The mint name has thus far remained undeciphered. At this time the caliphate was destined to be divided between two heirs - al-Muwaffaq and al-Mufawwid. The former was to receive Baghdad (Madinat al-Salam) and everything to the east and south. The latter to receive Samarra (Surra man Ra'a) and everything to the west and north. It is likely that the mint name refers to a palace compound in the vicinity of Samarra.
The cataloguer was unable to find any hints at the decipherment of the mint name in the readily accessible sources, neither in the encyclopedia of Islam nor in the standard histories of Al-Tahiari and Ibn al-Athir. It is clear that Ja'far al-Mufawwid, son of the caliph, was much the junior of the two heirs. The leading power was the caliph's brother, al-Muwaffaq, the other heir, who strove to ensure that al-Mufawwid would remain largely in the background, devoid of any real authority. In 270, al-Muwaffaq succeeded in extirpating the Zanj, who had been in rebellion in southern Iraq for twelve years and was duly welcomed into Baghdad with much jubilation. Perhaps he allowed his nephew the conciliatory honour of a new residence somewhere in the vicinity of Samarra, already a city in decline? In that case, this coin would have served as an announcement of the new abode. But this is speculation and further research is needed to determine the precise nature of this remarkable issue.
See also front cover illustration.