The Epistle to Yemen (Iggeret Teiman), probably a compilation of several shorter responsa, was written by Maimonides about 1172 in reply to an inquiry (or inquiries) by Jacob ben Netan'el al-Fayyūmi, the then head of the Jewish community in Yemen. The exchange of letters was occasioned by a crisis through which the Jews of that country were passing. A forced conversion to Islam, inaugurated about 1165 by 'Abd-al-Nabī ibn Mahdi, who had gained control over most of Yemen, threw the Jews into panic. The campaign conducted by a recent convert to win them to his new faith, coupled with a Messianic movement started by a native of the country who claimed he was the Messiah, increased the confusion within the Jewish community. Rabbi Jacob evidently sought guidance and encouragement, and Maimonides attempted to supply both. Originally written in Arabic, this edition is that of the 1952 English translation by Boaz Cohen, published in New York by American Academy for Jewish Research, edited from manuscripts with introduction and notes by Abraham S. Halkin.
The author died in 1968, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 50 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.
Works published in 1952 would have had to renew their copyright in either 1979 or 1980, i.e. at least 27 years after it was first published / registered but not later than in the 28th year. As it was not renewed, it entered the public domain on .