Appropriated Islam: Hindu-Muslim cultural symbiosis and matriliny among the Mappilas of Kerala
Marumakkathayam or the matrilineal form of inheritance is an important social institution that emerged in Kerala around the beginning of Ninth Century A.D. Some prominent sections in the Hindu community practised this system. Joint families under the headship of the eldest female member was a peculiar feature of this system. The male members were visitors of the household and the inheritance of the property went to the children of the female members. Gradually, the women became the owners of property. The system was also prevalent among the Mappilas of the land. Different reasons are attributed for the emergence of matriliny among them. But the conversion of the matrilineal Hindus to Islam is the real cause for adaptation of this institution in Muslim society.
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