Abbasid Caliphate: 4th period

Gold Dinar

Obverse

In field within octafoil: al-imam/la ilah illa Allah/wahda la sharik lahu/al-Musta‘sim billah/amir al-mu’minin “the Imam, no deity other than the one God, He has no associate, al-Musta‘sim billah commander of the faithful”

To right upwards: lillah al-amr min/qabl wa-min bad

To left downwards: wa-yawma ‘idhin yafrahu al-mu’minin bi-nasr Allah “the command is God’s, past and future and on that day the faithful will rejoice in the victory granted by God” Surah XXX (al-Rum), v. 4

In margin: bism Allah duriba hadha’l-dinar bi-Madinat al-Salam sana sitt wa khamsin wa sitt mi’a “in the name of God this dinar was struck in Madinat al-Salam the year six and fifty and six hundred”

Reverse

In field within octafoil: al-hamdu lillah/Muhammad/rasul Allah/salla Allah ‘alayhi wasallam “praise be to God, Muhammad is the messenger of God, may God’s blessings and peace be upon him”

In margin: Muhammad rasul Allah arsalahu bi’l-huda wa-din al-haqq li-yuzhirahu ‘ala al-din kullihi “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”; upwards at 3:00: wa law kariha, downwards at 9:00: al-mushrikun “even though the polytheists may detest it” – Surah IX (al-Tauba) v. 33

This is an example of the last dated dinar to be struck by the Abbasid caliphate in Iraq. Abbasid power had began to wane after the reign of the caliph al-Nasir, at a time when the Mongol army was making its way through Iran and advancing on Baghdad. The Mongol general, Hulagu, ravaged the Isma‘ili community in Alamut, and then laid siege to Baghdad. On 4 Safar 656/10 February 1258 the Abbasids were forced to surrender the city, which was then sacked. Ten days later Hulagu ordered the caliph al-Musta‘sim’s execution. This was carried out by having him wrapped up in a rug and trampled to death by elephants, thus abiding by the Mongol tradition of avoiding spilling royal blood. This brought an end to Abbasid rule in Iraq after nearly five and a half centuries. Only al-Musta‘sim’s uncle, Abu’l-Qasim Ahmad al-Mustansir, managed to escape and took refuge with the Mamluks in Egypt. He was the first of a dynasty of powerless Abbasid caliphs in Cairo that lasted until the end of Burji Mamluk rule in Egypt in 922 H/1517 CE.

Abbasid Caliphate: 4th period

MaterialGold
TypeDinar
RulerAbu-Ahmad ‘Abd Allah al-Musta’sim billah
MintMadinat al-Salam (Baghdad)
Date656 H (1258 CE)
Weight8.37g
Diameter26.5mm