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The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd al-Rahman II ordered a new minaret, while in 961 Al-Hakam II enlarged the building and enriched the Mihrab.
The Jizya was lesser than the Zakat, and both were one of the main sources of income for the Muslim rulers in lands occupied by Islamic tribes but populated still by Christians, to provide all needed services for all people living in the land, especially the poor.
In planning the mosque, the architects incorporated a number of Roman columns with choice capitals.
Some of the columns were already in the Gothic structure; others were sent from various regions of Iberia as presents from the governors of provinces.
Abd al-Rahman I and his descendants reworked the building over the next two centuries to fashion it as a mosque, starting in 784.
Additionally, Abd al-Rahman I used the mosque (originally called Aljama Mosque) as an adjunct to his palace and named it in honour of his wife.
It is commonly believed that the site of the Mosque-Cathedral was originally a Christian church dedicated to Saint Vincent the Third, which was divided and shared by Muslims and Christians after the Islamic conquest of the Visigothic kingdom.