g rabaʿa naqīṣah -ah). At first reading, the text seems to contradict itself, saying first that one has no right of protection (rabāʿ), then that one does. The wording in text B section 7 is clearer. If one pays or promises to pay, one can stay with or take escort from a member of Dhū Muḥammad; if one doesnʼt, one cannot.

35SECTION 8
The bond of blood and flesh [i.e. from marriage] among Dhū ʿAmr as against the neighbouring tribes with respect to Dhū ʿAmrʼs neighbours (
jīrān-hum, i.e. “weak”, protected people) and settled-folk (qurā-hum, i.e. the manūʿ) [means] the obligation applies to all of them.1 As for them[selves] as against outsiders, all of them act [only] against their section or fifth –Āl Aḥmad b. Kawl against Āl Aḥmad b. Kawl [Āl Ṣalāḥ b. Kawl against Āl Ṣalāḥ b. Kawl, Āl Dumaynah against Āl Dumaynah, Dhū Faraj against Dhū Faraj, Dhū ʿĀṭif against Dhū ʿĀṭif, Dhū Zayd against Dhū Zayd, and Dhū Mūsā against Dhū Mūsā], and all the sections of Dhū Muḥammad likewise, each of them against [or according to] his section, each against [or according to] his fifth.2 Except that what has [already] happened up to this date is on the honour of the guarantors, and they [i.e. those affected] shall pay what is due.3 From this date onward, once [the obligations are] severed as mentioned,4 everyone acts [only] against his section. As for [rights that derive from] eating together (zād baṭn), everyone acts [only] against his section as mentioned for the bonds of flesh and blood.5

  1. Text B section 8 is less complex. The intention seems to be that claims based on marriage with another tribe are the concern of everyone if they involve “weak” people (jīrān) or manūʿ (almost certainly the meaning here of qurā): if, for instance, a tribesman from Sufyān claims assistance from his in-laws in Dhū ʿAmr to right a wrong against a weak person in Dhū ʿAmr, then all Dhū ʿAmr must answer.
    An alternative reading, not favoured by Muḥammadīs but fitting the text well, would be that the in-law here is himself one of the
    manūʿ or jīrān and makes a claim on what in effect would be his motherʼs brotherʼs people among the tribesmen of Dhū ʿAmr. See also section 19, below, where a link of kinship (ʿurwah) is referred to. In some copies of text A, and all of text B, ʿurwat al‑laḥm becomes ʿurūq.

  2. Here there seems to be a contrast. Whereas those claims involving the manūʿ or the weak people (jīrān) require all Dhū ʿAmr to respond, apparently meaning Dhū Muḥammad, other claims implicate only oneʼs particular section.
    Neither (h) nor (y) has the full list of tribal sections (in brackets here). Each says simply Āl Aḥmad bin Kawl
    wa-sāʼir liḥām dhū muḥammad. Both copies were found me by members of Āl Abū Raʼs, who belong to Āl Aḥmad b. Kawl, but neither purports to have been transmitted solely within that fifth.

  3. Here we might perhaps read mulzam or mulzim instead of malzam. The mulzim would be the person owed a debt or obligation; mulzam is the thing or the person owed. Oddly, no-one has read mulazzam.

  4. once... severed, baʿd al‑qiṭāʿ. Presumably this means that existing obligations will be respected, but from now on the rule will be as laid out in the document. If so, the caveat has disappeared from text B (section 8), supposedly agreed a generation later, although a general point is made that obligations not be taken on for Dhū Ḥusayn (text B section 23).

  5. The length of obligations given by various foodstuffs is specified in section 17, below. But the precise obligations and the penalties at issue are unclear.

