Chinese Muslims in Singapore

2jay posted an article on Chinese Muslims a few months ago. Here is an excerpt.

Ms Mah is the eldest of three children of a Shanghai businessman of Hui or Uyghur descent, whose family has been embraced the Islamic faith for generations. Her family moved to Singapore in the late 1920s and she remembers growing up in a very Chinese environment.

“We celebrated Chinese New Year, the Mid-Autumn Festival, and with my non-Muslim cousins too. The only difference was that we did not eat pork.”

She estimates there are only a handful Chinese Singaporeans whose families arrived here as Muslims. And they are something of a curiosity, especially to other Chinese. “Each time a contractor or handyman comes by and sees me, he will say, ‘Oh you are Muslim? What is this religion all about?” she says with a chuckle.

She also has some information about Malays in Singapore who have converted out of Islam.

15 responses to “Chinese Muslims in Singapore

  1. Thanks for the article. I’m a muslim from Singapore, malay though and not chinese, and the article rightly describes the silly complications of race/religion relationships.

  2. Assalamualaikum…..Ni hao ?

    I’m from Singapore and know several Chinese Muslims – there’s Nazri who’s passion for Islam is so ever refreshing, Uncle Yusuf who runs Al-Kuliyyah Centre across the place where I work, Salim and Malik who are my customers and of course Norman whom I knew from long time ago.

    And yes, I met Cikgu Mariah Mah who stopped by one day to see whether I would help to give away pamplets advertising her Qurban services in China.

    Unlike Cikgu Mariah though, all the gentlemen I mentioned above are reverts to Islam.

    Not to mention of course the many Chinese Muslims who grew up in Malay households. Decades ago, some Singaporean Chinese gave up their daughters – largely because of poverty -and many of these were adopted by Malay Muslims.

    These girls grew up speaking Malay, practising Malay culture and often than not married Malays, absolutely embraced by their adopted community, while ever aware of their Chinese background.

    It is through these Chinese girls – in Malay described as ‘Anak Angkat Cina’ – that many Singaporeans who are officially Malay have Chinese blood. Indeed many so-called Malays look Chinese.

    In my own family circle, there are several – there are Rosnah and Janipar who were adopted by my grandmother’s cousin; Aunty Lailawati who is married to my uncle and she herself has two adopted sisters who are Anak Angkat Cina; and Makcik Komeng who was my other uncle’s mother-in-law.

    Last but not least, my paternal grandfather ‘s first wife was Anak Angkat Cina, adopted by a local Arab family.

    I would like to think that if I can count 7 Anak Angkat Cina just within my small family circle, how many could there actually be in the whole of Singapore – these Chinese Muslims ‘hidden’ within the Malay Muslim community ?

    Lastly, the Chinese Muslim community is growing through reversions/conversions. Unfortunately, memories from the Chinese-Malay race riots in the 1960s has hindered many from the path of Islam but insha allah, Allah will guide all of us.

    Indeed, in the aftermath of 9/11, one local newspaper reported that about 1 500 non-Muslims converted to Islam. However, someone closer to the source, said that the actual number was about 4 000.

    Subhanallah wa alhamdulillah.


    • “Decades ago, some Singaporean Chinese gave up their daughters – largely because of poverty -and many of these were adopted by Malay Muslims. ”

      when was that decades ago? :O! my mom was given by a chinese to my grandma who is a malay…and im dying to know of her chinese background out of curiousity

      • I can’t confirm, many were likely to be adopted during the Japanese occupation when their parents ran to neighbouring Indonesian islands to escape the Japanese occupation of Singapore. You can chk their ages of these “adopted generation”.

  3. Thats an interesting article. We have some interesting discussions about chinese / non-chinese muslim converts and what they face in Singapore on our site. Check the religion / theology topic areas.

  4. hi …iam arabic guy live in south of malaysia JB whichis very close to singapore >>> i think chinese are very serious when they take a decision thats why many will show intrest in marriage with them … am i wrong !!!

