Obverse. Photo © NumisBids
  • 1 Dinar 787 AD, Album# 218.6, Egypt, Harun al-Rashid
  • 1 Dinar 787 AD, Album# 218.6, Egypt, Harun al-Rashid

The Abbasid Caliphate (Arabic: الْخِلَافَةُ الْعَبَّاسِيَّة) was the third caliphate to succeed the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It was founded by a dynasty descended from the prophet's uncle, Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib (566–653 CE), from whom the dynasty takes its name. They ruled as caliphs for most of the caliphate from their capital in Baghdad in modern-day Iraq, after having overthrown the Umayyad Caliphate in the Abbasid Revolution of 750 CE (132 AH). The Abbasid Caliphate first centered its government in Kufa, modern-day Iraq, but in 762 the caliph Al-Mansur founded the city of Baghdad, near the ancient Babylonian capital city of Babylon. Baghdad became the center of science, culture and invention in what became known as the Golden Age of Islam. This, in addition to housing several key academic institutions, including the House of Wisdom, as well as a multiethnic and multi-religious environment, garnered it a worldwide reputation as the "Center of Learning".

Abu Ja'far Harun ibn Muhammad al-Mahdi (Arabic: أبو جعفر هارون ابن محمد المهدي) or Harun ibn al-Mahdi (Arabic: هَارُون ابْنِ ٱلْمَهْدِيّ, c. 763 or 766 – 809), famously known as Harun al-Rashid (Arabic: هَارُون الرَشِيد, romanized: Hārūn al-Rashīd) was the fifth Abbasid caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate, reigning from September 786 until his death. His reign is traditionally regarded to be the beginning of the Islamic Golden Age. His epithet "al-Rashid" translates to "the Orthodox", "the Just", "the Upright", or "the Rightly-Guided".

Portions of the fictional One Thousand and One Nights are set in Harun's court and some of its stories involve Harun himself. Harun's life and court have been the subject of many other tales, both factual and fictitious.


Depicts the inscriptions in Arabic “There is no god but God alone / He has no associate / Muhammad is the Messenger of God” and “He sent him with guidance and the true religion to make it victorious over every religion.”

لا اله الا
الله وحده
لا شريك له
محمد رسول الله ارسله بالهدى ودين الحق ليظهره على الدين كله


Depicts the inscriptions in Arabic "Muhammad is the Messenger of God”, "Ali (Ali bin Sulayman)" and "In the name of God. This dinar was struck in the year 170."

ʿAlī ibn Sulaymān al-Hāshimī (Arabic: علي بن سليمان الهاشمي) was an eighth-century Abbasid prince. He served as a governor of several provinces, including the Yemen, the Jazirah, and Egypt.

Ali was a son of Sulayman ibn Ali, an early Abbasid personage. In 786 Ali was appointed as governor of Egypt by al-Hadi, and was re-confirmed in that office after the accession of Harun al-Rashid later that year. During his tenure in Fustat, he embarked on a campaign of enjoining good and forbidding wrong, enacting measures such as prohibitions on musical instruments and wine. He also took action against recently built Christian churches, including the Church of Mary near Anba Shendua and those in the Citadel of Constantine, which he demolished despite an offer by the local Copts of fifty thousand dinars in exchange for sparing them. He remained in office until 787, when he was dismissed in favor of Musa ibn Isa ibn Musa al-Hashimi. Various dates are given for his death, including 788 and 794.

بسم الله ضرب هذا الدينار سنة سبعون و مئة

Material Gold
Fineness 0.833
Weight 3.83 g
Diameter -
Thickness -
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Misr Mint

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