Mosques in Guangzhou: the 4 Main Mosques

By Candice SongUpdated Mar. 18, 2021

Guangzhou holds a position of prominence for Islam in China as the earliest contacts of Islam with China occurred in this area during the Tang era, and later on, spread to other areas from here. As such Guangzhou can be called the cradle of Chinese Islam. Guangzhou also has the credit of having the oldest mosque in China and the tomb of a highly revered Islamic sage. Both of these are important Islamic Heritage sites. A large number of Muslims live in Guangzhou, including many foreigners from several countries around the globe. There are four main mosques in this city:

1. Guangzhou Huaisheng Mosque 广州怀圣清真寺

Huaisheng Mosque Minaret, Guangta, Light Tower MinaretHuaisheng Mosque Minaret, Guangta, 'Light Tower' Minaret

The Guangzhou Huaisheng Mosque is of great historical importance as it is the oldest mosques in China. It was built in the Tang Dynasty and has a history of more than 1,300 years. 

The mosque covers a total area of 3,600 square meters, including a constructed area of 1,553 square meters with 400 square meters making up the main prayer hall. The buildings are a mix of traditional Chinese architecture and the Arabic style. Arabic calligraphy can be seen on the walls and pillars

The main features include the prayer hall, the tall minaret or Guangta Tower, the Crescent building, east and west galleries, scripture store-room, a pavilion housing an ancient stele, and some other features. The main prayer hall is located in the center of a courtyard. In the prayer hall, the decoration is simple and the floor is covered by prayer mats. The Arabic styled Guangta Tower is cylindrical in shape and stands 36 meters tall.

2. 广州先贤清真寺 (Guangzhou Xianxian Mosque)

Guangzhou Abi Waqqas Mosque tomb entranceGuangzhou Abi Waqqas Mosque tomb entrance

The Guangzhou Abi Waqqas mosque is the largest place of worship for Muslims in Guangzhou. It was first built in the 3rd year (629) of Zhenguan of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). 

The Mosque complex covers a total area of about 25,000 square meters including a large constructed area. The prayer hall is a two-floor building and up to 10,000 Muslims come here for Friday prayers. Most of the existing buildings in the mosque are constructed on the architectural style of the Ming Dynasty. 

The Mosque has some very important historic sites. It houses the tomb of a revered Islamic sage and many Muslims from China and the rest of the world come to visit the place and pay homage to the sage. The mosque complex also has a garden-style cemetery which was built to honor of 40 famous Arab Muslim missionaries. The other major features are the Three Martyr's pavilion, the memorial archways, the ancient well and a number of graves and tombstones among the trees and plants in the area.

3. Guangzhou Haopan Mosque 广州濠畔清真寺

The Haopan Mosque is 500 years old, first built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and rebuilt again in 1706. 

It covers an area of 1,491 square meters and can house up to 400 Muslims on Friday. The mosque has been constructed on the Southern garden-style architecture. 

The main features are the prayer hall and the gate. The gate faces the south. The main hall, 18.8 meters wide and 19.6 meters deep is located to the west.

4. Guangzhou Xiaodongying Mosque 广州小东营清真寺

The Xiaodongying Mosque was first built in the Chenghua Period, Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The mosque has a long history and some fine cultural traditions. 

The total area is 500 square meters including a constructed area of 462 square meters. Up to 1300 Muslims come for Friday prayers in this mosque. The prayer hall is a mix of Arab style and Chinese palace-style architecture and covers an area of 153 square meters.

It has serviced as the place for religious education and has founded organizations like the "Guangzhou Muslim Youth League", and " Muslim Tongyi League". It also initiated a magazine called the "Mumin". The mosque also provides services for funerals. 

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