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Land Tax alā l-misāa and muqāsama: Legal Theory and the Balance of Social Forces in Early Medieval Iraq (6th-8th Centuries C.E.)

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The article argues that any analysis of tax policies must be grounded in the given society’s ‘mode of production’. This is demonstrated through analysis of the political relationship between the Abbasid state and the landlords, and the reasons why certain prominent Muslim jurists between 750 and ca. 900. promoted muqāsama in the Sawād of Iraq. These jurists’ tax policy is explained with reference to Haldon’s concept of the tributary mode of production. It is concluded that according to the jurists, muqāsama favoured a redistribution of surpluses between the state and the landowners which could strengthen relations between the Abbasid state and the powerful landlords in Iraq.


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