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Rules of Muzariah

2328. Muzariah means that the owner of a land or a person who the land is in his possession makes a contract with a farmer so that he would cultivate the land which is at his disposal and give a share of the crop to the land owner.

2329. Muzariah has certain conditions:

I. 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 leaves the land at the farmer’s disposal with the intention that he would do farming in it, and the farmer accepts it.

II. Both the owner of the land and the farmer should be adult and sane, and should conclude the agreement of Muzariah with their intention and free will. They should also not be feeble-minded persons, who are barred from the right of discretion by Shariah judge; but if the farmer is feeble-minded, it does not harm Muzariah unless he (the farmer) has to spend some money.

III. The entire produce of land should not be given to one party.

IV. The share of each of them should be fixed, ½ 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 Muzariah will not be valid.

V. 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 form 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.

VI. 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 Muzariah is in order.

VII. The type of crop must be specified, but if the two sides are in a place that only one crop is produced, even if they do not specify, that crop is considered and if there are different crops, they must specify unless only a particular crop is customary.

VIII. The owner should specify the land, if he has several tracts of land, which differ from one another. For example, if he tells the farmer to till and cultivate any of those lands, without specifying any one, Muzariah will be void.

IX. 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.

2330. 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, the Muzariah is valid, if they know that something will remain after deducting that quantity.

2331. If the agreed period of Muzariah (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. But if the owner does not agree to such an agreement, he can ask the farmer to remove the crop from there. And if the farmer sustain 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.

2332. 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 Muzariah 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.

2333. The owner of land and the farmer cannot cancel the contract of Muzariah 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.

2334. If the landowner or the farmer dies after concluding the contract of Muzariah, 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 Muzariah will become cancelled. But if the farmer had completed his task, and fulfilled his assignment, then the Muzariah 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.

2335. If it becomes known after cultivation, that the contract of Muzariah had been void, and if the seeds have been the property of the landowner, the produce will belong to him. 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.

2336. If the seeds belong to the farmer, and if it becomes known after cultivation that the contract of Muzariah 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. If the landowner is not agreeable, he can ask the farmer to remove the crop from the land, even before it is ready, he cannot compel him to allow the crop to remain on his land. And in any case, the landowner cannot compel the farmer to pay rent and let the crop remain on his land.

2337. If roots of the crop remain in the land after harvesting the crop, and if after the expiry of the contract of Muzariah they grow again in the next year, if the landowner and the farmer have given up farming in a way that it is out of their possession, the remaining roots belongs to none (part of Mobahat) and if they have agreed that all crops and its roots are common, they must divide and if their agreement covers only the fist year, the second year crop will go to owner of seeds.