Scarce Al Muhammadiya Mint Abbasid Silver Coin Al-Rashid Dirham 178 AH / 794 AD Nice Very Fine
Description: Scarce silver Dirham from Al-Rashid, who 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-Rashid. This is a dirham, weighs 2.4 grams and is 23 mm in diameter. The coin shows the date of minting as 178 AH and the mint as al-Muhammadiya. The obverse of the coin has the words "Muhammed Rasul Allah" with the letter "meem" below and the letter and the words "Muhammad Rasul Allah, arsaluh bil huda wa din al haq liazharuh 'al al din kulh walaw karah al mushrikon" along the edge. The reverse shows the name of the mint and the date in a circle along the edge. It also has the words "La Illaha ell Allah, Wahduh la Sharik Lah". It should be noted that all references suggest that silver dirham of minting year before 188AH had more elaborate legend on the obverse and we were unable to find a listing in any of our references that suggest the simple legend for 178 AH. The date and the mint are clear on the coin and as such we believe this to be a scarce coin. 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: 178 AH or 794 AD.
Size and Weight: This is a dirham weighs 2.4 grams and is ~23 mm in diameter, which is rathger on the small and lighter side for these coins.
References: It is Album #219.2 and is Wilkes# 384. The coin is not listed in Al'Ush Catalog of Islamic coins preserved in the national museum of Qatar. It is also not listed in Lane Poole's Catalogue of Islamic Coins Preserved in the Khedivial Collection in Cairo Egypt. Because the coin is not listed in Al'Ush or Lane Poole we believe it is rather scarce.
Condition: I would grade this coin as very fine with wear commensurate with its age and circulated state. The coin has relatively good readable calligraphy especially in the fields with wear to the high points and along the edge. The coin is nicely toned and is good looking. It shows signs of wear to the inscription, but it is still very well defined. The coin has a few scratches and some bag marks. Be that as it may the coin is very nice 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. Please see photos 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).