36SECTION 9
Offences that concern Dhū Muḥammad [as a whole] are the same, whether one [person is involved] or a hundred.
1 No-one shall reject his fellow2 according to the custom of father and forefather, on the honour of the guarantors. When [as a result of] such [collective] offences, there is a killing [or “when one of their neighbours is killed”]3 and pursuing vengeance/absolution devolves on a [particular] fraction and the expenses of vengeance are sought,4 then Dhū Muḥammad answer by their sections as they [usually] do (dhū yasīrū, perhaps “as is proper”). Even if there is only one man in the fraction, it is on the honour of the guarantors of the fraction that they pay for all according to the code/agreements.5 Whoever refuses (sharad, i.e. to contribute his share) shames his nearest guarantor. His fraction [then] pay his share and he [himself] is cut off from right[s], obligation[s] and fellowship, first from his [own] tribe6 and then from all Dhū Muḥammad, on the honour of the guarantors. Whoever owes shawfah [i.e. amends for offences against women, dependants etc.] to the neighbouring tribes and has escaped [the assumption of] intent, Dhū Muḥammad as a whole are responsible [for paying], on the honour of the guarantors.7

  1. Reading jarāt (or perhaps jarrāt), rather than jīrān, in two of the copies. The Dāris text (a) differs significantly from the others in that the first line starts tawājabū and has neither jarāt nor jīrān in the first line.

  2. reject, yashidd, i.e. in disputes with other tribes one cannot deny responsibility, and say simply that oneʼs fellow is responsible for his own misfortunes. Actually one can do that, in theory as well as practice: if he is in the wrong one can say so. Perhaps the stricter meaning is that one cannot gratuitously deny collective responsibility, or deny it once a dispute has become general and a meeting of the tribe has been held.

  3. Again copies differ as to whether this should be jīrān or jarāt. jīrān here could mean “weak” people under tribal protection, but the balance of probability would be that tribesmen are referred to, and thus the usual division of amends and costs in conflicts that involve the whole tribe. Overall jarāt is by far the more likely reading, to mean wrongs or disputes that affect all Dhū Muḥammad.

  4. In (a) and (s) the script is particularly unclear, and people have suggested yanḥā, yunḥā or yunaḥḥī al‑ṭard; a few have even suggested it should be yanḥāz. Some copies look to have yantaḥī. A collective debt devolves on, or is referred to, the fractions of the tribe: each fifth or khamīs pays the same, and within the fifth expenses are then subdivided.
    expenses of vengeance,
    ghurm al‑ṭirād, i.e. blood-money owed outsiders, and probably also expenses incurred in war. Copy (s) inverts the terms here, raising the possibility that ṭirād is not an abstract noun but means the persons seeking vengeance.

  5. that they pay for all. Again the script is unclear: ilā, illā, and ʿalā naqāʼ al‑jamīʿ are all suggested, as is illā tanaqqā (more likely is ann tanaqqā. The meaning is fairly plain, however: the guarantors are responsible for all the members of the fraction contributing to amends (naqā’) that absolve the tribe.

  6. tribe, qabīlah, here plainly meaning just a small fraction or section of Dhū Muḥammad, a badanah or laḥmah.

  7. A number of people have suggested this refers to men having daughters married into other tribes. The mention of ʿamd makes it almost certain, however, that the reference is to amends owed by Muḥammadīs to outsiders for offences against women, houses etc. If the damage is done in error, all Dhū Muḥammad contribute to amends; if it is deliberate, then presumably the tribe can disown the culprit.

37SECTION 10
At a meeting or conclaves of Dhū Muḥammad , where Dhū Muḥammad [as a whole] meet, or two sections of Dhū Muḥammad , if [someone] commits an offence/inflicts a wound there, he shall have no security
1 except his companion shall see him to his house. After he has seen him [to his house], he [i.e. the culprit] has no [claim on or ability to enter] an obligation (malzam) at meetings anywhere in the territory of Dhū ʿAmr, east or west or even at market in al‑ʿInān.2 And al‑Muwassaʿ, the meeting-place of Dhū Muḥammad, [or “the space of a meeting”; or simply “a meeting”]3 is delimited and guarded. Whoever commits an offence there has no obligation [to call on] and no right (sinnah e.g. to refuge), except that his companion/escort see him to his house.

  1. security, imnah (or amnah), among the most general of all these terms. Copy (a) has sinnah. One might have expected azā or wazā here to stress the immediate and temporary nature of such protection, cf. section 16, below.
    In the first part of the sentence there seems to be something missing in all our copies (as there is in text B), if only a pronoun to denote the culprit.

