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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 25th January 2011 11:10

 

 

History of Islam in China

During the days of the third caliph of Islam, Uthman Ghani رضي الله عنه, a Muslim deputation led by Sa`ad Ibn Abi Waqqas رضي الله عنه visited China in 651 A.D (29 A.H.) to invite the Chinese emperor to embrace Islam.

They built a magnificent mosque in Canton city. This mosque is known as "The Memorial Mosque".

The Huaisheng Mosque is one of the oldest Mosques in the world, built by Prophet Muhammad (SAW)'s cousin & companion, Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas

 

 

The Huaisheng Mosque, also known as the Lighthouse Mosque, is the main mosque of Guangzhou. Rebuilt many times over its history, it is traditionally thought to have been originally built over 1,300 years ago, which would make it one of the oldest mosques in the world. It was named in memory of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Its calling tower is 36 feet tall with a pointed tip. The building used to serve as a beacon for boats, which is how it got its alternative name (Guangta Si, i.e. literally "Light Tower Mosque", referring to the unadorned surface of the minaret.

It has many other variant names like Great Mosque of Canton, Guangta Si Mosque, Hwai Sun Su Mosque, Huai-Sheng Mosque, Ying Tong Mosque, Huai-Shang Mosque, and Huai-Shang Si Mosque.

Old Chinese Muslim manuscripts state that the mosque was built by Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas who was an uncle of Prophet Muhammad, and supposedly came on his first Muslim mission to China in the 650s. Although modern secular scholars don't find any historical evidence that Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas actually visited China, they agree that the first Muslims must have arrived to China within the 7th century, and that the major trade centers, such as Guangzhou, Quanzhou, and Yangzhou probably already had their first mosques built during the Tang Dynasty, even though no reliable sources attesting to their actual existence has been found so far.

It is certain that the mosque existed during the Tang Dynasty, or in the early years of the Song Dynasty. The mosque was rebuilt in 1350 then in again in 1695 after being destroyed in a fire. The Huaisheng Light Tower or minaret was built at an earlier period.

 

 

 



 

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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 25th January 2011 11:22

According to China Muslims' traditional legendary accounts, Islam was first brought to China by Hadhrat Sa'ad ibn abi Waqqas رضي الله عنه. As reported by Al-Bayhaqi, Prophet Muhammad (SAW)pronounced: "Seek for knowledge even unto China".

Chinese Muslims have been in China for the last 1,400 years of continuous interaction with Chinese society. "Islam expanded gradually across the maritime and inland silk routes from the 7th to the 10th centuries through trade and diplomatic exchanges."

Introduction of Islam in 616-18 AD

Islam in China has a rich heritage. Islam was first introduced in China in 616-18 AD by The Sahaba (companions) of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) namely Waqqas (Sad ibn abi Waqqas رضي الله عنه), Sayid, Wahab ibn Abu Kabshaرضي الله عنه and another Sahaba. Sad ibn abi Waqqasرضي الله عنه is the maternal uncle of Prophet Muhammad(SAW). Wahab ibn abu Kabshaرضي الله عنه (Wahb abi Kabcha) might be a son of al-Harth ibn Abdul Uzza (known as Abu Kabsha). See the text: "The Prophet was entrusted to Halimah...Her husband was Al-Harith bin Abdul Uzza called Abi Kabshah, from the same tribe". It is noted in other accounts that Wahab Abu Kabshaرضي الله عنه reached Canton by sea in 629 CE.

Sa`ad ibn Abi Waqqasرضي الله عنه along with three Sahabas namely Thabit ibn Qaysرضي الله عنه, Uwais al-Qarniرضي الله عنه and Hassan ibn Thabitرضي الله عنه went to China from Persia in 637 for the second time and returned by the Yunan-Manipur-Chittagong route, then reached Arabia by sea. Some date introduction of Islam in China to 650 AD which is the instance of the third journey of Sad ibn abi Waqqasرضي الله عنه to China, Sa`ad ibn Abi Waqqasرضي الله عنه, was sent as an official envoy to Emperor Gaozong which was his third journey during Hadhrat Uthman'sرضي الله عنه era in 651 AD.

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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 25th January 2011 11:28

 

 

 

Great Mosque of Xi'an

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

 

The Great Mosque of Xi'an (simplified Chinese: 西安大清真寺; traditional Chinese: 西安大清真寺; pinyin: Xī’ān Dà Qīngzhēnsì; Xiao'erjing: ثِ ’ءًا دَا شٍ جٌ سِ), located near the Drum Tower (Gu Lou) on 30 Huajue Lane of Xi'an, Shaanxi province, China, is the oldest and one of the most renowned mosquesin the country founded in 742.

