Name of Object:

Coin (dinar)

Location:

Algiers, Algeria

Holding Museum:

National Museum of Antiquities and Islamic Arts

About National Museum of Antiquities and Islamic Arts, Algiers

Date of Object:

Hegira 286 / AD 899

Museum Inventory Number:

II.N.272

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Gold, stamped.

Dimensions:

Diameter 1.8 cm, weight 4.3 g

Period / Dynasty

Aghlabid

Description:

This circular coin features an inscription in kufic characters on both sides, which reads as follows:
Obverse:
Along the perimeter: 'Muhammad rassoul Allah arssalahou bil houda wa dine al-haq liyodhirahou ala al-dine koulih' (Muhammad messenger of God, it is He who sent Him with the guidance and true religion in order to prevail them onto religion as a whole – Qur'an, IX, 33).
At the centre, the text consists of three lines: 'La illah ila / Allah wahdahou / la charika lahou' (Of the divine there is only God. He has no associates).
Reverse:
Along the perimeter: 'Bism allah doriba hadha al-dainar sanat sit wa thamanine wa miataine' (In the name of God, this dinar was beaten in the year 286 [AD 899]).
At the centre, the text consists of five lines: 'Ghalab / Muhammad / rassoul / Allah /Ibrahim' (To conquer / Muhammad / the Envoy/ of God / Ibrahim).
This coin was made during the reign of Ibrahim ibn Ahmad al-Aghlabi (r. AH 261–289 / 874–902), who was also known as Abu Ishaq Ibrahim II, founder of the town of Raqqada, south of Kairouan, in AH 263 / AD 876.
Aghlabid gold coins of this period are characterised by their circular shape, the absence of any marks indicating where the gold was stamped, and the use of the word 'ghalab' (to conquer), which the Aghlabids used in order to differentiate themselves from other dynasties such as the Rustamids in Tahert and the Idrisids in Fez. These dinars are also distinguished by their purity (98–99 per cent gold), and by their weight, which can reach up to 4.5 g.

View Short Description

Circular gold coin with kufic inscriptions on both sides. On the obverse, the inscription is religious, while the inscription on the reverse shows, after the formulaic praise to God, the minting date under the reign of Ibrahim ibn Ahmad al-Aghlabi.

How date and origin were established:

From the date featured on the coin.

How Object was obtained:

Bought by the museum in 1993.

Selected bibliography:

Benguerba, S., El-meskouket el-meghribia min el-feth ila souqout dawlet Beni Hammad (Maghreb numismatics from the Muslim Conquest to the fall of the kingdom of the Bani Hammad), Algiers, 1986.
Coran (Le), transl. by J. Berque, Paris, 1990.
Drias, L., Drias, Y. and Doubabi, H., Djami'a el-meskouket el-arabia el-islamia bil matahif al-djazairia (Corpus of Arab-Muslim numismatics in Algerian museums), Vol. II, Algiers, 2000.
Hazard, H.W., The Numismatic History of late Medieval North Africa, New York, 1952.
Lavoix, H., Catalogue des monnaies musulmanes de la bibliothèque nationale: Cabinet des médailles, Vol. I, Paris, 1887.

Citation of this web page:

Ali Benbella "Coin (dinar)" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2017. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;dz;Mus01;27;en

Prepared by: Ali BenbellaAli Benbella

Maître-assistant à l'Institut d'archéologie de l'université d'Alger, titulaire d'un magister en archéologie islamique, conservateur du patrimoine archéologique et historique, ancien chef du service Conservation et Valorisation (section islamique) au Musée national des antiquités, Ali Benbella a participé à plusieurs fouilles sur les sites médiévaux algériens de Mansourah (Tlemcen) et Achir (Médéa). Il a contribué à la réalisation de plusieurs expositions et catalogues établis par le Musée national des antiquités, entre autres Arts Céramiques et L'art islamique d'après une collection privée, et participé à la deuxième conférence sur les “Musées de la Méditerranée, nouveaux concepts et nouvelles perspectives” (Stockholm, 09-12 mai 2003).
Parmi ses publications, il faut citer sa contribution aux Cahiers d'Achir (rapport de fouilles, 1994), ainsi que plusieurs articles en arabe dans la revue Annales du Musée national des antiquités, le dernier sous le titre : “Pavillon des arts islamiques du Musée national des antiquités”. Il est l'auteur, dans le Medelhavsmuseet Bulletin (Stockholm, 2004), d'un article en anglais intitulé : “The National Museum of Antiquities in Algiers”.

Copyedited by: Margot Cortez
Translation by: Maria Vlotides
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: AL 44

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Islamic Dynasties / Period

Aghlabids


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