  2. As in section 8, above, Dhū ʿAmr appears to mean exactly the same as Dhū Muḥammad. Although witnesses (shuhūd) from al‑Maʿāṭirah are mentioned at the end, all the guarantors (ḍumanā’) for text A are from Dhū Muḥammadʼs fifths.
    at market in al‑ʿInān,
    mawkab al‑ʿinān. The term mawkab is explained not as the crowd or procession of market-goers (classical mawkib) but as the extent (ṣāḥah) of the market, the bounds of the ḥaram or market-enclave, cf. wakab, awkāb, boundary stones, Piamenta Dictionary p. 531.

  3. the space [of a meeting], mawsaʿ: this is the reading usually favoured by Muḥammadīs, as if this sentence simply stresses the one preceding. Copy (y) has an alif-lam sketched in as an afterthought as though the writer did not understand what he was transcribing; copy (s) has wasaʿ, and (a) al‑ wasaʿ, which makes no sense. Copy (h), along with (r), is fairly clear, however, and all the copies except (y) have majmaʿ after the word.
    The intention was almost certainly al‑Muwassaʿ, a site just south of Sūq al‑ʿInān where meetings were traditionally held and which supposedly was
    hijrah or protected. If this reading is correct, it is worth noting that al‑Muwassaʿ gets no mention in text B section 10, supposedly written some years later.

38SECTION 11
[Responses to] offences (
dakkāt) against their market or their borders are [dealt with according to the rules] as mentioned: he has his escort.1

  1. This line, which occurs in all our copies, seems somewhat out of place. The point is made in section 15, below, that claims of vengeance within Dhū Muḥammad are suspended in such cases. The phrase “as mentioned” (ʿalā mā dhukara) perhaps refers back to section 9 and the division of payments.

39SECTION 12
If it should be that one of Dhū Muḥammad seeks amends from his companion he shall only do so in view of/with the agreement of Dhū Muḥammad.
1 The person [thus] summonsed has fifteen days to do what is right [literally “to give the white”]2 according to what is laid down in their code/rules. If not [i.e. if he fails to do this] then his fellow vilifies him before his [i.e. the claimantʼs] people.3 It is on the honour of the guarantors that no‑one from Dhū Muḥammad shall vilify his fellow in the market.

  1. in view of/under the supervision of, ʿalā naẓar, cf. Piamenta Dictionary p. 489. For further discussion see the notes to text B.

  2. Copies disagree as to whether this should be yadū-h, raddū, or yaraddū. It is not clear why the verb should be plural, and one would anyway expect yartadd.

  3. vilify his fellow, yashtum ṣāḥib-ah. This refers to placing a jidhn, as described in part three of the introductory essay. The details are explained in text B section 12. In a case like this the jidhn or “blame” (malām) would be set up in the claimantʼs village or in front of his house.

40SECTION 13 (part one)
If any of them proves [a claim for] amends
1 against his fellow concerning guaranty, truce, eating together, or whatever deserves amends according to Dhū Muḥammadʼs laws, whether [he proves this] by a document/agreement or by honest witnesses (shuhūd ʿudūl), then {if he [the one claimed against] owes shame-money (ḥasham, vb.) and he pays the shame-money (sāq al‑ḥashm), he has his right [e.g. to refuge or escort]. If he does not pay [or undertake to pay]2 the shame-money then he has no right. If [the claimant] does not prove his claim by a document or witnesses,3 then his opponent} owes [an oath] that he did what was right (ann faʿal ʿalā maḥḍ al‑naqā’). If witnesses are found, he owes [or “must swear to”] what [their] testimony confirms.

  1. amends, ʿatb. Copy (a) has najjada ʿayb ʿind ṣāḥib-ah. The terms ʿatb and ʿayb can be virtually synonyms in a context like this: both refer to amends for a breach of honour, not simply compensation for wounds or damage (naqṣ, naqīṣah).
    The section of the text in curled brackets, below, is missing from copy (a) but occurs in all the others and also, slightly differently worded, in text B.

  2. As with the market-guaranty (text 1) we should remember that payments could rarely have been made promptly, and “If he pays the shame-money” (in sāqa l-ḥashm) could well mean in practice that the man or group give rifles which promise payment.

