Arab-Sassanian Coin Of Al-Ḥajjāj Bin Yūsuf, 77 AH / 696-697 CE

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First Composed: 21st August 2009

Last Modified: 23rd August 2009

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Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

Arab-Sassanian coin of al-Ḥajjāj bin Yūsuf, minted in the year 77 AH.


77 AH / 694-695 CE.


Obverse field: Typical late Arab-Sassanian bust with the name "al-Ḥajjāj bin Yūsuf" written in Arabic on the right hand side of the bust. Obverse margin: bism Allāh / lā-ilaha il- / Allāh waḥdahu Muḥammad / rasūl Allāh ("In the name of God. There is no god but God alone. Muḥammad is the Messenger of God").

Reverse field: Typical Arab-Sassanian fire-altar with attendants with mint (Bīshāpūr).


Weight = 3.75 gms.

This is a very unique coin. The shahāda is arranged in striking fashion radially in the obverse margin. As far as we are aware, no other coin from 1st century of hijra shows this feature. The Arab-Sassanian coins which show either full or partial shahāda, for example, those from 66 AH, 72 AH, 73 AH, 76 AH, show its arrangement running along the obverse margin. Likewise, it is also true for mixed Arab-Sassanian and Arab-Byzantine, Arab-Byzantine "standing caliph" coins and the subsequent "reformed coinage".

Also compare this coin with al-Ḥajjāj's issue of the Arab Sassanian coins in 79 AH from the same mint.


The British Museum, London;[1] The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.[2,3]


We thank the British Library for providing the image of the coin.

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[1] J. Walker, A Catalogue Of The Muhammadan Coins In The British Museum, 1941, Volume I - Arab-Sassanian Coins, British Museum: London, pp. 117-118, Plate XXI, No. 8.

[2] H. W. Brown, "The Umayyad Coins In Oxford" in J. Allan (Ed.), Islamic Art In The Ashmolean Museum, 1995, Part I, Oxford Studies In Islamic Art - X, Oxford University Press, pp. 51-59, esp. 56.

[3] S. Album & T. Goodwin, Sylloge Of Islamic Coins In The Ashmolean, 2002, Volume I, The Pre-Reformed Coinage Of The Early Islamic Period, Ashmolean Museum: Oxford, Plate 15, Nos. 216, 217.

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