Madinat al-Salam or Baghdad Iraq Abbasid Silver Coin Harun Al-Rashid Dirham 179 AH / 795 AD Citing Al-Amin Heir and Jafar Good Very Fine
Description: Silver Dirham from the time of Harun al-Rashid the Caliph mentioned in the famous Arabian nights stories (1001 nights). Harun al-Rashid ruled the Muslim empire in the period 170-193 AH (786 - 809 AD). Al-Rashid is the fifth caliph of the Abbasid dynasty. His full name being Abu Jafar Harun al-Mahdi. This is a dirham, weighs ~2.8 grams and is ~24 mm in size (the coin is a bit off round). The coin shows the date of minting as 179 AH and the mint as Madinat al-Salam or current day Baghdad the capital of current day Iraq. The coin is anonymous for the ruler, but cites al-Amin as heir to the caliph and cites Jafar, who was the powerful minister Jafar bin Yahiya al-Barmaky. The obverse of the coin has the words "Muhammad Rasul Allah; Mema Amer Beh Al-Amir Al-Amin; Mohammed Bin Amir al-Mu'minin; Jafar" in the center and along the edge the verse "Muhammad Rasul Allah, arsaluh bil huda wa din al haq liazharuh 'al al din kulh walaw karah al mushrikon". The reverse shows the name of the mint and the date in a circle along the edge. It also has the words "La Illaha ella Allah, Wahduh la Sharik Lah" in the center. Please note the coin is much better than the photos with well defined and legible calligraphy but areas of wear and flatness. A definite quality coin. Please carefully review the images presented as they part and parcel of our description.
Date: 179 AH or 795 AD.
Mint: Madinat al-Salam or current day Baghdad the capital of current day Iraq.
Size and Weight: This is a dirham weighs ~2.8 grams and is ~24 mm in diameter.
References: It is Album #219.2, it is listed in Al'Ush Catalog of Islamic coins preserved in the national museum of Qatar as#1737 and it is Wilkes 384.
Condition: I would grade this coin as a good very fine or better. The coin has well readable calligraphy and is a nice looking coin. The coin has wear to the high points and some minor flatness, but has no losses. The coin also has obvious scratches in the field on both obverse and reverse, which can be seen in the photos. Be that as it may the coin is great looking and would make a great addition to your collection. Please note the coin itself is much better than the scan shows with very well defined and legible calligraphy. A definite quality coin. Please see scan for additional condition information.
Historic Perspective: Abbasid is an Arabic ruling dynasty, originally based in Madinat al-Salam (current day Baghdad) that expanded the Muslim empire and lasted from 750 Ad to 1258 AD. It was named for al-Abbas (566?-652), paternal uncle of the prophet Muhammad. ). Al-Safah leaded the revolt against the Umayyad established and became the first Abbasid Caliph upon the overthrow of the Umayyad caliph in 132 AH / 749 AD. During the first century of the Abbasid rule the empire experienced a time of unprecedented cultural, artistic and economic development, particularly during the reigns of Harun al-Rashid (786-809) and his son al-Ma’mun (813-833).
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