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Islam during the Ming dynasty

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Islam during the Ming dynasty

As the Yuan dynasty ended, many Mongols as well as the Muslims who came with them remained in China. Most of their descendants took Chinese names and became part of the diverse cultural world of China.[1] During the following Ming rule (1368–1644), Muslims truly adopted Chinese culture. Most became fluent in Chinese and adopted Chinese names and the capital, Nanjing, became a center of Islamic learning. As a result, the Muslims became "outwardly indistinguishable" from the Chinese.[2]

The Ming dynasty saw the rapid decline in the Muslim population in the sea ports. This was due to the closing of all seaport trade with the outside world except for rigid government-sanctioned trade.[3]

Contents

  • Integration 1
    • Intermarriage Laws 1.1
  • Freedom 2
  • Ming Emperors and Islam 3
  • Muslim Scholarship 4
  • Prominent Muslims 5
    • Philosophy 5.1
    • Military Generals 5.2
    • Zheng He 5.3
  • Foreign policy 6
    • Chinese Boycott of Portuguese 6.1
  • Ming loyalist Muslims 7
  • See also 8
  • Notes 9

Integration

Hu Dahai was a Chinese Muslim general of the Hongwu Emperor.

As a result of increasing isolationism by the Ming dynasty, immigration from Muslim countries slowed down drastically however, and the Muslims in China became increasingly isolated from the rest of the Islamic world, gradually becoming more sinicized, adopting the Chinese language and Chinese dress. Muslims became fully integrated into Chinese society. One interesting example of this synthesis was the process by which Muslims changed their names.

Muslims also sought to integrate themselves with the majority of the Chinese people during this time, making themselves undistinguished as possible to assimilate.[4]

During this period, Muslims also began to adopt Chinese surnames. Many Muslim married Han Chinese women and simply took the name of the wife. Other Muslims, who could not find a Chinese surname similar to their own, adopted the Chinese character most similar to their own - Ha for Hasan, Hu for Hussain and Sa'I for Said and so on. Chinese surnames that are very common among Muslim families are Mo, Mai, and Mu - names adopted by the Muslims who had the surnames Muhammad, Mustafa and Masoud.

Muslim customs of dress and food also underwent a synthesis with Chinese culture. The Islamic modes of dress and dietary rules were maintained within a Chinese cultural framework. Chinese Islamic cuisine is heavily influenced by Beijing cuisine, with nearly all cooking methods identical, and differs only in material due to religious restrictions. As a result, northern Islamic cuisine is often included as part of Beijing cuisine.

During the Ming dynasty, Chinese Islamic traditions of writing began to develop, including the practice of writing Chinese using the Arabic script (xiaojing) and distinctly Chinese forms of decorative calligraphy.[5] The script is used extensively in mosques in eastern China, and to a lesser extent in Gansu, Ningxia, and Shaanxi. A famous Sini calligrapher is Hajji Noor Deen Mi Guangjiang.

Mosque Architecture began to follow traditional Chinese architecture. A good example is the Great Mosque of Xi'an, whose current buildings date from the Ming dynasty. Western Chinese mosques were more likely to incorporate minarets and domes while eastern Chinese mosques were more likely to look like pagodas.[6]

In time, the Muslims who were descendants of immigrants from Muslim countries began to speak local dialects and to read in Chinese Language.

In Qinghai, the Salar Muslims voluntarily came under Ming dynasty rule. The Salar clan leaders each capitulated to the Ming dynasty around 1370. The chief of the four upper clans around this time was Han Pao-yuan and Ming granted him office of centurion, it was at this time the people of his four clans took Han as their surname.[7] The other chief Han Shan-pa of the four lower Salar clans got the same office from Ming, and his clans were the ones who took Ma as their surname.[8]

By the middle of the 16th century occasional Europeans who had a chance to travel in China start reporting on the existence and the way of life of the Chinese Muslims. The Portuguese smuggler Galeote Pereira, who was captured off the Fujian coast in 1549, and then spent a few years in Fujian and Guangxi, has a few pages on the Chinese Muslims ("Moors" to the Portuguese) in his report (published 1565). He felt that in both places the Muslim community was quickly assimilating into the Chinese mainstream.[9]

Intermarriage Laws

The Ming policy towards the Islamic religion was tolerant, while their racial policy towards ethnic minorities was of integration through forced marriage. Muslims were allowed to practice Islam, but if they were members of other ethnic groups they were required by law to intermarry, so Hui had to marry Han since they were different ethnic groups, with the Han often converting to Islam.

