Obverse. Photo © NumisBids
  • 1 Dirham 816 AD, Album# 223.2, Egypt, Al-Ma'mun
  • 1 Dirham 816 AD, Album# 223.2, Egypt, Al-Ma'mun

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 al-Abbas Abdallah ibn Harun al-Rashid (Arabic: أبو العباس عبد الله بن هارون الرشيد,ʿi; 786–833), better known by his regnal name Al-Ma'mun (Arabic: المأمون), was the seventh Abbasid caliph, who reigned from 813 until his death in 833. He succeeded his half-brother al-Amin after a civil war, during which the cohesion of the Abbasid Caliphate was weakened by rebellions and the rise of local strongmen; much of his domestic reign was consumed in pacification campaigns. Well-educated and with a considerable interest in scholarship, al-Ma'mun promoted the Translation Movement, the flowering of learning and the sciences in Baghdad, and the publishing of al-Khwarizmi's book now known as "Algebra". He is also known for supporting the doctrine of Mu'tazilism and for imprisoning Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, the rise of religious persecution (mihna), and for the resumption of large-scale warfare with the Byzantine Empire.


Depicts the inscriptions in Arabic "al-Imam" (Ali ibn Musa al-Rida), "Muhammad is the Messenger of God", "al-Ma'mun" and "Muhammad is the Messenger of God” and “He sent him with guidance and the true religion to make it victorious over every religion although those who associate others with God dislike it.”

Ali ibn Musa al-Rida (766–818), also known as Abū al-Ḥasan al-Thānī, was a descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and the eighth Imam in Twelver Shia Islam, succeeding his father, Musa al-Kazim.

Al-Rida was contemporary with the Abbasid caliphs Harun al-Rashid and his sons, al-Amin and al-Ma'mun. In a sudden departure from the established anti-Shia policy of the Abbasids, possibly to mitigate the frequent Shia revolts, al-Mamun invited al-Rida to Marv in Khorasan, his de facto capital, and designated him as heir apparent, despite the reluctance of the al-Rida who accepted the offer on the condition that he would not interfere in governmental affairs. The appointment of the Ali al-Rida by the Abbasid al-Mamun immediately invoked strong opposition, particularly among the Abbasids and Arab Sunni nationalists, who revolted and installed Ibrahim al-Mubarak, a half-brother of Harun al-Rashid, as the anti-caliph in Baghdad. Realizing the severity of the Iraqi opposition, al-Mamun and his entourage left Khorasan for Baghdad, accompanied by al-Rida. The Imam, however, died mysteriously when the party reached Tus in September 818. His death followed shortly after the assassination of al-Fadl ibn Sahl, the Persian vizier of al-Mamun, who was publicly seen as responsible for his pro-Shia policies. The caliph is often seen as responsible for both deaths, as he made concessions to the Arab party to smooth his return to Baghdad.

محمد رسول الله ارسله بالهدى ودين الحق ليظهره على الدين كله و لو كره المشركون


Depicts the inscriptions in Arabic “There is no god but God alone / He has no associate", "al Muttalib", "In the name of God, This dinar was struck in the year 199."

Muttalib ibn Abdallah ibn Malik al-Khuza'i was a son of the Abbasid general and administrator Abdallah ibn Malik al-Khuza'i. During the civil war between al-Amin and al-Ma'mun, he sided with the latter.

In 811, he administered the oath of allegiance (bay'ah) to al-Ma'mun for Mosul, and was named governor of Egypt briefly in 813 and again from 814 to 816. In 817, however, after al-Ma'mun chose the Alid Ali al-Rida as his heir, Muttalib joined the uprising in Baghdad against al-Ma'mun, and even administered the oath to the city's rival Caliph, Ibrahim ibn al-Mahdi.

لا اله الا
الله وحده
لا شريك له
بسم الله ضرب هذا الدينار سنة تسع و تسعون و مئة

Material Silver
Weight 2.81 g
Diameter -
Thickness -
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Misr Mint

Related coins

Silver, 3.05 g, ⌀ 20 mm

Silver, 2.76 g, ⌀ 22 mm

Silver, 2.68 g