Name of Object:

Bronze coin (fils)


Amman, Jordan

Holding Museum:

Jordan National Bank Numismatic Museum

Date of Object:

Undated, about hegira 77 / AD 696–7

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Struck bronze.


Diameter 22 mm, weight 3.5 g

Period / Dynasty:



Jarash, Jordan.


An Umayyad bronze coin (fils) from the period that followed Abd al-Malik's coinage reform of AH 77 / AD 696, distinguished by the formula of the faith, the Shahada, and a purely epigraphic style that incorporated Qur'anic verses. This fils was minted in Jarash, which was part of Jund al-Urdun (one of the five military and administrative provinces in the early Islamic period).

On the obverse, within concentric circles is an Arabic legend from the Qur'an written in kufic script that reads from right to left: 'La 'ilaha illa-Allah' ('There is one God; Muhammad is the messenger of God'), which is the second part of the Shahada.

On the reverse, within a circle of dots there is an Arabic legend in kufic script that reads: 'Muhammad Rasul Allah' ('Mohammad is the messenger of God').

The marginal legend between two circles reads: 'bism Allah duriba hadha al-Fils bi Jarash' ('In the name of God. This Fils is minted in Jarash').

View Short Description

This bronze fils has a kufic legend on the obverse La 'ilaha illa Allah (there is no God but Allah), and on the reverse Muhammad Rasul Allah (Muhammad is the messenger of God) with bism Allah duriba hadha al-fils bi Jarash (in the name of God, this fils was minted in Jarash).

How date and origin were established:

The name of the mint 'Jarash' appears only on bronze coins minted during the Islamic period of the Umayyads and stops with the fall of the dynasty. Also, since representational images are replaced by epigraphic inscriptions on this coin, it was minted after ‘Abd al-Malik's administrative reforms of 77 / 696–7.

How Object was obtained:

The object was purchased from an antiquities dealer in 1998.

How provenance was established:

Provenance for this coin is established by the inclusion of the mint name 'Jarash' in the inscription.

Selected bibliography:

القسوس. نايف، نميات نحاسية أموية جديدة من مجموعة خاصة: متحف البنك الأهلي الأردني للنميات، عمان، 2004، ص.394.

Naghawy, A., "Umayyad Filses Minted at Jerash" in Jerash Archaeological Project 1984–1988, Vol. II, Paris, 1989, pp.219–20.

Citation of this web page:

Aida Naghawy "Bronze coin (fils)" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2024.;ISL;jo;Mus01_G;2;en

Prepared by: Aida NaghawyAida Naghawy

Aida Naghawy is an archaeologist and the Director of Jordan Archaeological Museum. She studied archaeology at the University of Jordan where she gained her MA. She was affiliated to the Jordanian Department of Antiquities from 1974 as a curator of Jordan Archaeological Museum. In 1981 she became inspector of Jerash antiquities and co-ordinator of the Jerash International Rehabilitation project. She was also head of the archaeological awareness section at the Department of Antiquities. Aida is the author of numerous publications on Islamic coins. She has carried out excavation work in Jerash and is the founder of Jerash Archaeological Museum and the Islamic Museum of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs.

Copyedited by: Mandi GomezMandi Gomez

Amanda Gomez is a freelance copy-editor and proofreader working in London. She studied Art History and Literature at Essex University (1986–89) and received her MA (Area Studies Africa: Art, Literature, African Thought) from SOAS in 1990. She worked as an editorial assistant for the independent publisher Bellew Publishing (1991–94) and studied at Bookhouse and the London College of Printing on day release. She was publications officer at the Museum of London until 2000 and then took a role at Art Books International, where she worked on projects for independent publishers and arts institutions that included MWNF’s English-language editions of the books series Islamic Art in the Mediterranean. She was part of the editorial team for further MWNF iterations: Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean Virtual Museum and the illustrated volume Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean.

True to its ethos of connecting people through the arts, MWNF has provided Amanda with valuable opportunities for discovery and learning, increased her editorial experience, and connected her with publishers and institutions all over the world. More recently, the projects she has worked on include MWNF’s Sharing History Virtual Museum and Exhibition series, Vitra Design Museum’s Victor Papanek and Objects of Desire, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s online publication 2 or 3 Tigers and its volume Race, Nation, Class.

MWNF Working Number: JO 02


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The Umayyads | Administrative Reforms

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