Dismantle the dome, and make Chinese mosques fully Chinese!

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Original: an Aoki source official account: distant Aoki has been authorized to reprint

I saw a very interesting news today.

CCTV is reporting on the rectification results of Dongguan mosque in Xining, demolishing the dome mosque and changing it into a Chinese style building. There is a great gap in the appearance between the two.

At first glance, I was stunned. Isn’t this destroying cultural relics? The dome of a good mosque has been demolished, and such a good ancient building has no characteristics.

Think again, no, if it is true, how can CCTV be so serious and report it as a major reform achievement.

Is there another mystery in this?

So, curious, I went to check the architectural history of Chinese mosques.

If you don’t check, you don’t know. You’ll be surprised if you check.

If some knowledge is so unpopular that I don’t even know it, I think most ordinary people don’t know it.

And if this unpopular knowledge is related to the integration of the Chinese nation and the improvement of internal cohesion, it must be worth writing an article to say the last.

First of all, let me give you a blind spot in science popularization. There were many mosques in China a long time ago, but all mosques are Chinese architecture, which seems to be no different from Chinese temples.

However, mosques have no unified style in the world, and there are no regulations on the appearance of mosques. They have different appearances in different countries. Everything takes integrating into the local area, letting the local people accept it, and spreading the teachings as soon as possible as possible as the main purpose. They will not be unconventional and make a style very strange to the local people, because this is undoubtedly adding obstacles to their own dissemination of teachings.

All existing dome mosques in China are not ancient buildings. They were all built after the reform and opening up, and most of them were built in the late 1990s and early 21st century.

Therefore, CCTV’s report is right. The removal of the dome is traced back to the original and is a return to the appearance of traditional Chinese mosques.

For example, the typical example reported by CCTV this time is the mosque in Dongguan, Xining. It was built in the Ming Dynasty more than 600 years ago and was destroyed and built repeatedly. The last time it was built was 1913.

However, after years of war and ten years of unrest, the mosque in Dongguan, Xining, was already in a dilapidated condition and could not continue to be used, so the government allocated funds to rebuild it.

The dome building that was reconstructed this time was rebuilt. It was completed in 2003, and was demolished and reconstructed in 2021, restoring it to traditional Chinese architecture.


Therefore, the dome mosque demolished this time is not an ancient building at all, but a completely modern building, and the new one cannot be renewed.

What does a traditional Chinese mosque look like?

Huaisheng temple in Guangzhou, the first Islamic mosque in China, was built in the 15th year of the reign of Emperor Wen of the Sui Dynasty. It has been destroyed and built repeatedly. The existing part was rebuilt in 1934 and has not been moved until today.

The original mosque in the Republic of China looks like this.


Inside the mosque, it looks like this.


The halal Beida temple in Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia, was built in the fourth year of Qianlong reign of the Qing Dynasty, has not been damaged so far, and has always retained its original appearance. In 2013, it was designated as the seventh batch of national key cultural relics protection units.

This is the original mosque in the Qing Dynasty.


Inside the mosque, it looks like this.


Interior architectural details, like this.


The mosque in Huajue Lane in Xi’an was first built in the Hongwu Period of the Ming Dynasty, and was repaired and expanded in the 30th year of Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty due to its long history.

Outside, it looks like this.


Inside, it looks like this.


Tongxin mosque in Ningxia Province is the largest existing Islamic building in Ningxia. It was built in the Wanli period of the Ming Dynasty. Due to its long history, it was rebuilt in the 56th year of Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty and the 33rd year of Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty.

Look like this.


There is also Zhengzhou mosque, which was founded in the Yuan Dynasty. It is the birthplace of the spread of Islam in Zhengzhou. It is also the largest and oldest Islamic mosque in Zhengzhou. It is an important place for Hui compatriots in Zhengzhou to carry out religious activities and cultural exchanges.

The name of Zhengzhou mosque is mosque, which is the seventh batch of national key cultural relics protection units.


In the Yuan Dynasty, some Persians who came to China with the Mongolian army were settled in Songjiang Prefecture, Shanghai, where they led their people to build a mosque and then settled in Songjiang, where they have lived ever since.

Songjiang mosque, formerly known as Zhenjiao temple, is the oldest Islamic building in Shanghai.

Although it was built by Persians in the Yuan Dynasty, the style of the whole temple is completely Chinese.


The lecture hall in the temple looks like this.


In addition, there is the Najiahu mosque built in Yinchuan City in the Ming Dynasty.


Located in Ding County, Hebei Province, it was built in the Dingzhou worship Temple of the Yuan Dynasty.


In short, all mosques located in China before 1978 were Chinese architecture, and none of them were familiar with the dome shape at present.

So does the dome represent authenticity? How on earth did the dome mosque appear?

First, the dome does not represent the authenticity of the mosque.

The earliest mosques in Islam are not domes. All the three mosques whose names are clearly mentioned in the Koran are not domes. Even the Great Mosque in Mecca, the ultimate holy land of Muslim pilgrimage, is not a dome.

Flat topped mosques, octagonal mosques, temple mosques, mosques that have appeared in history are diverse and indefinite. There are also mosques of their own style in China.

The Kuba mosque, which was built by the Prophet Muhammad in 622 ad, has a square courtyard as its main building complex.

Kuba mosque looked like this before it was completely demolished and rebuilt in 1986.


Where on earth did the dome mosque of later generations come from?

With the development of architecture and materials science, human beings gradually began to be able to build dome buildings.

Compared with square roof, the construction of round roof is obviously much more difficult.

But the dome has a great advantage, that is, it can make the sound produce more echoes, and make the sound of chanting spread farther, longer and more sacred.

This is very important for Christian priests who want to recite alone.

