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Revenue Administration of the Umayyads


Revenue Administration of the Umayyads:

Its Distinctive Features:

  • Umayyads had more sources of revenue than that of orthodox caliphs.
  1. Zakat
  2. Usher
  3. Khums (1/5th share of war spoil to state),
  4. Kharaj (land tax to non-Muslims)
  5. Jizya (poll tax to non-Muslim.
  • Umayyad added several new ones, such as the tributes under treaties, presents and gifts on festivals, child tribute on Berber tribes etc.


  • Applied to non-Muslims.
  • Land tax. 1/4th ½ of the total produce of land.
  • Mawalis (new converts) were exempted but Ummayad forced them to pay kharaj which created resentment in their hearts.


  • Protection money for non-Muslims.
  • 1-4 dinars, 10-40 dirhams, depending upon the sources of income and wealth of the non-Muslims.
  • During Umayyad caliphate, new converts had to pay Jizya.

Child Tribute:

  • Morally reprehensible.
  • Berber tribes born greater number of children and used to sell as slaves to Arab clergy and nobels.
  • Had to pay tax on birth of child.

Fiscal System:-

  • Collected by provincial revenue officials and deposited in the provincial Bait al-Mal.
  • The provincial Sahb al-Kharaj supervised this work.
  • Expenses of the province like construction work, sobries, pension etc.
  • After bearing expenses, whatever left was submitted to central treasury at Damascus.

Military System of the Umayyads:-

  • Military system of Umayyad was borrowed from Byzantines.

Number and Pays of the Soldier:-

  • Military service was compulsory for all male Muslim population.
  • Large armies.
  • 1000 dirhams a year.
  • Special pay on special occasions like during war, after winning war etc. to win favourism/popularity.
  • Horsemen received double the pay of the foot soldier.
  • Iraqis were paid less than Syrians which created hatred in their hearts toward Umayyads.
  • Huge financial military expenses was one of the reasons of weakening of Umayyad Caliphate/Reign.

Weapons & Equipment:

  • Well-equipped according to the need of the time.
  • Same weapons/equipment as those of Byzantines.
  • Foot soldier was equipped with laces, bows and arrows, double-edged swords, long and small shield, mace with iron knobs, javelins etc, helmet and shirt of mail or breast plates.
  • Horsemen Bows & Arrows, Lances, Swords and Shields.
  • Heavy artillery like “Manjineeqs”, “arradah” and dabbabah. Transported by Camels.

Military Ranks:-

  • Roman/ or Byzantine metric system of Army.
  • Unit of 10 soldiers “Ashra” Ameer al Ashra.
  • Unit of 100 Squadron naib Commander.
  • Ten squadron of 1000 men led by a Qaid.
  • A corps of 10,000 solders under ten Qaids was commanded by an Ameer or General.
  • For different kind of military forces.
  1. The infantry
  2. The cavalry
  3. A service corps.
  4. Corps of engineers, called Naqqabeen.
  • Beside these, civil officers like the Qazi, the treasure, the paymaster, the translator etc.


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