#478: Syuf’ah Wealth

Question:

Assalamualaikum w.b.t. What is meant by syuf’ah wealth?

 

Answer:

Waalaikumussalam w.b.t.

Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions and all those who follow his footsteps until the Last Day.

The definition of Syuf’ah

Syuf’ah in Arabic originates from the word al-Syaf’u which means combine.

Syuf’ah according to the fiqh scholars means a right to own something forcefully. It is given to an old partner to take the portion owned by a new partner as a return (payment) of his right. This right is turned over to avoid any harm. [1]

Syuf’ah is a known concept for Arabs during the Jahiliyyah times. Previously, when a person wanted to sell his house or orchard, his neighbours or close friends will syuf’ah him, making him the rightful person to buy the portion.

From here it is stated as Syuf’ah and the person who ask for syuf’ah is known as syafii’. Then syafii’ takes the portion of his friend that has sold it with payment as stated in the akad. Some said that it is named syuf’ah because the owner combined something sold to him which was previously separated.

The evidence of the sanctioning of syuf’ah

Imam Bukhari narrated from Jabir bin Abdillah RA who said:

قَضَى رسول الله صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِالشُّفْعَةِ فِي كُلِّ مَالٍ لَمْ يُقْسَمْ فَإِذَا وَقَعَتْ الْحُدُودُ وَصُرِّفَتْ الطُّرُقُ فَلَا شُفْعَةَ

“The Prophet decreed the right to buy neighbouring property applicable to everything which is not divided, but when boundaries were fixed and separate roads made there was no option.” [2]

While Imam Muslim narrated from Jabir RA, he said:

قَضَى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِالشُّفْعَةِ فِى كُلِّ شِرْكَةٍ لَمْ تُقْسَمْ رَبْعَةٍ أَوْ حَائِطٍ. لاَ يَحِلُّ لَهُ أَنْ يَبِيعَ حَتَّى يُؤْذِنَ شَرِيكَهُ فَإِنْ شَاءَ أَخَذَ وَإِنْ شَاءَ تَرَكَ فَإِذَا بَاعَ وَلَمْ يُؤْذِنْهُ فَهْوَ أَحَقُّ بِهِ

“God’s Messenger decreed the right of option regarding everything which is shared, whether a dwelling or a garden when it had not been divided. It is not lawful to sell before informing one’s partner who may take it or let it go as he wishes; but if he sells without informing him, he has the greatest right to it.” [3]

From Samurah bin Jundub RA, Rasullullah PBUH said:

جَارُ الدَّارِ أَحَقُّ بِالدَّارِ

“The neighbour of the house has the most right to buy it.” [4]

Scholars agreed on the right of syuf’ah for alliance before any division on something is sold, whether it is land, house or orchard. Hence, it is clear that syuf’ah is sanctioned according to sunnah and ijma’.

Requisites

  • A taken property (a portion of it has been sold), on the condition that it is an immovable object. As for movable objects that can be transferred, syuf’ah cannot happen.
  • A person who takes the property (old partnership); doesn’t share the item or something that can be benefitted from (using the property) or rights of the partnership before.
  • The forced partnership (new partnership); on the condition that the property is owned by him through exchange and not through inheritance, will or gift.

There are several wisdoms behind the sanctioning of syuf’ah, among them are:

  • The wisdom syuf’ah is sanctioned is to prevent the danger and argument that may arise. The reason is the rights of the ownership of syuf’ah on the property that is sold that is intended for another person to buy prevents the harm that may come from another person.
  • Islam sanctioned syuf’ah to prevent harm and avoid enmity. The reason is the syafi’ ownership right from others from buying it (other parties) will prevent the possibility of harm from others who have just joined (new partners).
  • Imam Syafi’e held the opinion that the harm (mudharat) meant here is the loss in terms of division, risks of others joining and others. There are also scholars who are of the opinion that the meaning of harm is the risk of the partnership itself.

May Allah SWT grant us all understanding in this religion. Amin.

Wallahu a’lam.

[1] Majority of scholars other thatn scholars of madhhab Hanafi said that syuf’ah is the right of a partner to demand a compensation that have been received by the seller in the form of wealth, payment or statement of agreement. In other words, syuf’ah is a forced ownership thabit for an old partner (first) on the new partner (second) on what is owned through some compensation (payment or recompensation).

[2] Riwayat al-Bukhari (2138)

[3] Riwayat Muslim, (1608)

[4] Riwayat Abu Dawud (3517), al-Tirmidzi (1368) and Ahmad (20140). Imam al-Tirmidzi stated this hadith is Hasan Sahih

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