raṭl [Arabic]

See also ratili and rotl.

A widespread Islamic unit of mass. Almost always, 100 raṭl = 1 quintar.


In Aden, 20ᵗʰ century, a unit of mass, = 1 pound.


In Libya, 20ᵗʰ century, a unit of mass used in trade in ostrich feathers and wool for spinning, approximately 512.8 grams.


In India, ? – 19ᵗʰ century,

Ratl, H[indi]. (A[rabic]. ), Ratal, Mar. () A weight, variously rated at 12 to 16 ounces, a pound : at Bombay the Ratal is said to be equal to thirty-six Surat rupees : in the Red Sea the Rottolo, as it is corruptly called, varies from 10 to 24 ounces avoirdupois.

H. H. Wilson, 1855, page 441.


In Alexandria, Egypt, 13ᵗʰ – 16ᵗʰ centuries, various units of mass.

Name of raṭl Commodity   Value in dirhems Value in grams
Arabs called it the raṭl fulfulī and Europeans the raṭl forfori.
raṭl miṣrī
spices Perhaps the most common equivalence in the sources is 1 quinṭār forfori (a hundred raṭl fulfulī ) = 144 libbre sottile of Venice, which, taking the libbra sottile as 301.23 grams, makes the raṭl fulfulī 421.72 grams. 144 420 - 440
raṭl lathī flax named for a governor of Egypt who held office from 799 to 802   600
jarwī raṭl olive oil     900-960
raṭl sufari quicksilver     735

E. Ashtor.
Levantine Weights and Standard Parcels: A Contribution to the Metrology of the Later Middle Ages.
Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, U. of London, vol. 45, no. 3, pages 471-488 (1982).

Detailed discussion of the variations in the sources.

Federigo Melis.
Documenti per la storia economica dei secoli XIII-XVI. Con una nota di paleografia commerciale a cura di Elena Cecchi.
Florence: L. S. Olschki, 1972.

Muḥammed ibn Muḥammed, called Ibn al-Ukhuwah (died 1329).
Reuben Levy, editor.
The Maʻālim al-qurba fī aḥkam al-ḥisba of Ḍiya’ al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad al-Qurashī al-Shāfiī̇, known as Ibn al-Ukhuwwa.
London: Luzac, 1938.

Chapter 9, according to Ashtor, describes the ratls of Upper Egypt.


In Damascus, a unit of mass used to weigh olive oil,

Ibn Mammati has a town by town list of various ratls of Syria-Palestine.

As'ad ibn al-Muhadhdab ibn Mammātī; Aziz Suryal Atiya.
Kitāb qawānīn al-dawāwīn.
al-Qāhirāh: Maktabat Madbūlī, 1991.

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