Madinat al-Salam or Baghdad Iraq Abbasid Silver Coin Harun Al-Rashid Dirham 193 AH / 809 AD The Letter Meem on Obverse Good Very Fine or Better
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 ~3 grams and is ~22 mm in diameter. The coin shows the date of minting as 193 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 and has the letter "Meem" in the bottom of the legend on the obverse. The obverse of the coin has the legend "Muhammad Rasul Allah" in the center with the letter meem under it. It has the verse "Muhammad Rasul Allah, arsaluh bil huda wa din al haq liazharuh 'al al din kulh walaw karah al mushrikon" along the edge of the obverse. 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 suggest with very well defined and legible calligraphy. A definite quality coin. Please carefully review the images presented as they part and parcel of our description.
Date: 193 AH or 809 AD.
Mint: Madinat al-Salam or current day Baghdad the capital of current day Iraq.
Size and Weight: This is a dirham weighs ~3 grams and is ~22 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#1784 and it is Wilkes 384.
Condition: I would grade this coin as a good very fine or better. The coin has very readable calligraphy and is a nice looking coin. The coin has nice toning and shows minor wear to the high points, but has no losses. The coin also has some scratches in the field on both obverse and reverse as well as some areas of flatness along the edges, all of which can be seen in the scan. 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).