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In the depth of Guangta Road of Guangzhou's old urban area of Yuexiu District, the Bonker of Huaisheng Mosque has sounded for over 1,300 years. For the vast amount of Muslims in China, Huaisheng Mosque has a special meaning – which together with Quanzhou Masjid al-Ashab, Hangzhou Phoenix Temple and Yangzhou Crane Temple, were the four well-known mosques first built in China after the introduction of Islam to the country.

Legend has it that at the beginning of the Tang Dynasty, Mohammed dispatched "Four Sages" to China for missionary work. Waqqas was one of the sages, who came to Guangzhou and became the Imam of Huaisheng Mosque. After his death, Waqqas' mausoleum was named "Mausoleum of Ancient Islamic Sage" by later generations, becoming one of the special places for Muslims to attend religious service in Guangzhou.

Guangzhou has for thousands of years been a significant trading center for foreign merchants and many foreigners have stayed here, and as a result the Islam religion was very popular in Guangzhou. The Arabic merchants in Guangzhou gradually came to live around Huaisheng Temple to form a "foreigner quarters" there because of their language, customs and religious beliefs.

These traders built the worship temple (Huaisheng Temple and Minaret Tower) inside the "foreigner quarters" for religious services, and some even got married and had children in Guangzhou. Thus there emerged a significant community group of "local foreigners" extending to "The fifth generations of local foreigners". Some foreigners worked extremely hard to learn Chinese culture and had rather profound Sinology attainments.

During the Anti-Japanese War period, Guangzhou was occupied by Japanese invaders. As a consequence the pratices of Islam in Guangzhou was severely cracked down upon, and in  Guangzhou alone, the majority of the Islamic burial grounds were destroyed by the Japanese army, except for the Mausoleum of Ancient Islamic Sage The mosque in the east of Guangzhou was not so lucky and raised to the ground and other mosques were taken over to serve as military warehouses. The Muslims worshippers of that time were then forced to hold religious activities in the Huaisheng Temple. After the victory of Anti-Japanese War, the remaining Guangzhou  mosques resumed normal religious activities.

Time changes everything, and the practice of religion is no exception. Since modern times, more and more Yunnan imams were found to be resident in Guangzhou. They told of new creeds and advocated new rites. There were still many who returned from Yunnan with learned knowledge. After the liberation, many Guangzhou Muslims took jobs at local factories and government organs, which gradually changed the residence pattern of centering the mosques.

Alongside these dynamics, the very positive development in business and trade in Giuangzhou, which through agencies such as the Canton Fair has established well its business and commercial position in Asia, has also enriched the social compositions of Muslims, and Arabic businessmen who have now emerged in large numbers on its city streets to trade and now worship in the mosques in Guangzhou.

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