Book of Partnership

The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari

by Imam Bukhari
Translated by: Ustadha Aisha Bewley

Chapter 50. Book of Partnership

I: Partnership in food, expenses (nahd) [putting individual provisions for a journey all together and then sharing them] and goods

How to divide what is measured and weighed at random or handful by handful since the Muslims do not see any harm in sharing in journeys when one person eats some and another person eats some. Distributing gold and silver without measuring it, and eating two dates at the same time.

2351. It is related that Jabir ibn 'Abdullah said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, sent an expedition towards the coast and put Abu 'Ubayda ibn al-Jarrah in command of it. There were three hundred men and I was one of them. We went out until we had gone part of the way and the provisions ran out. Abu 'Ubayda ibn al-Jarrah commanded that the provisions of that army be gathered up and all of that was collected. Our provision consisted of dates. He fed us a little every day until they were finished. Our share was only one date each." [Wahb ibn Kisan said,] "I said, 'What use would one date be to you?' He said, 'We felt its absence when it was finished.' He said, 'Then we reached the coast, there was a large fish like a small hill. That army ate from it for eighteen days. Then Abu 'Ubayda ordered that two of its ribs be set up and then he ordered a camel to be ridden and it passed under them without touching them.'" (Muwatta, Book 49, 24)

2352. It is related that Salama said, "The provisions of the people were reduced and they were in want. They went to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, to ask about slaughtering their camels, and he gave them permission. 'Umar met them and they told him about it. He asked, 'How will you survive without your camels?' He went to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and said, 'Messenger of Allah, how will they survive without their camels?' The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Summon the people to bring what remains of their provision.' A leather mat was spread out and they put it on the mat. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, stood up and made supplication and asked for blessing for it. Then he called on them to bring their vessels and the people took food intil they finished. Then the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'I testify that there is no god but Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah.'"

2353. It is related that Nafi' ibn Khadij was heard to say, "We used to pray 'Asr with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and slaughter a camel. Then we would divide the meat in ten parts and we would eat the cooked meat before the sun set."

2354. It is related that Abu Musa said that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The Ash'arites ran short of food on a raid - or their families in Madina ran short of food. They gathered together what they had in one cloth and then divided it among themselves equally using the same container. These people are from me and I am from them."

II: Zakat is paid jointly and equally on property owned by two partners

2355. It is related from Anas that Abu Bakr wrote to him about the duty of zakat which the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had made obligatory. He said, "In that which has two partners, they share equally in paying it."

III: Division of sheep

2356. It is related that the grandfather of 'Abaya ibn Rifa' ibn Rafi' ibn Khadij said, "We were with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, at Dhu'l-Hulayfa. The people were afflicted by hunger and seized some camels and sheep as booty." He said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was somewhat behind the people and they hurried and slaughtered and set up the pots. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, ordered the pots to be emptied and then divided it. Ten sheep were equal to a camel. One of the camels fled and they went after it until they were exhausted. There were few horses among the people. One of the men among them aimed an arrow at it and Allah stopped the camel. Then the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Some of these animals are wild like wild animals. If you loose control over them, then do as this man did.'" My grandfather said, "We expect - or fear - that we may meet the enemy tomorrow and not have any knives. Can we slaughter with reeds?" He said, "Use whatever makes the blood flow and eat it when the Name of Allah has been mentioned over it. Do not [slaughter] with teeth or nails, and I will tell you about that. Teeth are bone and the nail is the knife of the Abyssinians.'" (Muwatta, Book 21, 16)

IV: Not eating two dates at a time with partners without getting one's companions' permission

2357. It is related that Ibn 'Umar was heard to say, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, forbade that a man eat two dates at the same time without getting permission from his companions."

2358. It is related that Jabala said, ""While we were in Madina, a famine occurred and az-Zubayr used to provide us with dates. Ibn 'Umar passed by us and said, 'Do not eat two dates at the same time. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to forbid eating two dates at at time without the man asking permission of his brother.'"

V: Evaluation of things owned by partners with a fair price

2359. It is related that Ibn 'Umar said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "If someone sets free his portion or share of a slave - or he said part - and has enough money to cover his full price with a fair value, then he (the slave) is  completely emancipated. Otherwise, only that portion of him that he set free is free."

Ayyub said, "I do not know whether 'that portion of him that he set free is free' is part of what Nafi' said or is in the hadith from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace."

2360. It is related from Abu Hurayra that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Whoever sets free a share of his slave, must complete his lineration from his property. If he does not possess enough wealth, then the slave is evaluated with a fair price and then he must work to earn it (his freedom) without making it too arduous for him."

VI: Can lots be drawn for shares and divisions?

2361. It is related that an-Nu'man ibn Bashir said that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The metaphor of someone who stops at the limits of Allah and someone who transgresses them is that of some people who draw lots on a boat. Some of them get the upper deck and some of them the lower. When those in the lower deck want to get water, they have to pass by those above them. Then they say, 'If we were to make a hole in our deck, we would not have to bother those above us.' If they were to let them do what they wanted, all of them would perish. If they seize hold of their hands and stop them, they will be saved and all of them will be saved."

VII: The partnership of orphans and other heirs

2362. It is related that 'Urwa asked 'A'isha...

It is related that 'Urwa ibn az-Zubayr asked 'A'isha about the words of Allah Almighty, "If you are afraid of not behaving justly towards orphans, then marry other permissible women, two, three or four." (4:3) She said, "O nephew! That is the orphan girl who is in the care of her guardian and shares his property. He admires her wealth and beauty, so her guardian may want to marry her without being fair about her bride-price. He should give her the like of what someone else would give her. They are forbidden from marrying them unless they are just to them and give them the customary bride-price. They are commanded other women who please them."