It was built and renovated in later periods (especially during the reign of Emperor Hongwuof the Ming Dynasty). It remains a popular tourist site of Xi'an, and is still used by Chinese Muslims (mainly the Hui people) today as a place of worship. Unlike most mosques in Middle Eastern or Arab countries, the Great Mosque of Xi'an is completely Chinese in its construction and architectural style, except for some Arabic lettering and decorations, for the mosque has neither domes nor traditional-style minarets.

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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 25th January 2011 11:39

After the early beginnings, relations between the Muslims and the Chinese progressed fairly well. The first Muslim settlement in China was established in Cheng Aan port during the Tang dynasty. Thousands of Muslims have been turning to China in different times. Sometimes these neo settlers had petty skirmishes with the local Chinese. The first regular war was waged at the Chinese border in 133 A.H. The Muslims were led by Ziyad. They were far less in numbers. But they gave a crushing defeat to the Chinese. After this victory, the Muslims came to command complete control over the entire Central Asia.

These early successes opened the doors of China for the Muslim missionaries. In 138 A.H. General Lieu Chen revolted against Emperor Sehwan Tsung. On a request for help from the emperor the Abbasid caliph, Al-Mansur deputed a unit of 4,000 armed Turk Muslim troops to China. With their help the emperor overpowered the rebellion. After crushing the rebellion, the Turk soldiers settled in China. They married Chinese women. The Muslim influx to China continued thereafter through sea and land routes.

The early Muslims settling in China bore all sorts of circumstances. The long rule of the Manchu dynasty (1644-1911 AD) was the hardest for the Muslims. During this period the following five wars were waged against the Muslims: the Lanchu War, the Che Kanio War, the Sinkiang War, the Uunanan War, and the Shansi War. In these destructive wars, the Muslims suffered inestimable losses. Countless Muslims were martyred. Half of Kansu’s population, totalling 15 millions, was Muslim. Only 5 million could escape alive. Chinese Muslims sustained similar setbacks in several other small and big wars. During the past three centuries, the Muslim population has decreased at 30%.

However, despite the great Muslim massacres during the past, the present Chinese Muslim population still exceeds 60 million. The Chinese Muslims follow the Islamic theory and practice. They practice all the five fundamentals of Islam. They differentiate between the forbidden (Haram) and the permissible (Halal). They are leading a decent and a civilized life in China.

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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 25th January 2011 11:47
Tang Dynasty
Earlier visists of Sa'd ibn abi Waqqasرضي الله عنه were noted in Arab accounts. They (Sahabas) were more concerned with writings of verses of the Quran as revealed to Prophet Muhammad(SAW), and his sayings (Hadiths) and ways of life (Sunnah).
Islam came to China In no less than twenty years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad(SAW).
Emperor Gaozong, the Tang emperor who received the envoy then ordered the construction of the Memorial mosque in Canton, the first mosque in the country, in memory of Muhammad.

While modern secular historians tend to say that there is no evidence for Waqqasرضي الله عنه himself ever coming to China, they do believe that Muslim diplomats and merchants arrived to Tang China within a few decades from the beginning of Muslim Era. The Tang Dynasty's cosmopolitan culture, with its intensive contacts with Central Asia and its significant communities of (originally non-Muslim) Central and Western Asian merchants resident in Chinese cities, which helped the introduction of Islam. The first major Muslim settlements in China consisted of Arab and Persian merchants. During the Tang and especially the Song eras, comparatively well-established, even if somewhat segregated, mercantile Muslim communities existed in the port cities of Guangzhou, Quanzhou, and Hangzhou on China's southeastern seaboard, as well as in the interior centers such as Chang'an, Kaifeng, and Yangzhou. After critical analysis, it is evident that Sa'd ibn abi Waqqasرضي الله عنه and the three other Sahabas who were preaching from 616-18 were noticed by Emperor Wu-De by 618 AD. Guangzhou is home to four mosques, including the famous Huaisheng Mosque believed to have been built by Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqasرضي الله عنه. The city also has a grave believed to be that of ibn Abi Waqqasرضي الله عنه (father of Sa'd ibn abi Waqqasرضي الله عنه)
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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 25th January 2011 11:55
Song Dynasty

By the time of the Song Dynasty, Muslims had come to play a major role in the import/export industry. The office of Director General of Shipping was consistently held by a Muslim during this period. In 1070, the Song emperor Shenzong invited 5,300 Muslim men from Bukhara, to settle in China in order to create a buffer zone between the Chinese and the Liao empire in the northeast. Later on these men were settled between the Sung capital of Kaifeng and Yenching (modern day Beijing). They were led by Prince Amir Sayyid "So-fei-er" (his Chinese name) who was reputed of being called the "father" of the Muslim community in China. Prior to him Islam was named by the Tang and Song Chinese as Dashi fa ("law of the Arabs"). He renamed it to Huihui Jiao ("the Religion of the Huihui").
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#7 [Permalink] Posted on 25th January 2011 12:00
Yuan Dynasty

Islam during the Yuan Dynasty
During the Mongol-founded Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), large numbers of Muslims settled in China. The Mongols, a minority in China, gave Muslim immigrants an elevated status over the native Han Chinese as part of their governing strategy, thus giving Muslims a heavy influence. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims immigrants were recruited and forcibly relocated from Western and Central Asia by the Mongols to help them administer their rapidly expanding empire. The Mongols used Persian, Arab and Uyghur administrators, generically known as semu [色目]("various eye color") to act as officers of taxation and finance. Muslims headed many corporations in China in the early Yuan period. Muslim scholars were brought to work on calendar making and astronomy. The architect Yeheidie'erding (Amir al-Din) learned from Han architecture and helped to design the construction of the capital of the Yuan Dynasty, Dadu, otherwise known as Khanbaliq or Khanbaligh, the predecessor of present-day Beijing. The term Hui originated from the Mandarin word "Huihui" a term first used in the Yuan Dynasty to describe Central Asian, Persian and Arab residents in China.
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#8 [Permalink] Posted on 25th January 2011 12:03
Ming Dynasty

During the following Ming Dynasty, Muslims continued to be influential around government circles. Six of Ming Dynasty founder Zhu Yuanzhang's most trusted generals were Muslim, including Lan Yu who, in 1388, led a strong imperial Ming army out of the Great Wall and won a decisive victory over the Mongols in Mongolia, effectively ending the Mongol dream to re-conquer China. Zhu Yuanzhang also wrote a praise of Islam, the The Hundred-word Eulogy. Additionally, the Yongle Emperor hired Zheng He, perhaps the most famous Chinese Muslim and China's foremost explorer, to lead seven expeditions to the Indian Ocean, from 1405 and 1433. However, during the Ming Dynasty, new immigration to China from Muslim countries was restricted in an increasingly isolationist nation. The Muslims in China who were descended from earlier immigration began to assimilate by speaking Chinese dialects and by adopting Chinese names and culture. Mosque architecture began to follow traditional Chinese architecture. This era, sometimes considered the Golden Age of Islam in China, also saw Nanjing become an important center of Islamic study.
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#9 [Permalink] Posted on 25th January 2011 12:08
Qing Dynasty

The rise of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) made relations between the Muslims and Chinese more difficult. The dynasty prohibited ritual slaughtering of animals, followed by forbidding the construction of new mosques and the pilgrimage to Mecca. The Qing rulers belonged to the Manchu, a minority in China. The Muslim revolt in the northwest occurred due to violent and bloody infighting between Muslim sects, the Gedimu, Khafiya, and Jahriyya, while the rebellion in Yunnan occurred because of repression by Qing officials. resulted in five bloody Hui rebellions, most notably the Panthay Rebellion, which occurred in Yunnan province from 1855 to 1873, and the Dungan revolt, which occurred mostly in Xinjiang, Shensi and Gansu, from 1862 to 1877. The Manchu government then committed genocide to suppress these revolts, killing a million people in the Panthay rebellion, several million in the Dungan revolt and five million in the suppression of Miao people in Guizhou. A "washing off the Muslims" policy had been long advocated by officials in the Manchu government.

However, many Muslims like Ma Zhan'ao, Ma Anliang, Dong Fuxiang, Ma Qianling, and Ma Julung defected to the Qing dynasty side, and helped the Qing general Zuo Zongtang exterminate the Muslim rebels. These Muslim generals belonged to the Khafiya sect, and they helped Qing massacre Jahariyya rebels. General Zuo moved the han around hezhou out of the area and relocated them as a reward for the Muslims there helping Qing kill other Muslim rebels.

