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Works on public finance by the sixteenth century Muslim scholars


  • Islahi, Abdul Azim


The subject of public finance and taxation marked the beginning of systematic and rather exclusive writing on economic issues in Islamic tradition in its earliest period. Within a few centuries a large number of works came out on the subject. This trend continued in the later centuries but with a difference in quantity, quality and style. Their number decreased, coverage contracted and they increasingly tended to deal with specific issues. Writings in the later centuries were characterized by imitation and repetition. In the sixteenth century the major works on the subject include al-Balatunusi's "Tahrir al-Maqal….." and Ibn Nujaym's "Risalah fi'l-kharaj" and " Mas'alat al-Jibayah …. " From the Persian speaking East, Fadl-Allah Khunji has discussed the Islamic provision of public finance in much details in his work Suluk al-Muluk a very comprehensive treatment of the subject in the 16th century. It presents many insights on the Islamic theory of public finance. In the Safawid Iran the issue of kharaj was a very controversial topic. But this controversy centered on whether acceptance of stipend from kharaj income is permissible for religious scholars.

Suggested Citation

  • Islahi, Abdul Azim, 2006. "Works on public finance by the sixteenth century Muslim scholars," MPRA Paper 18322, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 27 May 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:18322

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    Public Finance; Public Expenditure; Kharaj; Iqta`; Bait al-mal; Ibn Nujaym; Khunji; History of public finance in Islam.;

    JEL classification:

    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H82 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Governmental Property


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