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Resolutions of Iftaa' Board

Date Added : 02-11-2015


Resolution No.(80) by the Board of Iftaa`, Research and Islamic Studies:

 "Ruling on Leasing Lands  with Fruitful Trees before the Fruit  Ripens“

Date: 17/2/1425 AH, corresponding to 7/4/2004 AD.






What is the ruling on renting lands, cultivated with fruitful trees of unripe yield, for over a year and in return for a certain cash amount?

Answer: All success is due to Allah.

After study, research, and deliberation, the Board drew a distinction between two types of lands:

The First type: Uncultivated lands, and these take the ruling of Muzaaraa`h (sharecropping or cropping partnership contract) which is permissible according to the following Muslim scholars- although they have disagreed on some of the details: Ahmad, Malik, Al-Awzai, Is-haak, Mohammad, Ibn Abi Lailah, Al-Zahiryah, Tawoos, Al-Sho`bi, Ibn Sirene, and Al-Qaasim Bin Mohammad.

This transaction is considered lawful based on the Hadith in which Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with them) reported that: "Allah's Messenger (PBUH) contracted with the people of Khaibar the (trees) on the condition that he would have half the produce in fruits and harvest.” {Bukhari}.

Al-Imam An-Nawawi said: “The above Hadith indicates that Muzaaraa`h is permissible as it has been practiced by Muslims in all countries and in all times. It was permitted in Khaibar because it was intended as Musaaqaah {share tenancy or the partnership in the yield of trees}. Amongst the rules of Muzaaraa`h are: determining a time span such as a year or more and determining a share from the overall yield such as half or third each."

It is also permissible to rent such lands against a fixed amount of gold or silver or cash as reported in the Ahadith {prophetic traditions} pertaining to this issue such as those narrated on the authority of Bukhari and Muslim.

For example, it was narrated that Hanzalah Bin Qais said: “I asked Rafi`Bin Khadij about leasing land. He said: “The Messenger of Allah forbade leasing land. I said: “For gold or silver? He said: No, rather he forbade leasing it in return for what the land produces. As for gold and silver, there is nothing wrong with that. “ {Muslim}. Although renting is permissible, Muzaaraa`h is better as stated by some scholars: “ Muzaaraa`h is better because it is more justful.”


The second type: Lands with trees, and this type takes the ruling of Musaaqaa`h (share tenancy or the partnership in the yield of trees) . [Al-Ahkaam Magazine/1441]. Amongst the evidences that Musaaqaa`h is lawful is the above Hadith reported by Ibn Umar. It is also considered permissible according to the following scholars: Ahmad, Al-Shafi`e, Al-Awza`I, Abu Thawr, Abu Yousef, and Mohammad Bin Abi Laylah.

One of the rules in this type of transaction is that it is a condition that the share of each party from the overall yield of the land must be determined, a half or third each.

Therefore, it is impermissible to determine the share of the contracting parties according to the yield of a certain portion of trees. It is also impermissible to rent such lands in return for cash regardless of the time span, whether before or after the fruits had become sound or ripe. 

As regards selling the fruit, it is impermissible to do so unless it was sound or rosy since the Prophet (PBUH) forbade selling fruits before showing signs that they are sound and ripe. It was narrated that he {PBUH} forbade selling the produce several years in advance. Yahya related from Malik from Humayd at-Tawil from Anas ibn Malik that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, forbade selling fruit until it had become mellow. He was asked: "Messenger of Allah! What do you mean by become mellow?" He said: "When it becomes rosy." The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) added: "Allah may prevent the fruit from maturing, so how can you take payment from your brother for it." {Muslim}. Maturing means that the fruit is sound; therefore, it is impermissible to rent fruitful trees for their fruit {the trees are owned by the leasee}; whereas, it is permissible to sell the fruit after it had ripened. And Allah Knows Best.


The Board of Iftaa`
Chairman of the Iftaa` Board, Chief Justice, Izzaldeen At-Tamimi
Dr. Nooh Al-Qhodat
Dr. Mohammad Abu Yahia
Dr. Abdulkareem Khasawneh
Dr. Wasif Al-Bakhri
Sheikh Naei`m Mujahid
Sheikh Sae`id Hijjawi

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