Chinese Muslims in Saudi Arabia

Here is a fascinating fact: According to the Encyclopedia of Diasporas (page 115), Chinese Muslims refuges first arrived in Saudi Arabia during the unrest caused by the civil war in the 1940s. Ma Cheng Xiang, a commander in the Chinese Army, led 200 to 300 Chinese Muslim families to Saudi Arabia. The descendants of these people still reside in Saudi Arabia.

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20 responses to “Chinese Muslims in Saudi Arabia

  1. AA- Wang,

    Interesting. Would you happen to know where they settled? Was it in Mecca/Madina?

    In Madina, there are many locals with oriental-type facial features. When I asked, I was told they were descendants of Uzbeki immigrants from generations ago.

  2. Irving, you are welcome brother.

    brnaeem wa’alaikum’as’salam. That is something that I would also like to know but that was the only information that I was able to extract from the Encyclopedia. I will try to look into the bibliography insha’Allah to get more info. Regarding the Uzbeki immigrants, many of them fled to other parts of the Muslim world when the Russian took over their land.

  3. Asselamu alaykum,brother wang.
    I am now in Saudi,I was also told that some chinese lived in Saudi since 1940s.Once one of my friends joked with me asking”would you like to marry chinese muslimahs here in Saudi who are descendants of Ma Bufang(he was once the governor of QingHai province for a few years.)?”,then I knew that some of descendants of Ma Bufang lived In Saudi.I am also curious of their story,but no one told me.
    PS:your blog is really nice and helpful for others who want to know about chinese muslim.

  4. wa’alaikum’as’salam naqshsini, Welcome to the blog. Coincidently when I mentioned this to one of my friends from the Middle East he also mentioned meeting one of the descendants of the people. It is a small world after all!

    P.S: By the way naqsh sini is a very beautiful name.

  5. hi im cathy wang from the philippines..ma bufang is my great grand father…i am the daugther of wang yuang heu…he is in jeddah ryt now…its been 13 yrs we havent see each other and now im looking for him…i was amaze to see this blog and it is true that my family has history…please help me to find my father

  6. Cathy, it’s really fascinating to know your history. I’m really fascinated by Ma Bufang. Could you let me know more about your family history?

  7. if im not mistaken my mom told me that ma bufang was the reason why mao tse tung was caught and jailed but after 3 days he released him and mao tse tung revenged…so ma bu fang and 200 descendants ride an airplane and went to egypt ..they were forced to throw away many golds and other treasures so that the plane would not be overweight …they went to egypt but before that they stopped over at hongkong…when they arrived at egypt,thankfully they were welcome by king abdulasis..they lived in the dessert by a tent but many of them died due to weather changes and lack of water…but because of the hardwork of my grandmother they stand on their own feet again…she borrowed all her friends jewels like brooch,hairpins.earrings and other accesories to sell to egyptians…so she began doing business in saudi arabia because before theres no malls or shopping center…she earned lots of money by delivering porcelain jars to rich egyptians who order to her….now they all lived together at jeddah and bought many property in mekkah and they were all converted to saudi citizens…i grew up in jeddah before but my mom brought me here to philippines sinced then i have no communication with my dad for 13 yrs.he’s name is wang yuang heu…but im planning to visit my relatives there in saudi after i finished my studies in the philippines through hajj….i hope my story would give the others some significance information….thank you

  8. Asselamu alaykum,brother wang,
    actually i am so glad to be here in your blog. I am a member of 3ed generation of chinese who born in Saudi Arabia, more specifically in Mecca. My name is Mazen Alaadeen Misha (my 1st name & father names are arabic but my last name is name converted from chinase name Ma Miasha as i think), unfortunatelly as most of 3ed & 4th generation whom born & lived in saudi arabia we don’t speak chinese. Historicaly, as i heard my grandfather was commander in the army from Gansu before chinese civil war & my grandmather is niece of Ma Bufanug who was ambassador of Taiwan in Saudi Arabia till his death in (1975 Gregoroin-1394 Hijri) in Jeddah. My uncle Ma Kuchu (i dont know the exact spelling, his name in arabic Mohammad) was ex-member of taiwanese parliment. Nowaday, most of saudi chinese distributed in Mecca, Madina, Jeddah & Taif. We have some connection with our relatives in china espicially the pilgrimages during Hajj.

  9. Salaam,

    Since some of you metioned connections with Ma bufang or his relatives, i would like to draw your focus on what a disgusting life he led before and after his fleeing to the middle east.

    Before fleeing to Egypt and later to Saudi Arabia, his nieces, wifes of his brothers and officiers are all under his control…he once claimed that he would rape anyone except those he gave birth to and those who gave birth to him.

    After moving to Egypt, his habits were not changed at all…waitress and dancers in his hotel, and families of officers that moved to Egypt with him were all destroyed by him…Even his grandchild could not escape his evil control. His grandchild had a baby for him. He killed the baby himself to avoid criticism.

    It’s estimated that 5000 of all chinese female of different ethnic background (including hui, salar and etc) in the middle east were once trampled by him.

    His evil character was also evident when dealing with captives when he was serving in the army. You can search for more on the Internet.

    It’s such a shame to all other chinese hui muslims!

    Sorry I hope what i said just now does not cause uneasiness to you. It’s true.

  10. Salam everyone
    there is a big difference between Chinese and people from Central Asian countries. The Uzbik and Turkistan are the real Turks so called (Bokhary). The proof is they can speak Turkish and it is the oroginal Turkish called (Jagtaee). Moreover, The Turkman, Kazakh, Part of Tajekistan, Smerqand, Azerbijan (all the central Asian countries). I can speak Turkish and Uozbik. Turkistan was invated and occupied by China the rest of were occupied and still under Russians. I am Chinese from Ma Bufang family and my grand mother is one of his cousins. I know all the guys who posted their comments. I know most of the Chinese who are in Saudi and Eygpt. Am thinking to compile a book about our family, specefically our family members because the new generation know nothing about their origins. One of the good things about Ma Bufang is he brought us to the wholy land (Mecca or Makkah and Madinah) and am happy to be close to House of Allah and his great Prophet peace upon him. I know he was tough but no point to talk badly about him. There is Hadith about people who paased away means: remeber the good things about people who died. Now am living in The UK, and thinking to go Taiwan to study Chinese to help to spek with the rest from the old generation because my Chinese is broken (shame on me) yeah!

    Abdullah, I agree with you in a way but you shouldn’t mention these things in such way. Shame on you too. Do you have any proove or just you gave your ears to everyone. Am not defencing him but remember that Allah is watchimg all what we do and say.

    For those who seeking to meet thier relatives in Saudi or Eygept, nowadays its not difficult to approach your cousins just contact the Chinese embassy in Saudi they will guide you.

  11. What the two daughter of Mr. Wang Yuang Heu in Philippines is a Financial assistance for they are striving hard to survived, For four years I help Cathy for her study. Upon arriving here in Saudi Arabia last January 2011, I contacted immediately her Father, my wish is just to till him about hes two wonderful daughter, but his answer is to disgusting. To be straight, for I have also a family problem , I cant afford to continue on supporting Cathy and her sister who are still studying. Presently, I do not know what happened to the two daughter of Mr. Wang Yuang Heu. For me, I cannot afford to abandon my daughters, just because of another woman. What a mentality……. I am just wondering….Why? …. Soon, I will be back to Philippines to find out what happened to the abandon daughters…….. It is really a petty.

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