Ayyubid of Egypt & Syria

Gold Dinar

Obverse

In field within linear circle: al-imam al-Nasir/amir al-mu’minin “the Imam al-Nasir, commander of the faithful”

Inner circle anticlockwise from 2:00: la ilah illa Allah wahda la sharik lahu Muhammad rasul Allah “no deity other than God, He has no associate, Muhammad is the messenger of God”

Outer circle (partially off flan): arsalahu bi’l huda wa din al-haqq li-yuzhirahu ‘ala al-din kullihi wa law kariha al-mushrikun “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) verse 33

Reverse

In field within linear circle: al-malik al-Nasir/Yusuf bin Ayyub “the victorious king, Yusuf bin Ayyub”

Inner circle anticlockwise from 2:00: Salah al-dunya wa’l-din Sultan al-Islam wa’l-Muslimin “Salah al-dunya wa’l din Sultan of Islam and the Muslims”

Outer circle starting at 3:00: bism Allah duriba hadha’l-dinar bi-Dimashq sana khams wa thamanin wa khams mi’a “in the name of God this dinar was struck in Dimashq the year five and eighty and five hundred”

The late Paul Balog stated in his book on the coinage of the Ayyubids that the only gold coin of al-Nasir Yusuf (known in the west as Saladin) from Syria was a dinar of Damascus dated 583 H. He believed that it was probably issued to mark the reconquest of Jerusalem and the defeat of the Crusaders in that year. He commented that the exalted title of the ruler used on the coin, Sultan al-Islam wa’l-Muslimin, might be attributed to Saladin’s rôle as Defender of the Faith against the Crusaders. The original strikings of the issue were carried out in a handsome and elegant Kufic script, but the dies for this piece were clearly prepared from punches used by a slipshod die-sinker. It is possible that this previously unrecorded dinar was an attempt at creating a gold coinage in Damascus independent from that of Cairo.

Ayyubid of Egypt & Syria

MaterialGold
TypeDinar
Ruleral-Imam al-Nasir Salah al-din Yusuf bin Ayyub
MintDimashq (Damascus)
Date585 H (1189 CE)
Weight3.54g
Diameter22.5mm