The Evolution of the Sultanic Fisc and al-Dhakhīrah during the Circassian Mamluk Period by Daisuke Igarashi

Daisuke Igarashi
University of Tokyo

Mamluk Studies Review, Vol. 14, 2010 pp.85

I have shown in a previous article that al-Ẓāhir Barqūq, the first sultan of the Circassian Mamluks (r. 784–91, 792–801/1382–89, 1390–99), possessed several private properties, especially landed estates, in such forms as milk (pl. amlāk; privately-owned land) or waqf (pl. awqāf; Islamic endowment) land, and that he organized their management through the establishment of a new bureau, the Dīwān al-Amlāk wa-al-Awqāf wa-al-Dhakhīrah. 1 Although it is unsurprising that the Mamluk sultans possessed private assets that were independent of the state purse, their inclination to hold private property—especially in the shape of agricultural lands—only became popular in the late fourteenth century. From Barqūq’s reign onwards, successive sultans developed a variety of ways to increase the financial resources of the sultanic fisc. Eventually, the scale of the sultanic fisc would reach its apogee under the reigns of al-Ashraf Qāytbāy (r. 872–901/1468–96) and alAshraf Qānṣūh al-Ghawrī (r. 906–22/1501–16), two prominent sultans from the late Mamluk period. 

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