Thursday, December 13, 2007

Record number of Chinese Muslims attending Hajj this year

With 20 million Muslims around China, it is only in recent years that they have been able to go on the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca, Islam's holiest city, in substantial numbers. Thanks to rising affluence, growing numbers of Chinese Muslims are now able to fulfill their spiritual obligations of performing the Hajj, and this year, a record 10,700 of them are expected to do so. via Shangaiist

A record 10,700 Chinese Muslims are expected to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, according to the Islamic Association of China (IAC). China has more than 20 million Muslims, mainly living in Xinjiang, Qinghai, Ganshu, Ningxia, Yunnan, Shaanxi, Inner Mongolia and Henan. Starting in 1985, nearly 100,000 Muslims have fulfilled their pilgrimages. Briefly during the Cultural Revolution, Chinese Muslims were not allowed to attend the Hajj, but this policy was reversed in 1979. Chinese Muslims now attend the Hajj in large numbers, typically in organized groups.

. Brief History of Islam in China
Many don't realize, but China has one of the largest Muslim population among nations. China has some of the oldest Muslim history as well, dating back to as early as 650. Throughout the history of Islam in China, Chinese Muslims have influenced the course of Chinese history.

Islam was first brought to China by an envoy sent by Uthman, the third Caliph, in 651, less than twenty years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. The envoy was led by Sa`d ibn Abī Waqqās, the maternal uncle of the Prophet himself. Yung Wei, the Tang emperor who received the envoy then ordered the construction of the Memorial mosque in Canton, the first mosque in the country. It was during the Tang Dynasty that China had its golden day of cosmopolitan culture which helped the introduction of Islam. In the region, the Hui Chi tribe accepted Islam, and the name was the beginnings of the reference to the huihui or the Hui as they are know today. details via wikipedia

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