Obverse. Photo © acsaerch.info
  • 1 Dirham 896-902 AD, Album# 668.1, Egypt, Al-Mu'tadid, Harun ibn Khumarawayh
  • 1 Dirham 896-902 AD, Album# 668.1, Egypt, Al-Mu'tadid, Harun ibn Khumarawayh

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".

Abū al-ʿAbbās Aḥmad ibn Ṭalḥa al-Muwaffaq (853/4 or 860/1 – 902, better known by his regnal name al-Muʿtaḍid bi-llāh ("Seeking Support in God"), was the caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate from 892 until his death in 902.

Al-Mu'tadid was the son of al-Muwaffaq, who was the regent and effective ruler of the Abbasid state during the reign of his brother, Caliph al-Mu'tamid. As a prince, the future al-Mu'tadid served under his father during various military campaigns, most notably in the suppression of the Zanj Rebellion, in which he played a major role. When al-Muwaffaq died in June 891 al-Mu'tadid succeeded him as regent. He quickly sidelined his cousin and heir-apparent al-Mufawwid; when al-Mu'tamid died in October 892, he succeeded to the throne. Like his father, al-Mu'tadid's power depended on his close relations with the army. These were first forged during the campaigns against the Zanj and were reinforced in later expeditions that the Caliph led in person: al-Mu'tadid would prove to be the most militarily active of all Abbasid caliphs. Through his energy and ability, he succeeded in restoring to the Abbasid state some of the power and provinces it had lost during the turmoil of the previous decades.

The Tulunids, were a Mamluk dynasty of Turkic origin who were the first independent dynasty to rule Egypt, as well as much of Syria, since the Ptolemaic dynasty. They were independent from 868, when they broke away from the central authority of the Abbasid Caliphate, to 905, when the Abbasids restored the Tulunid domains to their control.


Depicts the inscriptions in Arabic "For God", "Muhammad is the Messenger of God”, "al-Muʿtadid bellah" (Caliph), "Harun ibn Khumarawayh" 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.”

Harun ibn Khumarawayh (died 904) was the fourth Tulunid Emir of Egypt (896–904). He succeeded his elder brother Abu 'l-Asakir Jaysh, who had been murdered by army chiefs. He left state affairs to the vizier, Abu Ja'far ibn Ali, preferring to live a life of dissolute luxury. This led to a growing crisis in the country, since state finances could not be regulated and the army leaders gradually accrued more power to themselves

The Abbasid Caliphate took advantage of this state of affairs and invaded Tulunid-controlled Syria in 904. The Tulunid troops deserted, and the forces of the Caliphate were able to enter the Nile valley. Harun was killed in an army mutiny. His successor was the last of the Tulunids, his uncle Shayban (904–905).

المعتضد بالله
هرون بن خمارويه
محمد رسول الله ارسله بالهدى ودين الحق ليظهره على الدين كله ولو كره المشركون


Depicts the inscriptions in Arabic “There is no god but God alone / He has no associate", "al-Mufawwid ila-llah" (Future Caliph), "To God belongs the command before and after, and at that time the believers will rejoice in the victory of God" and "In the name of God. This dirham was struck in Misr (Egypt) in the year 288."

Ja'far ibn Ahmad al-Mu'tamid, better known by his laqab al-Mufawwid ila-llah (lit. 'The One Deferring to God'), was a son of the Abbasid caliph al-Mu'tamid and heir-apparent of the Caliphate from 875 until his sidelining by his cousin al-Mu'tadid in 891.

لا اله الا
الله وحده
لا شريك له
لله الأمر من قبل و من بعد و يومئذ يفرح المؤمنون بنصر الله
بسم الله ضرب هذا الدرهم بمصر سنة ثمان و ثمانين و مئتين

Material Silver
Weight 2.82 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