Silver Dirham of Umar Habbari - Amirs of Sindh


Weight: 0.54g


Billah yasiqu Umar wa bihi yantasir

बिल्लाह यसिक़ू उमर बिहि यनतसिर


باللہ یثق عمر و بہ ینتصر

In God trusts Umar, and through Him he is victorious

ईश्वर पर उमर का भरोसा है, और उसके माध्यम से वह विजयी है

خدا پر عمر کا اعتماد ہے، اور اسی کے ذریعے وہ فتح مند ہے


Lillah Muhammad Rasul Allah


लिल्लाह मुहम्मद रसूल अल्लाह


للہ محمد رسول اللہ


In God Muhammad is the messenger of God


ईश्वर में मुहम्मद ईश्वर के प्रेषित है


خدا میں محمد خدا کے پیغمبر ہیں



Habbari Dynasty

The Arab eastward expansion after the passing of the Islamic prophet Muhammad reached the Sindh area beyond Persia. The Hindu Chacha kingdom was overthrown and incorporated into the Umayyad Caliphate in 712 AD by Muhammad Bin Qasim. This marked the beginning of Islam in the Indian subcontinent. From the early eighth century AD, this area was ruled by governors appointed by the Caliphs.

Due to waning political influence of the Caliphs, a semi-independent emirate emerged which was ruled by the Habbari dynasty from 854 AD to 1024 AD. These rulers, were also known as the Amirs of Sindh.[i]

Umar Al-Habbari

Umar bin Abdul Aziz Habbari (reigned: 854-884) established himself as an independent ruler of Sindh and is the founder of the Habbari dynasty. The Habbari were Arabs belonging to the Quraysh tribe, the same tribe as that of the Prophet. There was no fundamental shift in the regime's nature, and the Habbari state continued to run according to the rules established by the Caliphs.

The Habbaris controlled Sindh until Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi overthrew them in 1026. Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi then destroyed the former Habbari city of Mansura and annexed the territory to the Ghaznavid Empire, putting an end to Arab sovereignty in Sindh.

The Coin

These coins, known as Qandhari Dirhams or Dammas were struck mostly at the capital of the Habbaris, Al-Mansurah. These coins often appear very debased or even plated. The obverse of the coin presents a religious legend with the reverse having the Muslim Profession of faith – the Kalima Shahada – with the ruler’s name at the bottom.[ii]

[i] Mitchiner, M. (1977). Oriental coins and their values: The World of Islam. London: Hawkins Publications.

[ii] Goenka, S. G. (2022). The Coins of the Indian Sultanates: Covering the Areas of Present Day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. New Delhi: Manoharlal Publishers & Distributors.