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History and Current Situation: the Existence and Risk for Islam in China

2020-05-26 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: Essay范文

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伊斯兰教是在7世纪中叶通过阿拉伯人传入中国的。伊斯兰教经过长期的传播和发展,已经发展成为具有许多中国民族特色的中国伊斯兰教。唐宋元时期是伊斯兰教传入中国的主要时期。直到明朝,中国至少有10个少数民族信仰伊斯兰教。其中最著名的是回族、维吾尔族、哈萨克族、乌兹别克族、塔吉克族等。一方面,伊斯兰教对这些少数民族的历史文化、伦理道德原则和生活方式的影响是巨大而深刻的。另一方面,伊斯兰教与中国传统文化的交流与融合成为穆斯林民族文化不可或缺的一部分,丰富了中国的历史文化。但长期以来,我们中国人对宗教的传播持消极态度。因此,我们在谈论少数民族时,只谈论少数民族文化,而不谈论少数民族的宗教文化,或者把少数民族文化和宗教文化放在相反的位置。这种消极态度导致了许多严重的问题。

    It was in the middle of the 7th century that Islam came to China through Arab. After a long period of spread and development Islam has evolved into Chinese Islam with lots of Chinese ethnic features. Tang, Song and Yuan dynasties are the main time that Islam spread over China. Until Ming dynasty, there are at least 10 minorities in China believed in Islam. The most famous of these minorities are the Hui ethnic group, the Uyghur nationality, the Kazak nationality, the Ozbek nationality, the Tajik nationality and so on. On the one hand the impacts of Islam on the historical culture, ethic moral principles and life styles of these minorities are dramatic and profound. And on the other hand, the communication and fusion of Islam and Chinese traditional cultures have become an indispensable part of Muslim ethnic culture which has enriched the Chinese historical culture. However for a long time we Chinese people hold negative attitudes towards the spread of religion. Therefore, when we talk about minorities, we only discuss their ethnic cultures and avoid talking about their religion cultures or we simply put ethnic cultures and religion cultures in opposite positions. Such negative attitude has led to so many serious problems. Many people in China merely have one-side understanding of the historical culture of those minorities. After the 20th century, more and more Chinese researchers recognized the importance of paying attention to the communication, combination and fusion of foreign cultures and Chinese traditional cultures. For us Chinese people, Islam is obviously considered as foreign cultures, while the Chinese traditional cultures are mainly means Han culture which is made up of Confucian culture, and some Taoism culture and Buddhism culture which took in some characteristics of Confucian culture. Many people consider Chinese traditional culture as Han culture especially some foreign researchers. They neglect the fact that the culture contact between countries is increasing close, and the culture development is gradually presenting diverse integral whole, so is Chinese culture. Except for Confucian culture, Taoism culture and Buddhism culture, Chinese cultures also consist of many minority cultures which form a subculture system of China. Actually Islam of Hui nationality has become an important and indispensable part of Chinese traditional cultures. This subculture system should not be neglected whenever we research in Chinese traditional cultures.

    Generally speaking, in the long process of contacting with each other, Islam culture and Chinese traditional cultures has been getting along very well. The reason why the fusion of these two different cultures are so successful deserves to be studied carefully. In this article, the author put forward two reasons which are considered as the bases and premises of the combination and fusion of Islam culture system and Chinese traditional culture system.

For one thing, both Islam culture system and Chinese traditional culture system are the most ancient culture system in the word, and the two culture system have some common characteristics. There are only four culture systems in the world which have long history, immense world area, self-contained system and long lasting impact. They are Chinese, Hindustan, Greek and Islam culture. In this article the author explored the common characteristics from five aspects.

Above all, both Islam culture and Confucian culture put secularity in a very important place. Unlike Taoism and Buddhism culture who emphasize a kind of belief and try to attract peoples attention on the happiness after death. Believers of these religion usually only care about whether they would be happy after they die. And these believers would rather sacrifice the enjoyment and happiness in their daily lives to achieve the happiness after death. Therefore, most of them do not show much concern on their secular life. This explained the phenomenon that lots of Taoism and Buddhism temples are scattered around deep mountains and forests. However, Islam culture do emphasize the happiness after death, it also cares about the secular life. For a Muslim, Islam is far more about a kind of belief. Actually it also means a set of values, an integrate system which contains unique social, political and legislation rules. Islam is different from other religions in that it combines religious belief with secular lives, and forms a kind of life style which connects belief and practice together. This is why Masjids are always in the center of cities and are closely related to peoples daily lives. This is very similar to Chinese traditional cultures. Confucian culture, the main form of Chinese traditional cultures has some religious character while it is a set of secular culture essentially. The basic thoughts of Confucian culture holds positive attitudes towards social lives and focus most of its efforts on forming an integrate theory to serve the feudal society.

In addition, Islam is a kind of religion which has strong relationships with politics. It is reasonable to say that Islam is a political religion. There seems no accurate boundaries between religion and politics since the Islam was set up. When Muslim are talking about their country, they are referring to the Islam religious group. And Muslim consider the governor of Islam as the leader of their country. And they think the spread of religious belief means the extension of territory. In Muslim countries religious classics are the laws of the country. According to Islam Allah is the governor of everything in the world. Everyone should obey the arrangements of Allah, Mohammed, the messenger of Allah and the most authoritative person among Muslim. Therefore all the politic system of Muslim country is based on Islam. For Islam, it is the ideal model of a country that politics and religion are essentially refers to the same thing. This characteristic is also very similar to Chinese traditional cultures. We Chinese culture are always concerned with politics. In the ancient time of China, there is a saying goes politics always accompany with teaching. All the teaching materials are about how to take part in politic activities or about how to discuss the politics. During the spring and autumn period, various schools of thought put forward many kinds of theories. While all these theories are aimed at finding a better way to govern the country. In the following 2000 years all the Chinese scholars are affected by this kind of thoughts which has two-sided effects on the development of ancient Chinese culture. Furthermore, this kind of thoughts makes the education system and academic environment of ancient China more political oriented.

