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Dinar

Object Name:
Coin
Date:
dated A.H. 79/ A.D. 698–99
Geography:
Syria
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Gold
Dimensions:
Diam. 13/16 in. (2.1 cm)
Classification:
Coins
Credit Line:
Bequest of Joseph H. Durkee, 1898
Accession Number:
99.35.2386
Not on view
The first Muslim rulers relied on older Byzantine and Sasanian mints to keep a constant supply of coinage in the newly converted lands. Modifications to older types occurred gradually over the first century of Islam. Crosses on Byzantine-style gold coins, for example, were the first visual elements to disappear. ‘Abd al-Malik’s gold reform in 696–97 resulted in totally new coin styles without figural imagery of any kind. Instead, coins like this one made during his reign feature the shahada (profession of the faith) in stately kufic script: “There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God.”
Inscription: Obverse:

Inscription in Arabic in field:

لا اله الا الله وحده لا شريك له
There is no god but God alone. He has no associate.

Inscription in Arabic in margin:

محمد رسول الله ارسله بالهدى ودين الحق ليظهره على الدين كله

Muhammad is the Messenger of God, who sent him “with the guidance,
and the religion of truth to show that He may uplift it [Islam] above
every religion.” (variation of Qur’an 9:33)

Reverse:

Inscription in Arabic in field:
الله احد الله الصمد لم يلد ولم يولد
God is one. “God, the Everlasting Refuge, / who has not begotten,
and has not been begotten.” (excerpt from Qur’an 112)

Inscription in Arabic in margin:
بسم الله ضرب هذا الدينار في سنة تسع وسبعين
In the Name of God, this dinar was struck in the year A.H. 79.
Joseph H. Durkee, New York (until d. 1898; bequeathed to MMA)
Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 8, pp. 22, 32, ill. p. 32 (color).



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