THE UMAYYAD DYNASTY, AH 41-132 (661-750). AN EXTRAORDINARY COLLECTION OF UMAYYAD COINAGE. EXPANSION OF ISLAM INTO INDIA : DISCOVERY OF A NEW MINT. Sulayman, AH 96-99 (715-717). Dirham AH 97 (715-16), al-Hind. Inscription centrale sur trois lignes, entourée d'une légende circulaire / Inscription centrale sur quatre lignes entourée d'une légende circulaire. 2,85g. A - ; Klat - ; Shams Eshragh -.
Une des monnaies omeyyades les plus importantes au monde. Très bel exemplaire.
Hearing of the pirate activity that was emanating from the port town of al-Daybul on the coast of Sind, the Viceroy of the East, al-Hajjaj bin Yusuf, ordered his son-in-law the Umayyad general Muhammad bin al-Qasim al-Thaqafi to deal with the problem. Muhammad, who was a protegé of both al-Hajjaj and the Umayyad Caliph al-Walid I, mounted a carefully-prepared expedition which advanced by both land and sea and overcame al-Daybul in AH 92 (711-712). Because he exercised clemency towards the Hindu inhabitants of the town, the port became a place of intercommunal harmony as well as a centre of Muslim expansion. The earliest Umayyad dirham from the Indian sub-continent, probably struck as tribute, is recorded from al-Daybul dated AH 95. This was the year in which al-Hajjaj died, and the following year, AH 96, saw the death of al-Walid and the succession of his brother Sulayman. As was usual, partisans of the old regime were dismissed from office and a fresh set of provincial governors was appointed in their place. Among these was Habib bin al-Muhallab bin Abi Sufra, who served as governor of Hind and Sind between AH 96 and 99, when he in turn was dismissed by Sulayman's successor, the Caliph ‘Umar II bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz. Habib was the younger brother of Yazid, a favourite of Sulayman who served as the caliph's governor in many places including Khurasan between AH 97 and 99. Their father al-Muhallab was a famous Umayyad general who was responsible for the defeat of the Kharajite leader al-Qatari bin al-Fuja’a. Both he and al-Qatari struck abundant Arab Sasanian silver drachms in Iran. It was during Habib's governorship that this coin was struck bearing the territorial name al-Hind, which was usually associated with the regions east of the Indus River. As a territorial designation, “al-Hind” took the place of the name of the actual town or city in which the coin was struck, much as all Umayyad coinage in Spain bore the mint name “al-Andalus” while it was probably issued at the seat of the governor, Qurtuba (Cordoba). As al-Hind had to be differentiated from al-Daybul in Sind, it is likely that its actual mint town lay well north of Sind. The best candidate for the coin's manufacture would be the town of Multan, famous for its wealth and treasures. Because of their excellent execution, the dies for this coin do not appear to have been prepared locally. It is very likely that they were made in another and more experienced mint, most probably Wasit, the major eastern mint of the Umayyad Caliphate. The dies were probably intended to prepare tribute for dispatch to the central Umayyad treasury in Wasit or Damascus. As such this coin serves as an eloquent witness to the dynamic expansion of the Islamic faith into the more remote territories of the Indian sub-continent.
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