  3. The word in the phrase mā najjada-h here could equally well be a negative particle or an indefinite pronoun (“whatever he proves...”). The former reading is confirmed by text B section 13. For discussion of the whole passage see the notes to text B.

41SECTION 13 (part two)
If it should be that any of Dhū Muḥammad or Dhū ʿAmr establishes/invokes (
waṣṣal bi-) the right of his tribe (sinnat qabīlat-ah), and his fellow claims amends, then the neighbour stands [in for him] as protected.1 Whether or not he proves what came before, he owes only [an oath] that he did what was right. The neighbour is a bondsman (kafīl) and covers for (yaḥjib ʿalā, i.e. takes responsibility for) Dhū Muḥammad. The one responsible (lazīm, here the bondsman or guarantor) is under the supervision/at the disposal of (ʿalā ra’y) the one to whom he is responsible (mulazzim-ah). When [“on the day that”] he departs from his mulazzimʼs wishes he is in the wrong (mā la-h bayḍā’) and has shamed/insulted his [own] guarantor.

  1. protected, muṣān, Dresch ʻḤūthʼ pp. 75, 89, cf. ṣawān, al‑Akwaʿ Madkhal p. 47. Often in ʿurf this root is associated with secondary guaranty, in other words with ensuring someone else meets his obligation to a third party. Here muṣān might mean either that the person freshly covered by invoking this sinnah is protected, as of course he would be, or that the protector, the one making himself responsible, is safe. Shaykhs from Baraṭ have tended to the latter reading, cf. al‑Sudumī Naẓarīyah p. 150.
    The phrase
    sinnat qabīlat-ah appears only in copies (h) and (y). The others all have simply bi-sinnah or sinnah, and some even leave out the verb waṣala or waṣṣala, at which point the sentence collapses into nonsense. For yastaqīm (“stands [in for]”) see the notes to text B sections 13, 21.

42SECTION 14
Whoever is owed compensation, and obligations cover/protect [his opponent],
1 if his fellow pursues vengeance and his fellow has [the offence] compounded then he [the first culprit] bears responsibility.2 If [the man first owed compensation] seeks a wound [in revenge] and a further wound occurs on top of the first wound then [the original culprit] has no right (sinnah). If he [the claimant] pursues vengeance for a killing and a further killing occurs on top of the first, and his [the first culpritʼs] obligations have expired, then [the latter] has no [further] right. If the vengeance pursued is for a wound and a killing occurs on top of the wound, then his right is effective [as regards] the killing. If he seeks [cash-payment for] his wound, then it is on the neighbourʼs honour to pay it.3 When he does not pay [or agree to pay] the expense of the wound (ghurm al‑kawn) then he has no right [e.g. to refuge or escort], either [as regards] the wounding or [as regards] the killing. When [literally, “on the day that”] the owners [i.e. claimants] of the wound refuse to accept payment for the wound4 then the right (sinnah) is effective [as regards] killing and wounding.

  1. Copies vary, with yaḥjib al‑malāzim, taḥajjaba l-malāzim, yaḥjib ʿind-ah al‑malāzim and even yaḥjib ʿind-ah ahl al‑malāzim. The likely meaning is discussed at length in the notes to text B section 19.

  2. As elsewhere in these documents, the subject of the verb here seems to shift unannounced. At first glance this passage and the corresponding passage in text B (section 19) can seem difficult to reconcile; but one starts off, I think, with the claimant first in mind, and the other with the person claimed against. It is as well to compare this section with all of text B sections 19, 20, 21. Also, for the idea of obligations (malāzim) running out see section 15, below.

  3. This assumes that the fellow-tribesman of the man owing the debt has agreed to act as lazīm, that is, in effect, as guarantor. Doing so is voluntary. But the way in which this is phrased perhaps expresses the ideal that everyone is a lazīm to his fellow, cf. al‑Sudumī Naẓarīyah pp. 130-1.

  4. refuse to accept, yaghlab... mā yuqbal wa-yaltaqī in most copies. The here is plainly a relative pronoun, but no-one has suggested why the construction should be so complex. Everyone has read it to mean simply “refuses what is acceptable”.

