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Qadim -- the Earliest Islamic Sect in China

Qadim is a sect, which is spread most widely and has the biggest number of followers in Hui, Dongxiang, Sala and Baoan ethnic minority groups. It is the earliest Islamic sect in China. Qadim means ancient and obsolete in Arabic. It originated from the famous Hanafiyah School, which was founded by Hanafiyah, one of the four Islamic jurisconsults.

In religious ideas, this sect maintains the basic Islamic principles of tawhid and al-Tā'ak. In religious practice, it requires its believers to strictly practice Rukun. In the long period of its development, it forms a conservative tradition. It is against anything unconventional and sticks to old rules. And at the same time, it does not intervene with the affairs of other sects, showing its adaptability and tolerance.

Guided by this religious idea, and to adapt to the concentration of Chinese Muslim inhabitants, Muslim neighborhood organizations are established. Another important characteristic of this sect is that it attaches great importance to education. Organized by the sect, children from the same neighborhood go to a mosque to receive religious education. They usually learn tens of scriptures in Arabic or Persian.

Qadim has the longest history of dissemination in China. During the process of its development, it has been influenced by the traditional Chinese culture and many Han customs were absorbed into its religious rites. The religious architecture is also different from those in other Muslim regions. Qadim was the result of Sunnite under the certain surroundings in Chinese hinterland. It has played an important role in the dissemination of Islam and the formation of the Hui ethnic minority group.

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