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Armah (Ge'ez: አርማህ) (reigned 614–631), known in some Muslim sources as Al-Najashi (Arabic: النجاشي‎), was a king of the Kingdom of Aksum. He is primarily known through the coins that were minted during his reign.[1] It has been suggested that it was either he or more probably his father who gave shelter to the Muslim emigrants around 615–6 at Axum.[2] Confirmed Muslim sources indicates that the prophet Mohammed prayed an Absentee funeral prayer, known as Salat al-Gha'ib (Arabic: صلاة الغائب‎), a kind of funeral prayer that is performed upon a dead Muslim if they die in a place with no Muslims to pray for the dead. This is one of the justification provided by Muslims that Al-Najashi died as a Muslim.[3]

Kingdom of Aksum
Preceded by
King of Aksum Succeeded by

Scholar of ancient Ethiopia Stuart Munro-Hay (1947–2004) states that either Armah or Gersem were the last Axumite kings to issue coins. Bronze coins from the reign of Armah show him depicted as a full-length figure enthroned, with Christian cross motifs throughout.[4]

Armah's silver coins have an unusual reverse, showing a structure with three crosses, the middle one gilded. Munro-Hay quotes W.R.O. Hahn as suggesting that this is an allusion to the Holy Sepulchre, as a reference to the Persian capture of Jerusalem in 614.[5]


  1. ^ A letter to Antoine d'Abbadie, dated 8 January 1869, mentions a coin of this ruler. Rubenson, Sven, ed. (2 September 2000). Acta Aethiopica, Vol. III: Internal Rivalries and Foreign Threats, 1869–1879. Addis Ababa: Addis Ababa University Press. p. 3. ISBN 0-765-80728-9.
  2. ^ M. Elfasi, Ivan Hrbek (1988). Africa from the Seventh to the Eleventh Century. UNESCO. p. 560.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Markowitz, Mike (22 July 2014). "The Coinage of Aksum". CoinWeek. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  5. ^ Munroe-Hay, Stuart C. (24 June 1991). Aksum: An African Civilization of Late Antiquity. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. p. 91. ISBN 0748601066.
  • Atkins, Brian; Juel-Jensen, Bent (1988). "The Gold Coinage of Aksum: Further Analyses of Specific Gravity, A Contribution to Chronology". Numismatic Chronicle (148).