The only representation of the praying Caliph on a precious metal coin : an extraordinary witness of the early Umayyad period.
The Umayyad Caliphate. temp. Abd al-Malik b. Marwan AH 65-86 (685-705 CE) in the name of Bishr b. Marwan AH c. 73-7 (692-694 CE). AR ‘Orans’ Drachm AH 75, BJRA (Basra). Sasanian bust to right with name Bishr bin Marwan in Pahlawi before face, margin: bism Allah Muhammad rasul Allah / Caliph with hands upraised in prayer flanked by two standing attendants, to left downwards date 75 in Pahlawi, to right downwards BJRA (Basra) in Pahlawi. 3,91g. Album 27.1; SICA 1, Ashmolean Museum Oxford, 107.
From the auction NGSA 8 (24-25 November 2014), 221.
Grading/Status: Nice extremely fine.
Bishr b. Marwan was the brother of the caliph 'Abd al-Malik b. Marwan. It is therefore hardly surprising that he was actively involved in his brother's attempts at a monetary reform. Bishr b. Marwan is the only governor to have issued silver coins depicting the caliph at prayer. The coin remains very similar to the Sassanian design in its overall appearance, but its religious, symbolic and political importance is huge. This type, known as "the praying caliph", was struck in al-Kufa from AH 73 to 75 and in al-Basra in AH 75 only. Its great rarity is due to the general monetary reform introduced by the caliph just a few years later. The base of the earth power of the caliph was the power of God : This coin emphasizes the link between both.