Last but not least, just like Confucian culture, Islam culture has a tendency of taking the middle course between extremes. For example, facing with money matters, Muslim are against too frugal and are not in favor of spending too much money on pleasure things. They advocate proper consumption principles. According to the Quran[ Ali, Maulana Muhammad. Holy Quran. eBookIt. com, 2011.], Muslim should not spend too much money and should not be mean to others(25; 67). When it comes to daily life matters, the Quran suggest that people can eat whatever they want and drink whatever they like, but should not go beyond the limit.(7; 31) That is to say people can enjoy the sensual pleasures but cannot indulge in it. When faced with enemies, the Quran argued that You should defend against your enemy in order to stand up for your own rights, but you should not go too far because Allah does not like it.When chanting the Quran You should not chant too loudly or too silently. Instead, you should seek a proper way in chanting.(17; 10) In a word, Islam are followers of moderation which is consistent with Chinese traditional cultures.

For another, with different economic bases the two cultures can compensate for each other. As we know, Islam was originated from desert areas. The ancestors of Islam were nomadic people. With a long process of development, these nomadic people built a great Arab empire which stretches across three continents. The Muslim are particularly good at doing business because they are full of endurance, patience and adventure. While the economic bases of Chinese culture are small-scale peasant economy. Peaceful political environment is the premise of this kind of economy. Accordingly, we Chinese people are always satisfied with our temporary lives and do not think about invading others. We hold open attitudes towards different cultures and like peace very much. With great capabilities of cultural integration, Chinese culture kept good relationships with Islam since it came to China. On the one hand, some Muslim did agricultural production and adjusted themselves to the Chinese economy system. On the other hand, some Muslim go on doing business and as time goes by, this trading economic model became an irreplaceable and indispensable part of Chinese economy. Meanwhile, this kind of fusion in economic area makes culture contact and combination between Islam and Chinese traditional culture more available.

In the long process of getting along with Chinese traditional culture, Islam got some useful experience that contribute to the successful combination and fusion of the two cultures.

First of all, the combination of these two cultures is based on a peaceful and nonpolitical style. Although there exist some wars on the way of coming to China, it is peaceful on the whole. This kind of peaceful spread style mainly divided into two types. On the one hand, it was the businessmen who took Islam to China. They came to China with the purpose of doing business instead of preaching their religion. At that time, Chinese government advocated doing business with foreigners and protected overseas trade which attracted many Muslim. They came to China, married local Chinese people and kept their original religious belief. With the rise of Muslim population Islam faith turned to a kind of living custom without causing the governors alertness. Thus from Tang to Ming dynasty most of the religions were criticized by scholars while Islam never suffered from any criticisms. On the other hand, Islam assimilate pagan smoothly and peacefully instead of forcing them to believe in Allah.

Secondly, different from Buddhism, Christian and other religions who peach their belief to the Han people, Islam respect the diversification of culture unity in China, and they seek for a unique way to develop themselves independently in the multi-culture environment.

It is worthwhile probing into how does Islam communicate and combine itself with Chinese traditional cultures. On secular level, Chinese Muslim has already acclimatized themselves to Chinese society. They have already finished the process of chinization in many aspects of daily lives. While on religious level, they still keep Islam believes. Unlike other Islam countries, Chinese Islam cannot set up national wild education system as a consequence of lacking political and economic privilege. Therefore, Chinese Islam built many schools in various size with Chinese characteristics so that Muslim can educate their children. These schools in society became the main media that combine Confucian culture and Islam culture together. Firstly, it began a new age that Islam became institutionalization in a bottom-up processing. It marked the formation of Chinese Islam. Secondly, it made Islam more socialized and standardized. Furthermore, it contributed to the contact and combination between Islam culture and Chinese traditional culture in a deep level. Many scholars tried to use Confucian theories to explain Islam which reinforced the relationships between Chinese traditional culture and Islam culture.

The formation of the Hui nationality is a successful example of the fusion of both cultures. However there still exists many problems that need to be solved. On the one hand, Islam needs to seek new ways in modernization transformation. With the rapid development of mass media every country needs to promote their economy, regenerate cities and rearrange their cultures in order to keep pace with the trend of culture globalization. In other words, the traditional developing environment of Islam will be broken. On the other hand, Islam has to pay attention on the impacts of western culture. In recent years, terrorism threatens everyone around the world, and most terrorists are Islam. Therefore, Islam leaves an aggressive impression on people. As a matter of fact, many factors contributed to this question including historic and realistic factors. But obviously the fundamental reason is the impact from western countries. They try to distort Islam in order to stand up for their own culture. Some western scholars even consider Islam culture as the enemy of Christian civilization. They try to disturb other countrys national matter in the name of advocating democracy without taking the imbalance development among areas into consideration.

All in all, the development of Islam in China is favoring to some degree. While some risks are also existent, which forces Mohammedan to fight for their deep expansion. 

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