Lecture – An Early Papyrus Handbook for Addressing Prayers to God (3rd/9th century)

Date: Monday 13 November 2023
Time: 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Venue: Robert de Sorbon Amphitheatre, SUAD Campus


In this lecture, Prof Mathieu Tillier will introduce his latest publication Supplier Dieu dans l’Egypte Toulounide, by presenting the study of a booklet preserved on papyrus and dated 267/880-881. It offers a selection of some forty hadiths heard by Khālid ibn Yazīd, a minor local scholar, concerning the invocations that every pious Muslim has to use when addressing God. Composed during the reign of the famous governor Aḥmad ibn Ṭūlūn, the first autonomous ruler of Islamic Egypt, this manuscript bears exceptional testimony to the way traditional sciences were taught at the time. Not only does it open an unprecedented window on the milieu of ordinary transmitters, whose names soon fell into oblivion, but it also sheds new light on the Tulunids’ religious policy and on the Islamisation of Egypt.

About the Speaker

Salem Boubakri
Prof Mathieu Tillier is a Professor of Medieval Islamic History at Sorbonne Université (Paris) and a member of the CNRS team “Orient & Méditerranée” (UMR 8167). He is also a visiting Professor at Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi. His main research focuses on Islamic law and institutions. He is the author of Les cadis d’Iraq et l’État abbasside (132/750-334/945) (Damascus: Presses de l’Ifpo, 2009), and of L’invention du cadi. La justice des musulmans, des juifs et des chrétiens aux premiers siècles de l’Islam (Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 2017). For this publication, he received the Sheikh Zayed Book Award in 2023 in Abu Dhabi. He also edited Abū Hilāl al-ʿAskarī’s Kitāb mā ḥtakama bi-hi l-kḫulafā’ ilā l-quḍāt (Cairo: Ifao, 2011) and translated into French al-Kindī and Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī’s books on Umayyad and Abbasid Egyptian judges. His most recent work addresses papyri documents reflecting legal, social, and cultural practices in Medieval Egypt. With Naïm Vanthieghem, he recently edited a hadith manuscript on papyrus dating back to the ninth century CE (Supplier Dieu dans l’Égypte toulounide. Le florilège de l’invocation d’après Ḫālid b. Yazīd [iiie/ixe siècle], Leiden: Brill, 2022).

This lecture will be delivered in English.

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