Integration was mandated through intermarriage by Ming law, ethnic minorities had to marry people of other ethnic groups. The Chinese during the Ming dynasty also tried to force foreigners like the Hui into marrying Chinese women.[10] Marriage between upper class Han Chinese and Hui Muslims was low, since upper class Han Chinese men would both refuse to marry Muslim women, and forbid their daughters from marrying Muslim men, since they did not want to convert due to their upper class status. Only low and mean status Han Chinese men would convert if they wanted to marry a Hui woman. Ming law allowed Han Chinese men and women to not have to marry Hui, and only marry each other, while Hui men and women were required to marry a spouse not of their race.[11][12][13]

The Hongwu Emperor decreed the building of multiple mosques throughout China in many locations. A Nanjing mosque was built by the Xuanzong Emperor.[14]

Freedom

Muslims in Ming dynasty Beijing were given relative freedom by the Chinese, with no restrictions placed on their religious practices or freedom of worship, and being normal citizens in Beijing. In contrast to the freedom granted to Muslims, followers of Tibetan Buddhism and Catholicism suffered from restrictions and censure in Beijing.[15]

Ming Emperors and Islam

Jinjue Mosque (literally meaning: Pure Enlightenment Mosque) in Nanjing was constructed by the decree of the Hongwu Emperor.

The Hongwu Emperor ordered the building of several mosques in southern China, and wrote a 100 character praise on Islam, Allah and the prophet Muhammad. He had over 10 Muslim Generals in his military.[16] The Emperor built mosques in Nanjing, Yunnan, Guangdong and Fujian.[17] Zhu rebuilt Jin Jue mosque in Nanjing and large numbers of Hui Muslims moved to Nanjing during his rule.[18] He ordered that inscriptions praising Muhammd be put into Mosques.

1,200 Muslims who settled in China during the Yuan dynasty were sent "back" from Gansu to Sa-ma-rh-han (Samarkhand), due to a command from the Emperor to the Governor of Gansu to do so.[19]

The Yongle Emperor called for the establishment and repair of Islamic mosques during his reign. Two mosques were built by him, one in Nanjing and the other in Xi'an and they still stand today. Repairs were encouraged and the mosques were not allowed to be converted to any other use.[20][21]

Pro Muslim inscriptions were found on stelae erected by the Ming Emperors. The Fuzhou and Quanzhou mosuqes contain the following edict by the Emperor:

"I hereby give you my imperial decree in order to guard your residence. Officials, civil or military, or anyone, are not to offend or insult you. Anyone who offends or insults you against my imperial order will be punished as a criminal".
[22]

The Ming dynasty decreed that Manichaeism and Nestorian Christianity were illegal and heterodox, to be wiped out from China, while Islam and Judaism were legal and fit Confucian ideology.[23]

Ming Taizu's tolerant disposition for Muslims and allowing them to practice their religion led to Arab missionaries continually coming to China during the Ming dynasty, prominent ones included Mahamode and Zhanmaluding (Muhammad and Jamal Ul-din respectively).[24]

The Zhengde Emperor was fascinated by foreigners and invited many Muslims to serve as advisors, eunuchs, and envoys at his court.[25] His court was reportedly full of Muslims, and artwork such as porcelain from his court contained Islamic inscriptions in Arabic or Persian. He was also said to wear Muslim clothing and alleged to have converted to Islam. Muslim eunuchs ran many of his state affairs.[26][27][28]

When the Qing dynasty invaded the Ming dynasty in 1644, Muslim Ming loyalists led by Muslim leaders Milayin, Ding Guodong, and Ma Shouying led a revolt in 1646 against the Qing during the Milayin rebellion in order to drive the Qing out and restore the Ming Prince of Yanchang Zhu Shichuan to the throne as the emperor. The Muslim Ming loyalists were crushed by the Qing with 100,000 of them, including Milayin and Ding Guodong, killed.

