Literally: zara’a originally meant ‘to grow’ but also refers to sowing of seeds. The Form III derivation means to engage in a sharecropping deal. Technically: cultivation partnership; the owner of a piece of land allows a farmer to grow a crop on it in return for a specified fraction of the total yield (not the yield from a certain part of the land). The Malikis and Hanbalis consider a muzara’ah contract to be permissible and lawful; the Shafi’is permit it with certain conditions; Abu Hanifah and Zufar ruled that muzara’ah is unlawful without qualification. For further details see ISRA Compendium.

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