A journey to search my soul

This is a blog of my personal collections. The purpose of this blog is to educate myself and public in regards to antiquities especially related to religion and calligraphy. I welcome everyone to input their feedback in this blog which they think would be helpful. I do not watermark the photos in this blog so everyone is free to use them as long as they are not used for illegal and unethical reasons. I appreciate if you could notify me if you plan to use any of the photos here. Enjoy browsing!!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Ancient Coin Review 100 : Antique Gold Dinar Coin dated 152AH of Caliph Al Mansur Ibn Muhammad (754 - 775 CE)

This is a coin from the rule of Caliph Al Mansur Ibn Muhammad, though the 2nd Abbasid Ruler, he generally regarded as the founder of Abbasid Caliphate. He reigned the Caliphate from 754CE-775CE ( 136-158AH)
The coin is made of pure gold and dated 152 AH.
It is customary of Abbasid Caliphs not to inscribe their names on their coins (similar to Umayyad's) as well as their minting places. The coins would have been minted wherever the Caliph is based. According to Historians, Al Mansur shifted his capital city to Baghdad which is known as Madinat As Salam in 762 CE.
Since this Dinar is dated 152 AH ( 769 CE), hence we could safely assume this coin was minted in Madinat As Salam. In addition to that, there is a Dirham struck in the same year with the mint name Madinat As Salam.

This dinar was inscribed with the first statement of the kalima, “No god but God, unique, He has no associate” in the centre, whereas the margin was inscribed verse 33 of Qur’an Sura 9, “Muhammad is the messenger of God who sent him with guidance and the religion of truth that he might make it supreme over all other religions”On the reverse was inscribed the second statement of the kalima, “Muhammad is the messenger of God”, with the denomination and date in the margin.
This Dinar was inscribed with Kufi calligraphy on both sides.

Coin Specs

Item : Dinar of Caliph Al Mansur Ibn Muhammad
Obv :                                       In Margin
                                        محمد رسول الله ارسله 
                          بالهدى و دين الحق ليظهره
                                 على الدين كله

 muhammad rasul allah arsalahu bi’l-huda wa din al-haqq li-yuzhirahu ‘ala al-din kullihi
“Muhammad is the messenger of God who sent him with guidance and the religion of truth that he might make it supreme over all other religions”
Sura 9 (al-Tawba), v. 33 (partial)

                                                 In Centre
                                              لا اله الا
                                             الله وحده
                                            لا شرك له                         
                        la ilah illa / allah wahdahu / la sharik lahu
             "There is no God except Allah. (There is) no partner to him." (Kalima) 

Rev :                                      In Margin 

                                      بسم الله ضرب هذا الدنر  
                                  سنة اثنتين و خمسين و مية
bism allah duriba hadha’l-dinar sana isnin wa khamsin wa mi’a
“in the name of God this dinar was struck the year two and fifty and one hundred”

                                               In Centre
                                        محمد رسول الله                   
                      "Mohammed the messenger of Allah" 

Date : 152 AH (769 CE)
Dim :18 mm
Weight : 3.76gm
Denom : Dinar
Metal : AV  ( Gold)
Mint : Madinat Salam
Rarity : C
Purchased Price : USD

Read on below excerpt about Caliph Al Mansur from the WIKI :

Al-Mansur was born at the home of the 'Abbasid family after their emigration from the Hejaz in 95 AH (714 CE). "His father, Muhammad, was reputedly a great-grandson of Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib, the youngest uncle of Mohammad; his mother, as described in the 14th-century Moroccan historical work Rawd al-Qirtas was one Sallama, "a Berber woman given to his father." He reigned from Dhu al-Hijjah 136 AH until Dhu al-Hijjah 158 AH (754 CE – 775 CE). In 762 he founded as new imperial residence and palace city Madinat as-Salam (the city of peace), which became the core of the Imperial capital Baghdad.
During his reign, Islamic literature and scholarship in the Islamic world began to emerge in full force, supported by the Abbasid promotion of scholarly research, best exemplified by the Abbasid-sponsored Translation Movement. It was under al-Mansur that a committee, mostly made up of Syriac-speaking Christians, was set up in Baghdad with the purpose of translating extant Greek works into Arabic. Due to the Abbasid's orientation toward the East, many Persians came to play a crucial role in the Empire, both culturally as well as politically. This was in contrast to the preceding Umayyad era, in which non-Arabs were kept out of these affairs. Shu'ubiya emerged at this time, due to the rising of Iranian autonomy; it was a literary movement among Persians which expressed their belief in the superiority of Persian art and culture, and catalyzed the emergence of Arab-Persian dialogues in the 9th century CE.
In 756, al-Mansur sent over 4,000 Arab mercenaries to assist the Chinese in the An Shi Rebellion against An Lushan; after the war, they remained in China. Al-Mansur was referred to as "A-p'u-ch'a-fo" in the Chinese T'ang Annals.
Al-Mansur died in 775 on his way to Mecca to make hajj. He was buried somewhere along the way in one of hundreds of graves dug in order to hide his body from the Umayyads. He was succeeded by his son, al-Mahdi.
According to a number of sources, Abu Hanifa an-Nu'man (who founded a school of jurisprudence) was imprisoned by al-Mansur. Malik ibn Anas, the founder of another school, was flogged during his rule, but al-Mansur himself did not condone this – in fact, it was his cousin, the governor of Madinah at the time, who ordered it (and was punished for doing so).