From Xi’an To Holy City of Mecca : Tracing The Spiritual Odyssey – The Road to Hajj from China

Exploring the Cultural Bridge and Faithful Journey Connecting Xi’an to the Holy City of Mecca” In a series of shows, Al Jazeera follows Muslim pilgrims from all over the globe as they get ready for Hajj. Hajj pilgrimage.

The antiquated Chinese city Xi’an is the home of an army of terracotta that is famous. It was the heart of Chinese civilisation during the Tang Dynasty from the year 618 until 907.

It also hosts approximately 60,000 ethnic Chinese Muslims and boasts 1,300 years of Islamic culture.

Believing in their Islamic heritage and of their country’s customs The Muslims in Xi’an have integrated their own old Chinese tradition with Islam and remain true to the fundamental tenets of their faith.

Also Read: Journey Through Time: The 1960s Hajj to Mecca Unveiled

‘Lifetime’s responsibility’

The 46-year-old Ma Yi Ping is well-known in Xi’an’s Muslim community.

The Imam is one of 10 who reside at the capital’s Great Mosque, he also runs a small store that sells Islamic writing in the Muslim quarter. He also acts as a religious instructor for those who are about to undertake Hajj. Hajj pilgrimage.

“I came from a fervent Muslim family, and am the sole child. I began studying Quran when I was a child. I was taught that I must dedicate myself to Islam and also [to to the Muslim population and to contribute towards the peacefulness of our society and for our country,” Ma says.

“When I was still a child, my father took me to the home of an imam to study the Quran. It was not allowed for children to go to the mosque due to political pressure imposed by the Gang of Four. All religions were severely affected.”

China’s Communist party banned all the mosques in the country in 1959. During 1965’s Cultural Revolution, more than 29,000 mosques were demolished.

Ma was just 16 when the mosques were reopened. Ma became an imam.

“As Imam I have the obligation to spread Islam,” he says.

Ma first took part in Hajj in 1994, and has been back several times since.

Also Read: The Ka’bah : Appreciating The Ka’bah’s Profound Significance in Islam

As opposed to Singapore and Malaysia the Chinese do not have elaborate preparations for the Chinese Muslims undertake. Ma assists in the direction of his pilgrims through the Mecca area and instructs them the special prayers they should follow during their visit to Mecca.

“I would like to assist the Chinese Muslims as they are extremely religious. The only issue they have is that they’re not well-versed in all ceremonies of religion that take place during the Hajj as they’re not performed locally.”

Also Read: Embark on a Spiritual Journey: Discover 50 Must Do Activities During Hajj

‘Ancestors’ wishes’

Jia Wang Yi as well as his wife, are among the pilgrims who are soon to be Ma assists. Both in their 60s They have saved for the past five years to go on their pilgrimage.

“This excursion is extremely important to us both. We’ve done a lot of preparations following instructions from both my son and the Imam.

“I am very aware of my health and have worked really hard to understand and understand the Hajj rituals, as well as preparing our clothes and medicines. We’ve been meticulously prepared,” Jia says.

Son, Jia Ren Ping, had hoped to join the family, however work commitments mean Jia Ren Ping will not be able to join them this time.

“Both my parents and grandparents were keen to take part during the Hajj. However, due to a variety of reasons my grandparents were unable to participate. They had financial difficulties and lived through a war-stricken moment,” Jia Ren Ping describes.

“Thus my parents have the desire of going to Hajj firstly, to fulfill the desires of Allah as well as to fulfill the desires of our ancestral ancestors.”

The Jias will form part of a pilgrimage group of 251 departing Xi’an to go to the Hajj. Because the community is so close-knit, everyone knows about the pilgrims from their area.

Contrary to some other countries, Chinese pilgrims in China do not receive any specific government aid to cover the costs of the Hajj. People with less money usually save for a long time to save enough money to cover the expense.

Also Read: 600 CE Chronicles: Unveiling Mecca’s Transformative Era at The Birth of Islam

‘Reinforcing faith’

For the wealthier Xi’an Muslims who have a lot of money, such as Jia Hong who runs the most successful restaurant for fried rice located in China’s Muslim quarter, executing Hajj is a matter of coordination as well as timing.

He is going to Hajj in the beginning for the first time. However, the wife of his just had a baby daughter, will not be able to be with him.

“Everything about my family is taken by the family and I’m not worried with my own security. The Hajj is the duty for everyone Muslim. I trust everything to Allah’s hands. The Hajj will reinforce my faith, not undermine that faith.” Hong says.

On the day of departure on the day of departure, Xi’an main train station crowded with people saying goodbye to their relatives and friends. Every pilgrim attends a send-off celebration that ranges from thirty to seventy people.

The management of the crowd of thousands is among the major problems facing city officials.

Many of the residents such as Jia Hong has never previously been out of the country.

As his family and close friends let him go He says: “What I’m feeling now is beyond the words. I’m just hoping to be there as fast as possible and complete my promise.”

Categories: PRAYER (Salat), ALMS (Zakat), SAWN (Fasting) HAJJ (Pilgrimage) & DUA (Supplications), Hadith and Tafseer, The Holy Quran, Quran Jaz 1- 114

Topics:  Ushr and Zakat, Hijab, Arabic Corner, Faith, Islamic History, Biography, Sirat ul Nabi PBUH,  Islamic Studies, Halal & Haram


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