In Guangzhou, the national monuments known as "The Muslim's Loyal Trio" are the tombs of Ming loyalist Muslims who were martyred while fighting in battle against the Qing in the Manchu conquest of China in Guangzhou.[29]

Muslim Scholarship

The era saw Nanjing become an important center of Islamic study. From there Wang Daiyu wrote Zhengjiao zhenquan (A Commentary on the Orthodox Faith), while his successor, Liu Zhi, translated Tianfang xingli (Islamic Philosophy) Tianfang dianli (Islamic Ritual) and Tianfang zhisheng shilu (The Last Prophet of Islam). Another scholar, Hu Dengzhou started a rigorous Islamic school in Nanjing, which taught hadith, the Qur'an, and Islamic law. The school grew into a fourteen-course system, with classes in Arabic and Persian. Other provinces had different systems and different specializations; Lintao and Hezhou provinces had a three-tier educational system in which the youngest children learned the Arabic required for namaz and wudu, and then graduated to more advanced studies. Shandong province became a center specialized in Persian texts. As the Hui Muslim community became more diluted, Chinese scholars worked harder to translate texts into Chinese to both provide more texts for Muslims to convince the ruling Han elite that Islam was not inferior to Confucianism.[30]

The work of Islamic geographers which had reached China during the Yuan dynasty was used in the Ming dynasty to draw the Western Regions in the Da Ming Hun Yi Tu, the oldest surviving world map from East Asia. Meanwhile, further west, Arabic storytellers were narrating fantastical stories of China, which were incorporated into the One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights), the most famous being the story of Aladdin. Other Arabian Nights tales set in China include "Tale of Qamar al-Zaman and Budur", "The Story of Prince Sayf al-Muluk", and "The Hunchback's Tale" story cycle.[31]

Prominent Muslims

Although the Yuan dynasty, unlike the western khanates, never converted to Islam, the Mongol rulers of the dynasty elevated the status of foreigners of all religions from west Asia like Muslims, Jews, and Christians versus the Han, Khitan, and Jurchen, and placed many foreigners such as Muslim Persians and Arabs, Jews, Nestorian Christians, Tibetan Buddhist Lamas, and Buddhist Turpan Uyghurs from Central and West Asia in high-ranking posts instead of native Confucian scholars. The state encouraged Central Asian Muslim immigration. The Mongol emperors brought hundreds of thousands of Muslims with them from Persia to help administer the country. Many worked in the elite circles arriving as provincial governors. They were referred to as Semu.

At the same time the Mongols imported Central Asian Muslims to serve as administrators in China, the Mongols also sent Han Chinese and Khitans from China to serve as administrators over the Muslim population in Bukhara in Central Asia, using foreigners to curtail the power of the local peoples of both lands.[32]

Philosophy

Li Nu was a merchant and scholar, and the son of Li Lu In 1376 Li Nu visited Ormuz in Persia, converted to Islam, married a Persian or an Arab girl and brought her back to Quanzhou in Fujian. One of his descendants was the Neo Confucian philosopher Li Zhi.[33][34][35]

Military Generals

Chang Yuchun is said to be the father of the famous "Kaiping spear method".[36][37]

Several of the commanders of Zhu Yuanzhang, the founder of the Ming dynasty, were Muslim.

Lan Yu, in 1388, led a strong imperial Ming army out of the Great Wall and won a decisive victory over the Mongols in Mongolia, effectively ending the Mongol dream to re-conquer China. Lan Yu was later killed by the Emperor, along with several others, in a purge of those deemed to be a potential threat to his heir apparent.[38]

Mu Ying was one of the few capable generals who survived the massacre of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang. He and his descendants guarded Yunnan, a province near Vietnam, until the end of the Ming dynasty. He and other Muslim Generals loyal to the Ming dynasty led Muslim troops to defeat Mongol and Muslims loyal to the Yuan dynasty during the Ming conquest of Yunnan.

Other generals of the Ming dynasty include Feng Sheng, Ding Dexing and Hu Dahai.

