Abbasid Caliphate: 1st Period

Silver Dirham

Obverse

In field: la ilah illa/Allah wahda/la sharik lahu ”no deity other than the One God, He has no associate”

In margin within triple serrate circle, the outer of which has triple annulets at 11:00, 3:00 and 7:00: bism Allah duriba hadha’l-dirham bi’l-Hashimiya sana khams wa arba’in wa mi’a “in the name of God this dirham was struck in al-Hashimiya the year five and forty and one hundred”

Reverse

In field within triple linear circle: Muhammad/rasul/Allah “Muhammad is the messenger of God”

In margin: Muhammad rasul Allah arsalahu bi’l-huda wa din al-haqq li-yuzhirahu ‘ala al-din kullihi wa law karma 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

The overthrow of the Umayyad Caliphate caused the closure of Wasit the principal mint in Iraq for both silver dirhams and copper fulus. During the rule of the first Abbasid Caliph ‘Abd ‘Allah b. Muh’d, more widely known as al-Saffah the original Iraqi mints of al-Kufa and al-Basra were reopened in 132 and 133 H respectively and they remained the principal mints until the establishment of Madinat al-Salam (Baghdad) as the Abbasid capital in 146 H. The accession of al-Mansur bin Muhammad in 136 H occasioned a slight change in the minting pattern. In 138 coinage appeared bearing the mint name al-Hashimiya. Al-Mansur gave this name to the mint after the Abbasid’s earliest known ancestor Hashim, the great grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). As this mint appears to have followed the movements of the court and central government its exact location is unknown. The distinctive calligraphic style of this dirham shows that the personnel of the recently closed mint of Damascus were transferred to the new government mint. Coinage from al-Hashimiya is known from between the years 138 and 145 H. Because the court required fewer coins to support its expenses those from this mint are much rarer than from the other two Iraqi mints and this piece, struck in 145, is the rarest of them all. The following year witnessed the opening of the mint of Madinat al-Salam which continued to employ the same mint personnel that struck this piece.

Abbasid Caliphate: 1st Period

MaterialSilver
TypeDirham
RulerAnonymous
Mintal-Hashimiya
Date145H / 762-763CE
Weight2.9g
Diameter24mm