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

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First Composed: 22nd January 2007

Last Modified: 24th January 2017

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Assalamu ʿalaykum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu:

An example of the reformed silver coinage, i.e., dirham, of the Umayyad caliph ‘Abd al-Malik bin Marwān minted in the year 79 AH.


79 AH / 698-699 CE.


Obverse field: lā-ilaha il-Allāh waḥdahu la sharīkalahu ("There is no god but God alone, He has no associate"). Obverse margin: bism Allāh ḍuriba hadhā al-dirham bi-r-rāmhurmuz fī sanat tisʿ wa sabʿīn ("In the name of God, this dirham was struck in Rāmhurmuz in the year 79").

Reverse field: Allāhu aḥad Allāhu al-ṣamad lam yalid wa-lam yulad wa-lam yakun lahu kufūwan aḥad ("God the one, God the eternal, He did not beget and was not begotten. And there is none like unto Him"). Reverse margin: Muḥammad rasūl Allāh arsalahu bi-l-huda wa dīn al-ḥaqq liyudhhiru ʿala 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").


Weight = 2.66 gms. The above mentioned epigraphy is very typical of Umayyad caliph ʿAbd al-Malik's "reformed" coinage from 77 AH / 696 CE.

Compare the contents of "reformed" Umayyad dirham with the experimental aniconic dirham. 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 adds wa-lam yakun lahu kufūwan aḥad ("And there is none like unto Him") which is absent in the dīnār.


Not known. Similar coins are also found in the British Museum, London, and other places around the world.

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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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