The Night of the Three Caliphs

14 Sep 2020  Mon

This date in 786 CE is known as the Night of the Three Caliphs because on this day Harun al-Rashid became the Abbasid caliph upon the death of his brother al-Hadi who had a short reign as caliph, and Harun’s son al-Mamun was born today, and he succeeded his father. For now, we will focus on coinage and glorious of Caliph Harun.

Harun al-Rashid the fifth Abbasid Caliph ruled from 786 to 809, during the peak of the Islamic Golden Age. His epithet "al-Rashid" translates to "the Orthodox", "the Just", "the Upright", or "the Rightly-Guided". He established the legendary library Bayt al-Hikma ("House of Wisdom") in Baghdad, and during his rule, Baghdad began to flourish as a center of knowledge, culture, and trade. In 796, he moved his court and government to Raqqa in present-day Syria.

Harun's life and the court have been the subject of many other tales, both factual and fictitious. A silver dirham minted in Madinat al-Salam (Bagdad) in 170 AH (786 CE). At the reverse, the inner marginal inscription says: "By order of the slave of God, Harun, Commander of the Faithful".

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