Hui after Friday prayer at East Gate Grand Mosque

Reimagining the Silk Road

Hui after Friday prayer at East Gate Grand Mosque

Xining, Qinghai, 2010

East Gate Grand Mosque (Dongguandasi 东关大寺), one of the largest mosques in northwest China, has been an epicenter of educational networks for Muslim minorities in China since the early twentieth century. Both the Yihewani and Salafiyya movements were spread through teaching by either missionaries from abroad or by returned Chinese hajjis who were based at the mosque. Students then spread the teachings to Linxia, where the Yihewani and Salafis built strong communities. As a result, East Gate Grand Mosque has been called “China’s Al-Azhar,” after the famous center of Islamic instruction in Cairo.