Ushr in Islam:
ushr – a 10% tax on the harvests of irrigated land and 20% tax on harvest from rain-watered land. The term has also been used for a 10% tax on merchandise imported from states that taxed the Muslims on their products. Caliph `Umar ibn Al-Khattāb was the first Muslim ruler to levy ushr.
‘Ushr is the obligatory charge (Zakat) on farm produce which is one-tenth for one kind of land and one-twentieth for others.
“It is obligatory to give away one-tenth of the farm produce if the land is irrigated by spring or rain or river water naturally, and one-half of one tenth if it is irrigated by drawing out water from the well, etc.”
Regulations Concerning ‘Ushr:
1. ‘Ushr has to be taken out from the total produce and after that other charges of agriculture in the way of ploughing, watering, supervision, etc. will be met.
2. The produce becomes subject to ‘Ushr as soon as the crop becomes fit for use in any form, e.g. the gram, maize, mango etc. become sable even before they are ripe; “ushr therefore has to be calculated before the crop is put to private use in any way
3. If a person sells away a crop or garden before the fruit is ripe, ‘Ushr will be the responsibility of the buyer, but if it is sold after the fruit has become ripe, ‘Ushr will be paid by the seller.
4. Payment of ‘ushr is the responsibility of the cultivator of the land whether he has taken it on lease of borrowed it for a short period.
5. If two persons are jointly cultivating a piece of land, both will have to share the ‘Ushr whether the expenses of seed, etc. have been borne buy one or both.
6. There is no condition of Nisab for ‘Ushr to be obligatory : ‘Ushr is obligatory irrespective of the quantity of produce, unless it is in negligible quantity, e.g., 2 kilos or so.
7. There is no condition of the passage of a year either : each crop is subject to ‘Ushr, whether it is harvested once a year or twice a year.
8. ‘Ushr is levyable on the produce of lands owned by minors and insane persons.
9. Waaf lands are also subject to ‘ushr, which will be paid away by the cultivator.
10. If a piece of land is irrigated naturally as well as by artificial means, this fact will be taken into account while calculating ‘ushr. If the land has been irrigated naturally more often, ‘Ushr will be one-tenth , otherwise one-twentieth.
11.‘Ushr may be paid out in kind or in cash of equivalent value.
12. Lands in possession of the Muslims living in non-Muslim states ae subject to ‘Ushr. (Fatawa Deoband, Vol. III, p.18)
13. ‘Ushr is not annulled by the payment of land revenue.
14. The heads of expenditure of ‘Ushr are the same as of Zakat.
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