New Islamic coinage under Abd al-Malik Ibn Marwan

08 Oct 2020  Thu

Abd al-Malik Ibn Marwan, the fifth Caliph to rule Umayyad Dynasty was born in Madina, Hejaz. He was a well-educated man and capable ruler who was able to solve many political problems that impeded his rule.

The Arab historian and philosopher stated that Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan was one of the greatest Arab and Muslim Caliphs. He followed in the footsteps of `Umar ibn al-Khattab, the Commander of the Believers, in regulating state affairs". Abd al-Malik was also the patron of monumental architecture, and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem was completed during his reign.

During the reign, he established Arabic as the official language and set a pattern for Islamic coinage which was emulated by all his successors. In contrast with older Muslim coins, which were based on Byzantine models, Abd al-Malik’s coins were devoid of pictorial images and included Qur’anic phrases instead. After this, the style became predominant on Islamic coins.

He was responsible for issued new Dinar. On its obverse was the upright figure of the Standing Caliph, wearing the headdress and holding a sword, with the testimony of Islam inscribed in the margin. The reverse retains the column on three steps, but the Islamic calendar date is written out with legend ‘Bismillah’.

Later, Images were replaced by Quranic verses and the profession of faith, the shahada, in Kufic script. The central inscription on one side reads ‘There is no god but Allah alone. He has no partner’. Along the margin appears Sura 9.33 from the Quran. The central inscription on the other side states that ‘God is one, God is eternal, He was not born nor does He give birth’.

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