Dirham - Zubaidah bint Ja`far Wife of al-Rashid


Country Abbasid Caliphate
Type Standard circulation coin
Years 830-831
Value AR Dirham (0.7)
Currency Dinar (750-1517)
Composition Silver
Weight 2.95 g
Diameter 26.5 mm
Shape Round
Demonetized Yes


Lettering: la ilah illa ilah (sic) /Muhammad/al-nabi al-ummâ - “Muhammad, the (Miraculous) Unlettered Prophet”


Lettering: salla al-malik/illa ‘ali ‘Ali/al-nabi al-Mustafa, below, vertically at 6 o’clock ‘Ubayd - “Praise to the King, without equal, ‘Ali, the Prophet of the Elect One” (ie Muhammad), margin: rabi’ hamid majid, “my Lord, Praisworthy, Magnificent”


This exceptionally beautiful and previously unrecorded Dirham is almost certainly a coin sponsored by Zubayda, the wife of the Caliph al-Rashid and mother of al-Amin Muhammad. Where the mint Umm Ja’farabad was located is unknown, but it was probably in one of her palace complexes. One clue to its location might be found in the word placed upright at 6 o’clock in the reverse field, ‘Ubayd. It may have been related to her kinsman ‘Ubayd Allah bin al-Mahdi, who is known to have been governor of Arran around this time, from whose silver mines, Zubayda derived much of her income.

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ND (830-831)  215-216 AH

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