Aniconic Gold Coins (“Reformed Coinage”), Minted By The Umayyad Caliph ʿAbd al-Malik, From 77 AH / 696 CE

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First Composed: 10th June 2007

Last Modified: 10th June 2007

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Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

An example of the reformed gold coinage, i.e., dīnār, of the Umayyad caliph ‘Abd al-Malik bin Marwān minted in the year 77 AH.


77 AH / 696-697 CE.


Obverse field: lā-ilaha illa-Allāh waḥdahu la sharīkalah ("There is no god but God alone, He has no associate"). Obverse margin: Muḥammad rasūl Allāh arsalahu bi-l-huda wa dīn al-ḥaqq liyudhhiru ‘ala al-dini kullahi wa-law karih-al-mushrikūn ("Muḥammad is the messenger of God whom He sent with guidance and the religion of truth that He might make it prevail over all religions even if the associators are averse").

Reverse field: Allāhu aḥad Allāhu al-ṣamad lam yalid wa-lam yulad ("God the one, God the eternal, He did not beget and was not begotten"). Reverse margin: bism Allāh ḍuriba hadhā al-dīnār fī sanat sabaʿ wa sabʿīn ("In the name of God, this dīnār was struck in the year 77").


Weight = 4.25 gms. With the introduction of new design came a new weight standard. The previous Byzantine standard was of 4.55 g. The "reformed" Umayyad dīnār was adjusted to 4.25 g, a weight also known as the mithqāl. This dīnār was most likely struck in Syria.

The differences between the "reformed" Umayyad dīnār and dirham are quite subtle. The obverse margin in dīnār became the reverse margin in dirham. The reverse margin in dīnār became obverse margin in dirham. The dirham also adds wa-lam yakun lahu kufūwan aḥad ("And there is none like unto Him") which is absent in the dīnār.


The British Museum, London.


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, 1956, Volume II - Arab-Byzantine and Post-Reform Umayyad Coins, British Museum: London, pp. liii-lxx, p. 84, 104.

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