In the year 1447, a Muslim Hui general Chen You, financed the restoration of the Dong Si Mosque (literally meaning: Propagation of Brightness Mosque).[36]

Hala Bashi, a Uyghur General from Turpan, fought for the Ming dynasty against Miao rebels during the Miao Rebellions (Ming dynasty). He led Uyghur troops to crush the rebels and settled in Changde, Hunan.[39][40]

Zheng He

The Ming dynasty also gave rise to who is perhaps the most famous Chinese Muslim, Zheng He, a mariner, explorer, diplomat, and admiral. He was born in 1371 in Yunnan province. He served as a close confidant of the Yongle Emperor (r. 1403–1424), (r.1420)Jade bed di kerajaan Cirebon dari keluarga dinasti Ming muslim,sekarang Jade bed di simpan di TMII jakarta. the third emperor of the Ming dynasty. Between 1405 and 1433, the Ming government sponsored a series of seven naval expeditions led by Zheng He into the Indian Ocean, reaching as far away as east Africa. On his voyages, he is known to have heavily subsidized Buddhist temples; upon his returns to China, he restored or constructed temples to Mazu, the Taoist sea goddess, in Nanjing, Taicang, and Nanshan, erecting steles praising her protection.[41] Amateur historian Gavin Menzies claims that Zheng He traveled to West Africa, North America and South America, Greenland, Antarctica and Australia and most of the rest of the world, although this idea is not taken seriously by professional historians.

Foreign policy

The Ming dynasty supported Muslim Sultanates in South East Asia like the Malacca Sultanate, protecting them from Thailand and the Portuguese, allowing them to prosper. It also supported the Muslim Champa state against Vietnam.

Ming dynasty China warned Thailand and the Majapahit against trying to conquer and attack the Malacca sultanate, placing the Malacca Sultanate under Chinese protection as a protectorate, and giving the ruler of Malacca the title of King. The Chinese strengthened several warehouses in Malacca. The Muslim Sultanate flourished due to the Chinese protection against the Thai and other powers who wanted to attack Malacca. Thailand was also a tributary to China and had to obey China's orders not to attack[42][43][44][45]

In response to the Portuguese Capture of Malacca (1511), the Chinese Imperial Government imprisoned and executed multiple Portuguese envoys after torturing them in Guangzhou. Since Malacca was a tributary state to China, the Chinese responded with violent force against the Portuguese. The Malaccans had informed the Chinese of the Portuguese seizure of Malacca, to which the Chinese responded with hostility toward the Portuguese. The Malaccans told the Chinese of the deception the Portuguese used, disguising plans for conquering territory as mere trading activities, and told of all the atrocities committed by the Portuguese.[46] Malacca was under Chinese protection and the Portuguese invasion angered the Chinese.[47]

Due to the Malaccan Sultan lodging a complaint against the Portuguese invasion to the Chinese Emperor, the Portuguese were greeted with hostility from the Chinese when they arrived in China.[48][49][50][51][52] The Sultan's complaint caused "a great deal of trouble" to Portuguese in China.[53] The Chinese were very "unwelcoming" to the Portuguese.[54] The Malaccan Sultan, based in Bintan after fleeing Malacca, sent a message to the Chinese, which combined with Portuguese banditry and violent activity in China, led the Chinese authorities to execute 23 Portuguese and torture the rest of them in jails. After the Portuguese set up posts for trading in China and committed piratical activities and raids in China, the Chinese responded with the complete extermination of the Portuguese in Ningbo and Quanzhou[55] Pires, a Portuguese trade envoy, was among those who died in the Chinese dungeons.[56][57][58] The rest of the Portuguese embassy stayed imprisoned for life.[59]

The Chinese defeated a Portuguese fleet in 1521 at the First Battle of Tamao (1521), killing and capturing so many Portuguese that the Portuguese had to abandon their junks and retreat with only three ships, only escaping back to Malacca because a wind scattered the Chinese ships as the Chinese launched a final attack.[60]

The Chinese effectively held the Portuguese embassy hostage, using them as a bargaining chip in demanding that the Portuguese restore the deposed Malaccan Sultan (King) to his throne.[61]

The Chinese proceeded to executed several Portuguese by beating and strangling them, and torturing the rest. The other Portuguese prisoners were put into iron chains and kept in prison.[62] The Chinese confisticated all of the Portuguese property and goods in the Pires embassy's possession.[63]

In 1522 Martim Afonso de Merlo Coutinho was appointed commander of another Portuguese fleet sent to establish diplomatic relations.[64] The Chinese defeated the Portuguese ships led by Coutinho at the Second Battle of Tamao (1522). A large amount of Portuguese were captured and ships destroyed during the battle. The Portuguese were forced to retreat to Malacca.[65][66]

