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Asalaamu Allaykum I would like to know whats the ruling on a lease to a building(since death is uncertain) is a lease allowed in Islam?Jazakumullah!

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org


Q: Muhtaram Mufti Saheb; Assalaamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullaahi

The majority of our Muslim community are businessmen and are often engaged
in Ijaarah (hiring). In order for us to conduct our business according to
the Shari’ah, it will be appreciated if you could explain to us the rules
and principles of Ijaarah.

A: Generally, there are two groups of people in society: a) the wealthy, who
are dependant on others to conduct their affairs, and b) The poor who depend
on the wealthy by serving them to earn an income. This is also understood
from the following verse:

‘ . We distribute among them their livelihood in the life of this world, and
We have exalted some of them above others in degrees, that some of them may
take others in subjection; and the mercy of your Lord is better than what
they amass.’ (Zukhruf 32)

Allaamah Sarakhsi (RA) states that the above mentioned verse refers to
Ijaarah (hiring) and forms the basis for its permissibility. (Bahas-o-Nazar
part 25 pg.10)

Thaabit ibn Dhahhaak (Radhiallaahu Anhu) states that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu
Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘There is nothing wrong in hiring.’ (Mishkaat pg.258;

The Fuqahaa (Jurists) have explained the rules and principles of hiring and
hereunder is a summarised version of that:


To take possession of an item in lieu of a fee. (Raddul Mukhtaar vol.10
pg.4; HM Saeed)


The contractual agreement of hiring is established with a proposal (Iejaab)
and acceptance (Qubool) in the past tense and in one sitting with words
implying hiring, for example, the landlord says, ‘I have hired the house to
you’ and in the same sitting the tenant says, ‘I have accepted.’ (Fataawa
Hindiyya vol.4 pg.409; Rashidiyya)


1) Both parties must be sane. The contractual agreement of a permanently or
temporarily insane person is invalid. (Ibid pg.410)

2) It is not necessary for both or any one party to be an adult (attained
maturity or at least 15 years of age). If a minor entered into a contractual
agreement with the consent of his/her guardian, it will be valid. If the
guardian did not consent, then the contract will be subject to the approval
of the guardian. (Ibid)

3) The contractual agreement must be specific. There should be no ambiguity
in the agreement that has a potential of a dispute in future. In hiring
benefits, for example, a house or shop, the rental amount, the period, etc.
must be specified. In hiring services, for example, a teacher, his salary,
work description, contract period, etc. must be specified. If there is any
ambiguity in the contractual agreement that may lead to a dispute, the
contract will be invalid. (Ibid pg.411). In order to avoid disputes, it is
emphasised to reduce agreements to writing. Verbal agreements may lead to
misunderstandings and disputes.

4) When the agreement is concluded, the landlord or his representative must
be able to hand over the premises as agreed. If he is unable to hand over
the premises for whatever reason, the agreement will be invalid. If there is
no obstacle in handing over the premises, he should do so as agreed. (Ibid)

5) The tenant or the lessee must be able to benefit from whatever is hired.
If it is not possible, for example, the hired property is in auction due to
insolvency or the hired car is stolen from the lessor, then the agreement
will be invalid. (Ibid)

6) The hired item must not be Haraam, for example, gambling machines.
(Hidaya vol.3 pg.303; Ashrafiyya)

7) The tenant or lessee have the right to see the hired item even after
concluding the agreement. If the tenant or lessee disapproves then he has
the right to cancel the agreement. (Bahas-o-Nazar part 25 pg.23)

Types of Hired Persons

Ajeer-e-Khaas (Exclusively hired person)
An Ajeer Khaas is he who is hired by one person only and his (hired person)
position is that of an Ameen (an entrusted person). Whatever is given to him
by his contractor is an Amaanat (trust). An Ameen will not be responsible
for the loss of an entrusted item if he did not do any deliberate harm or
there was no negligence on his behalf. The fees of the hired person must be
specified. (Hidaya vol.3 pg.293; Ashrafiyya). The common habit ‘do the work,
I will pay you something’ is not permissible. When the hired time expires,
the contractor is bound to pay the Ajeer-e-Khaas even if the contractor did
not use him to do any work. (Bahas-o-Nazar part25 pg.36)

Ajeer-e-Aam (Commonly hired person)
An Ajeer-e-Aam is he who is not hired by any one particular person. The
position of an Ajeer-e-Aam is of a Kafeel (guarantor) and he will be
responsible for the loss of people’s items given to him if he has caused
deliberate harm or the loss was due to his negligence. (Fataawa Hindiyya
vol.4 pg.500; Rashidiyya). For example, if a motor mechanic parked the car
of his client at his garage where there was a high risk of theft and the car
got stolen from there. An Ajeer-e-Aam will be entitled for fees only upon
completion of the contract given to him. The hired person should be paid

Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah
(Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘Pay the hired person his fee before his
sweat dries.’ (Mishkaat pg.258; Qadeemi). To delay payment without any valid
Shar’ee reason is a major sin.

Some Responsibilities of the Tenant

1) The tenant is responsible for the daily maintenance, sweeping, removing
garbage, etc. of the property. (Bahas-o-Nazar part25 pg.39)

2) The tenant cannot do anything that will damage the property. If he
damages the property, the landlord can terminate the lease agreement. (Ibid)

3) If the tenant made extensions or renovations with the consent of the
landlord, he may claim the expenses of that from the landlord. If he did not
take the consent of the landlord, he cannot claim the expenses from the
landlord. (Ibid)

4) It is permissible for the tenant to sublet the hired property. (Ibid)

Some Responsibilities of the Landlord

a) The landlord will be responsible to repair those things of the property
which results in the tenant not being able to benefit from the property, for
example, no electricity, etc. (Ibid)

b) The landlord must provide all those things that are necessary to benefit
from the hired property, for example, keys of the security gates, etc.

Hiring of Waqf Property (Musjid property, etc.)

The hiring of a Waqf property will be governed by the rules and principles
set out by the Waaqif (donor). (Al-Ashbah Wannazaair)

If the Waaqif did not specify a time limit for hiring of the Waqf property,
then the Waqf property can be leased for the maximum period of three years.
(Bahas-o-Nazar part 25 pg.26)

Disputes Between the Contractor (Musta’jir) and the Hired person (Ajeer)

Abdullah ibn Abbaas (Radhiallaahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah
(Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘To substantiate a claim is upon the
plaintiff and to take an oath is upon the defendant.’ (Mishkaat pg.326; Me’

Primarily, all disputes will be governed by the principle mentioned in the
abovementioned Hadith. The Fuqahaa have explained the criteria to determine
the plaintiff and defendant and application of the abovementioned Hadith
according to the nature and merits of the dispute. Only competent Ulama
having expertise in Fiqh will be able to expertly preside over such disputes
and issue awards according to the Shari’ah.

The Contract will Terminate due to one of the following:

a) If one of the contracting parties pass away. (Badaai-us-Sanaai’ee)

b) If both the contracting parties make Iqaala (dissolve) the contract.
(Bahas-o-nazar part25 pg.43)

c) If the hired property is destroyed, for example, through fire, etc.
(Badaaius Sanaai’ee)

d) If the contract period (lease) expires. (Ibid)

This article is only a summary of the general rules and principles of
Ijaarah (hiring) prepared to serve as a guideline to conduct our business
according to the Shari’ah.

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.