'Urwa said that 'A'isha said, "Then the people asked the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, for a pronouncement after this verse and Allah revealed, 'They will ask you for a definitive ruling about women and also what is recited to you in the Book about orphan girls to whom you do not give the inheritance they are owed, while at the same time desiring to marry them..' (4:127) What Allah mentioned, 'what is recited to you in the Book', is the first verse in which He says, 'If you are afraid of not behaving justly towards orphans, then marry other permissible women.'" 'A'isha said, "The words of Allah in the other verse, 'desiring to marry them' mean that one of you desires to marry the orphan girl who is in his care when she has little wealth and beauty. They were forbidden from marrying orphan girls they desired for wealth and beauty unless they were fair, as they refrain from them [when they are not beautiful or wealthy]."

VIII: Partnership in lands and other things

2363. It is related that Jabir ibn 'Abdullah said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, established pre-emption in all that is not divided, When there are boundaries and roads are made, then there is no pre-emption."

IX: When partners divide houses and other things, they have no right to retract from it nor pre-emption

2364. It is related that Jabir ibn 'Abdullah said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, judged that there was pre-emption in all that had not been divided. When there are boundaries and roads are made, then there is no pre-emption."

X: Partnership in gold and silver and what is used in money exchange

2365. It is related that Sulayman ibn Abi Muslim said, "I asked Abu'l-Minhal about exchange from hand to hand. He said, 'I and a partner of mine brought something partially with immediate payment and partly with credit. Al-Bara' ibn 'Azib came to us and we asked him about it. He said, "I did that with my partner Zayd ibn Arqam. We asked the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, about that and he said, 'Take what is hand to hand and leave what is on credit.'"'"

XI: Partnership with the dhimmis and idolaters in sharecropping

2366. It is related that 'Abdullah said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, gave Khaybar to the Jews so they could work it and cultivate and they would have half of what it produced."

XII: The division of sheep and being equitable in it

2367. It is related from 'Uqba ibn 'Amir that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, gave him some sheep to divide among his companions for sacrifices and a lamb was left over. He mentioned it to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he said, "You sacrifice it."

XIII: Partnership in food and other things

It is mentioned that a man bargained about something and another man indicated to him to buy it. 'Umar thought that that made him a partner.

2368. It is related from 'Abdullah ibn Hisham, who met the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and whose mother, Zaynab bint Humayd, had taken him to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, that she said, "Messenger of Allah, take his allegiance." He said, "He is young," and he stroked his head and made supplication for him.

Zuhra ibn Ma'bad stated that he used to go out to the market with his grandfather, 'Abdullah ibn Hisham, and buy food. Ibn 'Umar and Ibn az-Zubayr would meet him and say to him, "Be our partner. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, prayed for you to have blessing," so he would be their partner. Often he would get a camel's load as profit and sent it home.

XIV: Partnership in slaves

2369. It is related from Ibn 'Umar that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Whoever sets free his share of a slave must set all of him free if he possesses enough to cover his price estimated with a fair value. He should pay his partners their shares and let the freed slave go."

2370. It is related from Abu Hurayra that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Whoever sets free his share of a slave, must set all of him free if he has enough money. Otherwise, he [the slave] must work to earn it without making it too hard for him."

XV. CHAPTER: Partnership in sacrificial animals and camels. When a man shares with another man in his sacrifice after the sacrifice has been made

2371. It is related that Ibn 'Abbas said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, arrived on the morning of the fourth of Dhu'l-Hijja, taking on ihram for the hajj, not mixed with anything else. When we arrived, he ordered us to make it for 'umra and that we could go to our wives. Word of that spread about the people." 'Ata' reported that Jabir said, "Should one of us go to Mina while his penis is dripping with sperm?" Jabir made a gesture with his hand. That reached the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he stood up to speak. He said, "It has reached me that some people are saying this and that. By Allah, I have more piety and fear of Allah than them. If I had known before about my business what I know now, I would not have brought sacrificial animals. If I did not have sacrificial animals with me, I would have come out of ihram." Suraqa ibn Malik ibn Ju'shum stood up and said, "Messenger of Allah, is this for us or is it forever?" He replied, "No, it is forever." He said, "'Ali ibn Abi Talib came - and one of them said - saying, 'Labbayk for what the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, began.'" Another said that he said, "Labbayk for the hajj of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace,. So the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, commanded him to keep his ihram and to share with him in the sacrifice.

XVI: The one who thought that ten sheep were equal to one camel in the division

2372. It is related that Rifa' ibn Rafi' ibn Khadij said, "We were with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, at Dhu'l-Hulayfa in Tihama and took some sheep and camels. The people hurried and boiled it in the pots. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came and ordered the pots to be overturned. Then he made ten sheep were equal to one camel. One of the camels fled and there were few horses among the people. A man aimed an arrow at it and stopped it with the arrow. Then the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Some of these animals are wild like wild animals. If you loose control over them, then do as this man did.'"

He said, "My grandfather said, 'We expect - or fear - that we may meet the enemy tomorrow and not have any knives. Can we slaughter with reeds?' He said, "Yes - or he said, 'Indeed.' Whatever makes the blood flow and eat it when the name of Allah has been mentioned over it. Do not [slaughter] with teeth or nails, and I will tell you about that. Teeth are bone and the nail is the knife of the Abyssinians.'"