Xiaoming Wang

Xiaoming Wang Muslim Chinese—the Hui in Rural Ningxia

Muslim Chinese—the Hui in Rural Ningxia

Internal Migration and Ethnoreligious Identification

Islamkundliche Untersuchungen Band 340

Klaus Schwarz Verlag
Language: English
1. Edition ()
Hardcover, 220 pages
ISBN 9783879974931

The Hui are predo­mi­n­antly Muslim Chinese who claim ance­stry from Persian- and Arabic-spea­king regions in Central Asia and the Middle East. Accor­ding to the 2010 census, the Hui are the largest Muslim group in China and its third largest ethnic mino­rity with a total popu­la­tion of 10.6 million. Due to their exten­sive geogra­phic distri­bu­tion and long-term accul­tu­ra­tion by the atheist Han majo­rity, the ques­tion of Hui iden­tity is rarely raised in humani­ties and social sciences both in China and abroad.
This book examines Hui iden­tity in the rural area of Ningxia Hui Auto­no­mous Region, while taking account of China’s rapid moder­ni­sa­tion and indu­s­tria­li­sa­tion in the twenty-first century. Speci­fi­cally, it focuses on the massive internal migra­tion of rural popu­la­tions, which has been playing an essen­tial role in the socioe­co­nomic life of Chinese peasants in the past few decades.
Based on field data collected between 2011 and 2013 among the Jahriyya Hui, the study seeks to clarify the impacts of migra­tion on the Hui’s ethno­re­li­gious iden­tity by inves­ti­ga­ting three key issues: the Hui’s purity concept, fasting and their belief in the after­world. In rela­tion to these refe­rence points, reli­gious rituals, inclu­ding comme­mo­ra­tion cere­mo­nies and the Ramadan fast as well as their chan­ging forms and values, are illu­s­t­rated and analysed.
The thesis shows that Islam conti­nues to play a crucial part in drawing boun­da­ries and main­tai­ning iden­tity for the Hui both before and after migra­tion. However, popu­la­tion move­ments in Ningxia are resul­ting in increased inter­ac­tions between Hui and Han popu­la­tions as well as between Hui from diverse ›menhuan‹ (Sufi paths). Conse­qu­ently, the Hui’s unique ›menhuan‹ aware­ness is being weakened and their purity concept subjected to many queries, doubts, ambi­gui­ties, and tensions.