The Birth of Muslim Coinage


Book Details

Author  Farhat A. Hussain
Publisher  SHP
Publication Date   December 24, 2012
Pages  40


By the 9th century CE, the Muslim dinar was made use of extensively across the Islamic world and beyond. Supplanting the large number of coin types that had hitherto dogged the Middle East and adjoining regions, the Muslim dinar and dirham constituted the most prominent and significant single currency across a vast area that encompassed North Africa, Spain, the Mediterranean basin, the Middle East, Afghanistan, the Caucasus, Sind and Central Asia, and saw extensive use too in a vast plethora of lands and regions that included Scandinavia, Russia, Italy, the Holy Roman Empire, Britain, East and West Africa, India and China. Enjoining a pivotal role and presence along a variety of notable international trade routes, Muslim coinage constituted the very life blood of the arteries of international trade.

Yet, and despite the importance of trade and commerce (basis, principles and systems) in Islam, it was not always so that the Muslims minted their own coinage at all, with the subject of currency becoming all the more prominent an issue for the Muslims and Islamic polity following the rapid expansion of Islam during the 630's and 640's (in particular) across the ancient lands of the Middle East and North Africa and amidst the fierce and multifarious rivalry with the Byzantine Empire.

This educationally rich work explores, charts and assesses the early birth of Muslim coinage and the gradual introduction of a fully-fledged Islamic coinage set against the religious-political-economic backdrop that impacted upon the birth of Muslim coinage and the multifarious manner by which the birth of Muslim coinage impacted upon the Islamic and wider world. A key strength of this work lies both in the in-depth focus upon key issues and the wider global context provided to the early history including distribution and use of Muslim coinage, thereby linking the history of various lands, people, cultures and civilisations via the study of early Muslim coinage. Indeed this work provides rich perspective both on the subject of a notable segment of the history of coinage, finance and economy and early Muslim and wider world history, including the production of Arabic and Latin coins (upon the same coins) by King Offa of 8th century Mercia, England. The work is illustrated with both colour and black and white images of coins as well as colour maps. Written for scholars, students, bankers and those working in finance, society at large, the world over.

This highly educational work is written by a qualified archaeologist and historian from the United Kingdom (educated at various universities including London, Exeter, Cambridge and Edinburgh, holder of substantive specialist qualifications including 10 Master's degrees) who has undertaken substantive research and field work into Muslim coinage. The writer has also conducted a number of studies into early Islamic trade and trade routes and undertaken wider studies too, in the history of Islamic finance and Islamic civilisation. A professional piece of work.

''A very interesting and educational piece of work that charts the early stages of Muslim coinage. Well worth reading and contemplating upon. I really enjoyed every second of reading it.'' Mahmoud Saleh, Iqra Trust.

''A lucid and insightful work on an essential aspect of one of the world's great civilisations. This highly accessible study will be of great interest to the expert and layman alike.'' G. Tucker, Archaeologist, graduate of the Institute of Archaeology, University of London.

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