al-Nasir, ‘Abbasid Caliph AH 575-622/AD 1180-1225

SICA-4, 1231 var (date); A 268, Very Fine

Madinat al-Salam (Baghdad) mint (6,12gm), naming only the caliph al-Nasir. While a number of contemporary dynasties name al-Nasir on their coins, purely ‘Abbasid dinars naming only the caliph were struck at Madinat al-Salam. Their weight ranges from under 3 to more than 20 grams. Some have incorrectly seen multiple denominations but the various weights fall all across the spectrum. They are in fact officially stamped ingots of random weight, which were valued in transactions by weight rather than denomination.


The reign of the ‘Abbasid caliph al-Nasir (AH 575-622/AD 1180-1225) is marked by the initial Mongol invasion of the Islamic world under Chingiz Khan, The first Muslim ruler to feel the wrath of the Mongols was powerful Khawrazmshah ‘Ala al-Din Muhammad. Great cities such as Samarqand, Bukhara, Merv, Nishapur, Herat were utterly destroyed, with a loss of population estimated between 12 and 14 million. Eventually even Baghdad itself would fall to the Mongols in a whirlwind of destruction. Ironically, there is evidence that the caliph al-Nasir may have actually invited Chingiz to attack his rival, the Khwarizmshah.