The ancient Athenians are believed to have used a silver coin identified as the Drachma, which passed into usage among the Persians with Alexander’s conquests. By the time of the Persian Sassanid Empire it came to be called the Drahm, and by 500 CE, the Arabs were using it as the Dirham. It was this Dirham, along with the Dinar, which eventually became the “currency of Islam”, by virtue of its usage by the Islamic Prophet, Muhammad (sm) bin Abdullah.
The Dinars and Dirhams have received meticulous attention in Islamic jurisprudence, especially as a means of ensuring honesty in trade practices, and it became the responsibility of the rulers, or community leaders, called the Emirs, to make sure that the coins conform to their weights and measures.
The usage of these coins lasted for almost 1400 years in the Muslim world, until the people were forced to discard them by the European colonial masters, to better favor their economic interests. Some fiat currencies so developed continued to use the name Dirham for themselves, for example in Morocco and the UAE, but none of these conformed to the Islamic precepts of sound money.
The American Silver DirhamTM thus represents a symbolic revival of a 1400 year old tradition in the Muslim community of using gold and silver as mediums of exchange. This coin is crafted to generate interest in both numismatic enthusiasts and the general public. A formal launching ceremony is being planned in the coming weeks.
The American Silver DirhamTM is produced by Dinar Wakala LLC, and minted in partnership with the American Open Currency Standard (AOCS). In line with the Islamic tradition, its production is overseen by community leaders of the Muslims of North Carolina, Emir Ismail Bryant and Emir Najib Abdul-Haqq, to ensure the quality and accuracy of its weight and content.
The coin contains 2.975 grams of fine silver, which is the globally accepted standard of the Dirham coin according to the Islamic Shariah. This standard is maintained by an overseeing body, the World Islamic Mint (WIM), and by conforming to this standard these coins are simultaneously approved by both WIM and AOCS.