Dynasty Unknown

Gold Dinar

Obverse

In field within linear circle: la ilah illa/Allah wahda-hu/la sharik lahu/‘Ali bin Rashamuj “no deity but the One God, He has no associate, ‘Ali bin Rashamuj”

Inner margin from 12:00: bism Allah duriba hadha’l-dinar bi-… sana arba’ wa arba’in wa thalath mi’a “in the name of God this dinar was struck in… year four and forty and three hundred”

Outer margin: lillah al-amrmin qabl wa min b’ad 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) v. 4

Reverse

In field within double linear circle with paired single annulets at 12:00, 9:00, 6:00 and 3:00: lillah/Muhammad rasul Allah/salla Allah ‘alayhi wa ‘alihi/… /amir al-mu’minin/‘Ali bin Abi Talib “for God, Muhammad is the messenger of God, God’s blessings be upon him and his family… commander of the faithful, ‘Ali bin Abi Talib”

In margin anticlockwise from 12:00: 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

This dinar is, indeed, a genuinely mysterious coin. Several things, however, are made clear by its legends. The first is that it bears largely Abbasid legends, but lacks the name of the contemporary Caliph al-Muti’ lillah. In its place is that of the first Shi’a Imam, ‘Ali bin Abi Talib, which shows where ‘Ali bin Rashamuj’s religious allegiance lay. While nothing whatever is known about ‘Ali, the Tarikh Tabaristan of Ibn Isfandiyar tells us that his father was Rashamuj-i-Shir Mardan, a Daylamite chieftain who appeared in Tabaristan at the beginning of the fourth century of the Hijra. Evidently in the 310s H Rashamuj was involved in a struggle between the Alid Da’is of Tabaristan and the Ziyarids. It would appear that his allegiance was changeable and because of this he left little trace of his existence. Perhaps both ‘Ali and Rashamuj could be described as soldiers of fortune in a politically chaotic region and time. This unique and attractive coin is certainly one that deserves additional research.

Dynasty Unknown

MaterialGold
TypeDinar
Ruler‘Ali bin Rashamuj
MintMint name uncertain and unread
Date344 H (955-956 CE)
Weight4.03g
Diameter21.5mm