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Kuliyah was originated in a mission in Central Asia. It is a sect with relatively fewer believers, who are scattered mainly in Dongxiang, Kangle and Gaolan of Gansu Province.

It is said that its founder was an Arab who came to China in the mid 17th century. He called himself a descendant of Mohammed and came to China many times. At the beginning, he propagandized Islam in Guangzhou City and Guangxi Province, then in Hubei Province and Hunan Province and finally in Gansu Province and Qinghai Province and took Hezhou Prefecture of Gansu Province as his base and settled there. He made a living by himself and got a Chinese name. After his death, his descendants built a Qubbah (tomb) halfway up Dawantou Mountain. Therefore, the sect is also called Dawantou Menhuan (saintly lineage). His descendants succeed the position of the sect's leader in a hereditary system. But the power is decentralized and internal affairs are in the charge of Akhunds of the various mosques.

Kubriyah in Arabic means the greatest. Their Tariqah (revealed law and observance) is mainly to sit still in meditation. It is regulated that Murshid should sit still for 40 or 70 days, or even 120 days a year, usually in a remote cave. During this period, he should try to eat less and sleep less. He should begin to recite silently Zikr and practice worship from early morning to deep night. Common believers are not required to do this, but they should have public activities on the birthday and anniversary of the death of Murshid.

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