On the third day in Beijing, we were taken to a mosque which was located near the place selling silk materials. I just found out the name of the mosque is Jinshifang Street Mosque. From outside, it looked like a modern building but it was actually a complex that comprised of smaller buildings inside.
To us, a mosque always comes with arches and minarets and with interior decor of the Middle East - and most of the time, the building is painted green. However, once you are here, your perspective would be changed. The Chinese architecture is retained and there is not much difference with other typical traditional buildings and it might look like a temple in a way.
Anyhow, being a foreigner far away from the homeland, this holy place was a sight to behold. I felt I had come to a place I was familiar with and I was safe and secured. The physical structure did not really matter. The mosque had its own soul and I could feel it once inside.
The mosque is indeed an important symbol of Islam in China (other than the halal restaurants that we kept visiting) and I am about to find out more from the internet on how the religion was spread to the main land. Other curiosities that I have are the Chinese writings found around the mosque. I need help from friends or students to translate them for me.
There are actually two more mosques visited in Beijing that I am going to feature in the coming entries.