Therefore, the interior of the Christian Church was changed into a dome structure, with the inner circle on the outside.

In 634 ad, Muslims captured Damascus in the Eastern Roman Empire, received a large dome church, St. John’s church, in this city, and transformed it into a mosque decades later.

The number of single chants of Islam is more than that of Christianity, and it pays attention to high pitched and long-distance. The benefits of dome architecture were soon recognized, and gradually accepted by traditional Muslims in a hundred years.

In those days, Islam was very practical, and it was not traditional feudalism as long as it was easy to use.

The dome structure originally came from Christianity. What should we do if we can’t face it?

It’s easy to do. Christianity is the inner circle and the outer circle. Islam as a whole is changed into a circle, and the inner circle and the outer circle are also circles.

Since then, the dome mosque has appeared, mainly popular in the Middle East.

But this kind of dome has no fixed style, and it has different appearance in different periods and regions.


Even this dome is not a fixed requirement.

It was not written in the Koran, nor did the sage ask for it, but later people added it for convenience.

With the changes of the times, the mosque also has a new appearance.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia once built a mosque in the most prosperous financial district in Saudi Arabia.

This mosque is full of modern flavor. Looking like this, it looks full of science fiction.


Don’t think this is like an alien base. It can’t be a mosque. Islam is not as feudal as you think.

Why not be a mosque if it can make Muslims worship, meet religious needs, highlight the strength and technology of Islamic countries, and meet the need to show off national strength?

Today, the dome shape of mosques blooming everywhere in China is more similar to the crescent spire Mosque of the Ottoman Empire.

This shape has middle eastern elements, but even in the modern Middle East, few people have made it like this. Why are so many made in China?

Because after the reform and opening up, we talked about religious protection and opening up.

Protecting mosques is a political achievement and introducing foreign elements is fashionable.

The shape of the mosque in the Ottoman Empire is full of exotic customs, which can attract people from a distance. In a sense, it can also be a scenic spot in the city.

In those days, it was politically correct to build a mosque of this style, and it was very cost-effective to buy several things at the same time for a share of money.

Therefore, it was instantly imitated all over the country.

In the late 1980s, mosques were springing up all over the country. Many mosques were built by local governments without the approval of the competent authorities.

Mosques in China are densely distributed all over the country. Muslims can find mosques in cities with a little scale.


However, these mosques in the country are basically built after the modern reform and opening up, and there are few ancient buildings.

These brand-new mosques are basically built like this.


I’m sure you’re no stranger, because most of the mosques you’ve seen look like this. On the contrary, those who have seen Chinese traditional mosques are rare.

is it pretty?

I can only say eye-catching, because this style of architecture is very different from Chinese tradition, so anyone who passes by will subconsciously take a look.

But it’s really not good-looking…


Manjusri temple, an Islamic mosque built in the Ming Dynasty, has long been damaged due to its long history, but we still have some remains.

This is the blue brick wall of Wenshu temple.


This is the picture of the Ming Dynasty brick cloud dragon on the screen wall of Wenshu temple.


This is the remains of green glazed tiles and brick carved flower patterns on the screen wall of Wenshu temple.


Behind it is the “Manjusri Temple” rebuilt by the local government in the 1990s. The huge green dome is extremely dazzling.


In the 1990s, tens of thousands of green dome mosques were built all over China, which was caused by the historical background at that time.

Until now, many people like to build western architecture, which is very fashionable and handsome, so it can’t be blamed on the local government at that time.

And it doesn’t matter what the appearance of the mosque is. Isn’t it good to keep pace with the times? Islamic doctrine itself does not limit the shape of mosques. Making something exotic can better highlight China’s modernization and internationalization.

It doesn’t matter. For China, Islam is no different from Buddhism, Taoism and Christianity. It doesn’t matter what the shape of the mosque is. If the believers can accept it, it’s OK. Whether the dome or the square dome is optional.

However, since 2010, western countries have frequently used Islam as a starting point to intervene in Xinjiang affairs, trying to split China.

The west, in various ways and for various reasons, intentionally or unintentionally emphasizes the difference between Islamists and the mainstream population in China, artificially creating estrangement, confrontation and exclusion between the two.

In the past ten years, you have felt various hints of rejecting Islam from various media and speeches, which led you to feel different from Xinjiang people.

But in fact, only 30million people who believe in Islam in China belong to an absolute minority, which is no different from Buddhism and Christianity, and will not affect their integration at all.

Who is deliberately or unintentionally increasing the particularity of Muslim, Uyghur and other people who believe in Islam, suggesting that they are different from the mainstream population in China from various angles?

This kind of green dome mosque, which used to be exotic, originally didn’t matter, but now it has become a barrier to the integration of the Chinese nation.

Therefore, it needs to be removed.

Pay attention to the words used in the news. This is not reconstruction, but rectification. There is a big gap in the meaning of the two.

What is rectification?

It means that we should set things right and clear up the source.

To restore the appearance of traditional Chinese mosques, Islamists can worship and continue to believe in Islam.

However, these mosques have become almost Buddhist temples in appearance, all of which are Chinese.

If you can accept Buddhists, you can accept Islamists. There is no difference between the two.

The estrangement once created by countries with ulterior motives, we now need to dismantle it one by one.

If we can integrate Buddhists, we can integrate Islamists. All ethnic groups in China are Chinese, and there is no difference between them.

Anything that artificially creates national estrangement and hinders the integration of the Chinese nation must be eliminated.

The dome of the mosque is just one of them.

China has its own mosques, which are well integrated with the Chinese people. We also have the ability to change mosques across the country into Chinese mosques, so as to promote national integration.

Therefore, we don’t need to go to Chinese mosques.

Chinese mosques, of course, should be fully Chinese.

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