Portal:Islam in China

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Chinese Muslims have been in China for the last 1,400 years of continuous interaction with Chinese society. Currently, Muslims are a significant minority group in China. Various sources estimate different numbers of adherents with some sources indicating that 1-3% of the total population in China are Muslims.

According to Chinese Muslims' traditional legendary accounts, Islam was first introduced to China in 616-18 AD by Sahaba (companions) of Prophet Muhammad : Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas, Sayid, Wahab ibn Abu Kabcha and another Sahaba. Some sources date the introduction of Islam in China to 650 AD, the third sojourn of Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas, when he was sent as an official envoy to Emperor Gaozong during Caliph Uthman's reign.

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Niujie Mosques02.jpg
The Niujie Mosque (simplified Chinese: 牛街礼拜寺; traditional Chinese: 牛街禮拜寺; pinyin: Niújiē lǐbàisì; Wade–Giles: Niu-chieh Li-pai-ssu "Oxen Street House of Worship" or Chinese: 牛街清真寺; pinyin: Niújiē Qīngzhēnsì; Wade–Giles: Niu-chieh Ch'ing-chen-ssu "Oxen Street Mosque") is the oldest mosque in Beijing, China. It was first built in 996 during the Liao Dynasty and was reconstructed as well as enlarged under the Kangxi Emperor (r. 1661-1722) of the Qing Dynasty.

The Mosque is located in the Niujie area of Beijing's Xicheng District, the spiritual centre for the 10,000 Muslims living in the vicinity and it is the biggest and oldest one in Beijing. It was within the Xuanwu District before it merged into Xicheng in 2010. Niujie in Xicheng District, where the mosque is located, is the largest area inhabited by Muslims in Beijing.

The Niujie Mosque covers an area of approximately 10,000 square meters. The mosque reflects a mixture of Islamic and Han Chinese cultural and architectural influences. From the outside, its architecture shows traditional Chinese influence and the inside has blend of Islamic calligraphy and Chinese design. The main prayer hall is 600 square meters in area, and can hold more than 1,000 worshipers, while non-believers cannot enter it. The mosque, built out of timber, is home to some important cultural relics and tablets such as the upright tablet of an emperor's decree proclaimed in 1694 during the Qing Dynasty.

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A mosque in Hotan


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Hussein Yee
Hussain Yee (born 1950) is a Malaysian national of Chinese descent and a lecture on Islam and former Buddhist and Christian who lectures regularly in the Asia-Pacific region. His lectures on Islam are frequently aired on Peace TV.



Did you know...

Did you Know..

  • ...that Muslims live in every region in China?
  • ...that Chinese Muslims had written a collection of Chinese Islamic texts and named it The Han Kitab ?


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