Abd al-Malik (685-705) was one of the most important Umayyad caliphs. He enforced several reforms to strengthen the caliphate and the caliph, and to assert its governmental power throughout the realm. On that note he banned the Persian and Byzantine coins in circulation, and replaced them by his own coins with Arabic-Islamic inscriptions. This dirhem was minted in Basra in the year 82 AH (701), a city that had been built around a military base only decades earlier. Basra was an important strategic stronghold, but also a busy port and trade city, and a center of Islamic learning. The inscriptions on the coin are suras from the Koran and the indication of the coin's place and year of production.