Xian Mosque: The Oldest Mosque In China Built-In Best Islamic-Chinese Architectural Style

Xian Mosque Architecture | Xian Mosque | Xian Mosque History | Xian Mosque China |

xian mosque history

Xian Mosque China: The city of Xian in China’s Shanxi Province is home to 20,000 Muslims. The Muslim-dominated area of ​​the city is known as the Xian Muslim Quarter. The area is famous throughout China for its delicious food and diverse cultural life. The Xian Mosque, the oldest and largest mosque in China, is located at 30 Huazu Lane in the center of Xian city and inside the Xian Muslim Quarter.

Xian Mosque
Xian Mosque

Built with a unique blend of Chinese and Islamic architecture, this mosque is a famous tourist attraction in China. The site was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. Today’s discussion is about the history and architecture of the Xian Mosque.

Before we get into the details of the Xian Mosque, let’s take a look at the Muslims in China.
The two main Muslim populations in China are Uyghur and Hui. The Uyghurs once lived in East Turkistan. Now they live in Xinjiang, an autonomous region of China. Uyghurs have recently come under discussion after being subjected to repression by the Chinese government. Huids, on the other hand, live almost all over China. They have almost merged with the Han, the mainstream Chinese people. The only difference between the Huns and the Huns is that they are Muslims, not Huns.

In the early days of Islam, Arab merchants came to China by land or by sea to expand trade and commerce. They married Chinese girls and stayed in China. During the Mongol invasion of the West, people of various professions from Central Asia were forcibly taken and forced to live in China. They were Muslims. These Arab or Central Asian Muslims are basically the ancestors of the Yehudi. Although Muslim rule was established in Xinjiang, the whole of China never came under Islamic rule.

For this reason, in the Uyghur desert city of Kashgar or Tulufan in Xinjiang, mosques with domes and minarets were built in the Central Asian style, but not in the traditional Islamic architecture in mainland China. This is because the non-Muslim rulers in China imposed strict restrictions on the construction of mosques. There were no rules for building mosques in the Central Asian style.

Xian Mosque

If mosques were built, they would have to be like Buddhist temples. Those mosques did not differ externally from the Buddhist shrines. There were no statues or pictures inside the mosque. And there was the presence of Arabic calligraphy. Thus the Chinese Muslims began to build tile-roofed wooden mosques. Although there are about a thousand mosques in China, many mosques have been destroyed during various wars and cultural revolutions.

One of the safest mosques in China is the Xian Mosque. It was built in 742 AD during the Tang Dynasty. Since then, the mosque has undergone various renovations and reconstructions. It was rebuilt in 1392 by Chang Ho, a naval general of the Ming Dynasty. He is famous in history for his expulsion of pirates from the China Sea. The Xian Mosque we see today was originally built in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Spread over an area of ​​12,000 square meters, this huge mosque is built vertically facing the Kaaba. This rectangular structure is surrounded by high walls and is divided into four courtyards. Each courtyard has a separate door, a separate garden.

In front of the first courtyard is a nine-meter-high wooden arched entrance. The altar of this installation with the charming roof is made of stone. There are two side doors on either side. The north wall is made of smooth brick. The doors of the houses adjoining the walls are dirty, broken. In the center of the courtyard is a screen wall cut with a triangular design. The center-designed Eisen Pavilion was once used as a lecture hall.

The second courtyard is separated from the first courtyard by a pavilion. Inside the courtyard are several slabs of stone carved by famous Chinese calligraphers. There is also a three-story pavilion ‘The Tower of Visiting Heart’.

The ‘Self Examining Tower’ is an octagonal monastery located on the third floor. Built during the Ming Dynasty, the tower serves as a minaret for mosques.

The innermost part of the fourth courtyard. The main prayer room is located here. The exterior of the giant prayer room is brick, but the inside is covered with wooden columns. A roof made of a wooden frame without a ceiling can be seen. There is a mihrab inside. Quranic verses are engraved on the wall. Inside are manuscripts from the Ming Dynasty. Outside the chapel is a walled terrace that opens onto the Moon platform.
There are a number of other mosques in China from the earliest days of Islam, the architecture of which is a mixture of Chinese and Islamic. Let’s get acquainted with some more such mosques at this stage.

Huaisheng Mosque

The Huaisheng Mosque in Huaisheng Province, China is one of the oldest surviving Muslim structures in China. It is one of the oldest mosques in the world, not just in China. This area of ​​ Huaisheng Province is the first Chinese area to come into contact with Islam.

Xian Mosque
Huaisheng Mosque

During the Tang Dynasty, Muslims used to come to China through the Silk Road. That is when the mosque was first established. It is believed that the mosque was built by the famous Companion Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas. The mosque has been damaged at various times. However, it has been repeatedly rebuilt. The mosque was damaged in a fire in 1695. Later it was brought back to its previous state. The mosque occupies an area of ​​3,600 square meters. Within the mosque are the Hangzhou Islamic Association and the Hui Historical Cultural Research Society. The mosque is still alive with the arrival of worshipers. On Friday, at least 2,000 worshipers performed the Friday prayers here.

The mosque is a mixture of traditional Chinese architecture and Arabic architecture. The ancient mosque has several interesting features. The main feature is its 36-meter high white minaret. It used to be a lighthouse. The minaret is by far the tallest structure in the area.

Spacious courtyard in front of the mosque. The courtyard ends in the corridor. After the corridor is the entrance to the central prayer hall. Blue-green tiles are visible on the roof of the red brick building. The inner walls are decorated with calligraphy. There is a separate place for women’s prayers. There is an old pavilion to the southwest of the prayer hall. There is a stone slab. Various historical events are inscribed in stone on the west wall of the corridor of the mosque. There are numerous restaurants in front of the mosque which are famous for halal food.e

Niujie Mosque

Xian Mosque
Niujie Mosque

The Niujie Mosque is located on New Road in the Shicheng District of Beijing. It is an ancient and historic mosque in China. The mosque was first built in 996. Spread over an area of ​​7,000 square meters, the mosque is a mixture of Chinese and Islamic architecture. In terms of structure, the mosque building is symmetrical. The Moon Tower will fall on the entrance parole. The roof of the two-storied tower is golden. From here the Imam of the mosque used to see the moon the day before.

The 600 square meter prayer room is capable of holding thousands of worshipers. Apart from calligraphy, there are pictures of various flowers painted on the walls of the room. There are two pavilions outside the prayer hall, which are sheltered by stone slabs. The history of the mosque is known from the inscriptions engraved on the plaque.

Xian Mosque Architecture

FAQs

Q. What style of architecture did Chinese mosques adopt?

A. the basic plan: Almost all mosques in China are arranged in quadrangles (si he yuan 四合院)

Q. How many mosques are built in China?

A. Nowadays there are about 20,000 mosques in China.

Q. Who built the Xian mosque?

A. Hui people in 1939.

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