Money in Islamic History

There are several terms in the Islamic legal literature, to express money, including:

  • Copy.
  • Tsaman.
  • Money.
  • Sikkah.
  • ‘Umlah.

Tsaman , also means Qimah (value of something) and the price of payment for goods sold, which aims to show gold and silver coins.


The opposite of that is Fulus , which aims to declare money made from metals other than gold and silver, and is valid as a legal payment instrument.


Sikkah has two meanings:

  1. An iron stamp used to stamp currencies.
  2. Printed and stamped Dinar and Dirham currencies.

Meanwhile, ‘Umlah also has two meanings, namely:

  1. The unit of currency that applies in a particular country or region, such as the Rupiah in force in Indonesia and the Saudi Riyal that applies in Saudi Arabia.
  2. Currency that is generally the same as Nuqud , or frequently used by Jurisprudence scholars, namely Nuqud and Tsaman .

There is a slight difference of opinion among the scholars in formulating the Nuqud definition , some define it as everything that is used by the public in transactions, be it the Dinar, Dirham, or Fulus , while other opinions are all things that can be accepted as a means of payment and a measure of value which is legal in the community.


Qal’ahji, also helped define Nuqud , where Nuqud is defined as anything that is determined as a price in the community, whether it consists of metal, paper, or other materials printed by institutions that have the authority.


Although the term Nuqud has become popular to define money, however, the term is not found in the Qur’an.


In stating the money and its functions, both as a gauge or a store of value, the Qur’an uses the terms gold, silver, dinar, and dirham.


Dirham, just mentioned once, is exactly in QS. Joseph verse 20, dinar also once in QS. Ali-Imran verse 75, gold eight times (one in QS. At-Taubah verse 34), and the last one silver six times, and one in QS. Al-Kahfi verse 19.


Al-Maqrizi, said that the currency that was circulated or used among the Arab community during the Jahiliyah era was gold and silver sourced from various kingdoms, such as the Roman Dinar and the Dirham from Persia (Karim, 2007).


This, shows that the types of currencies used by Muslims in the time of the Prophet were Dinar and Silver


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