Reforms of Abdul Malik

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Reforms of Abdul Malik:

Introduction:

The policy of the Umayyad derived its character from Abdul Malik, who was its real founder. With the restoration of peace in the Empire, Abdul Malik introduced number of reforms and administrative measures.

Introduction of Arabic as official language:

  • Abdul Malik introduced Arabic as the language of the empire.
  • At the time of Holy Prophet all records relating to administration was maintained in Arabic.
  • After the conquest of Persia, Syria, Egypt, Hazrat Umar (R.A) allowed the record of these provinces to continue in their own language.
  • Abdul Malik abolished this system.
  • Later on, Arabic also became the court language of Egypt and Persia.

Introduction of Arab Coinage:

  • Hitherto there was no Muslim Coinage.
  • During the time of Holy Prophet P.B.U.H and first caliph, Roman and Persian currencies were used.
  • Afterwards, many other currencies also became recognized.
  • The provincial governors had their own independent mints, which issued coin for local demand. The stamping and actual value was quite inexact, and counterfeiting was common. The extension of the empire and the development of the commerce rendered it necessary to have a stable and standard of currency. Abdul Malik established an Imperial Mint, withdrew all the variable coins in use in the country and issued in lieu of them his own coinage both gold and silver.

Fiscal reforms:

  • Muslims were only obliged to pay Zakat.
  • Abdul Malik in consultation with Hujjaj reimposed kharaj on new converts.
  • Muslim who hold lands in kharaj territory were also asked to pay usual land tax.

Development of Postal System:

  • Developed postal system established by Muwayiah.
  • All the provincial capitals were converted to imperial center by regular postal services for which he used relay of horses.

Arabisation of Empire:

With the object of excluding foreign influences from the affairs of state, he ordered that public offices should be held by Muslims only. This exclusion policy was carried to his furtherst limit by his lieutenant in Iraq, who endeavoured to exclude from the service of state not only non-Muslims, but also Muslims who were not Arab. This policy, however, was not successful as it left a widespread feeling of discontent which bore bitter fruits by the time of Marwan.

Improvement in the art of Arabic Language:

  • Important reform of Abdul Malik was the improvement in the art of Arabic writing.
  • Two problems with Arabic language.
  • It consisted of consonants only, with the result that one word can be pronounced in several sounds.
  • Many alphabets of Arabic language shape. Hajjaj bin Yousaf introduced vowel marks in the language.

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