Anonymous Arab-Sassanian Coinage Of Syrian Origin Under ʿAbd al-Malik , 72 AH / 691 CE

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First Composed: 24th January 2007

Last Modified: 24th January 2007

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Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

Anonymous Arab-Sassanian coin issued under ‘Abd al-Malik, minted in 72 AH.


72 AH / 691 CE.


Obverse field: Typical late Arab-Sassanian bust. Written in Arabic to downwards to the right of the bust: Muḥammad rasūl Allāh ("Muḥammad is the messenger of God"). The conventional Pahlavi benediction formula khurra afzut is behind the bust. Obverse margin: bism Allāh ("In the name of God"). Compare this coin with that issued by the Zubayrid governor of Bīshāpūr, ʿAbd al-Malik ibn ʿAbd Allāh [b. ʿĀmir] in 66 AH / 685-686 CE which says on the obverse margin: bism Allāh / Muḥammad rasūl / Allāh ("In the name of God, Muḥammad is the messenger of God").

Reverse field: Typical Arab-Sassanian fire-altar with attendants, with mint written in Arabic (Damascus) to the right and to the left the date in Arabic (72 AH), three circles around and crescents with stars to the four sides and an extra outer circle around.


Weight = 3.80 gms.

This is an extremely rare coin and marks the initial steps of ʿAbd al-Malik's monetary reforms in Damascus. The Muḥammad rasūl Allāh in front of the Arab-Sassanian bust was replaced by the traditional Middle Persian name Khusraw in 72 AH. Compare it with a coin from 73 AH and the reformed coinage of ʿAbd al-Malik.


Not known. Sold in an auction in Germany.

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