Posted 25 February 2009 - 03:41 PM
"Is Ming Dynasty Muslim- Fact or Speculation?
Many people question the identity of the first Ming emperor, Zhu Yuanzhang or Hongwu Emperor. Some claim that he was a Muslim of Semitic (Semu) Non-Han origin.
Yusuf Chang, a Chinese Muslim from Taiwan, was one of those who made this claim. He claimed that his ancestor had married a Ming princess and thus he was a descendant of Zhu Yuanzhang and knew the secrets of the Islamic religion of the Ming royal family.
He presented many startling evidences to support his claims. They are:
1. When Zhu Yuanzhang was young, his family perished in a famine and he buried them by wrapping them in white clothes. Wrapping the dead in white clothes is a Muslim custom.
2. Zhu Yuanzhang's closest associates were Muslims. Thus, the Ming dynasty was founded by Muslims.
3. Zhu Yuanzhang passed a strict law forbidding 'wine'. Once he had the son of his close associate executed for breaking the law. 'Wine' is strictly forbidden in Islam.
4. Empress Ma (Zhu's consort) was a Muslim. She had personally cook all the meals for Zhu, even after he had become the Emperor.
5. The royal colour of the Ming dynasty was green, the colour which symbolizes Islam.
6. Zhu Yuanzhang ordered the building of a mosque in Nanjing soon after he ascended the throne and he personally wrote a poem praising Islam and Prophet Muhammad. This poem is seen by Muslims as the 'syahada' the testimony of Zhu's faith in Islam.
7. Many Muslims rose to high ranks during the Ming dynasty. One good example was Admiral Zheng He. Admiral Zheng He's fleet sailed to Mecca, Arabia and performed the 'haj'. Yusuf Chang claims that Zheng He was sent by the Ming emperor to perform the 'haj' on his behalf because the emperor was not able to do so as he wanted to keep his religion a secret among the non-Muslim masses. This practice is allowed in Islam.
8. The Ming dynasty established good ties with many Muslim countries. This is because the Ming dynasty is Muslim and the religion of the Ming royal family is Islam.
9. The Islamic Calendar was made the official calendar during the Ming dynasty. "