FATIMID PARTISAN IN THE YEMEN, MANSUR AL-YAMAN (IBN HAWSHAB, c.268-293h). Dirham, ‘Adan al-Mahdi (?) 290h. Obverse: In margin: unread (outer); Qur’an xlii, 23 (inner). Reverse: In margin: Qur’an ix, 33 (outer), mint and date (inner); In field: Muhammad | rasul Allah | al-Mahdi | al-Mansur billah. Weight: 2.76g. Some marginal weakness, almost very fine and apparently unpublished. Ibn Hawshab was sent to the Yemen as an Isma‘ili missionary in 268, and established a base in the north of the country at ‘Adan La’a. With his fellow missionary Ibn al-Fadl, he managed to bring almost the whole of Yemen under Isma‘ili control by the early 290s, although much was lost to the Zaydi Imams soon afterwards. Abu ‘Abdallah al-Shi‘i, whose campaigning was to establish Fatimid dominion in North Africa, spent a year or more training with Ibn Hawshab in Yemen. The mint-name on this coin is given here as ‘Adan al-Mahdi, but ‘Asir al-Mahdi is another possible reading.
Estimate: GBP 1500 - 2000