Sharecropping (Hadith No. 1980)
Volume 3, Book 36, Number 485 :
Narrated by Abdullah bin Umar (radiallaahu `anhu)
“Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) gave the land of Khaibar to the Jews to work on and cultivate and take half of its yield. Ibn ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) added, “The land used to be rented for a certain portion (of its yield).” Nafi mentioned the amount of the portion but I forgot it. Rafi’ bin Khadij (radiallaahu `anhu) said, “The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) forbade renting farms.” Narrated ‘Ubaid-Ullah Nafi’ said: Ibn ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) said: (The contract of Khaibar continued) till ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) evacuated the Jews (from Khaibar).
Sharecropping is a system of agriculture in which a landowner allows a tenant to use the land in return for a share of the crops produced on the land.
There is no harm in renting land for a permissible work, like farming or planting or for building and so on.
Imam Ibn Mundhir (may Allah be pleased with him) said in the book of al-Ijma’:
‘They agreed that renting a land in return of gold and silver for a limited period of time is permissible’.
However, Tawuss and Hassan said that this is disliked.
However, if the land is agricultural, and good for farming, planting or building then the benefit (profit) has to be defined.
Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) stated in Al-Minhaj:
‘If the land is good for farming, planting and building, then the profit has to be defined beforehand. It is enough in principle to define the farming by what is planted in it. If it is stated that one can benefit from it by whatever means he wishes, it is correct. It is the same if it is said: ‘If you wish you farm it or you plant it’, this is correct as well.
There is no harm in renting land for something precise, like money, gold or silver. The evidence is in the authentic Hadith that Handhala bin Qays asked Rafi’ bin Khadij about renting land. He replied: ‘The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) forbade us to rent land. He said, I asked: ‘Is it forbidden to rent it for gold and silver? He replied: ‘he forbade to rent it for what comes out of it as crops/production; it is permissible to rent it for gold and silver’.
The juristic reasoning by analogy to gold and silver is all what is definite even the food, be it similar to what is produced from it or not.
[Taken from IslamWeb]