Abbasid Caliphate: 2nd Period

Gold Dinar

Obverse

In field: la ilah illa/Allah wahda/la sharik lahu/wali al-dawla “no deity other than the One God, He has no associate, chosen one of the state”

Inner margin anticlockwise from 12:00: bism Allah duriba hadha’l-dinar bi-Harran sanat ahda wa tisa’in wa mi’atayn “in the name of God this dinar was struck in Harran the year one and ninety and one hundred”

Outer margin anticlockwise from 12:00: lillah al-‘amr min qabl wa-min ba‘d wa-yawma’idhin yafrahu al-mu’minin bi-nasr Allah “the command is God’s, past and future, and on that day the faithful will rejoice in the victory granted by God” – Surah XXX (al-Rum), v. 4

Reverse

In field within single circle: lillah/Muhammad/rasul/Allah/al-Muktafi billah “for God, Muhammad is the messenger of God, al-Muktafi billah”

In margin anticlockwise from 12:00: Muhammad rasul Allah arsalahu bi’l-huda wa-din al-haqq li-yuzhirahu ‘ala al-din kullihi wa’l-law kariha almushrikun “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

Harran (the ancient Carrhae) was a city close to the source of the river al-Balikh, not far from the mashad (shrine) of Abraham, and was well irrigated by a series of small canals. It was said to be the first city built after the Great Flood. It was described as a pleasant town, protected by a stone fortress, and surrounded by a stone wall. It also had a splendid mosque with a large courtyard, and a cupola supported on marble columns, as well as a hospital and a college. The markets were covered by wooden roofs, for protection against the considerable summer heat. Today it is no more than a small village, whose former glories lie in ruins. Exceptionally, the Caliph al-Muktafi allowed his powerful and dominating wazir, al-Qasim, to place his title, wali al-dawla, (chosen one of the state) on the obverse of his dinar and dirham coinages in the year 291 H. His name was, however, removed from the coinage following the death of al-Qasim later that year.

Abbasid Caliphate: 2nd Period

MaterialGold
TypeDinar
RulerAbu-Muhammad ‘Ali al-Muktafi billah
MintHarran
Date291H / 903-904CE
Weight4.01g
Diameter25mm