Islamic rites and customs in China

Source: www.chinaculture.org [14:21 July 11 2009]

Rites and customs are very important for Muslims in all Muslim regions. In fact, rites and customs have been part of their lives. Since Islam was introduced to China, especially since it was introduced to the hinterland, some rites and customs have been attached particular importance to and have developed significantly.

Different from other religions, Islam is mainly disseminated through kinship. Especially when the original Muslims came to China, they had not formed an independent organization or a nationality, and rites and customs became an effective way of communication and the tie of unification.

In ancient China, since Islam was an exotic culture and Muslims were immigrants, there were inevitable conflicts between the Han people and the Muslims. The psychological impacts on the Han people by the rule of Mongolians in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) made them have a distorted view on Muslims and their beliefs. This, in turn, made the Muslims more persistent on their rites and customs to avoid assimilation.

Due to the factors mentioned above, rites and customs have become an important part of Islam and gained obvious characteristics, which are mainly as follows:

A. Elements of Buddhism and Daoism as well as the Han culture were absorbed into Muslim rites and customs, which were particularly obvious on some festivals and wedding ceremonies;

B. There is a sense of patriarchal clan system in rites and customs;

C. Regional characteristics;

D. Double identities of religion and nationality;

E. Due to the given surroundings, Islamic followers strictly abstain from eating pork and lard;

F.There is a big variety of rites and customs and special attention was paid to details.