The Oran Fatwa: Authorizing Relaxations of Sharia Law in Sixteenth Century Spain

Following the loss of the last Muslim-controlled territory in Spain in 1491, remaining Muslims came under significant pressure to accept baptism and adopt Christian customs. In response to this situation, a North African mufti, believed to be Abu al-Abbas Ahmad ibn Abi Jum'ah al-Maghrawi al-Wahrani, wrote the Oran Fatwa in 1504. The fatwa lauds Muslims in Spain for continuing to practice their religion in the face of oppression. It also specifies ways in which Muslims may alter the ways they carry out the commands of Islam in order to ensure their survival.

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