After the conquests of Khorezm and Bukhara, the turn of Samarkand followed. In the army of the invaders was already Khorezm and Bukhara, forcibly converted to Islam. The siege of the city lasted 1 month. Tashkent and Ferghana people came to the aid of Samarkand, but they fell into a trap and almost all were killed. After a desperate resistance, Samarkand was forced to surrender. On the residents of the city was imposed indemnity, under the terms of which immediately paid the amount of 2 thousand dirhams and then, annually Samarkand will have to pay 200 thousand, as well as to give 30 thousand young people as hostages and guarantees of payment of indemnity. Samarkand had to build a mosque and burn all pagan gods. The city was forbidden to have its own army.


To split the local population, a decree was issued prohibiting the levy of tax on those who adopt the Muslim faith and perform circumcision, but when the residents of Samarkand adopted Islam, a new decree on the levy of tax is issued, as before.


There was a belated uprising, but the Arabs quickly suppressed it. In this way, the Arabs seized all the fortified points in the valleys of Zeravshan and Kashkadarya. In 716 year Kuteiba made a trip to Shash, Fergana and reached Kashgar. Among his troops were already 20 thousand soldiers from Bukhara, Nesef and Khorezm. Shash was burned, Fergana and Kasan were destroyed. Murder of Kuteiba in 718 year these predatory campaigns were interrupted only for 1 year, and then the campaigns of Arab commanders and rulers of Khorasan to Central Asia followed annually and were accompanied by robberies and massacres. Islam, which claimed that all power was from Allah, was to force the masses to come to terms with the oppressors. The Arabic language was spread everywhere, which should become the main means of communication in Maverannahr and contribute to the spread of Arab cultural influence.

In order to avoid interference in violent Islamization and cultural assimilation, the Arabs destroyed all the cultural heritage and cultural achievements of the peoples of Central Asia: literary monuments, written sources, everything that could interfere with Arab cultural influence.



Against the terrible Arab tyranny was made by all the people of Maverannahr. With heavy fighting Arabs had to conquer every city and every piece of land. Throughout Central Asia was a popular uprising and in the first half of the VIII century the region in the Syrdarya river basin was lost by the Arabs, and soon they were forced to retreat from the Ferghana valley, after a fierce struggle with the Ferghana rulers. Up to 810 year on the territory of Maverannahr did not stop the people’s liberation struggle. The decisive role in the defeat of the uprisings was played by the Arab concession in the land tax (kharaj), which was reduced by 25%, which meant the victory of the people, albeit temporary.

The situation of Arab governors in the conquered cities was fragile. They were only military chiefs and tax collectors. Local dynasties continued to exist next to them, and civil administration remained in their hands.



Throughout Central Asia, occupied by the Arabs, a single system of taxes was introduced – the population was collected per capita file and land tax. For higher strata of dehkans the Arabs preserved the land and all their property, grouping them into a stratum of feudal landowners, but now they have become co-owners of the land, as the land was considered the property of God and belonged to the Deputy of the prophet – Caliph. At the same time, the Arabs gave state lands, bazaars, baths, villages of military leaders and civil servants, All this could be inherited, but the Caliph remained the Supreme owner of the land and therefore all the gifted had to pay one tenth of the harvest or income.

The Arabs failed to conquer Central Asia and establish its political hegemony, but they brought feudalism, which differed from European or Russian the fact that there was no private ownership of land, not developed even feudal property.

A large area of irrigated land in Central Asia was extremely firmly attached to the peasant community due to the need for regular irrigation and monitoring of the serviceable condition of irrigation systems. The corvee here was economically unprofitable, so the forms of exploitation take the character of rent-tax (charged by products or money) and separately – payment for the use of water. Peasants were obliged to work on construction and preservation of the irrigation constructions which are in property of the feudal Lord. The wide distribution and land tenancy: the farmer had to give part of the harvest as payment for his allotment. In this category fell and slaves planted on the ground. Such dependence of peasants on the feudal Lord contributed to the emergence of a class of dependent farmers. But, at the same time, small economic communities remained, which produced everything necessary, they also provided labor for the construction of irrigation canals, monitored the serviceability of irrigation facilities, observed the equitable distribution of water and resolved disputes on its use, and also monitored the condition of pastures. It were splinters of a patrimonial system in the feudal state.

The internecine struggle of Arab tribes and individual feudal and religious groups intensified the actions of local rulers, weakening the Caliphate, which led to the overthrow of the ruling for 90 years dynasty of the Umayyad caliphs.

Historian-orientalist Khidoyatov G.A.
(in reduction, adapted)

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