43SECTION 15
Whoever shames/insults his fellow in these obligations just mentioned, he [the person insulted] has no call on all of them, but [rather] the raid [to force amends or take vengeance] is [to comprise only] twenty men or less.
1 They [can] fire at his house or wherever he hunts him down.2 He [the person insulted or disgraced] has up to three rifles/shots to fire with, whether he hits his opponent or misses.3 Whoever of Dhū Muḥammad has wronged/wounded [his fellow] and his obligations have run out, has an escort in [the case of] offences against the market or [any] call (ṣāyiḥ) that gathers Dhū Muḥammad, whether concerning a border or offences against women or some other matter where the call to arms (nakfah) gathers Dhū Muḥammad. On the day he attends he shall have his escort until he arrives [again] in the land of the state or, if outside [state territory], until he arrives at his house.4 And whoever grants his fellow a truce when [the latter is] outside his house and [then] declares himself quit of it, he [the person granted the truce] has an escort to his house.5

  1. call on all of them, ṣayḥah ʿalay-hum al‑jamīʿ, although (a) and (r) give ṣuḥbah jamʿ, which is not impossible. Both also replace the phrase wa‑l‑ghazū min ʿishrīn, very clear in other copies, with something that may perhaps be yantaqaṣ.

  2. hunt down, ṣāda-h, although the same verb a line later must surely mean “to hit” (text B, sections 20 and 21, has yuṣīb in this second context). The particle is taken as meaning ayn-mā (“wherever”) by comparison with text B section 21.

  3. The verb yasīr is not translated here. It might mean simply “to go” or “leave” after the three shots, or may be an impersonal construction meaning something like “as is right”. A negative before ṣāda (in all our copies, but not in text B) is odd, giving in effect a double negative: “if he doesnʼt hit his opponent or he misses”. I have omitted the negative when translating.

  4. The script here is less than clear in most of our copies, even copy (y) where the phrase bracketed in the Arabic text is scribbled in as apparently an afterthought. It is not in (h). The provision about state territory is repeated in the postscript to text A (section 22, below). Here, though, a man who was simply trapped at home by a local dispute would also have security to fight in a collective action.

  5. This line appears only as fragments in (s) and (r), and not at all in (h) and (y). The provision is spelled out separately in text B section 22.

44SECTION 16
The people of Baraṭ –those neighbours (
jīrān, i.e. “weak” non‑tribesmen) who live there, and have houses there, not strangers– if one of them offends against/wounds [one of the parties to this agreement] he shall have [only] one dayʼs escort/ companionship.1 The tribesman who has no residence there –whether a stranger (min al‑aghrāb) or from neighbouring tribes (arbāʿal‑qubul)– if he offends against/wounds someone from Dhū Muḥammad, he shall have no protection (azā) and no companion (rafīq, no escort). Whoever protects him shames/insults his [own] guarantor and has no obligation [to call on], on the honour of the guarantors [together]. Whoever of Dhū Muḥammad wounds [someone] in response to [offences against] their markets or their neighbour [i.e. a weak person under their protection] or their women-folk, it is the responsibility of Dhū Muḥammad together if he has no offence of his own [outstanding].2

  1. escort/companionship, rafaq, in fact here a rather general relation of support, cf. section 5 note 2, above.

  2. no offence of his own [outstanding], idha mā la-h fiʿl li-nafs-ah. In other words, if a man already has a dispute of his own with people from another tribe and now claims particular support then his case is to be looked at separately. He cannot simply claim to be defending Dhū Muḥammadʼs collective honour.

45SECTION 17
Among Dhū Muḥammad, eating together [produces] eight daysʼ duty [i.e. mutual obligation] for meat and bread; grapes, raisins, dates, and milk [each] give four daysʼ duty; and coffee just that day, according to the custom of father and forefather. If someone offends against/wounds another when they have eaten together, [then] if he escapes the [assumption of] intent, he [the other man] is owed [only the cost of] the damage if he seeks it.
1 If he [the offender] remains answerable2 [i.e. fails the oath] then he pays a fine (ghālī). Whoever fails (fāwat) his fellow in their obligations, or in a payment that gathers them as some obligation gathers Dhū Muḥammad, shames his guarantor. He no longer has any obligation to call on or to which he is subject.3

