ABBASID Al-Mutawakkil dirham 234 AH (848 AD) Basrah mint


ABBASID, Al-Mutawakkil, 847-861 AD, dirham, 234 AH (848 AD), Basrah mint, silver, 28mm, 2.93g, A230.3, VF

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Al-Mutawakkil became Caliph on the death of his brother, Al-Wathiq, who had been a front for nobles. Al_Mutawakkil, who had been persecuted by those nobles, settled scores, including death for some of his opponents. He became a Sunni partisan and persecuted Shiites. He also bothered and persecuted non-Muslims. The Abbasid realm reached its greatest extent during his reign. Turks came to be dominant in the army, and became more important in the bureaucracy, at the expense of Persians. Then he got suspicious of the Turks around him. Things developed into a successful assassination plot.

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.