Maps of the Ayyubid Sultanate

Two 12th-century Coins

Left: Central Circle: “the Imam al-Hasan”; Inner Margin: “al-Mustadi bi-amr Allah, Commander of the Faithful”; Middle Margin: “no god but God, unique, He has no associate, Abu Muhammad”; Outer Margin: “in the name of God, the Merciful, the COmpassionate, this dinar was struck in al-Iskandariyya the year seven and sixty and five hundred.”

Right: Central Circle: “extremely, Mahmud ibn Zangi, good”; Inner Margin: “and peace be upon them, the Just King”; Middle Margin: “Muhammad is the messenger of God, God’s blessing be upon him and his family”; Outer Margin: “Muhammad is the messenger of God who sent him with guidance and the religion of truth that he might make it supreme over all other religions even though the polytheists may detest it” [Q 9:33].

Left: Margin: “the Victorious King, Righteousness of the World and the Faith, Yusuf ibn Ayyub”

Right: Center: “the Imam al-Nasir li-Din Allah, Commander of the Faithful”; Margin: “this dirham was struck the year (six and eighty) and five hundred.”

Complicating the Sunni Revival

Mashhad al-Husayn (Aleppo)

Bismillah…Oh God! Give your blessing to Muhammad the prophet, ʿAli the mandator; al-Hasan the trustworthy, the poisoned, al-Husayn the martyr, the oppressed; ʿAli Zayn al-ʿAbidin; Muhammad al-Baqir, the standard of religion; Jaʿfar al-Sadiq, the commander; Musa al-Kazim, the loyal; ʿAli the pure, the contented; Muhammad the reverent, the pious; ʿAli al-Hadi the pure; al-Hasan al-ʿAskari; and the Master of Time, the Authority, al-Mahdi; and pardon whoever has worked for this shrine with his person, his opinion, and his fortune.

Oh God, Give your Blessing to our master Muhammad and to the family of Muhammad and offer them peace, May God be pleased with Abu Bakr, and ʿUmar, and ʿUthman, and ʿAli, May God be pleased with all the companions of God’s Prophet.

The Freer Canteen

Canteen, Freer Gallery of Art. Brass inlaid with silver. Ayyubid, mid-13th century.


Metropolitan Pyxis, depicting standing saints and the entry into Jerusalem, with Christ riding a donkey. Brass inlaid with silver, ca. 13th century.