The saints on the coins

History records that the Mughals in Kashmir were succeeded by Durrani and it was in 1753 when Ahmad Shah Abdali brought Kashmir under the Afghan Empire and established a dynasty known as the Durrani dynasty. This dynasty ruled Kashmir for about sixty years with its headquarters in Kabul.

They appointed their respective governors to administer Kashmir. Ahmad Shah, Suliman Shah, Timur Shah, Zaman Shah, Mohammad Shah, Shah Shuja, Qasir Shah and Ayiub Shah were the famous emperors of the Durrani dynasty.

They issued their gold, silver and copper coins from their various mints and Kashmir also formed their permanent mint from where they issued their Kashmir coins with the mint name Zarb-i-Kashmir. They had wonderful strikes, with interesting couplets on the obverse of their coins and the reverse of their coins mentioning the coin’s name and date.

The posthumous editions of Sheikh Hamza and Sheikh Noor ud Din also bear a wonderful couplet describing the status of the two patron saints. The Sheikh Humza Makhdoom was referred to here as “Qutubul Arifeen”, meaning the head of the priests.

This is essentially a Sufi status bestowed on practicing saints. Since I’m not very familiar with Sufi epistemology, I can’t interpret the term.

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