Thursday 22 December 2022

Islam in Macau

Macau, located in the western Pearl River Delta by the South China Sea. With a population of about 680,000, is a special administrative region of China, with executive, legislative, and judicial powers devolved from the national government. 

Islam has been present in Macau since the Yuan Dynasty. It is generally accepted that Islam were brought to Macau by traders from Middle East and Persia during that time until Qing Dynasty era. There around 10,000 Muslims in Macau, of which 400 are the local Macau Muslims, while others include workers from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Pakistan. The local Muslims call themselves as The Macau Islamic Society.
Macau Mosque [Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons / Author: Chongkian]

There is only one masjid in the city, located at 4 Ramal Dos Moros in Our Lady of Fatima Parish, which can accommodate about 100 people at a time. The mosque was built in the 1980s. It is mostly visited on Sundays as a holiday. There is also a cemetery in the vicinity for Muslims, which was built in 1854. It has about 120 graves. 
Muslim Cemetry [Photo credit: Yusof Husin/Facebook]

In view the growing needs of the Muslims, plan area foot to build a bigger mosque which could accommodate approximately 600 worshippers. The planned mosque will also house a hostel, halal restaurants, classrooms for religious instruction. Aside from the mosque, there are some hotels and establishments that maintain prayer rooms Muslims can use.

Halal food has recently been allowed to be sold in Macau. This not only makes it easier for the local Muslims to purchase Halal food or go to eateries that serve Halal food, this will greatly assist the Muslim tourists that visit the city.
There are many Pakistani families in Macau, Adnan Nasim is one of them (Pictured above with his family). Adnan Nasim moved to Macau 28 years ago to pursue university studies and now works for the University of Macau. He is making his best to expose lies about Islamophobia and presents spreads the peaceful message that Islam carries in his circles. They follow the religion’s main precepts, such as praying five times a day; not eating pork; not drinking alcohol; eating only ‘halal’ (the Muslim way of cutting) meat. They skip the noon prayer while they’re working but try to compensate once they get home. The couple says they do not face any hurdles daily and feel welcome here.

The Muslim community is growing steadily, believes the Islamic associations in Macau and Hong Kong, mainly due to an increase in the number of migrant workers coming from Indonesia. “It’s increasing. There are more and more people going to the mosque on Friday,” said imam Uthman Yang, who is part of the Islamic Union of Hong Kong but comes to Macau often to conduct religious rituals.

Muslims religiously observe the month of Ramadan, followed by the Eid festivities. Eid al-Fitr, which is the major festival of Muslims, is celebrated with great pomp and show at the mosque. Likewise, the Eid al-Adha is celebrated with fervour by the Muslim community of Macau. The celebrations are marked with prayers and animal slaughter for the poor and needy.

There are few Indian restaurants that serve Halal food. But if you’re not in the mood for Indian food, you’ll have more choices at Café Panorama at the Grand Coloane Resort. At Senado Square, there’s Loulan Islam Restaurant, which serves halal Chinese food. Loulan Islam restaurant serves halal food and you’ll notice the abundance of lamb included in their dishes, which is the cuisine’s signature meat.
For lovers of Naan (a specialty of Pakistani and Turkish cuisines) served at Loulan Islam Restaurant

You can also find Xinjiang’s elaborate hand-pulled noodles on their menu. Xinjiang is home to a unique culture. With so many influences from neighbouring countries like Russia, Pakistan and others, Xinjiang cuisine is distinct because of the large Muslim population in the region. 

You may like to watch a short video clip on Islam in Macau:

Disclaimer: The data for this post has been collected from the references given below. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

To know more about life of Muslims in other non-Muslim countries, please visit our Reference Page: Islam and Life of Muslims in Non Muslim Countries

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 6 | 7 | 8 |
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