SHARECROPPING CONTRACTS (MUZARA’AH AND MUSAQAAH)
This is a contract between two parties: (i) the owner of land, or somebody who possesses the benefit of it such as a tenant or a beneficiary, and (ii) another person who takes on the responsibility of cultivating the land, in exchange for a proportion of the gains.
Ruling 478: There are several conditions for such contracts:
(1) That the gains are divided between them both in specified undivided portions, like a half or a quarter.
(2) The period should be specified and it should be appropriate for the cultivation and farming, whether it is specified in terms of months, seasons or years.
(3) The land should be identified in such a way that there is no ambiguity.
(4) The division of the responsibilities in regards to the seeds, tools, labourers, etc. should be specified.
(5) The land should be capable of being cultivated.
Ruling 479: Once they have agreed amongst themselves the type of cultivation or the specified time or method, it is not permissible to contravene the agreement, and neither party can suppose anything further to be part of the contract.
Ruling 480: If the contract is silent on the matter of government taxes, then the government tax on the land will be borne by the land owner; as for the tax on the farming and cultivation, it will be taken out of the gains arising out of the cultivation before it is divided.
This is a contract between two parties: (i) the owner of cultivated plants, such as date trees and grapevines, or the person who owns their fruit in any way, and (ii) another person who takes on the responsibility of watering the plants, as well as maybe caring for them, tending to them and fertilizing them, and the like.
Ruling 481: There are several conditions for such agreements:
(1) The fruit should be divided amongst them both in specified undivided portions, as an obligatory precaution.
(2) The period and the plants to be watered should be specified, as well as what responsibilities both of them bear in regards to the work, the tools, and the like.
(3) The plants must be rooted in the land.
(4) This contract must take place before the plants bear fruit, or after they bear fruit but before they mature provided that their maturation requires watering.
(5) There should be capability in watering the plants to the level sufficient to achieve the desired fruits.
Ruling 482: Both muzara’ah and musaqaah are binding contracts, formed by offer and acceptance by any way that indicates it, and they are not annulled except if both parties agree or by one party who has an established right of withdrawal. Therefore, it is necessary that the two parties are capable of contracting with one another, and that neither of them have restrictions on dealing with their own affairs by reason of insanity, childhood or foolishness.