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The Oran fatwa was an Islamic legal opinion issued in 1504 to address the forced conversion to Christianity of Muslims in the Crown of Castile in Iberia in 1500–1502. The fatwa sets out detailed relaxations of the sharia (Islamic law) requirements, allowing the Muslims to conform outwardly to Christianity and perform acts that are ordinarily forbidden in Islamic law, when necessary to survive. It includes relaxed instructions to fulfill the ritual prayers, charity and purification, and recommendations for how to handle obligations that violated Islamic law, such as worshipping as Christians, performing blasphemy, and consuming pork and wine. The fatwa enjoyed wide currency in Spain among Muslims and Moriscos – Muslims nominally converted to Christianity and their descendants – from the time of the first forced conversions up to the expulsion of the Moriscos (1609–1614). The author of the fatwa was Ahmad ibn Abi Jum'ah, a North African Islamic law scholar (mufti) of the Maliki school. (Full article...)

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Gilt-bronze Maitreya in Meditation

The Gilt-bronze Maitreya in Meditation is a gilt-bronze statue of Maitreya seated in meditation. It measures 83.2 centimetres (32.8 in) in height and probably dates to the middle or late 6th century. One of the best known and regarded Korean Buddhist sculptures, it was designated as the 78th national treasure of Korea in 1962.

Photograph: National Museum of Korea

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