Saffarid of Sijistan: 2nd dynasty

Gold Dinar

Obverse

In field: la ilah illa/Allah wahda/la sharik lahu “no deity other than the One God, He has no associate”

Inner margin anticlockwise from 12:00: bism Allah duriba hadha’l-dinar bi-Madinat Zaranj sana ithnatayn ‘ashr wa thalath mi’a “in the name of God this dinar was struck in Madinat Zaranj the year twelve and three hundred”

Outer margin: lillah al-amr min qabl wa-min bad wa-yawma‘idhin yafrahu al-mu’minum 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) verses 4-5 (in part)<

Reverse

In field within linear circle: lillah/Muhammad/rasul Allah/al-Muqtadir billah/Ahmad bin Muhammad “for God, Muhammad is the messenger of God, al-Muqtadir billah, Ahmad bin Muhammad”

In margin: 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

After the capture of the last Saffarid ruler of the first dynasty, al-Layth ibn ‘Ali, in 298 H, Sistan was deprived of its local dynasty until 311 H. The province was twice invaded by the Samanids, but after the murder of their ruler, Ahmad ibn Isma‘il, it was nominally controlled by the Abbasid caliphate. It then fell to three successive military leaders – Kuthayir ibn Ahmad, Ahmad ibn Qudam and ‘Abd Allah ibn Ahmad, none of whom were of Saffarid descent. Finally, in 311 H/923 CE, the ‘ayyars (nobility) of Zaranj chose a member of the Saffarid family to rule the province. Although he was not in the direct line, they selected Ahmad ibn Muhammad because they believed he had the personal qualities to inspire the people of Sistan. For over forty years Ahmad ruled his lands well, restoring peace and prosperity to his people and the prestige of his dynasty, while maintaining good relations with the Samanids. Ahmad won much praise and recognition for his success as a patron of the arts and letters, which flourished under his rule. Only two full-weight dinars are recorded in the names of Ahmad and the Caliph al-Muqtadir, dated 311 and 312. These are of standard design and calligraphy and both are of the highest rarity.

Saffarid of Sijistan: 2nd dynasty

MaterialGold
TypeDinar
RulerAbu-Ja’far Ahmad bin Muhammad
MintMadinat Zaranj (City of Zaranj, capital of the province of Sijistan)
Date312 H (918 CE)
Weight3.32g
Diameter22.5mm