Dr. A. Zahoor and Dr. Z. Haq

Books and E-Books
On Muslim History and Civilization

Early Coins, 8th - 14th Century

Left:  Shahadah, The declaration of faith: 'There is no diety worthy of worship except Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah'. Bottom Right:  Shahadah in angular Kufi script, minted in 723 CE (105 AH) during the reign of Caliph Hisham Ibn 'Abd al-Malik.

Shah Jahan, Mughal, India

1628-1666 C.E., Mughal Dynasty

History of Islamic Dinar and Dirham

The Dirham and Dinar were used as the official Islamic currency beginning with the second Caliphate, 634-644 CE. The Islamic Dinar is the weight of gold equivalent to 4.3 grams, whereas the Islamic Dirham is the weight of silver equivalent to 3.0 grams.

The first Muslim coins were struck during the Caliphate of Uthman (ra), 644-656 CE. The first original minting of Islamic dirham was done in 695 CE (75 AH) during the reign of Khalifah 'Abd al-Malik. It followed the standard set by Umar Ibn al-Khattab (ra). These coins included the phrase: "Allah is Unique, Allah is Eternal". Beginning with these coins the use of Human figures and animals was discontinued. Both the dinar and dirham coins were round in shape. Typically, one side of coin was stamped with the words "La ilaha ill'Allah" and "Alhamdu-lillah" and the obverse side with the name of caliph or ruler and the date of minting.

Paper currencies were introduced in Muslim lands in the colonial era and continued into post-colonial era. Paper-money is essentially a promise of payment by the state or ruler, whereas gold and silver coins also act as a commodity having their own value by weight.

More in the E-book

Allah: Allah is the proper name in Arabic for The One and Only God, The Creator and Sustainer of the universe. It is used by the Arab Christians and Jews for the God ('Eloh-im' in Hebrew, 'Allaha' in Aramaic the mother tongue of Jesus, pbuh). The word Allah does not have a plural or gender. Allah does not have any associates or partners, and He does not beget nor was He begotten. SWT is an abbreviation of Arabic words that mean 'Glory Be To Him.'
pbuh: Peace Be Upon Him. This expression is used for all Prophets of Allah.
ra: Radiallahu Anhu (May Allah be pleased with him).

Copyright © 1990, 1998 Dr. A. Zahoor and Dr. Z. Haq.


E-Books on Islam and Muslims


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