Amirs of ‘Aththar

Gold Dinar

Obverse

Within two linear circles with a broad band between them: la ilah illa Allah/Muhammad rasul Allah/al-Muti’ lillah “no deity other than God, Muhammad is the messenger of God, al-Muti’ lillah”

In margin anticlockwise from 12:00: bism Allah duriba hadha’l-dinar bi-‘Aththar sanat wahid wa khamsin wa thalath mi’a “in the name of God this dinar was struck in ‘Aththar the year one and fifty and three hundred”

Reverse

Within two linear circles with a broad band between them: amira bihi al-amir/abu-‘Ali Muhammad/ bin al-Qasim “among the things ordered by the amir abu’l-‘Ali Muhammad bin al-Qasim”

In margin anticlockwise from 12:00: “Truth has come and falsehood has vanished. Verily falsehood is a vanishing thing; We send down the Qur’an that which is a healing and a mercy unto the true believers” – Qur’an XVII (al-Isra), vv. 81-82 (in part)

‘Aththar was a former port town on the coast of the Red Sea in today’s Saudi Arabian province of ‘Asir. It is likely that the gold for this issue came from panning the streams which come down from the mountains that produced the metal which was often alloyed with silver, resulting in a pale appearance to the coins. When this dinar was struck ‘Aththar was in the possession of a series of Sunni amirs who gave their allegiance to the Abbasid caliphs, but their coinage legends always included the passage from Surah XVII (al-Isra). For another example of this rare style of coinage see No. 35, the dinar struck in Makka in the name of the Ikhshidid Abu’l-Misk Kafur in 357 H. According to the late Nicholas Lowick, this passage appears on many contemporary coins from the Yemen. It was first used by the Rassid Imam al-Hadi ila’l-Haqq on a coin struck in Sana in 293 H, and subsequently by later Rassids and the Ziyadids.

Amirs of ‘Aththar

MaterialGold
TypeDinar
RulerAbu-‘Ali Muhammad bin al-Qasim
Mint‘Aththar (in the ‘Asir province of Saudi Arabia)
Date351 H (962 CE)
Weight2.79g
Diameter25mm