Fatimid Caliphate

19 Sep 2018  Wed

The Fatimid Caliphate was established in 909 AD in North Africa. The dynasty of Arab origin ruled across the Mediterranean coast of Africa and ultimately made Egypt the centre of caliphate. The Fatimids were Shia Muslims who traced their family back to Fatima, daughter of the Prophet Muhammad and wife of Ali, the fourth caliph. The Fatimids created a prosperous state with a remarkable intellectual, economic and cultural vitality.

During the Fatimid period, there was a unique reformatting of the gold coins used in the Empire. Fatimid Coinage were highly representative of Ismaili thought and the philosophy of the Imam-Caliphs as it symbolized the inner (batini) knowledge known to only those who followed the Imam-Caliph (Ismailis). Coins from Fatimid Caliphate were such high quality and so plentiful that they became the most wide spread trade coins of the Mediterranean world.

They adopt a handsome monumental Kufic script on their silver Dirham and gold Dinars. These coins have two line inscription in centre field and 3 concentric circles, with inscription in the outer and inner circle. Fatimid dinars feature the names of the caliphs they were minted under, as well as the date and location where they were minted. This period of almost two centuries is often referred as a golden age in Ismaili history.

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