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The Lugdunum Auction 21  -  09.06.2021 14:00
Including a group of exceptional medals from the Collection of Martine, Comtesse de Béhague (1870-1939)

Lot 9
Karîm Khân, 1166-1193 AH (1753-1779 AD). 1/4 mohur "11" AH, Kirmân (Dâr al-amân). 2.72 g. Shahâda type with the retrograde word huwwa above the field. A. -. GOLD. Extremely rare.

Extremely fine
; ISLAMIC COINS; ZAND DYNASTY; diverse
; ISLAMIC COINS; ZAND DYNASTY; misc


This is one of the few cases to find Sufi influence in Islamic coinage. Arabic huwwa for he is a Sufi address to Allâh, frequently used in repetition in the mystical practice of dhikr. The retrograde form is commonly found as a symmetrical juxtaposition of the word in Sufi calligraphy. This corresponds with the mirrored vision of the stars when the vision from the world is compared to the vision on a celestial globe. But it corresponds equally to a famous Sufi response to orthodox Islam, i.e. praying in the mosque with the back to the qibla (direction to Mecca) in order to express that Allah is not to be addressed in Mecca but rather inside the believer. Consequently there is no reason to assume that the reversed form of huwwa on the coin is merely accidental.
It cannot be entirely sure that this coin has to be dated to Karîm Khans lifetime, as the invocation yâ karîm, which can be found on this coin was continued in the coinage of some of his sons and also under Abûl-Hasan Beglerbeg, the factual ruler of Kirmân after 1193 H.
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