Coordinates: 23.123085, 113.258524
The Huaisheng Mosque also known as the Lighthouse Mosque and the Great Mosque of Canton, is the main mosque of Guangzhou.
Rebuilt many times over its history, it is traditionally thought to have been originally built over 1,300 years ago, which would make it the oldest mosques in China.
In China, the most unusual feature of the mosque is its pointed 36 metre minaret, the Guangta or Kwangtah.
Although this meant the “Plain Pagoda” in reference to its unadorned surface, it is also sometimes taken to mean “lighthouse” and gave the mosque its alternate name.
Somewhat similar “minimalist” minarets can be seen outside China, e.g. at the Khan’s Mosque in Kasimov, Russia.
The mosque was visited by Tim Severin’s crew of the Sohar, that sailed into Canton from Muscat in July 1981, recreating the fictional voyage of Sinbad the Sailor.
The Huaisheng Light Tower or minaret was built at an earlier period. As late as the 19th century, the minaret tower was one of the major landmarks of Guangzhou.
The mosque is located in one of the most picturesque gardens in Guangzhou which makes the visit serene and peaceful in a bustling and otherwise chaotic city.
Built by Hz. Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas رضي الله عنه
Old Chinese Muslim manuscripts say the mosque was built in AD 627 by Hz. Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas رضي الله عنه who supposedly came on his first Muslim mission to China in the 620s.
Although modern secular scholars do not find any historical evidence that Hz. Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas رضي الله عنه actually visited China, they agree that the first Muslims must have arrived to China within the 7th century, and that the major trade centers, such as Guangzhou, Quanzhou, and Yangzhou probably already had their first mosques built during the Tang Dynasty.
First Korean Muslim is said to have buried here
In 1349, Ramadan ibn Alauddin, the first named Korean Muslim, was buried in the mosque cemetery.
The mosque was rebuilt in 1350 then again in 1695 after being destroyed in a fire.
The mosque is accessible within walking distance south east of Ximenkou Station of Guangzhou Metro.