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Lesson 2 (Muslims in Chima ) view Unit 4
Islam reached distant China by sea and by land less than twenty years after the Prophet's death. One Arab messenger came from the west with fine gifts from the caliph.
Like all other visitors, he was supposed to prostrate himself by bowing to the emperor and placing his forehead on the ground. But he refused to do so, saying in a proud voice, "In Islam, we only bow to Allah (God) and not to princes". The normal punish- ment for such an insult to the emperor was death
But the messenger was allowed to live* Perhaps the emperor feared what might happen if the messenger was killed. There was a large Muslim army close to the Chinese border Soon afterwards, a large Chinese force was defeated.
This victory allowed thousands of Muslims to enter China and settle there. Today, Islam Is the religion of at least 15 million Chinese* They are spread all over the country..
Some have a Chinese appearance and speak a Chinese language. Others look altogether different and speak languages from Persia, Turkey and Central Asia
Many Still live the same kinds of lives as their ancestors, They drive their herds into the mountains in summer and return to their valleys in winter Some of them have become wealthy farmers. Others have moved to the cities.
There are hundreds of mosques in China, Many have different styles. The oldest one is the Grand Mosque in the city of Xian. From the outside it does not look a mosque. But in fact it is one. There is a dome and a minaret from which prayer times are called by the muezzin.
Also there are fountains nearby* Believers are able to perform their ablutions there before praying, inside there is the mihrab, a copy of the place where the Prophet led the prayer, and the qibla, which points in the direction of Makkah.
Although there have been periods of difficulty in the past, Muslims in China have recently been free to practice their religion without any problems.
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