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Dynasty: Abbasids
Ruler: al-Mahdi ("right guided")
Reigned: AH 159-169 (775 AD - 785 AD)
Denomination: AR Dirhem (1st period)
Mint: Medinat es-Salam (Bagdad)
Date of Issue: 162 AH=779-780 A.D.
Obverse: Margin: "In the name of Allah this Dirhem was minted in Medinat es-Salam in the year 162" (Bismillah) Centre: "There is no God except Allah. (There is) no partner to him." (Kalima)
Reverse: Margin: "Muhammad is the messenger of God. He sent him with guidance and the true religion to prevail over all other religions even if the polytheists abhor it." (Sura 9 Verse 33) ("Second Symbol") Centre: "Muhammad is the Messenger / of God, Gods Prayer / and Salutations upon him (PBAH)/ The Caliph al-Mahdi (Annulet)" (Kalima)
Reference: Album 215.1
Weight: 2.8 gms
Diameter: 23 mm


  • al-Mahdi succeeded his father, al-Mansur, as Abbasid caliph in 775 AD.His name means "Rightly-guided".
  • Rapprochement with the Shi'ite Moslems in the Caliphate occurred under al-Mahdi's reign.
  • Members of the powerful Barmakid family, who had been viziers since the days of al-'Abbas became more powerful.
  • Baghdad grew during al-Mahdi's reign, attracting immigrants from all over the muslim world, making it the largest city outside China.
  • The administration grew and the Barmakids staffed it. The Barmakids were responsible for introducing paper from India.

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