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The Hadith Book  from
15 hadith found in 'The Mukatab' of Malik's Muwatta.

 Malik related to me that he had heard that Said ibn al-Musayyab was asked about a mukatab who was shared between two men. One of them freed his portion and then the mukatab died and left a lot of money. Said replied, "The one who kept his kitaba is paid what remains due to him, and then they divide what is left between them both equally." Malik said, "When a mukatab who fulfils his kitaba and becomes free dies, he is inherited from by the people who wrote his kitaba and their children and paternal relations - whoever is most deserving." He said, "This is also for whoever is set free when he dies after being set free - his inheritance is for the nearest people to him of children or paternal relations who inherit by means of the wala'." Malik said, "Brothers, written together in the same kitaba, are in the same position as children to each other when none of them have children written in the kitaba or born in the kitaba. When one of them dies and leaves property, he pays for them all that is against them of their kitaba and sets them free. The money left over after that goes to his children rather than his brothers."  


 Malik spoke to me about a man who wrote a kitaba for his slave for gold or silver and stipulated against him in his kitaba a journey, service, sacrifice or similar, which he specified by its name, and then the mukatab was able to pay all his instalments before the end of the term. He said, "If he pays all his instalments and he is set free and his inviolability as a free man is complete, but he still has this condition to fulfil, the condition is examined, and whatever involves his person in it, like service or a journey etc., is removed from him and his master has nothing in it. Whatever there is of sacrifice, clothing, or anything that he must pay, that is in the position of dinars and dirhams, and is valued and he pays it along with his instalments, and he is not free until he has paid that along with his instalments." Malik said, "The generally agreed-on way of doing things among us about which there is no dispute, is that a mukatab is in the same position as a slave whom his master will free after a service of ten years. If the master who will free him dies before ten years, what remains of his service goes to his heirs and his wala' goes to the one who contracted to free him and to his male children or paternal relations." Malik spoke about a man who stipulated against his mukatab that he could not travel, marry, or leave his land without his permission, and that if he did so without his permission it was in his power to cancel the kitaba. He said, "If the mukatab does any of these things it is not in the man's power to cancel the kitaba. Let the master put that before the Sultan. The mukatab, however, should not marry, travel, or leave the land of his master without his permission, whether or not he stipulates that. That is because the man may write a kitaba for his slave for 100 dinars and the slave may have 1000 dinars or more than that. He goes off and marries a woman and pays her bride-price which sweeps away his money and then he cannot pay. He reverts to his master as a slave who has no property. Or else he may travel and his instalments fall due while he is away. He cannot do that and kitaba is not to be based on that. That is in the hand of his master. If he wishes, he gives him permission in that. If he wishes, he refuses it."  


 Malik said, "When a mukatab sets his own slaves free, it is only permitted for a mukatab to set his own slaves free with the consent of his master. If his master gives his consent and the mukatab sets his slave free, his wala' goes to the mukatab . If the mukatab then dies before he has been set free himself, the wala' of the freed slave goes to the master of the mukatab. If the freed one dies before the mukatab has been set free, the master of the mukatab inherits from him." Malik said, "It is like that also when a mukatab gives his slave a kitaba and his mukatab is set free before he is himself. The wala' goes to the master of the mukatab as long as he is not free. If this one who wrote the kitaba is set free, then the wala' of his mukatab who was freed before him reverts to him. If the first mukatab dies before he pays, or he cannot pay his kitaba and he has free children, they do not inherit the wala' of their father's mukatab because the wala' has not been established for their father and he does not have the wala' until he is free." Malik spoke about a mukatab who was shared between two men and one of them forewent what the mukatab owed him and the other insisted on his due. Then the mukatab died and left property. Malik said, "The one who did not abandon any of what he was owed, is paid in full. Then the property is divided between them both just as if a slave had died because what the first one did was not setting him free. He only abandoned a debt that was owed to him ." Malik said, "One clarification of that is that when a man dies and leaves a mukatab and he also leaves male and female children and one of the children frees his portion of the mukatab, that does not establish any of the wala' for him. Had it been a true setting free, the wala' would have been established for whichever men and women freed him." Malik said, "Another clarification of that is that if one of them freed his portion and then the mukatab could not pay, the value of what was left of the mukatab would be altered because of the one who freed his portion. Had it been a true setting-free, his estimated value would have been taken from the property of the one who set free until he had been set completely free as the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Whoever frees his share in a slave and has money to cover the full price of the slave, justly evaluated for him, gives his partners their shares. If not, he frees of him what he frees.' " (See Book 37 hadith 1). He said, "Another clarification of that is that part of the sunna of the muslims in which there is no dispute, is that whoever frees his share of a mukatab, the mukatab is not set fully free using his property. Had he been truly set free, the wala' would have been his alone rather than his partners. Part of what will clarify that also is that part of the sunna of the muslims is that the wala' belongs to whoever writes the contract of kitaba. The women who inherit from the master of the mukatab do not have any of the wala' of the mukatab. If they free any of their share, the wala' belongs to the male children of the master of the mukatab or his male paternal relations."  


