Fatimid Caliphate

Gold Dinar

Obverse

In centre: ‘alin/ghaya “best quality”

Inner circle anticlockwise from 1:00: the Shi’a kalima: la ilah illa Allah Muhammad rasul Allah ‘Ali wali Allah “no deity other than God, Muhammad is the messenger of God, ‘Ali is the chosen one of God”

Outer circle anticlockwise from 2:00: Muhammad rasul Allah arsalahu bi’l huda wa din al-haqq li-yuzhirahu ‘ala al-din kullihi wa law kariha 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

Reverse

In centre: al-Imam/Muhammad “the Imam Muhammad”

Inner circle anticlockwise from 1:00: abu’l-Qasim al-Muntazar li-amr Allah amir al-mu’minin “abu’l-Qasim al-Muntazar li-amr Allah, commander of the faithful”

Outer circle anticlockwise from 1:00: bism Allah al-rahman al-rahim duriba hadha’l-dinar bi-Misr sana khams wa ‘ashrin wa khams mi’a “in the name of God the merciful, the compassionate this dinar was struck in Misr the year five and twenty and five hundred”

In Dhu’l-Qada 524 H/1130 CE the caliph al-Amir was attacked by fanatical opponents  and died of his wounds the following morning. He left no male descendants, but one of his concubines appeared to be pregnant. Abu’l-Maymun ‘Abd al-Majid – later the caliph al-Hafiz – attempted to succeed his cousin al-Amir, but he was only given the rank of honorary regent. Actual power was seized by Abu ‘Ali Ahmad, son of the late vizier al-Afdal. With the assistance of the army, he was able to make himself guardian of al-Amir’s expected heir. However, al-Amir’s concubine delivered a daughter who was immediately killed. The vizier continued to keep the concubine secluded, claiming that she was still expecting a son given the name al-Qasim Muhammad al-Imam al-Muntazar. This absurdly long pregnancy continued until Muharram 526, when Abu-‘Ali Ahmad was himself assassinated. Hafiz, thus delivered, was eventually able to accede to the throne. The pseudo-reign of the expected Caliph al-Muntazar, despite the fact that he never existed, lasted from 16 Dhu’l-Qada 524 to 16 Muharram 526 – fourteen months during which he enjoyed the right to have the khutba recited and coins such as these struck in his name. Abu’l-Qasim al-Muntazar was known as al-Tayyib, and his followers, who rejected the succession of a collateral caliph rather than a direct descendant, became known as the Tayyibin, a branch of the Isma’ilis.

Fatimid Caliphate

MaterialGold
TypeDinar
RulerThe fictive caliph Abu‘l-Qasim Muhammad al-Muntazar li-amr Allah
MintMisr (Egypt)
Date525 H. (1131 CE)
Weight4.15g
Diameter20mm