In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
Renting a farm for amount of money is permissible whereas renting it for the crop that comes in a determined section of it is impermissible.
Responding to your question, Prof. Dr. Monzer Kahf, Professor of Islamic Finance and Economics at Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, states:
I am surprised that you are still young and do nothing for living. A person of your age is in a prime time to work and earn!
On the other hand, renting a farm land for an amount of cash is permissible in the Shari`ah. What is impermissible is to rent it for the crop that comes in a determined section of it because in this case this section may not give adequate return. Renting a farm land for a given amount of money is as permissible as renting a building or a car.
This is the ruling of the four Schools of Fiqh. There is a Hadith narrated by Rafi` ibn Khadij about prohibiting renting land but its interpretation is limited to the practice of renting it for the crop of a specific portion of the farm.
Of course, you can also give the land on crop sharing; determining a percentage of the gross value of the crop to you provided you also determine who is going to pay for seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and hired labor.
Of course, if the farmer will pay for all his share of the gross, the value will be higher and if you pay for some of these, your share will be higher. The share should be determined fairly according to the market norms in your area.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.