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Subject : Ruling on Leasing Land for Agriculture

Fatwa Number : 3747

Date : 23-02-2023

Classified : Leasing

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

A land owner leases it to a farmer for a certain sum of money (For example, 25 JDs per dunum) and the produce is the farmer`s alone and the latter also bears the loss in case it happened since the landowner takes the agreed upon sum in advance. In light of this, what is the ruling of Sharia on leasing land for agriculture?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

It is allowed to lease white land (Land that has no trees) for a certain sum of money. This is supported by the following narration: 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.'" {Transmitted by Muslim}.

An-Nawawi said: "Al-Shafie, Abu Hanifah, and many scholars said that it is permissible to lease land for gold and silver." {Shareh An-Nawawi Ala Sahih Muslim, Vol.10: 198}.

However, it isn`t permissible to lease the lands that have productive trees but their fruits haven`t ripened yet because this is selling unripe fruit and such a thing is fobrbidden. However, it is permissible for the farmer and the owner of such land to engage in Mosaqah contract (Crop sharing contract over the lease of a plantation) of course after meeting its conditions stipulated by Sharia.

Consequently, it is permissible to lease land that has no trees for a certain amount of money, but it isn`t permissible to lease land that has productive trees, and the latter is the view adopted in the Iftaa` Council`s Resolution No. (80), which highlights cases of lands that have trees and lands that don`t. This Resolution states: "It is well known, here, that it is permissible to lease this type of land (Land with no trees) for a certain amount of gold and silver or money based on the narrations mentioned in this regard." It also states: "Therefore, in this type of land (Land that has trees), it isn`t permissible to specify a certain share from the fruits of a certain section of trees. Moreover, it isn`t permissible to lease such land for a year, more or less than that, before the fruits are about to ripen or are ripened, after the fruits are about to ripen or are ripened." And Allah the Almighty knows best.



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