 Malik said, "If people are together in one kitaba, their master cannot free one of them without consulting his companions who are with him in the kitaba and obtaining their consent. If they are young, however, their consultation means nothing and it is not permitted to them. That is because a man might work for all the people and he might pay their kitaba for them to complete their freedom. Their master approaches the one who will pay for them and their rescue from slavery is through him. He frees him and so makes those who remain unable to pay. He does it intending benefit and increase for himself. It is not permitted for him to do that to those of them who remain. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'There must be no harm nor return of harm.' This is the most severe harm." Malik said about slaves who wrote a kitaba together that it was permitted for their master to free the old and exhausted of them and the young when neither of them could pay anything, and there was no help nor strength to be had from any of them in their kitaba.  


 Malik said about a man who had his slave in a kitaba and then the mukatab died and left his umm walad, and there remained for him some of his kitaba to pay and he left what would pay it, "The umm walad is a slave since the mukatab was not freed until he died and he did not leave children that were set free by his paying what remained, so that the umm walad of their father was freed by their being set free." Malik said about a mukatab who set free a slave of his or gave sadaqa with some of his property and his master did not know that until he had set the mukatab free, "That has been performed by him and the master does not rescind it. If the master of the mukatab knows before he sets the mukatab free, he can reject that and not permit it. If the mukatab is then freed and it becomes in his power to do so, he does not have to free the slave, nor give the sadaqa unless he does it voluntarily from himself."  


