Guest lecture Mahmood Kooria: Women in the Name of Islam: Succession and Endowment Practices among Matrilineal Muslims

Afternoon Talk on Islamic Law

  • Date: May 20, 2021
  • Time: 16:00
  • Location: online

About the speaker

Mahmood Kooria holds research positions at Leiden University (the Netherlands), University of Bergen (Norway), and is a Visiting Faculty of History at Ashoka University (India). Amongst others, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) and African Studies Centre (ASC), Leiden and the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), New York. He did his PhD at the Leiden University Institute for History on the circulation of Islamic legal ideas and texts across the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean worlds. He has authored Islamic Law in Circulation: Shāfiʿī texts across the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).

About the topic

Millions of Muslims in several parts of Indonesia, India, Mozambique, Malaysia, Comoros, Sri Lanka, Somalia and Kenya have historically followed a distinctive familial system now generally identified as matrilineal or, one step further, matriarchal. Women had an upper-hand among them in many social, cultural, economic and political spheres, while men often got almost no role at all. Two aspects where these dynamics were visible, especially with regard to Islam, are the laws of succession (farāʾiḍ) and endowment (waqf). Both these areas provided strong points for women to substantiate their authority over property, family and society at large as much as religion. Utilizing the prospects of Islamic law that were often used to undermine their social systems, the matrilineal Muslims declared their family property as waqf to the women in the family or dedicated their property as waqf to religious institutions. This talk shall look at various gradations in the succession and endowment practices among matrilineal Muslims in order to explore how they enabled a different world for practicing and debating Islam.


The virtual lecture will be held as a video conference via Zoom. After having registered no later than 19 May 2021 using this LINK, you will receive the login details at the latest one day before the event. Please confirm upon registration that you agree to the use of Zoom and that you will not record the event. By attending the event you confirm that you have read and agreed to be bound by Zoom’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. You will find them here and here.

We will only record the lecture of Mahmood Kooria and will not record the discussion with the participants. Afterwards we will provide this recording on our homepage.

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