Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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(2,440 words)

(a.), lit. “the act of weighing”, from wazana to weigh, to balance, cf. also mīzān [q.v.], a balance, scales; and for weights in general, see makāzīl and mawāzin .

1. As a term of numismatics.

Until the 20th century, when metallic currencies were supplanted by fiduciary money and other forms of monetary instruments, the Islamic world used gold and silver as their common medium of exchange and copper as a largely token currency.

The two intrinsic qualities that governed the value of these metals as coins were the purity of their alloys and the weights at which they we…

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Darley-Doran, R.E. and Stoetzer, W., “Wazn”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 24 July 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_COM_1347>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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