Beijing’s Muslim community gathers in ancient mosque to celebrate Ramadan

By Xie Wenting Source:Global Times Published: 2017/6/11 17:08:39

People pray during Ramadan in Niujie mosque. Photo: Li Hao/GT

After prayer, worshippers at Niujie mosque break their daily Ramadan fast by eating fruits and snacks first. Photo: Li Hao/GT

On Friday, June 9, people gather at Niujie mosque for Djumah Day prayers. Photo: Li Hao/GT

Yang Jiyou (right) points at a square near Niujie. He hopes that area can be used to build a One Belt One Road square to make Chinese Muslims more known to the world. Photo: Li Hao/GT

People wash themselves before prayers. Photo: Li Hao/GT

Dinner is served after fast is broken at sundown on June 8. Photo: Li Hao/GT

People eat watermelon after a day's fast. Photo: Li Hao/GT

A Muslim man drinks soup after breaking his Ramadan fast. Photo: Li Hao/GT

A woman serves dinner after a day's fast. Photo: Li Hao/GT

Dinner is served after fast is broken at sundown on June 8. Photo: Li Hao/GT

A few men enter the Niujie mosque. Photo: Li Hao/GT

A woman carries incense during a Muslim funeral. Photo: Li Hao/GT

This month, Yang Jiyou, a member of the Hui ethnic minority in his 60s, will get up at 2 am every morning and spend most of his time at a famous mosque in Niujie, Beijing's Xicheng district.

While he can pray at home, he said he would rather make the effort to come to the mosque to pray five times in a day as he says his prayers there have a better effect. At peak times, more than 1,000 Muslims attend ceremonies at the Niujie mosque, located at the traditional heart of Beijing's Muslim community, he said. The Niujie mosque is the biggest and oldest in Beijing and was founded by an Arab scholar in 966 AD.

While men listen to imams preach in the main hall, women all gather in a smaller hall, where loud speakers transmit the imam's words to them simultaneously. Yang said they enjoy a relaxed environment in Beijing during this month. There are no safety checks for people who enter the mosque and tourists are allowed to view their ceremonies.

Yang said terrorists who conduct suicide attacks go against Muslim doctrines and in the Koran, peace and harmony are upheld.

Muslims across China began observing the Islamic holy month of Ramadan on May 27 this year. According to the Xinhua News Agency, China is home to around about 20 million Muslims, including some foreign residents.

Newspaper headline: Relaxed Ramadan

Posted in: IN-DEPTH

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