Abbasid Caliphate: 2nd Period

Gold Donative Dirham

Obverse

In field: la ilah illa Allah/Muhammad rasul/Allah/al-Muqtadir billah “no deity other than God, He has no associate, al-Muqtadir billah

Inner margin: bism Allah duriba hadha’l-dinar bi-Madinat al-Salam sana thalath ‘ashr wa thalath mi’a “in the name of God this dinar was struck in Madinat al-Salam year thirteen and three hundred”

Outer margin: fasayak fika humu-’Allah wa huwa al-sami al ‘alim “God is your all sufficient defender. He hears all and knows all” – Surah II (al-Baqara), v. 137 (last sentence)

Reverse

In field: Allah ahad Allah/al-samad lam yalid wa/lam yulid wa lam yakun/lahu kufuwan 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 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

This carefully designed and well struck donative dinar is one of the masterpieces of Abbasid coinage. It is possibly the only Abbasid dinar that contains the “Umayyad symbol”, Surah al-Ikhlas, in the reverse field, and an alternative rarely seen Qur’anic passage from al-Baqara verse 137 in the obverse outer margin. This verse was later used on the so-called “mihrabi” coinage of the Ilkhan ruler Abu-Sa’id. It is not clear what inspired the issuance of this coin, but it is possible that it was occasioned by the struggle that the Abbasids were having with the aggressive Qarmatids of Bahrain due to their doctrinal differences and the Qarmatids’ warlike depredations in the Hijaz.

Abbasid Caliphate: 2nd Period

MaterialGold
TypeDonative Dirham
RulerAbu’l-Fadl Ja’far al-Muqtadir billah
MintMadinat al-Salam
Date313H / 925-926CE
Weight3.16g
Diameter24mm