How Islam spread to Taiwan

Posted on: Taiwan Halal / By Faisal Fahmi / Editor Faisal Fahmi / 2018-01-21 19:06:22 / 176 Views

How Islam spread to Taiwan

The spread of Islam in Taiwan initiated by migration that could be divided into four waves. In the first wave, it happen in the 17th century when few Muslim families from the southern Chinese coastal province of Fujian accompanied Koxinga on his invasion of Taiwan to oust the Dutch from the southern city of Tainan in 1661 and established Kingdom of Tungning in Taiwan. The second wave of Muslim migrants occurred during the Chinese Civil War in the 20th century when around 20,000 Muslim families fled mainland China with the Nationalist Government to Taiwan in 1949 at the end of Chinese Civil War under General Bai Chongxi. First mainland Chinese Muslim settlers in Taiwan founded Taiwan's first mosque in 1947, the Taipei Grand Mosque in Taipei. The third is start from 1980s, in this waves, thousands of Muslims from Myanmar and Thailand have migrated to Taiwan in search of a better life. In the last wave, the majority of Taiwanese Muslims are relatively recent converts, mostly women, who have married mainlander Muslims. Today there are some 60,000 Taiwanese Muslims and a further 150,000 Indonesian Muslim workers and other Muslims from Malaysia, the Philippines, Pakistan, India and elsewhere, making the current total of over 210,000 Muslims living in Taiwan.


First wave of migration
Islam is believed to have first reached Taiwan in the 17th century when few Muslim families from the southern Chinese coastal province of Fujian accompanied Koxinga on his invasion of Taiwan to oust the Dutch from the southern city of Tainan in 1661 and established Kingdom of Tungning in Taiwan. These people are believed to be the first Muslim settlers on the island. Their descendants however became assimilated into Taiwanese society and adopted the local customs and religions.

According to Professor Lien Ya Tang (Chinese: 連雅堂) in his book History of Taiwan (Chinese: 臺灣通史) (1918), there were few Muslims on the island most of whom were from other provinces in mainland China. There was no spread of Islam and no mosques were built.

The final traces of the first Muslims migration to Taiwan were wiped out during the Japanese colonial rule of Taiwan in 1895-1945. The Japanese government forbid the Taiwanese from practicing foreign religion, which resulted many of the local people practice their faith secretly. The last Imam that came from Mainland China to Taiwan was in 1922. During that time, all of foreign religions were proscribed. After the handover of Taiwan from Japan to the Republic of China in October 1945, the tradition of sending Imams from the mainland resumed again in 1948.

The Chinese Muslim Association put a number figure for all of the people who come from the first wave of Islam migration to be around 20,000 people. Despite the effort of the association to resuscitate Islam among them, basically they no longer practice Islam anymore in their daily life.

Second wave of migration
The second wave of Muslim migrants occurred during the Chinese Civil War in the 20th century when around 20,000 Muslim families fled mainland China with the Nationalist Government to Taiwan in 1949 at the end of Chinese Civil War under General Bai Chongxi. Many of them were soldiers and government employees at the time and came from provinces were Islam is strong such as Yunnan, Xinjiang, Ningxia, Anhui and Gansu (mostly southern and western regions of China). First mainland Chinese Muslim settlers in Taiwan founded Taiwan's first mosque in 1947, the Taipei Grand Mosque in Taipei. The mosque symbolized the friendly gesture from the ROC Government to Islam and also reinforced ROC diplomatic ties with their Muslim allies. After the establishment of the mosque, diplomatic activities between Republic of China and other Muslim countries developed considerably and trade and commerce increased remarkably.

This second wave of Muslim migration from Mainland China to Taiwan resulted in the creation of other mosques in Taiwan, such as the Kaohsiung Mosque in 1949 in Kaohsiung, Taipei Cultural Mosque in 1950 in Taipei and Taichung Mosque in 1951 in Taichung.

Third wave of migration
Since the 1980s, thousands of Muslims from Myanmar and Thailand have migrated to Taiwan in search of a better life. They are descendants of nationalist soldiers that fled Yunnan when the communists took over mainland China. These people constituted to the third Muslim immigration in Taiwan. Many of them settle in Burma Street at Zhonghe District of New Taipei, Zhongli District of Taoyuan and some other towns.

Fourth wave of migration
The majority of Taiwanese Muslims today are relatively recent converts, mostly women, who have married mainlander Muslims. Today there are some 60,000 Taiwanese Muslims and a further 150,000 Indonesian Muslim workers and other Muslims from Malaysia, the Philippines, Pakistan, India and elsewhere, making the current total of over 210,000 Muslims living in Taiwan.

The growing Muslim population in Taiwan from Indonesia can be seen in many industrial cities, such as the one in Dayuan, Taoyuan where there are a growing number of Indonesian workers there, in which most of them are Muslim. An Indonesian worker married to a local Taiwanese man built the At-Taqwa Mosque, Taiwan's seventh mosque, which was opened on 9 June 2013. Taiwan's eighth and latest mosque, the An-Nur Tongkang Mosque, was opened in Donggang Township, Pingtung County in 2017 by a group of Indonesian fishermen working at a nearby port.

Quated from wikipedia
Source: Image from kompasiana.com


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Anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should not harm his neighbor, and anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should entertain his guest generously, and anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should talk what is good or keep quiet (i.e. abstain from all kinds of evil and dirty talk) (hadith 47, Sahih Al Bukhari, Vol: 8)

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