Beginning of Islamic coinage

Caliph Abdul Malik is credited to have regulated monetary system in Islamic states. By putting together the evidence from a variety of sources, one sees that an attempt had already been made during the caliphate of Ali bin Abu Talib to start the Islamic coins, which could not be continued due to the then political cataclysm in the Islamic state. Maurice Lombard writes in "The Golden Age of Islam" (Netherlands, 1975, p. 110) that, "The Caliph Ali was the first to attempt a reform, at Basra in 660, by introducing a Muslim dhiram with the inscriptions in Kufic script, but this attempt failed. Forty years later it was again introduced and this time it succeeded."

The Roman gold dinar and the Iranian silver dhiram had been in circulation in the Arabian regions. One dinar weighed 4.25 grams, inscribed with the Christian symbol of cross; while a dhiram weighed 1.40 grams. The Muslim kingdoms had no currency for their own, and were entirely dependent on the foreign currency for their transactions. Abdul Malik was perplexed by the situation and called for a meeting of the grand consultative assembly, in which Muhammad al-Bakir was also invited. The proposal for minting Islamic coins had been accepted in the meeting, but when the question of its inscription arose, al-Bakir recommended for the Islamic legends on both sides of the coin, which had been also approved. Thus, the first Islamic coin was struck in 76/695 in the mint installed at Damascus. The gold coin was dinar, the silver coin called dhiram, and the copper coin was named fals. These bore Islamic inscriptions, and were standardized both in weight and metal.

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