Author Topic: Ghaznavids: Mawdud AR Dirham month of Ramadan  (Read 455 times)

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Offline shiblius

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Ghaznavids: Mawdud AR Dirham month of Ramadan
« on: July 22, 2019, 03:31:38 AM »
Ghaznavids: Mawdud bin Masud (reign: 432-40AH, 1041-48CE), AR Dirham, 18.7mm, 3.73g,  Month of Ramadan, Mint and Date off-flan.

The obverse center field has the first part of the Shahadah i.e., La Ilaha Illa Allah wahdahu la sharika lahu. Letter “seen” at the bottom of center field surrounded by ornaments and the month Ramadan at the top of the obverse. The word ‘Adl’ (translation: justice) is also inscribed below the month. Usually, the obverse margin contains the mint and date which is completely off-flan

Top reverse contains the word ‘fath’ (translation: victory / opening) surrounded on either side by three dots in a triangular arrangement.  The center field has the second part of the Shahadah in the first line: Muhammad (PBUH) Rasul Allah. That is followed by the name of the Abbassid Caliph: Al-Qaim b’Amr Allah (reign: 422-67 AH, 1031-75CE) on the second line. The third lines contain the laqab (title) of Sultan Mawdud Ghaznavi: Shahab al-Dawlah, with his name Mawdud in the last line.

The laqab Shahab al-Dawlah translates literally to bright (rising) star of the state. Shahab is also used for a meteor. The sultans of the Samanid and Buwayhid dynasties popularized titles of this style, both dynasties being of Persian origin. Initially, the Emir of Ghazna was a Samanid vassal, and the Emirate became autonomous during the reign of Mahmud Ghaznavi, the grandfather of Sultan Mawdud. The general reference for this dirham would be Album-1626, classified as being scarce (S).
« Last Edit: September 01, 2019, 11:28:12 AM by THCoins »

Offline aws22

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Re: Ghazanvids: Mawdud AR Dirham month of Ramadan
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2019, 07:54:15 AM »
Thank you shiblius for the detailed description of your coin, it would be nice to include the Arabic text in your description.
The letter " S س " at the bottom of the first photo, could be part of the word " Sanah سنه " meaning " year ".

Maythem
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Offline shiblius

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Re: Ghazanvids: Mawdud AR Dirham month of Ramadan
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2019, 05:51:23 PM »
Arabic Text

Obverse:
رمضان
عدل
لا الہٰ الا
اللہ وحدہ
لا شریک لہ
-- س --

Reverse:
--   فتح     --
محمد رسول اللہ
القائم بامر اللہ
شہاب الدولۃ
مودود

With regards to the letter "seen" on the last line in the obverse it does not pertain to "sanat". The letters "seen", "ain" occur quite frequently on Ghaznavid issues, I have not come across any explanation for them, they may have to do with the mint master's initials, control symbols, etc.

Offline aws22

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Re: Ghazanvids: Mawdud AR Dirham month of Ramadan
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2019, 06:29:31 PM »
Thank you shiblius, that is good information about such letters, I did not know that.
Thanks for the details regarding the Arabic text. I am not really familiar with Ghaznavid coins.

Maythem
Coin collecting has a curious name. It is also called the "Hobby of Kings".

Offline THCoins

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Re: Ghazanvids: Mawdud AR Dirham month of Ramadan
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2019, 06:53:06 PM »
Nice specimen ans explanation. There are quite similar types where Fath is flanked not by three dots but by "lillah", so likely this is meant as "Victory to God".
Very special to also see the monthname in the field on these. This custom seems to have stopped not much later.
Added another Mawdud Dirham to show a different, but quite typical design:

Offline shiblius

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Re: Ghazanvids: Mawdud AR Dirham month of Ramadan
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2019, 04:42:15 AM »
@THCoins: I happen to have one that has the word "Fath" surrounded on either side by "lillah".
I agree that "victory to Allah" is a possible explanation, others are possible as well. Numerous issues have the phrase "lillah" inscribed as part of their legend, usually placed individually. I have observed it mostly on the reverse center field, for example on Habbarid Dammas. The phrase can be seen as representing verse 2:284 from the Quran, according to which everything belongs to Allah. The phrase is therefore used as a symbol that has a deeper connotation: the rule of the Sultan is divinely ordained or bestowed, and the Sultan is nothing but a temporary office holder. This phrase would have been used by the issuing authority to appropriate a degree of religious legitimacy of their rule. This line of reasoning also provides some insights into the religio-political concept of a state as envisioned by the medieval Islamic world.

