Musilin is Chinese pronounciation for Muslim (穆斯林, read: Mùsīlín), people who embrace Islam as their way of life. Muslims already in China since the first century the spread of Islam outside Arabia. During my visit to China, I took myself to visit the Muslim’s heritage, especially the mosque, which is always said by the chinese as the muslim temple.
The Niujie Mosque, also known as Cow Street Mosque (Chinese: 牛街清真寺; pinyin: niújiē qīngzhēnsì; literally “Cow Street Mosque”) is the oldest and the largest of all mosque in Beijing, China. It was first built in 996 during the Liao Dynasty (916-1125). The local Muslim community was forbidden from constructing the mosque in a style other than traditional Chinese architecture, with the exception that the use of Arabic calligraphy was allowed. It was rebuilt in 1442 in the Ming Dynasty and was reconstructed and expanded as well as enlarged in 1696 under the Qing Emperor Kangxi (1622-1722) of the Qing Dynasty.
The street where the mosque laid was named with Cow Street or Niu Jie, because muslims like to eat the cow meat of beef. And there are many vendors who sell the beef along the way. I went to that place when the dusk just before evening prayer. Having prayer in congregation with local residents was a very interesting experience. The prayer is, as commonly, conducted in Arabic language. Immediately after the prayer, followed by sunnah prayer before doing zikr. While the zikr can be done individually.
Although China is not an Islamic country, muslims who live in China are still allowed to live their Islamic teachings properly, and call to prayer still can be echoed on every prayer time but no loudspeakers. This mosque is one of the living proof of harmony Islam brought to the people of China.