Silver dirham of Caliph Harun al-Rashid (786-809 AD) citing al-Amin and Jaffar, al-Mohammadiya mint, 181 AH/797 AD, Abbasid Caliphate

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Shahada spread on both sides, date and mint in margins, citing the heir al-Amin and Vizier Jaffar. Minted in 181 AH = 797 AD, mint of Muhammadiya. 26mm, 2.87 grams. Album 219.9.

This coin was reportedly found in Spain in a large hoard of Abbasid coins and Spanish Umayyad coins.

"Jaffar" cited on the reverse of this coin is Jaffar al-Barmaki, the famous Vizier (chief minister) from the Barmakid family. This Jaffar, along with most of the Barmakid family, was eventually killed by Harun (803 AD), but he served as a prototype for the evil "Ja'far" of 1001 nights and Alladin story.

Harun al-Rashi (17 March 763 or February 766 - 24 March 809) was the fifth Abbasid Caliph. Harun ruled from 786 to 809, and his time was marked by scientific, cultural, and religious prosperity. Islamic art and Islamic music also flourished significantly during his reign. Since Harun was intellectually, politically, and militarily resourceful, his life and his court have been the subject of many tales. Some are claimed to be factual, but most are believed to be fictitious. An example of what is factual, is the story of the clock that was among various presents that Harun had sent to Charlemagne. The presents were carried by the returning Frankish mission that came to offer Harun friendship in 799. Charlemagne and his retinue deemed the clock to be a conjuration for the sounds it emanated and the tricks it displayed every time an hour ticked. Among what is known to be fictional is The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, which contains many stories that are fantasized by Harun's magnificent court and even Harun al-Rashid himself.

This is a beautiful high quality coin showing original luster. It was reportedly found in Spain in a large hoard of Abbasid coins.




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