The Ashab Mosque in Quanzhou: A Coastal Mosque in South China

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The Ashab Mosque in Quanzhou:

A Coastal Mosque in South China

Sylvia Wu

Khamseen Graduate Student Presentation Award 2022 Recipient


This presentation examines the Ashab Mosque in Quanzhou, China. Although it has long been considered an exception among premodern Chinese mosques, the structure is rarely examined beyond formal comparisons against local and global architectural traditions. This talk situates the mosque in the Indian Ocean network while also highlighting Quanzhou’s local building practices that helped craft the structure both structurally and conceptually. It thus aims to explain the mosque’s exceptional features—especially its stonework, design elements, Qur’anic calligraphy, and Chinese cosmic concepts—and to convey the complexity behind the construction of this coastal mosque in South China.


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Sylvia Wu, “The Ashab Mosque in Quanzhou: A Coastal Mosque in South China,” Khamseen: Islamic Art History Online, published 8 September 2022.

Sylvia Wu is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of Chicago. A historian of medieval Islamic art and architecture, she is particularly interested in the material culture of China’s Muslim communities and their devotional practices. In her dissertation, “Mosques of Elsewhere: Tale and Survival of Muslim Monuments in Coastal China,” she examines a medieval and a modern moment in the history of China’s mosque building tradition and seeks to understand the roles that local and global actors have played in shaping the mosques’ changing identities.