Imposition of Khirāj
Political Issues
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

The Caliph ‘Umar (rta) imposed Khirāj on the conquered lands of Syria and Iraq. What is the justification of this imposition? Is it a kind of tax?


The Khirāj imposed by the Caliph ‘Umar (rta) on the conquered lands of Syria and Iraq was nothing more than rent imposed on public property. He refused to distribute it among the warriors and was of the opinion that it should belong to the state. However, instead of the state itself managing these vast areas, he chose to give them in the hereditary possession of the owners on the condition of a fair rent that would be paid to the state. This amount varied according to the produce and nature of the land. It is pertinent to mention here that Khirāj was imposed only on cultivated lands or lands which were a source of income for the farmers. Residential lands, for example were totally exempt from Khirāj.

Consequently, it cannot be regarded as a tax.

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