  1. Baraṭīs have all read this as an active verb, ṭalaba, not ṭulaba or ṭuliba. The suggestion that the claim might not be pursued is worth noting in contrast to the other malzams these documents deal with.
    Shaykhs at Baraṭ disagree what the penalty would have been for a deliberate breach –perhaps two-fold,
    dam wa-dhamm, although some rate it as seriously as breach of escort. It is also unclear how far the obligation extended to others. Text B section 13 lists together amends for breach of guaranty, truce, and sharing food: though the text is ambiguous, a reference to al‑muṭālab [ʿalay-h] aw jumāʿat-ah might mean that more men were implicated than the person who actually shared bread.

  2. remains answerable, maḍā fī l-ʿudhr. Most have wanted to read this as a negative, in mā maḍā, and explain it as equivalent to in hāba min al‑dayn, i.e. if he refuses or fails the collective oath. Nājī ʿAbdullāh Dāris very plausibly reads in maḍā fī l-ghadr, i.e. if he remains judged guilty of betrayal or treachery.
    In several places (e.g. sections, 13, 19) the Dāris text has a superfluous
    illā: here there are two, one of which the scribe has caught and crossed out.

  3. to call on or to which he is subject, .. la-h malzam wa-lā ʿalay-h malzam. No explanation has been offered for the second half of this phrase (cf. text 1 section 13). In passing, note the alif on baqā in the Dāris script. Both in speech and writing baqā sometimes displaces baqī or baqiya, but I have not found a pattern.

46SECTION 18
Whoever from the neighbouring tribes owes amends (
taʿattab) to Dhū Muḥammad has fifteen days to become white (yatabayyaḍ, do what is demanded). If not, he is vilified [i.e a jidhn or scarecrow is set up in the market]. If it should be that he enters the market to do what is right [“to become white”], and puts down his rifles [with the market guarantors as surety]1 and strikes down the blame (naṭaḥ al‑shutūmah), then he has an escort [to accomplish this]. If he is vilified, there is a cutting off [of relations with his group] by consent and the cutting off does not end except by consent,2 on the honour of the guarantors. In that which concerns [amends for] disgrace there is no intervening [for others] among Dhū Muḥammad.3

  1. puts down [his rifles], ṭaraḥa, cf. Ḥabshūsh Ruʼyah pp. 38, 55. Also in section 2, above. One could as well say sallama or iʿtaraḍa, but ṭaraḥa has strong associations of committing oneʼs honour: offering or throwing down oneʼs head-cloth, for instance, is referred to as ṭarḥ al‑jāh. The rifles as surety for a claim made at market are those nominally valued at 100 riyals in text 1 section 11.

  2. by consent, bi-riḍā’, i.e. a collective decision requires taking, cf. text 1 section 11. Unlike the case in section 7, above, where compensation (naqṣ) is at issue, an action against outsiders for “amends” (ʿayb, ʿatb) here, and planting the jidhn, means severing relations with the defendantʼs whole tribe.

  3. no intervening for others, mā ʿalā dhamm iʿtirāḍ, cf. text 1 sections 12, 14. This line about Dhū Muḥammad seems out of place where claims specifically against outsiders have just been discussed, but it retains the same position in text B section 23.

47SECTION 19
The neighbours (
jīrān i.e. “weak”, protected people) of Dhū Muḥammad whom they all protect (mujayyirīn ʿalay-hum al‑jamīʿ) are a shared responsibility (murawwasīn).1 If one of them at al‑Marāshī or Baraṭ claims assistance [of whatever kind against another] from his protector, he shall have no link [to call on] of kinship (ʿurwah) or as namesake (samī).2 And none of them [i.e. none of the tribesmen] shall take on (yashill luḥqah, take the part of) a weak person (jār) in a dispute with his [own] weak person, except they should go to a sharīʿah judge. The guarantors of the ḥaram [i.e. of the market] should drive them [to go], or otherwise whoever is present of Dhū Muḥammad. As for taking sides (al‑ḥijājah) among the weak people, none of them shall take sides with (yataḥajjaj li-) one weak person against another.3

  1. shared, murawwasīn. The families of “weak” people who were formally protected (mujayyarīn) by all Dhū Muḥammad were very few: al‑Ṣanʿānī, Qaṭlān, Shādhirī, perhaps Mabṭal and one or two others. Most weak people enjoyed the formal protection of only a fifth, or two or three fifths, or some combination of individual fractions (badan). But the provisions here for joint responsibility are compatible with those of section 20, below.

