Islam in China dates back to the days of the
Caliphate of Uthman ibn Affan, the third khalifa of Islam. The Caliph sent a
deputation to China in 29 AH (650 CE, eighteen years after the death of the
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)). The delegation was headed by Saad ibn
Waqqas (buried in the city of Guanzhou), a maternal uncle of the Prophet. Saad
Ibn Waaqas invited the Chinese Emperor (Yung-Wei) to embrace Islam. To show his
admiration for Islam the Emperor ordered the establishment of a Mosque. Many Muslims went to China to trade, and they began to have a great economic
impact and influence on the country. Muslims virtually dominated the
import/export industry by the time of the Sung dynasty (960-1279 CE).
This travel study program focuses on
Muslim life in contemporary China, as well as the historical
legacy of Islam in China under various dynasties and with
respect to cultural and religious exchanges along the Silk
Road. We will learn about how Islam spread to
China and nearby regions and how Muslim communities in China
have functioned over the centuries. Furthermore, we will
interact with Chinese Muslims in various localities and learn
about their experiences in modern China. We will also learn
about the history, culture, food, dress, art and architecture of
China more generally.
We will observe modern Chinese
culture, and consider China's increasing importance
in world affairs today.
Please note that this is not a deen-intensive
or intensive Arabic/religious studies program. The focus is
on history, culture and society, relying on the expertise of
guides from the region and the lived experience of Muslims in
China. The historic Muslim sites and monuments covered in this
tour are beyond those covered by typical tour operators.
Interaction with indigenous Muslims, religious leaders,
scholars and professionals provides an experience that is not
offered elsewhere. This program will give you an in-depth overview
of the history of Islam in China. You will learn about the many contributions of
Muslims in the growth of Islam in China. You will also capture the spirit of the
times while visiting the historical monuments and learn the rich heritage from
visiting the local Muslims and Mosques.
There will be brief
presentations and discussions
throughout the program. The main mode of learning, however, will be daily
walking tours with commentary by the tour guides and other staff
members, and local community members. We will watch artisans
engaged in various handicrafts, visit some of the oldest masjids
ever built, walk atop the Great Wall of China, visit the
beautiful countryside and villages, and visit palaces and other
monuments in China.
Get ready for a
adventure of a lifetime!