Rassid Imams of the Yemen: 2nd period

Silver MANSURI DIRHAM

Obverse

Within each ray of a six-pointed star: bism Allah/al-rahman al-ra/him la ilah illa/Allah Muhammad ra/sul Allah ‘Ali/wali Allah “in the name of God, the merciful the compassionate, no deity other than God, Muhammad is the messenger of God, ‘Ali is the chosen one of God”

In marginal segments: darb/Zafar sana/saba’/wa sitt/mi’a “struck Zafar year seven and six hundred”

Reverse

Within each ray of a six-pointed star: al-imam/al-Mansur/billah amir/al-mu’minin/‘Abd Allah bin/Hamza/bin Salim “the imam al-Mansur billah, commander of the faithful, ‘Abd Allah bin Hamza bin Salim”

In marginal segments: ibn ra/sul/Allah/salla Allahu/‘alayhi/alihi “son of the messenger of God, God’s blessing be upon him and his family”

Lowick, in his article, stated that there were several places with the name Zafar in the Yemen. The Zafar of the Zaydi Rassids is obviously Zafar al-ashraf (Zafar of the Sharifs), in the hill country of al-Zahir, about fifty miles north-east of Sana. Al-Mansur restored and strengthened the fortress in 600 H, and it became his principal residence where he was buried in 614 H. As was so frequently the case, the territory of the Yemen was shared between the Shi’a Rassid dynasty, which held the highlands, and the Sunni Ayyubid dynasty and its successors the Rasulids which held the lowlands of the Tihama bordering the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. Al-Mansur obviously wished to give his coinage a highly distinctive appearance, which distinguished it from the other contemporary coinages in the region. He and his successors continued to employ this attractive design in all their mints, whose coins were regularly known as mansuri dirhams. Lowick’s groundbreaking article basically laid the foundation for the study of the Rassid coinage, the knowledge of which has been substantially enlarged by subsequent discoveries.

Rassid Imams of the Yemen: 2nd period

MaterialSilver
TypeMANSURI DIRHAM
Ruleral-Mansur ‘Abd Allah bin Hamza
MintZafar (in the highlands of the Yemen)
Date607 H (1210-1211 CE)
Weight1.73g
Diameter23mm