Ghaznavid, Mawdud, AR Dirham, Ghazna, Month of Rajab, 2.97g, 18.7mm, date off-flan.

@Maythem: This coin also has the control letters "seen" and "ain" on the obverse.

Offline aws22

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Re: Ghazanvids: Mawdud AR Dirham month of Ramadan
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2019, 08:47:05 AM »
Thank you shiblius, I can see the letters " S س " at 3 O'clock and " 'A ع " at 9 O'clock on left photo of your second coin. At the bottom the Arabic inscription is:
القائم بامر الله , Al-Qa'im bi-amri Allah , meaning, "he who carries out the command of God", referring to the 26th Abbasid Caliph Al-Qa'im at Baghdad, (AH 422–467/1031–1075 AD).

Maythem
« Last Edit: July 23, 2019, 08:59:26 AM by aws22 »
Coin collecting has a curious name. It is also called the "Hobby of Kings".

Offline THCoins

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Re: Ghazanvids: Mawdud AR Dirham month of Ramadan
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2019, 08:51:50 AM »
Yes, that's the design i meant. I think you are very much right that the design and wording on the coins very much reflects the contemporary views on the concepts of authority and religion. This also seems to be related to the increasing influence of Mamluks in society. In the region, and also in the bordering Indian territory the concept  of noble descent had always been of primary importance to legitimize the rulers. That changed partly to authority by divine approval, with the caliph as mediating authority.
In later times that seems to change again, with the rulers using ever more grandiose titles to put themselves more in the spotlight again.
Somewhere in between is the Khwarezmshah example below. Here the sultan is described as "Allah's shadow on the earth".

Offline shiblius

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Re: Ghazanvids: Mawdud AR Dirham month of Ramadan
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2019, 04:22:07 AM »
Thats an amazing coin!
The laqab: "zill Allah fi'l Ard" (shadow of Allah on earth) and its variations: "zill Allah fi'l Alam" (shadow of Allah on the world / universe, appearing on Seljuq coins) and the shorter Mughal version "Zill-e-Ilahi" provide some insights about how the office of the Sultan / Caliph is given divine support which makes the office-bearer answerable to no one except God.
I think prior to the existence of Mamluks and contact with the Indian subcontinent there was a huge cultural and political influence from Sassanian Persia. Persian influence contributed heavily to the legitimization of dynastic rule in the Islamic world (after considerable opposition), and helped in defining the role and authority of the office of the Sultan/Caliph.

Going back to Ghaznavid coinage, here's another dirham of Mawdud, that has the month (Rabi) on the right of the center field and the mint to the left of the center field which is very unusual for Ghaznavid issues which almost always have the mint in the outer obverse margin. It also has the word "Fath" (victory) at the top of the reverse center field surrounded on either side by circles. The most curious thing however is the word in the last line of obverse that looks like "Yamini", which (if correct) would make this a Yamini dirham of Mawdud named after his grandfather Yamin al-Dawlah Mahmud (who also issued Yamini dirhams).

From the three dirhams posted here we can also see the different laqabs of Mawdud:
1) Shahab al-Dawlah, (Bright star of the State)
2) Fakhr al-Ummah (Pride of the nation of Islam) and 
3) Qutb al-Millah (Pole star (guide) of the nation)

Ghaznavid, Mawdud, AR Dirham, Ghazna, Month of Rabi, ND, 3.41g, 19.4mm.