 Malik said, The best of what I have heard about a mukatab whose master frees him at death, is that the mukatab is valued according to what he would fetch if he were sold. If that value is less than what remains against him of his kitaba, his freedom is taken from the third that the deceased can bequeath. One does not look at the number of dirhams which remain against him in his kitaba. That is because had he been killed, his killer would not be in debt for other than his value on the day he killed him. Had he been injured, the one who injured him would not be liable for other than the blood-money of the injury on the day of his injury. One does not look at how much he has paid of dinars and dirhams of the contract he has written because he is a slave as long as any of his kitaba remains. If what remains in his kitaba is less than his value, only whatever of his kitaba remains owing from him is taken into account in the third of the property of the deceased. That is because the deceased left him what remains of his kitaba and so it becomes a bequest which the deceased made." Malik said, "The illustration of that is that if the price of the mukatab is one thousand dirhams, and only one hundred dirhams remain of his kitaba, his master leaves him the one hundred dirhams which complete it for him. It is taken into account in the third of his master and by it he becomes free." Malik said that if a man wrote his slave a kitaba at his death, the value of the slave was estimated. If there was enough to cover the price of the slave in one third of his property, that was permitted for him. Malik said, "The illustration of that is that the price of the slave is one thousand dinars. His master writes him a kitaba for two hundred dinars at his death. The third of the property of his master is one thousand dinars, so that is permitted for him. It is only a bequest which he makes from one third of his property. If the master has left bequests to people, and there is no surplus in the third after the value of the mukatab, one begins with the mukatab because the kitaba is setting free, and setting free has priority over bequests. When those bequests are paid from the kitaba of the mukatab, they follow it. The heirs of the testator have a choice. If they want to give the people with bequests all their bequests and the kitaba of the mukatab is theirs, they have that. If they refuse and hand over the mukatab and what he owes to the people with bequests they can do that, because the third commences with the mukatab and because all the bequests which he makes are as one." If the heirs then say, "What our fellow bequeathed was more than one third of his property and he has taken what was not his," Malik said, "His heirs choose. It is said to them, 'Your companion has made the bequests you know about and if you would like to give them to those who are to receive them according to the deceased's bequests, then do so. If not, hand over to the people with bequests one third of the total property of the deceased.' " Malik continued, "If the heirs surrender the mukatab to the people with bequests, the people with bequests have what he owes of his kitaba. If the mukatab pays what he owes of his kitaba, they take that in their bequests according to their shares. If the mukatab cannot pay, he is a slave of the people with bequests and does not return to the heirs because they gave him up when they made their choice, and because when he was surrendered to the people with bequests, they were liable. If he died, they would not have anything against the heirs. If the mukatab dies before he pays his kitaba and he leaves property which is more than what he owes, his property goes to the people with bequests. If the mukatab pays what he owes, he is free and his wala' returns to the paternal relations of the one who wrote the kitaba for him." Malik spoke about a mukatab who owed his master ten thousand dirhams in his kitaba, and when he died he remitted one thousand dirhams from it. He said, "The mukatab is valued and his value is taken into consideration. If his value is one thousand dirhams and the reduction is a tenth of the kitaba, that portion of the slave's price is one hundred dirhams. It is a tenth of the price. A tenth of the kitaba is therefore reduced for him. That is converted to a tenth of the price in cash. That is as if he had had all of what he owed reduced for him. Had he done that, only the value of the slave - one thousand dirhams - would have been taken into account in the third of the property of the deceased. If that which he had remitted is half of the kitaba, half the price is taken into account in the third of the property of the deceased. If it is more or less than that, it is according to this reckoning." Malik said, "When a man reduces the kitaba of his mukatab by one thousand dirhams at his death from a kitaba of ten thousand dirhams, and he does not stipulate whether it is from the beginning or the end of his kitaba, each instalment is reduced for him by one tenth." Malik said, "If a man remits one thousand dirhams from his mukatab at his death from the beginning or end of his kitaba, and the original basis of the kitaba is three thousand dirhams, the mukatab's cash value is estimated. Then that value is divided. That thousand which is from the beginning of the kitaba is converted into its portion of the price according to its proximity to the term and its precedence and then the thousand which follows the first thousand is according to its precedence also until it comes to its end, and every thousand is paid according to its place in advancing and deferring the term because what is deferred of that is less in respect of its price. Then it is placed in the third of the deceased according to whatever of the price befalls that thousand according to the difference in preference of that, whether it is more or less, then it is according to this reckoning." Malik spoke about a man who willed a man a fourth of a mukatab or freed a fourth, and then the man died and the mukatab died and left a lot of property, more than he owed. He said, "The heirs of the first master and the one who was willed a fourth of the mukatab are given what they are still owed by the mukatab. Then they divide what is left over, and the one willed a fourth has a third of what is left after the kitaba is paid. The heirs of his master gets two-thirds. That is because the mukatab is a slave as long as any of his kitaba remains to be paid. He is inherited from by the possession of his person." Malik said about a mukatab whose master freed him at death, "If the third of the deceased will not cover him, he is freed from it according to what the third will cover and his kitaba is decreased according to that. If the mukatab owed five thousand dirhams and his value is two thousand dirhams cash, and the third of the deceased is one thousand dirhams, half of him is freed and half of the kitaba has been reduced for him." Malik said about a man who said in his will, "My slave so-and-so is free and write a kitaba for so-and-so", that the setting free had priority over the kitaba. 


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