Anti-Umayyad Revolutionary Movement

Silver Dirham

Obverse

In field within a beaded square which is in a beaded circle: la ilah illa/Allah wahda/la sharik lahu “no deity other than the One God, He has no associate”. Above at 12:00: bism Allah duriba, at 9:00 hadha’l-dirham, at 6:00 bi-Sijistan sanat, at 3:00 ithnatayn wa thalathin wa mi’a “in the name of God this dirham was struck in Sijistan year one and thirty and one hundred”

In margin within beaded circle anticlockwise from 2:00: O qul la as‘alukum O ‘alayhi ajran O illa’l-mawaddata O fi’l-qurba “Say, I ask of you no reward for this other than love of kin” – Surah XLII (al-Shura) v. 23

Reverse

In field within beaded circle: O at 12:00 and O at 6:00; Allah ahad Allah/al-samad lam yalid wa/lam yulid wa lam yakun/lahu kufuan ahad “God is One, God is Eternal, He does not beget nor is He begotten and there is none like unto Him” – Surah CXII (al-Ikhlas)

In margin anticlockwise from 1:00: Muhammad rasul Allah arsalahu bi’l-huda wa din al-haqq li-yuzhirahu ‘ala al din kullihi wa law kariha al-mushrikun “Muhammad is the messenger of God who sent him with guidance and the religion of truth that he might make it supreme over all other religions, even though the polytheists may detest it” – Surah IX (al-Tauba) v. 33

In the last years of the Umayyad caliphate there was great dissatisfaction with its rule and agitation for its overthrow. The aim was to replace it with a caliphate led by the Abbasid descendants of the Prophet Muhammad, who would lead the Muslim Community in matters both secular and religious. By the reign of the last Umayyad caliph, Marwan II bin Muhammad, several groups were competing for power. One of the insurrections was headed by Abu Muslim, who, in 128 H/ 745 CE, was sent as an agent by the Abbasid conspiracy to carry out a political and military campaign against the Umayyads in Khurasan. Since the Abbasids based their claim to the caliphate on their kinship with the Prophet, the anti-Umayyad revolutionaries supported this movement by citing the passage from Surah 42, al-Shura, calling for “love of kin”. This was seized on and interpreted as “support for the Family of the Prophet”. In 129 H/ 746 CE the forces of Abu Muslim revolted and took control of Khurasan. This coin shows that in 132 H/749 CE his forces also controlled Sijistan which, up until this time, had been loyal to the Umayyads. This attractive and extremely rare coin is the only one known of its type and its unique square in circle design.

Anti-Umayyad Revolutionary Movement

MaterialSilver
TypeDirham
RulerAnonymous
MintSijistan
Date132H / 749-750CE
Weight2.85g
Diameter27mm