al-Musta’in, ‘Abbasid Caliph AH 248-251/AD 862-866

Bernardi 161Qe; SICA-4, 570; A 233.2, Extremely Fine

Samarqand mint. Kalima at center, double obverse marginal legends with Qur’an 30:4 in outer margin, date formula in inner margin, the heir al-’Abbas cited below; Reverse, continuation of Kalima, “lillah” above, al-Musta’in Billah below, Qur’an 9:33 in margin. Rare mint for this reign.


The reign of al-Musta’in (AH 248-251/ AD 862-866) falls within a seven-year period period known as the “Anarchy of Samarra”, marked by extreme instability and the violent succession of four caliphs. Turkish generals within the ‘Abbasid army were fully in control of the caliphal succession and the caliphs themselves were little more than puppets of rival military factions.