Zakaah on harvest jointly owned with non-Muslim
Fatwa No: 366511

  • Fatwa Date:11-12-2017 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 23, 1439
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I did some joint farming with a disbeliever. When we harvested, I asked him for zakah, but he told me that he knew nothing about it and will not do so. What happens to my joint farming with him? Was I wrong in the first place to have farmed with him? In the event that my share of the benefits does not reach the Nisaab (minimum amount liable to zakah), what can I do? Thank you.


All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ʻalayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

According to most scholars, it is permissible for a Muslim to enter into a partnership with a non-Muslim.

The Kuwaiti Encyclopedia of Fiqh reads:

The Maalikis and Hanbalis held that it is permissible for a Muslim to engage in a (business) partnership with a non-Muslim provided that the non-Muslim partner acts only in the presence of his Muslim partner because this guarantees that the non-Muslim partner would not engage in any prohibited acts as far as their partnership is concerned.

The Shaafiʻis and Abu Yoosuf (from the Hanafis) also held that it is permissible yet disliked because the non-Muslim is unaware of the permissible actions in Islam. Abu Haneefah and Muhammad held that it is impermissible for a Muslim to engage in a partnership with a non-Muslim because the non-Muslim partner may buy alcohol and pigs/pork and sell them, while this is prohibited for the Muslim.

As for the zakaah, a non-Muslim is not liable for zakaah, meaning that he is not asked to pay it. Rather, he should be invited to embrace Islam; if he accepts and reverts to Islam, he is then asked to fulfil the obligation of zakaah. If a non-Muslim pays zakaah while adhering to disbelief, it is not accepted from him, as Allah, the Exalted, says (what means): {And what prevents their expenditures from being accepted from them but that they have disbelieved in Allah and in His Messenger...} [Quran 9:54]

As a Muslim, you are obliged to pay the zakaah with its due conditions and you are rewarded for it. It will be a blessing for you in the life of this world and a source of reward in the afterlife. If your share of the harvest does not amount to the Nisaab, you are not required to pay zakaah for it. Joint farming does not affect the obligation of zakaah. Each partner should pay the zakaah on his share of the harvest if it amounts to the Nisaab. If his share does not amount to the Nisaab, there is no zakaah on him.

Ibn Qudaamah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “If the wealth of the partners is mixed in other than free-grazing cattle, such as in gold, silver, trade goods, land produce and fruits, it does not affect the zakaah. The ruling on them is that on individuals. This is the opinion of most scholars.” [Al-Mughni]

Even the scholars of Fiqh who held that zakaah is due on the joint wealth of the partners even if the share of each partner does not amount to the Nisaab (as long as the total harvest amounts to the Nisaab) stipulated that the partners must both be liable for the zakaah. If one of the partners is a non-Muslim, his share is not subject to zakaah. Rather, the share of the Muslim partner only is liable for zakaah if it amounts to the Nisaab. An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote about the conditions for the zakaah on the joint wealth, “Both partners must be eligible zakaah payers (i.e. required to pay the zakaah). If one of the partners is a non-Muslim or Mukaatab (a slave who has entered into a contract of manumission), the joint wealth is not subject to zakaah, and there is no scholarly difference of opinion in this regard. If the share of the Muslim partner amounts to the zakaah, it is subject to zakaah; otherwise, it is not subject to zakaah, and the scholars did not differ in this regard either.” [Al-Majmoo’]

It is important, dear Brother, that you know that the criterion for determining the Nisaab is the harvest itself, and not the price which you received for selling it. If your share of the harvest amounts to five Wasaqs (about 652.8 kg according to the majority of scholars), it has amounted to the Nisaab and it is subject to zakaah. The rate of zakaah differs according to the method of irrigation. If it is watered naturally by rain, spring water, or flowing water that does not incur a cost to transfer it, then the due zakaah is 10% of the harvest. If it is irrigated by watering animals or machinery or with purchased water (and you bear the irrigation expenses), then the due zakaah is 5% of the harvest. Please refer to fatwas 336532 and 327868.

Allah knows best.

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