Haraç was developed from an earlier form of land taxation, kharaj, and was, in principle, only payable by non-Muslims; it was seen as a counterpart to zakat paid by Muslims. The haraç system later merged into the cizye taxation system.
Haraç collection was reformed by a firman of 1834, which abolished the old levying system, and required that haraç be raised by a commission composed of the kadı and the ayans, or municipal chiefs of rayas in each district. The firman made several other changes to taxation.
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