Dictionary term

Definition of "Al-Qabil"

In a contract of tax-farming (qibalah), a person who provides surety in landed property for the payment of tax. It is used in the same sense as al-kafil. The qabil was a tax-farmer who acted as an intermediary between the tax payers and the government’s tax collectors. When a person entered into a contract of qibalah, he was assumed to be account- able for a fair treatment of the tax payers besides being responsible for such development works as levelling of land, water-supply channels and rural roads. His expenses for this were met by diwan al-kharaj. The con- tract of qibalah was awarded by public auction. The tax-farmers were usually local chiefs, ex-administrative officers, managers and merchants. The contract was given to the lowest bidder. The bid meant the wage the tax-farmer would claim for collecting and depositing the tax (which was often in kind).

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