The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a term designating a conditional grant of an allotment of land (a type of benefice) to feudal lords in the countries of the Middle East in the Middle Ages. The iqta is first mentioned in Arab sources in the late seventh century but became widespread during the eighth through the tenth centuries under the Abba-sids. In the ninth century the term iqta began to be used for the caliph’s grant of a province to an emir, with the right to collect all or part of the taxes for his own use. The lands of the iqtas were considered to be state-owned, but in practice, even in the ninth century, they began to turn into conditional feudal private property like a fief. The fundamental difference between the iqta and state lands was that on the state lands the state appeared as the sole owner of the lands and the direct (through its financial apparatus) exploiter of the peasants, and on the iqtas, the right to collect taxes, as well as the management of them, passed to the vassals (or muqtia). The stock of iqta lands was greatly expanded in the Seljuk state (11th and 12th centuries) and in the Mongol Empire of Hulagu and his successors (13th and 14th centuries). The owners of iqtas in Iran, Middle Asia, and Azerbaijan, in addition to tax immunity, gained administrative and judicial immunity in the mid-14th century. In Egypt, the iqta received its greatest development under the Ayyubids (12th and 13th centuries) and the Mamluks (13th to 16th century) and was retained until the early 19th century. The iqta as a form of conditional feudal ownership was known in the Sultanate of Delhi; in the Empire of the Great Moguls, it was known as a jagir. In the Ottoman Empire, the terms ziamet and timar were used for the iqta.


Khrestomatiia po istorii Khalifata.[Moscow] 1968.
Pevzner, S. B. “Ikta v Egipte v kontse XIII-XIV vv.” In the collection Pamiati akad. I. Iu. Krachkovskogo. Leningrad, 1958.
Petrushevskii, I. P. Zemledelie i agrarnye otnosheniia v Irane XIII-XIV vekov. Moscow-Leningrad, 1960. Pages 256–269.
Semenova, L. A. Salakh ad-din mamliuki v Egipte. Moscow, 1966. (Bibliography.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
6-7: Private land dominates: cannot be transferred; usufruct rights; not inheritable, reverted to the state after death (iqta, Prazo)
(104) The concession (iqta') of the Imam became void if the person who wanted to reclaim the land had failed to cultivate it within three years.
Iqta: Granting of ownership or usufruct rights over state land by the state to individuals in recognition of their services for the sake of Islam.
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(99) An administrative land grant, Iqta, evolved into a system of tax farming used by several Islamic groups.
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1029) wrote some modern pages denouncing the harmful economic and social effects of the iqta system, grants to soldiers of rich lands in lower Iraq.
2.) Certain political and economic institutions developed outside of the bounds of religion, such as the office of Sultan as a governing military position, and the practice of Iqta' (land-grants) as a politico-economic system.
The characteristic features of the sultanate were the leading role of a military of foreign ethnic origin, the institution of military slavery, the introduction of a system of an allotment of arable land in exchange for military service (iqta'), and a deliberate patronage of Sunni religious culture.