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The Evolving Representation Of The Early Islamic Empire And Its Religion On Coin Imagery

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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides a brief overview of the development of early Islamic coin imagery according to the present state of research. The introduction of the new era on coins indicates that the administrative Arabic elite gradually developed an awareness of its Islamic identity, but there was still no overt representation of the Islamic religion and its empire. Early Islamic coin iconography reveals the search for an identity of the Arab-Islamic state that finally lead to a suitable formula to represent the new, all-embracing Islamic universal empire in its own ideological right. The Islamic empire had finally found its distinctive symbolic form of representation: the bare "iconic" Word of God, surah 112 of the Qurʾā, representing the sovereignty of the new universal empire, along with the statement of Muhammad's prophetic mission in Qurʾā 9:33; and the profession of faith, the shahāda, which symbolizes the new distinct religion.

Keywords: Islamic coin imagery; Islamic Empire; Islamic religion; Qurʾan



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