Early Islamic Institutions

Early Islamic Institutions

Islamic History

Early Islamic Institutions
Administration and Taxation from the Caliphate to the Umayyads and Abbasids

Author(s): Abd al-Aziz Duri

Reviewed by: Muhammad Abdul Jabbar Beg, Cambridge



Abd al-Aziz Duri (1919-2010) was a well-known Arab writer on Abbasid history and Islamic Historiography, whose book Batith fi Nash’at [Ilm al-Ta’rikh [Inda al-[Arab was translated into English by the Orientalist Lawrence I. Conrad (Princeton University Press, 1983). Duri gained prominence as Professor of History and Chancellor of Baghdad University from 1963 to 1968, but he was sacked when the Ba’thist revolution of Ahmad Hasan al-Bakr came to power. In his adopted home of the Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan, he served as professor of history at Amman University and as a Fellow of the Royal Al al-Bayt Foundation for Islamic Thought in Amman.

Abdul Aziz Duri was a prolific writer on Islamic History specially in the Abbasid period. Among his well-known published works on Abbasid history in Arabic are: al-[Asr al-hereditary Abbasi al-awwal (The Early Abbasid Period) (1943), Dirasat li’l-[usur al-[abbasiyyah al-muta’akhkhirah (Studies in the late Abbasid period) (1945), Muqaddimah fi Tarikh Sadr al-Islam (An Introduction to the history of the dawn of Islam) (1945), and al-Nuzum al-Islamiyyah (The Islamic Institutions) (1950).

Abd al-Aziz Duri has also contributed chapters to various books, such as “Governmental institutions” in The Islamic City edited by Robert Bertram Serjeant (UNESCO, Paris, 1980), and a chapter on Iraq School of History to Ninth Century – A Sketch in Historians of the Middle East (edited by Bernard Lewis and P. M. Holt, 1962). It was not at all surprising that A.A. Duri was invited by the editors of the Encyclopaedia of Islam, second edition, to contribute more than half a dozen articles. On the whole, Abdul Aziz Duri had contributed some thirty articles in Arabic and English to learned journals at home and abroad. His article on workers’ guild entitled Nushu’ al-asnaf wa’l-tiiraf fi’l-Islam and Taxation in Khurasan were published in the journal of the kulliyat al-Adab.

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