In 1895, another Dungan Revolt (1895) broke out, and loyalist Muslims like Dong Fuxiang, Ma Anliang, Ma Guoliang, Ma Fulu, and Ma Fuxiang suppressed and massacred the rebel Muslims led by Ma Dahan, Ma Yonglin, and Ma Wanfu. A Muslim army called the Kansu Braves led by General Dong Fuxiang fought for the Qing dynasty against the foreigners during the Boxer Rebellion. They included well known Generals like Ma Anliang, Ma Fulu, and Ma Fuxiang. In Yunnan, the Qing armies only massacred the Muslims who had rebelled, and spared Muslims who took no part in the uprising.
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#10 [Permalink] Posted on 25th January 2011 12:11
Tombs of Imam Asim and Mazaar of Zafar Sadiqرضي الله عنه

"On the foothills of Mount Lingshan are the tombs of two of the four companions that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) sent eastwards to preach Islam. Known as the "Holy Tombs," they house the companions Sa-Ke-Zu and Wu-Ko-Shun-their Chinese names, of course. The other two companions went to Guangzhou and Yangzhou."

"Imam Asim is said to have been one of the first Islamic missionaries in the region. His name is also spelled Imam Hashim (man of c.1000 CE in Hotan). The shrine site includes the reputed tomb of the Imam, a mosque, and several related tombs."
There is also a mazaar of Imam Zafar Sadiqرضي الله عنه
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#11 [Permalink] Posted on 25th January 2011 12:14
Interaction wasn't restricted to the coast, and the largest influence and movement of Muslims came from the northern borders, Mongolia, East Turkistan, and Central Asia, whether by invasions, or the conversion of Steppe people, such as the Turks already heavily populated in China, reversion to Islam. Islam also found its way into through the western provinces of Yunnan via Burma and the Mughal and Delhi Dynasties in India. But the greatest movement of Islam into China came on the back of the Yuan Dynasty. The Mongol conquest of Muslim Central Asia and Persia, brought millions of administrators, generals, scientists into the Mongolian sphere. The Mongolians prefered to use these Muslims to administer China over their Chinese counterparts. But the Islamic influence did not stop with the collapse of the Yuan Dynasty, it also flourished under the Ming Dynasty with many of the founding Generals being Hui. One Hui scholar even contended that Ming Taizu Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang was a Muslim
Islam suffered greatly during the next Dynasty, the Qing Dynasty, founded by Manchurians. During this period China rapidly expanded (1/3 of its land mass) bringing into its sphere East Turkistan ,renaming it Xinjiang, and Mongolia, This coupled with a policy of Han settlements in traditionally minority Han areas such as Yunnan created great tension. Many Muslims rebelled, and various Islamic States where created such as the Dali Sultanate and the Xinjiang Sultanate. This rebellion carried on through the nationalist period with the Five Ma and the second Xinjiang Islamic State.

As a result of this huge interaction Islam has played a significant role in China and is reprsented by various ethnic groups such as the Hui and the Salar. Contributions in Science and warfare are numerous throughout the history as is Poetry and the proliferation of Islamic Scholars and philosophers.
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#12 [Permalink] Posted on 25th January 2011 12:17
Muslim Ethnic Groups in China

10 distinct ethinc groups. The Hui, Salar, Tajkis and the Uygurs and there various subdivisions : Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Kirgiz, Tartars and Dongxiang After the Hui, the remainder of the Muslim population belong to Turkic language groups and are racially Turks
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#13 [Permalink] Posted on 25th January 2011 12:19
Hui

The term Hui was defined under the Communists in 1930 to inidcate ethinic chinese Muslims. Their catogorisation as Hui people was a response to Japenese overtures to the Muslim and Mongolian people in China to illicit an alliance or at the very least neutrality . The Communists released a document callled "Manifesto of the Chinese Central Soviet to the Hui people". The document granted them political autonomy and religious freedom and the right to bear arms.
Later in 1941 the Communist Party clarified the term Hui as follows . The Hui or Huihui constitue an ethnic group associated with, but not defined by, the islamic religion and they are decended primarily from Muslims who migrated to China during the Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368), as distinct from the Uyghur and other Turkic speaking ethnic groups in Xinjiang.
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#14 [Permalink] Posted on 25th January 2011 12:21
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#15 [Permalink] Posted on 25th January 2011 12:23
Islamic Rites, Heritage and Culture

The Mongol conquest of the greater part of Eurasia in the 13th century brought the extensive cultural traditions of China and Persia into a single empire, albeit one of separate khanates, for the first time in history. The intimate interaction that resulted is evident in the legacy of both traditions. In China, Islam influenced technology, sciences, philosophy and the arts. In terms of material culture, one finds decorative motives from central Asian Islamic architecture and calligraphy, the marked halal impact on northern Chinese cuisine and the varied influences of Islamic medical science on Chinese medicine.
Taking the Mongol Eurasian empire as a point of departure, the ethnogenesis of the Hui, or Sinophone Muslims, can also be charted through the emergence of distinctly Chinese Muslim traditions in architecture, food, epigraphy and Islamic written culture. This multifaceted cultural heritage continues to the present day.
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