Muslims? In China?!

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// December 22nd, 2006 // Blog

That was my thought three years ago when i learnt that there are around 20 million Muslims in China. I don't know why i was so shocked, but my ignorance in Islam (and most other matters) was pretty well-rounded back then!

Once i discovered this amazing fact, i did my best to find out more information on this Muslim community via my friend on the web, Google.

Soon after, i stumbled across this very informative website.

It belongs to a group that organizes tours of Islamic sites around China. Any money raised goes towards helping the orphans under their care as well as the poor people of the community.

Among the glowing testimonies on the website is one from the photographer, Peter Sanders. He took some AMAZING photos during that time, māshā’Allāh, that can be found on his website under the travel section, along with other stunning images from around the Muslim world.

I encourage those who are planning a trip abroad – both Muslim and non-Muslim – to investigate this tour further. It seems like one of those “once in a lifetime” journeys you'll never forget.

If my father was up to it (and i wasn't a final year graduate student) i would totally be on the next plane out there, inshā’Allāh!

If anyone is thinking about going, please let me know!

12 Responses to “Muslims? In China?!”

  1. Faraz says:

    Hmm, this is very interesting. I’ve always been fascinated by Muslims in the East. I have really wanted to go to Malaysia for so long… in fact, I was very close to going last year from India, but I basically just ran out of money. Insha-Allah, someday.

    As far as China is concerned, I can actually get a free flight to Shanghai but had no idea what I’d do if I were to go. This gives me a very tempting option…

  2. Yusuf says:

    Assalamualaikum…

    Yes, it’s interesting indeed…there was a hadith about the Prophet (saw) sending some companions to China for knowledge, no?

  3. AnonyMouse says:

    lol, I was pretty surprised when I discovered that there are so many Muslims in China, too!

    I think that BBC did a documentary on them… if you Google around, I’m sure you’ll find it…

    From what I’ve read, Sa’ad ibn Abi Waqqas (RA) was the Sahabi who helped bring Islam to China…

  4. The Intolerant One says:

    I find that interesting as well.

    I always thought China was more of an anti-religion anything in their country. Many of my Christian brothers and sister’s are viciously persecuted there because of their faith and testymony in Christ.

    Anyways, I wanted to stop by to wish you a Merry Christmas. I thank you for our new found friendship. Blessings to you.

  5. Daniel says:

    China is very much Buddhist, TIO.

    I asked my partner who is native-born Chinese and spent more than three decades there and she says that she is not aware of a heavy anti-christian bias though the Government was anti-all religions when Mao was in power.

    Given China’s close proximity to the Arab world I’m not surprised there are Muslims there.

    Happy Xmas!

  6. iMuslim says:

    Salaams (peace) all!

    Faraz: I too, long to visit Malaysia. I have made some Malaysian friends during my PhD and they are such lovely sisters, mashallah, so i’m guaranteed a free tour and accommodation – woohoo! The great thing about Malay Muslims from my experience is their sincerity. They are very welcoming and friendly people who don’t make much fuss.

    Also, Malay food is my favourite! Spicy enough for someone used to Indian cuisine, but different enough to be worth spending money on (i don’t like to visit Indian restaurants as i always think “i can get this stuff at home for free!”, haha).

    If you have a FREE flight to Shanghai (how??) then please go! You’ll have to email them first to ask when the next tour is. My friend visited China this year with her Chinese friend – she enjoyed the trip but nearly starved as she couldn’t find many places to eat and the locals didn’t understand the word V-E-G-E-T-A-R-I-A-N! So that is another great advantage of the tour as they guarantee halal food, alhamdulillah.

    You can see my priorities for travelling centre around food!! If my stomach is full, i’m happy. haha

    Yusuf: I think the hadith you are talking about is “Seek knowledge, even if it be in China”. I think it has some weakness in its chain of transmission (or so i’ve heard) but the meaning is crystal!

    Mousey: I think the silk trade also helped to bring Islam to China.

    TIO: Communism isn’t religion-friendly as far as i know, but things have relaxed a little these days, especially as China is looking for trading partners.

    Thanks for your blessings, i pray God grants us the best of both lives.

    Daniel: You are a man of the world with a woman of the world by your side! Best wishes to you both.

  7. Faraz says:

    If you have a FREE flight to Shanghai (how??) then please go!

    I’m currently working on a project which gives me very generous flight benefits. Shanghai is within the range of cities that are eligible for me to visit. The travel perks are nice, but it’s quite exhausting. I’m currently flying an average of 7000 kilometres per week, across three timezones.

    I’ve also racked up enough frequent flyer miles that should let me visit almost anywhere in the world, but alas, the project itself is keeping me too busy to afford any time to actually take advantage of such perks.

    But I’ll keep it in mind; any idea how long the tour is?

  8. iMuslim says:

    7000 km a week?! Subhanallah… do you sleep on the plane??

    I hope you are enjoying your project and that you still have enough spare time and energy for your fardh duties (and perhaps some nawafil for good measure!), inshallah.

    I’m not sure how long the tour is – best to email them and ask for details. Address should be on the website somewhere.

  9. Faraz says:

    Yep, I sleep on the plane. I forgot you were from England, where distances are typically very small. Canada is a huge country, and my office is on the Pacific side while I live on the Atlantic. By European standards, that’s completely ludicrous I’m sure, but it’s not that uncommon over here.

    Alhamdolillah, it hasn’t disturbed me from my regular practice, except that it’s a little more difficult to make it to the masjid on a regular basis. There isn’t a very big Muslim community near my office so I find myself praying every prayer alone which I’m not too happy about.

  10. iMuslim says:

    Canada is a huge country, and my office is on the Pacific side while I live on the Atlantic.

    So how often do you commute?

    And i thought my two hours a day commuting was bad! The fact that it takes me one hour to cross LONDON shows how slow and inefficient London Transport is… but we all have the same problem to face. When there are tube delays you’ll often find people starting up random conversations:

    Person 1: “Ah, blinking tube/weather/buses/traffic/etc…”

    Person 2: “Yeah, tell me about it!”

    And that’s how it begins! hehe

    I actually did that a couple of days ago with a nice young lady on the Central line. We ended up having a weird conversation about people getting stuck under trains and how they might survive (one of the excuses for a suspended service is “person under a train”). In any other situation such a subject would be strange to say the least – but not on the Underground!

  11. DA says:

    I’m actually headed to China in a few months (inshallah) and hoping to get to NIngxia for a bit to meet Chinese Muslims (mostly the Hui, but there are other ethnic groups who practice Islam).

    Wo shuo yi dianr hanyu, keshi wo bu sho arabyawen :-D

  12. iMuslim says:

    Assalamu alaykum and welcome Da!

    Or should i call you Cap’n Red Beard? hehe

    Alhamdulillah – you are going! Is it for a holiday or some business as well?

    A translation of that last sentence would be nice!

    Wa’salam

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