al-Mu’tazz, ‘Abbasid Caliph AH 251-255/AD 866-869

Bernardi 162Qe; SICA-4, 573-575; BMC IX, 348a; A 235.1, Superb Extremely Fine

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


Al-Mu’tazz, the son of al-Mutawakkil, reigned for 3 years (AH 251-255/AD 866-869). During his reign, an opposition warlord in Sistan, Ya’qun ibn al-Layth, captured much of eastern and southern Iran, even threatening Baghdad itself.. The leader of Saffarids, Ya’qub posed a direct threat to Baghdad. When the ‘Abbasid and Saffarid armies met, Ya’qub was defeated and withdrew from Iraq. After Ya’qub’s death several years later, the Saffarids declined with their authority limited to Sistan as vassals of the Samanids.