in 80 Days!
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to Xiamen & Fujian
Copyright 2001-7 by Sue Brown & Dr.
Historic Qingjing Mosque
Disciples in Fujian?)
Adapted from "Fujian Adventure",
Magic Fujian, etc.
Fuzhou Links History
Nantai Island (Foreign Devils & Chinese Ghosts)
Qingjing Mosque After
3 Wards and 7 Streets I set off in search of Qingjing Mosque to see the
ancient tablet that claims Mohammed sent disciples to Quanzhou. Chinese
used to joke about the Muslims who traded gems for silks and tea, saying,
¡°Treasure In, Tea Out.¡±
A sign on Jintai Road claimed Qingjing was up a small alley to the north.
I wandered about for 45 minutes. A policeman said go this way, an apple
seller said another, a barber said yet a third, and a shopkeeper said
he¡¯d never heard of it.
I walked all of August 17th Street, from the Provincial Government office
on the north to the leaning Black Pagoda on the south. (They should build
a Pizza Hut there, and call it the Leaning Tower of Pizza).
Streets were packed dandies strutting their Sunday finery,
and shoppers carrying purchases from Red Earth Cosmetics, Guess Fashions,
Pierre Cardin, Elle Fashion, Trendy Apparel, Justify Fashion Store, Power
Tennis Shoes, Hush Puppy, Esprit, and Hang Ten. One fellow with slicked
back hair and a black pinstripe suit strutted proudly up the sidewalk,
a 4 inch ebony cigarette holder dangling jauntily from his lips. Interesting¡ªbut
where¡¯s the mosque?!
At long last I came across two fellows in embroidered Muslim caps selling
raisins, walnuts, and chestnuts roasted in black sand. I asked where the
mosque was. They grinned and pointed to the noodle shop in front of me,
beside the August 17th Street theatre, which was showing ¡°Swordfish¡± and
¡°The Mask of Zorro.¡± I bought a flat Muslim bread, and chatted with the
proprietor¡ªa Muslim lady from Shandong Province. She said the mosque was
behind the noodle shop, and pointed to door in back. It was low and narrow,
like something Alice would have used while chasing the White Rabbit.
Behind the door was a small courtyard, with a fig tree and a gate with
an Arabic inscription. The mosque was behind the gate¡ªbut it looked
more like a Chinese wooden temple! I could tell it was Muslim only by
the plain interior, with its green carpet and prayer rugs. The only Muslim
architecture in sight was the dome above the noodle shop.
But before the mosque/temple was what I¡¯d come to find¡ªthe stele claiming
four of Mohammed¡¯s disciples came to China in 628 A.D. The stele is Ming
Dynasty, not a firsthand account, but a long tradition supports the legend,
and archaeologists have verified that Quanzhou¡¯s tombs of the two ¡°Muslim
Saints¡± are Tang Dynasty.
An elder invited me in for tea and then got right down to brass tacks.7
¡°Why do Christians believe in the Holy Trinity? Muslims worship only one
Young Muslims gathered as talked theology and history.
They were good-looking and proud, and I could imagine their ancestors
pounding across the desert on camels. Lawrence of Arabia, and all that.
The mosque has a congregation of over 1,000, and though I¡¯m a Christian,
I was invited to join the 200 hundred or so who worship on Fridays at
History (birthplace of Chinese Maritime Industry)
Island (famous "China
Pagoda," Sino-French Battle, etc.)
Haunted Nantai Island Tour (Includes old Consulates, Rotary
Club, haunted churches...)
of Fuzhou: 3 Wards & 7 Streets, Li Family House, Banyan City,
Yushan Hill and White Pagoda, Clay People, etc.
Valley of Yongtai (Fujian's Best Kept Secret)
Cuisine (Buddha Jumps the Wall Soup, Pounded Pork, Fish Balls)
was also spelled Foochow, Fuh-chau, Fuhchau, etc.
Fujian Sites Fujian
Foto Album Xiamen
by Scott Ballantyne
Last Updated: May 2007
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