In agricultural activities, there are times when farmers have to lease their land to increase the space area for the agricultural activities and sometimes, it is due to them not owning their own land. Land leasing is done by getting cash or by dividing the agricultural product between the land owner and the farmer at 1/2 or 1/4 profit sharing, depending on the agreement between the two parties. Payment for leasing land by the farmer is done via ijarah contract, whereas land leasing using the agricultural product as payment is done through the muzara‘ah contract (sharecropping). Islamic scholars are unanimous in accepting the practice of land leasing through monetary means; nevertheless, they are mostly not in agreement in the case of land leasing through agricultural produce. Abu Yusuf and those who accepted the leasing of land by paying with agricultural produce are of the opinion that the muzara‘ah contract (sharecropping) can be likened to the mudarabah contract carried out in the business. Whereas Abu Hanifah and those who rejected the muzara‘ah contract felt that it contains elements of gharar. The gharar element existed because the agricultural produce used as payment for land lease does not exist yet when the contract is carried out. Islamic scholars are also not unanimous in determining whether it is the land owner or the farmer who must pay tithe for the produce gained from the leased land. A study was done in Selangor to see the land leasing practice among paddy or rice farmers. Four hundred and three (403) tithe payers were chosen as respondents in this study. The results showed that majority of the paddy farmers lease land using monetary payments compared to paying with their produce. The payment for land lease is done either prior to planting the crops, after harvesting or annually. The study found that the majority of respondents are of the opinion that the responsibility to pay the tithe is the land owner.
Key words: Land leasing, crop sharing (pawah), shared tenancy, ijarah, muzara‘ah.
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