Muslims in Ming China – A Reappraisal


This article seeks to reconstruct the integration and acculturation of Muslim communities in the early Ming Dynasty in China (1368-1424). The great influx of Muslim peoples from Arabia and Central Asia in the wake of Mongol invasion in the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368) marked the start of a strong, permanent Islamic community in China, even as some Muslims settlements can be dated back to the Tang. By examining an extensive range of evidence, including state records, local gazetteers, mosque inscriptions, and family genealogies, this article argues that the early Ming imperial court was essential in the establishment of the Muslim communities in eastern China. Attention will be paid towards the resettlement and migration of Muslim population under influence from early Ming military, which facilitated Muslims to become land-owning imperial subjects through the military household system and the construction of mosques through imperial patronage. These policies rendered Muslims as imperial subjects and Islam as a recognized religion.

Author Information
Tristan Brown, St John's College, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Zhiye Wang, UWC Atlantic College, United Kingdom

Paper Information
Conference: ACAS2019
Stream: Chinese Studies

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon