Huaisheng Mosque

The Huaisheng Mosque, also known as the Lighthouse Mosque, is the main mosque of Guangzhou. Rebuilt many times over its history, it is traditionally thought to have been originally built over 1,300 years ago, which would make it one of the oldest mosques in the world. It was named in memory of Prophet Muhammad. Its calling tower (minaret) is 36 feet tall with a pointed tip. The building used to serve as a beacon for boats, which is how it got its alternative name (Guangta Si, i.e. literally "Smooth Tower Mosque", referring to the unadorned surface of the minaret.

It has many other variant names like Great Mosque of Canton, Guangta Si Mosque, Hwai Sun Su Mosque, Huai-Sheng Mosque, Ying Tong Mosque, Huai-Shang Mosque, and Huai-Shang Si Mosque.

History

Old Chinese Muslim manuscripts state that the mosque was built by Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas who was an uncle of Prophet Muhammad, and supposedly came on his first Muslim mission to China in the 650s. Although modern secular scholars don't find any historical evidence that Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas actually visited China, they agree that the first Muslims must have arrived to China within the 7th century, and that the major trade centers, such as Guangzhou, Quanzhou, and Yangzhou probably already had their first mosques built during the Tang Dynasty, even though no reliable sources attesting to their actual existence has been found so far.

It is certain that the mosque existed during the Tang Dynasty, or in the early years of the Song Dynasty. The mosque was rebuilt in 1350 then in again in 1695 after being destroyed in a fire. The Huaisheng Light Tower or minaret was built at an earlier period.

Building Activity

  • removed a media
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com