  5. ” Our LORD Appreciated Christians as per Quranic Verses 3:55,5:82,57:27,28 Except Quranic Verses 5:14,15,16& 57,9:31. As per Quranic Versus 4:59 and 83, it is our duty to spread the following messages to all concerns towards public peace, security, health and wealth of mankind in the world as per our website The following message ought to have published to all the members of the group so far.As per quranic versus 4:59 and 83 it is a duty tospread the following messages in the interest of public peace, health and wealth. “please download from web site http://WWW.GOLDENDUAS.COM for peace, security, health& wealth for mankind and the same may be published to all members of the group based on quranic verses 2:2,10:57,17:11,16,28:59,39:55,57,13:37&65:8. Otherwise it will amount to refusal to follow our Lord Order, guidance and direction as per Quranic verses 6:26″ Please kindly arrange to post the above said message in the group website in the interest of public to know all concerns in the interest of peace, security, health and wealth of all mankind. Otherwise it will amount to refuse to follow our Lord Order, guidance and direction as per Quranic verses 6:26

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  6. Asslamualaikum, The Government of Kelantan is organizing an expo, Cheng Ho Expo in Kota Bharu Kelantan from 21 to 26 Nov 2010. We are looking for participants and also speakers for Muslim Networking in this expo. We would like to invite your organization to participate in this event. You may also like to visit our website for further details. Thank you and Wassalam.

  7. Alsamualaikum my name is Faizal. I am in Singaore from 3 years, I am Muslim Alhmdulilah. and I am from Pakistan. In my Practical life I meet alot of chines poeple here in singapore and really happy because they all are very good. respectful and gentle people. I am working in IT Computer hardware(laptop repairing) field. My Boss is also Chines and he is a very good person. 🙂 I pray and wish one day all chines become Muslim. Ameen. I am now learning language Chines If anyone chines Muslim can help me in learn how to speake Mandrin. I’ll be thankful. have a good day to all. Faizal 93923639

  8. i want 2 know my friends address in singapore he is also a chinese muslim……went from india to singapore…… me………

  9. Assalamualaikum…..Ni hao ?

    Hello, everyone, I’m Mona here from Pasir Ris

    Chinese convert, married 2 years +++, 2nd wife, baby girl 1 year old.
    all starter when she(1st wife, no kids) move in, when her house under renovation, now complete already, still dont’t want to move back to her house. she wants the master bedroom, OK, I move to 2nd room with
    my baby girl. have to move all my clothes & things over to next room except my hubby clothes & things. she say, I’m your elder & 1st wife, must obey follow her instruction & rules, she act like she the owner
    of this house too, do things as she like, like the queen of the house, no need to do housework. leave all the housework for me to do. sometime ask me to do her laundry too. even up to wash her inner wear,
    sometime her panty got stains or period stains too. I have the feeling she dont’t like me, hate me, curse me for snatching him away from her. She even dare to say in front of me all those vulgar words. Before marrying me, he say, will divorced his 1st wife but until now 2 years already still not divorced yet. I have the feeling he wont as his 1st wife is very rich, a lot of business give him take care & in-charge.
    Sometimes I really cannot stand her anymore, wish her move back to her house ASAP if not 1 day I dont’t know I will do something bad to her later. told him my problems with her, ask me be patience,
    things will back to normal later. I have the feeling he like it more, she stay here as if either 1 of us is not “available”(period days) sure either 1 of us can “available” for him. she got complain me say I infected her, I say back to her, you might infected me too. sometime he just do with her, come over & do with me, same as just do with me, do with her again. sometimes I have the feeling she purposely do with him when periods days so that when he do with me will infected me later,
    she so bad hearted lady too, but I wont do that, I dont’t do when I period days, got her, do with her then.

    Please advice, what should I do now ? Below here is what I have posted in MummySG Forum.

    • Hi Mona, Salam. Its quite a situation you have there. But Insyallah, all things will be solved overtime. …For evry problem there is a solution and there is solution for every problem. Your husband loves you, thats very important. Get expert help if really you cant stand the situation anymore or if you have the patience pray to Allah and through your kind deeds hopefully it will get better. Washing linen in public is not advisable as it will also reflect badly on your husband who loves you. You dont want to hurt someone you love. May Allah grant you patience and grant you an early solution. Only He knows, Ameen.

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