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f:395 -    Owner evicting tenant to grab business
Country : Kurnool, India,
Name : Muhammad Hameedullah
Question:     Some people give premises of a shop on rent.  The tenant starts some business in it and with great effort set their business rolling.  When the shop becomes famous in the market and customers start turning to it, then the owners somehow get the tenant evicted and run the same business in those premises.  In this way, they get an already running business.  Is this act of the owners correct? Is this not an oppression on the tenants.  
Answer:     Giving any thing on rent is called “Ijarah.”  This is the among the basic necessities of life.  The Shariah has given some conditions in this regard.  Among them is that there should a fixed time period to the “Ijarah.”  As given in Fatawa A’alamgiri, Vol. 4, Pg. No. 114.  

The owner does not have the right to evict the tenant within the fixed time period.  After that time period is over, the owner may do so when desired.  However, if the owner has no use of the premises and the tenant is needy, then for the sake of Islamic brotherliness and kinship, the owner should help the needy brother.  The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said about this:

Translation: Hadhrat Salim (May Allah be well pleased with him) narrates that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: A Muslim is a brother to another Muslim.  He should neither oppress him nor leave him uncared for and if a Muslim attempts to fulfill the need of his brother, Allah Most High fulfils his need.  Whoever removes one difficulty from a Muslim, Allah Most High removes the big difficulty from among the difficulties of the Day of Judgment.  Whoever hides the faults of a Muslim, Allah Most High hides his faults on the Day of Judgment.  (Sahih Muslim, Vol. 2, Pg. No. 320, Hadith No. 6743)

If the owner of the premises does not need it and the tenant needs it, then for the sake of Islamic kinship, the owner should help his needy brother and cooperate with him when he needs it.  

And Allah Most High knows best.

Mufti Syed Ziauddin Naqshbandi Qadri

[Professor, Islamic Law, Jamia Nizamia,
Founder-Director, Abul Hasanaat Islamic Research Center]
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