The Oran fatwa was a responsumfatwa, or an Islamic legal opinion, issued in 1504 to address the crisis that occurred when Muslims in the Crown of Castile (in Spain) were forced to convert to Christianity 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 for fulfilling the ritual prayers, the ritual charity, and the ritual ablution, and recommendations when obliged to violate Islamic law, such as worshipping as Christians, committing blasphemy, and consuming pork and wine.
The fatwa enjoyed wide currency among Muslims and Moriscos (Muslims nominally converted to Christianity and their descendants) in Spain, and one of the surviving aljamiado translations was dated at 1564, 60years after the original fatwa. The fatwa has been described as the "key theological document" to understand the practice of Spanish Muslims following the Reconquista up to the expulsion of the Moriscos. The author of the fatwa (mufti) was Ahmad ibn Abi Jum'ah, a North African scholar of Islamic law of the Maliki school. The fatwa was termed the "Oran fatwa" by modern scholars, due to the word "Al-Wahrani" ("of Oran") that appears in the text as part of the author's name. (Full article...)
This call was met with an enthusiastic popular response across all social classes in western Europe. Mobs of predominantly poor Christians numbering in the thousands, led by Peter the Hermit, a French priest, were the first to respond. What has become known as the People's Crusade passed through Germany and indulged in wide-ranging anti-Jewish activities, including the Rhineland massacres. On leaving Byzantine-controlled territory in Anatolia, they were annihilated in a Turkish ambush led by the Seljuk Kilij Arslan at the Battle of Civetot in October 1096. (Full article...)
The Great Mosque's signature trio of minarets overlooks the central market of Djenné.Map
While Malcolm X and scholars contemporary to the book's publication regarded Haley as the book's ghostwriter, modern scholars tend to regard him as an essential collaborator who intentionally muted his authorial voice to create the effect of Malcolm X speaking directly to readers. Haley influenced some of Malcolm X's literary choices. For example, Malcolm X left the Nation of Islam during the period when he was working on the book with Haley. Rather than rewriting earlier chapters as a polemic against the Nation which Malcolm X had rejected, Haley persuaded him to favor a style of "suspense and drama". According to Manning Marable, "Haley was particularly worried about what he viewed as Malcolm X's anti-Semitism" and he rewrote material to eliminate it. (Full article...)
The first mosques were simple places of prayer for Muslims, and may have been open spaces rather than buildings. In the first stage of Islamic architecture, 650-750 CE, early mosques comprised open and closed covered spaces enclosed by walls, often with minarets from which calls to prayer were issued. Mosque buildings typically contain an ornamental niche (mihrab) set into the wall that indicates the direction of Mecca (qiblah), ablution facilities. The pulpit (minbar), from which the Friday (jumu'ah) sermon (khutba) is delivered, was in earlier times characteristic of the central city mosque, but has since become common in smaller mosques. Mosques typically have segregated spaces for men and women. This basic pattern of organization has assumed different forms depending on the region, period and denomination. (Full article...)
Noah's Ark (1846), by the American folk painter Edward Hicks.
Searches for Noah's Ark have been made from at least the time of Eusebius (c. 275–339 CE), and believers in the Ark continue to search for it in modern times, but no confirmable physical proof of the Ark has ever been found. No scientific evidence has been found that Noah's Ark existed as it is described in the Bible. More significantly, there is also no evidence of a global flood, and most scientists agree that such a ship and natural disaster would both be impossible. Some researchers believe that a real (though localized) flood event in the Middle East could potentially have inspired the oral and later written narratives; a Persian Gulf flood, or a Black Sea Deluge 7,500 years ago has been proposed as such a historical candidate. (Full article...)
The Second Crusade was announced by Pope Eugene III, and was the first of the crusades to be led by European kings, namely Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany, with help from a number of other European nobles. The armies of the two kings marched separately across Europe. After crossing Byzantine territory into Anatolia, both armies were separately defeated by the Seljuk Turks. The main Western Christian source, Odo of Deuil, and Syriac Christian sources claim that the Byzantine EmperorManuel I Komnenos secretly hindered the crusaders' progress, particularly in Anatolia, where he is alleged to have deliberately ordered Turks to attack them. However, this alleged sabotage of the Crusade by the Byzantines was likely fabricated by Odo, who saw the Empire as an obstacle, and moreover Emperor Manuel had no political reason to do so. Louis and Conrad and the remnants of their armies reached Jerusalem and participated in 1148 in an ill-advised attack on Damascus, which ended in their retreat. In the end, the crusade in the east was a failure for the crusaders and a victory for the Muslims. It would ultimately have a key influence on the fall of Jerusalem and give rise to the Third Crusade at the end of the 12th century. (Full article...)
In the 1980s he started a bottom-up community development initiative of Orangi Pilot Project, based in the outskirts of Karachi, which became a model of participatory development initiatives. He also directed many programmes, from microcredit to self-finance and from housing provision to family planning, for rural communities and urban slums. It earned him international recognition and high honours in Pakistan. Khan was fluent in at least seven languages and dialects. Apart from many scholarly books and articles, he also published a collection of poems and travelogues in Urdu. (Full article...)
Muhammad took keen interest in capturing Meccan caravans after his migration to Medina, seeing it as repayment for his people, the Muhajirun. A few days before the battle, when he learnt of a Makkan caravan returning from the Levant led by Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, Muhammad gathered a small expeditionary force to capture it. Abu Sufyan, learning of the Muslim plan to ambush his caravan, changed course and took a longer route away from Muhammad's base at Medina and sent a messenger to Mecca, asking for help. Abu Jahl commanded an army nearly one-thousand strong, approaching Badr and encamping at the sand dune al-'Udwatul Quswa. (Full article...)
Image 1A Bedouin woman in Jerusalem, sometime between 1898 and 1914, dressed in Palestinian costume, the traditional clothing worn by Palestinians. Many of the handcrafted garments were richly embroidered and the creation and maintenance of these items played a significant role in the lives of the region's women. Until the 1940s, traditional Palestinian costumes reflected a woman's economic status, whether married or single, and the town or district of origin, and a knowledgeable observer could glean such information from the fabric, colors, cut, and embroidery motifs (or lack thereof) in a given woman's apparel.
Image 6A young woman from Ramallah, c. 1898-1914. Until the 1940s, women of Palestine wore elaborate handcrafted garments. The creation and maintenance of these items played a significant role in their lives. A knowledgeable observer could determine a woman's village of origin and social status from her clothing. The circular band near this woman's forehead is a ring of coins made from a portion of her dowry money, and indicates that she is unmarried.
Image 9The Sixty Dome Mosque is a medieval mosque located in Bagerhat, Bangladesh, built by Muslim saint Khan Jahan Ali in mid 15th century. This unique masonry mosque with 81 domes (including 4 corner domes) is a UNESCO world heritage site.