37. In the later (years) of dynasties, customs duties are levied.



It should be known that at the beginning, dynasties main­tain the Bedouin attitude, as we have stated 652 Therefore, they have few needs, since luxury and the habits that go with it do not (yet) exist. Expenses and expenditures are small. At that time, revenue from taxes pays for much more than the necessary expenditures, and there is a large surplus.

The dynasty, then, soon starts to adopt the luxury and luxury customs of sedentary culture, and follows the course that had been taken by previous dynasties. The result is that the expenses of the people of the dynasty grow. Especially do the expenses of the ruler mount excessively, on account of his expenditures for his entourage and the great number of allowances he has to grant. The (available) revenue from taxes cannot pay for all that. Therefore, the dynasty must increase its revenues, because the militia needs (ever) larger allowances and the ruler needs (ever) more money to meet his expenditures. 653 At first, the amounts of individual imposts and assessments are increased, as we have stated. Then, as expenses and needs increase under the influence of the gradual growth of luxury customs and additional allowances for the militia, the dynasty is affected by senility. Its people are too weak to collect the taxes from the provinces and remote areas. Thus, the revenue from taxes decreases, while the habits (requiring money) increase. As they increase, salaries and allowances to the soldiers also increase. Therefore, the ruler must invent new kinds of taxes. He levies them on commerce. He imposes taxes of a certain amount on prices realized in the markets and on the various (imported) goods at the city gates. 653a (The ruler) is, after all, forced to this because people have become spoiled by generous allowances, and because of the growing numbers of soldiers and militiamen. In the later (years) of the dynasty, (taxation) may become excessive. Business falls off, because all hopes (of profit) are destroyed, permitting the dissolution of civilization and reflecting upon (the status of) the dynasty. This (situation) becomes more and more aggravated, until (the dynasty) disintegrates.

Much of this sort happened in the Eastern cities during the later days of the 'Abbasid and 'Ubaydid(-Fatimid) dynasties. Taxes were levied even upon pilgrims making the pilgrimage. Salah-ad-din Ibn Ayyub abolished all such institutions and replaced them with good works. The same also happened in Spain at the time of the reyes de ta'ifas. Yusuf b. Tashfin, the Almoravid amir, put an end to it. The same has also been happening in the cities of the Jarid in Ifrigiyah, ever since their chiefs gained control over them.654

God "is kind to His servants." 655