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Islam in China

Origin of Islam in China

Hui Zu is a general term for all Muslims in China.  The origin of Islam in China has been estimated to have occurred around 651 A.D. during the Tang Dynasty.   Around that period, the South China Sea and Persian Gulf were filled with merchants from Arab and China.  Arab traders brought back silk, art, porcelain to the Middle East.

As the Arab traders began to settle in communities in China and built mosques, they lived wealthy lives settling in the upper echelons of the social classes.  Soon Muslims began to integrate with and married non-Muslims.  According to Islam, the whole family must embrace Islamism. This became the birth of Islamism in China.  

The second influence on the adoption of Islam in China is through slavery.  Poor Chinese peasants ran to the Muslim rich masters to escape their social obligations and became slaves.  As non-Muslim slaves, these Chinese peasants were soon influenced by the Islam religion of their Muslim masters.

Contributions of Islam in China

Practices of Islam in China



Reciting Quran - Photo Credit: Hasimsyah

Islam in China Today

During the cultural revolution, many Mosques were destroyed.  As the cultural revolution ended and the death of Mao occurred, there has been a resurgence of Muslim communities and Islamic religious activity. It is estimated that there are over 20 million Muslims faithfully practicing Islam in China today.