Muslims take great pride in citing a hadith that says "seek knowledge even it it is in China." It points to the importance of seeking knowledge, even if it meant traveling as far away as China.

China, which has been close to Muslim hearts for over 1400 years, is home to millions of Muslims.

Islam's contact with China began during the caliphate of 'Uthman ibn Affan (Allayhi Rahma, ra), the third caliph. After triumphing over the Byzantine, Romans and the Persians, 'Uthman ibn Affan, dispatched a deputation to China in 29 AH (650 C.E., Eighteen years after the Prophet's death), under the leadership by Sa'ad ibn Abi Waqqaas (Allayhi Rahma), Prophet Muhammad's (Salla Allahu wa Allahai wa Sallam, pbuh) maternal uncle, inviting the Chinese emperor to embrace Islam.

The Muslim mission built China's first mosque, the magnificent Canton city mosque known to this day as the 'Memorial Mosque.' Over the years Muslim trading activity through traders and merchant naval movements led many to settle in China. One of the first Muslim settlements in China was established in port city of Cheng Aan during the era of the Tang dynasty....

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Copyright © 1997 Islamic Horizons, an ISNA Publication.
Copyright © 1997 Web version prepared by Dr. A. Zahoor.
This article was excerpted from "Muslim Uyghuristan:
Will the Chinese Communists Learn?" by A.A. Bafaquih.

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