Umayyad Caliphate: Caliph ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan (65-86 AH, 685-705 AD), AE Fals, Halab (Aleppo) mint, ND (struck 70-77 AH, 690-696/7 AD), Goodwin, Standing Caliph Coinage, Type IV; SICA I, 619 (4.04 g, 21 mm)

The “standing caliph” coins, the earliest series that can be described as unquestionably Islamic, were struck in the name of the caliph ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan. The standing figure on the obverse is believed to represent the Caliph himself.

In AH77 (696/97 AD), ’Abd al-Malik abolished figural coinage altogether in favour of coins bearing Quranic inscriptions. The new series of coins bore no reference to the Caliph.

Obverse: Standing figure of the caliph, robed, with a girdle band; flowing folds of a kufiyya falling to either side of his head. His right hand grips the pommel of his sword; whip hanging from right elbow. Clockwise from 12 o’clock: J li-‘abd allah ‘abd al-malik amir al-mu’minin (for the Servant of God, ‘Abd al-Malik, Commander of the Faithful)

Reverse: Pole standing on three steps with circle near top on right (modified version of the cross seen on Byzantine coinage). Left: Halab. Right: Waf (full weight). Around: Kalima “la ilah illa allah wahdahu muhammad rasul allah”