The Status of Dhimmis in Egyptian Society in the Time of Muhammad Ali Pasha as Shown by a Model Sales Contract Document

Mohammed Mahmoud Al-Anaqreh


This study examines the status of the followers of other faiths (Dhimmis) in Cairo during the reign of Muhammad Ali Pasha (1220-1265 AH / 1805-1848 AD), based on a model sales contract document issued by the High Court of Justice in 1239 / 1823). The study provides a critically edited text of the commercial document and analyses the information it provides about the Armenians, Copts and Syrian Christians, based on their commercial transactions overseen by the Islamic Shari‘a courts. That information provides details about buying, selling and contracts and the legal agencies involved, while shedding light on the prominent trades, professions and sectarian organizations in Cairo in the mid-nineteenth century AD.


Dhimmis, Egypt, Muhammad Ali Pasha, Commercial transactions.

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