Abu Hafs Umar of the Almohad Caliphate

2019-06-11 Tue

Abu Hafs Umar was the twelfth Caliph of Almohad Caliphate, reigning from 1248 until his death in 1266. By the time he was chosen to rule the state was rapidly disintegrating. During his reign, the area of Morocco under Almohad control was reduced to the region around and including Marrakech.

This is an extremely fine gold Dinar from his period. The obverse and reverse carry field legend written in elegant cursive naskh script in a square placed within a circle. Additional legends are in the margin. The titulature on Abu Hafs ‘Umar’s coinage is very complex, and to read the legends in the correct order requires moving from the obverse to the reverse and then back again.

The obverse legend read as ‘Bismillah al Rahman Al Rahim / salla Allah ‘ala Muhammad wa alihi / wa’l-hamd lillah wahdahu / la ilah illa Allah / Muhammad Rasul Allah. On the other hand, the reverse depicts the legend al-Mahdi imam al-umma / al-qa’im bi-amr Allah / al-Khalifa al-imam / Abu Muhammad ‘abd al-mu’ min/ibn ‘Ali amir al-mu’minin.

Image Source: Heritage Auctions