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Al-Umra & Al-Ruqba

1) Jabir b. ‘Abdullah (Allah be pleased with them) reported Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) as saying: Whoever person is gifted a life grant, [1] then it is for him (belongs to him and to his posterity, for it belongs to him who has been given it). It would not return to him who gave it for he conferred it as a gift (it becomes the property of the donee and as such) rules of inheritance will apply to it.

2) Jabir b. ‘Abdullah (Allah be pleased with them) reported Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) as saying: He who conferred a life grant upon a person, it becomes his possession and that of his succes­sors, for he surrendered his right in that by his declaration. (This property) now belongs to one to whom the lifelong grant has been made, and to his successors. Yahya narrated in the beginning of his narration: Whatever man is given a life grant, then it belongs to him and his posterity.


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3) Jabir b. ‘Abdullah (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) having said: Keep your property to yourselves and do not squander it, for he who conferred life grant upon another that property will belong to him upon whom it is con­ferred whether he lives or dies, and (would pass on) to his successors (as heritage).

4) Ibn ‘Umar reported that Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) said: Neither ‘Umra nor ruqba (is desirable). One who donates some (land) for a life-term, it belongs to him (to whom it is given) whether he lives or dies. [2]

5) Ibn. ‘Umar reported that Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) said: Neither ‘Umra nor ruqba is desirable. One who gives something (to anyone) for a life-term, it will belong to him whether he lives dies. ‘Ata‘ said: “This (thing) belongs to the latter.”

 [1] This is a form of giving a gift and is based upon the Arabic word ‘umr (Life). The declaration of this gift is made thus: “I give you this house as a gift and you are fully authorised to make use of it as long as you live”, Al-Umra’ has, according to jurists, these forms:

(a) The donor may say: I give you this house for use so long as you live, and when you die it may pass on to your heirs. This form of ‘Umra is like that of gift (Hiba) and the inheritors of the donee are entitled to their shares in it and it will not go back to the donor.

(b) The donor says: I give you this house for use so long as you live or make use of it. In this case the gift would automatically revert to the donor or his heirs at the death of the donee or when he abandons his possession of it.

Imam Shaukani observes: ‘An overwhelming majority of the jurists is of the opinion that when the declaration of ‘Umra is made, it is the donee who becomes the possessor of the thing donated and it does not revert to the donor, unless an explicit condition is laid down in regard to it” (Nail ul-Au tar, Vol. VI, p.16). This condition, according to the Hanafi school of thought, is not valid as we find in Hidaya.

[2] This hadith only refers to the undesirability of life grant because one may do so impulsively and then may regret later on. Therefore, the Prophet (may be upon him) advised that one should be careful about it. Once someone makes a life grant it would not be revocable. The hadith does not disallow the life grant, however.

 

 

Source: Economic Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): A Select Anthology of Hadith Literature on Economics, Muhammad Akram Khan. Republished with permission