Shaybanid Khans of Transoxiana

Gold Mithqal

Obverse

In cartouche: la ilah illa Allah/Muhammad rasul Allah “no deity other than God, Muhammad is the messenger of God”

Around: amir al-mu’minin and the names of the Four Orthodox Caliphs with their epithets, Abu Bakr al-Sadiq/‘Umar al-Faruq/‘Uthman al-‘Affan/ ‘Ali al-Murtada “commander of the faithful, Abu Bakr the faithful witness, ‘Umar who distinguishes truth from falsehood, ‘Uthman the defender, ‘Ali with whom one is well pleased.”

Reverse

In central linear circle: ‘Abd Allah/Bahadur Khan

Around: abu’l-Ghazi khalid Allah ta’ala mulkahu wa sultanahu duriba shirmad Harat al-Khaqan bin al-Khaqan bin al-Khaqan “Abu’l-Ghazi Khalid may God the most high protect his kingdom and sultanate struck Harat the lion hearted al-Khaqan son of al-Khaqan son of al-Khaqan”

The Uzbek Shaybanids were descended from the fifth son of Chingiz Khan’s son Juji. Their founder, Muhammad Shaybani Khan, was a successful soldier of fortune and a skilled tactician. For the first fifty years of his life he served as a warrior for the Timurids and others. However, in 907 H/1501 CE he expelled the Timurid Zahir al-din Babur from Samarkand. In 911/1506 he marched his troops across the Oxus River and conquered Khwarizm, pillaged Khurasan and two years later advanced into the city of Harat at a time when the Timurid leader, Husayn Bayqara, was too old and infirm, and his sons too weak, to resist him. Shaybani was killed by the forces of the Safawid Shah Isma’il at Marw in 916/1510 and the lands he had conquered were lost for two years. However, members of the family regained Bukhara, Samarkand and Tashkent which the dynasty held for the next century. ‘Abd Allah II, who was described as the greatest of the Shaybanid Khans, ruled the whole of Transoxiana, Ferghana and northern Afghanistan, along with Harat, which had been ruled by the Safawids for half a century, reverted to Shaybanid control in 997 H. It was after that that this gold mithqal was issued. Unfortunately, because the coin was struck off-centre, the date itself is missing from the flan. ‘Abd Allah II appears to have been the only Shaybanid to issue a currency coinage in gold based on the weight of the traditional Islamic mithqal. Full mithqals, such as this, are excessively rare, while halves and quarters are occasionally met with.

Shaybanid Khans of Transoxiana

MaterialGold
TypeMithqal
Ruler‘Abd Allah II b. Iskandar
MintHarat
DateUnknown
Weight4.5g
Diameter20mm