Sawad was the name used in early Islamic times (7th–12th centuries)
for southern Iraq. It means "black land" and refers to the stark
contrast between the alluvial plain of
Mesopotamia and the Arabian
desert. Under the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates, it was an official
political term for a province encompassing most of modern
for the western desert and al-Jazira in the north).
As a generic term, it was used to denote the irrigated and cultivated
areas in any district, in
Arabic and Persian.
Schaeder, H.H. (1997). "Sawād". In Bosworth, C. E.; van Donzel, E.;
Heinrichs, W. P.; Lecomte, G. The Encyclopaedia of Islam, New Edition,
Volume IX: San–Sze. Leiden: E. J. Brill. p. 87.
Michele Campopiano, “Land Tax Alā l-misāḥa and muqāsama: Legal
Theory and Balance of Social Forces in Early Medieval
Iraq (Sixth to
Eighth Centuries)”, in Journal of the Economic and Social History of
the Orient, 54/2,