Posted: December 2nd, 2013
China has the largest population in the world. With this population, there have been and still are many religious groups in the country including the Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Confucianism, and Taoists among other religions. Religion in China has a long History of both foreign and domestic religions. Islam is one of the foreign religions that China widely embraced. In a country of over a Billion people, Islam in the country may be seen a minority religious group. Nonetheless, Islam is present, and its pupation is amongst the highest in the world with over 20.3 million Islam followers. The Muslim community spans across several tribes each with the Hui and Uygur being the most dominant group of Muslims in the country.
One of the earliest forms of Islam in China was Sufism that began in the late seventeenth century. This form arrived in China along the Central Asian trade routes with the sheiks of both Chinese and foreign origins. The enigmatic teachers and tradesmen were able to establish widespread networks and brother hood associations that included chiefly of the Naqshbandiyya, Qadariyya and the Kubrawiyya (Yang 186). The preachers of these associations tried to appeal to the Gedimu to which was the earliest form of Islam in the China. The Tang Dynasty and the Ming Dynasty saw no split in Muslim. It was during the Qing Dynasty that Sufism surfaced in China. A nationalistic movement in the country in the late 19th century saw a secularization of the religion influenced by the Wahhabi ideals of the Arabian Peninsula (Yang 190). The Yihewani has been considered another from of Islam in China. Many have also though of it as the alternative to Sufism and Gedimu Islam in China. The Tajik are the only Shiite Muslims in China.
The total Muslim population in china is about 20.3 million. The ethnic groups in China that are Muslim include the Hui, Uyghur, Kazakh, Dongxiang, Kyrgyz, Salar, Tajik, Uzbek, Bonan and the Tatar. The Hui can be found all over the country, but they are mainly geographically associated with Ningxia, Qinghai and Gansu. The Uyghur’s geographical position is in the Xinjiang region of China. The Kazakh, Uzbek, Salar and Tatar can be found in the same area. The Dongxiang and the Bonan communities are concentrated in the Hexi corridor of the Gansu mountainous region. The
The Hui is a distinct category of Muslims in the country because of various factors. For one, Islam in China has been propagated among the Hui people over 1300 years (Yang 182). In this sense, Islam in China has been considered a premise of the Hui people. For example, during the Qing Dynasty, Islam in China was referred to as the Hui religion (Goossaert & Palmer 60). The Hui in many ways introduced Islam in China. Another distinctive feature of the Hui is that they are more closely related to the Han than any other Muslim community in China. The odd thing is that the Han are not Muslim, yet the Hui have adapted many of their Islamic practices and beliefs to the Han way of life. This has accorded the Hui community criticism from Muslims from other communities (Yang 183).
The name Hui can mean, “To return”. The Hui have not been considered part of the Chinese people. This is because they descended from Persian, Arab, Mongolian and Turkish Muslim soldiers and merchants who settled in China in the 17th century (Yang 180). They then intermarried with the Han women how that is how they brought the Islam religion and became part of China. In the late Qing Dynasty, the Hui were a feared people in the fight against the dynasty’s tyrannical rule (Goossaert & Palmer 36). They fought in the Xingjian region, drove away the Qing infidels, and imposed Islamic law under the rule Yaqub Beg in 1820 (Goossaert & Palmer 37).
Place an order in 3 easy steps. Takes less than 5 mins.