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Hadith Section > A Manual of Hadith > Chapter 23: Cultivation of Land (Hadith -- The Traditions)


Chapter 23:
Cultivation of Land (Hadith -- The Traditions):


 

(Note: The superscript-numbers [e.g., intention2] that appear in the text [in pink] refer to the numbers of the explanatory footnotes that appear at the end of each Hadith [Tradition].)


1 Anas said,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"There is no Muslim who plants a tree or cultivates land, then there eat of it birds or a man or an animal but it is a charity for him." (B. 41 : 1.)


2 It is reported about Abu Umamah that he said, when he saw a plough and some other agricultural implements, I heard the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, say:

"This does not enter the house of a people but it brings ingloriousness with it." 1 (B. 41 : 2.)

1 Bukhari's heading of the chapter is "Warning against the consequences of engrossment with the implements of agriculture or going beyond the limit ordained." The hadith, therefore, implies that a nation which gives itself up entirely to agriculture neglecting other lines of its development cannot rise to a position of glory.


3 `A'ishah reported,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"Whoever cultivates land which is not the property of any one has a better title to it." (B. 41 : 15.)


4 Abu Ja`far said,
There was not in Madinah any house of the emigrants but they cultivated (land) on one-third and one-fourth (of the produce) . . . . And `Umar employed people (for cultivation) on condition that if `Umar supplied the seed from his pocket, he should have one-half (of the produce), and if they supplied the seed, they should have such and such a portion.
2 (B. 41 : 8.)

2 This is technically called mukhabrah, from khabr, meaning information. See h. 7.


5 Ibn `Umar reported,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, granted (the lands of) Khaibar to the Jews on condition that they worked thereon and cultivated them and they should have half of the produce.
(B. 41 : 11.)


6 Rafi` reported,
They used to have land cultivated in the time of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, taking what grew on the water-courses or anything which the owner of the land reserved for himself. So the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, forbade this. I (the reporter) said to Rafi`, How is it if it is done on payment of dinars and dirhams? Rafi` said, There is no harm in taking dinars and dirhams.
(B. 41 : 19.)


7 `Amr said,
I said to Ta'us, Thou shouldst give up Mukhabrah, for they said that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, forbade it. He said . . . . . , Ibn `Abbas informed me that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, did not forbid this but he only said:

"If one of you gives it as a gift to his brother, it is better for him than that he takes for it a fixed payment."3 (B. & M-Msh. 12 : 13.)

3 Evidently this was advice given to people who had vast tracts of land, which they could not manage to cultivate for themselves. It did not mean that land could not be let to a tenant.


8 Abu Hurairah reported,
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be on him,

"Excess of water should not be withheld, arresting thereby the growth of herbage."4 (B. 42 : 2.)

4 Without water there would be no herbage; hence owners of land situated on watercourses were required to allow the flow of excess water to other people's land or even to barren tracts which would thus become grass fields for cattle. Matters relating to irrigation are technically known as musaqat which literally means giving to drink.


9 The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

"Whoever digs the well of Ruma, for him is paradise." So `Uthman had it dug.5 (B. 62 : 7.)

5 The digging of a well is regarded as an act of the greatest merit. When the Holy Prophet came to Madinah, the only well of sweet water there was the property of a Jew, and Muslims had to purchase drinking water from him. `Uthman thereupon bought the Ruma well, and made it waqf.


10 Ibn `Umar said,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, said:

Whoever takes any part of land without having a right to it, he shall be, as a punishment for it, sunk down into earth on the day of resurrection to the depth of seven earths."6 (B. 46 : 13.)

6 Muslims were thus required to be very scrupulous in the matter of other people's rights to land.

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Hadith Section > A Manual of Hadith > Chapter 23: Cultivation of Land (Hadith -- The Traditions)

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