ABBASID Al-Ma’mun dirham 198 AH (814 AD) Isbahan


ABBASID, Al-Ma’mun, 809-34 AD, dirham, 198 AH (814 AD), Isbahan Reverse: MUHAMMAD RASUL ILLAH, an official’s name HARTHNAMA LLAH, silver, 23-25mm, 2.79g, A223, heavily cleaned F

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Al-Ma’mun was a son of Harun Al-Rashid, but was passed over for the succession because his mother was a slave while the mother of his younger brother, Al-Amin, was an Abbasid princess, and who became Caliph on his father’s death. The brother fought each other a few years later and Al-Ma’mun won. He promoted culture and science. The original treatise on algebra was published. He fought extensively with the Byzantines over territory. Taxes to support those ventures caused internal problems in various provinces. He dabbled in persecution of Shiites. In the midst of general unrest, on the way to a battle with the Byzantines, he died.

The Abbasid revolution was a response to the nepotic corruption of the Umayyad government, which annoyed the disfavored elements of society to the extent that rich and poor united to throw the bums out. As always in that era the complaints were couched in religious terms, but it was about bad government.

The term “Islamic coins” refers to coins made by Muslim governments from the time of the first caliphs to an end point in time that varies with the particular country being considered, but is generally some time from the 17th to 19th century. There is a geographic exclusion: India and points east are generally considered separately. The main reference used here is “Checklist of Islamic Coins,” by Stephen Album.