Thursday, 22 October 2015 16:25

Liu Zhi: A Leading Chinese Muslim Scholar and Saint

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Liu Zhi (ca.1670-1739), also known as Liu Jia Lian, was born in the former Chinese imperial capital of Nanjing.  Little is known about his background and personal life – only that his relatives considered him too studious and, therefore, quite dull! He was, however, a member of China’s Hui community. With roots stretching back to the seventh century, the Hui were (and continue to be) a sizable community of Sinicised Muslims. Originally descended from a transient population of Persian and Arab merchants, by the seventeenth century the Hui were fully acculturated Chinese Muslims: they spoke Chinese, wore Chinese clothing and observed Chinese customs. Because of (in some cases centuries of) intermarriage, they also appeared physically identical to the Han (China’s dominant ethnic group).  Despite this level of acculturation, however, the Hui maintained.......... [click here to download the full article in pdf ]