al-Murabitun of Morocco & Spain

Gold Dinar

Obverse

In field within linear circle: a pellet with a dot on either side; la ilah illa Allah/Muhammad rasul Allah/al-amir ‘Ali bin al-amir/Yusuf bin Tashufi n “no deity other than God, Muhammad is the messenger of God, the amir ‘Ali son of the amir Yusuf son of Tashufin”

In margin within linear and serrate circles anticlockwise from 12:00: wa man yayabati‘u ghayr/al-islami dinan/falan yuqbala minhu “and whosoever desires other than Islam as a faith, then it will not be accepted from him” – Surah III (al-’Imran) v. 85 (in part)

Reverse

In field within linear circle: al-Imam/‘Abd/Allah/amir al-mu’minin “the Imam, servant of God, commander of the faithful”

In margin within linear and serrate circles anticlockwise from 1:00: bism Allah duriba hadha’l-dinar bi-Balansiya sana saba’ wa tisa’in wa arba‘ mi’a “in the name of God this dinar was struck in Balansiya the year seven and ninety and four hundred”

Yusuf ibn Tashufin may be considered as the real founder of the Murabitid dynasty. He was a cousin once removed of Abu Bakr ibn ‘Umar who, after his initial successes in Morocco, appointed Yusuf his commander in chief and head of administration. It was not until Abu Bakr’s death in 480 H/1087-8 CE that Yusuf began to place his own name on the coins. Once Yusuf had united Morocco under his rule, it became clear that he was the obvious saviour of Spain’s Muluk al-Tawa’if, who were now facing collapse following the seizure of Toledo by Alfonso VI of Castille in 478 H/1085 CE. At the invitation of the ‘Abbadids of Seville, Yusuf crossed to Andalusia and in 479/1086 the Muslims virtually annihilated the Christian forces of Alfonso at the Battle of al-Zalluqa near Badajoz. This victory encouraged the ‘Abbadids to call upon Yusuf for his assistance once again in 482/1089. This time the puritanical Yusuf decided that he would be far better suited to rule Muslim Spain than the self-indulgent rulers of the Muluk al-Tawa’if. Amid popular acclaim he swept all but a few of them away and for a time held the Christian Reconquista at bay. The obverse margin of this coin bears the al-Murabitid “symbol”, the strongly worded Qur’an Surah III, verse 85, borrowed from the Zirids of Tunisia, while the reverse field refers to the distant and powerless Abbasid caliph “The Imam Servant of God, Commander of the Faithful”. In the last years of his reign Yusuf wished to make the succession clear by naming his son and heir, ‘Ali, in the royal protocol on the obverse of his coinage.

al-Murabitun of Morocco & Spain

MaterialGold
TypeDinar
RulerYusuf bin Tashufin
MintBalansiya
Date497 H (1103-1104 CE)
Weight4.12g
Diameter25mm