What is Iqta in Delhi Sultanate?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Iqta in the Delhi Sultanate means land or land revenue entrusted to a person on specific conditions. Under the Iqta system, the land was divided into several large and small areas called ‘iqtas’, and the sultan ceded these iqtas to his soldiers, officers, and nobles. The holders of these iqtas were trusted agents of the Sultan.

Iqta System in Delhi Sultanate

Initially, an iqta was based on salary, but later, it became hereditary under Firoz Shah Tughlaq. Iqta was basically land assigned to officers instead of paying them for their services. Iqta means land or land revenue entrusted to a person on certain conditions.

  • The agricultural and land revenue system of the early Turkish sultans rested on two foundations, namely Iqta and Kharaj.
  • The iqta system provided the country with an agrarian system, while the members of the ruling class obtained income without permanent attachment to any area.
  • The holder of the Iqta was called ‘Iqtadar’ or ‘Mukti’ and had the right to administer and collect revenue from the Iqta.
  • The iqta system was introduced by Iltutmish and granted institutional status, but later it became the mainstay of the sultanate administration under the slave dynasty.

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