Abbasid Caliphate: 2nd 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”

Around within linear circle anticlockwise from 1:00: bism Allah duriba hadha’l-dirham bi-Zabid sana thalathin wa thalath mi’a “in the name of God this dirham was struck in Zabid year thirty and three hundred”

In 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”

Reverse

In field within double linear circle: lillah/Muhammad/rasul Allah/al-Muttaqi lillah “for God, Muhammad is the messenger of God, al-Muttaqi lillah”

In margin anticlockwise from 12:00: Muhammad rasul Allah arsalahu bi’l-huda wa-din al-haqq li-yuzhirahu ‘ala al-d(in)… “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…” – Surah IX (al-Tauba) v. 33 (in part)

Although direct Abbasid control over the Yemen at this time was nonexistent, Sunni partisans of the dynasty on the Tihama coast of the Red Sea showed their strong religious and political loyalty to the Sunni caliphate. While most of the silver coinage of the Yemen consisted of sixth dirhams (known as suds), the full canonical dirham denomination was very rarely struck. When it was, as in this case, it was known as the qafla. These dirhams were issued in the names of the caliphs al-Mu’tadid, al-Muktafi, and this one in that of al-Muttaqi. Curiously, it is made clear that this was an exceptional issue by the fact that the die-sinker ran out of the space he needed to inscribe the last words of the prophetic witness, kullihi wa’l-law kariha al-mushrikun (“even though the polytheists may detest it”. This was due to the use of letter and word punches which were much larger than usual, and too big for the space available to accommodate the full text.

Abbasid Caliphate: 2nd Period

MaterialSilver
TypeDirham
RulerAbu-Ishaq Ibrahim al-Muttaqi lillah
MintZabid
Date330 H (941-942 CE)
Weight3.10g
Diameter24.5mm