The Chinese forced Pires to write letters for them, demanding that the Portuguese restore the deposed Malaccan Sultahn (King) back onto his throne. The Malay ambassador to China was to deliver the letter.[67]

The Chinese had sent a message to the deposed Sultan (King) of Malacca concerning the fate of the Portuguese embassy, which the Chinese held prisoner. When they received his reply, the Chinese officials then proceeded to executed the Portuguese embassy, slicing their bodies into multiple pieces. Their genitalia were inserted into the oral cavity. The Portuguese were executed in public in multiple areas in Guangzhou, deliberately by the Chinese in order to show that the Portuguese were insignificant in the eyes of the Chinese.[68] When more Portuguese ships landed and were seized by the Chinese, the Chinese then executed them as well, cutting off the genitalia and beheading the bodies and forcing their fellow Portuguese to wear the body parts, while the Chinese celebrated with music. The genitalia and heads were displayed strung up for display in public, after which they were discarded.[69]

In response to Portuguese piracy and establishing bases in Fujian at Wuyu island and Yue harbor at Zhangzhou, Shuangyu island in Wenzhou, and Nan'ao island in Guangdong, the Imperial Chinese Right Deputy Commander Zhu Wang exterminated all the pirates and razedthe Shuangyu Portuguese base, using force to prohibit trading with foreigners by sea.[70]

However, with gradual improvement of relations and aid given against the Japanese Wokou pirates along China's shores, by 1557 Ming China finally agreed to allow the Portuguese to settle at Macau in a new Portuguese trade colony.[71] The Malay Sultanate of Johor also improved relations with the Portuguese and fought alongside them against the Aceh Sultanate.

Chinese Boycott of Portuguese

Chinese traders boycotted Malacca after it fell under Portuguese control, some Chinese in Java assisted in Muslim attempts to reconquer the city from Portugal using ships. The Java Chinese participation in retaking Malacca was recorded in "The Malay Annals of Semarang and Cerbon"[72] trading the Chinese did business with Malays and Javanese instead of the Portuguese.[73]

Ming loyalist Muslims

When the Qing dynasty invaded the Ming dynasty in 1644, Muslim Ming loyalists in Gansu led by Muslim leaders Milayin[74] and Ding Guodong led a revolt in 1646 against the Qing during the Milayin rebellion in order to drive the Qing out and restore the Ming Prince of Yanchang Zhu Shichuan to the throne as the emperor.[75] The Muslim Ming loyalists were supported by Hami's Sultan Sa'id Baba and his son Prince Turumtay.[76][77][78] The Muslim Ming loyalists were joined by Tibetans and Han Chinese in the revolt.[79] After fierce fighting, and negotiations, a peace agreement was agreed on in 1649, and Milayan and Ding nominally pledged alleigance to the Qing and were given ranks as members of the Qing military.[80] When other Ming loyalists in southern China made a resurgence and the Qing were forced to withdraw their forces from Gansu to fight them, Milayan and Ding once again took up arms and rebelled against the Qing.[81] The Muslim Ming loyalists were then crushed by the Qing with 100,000 of them, including Milayin, Ding Guodong, and Turumtay killed in battle.

The Confucian Hui Muslim scholar Ma Zhu (1640-1710) served with the southern Ming loyalists against the Qing.[82] Zhu Yu'ai, the Ming Prince Gui was accompanied by Hui refugees when he fled from Huguang to the Burmese border in Yunnan and as a mark of their defiance against the Qing and loyalty to the Ming, they changed their surname to Ming.[83]

In Guangzhou, the national monuments known as "The Muslim's Loyal Trio" are the tombs of Ming loyalist Muslims who were martyred while fighting in battle against the Qing in the Manchu conquest of China in Guangzhou.[84] The Ming Muslim loyalists were called "jiaomen sanzhong "Three defenders of the faith".[83]

See also

Notes

  •  This article incorporates text from The preaching of Islam: a history of the propagation of the Muslim faith, by Sir Thomas Walker Arnold, a publication from 1896 now in the public domain in the United States.
  •  This article incorporates text from Mediæval Researches from Eastern Asiatic Sources: Fragments Toward the Knowledge of the Geography and History of Central and Western Asia from the 13th to the 17th Century, Volume 2, by E. Bretschneider, a publication from 1888 now in the public domain in the United States.
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