Name of Object:

Coin (dirham)


Rome, Italy

Holding Museum:

Museum of Civilisations | Museum of Oriental Art “Giuseppe Tucci”

About Museum of Civilisations | Museum of Oriental Art “Giuseppe Tucci”, Rome

Date of Object:

Hegira 91 / AD 709

Museum Inventory Number:

8493/ 9774

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Silver / minting.


Diameter 2.6 cm, weight 2.88 g

Period / Dynasty:

Umayyad; Caliph al-Walid I (r. AH 86–96 / AD 705–15)


Iran, Sijigistan.


This Umayyad coin, minted during the reign of al-Walid I (AH 86–96 / AD 705–15), bears an inscription in its centre that reads ‘â ila illâ Allâh wahda-hu lâ sharîk la-hu’ (‘There is no God but Allah, the One, there is none like unto him’) and the edge reads ‘bismi-llâh duriba hadâ-l-dirhâm bi fî sanat ihda wa tis in’ (‘In God’s name this dirham was minted in Sijistan in the year one and ninety [91]’).
The front face bears two inscriptions, one in the centre and one on the edge. The central inscription reads ‘Allâh ahad Allâh al-samad lam yalid wa lam yûlad wa lam yakun la-hu kufû’ an ahad’ (‘God is one, God is eternal. He does not beget, nor is he begotten and there is none like unto him’) and the edge inscription reads ‘Muhammad rasûl Allâh arsala-hu bi-l-hudâ wa al-haqq li-yuzhira-hu alâ al-dîn kulli-hi wa la-hu kariha al-mushrikûn’ (‘Muhammad is the messenger of God. He has sent His messenger with the guidance and the true religion, and will make it dominate all religions, in spite of the idol worshipers’).

View Short Description

Dirham minted during the reign of al-Walid I. The basic coin in the Arab world until the arrival of the Mongols, the dirham takes its name from the Greek drachma. Coins usually weighed 2.97 grams.

How date and origin were established:

From the inscription on the edge of the obverse.

How Object was obtained:


How provenance was established:

From the inscription on the edge of the obverse.

Selected bibliography:

Walker, J., A Catalogue of the Arab-Byzantine and Post Reform Umayyad Coins, London, 1956, p.159.

Citation of this web page:

Paola Torre "Coin (dirham)" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2018.;ISL;it;Mus01;26;en

Prepared by: Paola TorrePaola Torre

Responsabile del Dipartimento di Archeologia e Arte Islamica e del Servizio Educativo presso il Museo Nazionale d'Arte Orientale “Giuseppe Tucci” di Roma.
Laureata in Arte islamica, ha svolto per anni attività di docenza presso l'Istituto Universitario Orientale di Napoli ed è autrice di numerose pubblicazioni e studi scientifici riguardanti soprattutto la ceramica del mondo islamico, con particolare riferimento alla produzione dipinta a lustro metallico, dalla Mesopotamia alla Spagna.

Copyedited by: Pier Paolo RacioppiPier Paolo Racioppi

Laureato e specializzato in storia dell'arte presso l'Università di Roma “La Sapienza” sta conseguendo il dottorato di ricerca in Storia e conservazione dell'oggetto d'arte e d'architettura presso l'Università di Roma TRE. Ha svolto attività seminariali presso l'Istituto di Storia dell'Arte all'Università La Sapienza di Roma e attualmente è docente di storia dell'arte del Rinascimento presso la IES at Luiss (Roma).
Ha pubblicato diversi contributi sulla tutela artistica, il collezionismo e le accademie d'arte, ed ha collaborato al Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani dell'Enciclopedia Treccani.

Translation by: Laurence Nunny
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: IT 32


 Artistic Introduction

 Timeline for this item

Islamic Dynasties / Period


On display in

Discover Islamic Art Exhibition(s)

The Umayyads | Administrative Reforms

MWNF Galleries

Calligraphy Coins and Medals


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