  2. Something seems to be missing from the start of the passage, if only a verb governed by “one of them at al‑Marāshī”, and the construction around is unclear. By “protector” here I translate simply ṣāḥib, a fellow or companion. The implication seems to be that the jīrān or weak people are connected to tribesmen by naming (samī or samāya) and by ʿurwah, which commonly means links through marriage but might also refer perhaps to broader household relationships. These links cannot be invoked in what might become a dispute between different families or sections of Dhū Muḥammadʼs tribes folk.

  3. take sides with, yataḥajjaj 1i-. A ḥijjah or ḥujjah can be simply a dispute; ḥajīj can mean a protector or advocate (muḥāmī) or one protected; but yataḥajjaj suggests (gratuitously) taking sides, partisanship. Copy (a) has ghayr a1-ḥijājah in the previous line, presumably meaning those who should drive the disputing parties to judgement would be other than people at odds themselves.

48SECTION 20
When [“on the day that”] anyone from Dhū Muḥammad commits a fault against any of the neighbours [i.e. against the weak, protected people] from any section, he has eight days to do his duty (
qām bi-wajh-ah), to act (thār perhaps even “take revenge”), and to provide satisfaction (arḍā). He is first. If not [i.e. if he fails to act], then his section are guarantors for the fifth and give satisfaction for him on their behalf.1 If they fail (fisa1ū, to act), then if [the culprit] is from any section of Āl Aḥmad bin Swaydān and Ibn ʿĀṭif, then Āl Aḥmad bin Swaydān and Ibn ʿĀṭif shall act against him (yathawrū ʿa1ay-h) and his section. If [the culprit] is from al‑Maḥlaf then his section are first [ to act] against him, and if they fail [to act] then any of the other sections of al‑ Maḥlaf shall act.2 If the guarantors of al‑Maḥlaf fail, then the guarantors of Āl Aḥmad bin Swaydān and Ibn ʿĀṭif shall act against them; and if the guarantors of Āl Aḥmad bin Swaydān and Ibn ʿĀṭif fail [to act against a culprit of their own], then likewise the guarantors of al‑ Maḥlaf shall act against them.

  1. give satisfaction for him on their behalf, yarḍaw (or perhaps yurḍū) min‑hum ʿalay-h, Presumably this is the equivalent of tajbīr in text 1 sections 3, 4, 13.

  2. Dhū Muḥammad, it will be remembered, is two halves: al‑Maḥlaf comprises Dhū Mūsā and Dhū Zayd; Āl Aḥmad Swaydān (“and Ibn ʿĀṭif”) contains the other three fifths or akhmās, cf. al‑Akwaʿ Madkhal p. 37.

49SECTION 21
The market-code (
qāʿidat al‑ḥaram) is [a thing] apart, [resting on] its own bases/precedents (mawāthir), which this code does not erase. The guaranty is on the honour of the guarantors. They [i.e. Dhū Muḥammad] agreed that the first guarantor is not removed [from his responsibility] except by judgement [i.e. someone else may be selected as guarantor in a particular law‑case].1 Otherwise he [must] stand by his guaranty. They [also] agreed that on each head of sheep slaughtered in the market [there should be a tax of] one rupee, and on each head of cattle slaughtered [a tax of] one eighth of a silver piece.2 Let [all] this be known (wa-yuʿlam dhālik), on the honour of the guarantors together.

  1. The implication seems to be that the market guarantors are also the general guarantors for their sections, and perhaps for the present agreement. It is hard to see why else a mention of a “first guarantor” (ḍamīn muqaddam) should come between two lines specifically on the market.

