Why is Huaisheng Mosque special
Located at Guangta Road, Huaisheng Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in China. Huaisheng, means remember the sage. It is established for remembering the prophet of Islam, Mohammed. It is not surprising that Huaisheng Mosque is with a time-honored history since Guangzhou was where Islam was introduced to China in the 7th Century.
Today, Huaisheng Mosque still plays a very important role in Muslim life in Guangzhou, welcoming Muslims from all over the world.
Huaisheng Mosque Highlights
Built in 627 during the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Huaisheng Mosque is one of the four most well-known mosques in China with the other three being Yangzhou Crane Mosque, Quanzhou Kylin Mosque and Hangzhou Phoenix Mosque. Old Chinese Muslim manuscripts state that the mosque was built by Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas who was an uncle of Prophet Muhammad, and supposedly came on his first Muslim mission to China in the 650s.
The mosque covers an area of more than 2,966 square meters and features six important buildings, the Imam Hall, the Wangyue Attic, the Covered Corridor, the Storehouse of Islamic Scripture, the Stone Steles Pavilion and the Light Tower.
The Imam Hall is located at the rear part of the mosque. The current hall is the one rebuilt in 1935. The carvings outside the hall have local features. For there is a dragon eye tree and a phoenix eye tree on each side of the hall, the mosque is also called the Dragon and Phoenix Mosque.
The Light Tower is the most prominent building in the mosque. Originally there was a golden cock that acted as a vane on the top of the pagoda. In 1392, the golden cock was destroyed by a hurricane. After that, people added a gourd-shaped top to the pagoda. It is a minaret, which used to serve as a beacon for boats on the Zhujiang River. In addition, sailors often climb up to the minaret to observe the weather conditions. Although the mosque presents a typical architectural style of Tang Dynasty, the Light Tower seems to develop a new school of its own, which is deeply influenced by Arabic architectural flavor, an attractive feature of the mosque.