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The Question of Ayats of Quran on Dinars and Dirhams by Zaim Saidi

By Zaim Saidi - Direktur Wakala Induk Nusantara
Dinars and Dirhams have Ayats of Qur'an in relief on their reverse faces.

وَإِنَّ هَٰذِهِ أُمَّتُكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَأَنَا رَبُّكُمْ فَاتَّقُونِ

"Wa inna hadhihi ummatakum ummatan wahidatan wa ana rabbukum fattaqun."
This paragraph is an excerpt from al Quran, Surat Al Mu'minun, ayat 52, the meaning of which is: "This faith of yours is a single faith, and I am your Lord, so have taqwa of Me."
Dinar Baru WIN
A sample of the quoted verse forms part of the ornamentation on the reverse side of the standard Dinar and Dirham coins of WIM (World Islamic Mint). WIN (Wakala Induk Nusantara) also adopts it for all Dinar and Dirham coins minted and distributed in Indonesia, for both the Hajj series (featuring the Sacred Mosque and the Masjid Nabawi) and the Nusantara series (featuring the Great Mosque of Demak and the Great Mosque of Sang Cipta Rasa of the Kasepuhan Sultanate, Cirebon). Only two, smaller silver coins, namely the Half (1/2) Dirham and the Daniq (1/6) Dirham, do not mention the ayat of the Qur'an because of their small size.

The existence of quotations of ayats of Qur'an on these Dirham and Dinar coins, for some people, repeatedly becomes an issue. The reason being that as a means of exchange in everyday use, these coins will be in all kinds of situations. Held and exchanged by all people, Muslims and non-Muslims, in states of ritual purity and ritual impurity (voided ablution), and at any time being carried inside bathrooms and toilets, and so on.

Historically, from the first time that Dinars and Dirhams were minted by Muslim leaders, spearheaded by the Caliph Umar ibn Khattab and Caliph Marwan ibn Malik, quotes of ayats of Qur'an were always included on one of the sides of the Dirham and Dinar coins. Examples of the simplest and shortest ayats ever borne on the dirham and the dinar coin are 'Bismillah' and 'Qul Hu Allahu Ahad'. These exist on the first Dirham coins ever printed by Malk bin Marwan. In another period the entire contents of Surat Al Ikhlas were included on the coin.

On the first dinar coin, Caliph Malik bin Marwan included the following ayat: "Arsala Rasulahu bi'l-Huda wa dini'l-haqqi li-yudh-hirahu 'ala'd-dini kullihi walaw kariha'l-mushrikun" (Surat At Taubah, ayat 33). The meaning of which is, "It is He who sent His Messenger with guidance and the Deen of Truth to exalt it over every other deen, even though the mushrikun detest it." Preceding the aforementioned ayat was the statement: "Muhammad Rasulullah" .
The emergence of reactions to the above inclusion of excerpts of ayats of Qur'an on Dirham and Dinar coins is natural, and did not just eventuate in the present time. Since the first time Caliph Marwan ibn Malik did it, it has drawn protests. Nevertheless, from the viewpoint of the Shari'at of Islam, this issue has been thoroughly answered.

Taqiu'd-Din al-Maqrizi, in his famous and extraordinarily beneficial book for our current situation, namely, Ighathatu'l-umma bi-kashfi'l-ghummah, quoted the fatwa of Imam Malik, on this subject.
Malik [ibn Anas] (d. 179/795) was asked about changing the legend on the dinars and the dirhams, because it contained excerpts from the Qur'an. He answered: "Many people were [following the religious prescriptions] when coins were first struck during the reign of 'Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan. No one then disapproved of them and I have not seen any scholar who disavowed them. Though it has reached me that Ibn Sirin (d.110/730)42 abhorred using these [coins] in buying and selling, people continued to use them and I have not seen anyone who has prohibited them here [i.e., Madina]."
Furthermore, al Maqrizi also related the following story:
'Abd al-Malik [ibn Marwan]was told:. "These white dirhams contain excerpts from the Qur'an and are handled by Jews, Christians, impure [persons], and menstruating women. It will be advisable for you to erase [the inscription]."

He answered: "Do you wish [other] nations to allege against us that we have erased our [belief in the] unity of God and the name of our Prophet?"
When 'Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan died [in 85/705], the situation remained unchanged. He was succeeded by his son al-Walid (86-96/705-15), then by Sulayman ibn 'Abd al-Malik (96/715-17) then by 'Umar ibn 'Abd al -'Aziz (99-101/717-20).

We may therefore conclude by saying that with reference to the above narrations there are thus no more issues concerning the inclusion of Quranic ayats on Dinar and Dirham coins.

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