  2. This tax is referred to variously as majbā, jibāyah, or ʿā’id. The last of these three terms was once used of the returns on tax paid by rulers to tribal shaykhs. The income in this case, however, went to maintain a small standing guard at al‑ʿInān as discussed in part one of the introduction. For the rupees in question, see Serjeant and Lewcock Ṣanʿā’ pp. 229, 307.
    Then comes the list of guarantors, reproduced separately at the end of part six, below: for Dhū Zayd, Dhū Mūsā, Dhū Faraj, Āl Dumaynah, Āl Ṣalāḥ, Dhū ʿĀṭif, and Āl Aḥmad b. Kawl, including al‑Mahāshimah.

50SECTION 22, POSTSCRIPT
After the guaranty was signed/sealed, they agreed that if a group (
qawm) from Dhū Muḥammad are on a raid (maghzāh) and something happens between them, then an [existing] obligation among them is effective (ḥayy) according to the custom of father and forefather.1 The accusedʼs responsibility [debt, dayn; perhaps an oath] is on his own head until he reaches those concerned.2 If the two sides resolve [a problem] by agreement, without exact judgement (qaṣā), or without having [access to a copy of] the code/agreement, it does not set an example or erase/abrogate the code.3 Whoever owes amends, if the obligations [he can draw on] have run out then he has [the right to] an escort.4 If he goes to [or “opts for”] the land of the state he has only eight days. He has his escort (rafīq). And if he leaves he has eight [days] to reach his house. The trader5 who sells in al‑ʿInān after the market during [the rest of] the week,6 [shall pay] a rupee on every two head of sheep. 

  1. Presumably the meaning here is that existing ties, such as those of guaranty or truce, remain in force even when men are away from Baraṭ.

  2. The copies we have are far from clear, but the most likely reading seems to be wa-l-muttaham dayn-ah bi-raʼs-ah mā (with the meaning of law mā, until) yaṣal mawlā al‑malzam, which is how it looks to be in copies (h) and (y).
    Others have
    wa-[word illegible] bi-dayn-ah bi-raʼs-ah yaṣal mā la‑h al‑malzam, which is very hard to make sense of. Al‑Rudaymīʼs notes (r) have wa-l-sinnah la-h fa­-dīyat-ah [or fa-dayn-ah] bi-raʼs-ah mā yaṣal mā la-h al‑malzam.
    Copies (a) and (s) are both hard to read. They seem to say wa-l-sayyir badal‑ah bi-dīyat-ah [or bi-dayn-ah] murawwasah, but the lack of pointing and the number of ligatures strongly suggest that the copyist did not understand the passage they were transcribing and tried simply to follow the lines of an existing script.
    The intention, presumably, is that disputes which break out among a raiding party should be frozen until the raiders get home, or at least get to somewhere the problem can be resolved.

  3. This line does not depend solely on the one before. It recurs after the names of the guarantors in text B, immediately before section 44, without mention of a raiding party. The idea seems to be simply that the agreement is in general binding even if, in some particular dispute, people choose to arrive at settlement by their own means.

  4. Note how these same provisions, added here as an afterthought, are spread out in text B, particularly among sections 19-21.

  5. trader or dealer, qammāṭ, here a dealer in livestock. This seems to be a very old word in Yemen, see. e.g. Muḥammad Jāzim (ed.) Nūr al‑maʿārif part one p. 548. Elsewhere than the north (Landberg Glossaire p. 2530) it can be used even of a fish­-seller.

  6. [the rest of] the week, ʿarḍ al‑waʿd (cf. Landberg Glossaire p. 2928, Dresch ‘Sufyānʼ p. 55): in other words, not just on the Monday yawm al‑sūq. Some copies have yabqā (remains, or stays) fī l-ʿinān baʿd al‑sūq, others have yabīʿ (trades, sells). The latter seems to me more likely.
    This is followed by the names of witnesses, as listed in part one of the introduction, dated Muharram 1177, and then by the list of later copies.

Table des illustrations

Titre Text A (AH 1177/AD 1763), photocopy: Agreement among the Fifths of Dhū Muḥammadقاعدة الملازم بين أخماس ذو محمد
URL http://books.openedition.org/cefas/docannexe/image/915/img-1.jpg
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© Centre français de recherche de la péninsule Arabique, 2006

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