As a lonely metal smith finished off his piece of art in the Shaqq Al-Taymara mint on the banks of the Araxes, little could he have imagined that 1300 years later his work would find its way into the treasured collections of the American Numismatic Society! But it was not just his coin that travelled across the Atlantic: so did many of the men and women of his civilization, enriching this multicultural nation for more than 300 years.
Augmented by a global mix of immigrants, the American Muslim community today represents a beautiful amalgamation of the stars and stripes with the flowing form of the Arabic calligraphy, which so aptly symbolizes the ethos of this community: Fierce loyalty to the country of their birth while guided by the illuminatingly humanitarian principles of their religion.
And this is where the political legacy of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson comingle with the religious precepts of Malik bin Anas and Abu Hanifah, all pointing to the wisdom and necessity of sound money. And so it was that this exact symbolism, the stars and stripes entwined on the Arabic text promoting sound money, now emphatically adorns the modern American revival of a longstanding cultural icon: The American Silver Dirham Coin.
The ancient Athenians are believed to have used a silver coin identified as the Drachma, which passed into usage among the Persians with Alexandar’s conquests. By the time of the Persian Sassanid Empire it came to be called the Drahm, and by 500 CE, the Arabs were using it as the Dirham. It was this Dirham, along with the Dinar, which eventually became the "currency of Islam", by virtue of its usage by the Islamic Prophet, Muhammad (sm) bin Abdullah.
The Dinars and Dirhams have received meticulous attention in Islamic jurisprudence, especially as a means of ensuring honesty in trade practices, and it became the responsibility of the rulers, or community leaders, called the Emirs, to make sure that the coins conform to their weights and measures.
The usage of these coins lasted for almost 1400 years in the Muslim world, until the people were forced to discard them by the European colonial masters, to better favor their economic interests. Some fiat currencies so developed continued to use the name Dirham for themselves, for example in Morocco and the UAE, but none of these conformed to the Islamic precepts of sound money.
The American Silver DirhamTM thus represents a symbolic revival of a 1400 year old tradition in the Muslim community of using gold and silver as mediums of exchange. This coin is expected to generate interest in both numismatic enthusiasts and the general public. A formal launching ceremony is being planned in the coming weeks.
The American Silver DirhamTM is produced by Dinar Wakala LLC, and minted by the American Open Currency Standard (AOCS) Mint. In line with the Islamic tradition, its production is overseen by community leaders of the Muslims of North Carolina, Emir Ismail Bryant and Emir Najib Abdul-Haqq, to ensure the quality and accuracy of its weight and content.
The coin contains 2.975 grams of fine silver, which is the globally accepted standard of the Dirham coin according to the Islamic Shariah. Historically, the Dinar has the weight of one mithqal, and the Dirham is 7/10 of the Mithqal. This standard is maintained by an overseeing body, the World Islamic Mint (WIM), and by conforming to this standard these coins are simultaneously approved by both WIM and AOCS.
AOCS is a local American initiative to provide a working sound money framework for the people of America. Inspired by the visionary free-market entrepreneur and Monetary Architect Bernard von NotHaus of Liberty Dollar fame, AOCS works with local communities to help them develop their own community coins for barter trading, and ensures that all of these are interchangeable and conform to a verifiable standard. The American Silver DirhamTM is the latest addition to their coin lineup which includes the Campaign for Liberty, Ludwig Von Mises and Lakota Silver medallions.
The coins are available for purchase from www.dinarwakala.com(001)