Author(s): Ramazan UYKUR

In this article, a golden (dinar) and a silver (dirham) coin detected in the Mardin Museum coin collection were addressed. The coins were made up of three circular shapes one placed inside of another one the front and back side of which are of the same presentation. Some kind of imitated writing of letters and shapes were placed between these circles. The shape of both coins are identical, therefore it is deducted that they were printed using the same mold. When the coins are examined closely, it was understood that these are not inscriptions giving information about coins; they are only meaningless things which were intended to look like cufic letters. When the coin catalogues are examined, it is noticed that these look especially like the Fatimid Khalifa el-Amir bi-Ahkâmullah’s coins. As it is known, Fatimids who claim to have acquired this name from the Prophet Mohamed’s daughter Fatima established the first khalifate of the history of Islam. They took Cairo as their capital and battled with the Abbasids for the leadership of the Islamic world and shortly they became a big state. As a result of the examination, it was understood that the Fatimid Khalifa el-Amir biAhkâmullah’s coins in question were imitations made by the Crusaders who invaded Jerusalem. When the Crusaders invaded the Jerusalem and Palestine areas, they considered appropriate to imitate the coins commonly used in the area and known by the society instead of using their own money. These imitated coins were the copies of the dinars minted by el-Amir who reigned between the years 495 to 524 (1101-1130). While the Fatimid coins were written on with vert high quality and legible cufic script, the copies were extremely rough and did not even have writings on them. The ones who made the molds probably did not know the Arabic letters and they were just trying to imitate them. The form of circles one inside another became a tradition of imitated coins. It became a tradition to write the Islamic confession of faith around the central circle of the coins and the Verse 33 of the Tevbe Surah inside the last circle just like it was in the Umayyad and Abbasid era coins. In Fatimid dinars, the expression “Aliyyen Veliyullah” was added to the Islamic confession of faith to indicate Ismailism/Shiism.


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