An Analysis of the Sinicization Process of Islam: A Case Study on the Architectural Art of Mosques


  • Pei-Jia Wei Universiti Sains Malaysia
  • Aiza Maslan @ Baharudin Universiti Sains Malaysia


mosque, sinicization, architectural art, decorative art


Islam was first introduced into China during the Tang Dynasty (7th Century A.D.) and has since undergone a steady assimilation with traditional Chinese culture after the development and integration of various dynasties, hence facilitating the process of Sinicisation of Islam. Mosques, being a significant emblem of the Islamic faith, have undergone the process of Sinicisation as well. Architectural art serves as a visual representation of culture and civilization, functioning as a symbolic embodiment of a country and its people. This study focuses on the architectural characteristics of several mosques in China, including Beijing Niujie Mosque, the Great Mosque of Xi'an (also known as the Huajuexiang Mosque), and Shandong Jiningdong Mosque. A broad range of information was collected from various sources and through a field survey that was carried out in Mosques designed in the Chinese architectural style. The information gathered during field work will be examined with a focus on the unique characteristics of Chinese Islamic art and architecture. These mosques are chosen due to their adherence to the Chinese traditional architectural style. The research aims to analyze and discuss the unique architectural features exhibited by these selected mosques. Through an examination of building site selection, layout characteristics, and ornamental arts, a thorough and profound comprehension of the Sinicization process of mosques has been achieved. Simultaneously, mosques effectively fulfil their social roles, resulting in the continuous enhancement and enrichment of mosque architecture during the process of Sinicization. This progress establishes a strong groundwork for the favourable advancement of Islam in China in the forthcoming years.