A Mixed Arab-Sassanian And Arab-Byzantine Coin From The Time Of Caliph ʿAbd Al-Malik, 75 AH / 694-695 CE
© Islamic Awareness, All Rights Reserved.
First Composed: 29th August 2007
Last Modified: 31st August 2007
Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:
A mixed Arab-Sassanian and Arab-Byzantine coin minted in 75 AH.
75 AH / 694-695 CE.
Obverse field: Typical Arab-Sassanian bust. In the place of Middle Persians legends, there are Arabic letters in unpointed Kufic script ḍuriba fī / sanat khamsa wa sabʿīn ("struck in the year 75"). Obverse margin: bism Allāh / lā-ilaha il-Allāh / waḥdahu Muḥammad ra / sūl Allāh ("In the name of God. There is no god but God alone. Muḥammad is the messenger of God").
Reverse field: In the place of the usual fire-altar and the two attendants, a standing figure of the caliph, bearded and with his right hand resting on his sword-hilt in the attitude of the imām delivering a khutba. Kufic legends on sides running downwards khalfat (sic) Allāh / amīr al-mu'minīn ("khalifa of God, Commander of the Faithful").
The "standing caliph" coin types are well-known in the Arab-Byzantine series, perhaps as early as from the reign of Umayyad caliph Muʿāwiya and most certainly under the later caliph ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Marwān. However, this dirham is remarkable in the sense that it blends the Arab-Sassanian and Arab-Byzantine varieties with both weight and fabric from the former. These coins were struck at the time when ʿAbd al-Malik was contemplating his forthcoming "reformed coinage".
Also it is interesting to note that misspelling of khalfat Allāh for khalīfat Allāh is also found on ʿAbd al-Malik's copper coins of Syria.
 J. Walker, "Some New Arab-Sassanian Coins", The Numismatic Chronicle And Journal Of The Royal Numismatic Society, 1952, Volume XII, Sixth Series, p. 110 and Plate IX.
 S. Nebehay, "Frühislamische Bildermünzen", Numismatische Zeitschrift, 2005, Volume 113/114, p. 268 and p. 270.
The images above are reproduced from the stated sources under the provisions of the copyright law. This allows for the reproduction of portions of copyrighted material for non-commercial, educational purposes.
With the exception for those images which have passed into the public domain, the use of these images for commercial purposes is expressly prohibited without the consent of the copyright holder.
Back To The Islamic Coins