The revenue system was in accordance with the Islamic theory and duly inherited from the Ghaznavids. It was, however, compatible to the local conditions of India. The state demand on agricultural produce was the main source of income. The general rate of the state demand was one-fifth of the income which was increased by Ala-ud-Din Khalji to one-half due to administrative reasons. Tax could be paid in both cash and kind. Village headmen helped the local officials in collection of taxes and received their commission. There were also tributary chiefs whose obligation to the state fluctuated in proportion to the strength of the central Government. Officials in far-flung areas were often paid in the form of assignments of the revenue accruing from certain areas called iqta. Among the other sources of income were import duties, the ghanimah (the spoils of war), the imposts on mines and treasure-troves and jaziyah, i.e., tax levied on non-Muslims in return of which they were provided assurance for security of life and property by the government. Contemporary historians do not make any mention about zakat but their silence denotes that zakat was voluntarily paid by Muslims as a religious duty. Fiqh-i-Firoz Shahi mentions a separate treasury for zakat.
This article was last updated on Monday, Jan 03, 2005