SIND, HABBARID, unattributed or anonymous, silver qanhari dirham, 10th century AD


SIND, HABBARID, unattributed or anonymous, 10th century. AD, qanhari dirham, no date, Obverse: Shahada spread over both sides, possible name partially visible on bottom line reverse, silver 8mm, 0.4-0.5g, see, search “Multan,”, VF-XF

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Early Islamic coins of the Sind region were mostly the tiny so-called qanhari dirhams. The names of Amirs on some of the coins are the only record we have of these people, and mostly we don’t know what they did.

Late in the 8th century AD the Arab expansion to the east reached Multan in Sind, now in Pakistan. Multan had been a city during the Harappan period, was besieged by Alexander, was held by the Indo-Greeks, the Scythians, the Hephthalites, the Shahis, and the Rai.

The earliest ancient Indian coins were the “bent bar” punchmarked silvers of the Achaemenid Persians occupying Gandhara in northwest Pakistan. By the 3rd century BC coins were in general use in most of India and Ceylon, and in subsequent centuries struck round coins in gold, silver and copper came into use throughout the subcontinent and beyond to Southeast Asia and Pacific islands to Java and beyond.