Support us


This course has finished

Delivered by: Professor Jonathan Lipman [Mount Holyoke College, USA] Author of “Familiar Strangers: A History of Muslims in Northwest China”

The Prophet (s) said, ‘Seek knowledge even in China,’ (al-Bayhaqi)

According to the Muqaddimah of the great Muslim Historian Ibn Khaldun, “All civilisations rise and fall”. Napoleon Bonaparte once said of China, “Let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will shake the world.”

Islamic presence in China is as old as Islam itself. With over 1200 years of Sino-Islamic relations, ranging from the early da’wah efforts of the companion,to the pioneering journeys of the greatest naval commander in Chinese history, Admiral Zheng He, to the fact that there are million Muslims living China today. Islam and Muslims have made a significant contribution to China and Chinese Civilisation and vice versa. Muslims have a rich and unique relationship with China.

The course will cover the following:

  • A brief history of Chinese Civilisation and Dynasties
  • Arrival of Islam, Golden Age and decline
  • heng He and his fleets and impact
  • Different Muslim Communities and Chinese Islam
  • Islamic Scholarship of China and its contribution to Chinese Civilisation inc people like Hu Dengzhou Xi, Wang Daiyu, Ma Zhu, Liu Zh and others
  • Islam and relationship with other faiths such as Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism.
  • Islamic Art in China
  • Current situation and future of Muslims of China

Professor Jonathan Lipman [Mount Holyoke College, USA]

Internationally acclaimed academic, Professor Jonathan Lipman is the Felicia Gressitt Bock Professor of Asian Studies at Mount Holyoke College, USA. Speaking fluent Mandarin, reads Arabic and Japanese, his expertise & research covers all of East Asia with a specialization in the study of “Islam and Muslims in China”. Having travelled all over China and East Asia, he insists on evidence as an essential component of historical argument combining familiarity with the historical context (the “big picture”) with intensive study of individual human beings – memoirs, autobiographies, letters, stories.

He has published dozens of articles, book chapters, papers, and reviews on ethnicity, religion, and difference in Chinese history. He is the author the acclamied book “Familiar Strangers: A History of Muslims in Northwest China (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1998)”, which many in the west claim lays the foundation for future studies of Chinese Muslims.

His current projects include the biography of Yusuf Ma Zhu, a Chinese Muslim scholar and gentryman of the 17th century. He currently teaches at Mount Holyoke College, and lives in South Hadley with his wife, Ann Pemberton, manager of the town’s farmer’s market and an activist in the local agriculture movement.

To watch, please click on the video, register with vimeo and and follow the instructions set out by vimeo for payment [it costs $40/£25 to watch and you have a month to view it]

Click image to enlarge