What is the ruling for someone who has a section of agricultural land that he does not farm, while our agriculture system constitutes either the lease of land from the state or farming of land that is in private possession? The question is, if someone provides the water, seeds and takes care of the land in the form of plowing, planting and harvesting, what is the percentage he is entitled to from the total yield? Is it a quarter, a third or half? I kindly ask for an answer. May you be rewarded with Jannah and may your eyes be blessed with the establishment of the Khilafah State.
From: Moomen Alharby
Wa Alaikum Assalaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatahu
Your question concerning the leasing of agricultural land...
My brother, al-Muzaara'ah is "the lease of land for agriculture", i.e. that is free from trees to someone else, so that he may cultivate it and take care of it in exchange for a certain fee or a percentage of the harvest. This is an issue of difference of opinion among the scholars. Some of them approve of it under certain conditions, while some do not approve of it. The most correct opinion according to the evidences which we have adopted is that it is not valid under any circumstances, whether the land falls under the obligation of the Kharaaj or the Tenth ('Ushr).
Among this evidence:
- It is reported that Rafi' Bin Khadeej said:
«كُنَّا نُخَابِرُ عَلَى عَهْدِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم، فَذَكَرَ أَنَّ بَعْضَ عُمُومَتِهِ أَتَاهُ فَقَالَ: نَهَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَنْ أَمْرٍ كَانَ لَنَا نَافِعاً، وَطَوَاعِيَةُ رَسُولِ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنْفَعُ لَنَا وَأَنْفَعُ. قَالَ: قُلْنَا: وَمَا ذَاكَ؟ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم: مَنْ كَانَتْ لَهُ أَرْضٌ فَلْيَزْرَعْهَا أَوْ لِيُزْرِعْهَا أَخَاهُ، وَلا يُكَارِيهَا بِثُلُثٍ وَلا بِرُبُعٍ وَلا بِطَعَامٍ مُسَمًّى»
"We were asking about the era of the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم." He remembered that some of his uncles came to him and said: "The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم prohibited a matter that was useful to us, but obedience to the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم is much more useful." He said: "We said: What was it?" He said: "The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said: 'Who owns a land shall cultivate it or have his brother cultivate it. But he shall neither lease it for a third, nor a fourth, nor a portion of food.'" Narrated by Abu Dawoud.
- It was reported that Ibn 'Umar said:
«مَا كُنَّا نَرَى بِالْمُزَارَعَةِ بَأْساً حَتَّى سَمِعْنَا رَافِعَ بْنَ خَدِيجٍ يَقُولُ: نَهَى رَسُولُ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَنْهَا»
"We did not see any harm in the lease of agricultural land, until we heard Rafi' Bin Khadeej say: "The Messenger of Allah sallalahu alaihi wasallam has prohibited it." Narrated by Ibn Qudamah in his Al-Maghny and narrated by Muslim an Ash-Shafi'iy with varying chains of transmission.
- Jaber said:
«نَهَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَنْ الْمُخَابَرَةِ»
"The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم prohibited al-Mukabarah." Narrated by Muslim from Jaber; and al-Mukhabarah is the lease of agricultural land.
- Bukhari narrated from Jabir, who said:
كانوا يزرعونها بالثلث والربع والنصف فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: «مَنْ كَانَتْ لَهُ أَرْضٌ فَلْيَزْرَعْهَا أَوْ لِيَمْنَحْهَا، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَفْعَلْ فَلْيُمْسِكْ أَرْضَهُ»
"They used to cultivate it for a third, a fourth or a half, then the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: "Whoever owns a land shall cultivate it or donate it, for if he does not do so, then his land will be taken."
- Abu Dawoud narrated from Zayd Bin Thabit, who said:
«نَهَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَنْ الْمُخَابَرَةِ، قُلْتُ: وَمَا الْمُخَابَرَةُ؟ قَالَ: أَنْ تَأْخُذَ الأَرْضَ بِنِصْفٍ أَوْ ثُلُثٍ أَوْ رُبْعٍ»
"The Messenger of Allah prohibited al-Mukhabarah. I asked: 'What is al-Mukhabarah?' He said: 'That you take the land for a half, a third or a fourth.'"
- And Abu Sa'eed reported:
«نَهَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَنْ الْمُحَاقَلَةِ»
"The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم prohibited al-Muhaalaqah." Narrated by An-Nasa'i and Muslim; al-Muhaaqalah is the lease of land for wheat.
- It is reported from 'Usayd Bin Thaheer in Sunan an-Nasa'i:
«نَهَى رَسُولُ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَنْ كِرَاءِ الأَرْضِ، قُلْنَا: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ، إِذًا نُكْرِيهَا بِشَيْءٍ مِنْ الْحَبِّ، قَالَ: لا، قَالَ: وَكُنَّا نُكْرِيهَا بِالتِّبْنِ، فَقَالَ: لا، وَكُنَّا نُكْرِيهَا عَلَى الرَّبِيعِ، قَالَ: لا، ازْرَعْهَا أَوْ امْنَحْهَا أَخَاكَ»
"The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم prohibited the leasing of land. We said: 'Oh Messenger of Allah, if we lease it for an amount of seeds?' He صلى الله عليه وسلم said: 'No.' He said: 'We used to lease it for hay.' He صلى الله عليه وسلم said: 'No.' 'We used to lease it for al-Rabee'' He صلى الله عليه وسلم said: 'No, cultivate it or give it to your brother." Al-Rabee' is the small river, i.e. the waterside, i.e. we used to lease it for the cultivation of the part that is at al-Rabee', meaning the waterside.
This is what we find most likely and what we have adopted. We say "what we find most likely" because there are scholars who approve of it under certain conditions according to inferences from the evidence...
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah
6th Sha'baan 1434 AH
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