Glorifying the Prophet Muhammad, not insulting him: STATE OWNED LAND IN ISLAMIC VIEW (Part-2)


In order to glorify Rasulullah SAW, we continue to trace the Siroh Nabawiyyah regarding the state-owned lands, both the understanding and the process of acquiring these lands in Islamic history.

Land that is considered state property in the view of Islam is what is called as-shawafi. One of the scholars who discussed as-shawafi is Jaribah bin Ahmad Al-Haritsi in his book which has been translated into Indonesian, namely the Economics Jurisprudence of Umar bin Al-Khathab (Fikih Ekonomi Umar bin al-Khththab). The party who first introduced the term as-shawafi was Amirul Mukminin, Umar bin Khaththab.  And, what is meant by as-shawafi is the land in which was freed by the Muslims, then the land is managed by the Baitul Mal (Center for Property Management) belonging to the Muslims.

The land of as-shawafi which is very famous in Islamic history is the “black soil” (as-sawad), namely the fertile land around the Euphrates River in Iraq. It is called “black soil” because of its high fertility, so the land is very suitable to be used as an agricultural area/food center for Muslims. The “black soil” came from: (1) land belonging to the enemy killed on the battlefield; (2) land of people who fled from war, (3) land owned by King Kisra/ Persian king who was defeated by the Muslims, (4) land owned by members of the Kisra family, (5) land of water infiltration, and (6) land where the former lived the monk. The grouping of as-shawafi land by Umar bin Khaththab refers to the narration of Abu Yusuf who reported that Abdullah bin Walid told him about Abdu Abdillah bin Hurrah, where he said that Umar bin Khaththab had grouped the land of as-shawafi on the land of as-sawad into ten groups based on the origin of ownership and the condition of the land. The six of them are what has been mentioned above. The rest is not clearly disclosed, but the land was usually designated as facilities for Kisra’s life as the supreme leader of the Persian Empire.

It is a historical fact that when the Muslims practiced futuhat (liberating) a country, the lands in the conquered country became the property of the Muslim state which was managed by Baitul Mal. Obviously, these lands include lands that were once the property of the conquered state, the property of the ruler or leader of that country, or the lands of people who have been killed on the battlefield, or people who have fled from war and left their lands. The head of state of the Muslims then manages these lands for the benefit of the citizens.


The land of the Banu Nadhir Jews

Referring to the Siroh Nabawiyyah Ibnu Hisyam (Al-Muafiri, 2003), the land that was first acquired by the Muslims at the time of the Prophet Muhammad was the land that came from the Jews of Bani Nadhir. As has frequently been discussed that the Jews of Medina when Rasulullah SAW moved to Medina and established a state in Medina, they joined together with the Muslims and coexisted peacefully, as stated in the Medina charter (Al-Muafiri, 2003). Among the sizeable and well-known Jewish community in Medina were the Jews of the Banu Nadhir.

After the Uhud War (Year 3H) and the Muslims suffered defeat in that war, the Bani Nadhir Jews thought that the Prophet Muhammad and the Muslims were very weak and would not rise again. Therefore, they arrogantly antagonized the Muslims, canceled the Medina Charter agreement, and rebelled against the Muslims. It was even reported that the Jews of Bani Nadhir tried to kill the Prophet Muhammad. When Rasulullah SAW traveled to the village of Bani Nadhir accompanied by Abu Bakr, Umar bin Khaththab, and Ali bin Ali Talib, and when Prophet Muhammad SAW sat beside the wall in their house, a Jew named Amr bin Jahhasy – who got an assignment from the Jewish community of Bani Nadhir – tried to throw stones from the top of their house at Rasulullah SAW. However, Rasulullah SAW knew about the existence of treason by the Jewish community, he immediately left the village and returned to Medina, and he survived with the help of Allah SWT (Al-Muafiri, 2003).

For their treason, Rasulullah SAW along with the Muslim troops surrounded them for 15 days. They were seized with fear, and finally gave up and asked for the protection of Rasulullah SAW. They were not killed but were asked to leave Medina with their assets which could be transported by camel except for weapons and camel harnesses which they were not allowed to carry. Some of them fled to Adzri’at (Syam) and some of them fled to Khaibar. Among their leaders who went to Khaibar were Sallam bin bin Abu Al-Huqaiq, Kinanah bin Ar-Rabi bin Abu Al-Huqaiq, and Huyay bin Akhthab (Al-Muafiri, 2003).

Rasulullah received spoils of war – which were movable property – from the Jews of the Banu Nadhir, also obtained the land of fai (land spoils of war) which they left behind. It is stated in the siroh that the Prophet distributed the ghanimah (booty of war) of Bani Nadhir to the Ansar, who were in need. The Anshor (the original inhabitants of Medina) who received a share of the spoils of war from the Bani Nadhir were Sahal bin Hanif and Abu Dujanah Sumaki bin Kharisyah, because both were in dire need economically. In the Islamic perspective, a distinction is made between ganimah and fa’i, although between the two are actually almost the same, namely the spoils of war. The difference is, the ghanimah is meant for movable property such as military equipment, army supplies, or other things related to war. Whereas the fa’i refers to land left behind by defeated enemies (Lbs, 2016).

As for the land of the Banu Nadhir, Rasulullah did not share it with his companions (shohabah). The land was specifically for Rasulullah SAW. It is said, from the land that was not distributed, part of the proceeds was given to his family for the necessities of life for one year, and the rest was used by the Prophet Muhammad for the purposes of procuring ammunition and weapons prepared for war in the way of Allah SWT. In the event of the expulsion of the Bani Nadhir Jews, then the Al-Qur’an Surat al-Hasyr [59] verse 6 come down, and reads:

And whatever booty (fai-i) that Allah gave to His Messenger (from the property), then to get it you did not muster a horse and (not also) a camel, but Allah gave power to the Messenger. He for whatever He wants. And Allah has power over all things (al-Hasyr [59] Verse 6).

Referring to the interpretation (tafsir) of Ibn Kathir that this verse confirms that the Prophet Muhammad, in carrying out attacks on the Jews of Banu Nadhir, did not deploy cavalry or soldiers, because the Jews left their villages full of fear, so that the Messenger of Allah did not need to do war to drive them out. Therefore, the land left by Bani Nadhir specifically for Rasulullah SAW, was not distributed to the companions. It’s just that the fai property is not the private property of the Prophet Muhammad, but rather the property of the state, because he did not pass the property on to his descendants. Therefore, the land of fai of Banu Nadhir is state property which was first obtained by the Muslims in Islamic history.



Al-Muafiri, Abu Muhammad Abu Al-Malik bin Hisyam, 2003, Siroh Nabawiyyah Ibnu Hisyam, Indonesian Edition translated by Fadhli Bahri, Jakarta: Darul Falah

Tafsir Ibnu Katsir, 1992, Indonesian Edition translated by H. Salim Bahreisy dan H. Said Nahreisy, Surabaya: Bina Ilmu

Lbs, Junaidi, 2016, “Pajak Sebagai Sumber Pendapatan Negara (Analisis Sejarah Penentuan Kadar Pajak Di Masa Umar Bin Khattab Menurut Abu Yusuf Dalam Kitab Al-Kharaj),” [Taxes as a Source of State Income (Historical Analysis of the Determination of Tax Levels in the Period of Umar Bin Khattab According to Abu Yusuf in the Book of Al-Kharaj),]”Al-Intaj Vol. 2, No. 1, Maret 2016

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