Mithqal

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Gold dinar of Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, minted at Damascus, Syria in AH 75 (697/698 CE), having a weight of almost 1 mithqāl (4.25 grams)

Mithqāl (Arabic: مثقال‎‎) is a unit of mass equal to 4.25 grams which is mostly used for measuring precious metals, such as gold, and other commodities, like saffron.

The name was also applied as an alternative term for the gold dinar, a coin that was used throughout much of the Islamic world from the 8th century onward and survived in parts of Africa until the 19th century.[1] The name of Mozambique's currency since 1980, the metical, is derived from mithqāl.[2]

Etymology[edit]

The word mithqāl (Arabic: مثقال‎‎; “weight, unit of weight”) comes from the Arabic thaqala (ثقل), meaning “to weigh”. Other variants of the unit in English include miskal (from Persian or Urdu مثقال; misqāl), mithkal, mitkal and mitqal.

Indian mithqaal[edit]

In India, the measurement is known as mithqaal. It contains 4 mashas and 3½ raties (rata'ii; مثقال).[3]

It is equivalent to 4.25 grams when measuring gold,[4] or 4.5 grams when measuring commodities.[5] It may be more or less than this.[6]

Conversion factors[edit]

Unit Mithqāl Gold dinar Dirham Gram Troy ounce Ounce Grain
Mithqāl 1 1 0.70 4.25 0.13664 0.14991 65.5875

The mithqāl in another more modern calculation is as follows:

Unit Mithqāl Nākhud Gram Ounce
Mithqāl 1 19 3.642 0.117

Nakhud is a Baha'i unit of mass used by Baha'u'llah.[7] The mithqāl had originally consisted of 24 nakhuds, but in the Bayán, the collective works of the Babist founder the Báb, this was reduced to 19.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Johnson, Marion (1968), "The Nineteenth-Century Gold 'Mithqal' in West and North Africa", The Journal of African History, Cambridge University Press, 9 (4): 547–569, ISSN 0021-8537, JSTOR 180144, doi:10.1017/s0021853700009038 
  2. ^ "Metical" in Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa com Acordo Ortográfico. Porto: Porto Editora, 2003-2015. Accessed 1 April 2015. (in Portuguese)
  3. ^ Quarterly Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society. Pakistan Historical Society. 2006-01-01. p. 86. 
  4. ^ "Assessing the Nisaab of bank notes". IslamWeb. 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-09. 
  5. ^ "M". Economic Glossary. Retrieved 2007-03-09. 
  6. ^ "Glossary". The Clear Path. 2005. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-03-09. 
  7. ^ Smith, Peter (2000-01-01). A Concise Encyclopedia of the Baháí Faith. Oneworld. p. 250. ISBN 9781851681846. 
  8. ^ Honeyman, Nobel Augusto Perdu (2004-05-05). La relevancia de la pragmática en la traducción de textos multi-culturales: versión del Kitab-i-Aqdas (in Spanish). Universidad Almería. p. 508. ISBN 9788482406473.