The Letters of AI-Mustansir bi'llah
By HUSA1N F. AL-HAMDINI
IN the archives of the Da'wat of the Yemen and India a collection of royal letters and decrees (sijillat) issued by the Fatimid Khalifa al-Mustansir bi'llah (denoted in the following pages by the letter M.) (died A.H. 487 = A.D. 1094) to the SuIaihids of the Yemen has been preserved, and a manuscript containing this collection of documents, has now been acquired by the Library of the School of Oriental Studies, London. The MS. is a modern copy, which belonged to an Isma'ili priest in India. I have searched in vain for other copies, but it is quite likely that we might find others in the collections of the Isma'iIis in the Yemen and India. I give in the following pages a synopsis of the historical matter contained in these documents. Apart from their interesting literary style the letters furnish us with some useful historical data and contemporary evidence for the period covered by them, viz. the forty-four years from A.H. 445 = A.D. 1053 to A.H. 489 = A.D. 1095.