BEDR AL-D?N IBN CEMAA?S VIEWS ON THE REVENUES, FINANCIAL STRUCTURE AND EXPENDITURES OF THE STATE

Abstract

Author(s): Abdullah KAHRAMAN, Muhammet SA?LIK

Ibn Cemâa viewed the bayt al-mal, or the public treasury, as the center of state revenues and expenditures, implying that the financial structure of that period was based on an etatist system. For taxes levied on the general public and revenues of war were collected in the bayt al-mal, which were then spent for the benefit of the country as public expenditures and military expenses. Moreover, these revenues collected in the treasury could not be spent for the benefit of a particular group but rather that of the entire Muslim community. Ibn Cemaa considered as the basic state revenues those from the land, booty (fay), and fief. He classified as other sources of revenue the war booty, alms money, and taxes levied on the public in his work. All these revenues of the state were collected in the bayt al-mal, and spent for necessary expenses. The surplus revenue left in the treasury were either spent for military, economic, healthrelated etc. expenses based on the collective needs of the muslim community, or saved in the bayt al-mal for future spending. The iqta (fief) revenues, which came from the public land, whose ownership was transferred to a private person, or that remained as state property but whose tenure was given to private persons, was a significant institution throughout the Islamic history since the time of Prophet Muhammad (swt) and the Rightly Guided Caliphs. Ibn Cemaa discussed the question of fief revenues granted to the military personnell, considering their land tenure, rent and ownership as the sources of revenue in post-war conditions. For these generated incomes necessary for the soldiers’ basic subsistence needs and living expenses. For him the head of the state did not have the privilege due to his position over public revenues. In fact Abu Bakr the first caliph had defined the status of the head of the state vis-a-vis public goods as a warden of the orphan’s property; and Omar the second caliph had described it as a custodian of the orphan’s property. For this reason, Ibn Cemaa views it appropriate for the head of the state to be granted a salary based on the mores of the time, if need be.

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