Kharaj during Umar Ibn Al-Khattab Reign (13-23 hijri / 634-643 AD)Analytic Study in the Origins and Evolution of this Concept

Discussion Committee: 
Prof. Jamal Jodeh
Mohammed Ismael Mohamed Ismael
This thesis titled "Kharaj during Umar Ibn Al-Khattab Reign (13-23 hijri / 634-643 AD), Origins and Evolution" discussed the issue of land tax upon the emergence of Islam among the Sassanid and Byzantine Empires. The study addressed the image and reality of Kharaj (or Land Tax) during Umar Ibn Al-Khattab reign according to modern oriental as well as Islamic studies. The research also studied and analyzed Kharaj during the dawn of Islam and was confined to the period that extended between the emergence of Islam and the end of Umar Ibn Al-Khattab's reign (23 hijri / 643 AD). Land Tax (Kharaj) first appeared in the Sassanid and Byzantine Empires to which historians and scholars dedicated a lot of studies through which they attempted to explain what is meant by Land Tax, taxation, the amount of this tax, the amendments that have been carried out regarding this tax as well as the impact of those amendments on the social and economical systems. Studies that addressed the issue of taxes in Islam are divided into two different approaches. Those two approaches have different ways of studying and analyzing the Kkaraj issue during the reign of Umar Ibn Al- Khattab. The first approach was wellhausen's school which was also supported by Becker, Ceatani, Bell, Grohmann, and Juynboll. This approach and its followers claimed that Islamic recitations (narrations) concerning Kharaj are fabricated and untrue. The second approach adopted Dennet's opinions which were supported by many Muslim historians such as Abdel Aziz Al-Duri, Husam Al-Deen Al-Samurra'I, Faleh Hussein and Ghayda' Katbi who confirmed that what Islamic recitations (narrations) mentioned about Kharaj was true. Earlier narrators and their followers have discussed the emergence of Land Tax and its amounts in the first conquests (Fotoh) of Al-Sham and Egypt. Those narrators confirmed that Caliph, Umar Ibn Al-Khattab did not impose Kharaj on conquered lands as a land tax, but rather imposed Al- Jizya tax or the total tax, whereas the definition of Kharaj as a Land Tax has been reported in the narrations of late narrators who lived during the late Umayyad reign and the early Abbasid dynasty one. It was reported that the terms: Al-Sulh, Al-Unwah and Kharaj as independent tax from the Jizya were not mentioned in the narrations of the earlier narrators when they talked about the Caliph Umar Ibn Al-Khattab's procedures in the new conquest centers, but were only used by late narrators who lived during the late Umayyad reign. Caliph Umar Ibn Al-Khattab's procedures in the conquered lands, especially concerning the taxes issue, have always been a point of debate between historians. Land Tax is one of these points of debate as well as how the ruler treated the Dhimmi in case he /she adopted Islam. This study confirms that wellhausen's theory is closer to truth in many of its aspects than Dennet's theory is. It also seems that forcing the Dhimmi in case he adopts Islam to pay the Land Tax (Kharaj) and exempting him from the Jizya only was not enforced during Umar Ibn Al- Khattab reign. The truth was that the Dhimmi used to be exempted from all of his tax commitments. The study also showed that placing Kharaj on the land because of the crisis in the state's treasury, regardless of the owner came late to the reign of the Four Righteous Caliphs.
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