Ghaznawid of Khurasan, Afghanistan & India

Gold Dinar

Obverse

In field within linear circle with single annulet at 9:00: ‘adl/la ilah illa/Allah wahda-hu/la sharik lahu/al-Qa’im bi-amr Allah “just, no deity other than the One God, He has no associate, al-Qa’im bi-amr Allah”

Inner margin anticlockwise from 12:00: bism Allah duriba hadha’l-dinar bi’l-Rayy sanat arba’ wa ‘ashrin wa arba’ mi’a “in the name of God this dinar was struck in al-Rayy the year four and twenty and four hundred”

Outer margin anticlockwise from 12:00: lillah al-amr min qabl wa min bad wa yawma‘idhin yafrahu al-mu’minum bi nasri 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 part)<

Reverse

In field within double linear circle with 6-pointed star at 3:00: lillah/Muhammad/rasul Allah/Nasir din Allah/(in Naskhi) abu-Sa’id “for God, Muhammad is the messenger of God, Nasir din Allah, abu-Sa’id”

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 rare dinar was struck during a period of political confusion in al-Rayy, the name to which al-Muhammadiya reverted when it was conquered by the Ghaznawids in 420 H. This was partly due to the absence of its Ghaznawid governor, Mas’ud bin Mahmud, and the town’s occupation by his Kakwayhid rival, ‘Ala al-dawla. When an assembly of notables paid him homage it appeared that Mas’ud might succeed his father Mahmud, but from 422 on he made one misjudgement after another.  He entrusted the government of al-Jibal to a corrupt administrator, Tash Farash, appointed the Kakwayhid ‘Ala al-dawla governor of Isfahan, and Manuchihr bin Qabus bin Washmgir governor of Jurjan and Tabaristan.  Tash Farash proved so unpopular with the people of al-Rayy that Mas’ud replaced him with abu-Sahl al-Hamduni, and the town flourished once again.  This did not last long, because the Turkish Oghuz tribes plundered al-Rayy and ejected abu-Sahl, giving ‘Ala al-dawla another chance to seize the city.  Trouble with the Oghuz and ‘Ala al-dawla’s army made life intolerable for al-Rayy’s inhabitants, and ‘Ala al-dawla persuaded abu-Sahl to reinstate Mas’ud. Ala al-dawla was now no more than a vassal of the Ghaznawids. It was probably during one of the two periods of abu-Sahl’s control that this coin was struck in Mas’ud’s name.

Ghaznawid of Khurasan, Afghanistan & India

MaterialGold
TypeDinar
RulerNasir din Allah abu-Sa’id Mas‘ud bin Mahmud
Mintal-Rayy (formerly al-Muhammadiya, now Tehran, in northern Iran)
Date424 H (1033 CE)
Weight3.30g
Diameter23mm