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Islam

National Key Historical and Cultural Heritage Protection Unit
Provincial Key Historical and Cultural Heritage Protection Unit

Huaisheng Mosque, also known as the Lighthouse Mosque, is one of the oldest mosques built over 1,300 years ago in the early Tang Dynasty(in 627 A.D.) when Islam was first introduced into China. It was named in memory of Prophet Muhammad, the founder of the Muslim religion. There is a calling tower with a pointed tip inside of the mosque, which is how it got its alternative name Guangta Si, i.e. literally "Light Tower Mosque".

At that time Guangzhou was already a busy trade center, and Islam was introduced into China along the "Marine Silk Road". Prophet Muhammad sent four disciples to China advocating Islam, among whom Abi Waqqaas once managed Huaisheng Mosque. Therefore, Huaisheng Mosque holds a special position in the mind of Muslims both at home and abroad.

The unique white minaret stands tall and upright inside of the mosque, which has become a landmark for the Muslims in Guangzhou. The minaret is 35.46 meters tall and tilted because of the 3 meters difference of the distance from the rock to the east and west side of its footing. Now the degree of inclination has reached 1.06 meters, yet the whole structure is still steady. The reason lies in that its footing is constructed of 3.6-meter long stone stripes, while its body is built with a mixture of soil, glutinous rice, brown sugar and lime, withstanding thousands of years of weather testing.

Before the mosque was then the Pearl River channel. The merchant ships fully loaded with cargo would know how to put into Guangzhou Port by looking at the minaret from a distance. Experts attested that the minaret of Huaisheng Mosque was probably one of the oldest Islamic calling towers. There was a rare golden chicken trade wind meter on top of the minaret that could spin to the wind to show wind direction. However, it fell off during hurricanes in the early Ming Dynasty. Because of its longevity the Huaisheng Mosque is one of the earliest and most featured existing Islamic buildings in China.

※ It now opens only to Muslims.

※ Address: No. 56 Guangta Lu, Yuexiu District

※ Tel: 83333593

※ Transportation:
· Metro: Exit B, Ximenkou Station of Line 1
· Bus:
(1) Guangta Lu Stop: 58
(2) Guangta Lu Bus Terminal: 56
(3) Zhongshan Liulu Stop: 102, 104, 107, 193, 233, 250, 286, 527, 58, 74, 85, 88

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