Offline THCoins

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Re: Ghazanvids: Mawdud AR Dirham month of Ramadan
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2019, 05:35:40 PM »
That's a quite advanced collection of Ghaznavids which you have assembled Shiblius. Thanks for giving the opportunity to compare these related types !
Quote
has the month (Rabi) on the right of the center field and the mint to the left of the center field
On the picture it is quite small, but i have difficulties reading this as Ghazna غزنه. Or is it coupled to a previous word ?
Edit: Got it: bi-Ghazna for "in Ghazna" بغزنه ?

Indeed it could be so that Mawdud refers here to his grandfather Mahmud with the "Yamini". But the "Adil / Yamini"could also have been used merely as a mint declaration that this is the officially approved coinage ?

Showing a Mahmud yamini Dirham below for comparison.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2019, 06:43:14 PM by THCoins »

Offline shiblius

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Re: Ghazanvids: Mawdud AR Dirham month of Ramadan
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2019, 05:27:16 PM »
@THCoins
Yes it is ba-ghazna (at Ghazna).
Thats a nice Yamini dirham in great condition.

What I was referring to was that Yamini dirhams are mostly associated with Mahmud, there are Zahiri dirhams associated with Masud, and Nasiri, Qahiri and Qarari dirhams associated with Ibrahim. I have been trying to find what these names / categories refer to? It could be that they refer to the relative purity (content of silver) of the issue, or just a way to name issues after previous rulers:

Yamini for Mahmud (laqab/title: Yamin al-Dawlah)
Zahiri for Masud (laqab/title: Zahir Khalifat Allah)
Nasiri for Masud (laqab/ttile: Nasir Din Allah)

but it fails to explain Qahiri and Qarari dirhams, the latter of which were also issued by Khwarizmshah Ala al-Din Muhammad bin Tekish.

Offline THCoins

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Re: Ghaznavids: Mawdud AR Dirham month of Ramadan
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2019, 05:58:22 PM »
The "Yamini" on your Mawdud specimen is much more abstracted than on the Mahmud specimen, so it is difficult to say for sure what it means. That may even have been on purpose. As a logo, this might remind people of the previous succesfull sultan, without actually taking his name.

I do not see the problem with the laqab for Ibrahim ? He had a multitude of titles.
To illustrate, see the coin below (SNAT XIVd 438). (Qahar = “conqueror”)
Obv: “La illah illa Allah / wahadu la sherika lahu / malik al-islam / al-Muqtadi bi’amr / Allah”
Rev: “Qahar / Muhammad rasul Allah / al-Sultan al-a’zam / Qahar al-muluk / sayid al-Sulatin / Ibrahim”.

Offline shiblius

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Re: Ghaznavids: Mawdud AR Dirham month of Ramadan
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2019, 05:43:00 AM »
Awesome Qahiri dirham of Ibrahim!
Qahir al Muluk (breaker / vanquisher of Kings) can be directly linked to Qahiri dirhams. The Hafizi dirhams can be attributed to Masud-I, one of whose titles is Hafiz Ibad Allah (Protector of the people of Allah). The types that remain to be linked with a royal title are the Qarari, Adudi and Imadi dirhams (ref Album) of Ibrahim.

Offline THCoins

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Re: Ghaznavids: Mawdud AR Dirham month of Ramadan
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2019, 10:45:14 AM »
There is a nice list, available from the internet, compiled by Michael Bates "Names and titles on islamic coins".
For Ibrahim he gives:
al-Sultan [al-Mu`azzam]al-A`zam al-Malik al-Mansur Zahir al-Dawla `Adud al-Din Nasir al-Milla Qahir al-Muluk Sayyid al-Salatin Malik al-Islam

So the Adudi seems also to be covered !
If you really want to dig into Ghaznavid titles there is an article by Bosworth "The Titulature of the Early Ghaznavids" which can be found here.

Offline shiblius

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Re: Ghaznavids: Mawdud AR Dirham month of Ramadan
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2019, 03:09:11 PM »
Awesome!
Thanks @THCoins for the pointer to the article and the list of Ghaznavid titles.