Chinese Muslims (Huis) enjoy Ramadan in solidarity, with traditional mass iftars, evening meals to break the fast.
Although the spirit of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan isn't felt deeply, Huis are trying to spend the holy month together, keeping the traditions that are blended with Chinese culture alive with their specific meals.
Ma Hong, religious leader of Niucie Mosque, the oldest mosque of Beijing that was built back in 996, told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive that they will hold mass iftars at the mosque according to the tradition throughout Ramadan in the service of hundreds of Muslims.
Stressing that Muslims will not leave the mosque after breaking their fast but stay until they perform the evening, night, and tarawih (extra congregational prayers specific to Ramadan performed by Muslims following the night prayers), Ma stated that there is also a masjid, small mosque, for women within the social complex of the mosque.
Ma also said that they will organize Qur'an courses at the complex along with other courses on the basic rules of Islam and Arabic courses three times a week.
Chinese Muslims attach utmost importance to unity on religious days. They hold mass iftars and such Ramadan organizations at mosques in cooperation, in an atmosphere of festival. They blended Islam civilization with Chinese culture and reflected the mixture of rooted traditions to every aspect of their lives, ranging from social life to foods.
The date of the first encounter of Chinese people with Islam is known as 678, thanks to the Silk Road (a sea road and a land road) connecting China, Central Asia and the Middle East in those days. In a wide geography, Islam spread across China, living its golden age in the country during the Ming Dynasty.
There are numerous mosques in China, dating back to a millennium ago, built according Chinese architectural tradition. Chinese capital Beijing has the highest number of mosques, 72.
There are ten minority groups in China holding the Islamic belief: The Hui, Uighur, Kazakh, Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Tajik, Tatar, Dongxiang, Sala and Baoan peoples. Their total population is around 20 million. They live overwhelmingly in northern and northeastern China, in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and Uighur Autonomous Region as well as some other provinces.