Rules regarding Muzari'ah (temporary sharecropping contract)
2236. One of the many types of Muzari'ah means that the owner of a land agrees to hand over his land to a farmer, so that he would cultivate it, and give a share of the crop to the landowner.
2237. Muzari'ah has certain conditions:
1. That the owner of land confirms to the farmer that he has given him the land for farming, and the farmer also asserts that he has accepted it. Alternatively, without their uttering anything, the owner of the land keeps the land at the farmer's disposal with the intention that he would do farming in it, and the farmer accepts it.
2. Both the owner of the land and the farmer should be adult and sane, and should conclude the agreement of Muzari'ah with their intention and free will. They should also not be feeble minded persons, who squander their wealth on useless things. Similarly, the owner of the land should not be a bankrupt person.
But if the agreement in which he enters with the farmer does not in any way involve any property over which the bankrupt person has no right of discretion, then there will be no objection.
3. As a precaution, the owner and the farmer should each share the entire produce of the land. But this condition does not appear to be necessary. Hence, if they, for example, agree to the condition that the harvest in the first half or at the end, will belong to one of them, the agreement of Muzari'ah will be valid.
4. The share of each of them should be fixed, like, 1/2 or 1/3 etc. of the crop. If no share is fixed, and the owner of the land simply says: "Cultivate this land and give me whatever you like", it will not be in order. Similarly, if instead of fixing a share, a fixed quantity of the crop is offered for the farmer or the landowner, the Muzari'ah will not be valid.
5. The period for which the land is to remain in possession of the farmer should be specified, and it is necessary that the period should be long enough to make a harvest possible from the land. And if this period is made to commence from a specified day, and to end with the harvest time, it will be sufficient.
6. The land should be arable, and if it is barren but can be made fit for farming by some improvements being done on it, the contract of muzari'ah is in order.
7. If the farmer is supposed to sow seeds for a particular crop, then that crop must be specified. For example, it must be specified whether it will be rice or wheat, and if it is rice, for example, which type of rice will be sown.
However, if they do not have any particular crop in view, or the crop which both of them have in view is known, it is not necessary that they should define it.
8. The owner should specify the land, if he has several tracts of land which differ from one another in their requirements. But if they do not differ in their requirements, it is not necessary to specify. For example, if he tells the farmer to till and cultivate any of those lands, without specifying any one, muzari'ah will be valid.
9. The expenses which each of them will incur should be specified. However, if the expenditure which each of them should incur is known, it is not necessary to declare it.
2238. If the owner settles with the farmer that a certain quantity of the crop will belong to one of them, and the remaining quantity will be divided between them, that muzari'ah is void, even if they know that something will remain after deducting that quantity. Of course, if they agree between themselves that some of the seeds sown, or the tax payable to the government, will be deducted from the harvest, and the rest will be divided between them, this muzari'ah is in order.
2239. If the agreed period of muzari'ah (tenancy) comes to end, and the usual crop is not obtained, there will be no objection if the owner of the land agrees that the crop may remain on his land on payment of rent, or without it, and if the farmer is also agreeable to it, provided that, both of them had agreed at the time of fixing that muzari'ah will end regardless of any crop becoming available.
But if the owner does not agree to such an arrangement, he can ask the farmer to remove the crop from there. And if the farmer sustains a loss by removing the crop, it will not be necessary for the owner to compensate the farmer for it. And the farmer who is willing to pay something to the owner, to allow the crop to stand on his land, cannot compel him to agree.
2240. If farming becomes impossible on the land due to some eventuality, for example, if water supply is cut off from the land - the contract of muzari'ah is annulled. But if the farmer does not cultivate the land without any justifiable excuse, while the land remains in his occupation, and the owner has no discretion over it, he should pay the rent for that period to the owner at the usual rate.
2241. The owner of land and the farmer cannot cancel the contract of muzari'ah without the consent of each other, unless they had agreed in the contract to grant that option to one or both of them. In that case, they will cancel the contract according to the conditions laid in the agreement. Similarly, if any one of them acts contrary to the agreed conditions of the contracts, the other party in the contract will have the right to cancel the transaction.
2242. If the landowner or the farmer dies after concluding the contract of muzari'ah, the contract is not terminated, and their heirs take their place. However, if the farmer dies, and if they had stipulated that the farmer himself would do the farming, the contract of muzari'ah will become cancelled.
But if the farmer had completed his task, and fulfilled his assignment, then the muzari'ah will remain valid, and the heirs will be given his share together with all his rights or accruals which were due to him. However, the heirs cannot compel the landowner to allow the crop to stand on his land.
2243. If it becomes known after cultivation, that the contract of muzari'ah had been void, and if the seeds have been the property of the landowner, the produce will belong to him and he will pay the farmer his wages and the expenses incurred by him, and the rent for the cow and other animals belonging to the farmer, which may have worked on the farm.
And if the seeds were the property of the farmer, the crop will belong to him, and he should pay the landowner the rent of the land and the expenses incurred by him, and rent for the cow and other animals belonging to the landowner which may have worked on the farm. And in both the cases, it will be obligatory to pay the agreed amount only, even if the other party is aware that the usual entitlement is more than that.
2244. If the seeds belong to the farmer, and if it becomes known after cultivation that the contract of muzari'ah had been void, there will be no objection if the landowner and the farmer agree that the crop may remain on the land against payment or otherwise.
Some Fuqaha have said that if the landowner is not agreeable, he can ask the farmer to remove the crop from the land, even before it is ready, and that even if the farmer is willing to pay something to the landowner, he cannot compel him to allow the crop to remain on his land. But this is not free from Ishkal. And in any case, the landowner cannot compel the farmer to pay rent and let the crop remain on his land, or even without any rent.
2245. If roots of the crop remain in the land after harvesting the crop, and if after the expiry of the contract of muzari'ah they grow again in the next year, if the landowner had not made an agreement with the farmer regarding his share in the remaining roots, the crop of the second year will belong to the landowner.
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