Dictionary term

Definition of "Al-‘ushur"

Lit: One-tenth. Tech: Al-‘ushur were imposed on goods of mer- chants who came to the Muslim lands from non-Muslim countries which had no treaty with the Muslims. Eventually, al-‘ushur were extended to all the caravans, whether for internal or external trade, and to Muslim and non-Muslim merchants. For a Muslim merchant, al-‘ushur were the same as 2.5 per cent annual zakah on merchandise. A non-Muslim subject (dhimmi) had to pay double of what a Muslim would pay, whereas a mer- chant from a foreign country which had no relations with the Muslims had to pay double of what a dhimmi would pay. It used to be an important source of revenue for the Muslim state.

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