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kwaw  kwaw is offline
Join Date: 29 Dec 2003
Location: Nr. Ephesus, Turkey
Posts: 5,400

Originally Posted by kwaw
Waraq was a term used for 'paper' money among Jewish merchants of the 11th century. In a letter from the Merchant Barhan of Mahdiyya to Nehorai b. Nissim among the Geniza documents regarding shipments sent in the year 380 [1046-47ce] he refers to pouches of coins to the value of 266 dinar but also to 1300 dirhams of the warak type. Paper money in the 11th century?! If 'waraq' money, then possibly 'waraq' playing cards too??

According to the site here, in reference to banking of the Geniza documents, waraq refers to silver coin, not paper money:

"Gold coin was called ‘ayn’, and silver coin was called ‘waraq’."

From the following from an Islam forum it appears dirham were silver coins, minted in Iraq [warak = silver], Dinar gold coins, used in Syria and Egypt:

Imam Malik narrates some of 'Umar's 'urf-based judgments. One example is the payment of blood money, which continued to be based on the prevailing custom. He made a distinction between people who used gold and those who used silver. Those who used gold had to pay a fine of approximately one thousand dinars (a dinar was a gold coin), while those who used silver had to pay approximately twelve thousand dirhams (a dirham was a silver coin). These coins, mentioned quite often in both fiqhi and early hadith literature, were in circulation in the urban areas and were probably minted in such neighboring countries as Persia. According to Malik, the Syrians and Egyptians used gold in their commercial transactions, while the Iraqis used silver. Such usage might have been influenced by the traditions of the Persian and Byzantine empires.

Malik also elaborates on the payment of blood money. He says that payment is to be made in the currency used by the people. For those who still deal in a cashless economy, namely those in the rural areas, payment is to be taken from their real wealth: their camels. Al Shaybani relates that 'Umar laid down the following payments: one hundred camels for those whose wealth was in camels (ahl al ibil), ten thousand dirhams for those who used silver (ahl al waraq), one thousand dinars for those who used gold (ahl al dhahab), two thousand one-year-old sheep for those whose wealth was in sheep (ahl al sha'), two hundred cows for those whose wealth was in cows (ahl al baqar), and two hundred dresses for those whose wealth was in clothing (ahl al hullah).

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