Since becoming a nation-state in 1970, Oman's expanding heritage industry has included the restoration of castles and citadels, including the fort at Nizwa. The fort was once the administrative and juridical center of the Ibadi Imamate (1913–58). As the site of sharia adjudication, it sanctioned a past of primarily moral nature, oriented toward God and salvation and grounded in Ibadi doctrine and practice. This mode of history implied that everyday interactions and relationships could be assessed through exemplary forms of morality, as embodied by virtuous forbears. Yet the heritage project in modern Oman has treated history and Islam as seemingly separate, erasing formal awareness of the sociopolitical and ethical relationships that once characterized Ibadi rule. Today, the historical work done by the fort as a heritage site entails a progress-oriented future, reconfiguring Ibadi Islam in the process.

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