A major international conference on the matrilineal Muslims of the Indian Ocean world will be held at Ashoka University in Sonepat, Haryana, India on 27-29 August 2019. The conference titled "Customizing the Sharia: Matrilineal Muslims and Islamic Law in the Indian Ocean Littoral" will bring together scholars from about 20 countries and will have around 30 presentations. 

The conference explores how the matrilineal Muslims of the Indian Ocean constructed their own versions of Islam and its laws, often in conflict and by compromise with the dominant patriarchal perceptions and narratives. The speakers will investigate how the followers of the matrilineal Islam defended the system within the Islamic legal epistemologies and within the maritime social systems.

Prof. Noor Aziah (National University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur) and Prof. Leon Buskens (Leiden University, The Netherlands) will deliver keynote speeches. An Indonesian theatre group will perform a play on the matrilineal traditions,  directed by Dr. Susasrita Loravianti. 

The event is hosted by the History Department of Ashoka University in collaboration with InterAsia Program, Social Science Research Council (New York, USA), Leiden Centre for Indian Ocean Studies (the Netherlands), and HERA-Project: “Understanding Sharia: Past Perfect, Imperfect Present” of University of Exeter (United Kingdom), Leiden University (the Netherlands), Gottingen University (Germany), and Bergen University (Norway). 

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