Transitional Arab-Sassanian Coin Of Governor ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Ibn ʿAbd Allāh Ibn Āmir, 72 AH / 691-92 CE

Islamic Awareness

© Islamic Awareness, All Rights Reserved.

First Composed: 1st April 2013

Last Modified: 4th April 2013

submit to reddit

Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

Transitional Arab-Sassanian coin, frozen in 72 AH.


72 AH / 691-92 CE.


Obverse field: Typical late Arab-Sassanian bust. Middle Persian legend on the left of the bust: GDH ’pzwt' xwarrah abzūd ("Increase in glory") and on the right: ’pdwl ’cyc Y ’pdwl’ Y ’myl’n ("ʿAbdul ʿAzīz ī ʿAbdullāh ī Āmirān"), i.e., the name of the governor. Obverse margin: bism Allāh / al-ʿazīz ("In the name of God / the Great").

Reverse field: Absence of typical Arab-Sassanian fire-altar with attendants. Instead it contains the following legend in Middle Persian in five lines.

    1. DWḤPT’T ("Seventy two")
    2. YZDT’ -I BR’ ‘LH ("One God, but He")
    3. ’HRN YZDT’ L‘YT’ ("another god does not exist")
    4. MḤMT’ PTGMBI Y YZDT’ ("Muḥammad is the Messenger of God")
    5. SK ("Sijistan")
The first and the fifth line provide the date and name of the mint, respectively. The Middle Persian reverse legend (2-4), which appears on no other issue so far recorded, is the exact Persian translation of the formula lā ilāha illā-Allāh waḥdahu ("There is no god but Allah alone") and Muḥammad rasūl Allāh ("Muḥammad is the Messenger of God"), which appear in kufic script on all Umayyad coins of the reformed type.[1] The choice of Persian language, and the Pahlavi script, for the Muslim formula of faith, may have been due to the greater prevalence of the Persian language in the remote province of Sijistan, and local unfamiliarity with the Arabic script and language.


This full shahada is perhaps the earliest surviving physical record of it in Middle Persian and is contemporary to the inscriptions on Dome of the Rock. Furthermore, this is the second earliest mention of the name "Muḥammad" in Middle Persian (See also the earliest mention in Middle Persian from 70 AH). The earliest mention of the name "Muḥammad" in an Islamic text comes from an Arab-Sassanian coin of ʿAbd al-Malik ibn ʿAbd Allāh dated 66 AH / 685-686 CE.


Foroughi Collection.

Bookmark and Share


[1] M. I. Mochiri, "The Pahlavi Forerunner Of The Umayyad Reformed Coinage", Journal Of The Royal Asiatic Society Of Great Britain And Ireland, 1981, No. 2, pp. 168-172.

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