Hui people

The Hui (Chinese回族, Pinyin Huizu ) are one of the 56 nationalities in China, which have been officially recognized as independent nations. The Hui are similar in culture and many also in appearance to the Han Chinese, with the exception that they are Muslims and therefore have some religious-minded customs and traditions. At the census in 2010 10.595.946 members of the Hui people were counted. The approximately 20,000 Hui in Hong Kong and about 100 in Macao were not counted. The approximately 52,000 Hui on Taiwan are not recognized by the Government of the Republic of China as a nationality, but considered Han Chinese Islamic faith.

Additional Features

The Hui are also several smaller Muslim ethnic groups, which could be assigned to any of the other major Islamic peoples of China Uyghur, Kazak, Kirgiz, Dongxiang, Salar, Uzbeks, Tatars, Tajiks and Bonan, but were too small or too complicated to them as recognize distinct nationalities. A special feature of the Hui is that although they scattered all over China, mostly live locally but concentrated in " Hui- city neighborhoods " or " Hui villages " within the mosque. The respective local groups of the Hui often differ significantly from each other, particularly with regard to their origin and history. So there is in the north of Dezhou City ( Northwest Shandong) is a small village called Beiying in which 710 Hui (1990 ) live, the mostly descendants of two sons ( Andulu and Wenhala ) a king of the natives of the Sulu Islands ( present-day Philippines ) are. The Sulu king had died in Yongle 15 ( 1417 ) with a 340- member delegation on State visit to the court of the Ming Dynasty and was on his way home in Dezhou. His two younger sons remained in the grave back, came with three local families Hui- Xia, Ma and Chen in marital relationships and founded the families An and Wen. In Yongzheng 9 (1731 ) its now grown to 193 persons offspring from Qing emperor was awarded Chinese citizenship.


The Hui speak Chinese mostly under local dialect and / or languages ​​of local ethnic minorities. In the religious sphere, there is an extensive vocabulary Arabic, Persian and Turkish origin. The Northwest Chinese dialect spoken by the Hui in Shaanxi, Gansu and Ningxia, Xinjiang and some speak in Qinghai, is called in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan Dungan (东 干 语). Places for more than 100,000 Hui under the name Dungan.

In Lhasa and some other places of Tibet, the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Deqin in Yunnan province as well as in the communities Dehenglong and Ashinu Hualong Hui Autonomous County in Qinghai Province, a total of nearly 15,000 live Hui, the Tibetan (藏语) speak.

Several thousand Hui, who call themselves Tuomao (托 茂 人), live in the Autonomous District Haibei the Tibetans and the Uighur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang. They speak Oirat - Mongolian. The approximately 4,500 Utsat - Hui in Sanya on the southern tip of Hainan are descendants of Cham immigrants who arrived from Vietnam in the late 12th or early 13th century to China. They speak Tsat (回 辉 语), Austronesian language that is one of the languages ​​of the Western Malayo Sundische - Polynesian language family. In Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous County live almost 600 Hui, called Paxi - Dai (帕西 傣). They speak Dai, a southwestern Tai language. Just under 6,000 in the circle Eryuan Hui, Bai Autonomous Prefecture of Dali Bai speak, a Sino Tibetan language.


Among the Hui of North China, there are strong influences of Central Asian Sufi schools ( Sufi brotherhoods ) as Kubrawiyya, Qadiriyyah, Naqschbandiyya ( Chufiyya and Jahriyya ) etc. mostly of the Hanafi Madhhab, whereas among the Southeastern communities the Shafii madhhab is more common. Before Ihwani movement, the Chinese version of the Salafist movement, the northern Hui liked merged Taoist ideas and martial arts practices with Sufi philosophy.

Southeastern Hui have a long tradition of fusion of Confucian teachings with the Sharia and the Koran. The contributions of the Muslims of the Chinese Confucian officialdom to the southeast are occupied up to the Tang Dynasty.

The Hui and women serve as Ahong ( imams and Muslim religious leaders ). You work as a spiritual guide for women ( nu ) in their community. Some of these nu Ahong serve in mosques that are entirely separate from mosques for men, but most of the women are used rooms that are part of the mosques for men. Some nu Ahong live in the mosque or in associated with them Muslim schools. Some of them also get a salary, only a small part of a volunteer. The anthropologist Mary Jaschok estimates that there are about seven times as many prayer rooms and mosques for men as for women. Different definitions of "women's mosque" and the lack of statistical data makes a precise statement of the number but impossible.

In addition to chairing the nu si (women's mosque ), a nu Ahong has also the task of offering ritual and moral orientation to attend marriages and funerals to preach the sermon, to resolve political and social conflicts and advise. It also serves as an educator. There are many schools for Hui women and girls, which are operated by the mosques and funded by Hui.


The Hui Chinese have various origins. Some on the southeast coast are descended from Arab traders who settled in the 9th century in China and adapting over time to the local population, mingled with her and ultimately retained only the other religion. For the northern Chinese dialect -speaking Hui of Yunnan and northern China, there is another explanation of descent: Their ancestors were Mongolian, Turkic and other Central Asian settlers who formed the elite during the Yuan Dynasty. Documents show that a majority of the nomadic or military groups were Nestorian Christians and actually converted to Islam during the Sinisierungsdrucks the Ming and Qing dynasties.

This explains the ethnonym " Hui ", which is a great similarity with the name " Uyghur " has, though the meaning is different. The word " Hui " was at least used as a generic term for Chinese-speaking Muslims and partly for Muslims in general since the Qing Dynasty. For example, could a Chinese Qing dynasty describe a Uyghur as " Chantou ", who exercised the " Hui " religion. It was used as the word " Qingzhen " in southeast China.

Until the early modern times, the northern Chinese Hui villages were, " black cap Huihui ," and "white cap Huihui " still referred to as " blue cap Huihui ," to distinguish them in terms of their possible Christian, Jewish or Islamic origin, although even then the Hui northern China were by and large Islamic.

The Central Asian Turkic peoples and Tajiks denote the Hui Chinese as " Dungan ". In Thailand, Chinese Muslims called " Chin Ho " in Burma and Yunnan " Panthay ". There are some Chinese Muslim or converted to Islam Chinese in Malaysia. These are officially counted as part of the " Bumiputri ", the dominant Malay. In society, however, they are seen as part of the Chinese minority.

Dissemination of Hui Chinese provincial level according to the data of the census of 2010 ( as of 1 November 2010)

Famous Hui

  • Zheng He, the famous navigator of Chinese history
  • Shi Zhongxin, mayor of Harbin since 2002
  • Li Zhi (1527-1602), scholar in Fujian Province
  • Ma Huan, writer and companion of Zheng He
  • Ma Bufang, (1903-1975), Chinese warlord
  • Hai Rui (1514-1587), politician during the Ming Dynasty
  • Hui Liangyu, Chinese Deputy Prime Minister, member of the Politburo

Three as Ma clique ( Xibei San Ma) known Hui warlords dominated especially in alliance with the Kuomintang from 1912 to 1949 the majority of the Chinese provinces of Ningxia, Gansu and Qinghai.