The World In Stamps

A journey in a stamps collection

Old Moroccan Coins from 9th To 18th Century: 1968

In 1968 the moroccan post issued a set of fours stamps representing old Moroccan coins. These coins go back to  different historical eras and were issued by different dynasties that ruled Morocco.

The Idrissi Era, 9th century

A coin of 10 dirhams issued in year 840 AD
A coin of one dirham issued in year 840 AD / 226 Hijri

This dirham was minted during the reign of King Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Idris II, the fourth Idrisid king in Morocco.

There appears to be a historical error in this postage stamp, as it refers to the minting of the dirham during the reign of Sultan Muhammad ibn Idris in 226 AH / 840 AD. As the sutlan Muhammad ibn Idris ruled from 213 AH / 828 AD to 221 AH / 836 AD, it is clear that he died five years before the coin minting date. After his death the dignitaries elected his son Ali Sultan of Morocco while he was 8 years old. He ruled for 13 years and died in 234 AH / 848 AD.

The Murabit Era, 12th century

A coin of 1 Dinar issued in year 1138 AD.
A coin of 1 Dinar issued in year 1138 AD. / 533 Hijri.
This dinar was issued during the era of the Almoravid state, whose most famous king was Sultan Yusuf ibn Tashfin (400 – 500 AH / 1009 – 1106 AD), known for saving Andalusia  by his victory in the Battle of Zallaqa over the armies of Castile and Leon, led by King Alfonso VI of Castile, in 1086 AD. He was also famous for ending the rule of the kings of territorial divisions (in Ararbic: mulūk al-ṭawāʾif) who weakened the Islamic presence in Andalusia through their betrayals and rivalries. This led to the annexation of Andalusia to the Almoravid State.
This dinar was minted during the reign of Sultan Abu Al-Hassan Ali ibn Yusuf ibn Tashfin Al-Lamtouni Al-Sinhaji (476 AH/1083AD – 537 AH/1143AD), the fifth ruler of the Almoravid state in Morocco and Andalusia. He succeeded his father Yusuf bin Tashfin in the year 500 AH. During his reign, the Almoravid state reached the height of its power and immensity, until his death in the year 537 AH.

The Almohad Era, 13th century

The establishment of the Almohad state

A coin of 1 Dinar issued in year 1248 AD.
A coin of 1 Dinar issued in year 1248 AD. / 646 Hijri.
At the end of the reign of Ali bin Yusuf Al-Murabiti, a strict religious movement started in the region of Marrakesh, founded by Muhammad bin Tumart (1080 AD – 1130 AD), whose followers are called the Almohads. The Almohads fought the Almoravids and defeated them and ended their state at the hands of Abd al-Mu’min al-Goumi (1130 CE – 1163 CE). The Almohad state took Marrakesh as its capital in 1146 AD and soon took control of the Far and Middle Morocco, and its rule extended at its height to Libya in the east and Andalusia in the north.
One of the kings of this state was famous, the Caliph “Yusuf bin Abd al-Mu’min” who set up projects in Seville, such as building the Great Mosque of Seville in 567 AH / 1172 AD.

The greatest Sultan of the dynasty

His son Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur (1184 AD – 1199 AD) , known as Yaqoub Al-Mansour, followed his approach and built the minaret of the Great Mosque of Seville in 1188 AD, which is 96 meters high and is still standing today and is known as “La Giralda”. It is a minaret similar to the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakesh. He also founded the city of Rabat, the current capital of the Kingdom of Morocco. Also, he built the great mosque known as Hassan Mosque.
Knowing the strength of Morocco during the reign of Yaqoub al-Mansur al-Muwahhid, Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi (Saladin), who liberated Jerusalem in 1187 AD, wrote to him three letters in 1191 AD, asking for assistance, and requesting that the Moroccan fleet be sent to help him in facing the armies coming from Europe across the sea to retake Jerusalem.

The stamp of the one dinar coin

As for the dinar that appears on the postage stamp, it was minted during the reign of Caliph Abu Hafs Omar al-Murtada, the twelfth and penultimate caliph of the Almohads who took power in 1248 AD, the year this dinar was issued and died in 1266 AD, three years before the fall of the Almohad state and the establishment of the Marinid state.

The Alaouite Era, 18th century

The Alaouite state is the ruling state in Morocco since 1666 AD until today.

The establishment of the Alawite state

Historians believe that the Alawi family came from Yanbu in the Hijaz (west of today Saudi Arabia) and settled in the Tafilalet oasis in southern Morocco during the twelfth or thirteenth century AD. The Alawi family is considered a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, as it is affiliated with Al-Hassan bin Ali bin Abi Talib and Fatima Al-Zahra, the daughter of prophet.
A coin of 10 dirhams issued in year 1780 AD.
A coin of 10 dirhams issued in year 1780 AD / 1195 Hijri.
The star of the Alawite dynasty began to rise at the end of the Saadian dynasty in the seventeenth century, starting with Sultan Moulay Ali Sharif bin Ali, who was declared sultan over the Tafilalet region in 1631. Then his son Al-Rashid, who ruled from 1664 to 1672, and was able to unite the country and calm its situation after a long period of regional divisions caused by the weakening of the Saadian dynasty. He was followed in power by his brother Moulay Ismail, who ruled for nearly 55 years between 1672 and 1727, the longest reign among all Moroccan sultans. During his reign, the Alawite state was in its best days, as it enjoyed strong central rule and commercial relations with Europe, especially with England. And Moulay Ismail moved the capital of Morocco from Marrakesh to Meknes.

Contemporary Alawi Kings

Sultan Muhammad V, who ruled from 1927 to 1961, is considered the liberator of Morocco. When he accessed to the throne, Morocco was divided into different territories. King Muhammad V obtained the independence and united the French and Spanish protectorate areas and international zone of Tangiers.
His son, King Hassan II, who ruled for 38 years, is considered the builder of modern Morocco, as he continued to reclaim the territories remaining under Spanish occupation such as Tarfaya, Sidi Ifni, and later the Spanish Sahara. He played a prominent role in the Arab and Islamic world. He was followed by his son, the current King of Morocco, Mohammed VI. The reign of Muhammad VI was marked by the modernization of the public administration and focusing on economic development. Several big developmental achievements were mentioned on a postal sheet issued to mark the 20th anniversary of his accession to the throne.

The stamp of the ten dirhams coin

As for the ten dirhams, the subject of the postage stamp, it was minted during the reign of the Alawi Sultan Muhammad III bin Abdullah, who ruled the country in difficult circumstances between 1757 AD and 1790 AD. During his reign, Morocco was the first country in the world to recognize the independence of the United States of America.
Catalog reference: Y&T 578 to 581.

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