China Muslim prayer cap vs Songkok ?
Which non-Islamic country has the largest population of Muslim?
Answer : China
Although with vast dispute number, number of Muslim in China
While official data estimated 100 million religious believers in China, a survey taken by Shanghai University declared a dramatically different 300 million believers.
China Muslim does speak and write mandarin, well verse in Arabic scripts. And China Muslim netizen are communicate through mandarin.
Source from Wikipedia. A Chinese-Arabic-Xiaoerjing dictionary from the early days of the People’s Republic of China.
China Muslim name the hat that looks similar to songkok, Li-Bai-Mao (礼拜帽, Prayer cap).
The songkok is merely a headgear from the Nusantara, the same as the turban from the Arab peninsula, the kaffiyyeh from Palestine or the tarboosh from Egypt. There is no religious significance attached to it.
I know non-mandarin verse Muslim know little about China history, and this is a terrible history blind spot. Just check this
Islam was first brought to China by an envoy sent by Uthman, the third Caliph, in 651, less than twenty years after the death of Muhammad. The envoy was led by Sa`d ibn Abī Waqqās, the maternal uncle of the Prophet himself. Yung Wei, the Tang emperor who received the envoy then ordered the construction of the Memorial mosque in Canton, the first mosque in the country. It was during the Tang Dynasty that China had its golden day of cosmopolitan culture which helped the introduction of Islam. The first major Muslim settlements in China consisted of Arab and Persian merchants. In the region, the Hui Chi tribe accepted Islam, and the name was the beginnings of the reference to the huihui or the Hui as they are known today.
And this happens much earlier than Arab traders setting foots on South East Asia. 700+ years before Parameswara found Melaka.
wikipedia ; Xian Mosque
The Great Mosque of Xi’an (Chinese: 西安大清真寺), located near the Drum Tower (Gu Lou) on Huajue Lane of Xi’an, Shaanxi province, China, is one of the oldest and most renowned mosques in the country.
It was first built in the Tang Dynasty (reign of Emperor Xuanzong, 685-762), and renovated in later periods (especially during the reign of Emperor Hongwu of the Ming Dynasty). It remains a popular tourist site of Xi’an, and is still used by Chinese Muslims (mainly the Hui people) today as a place of worship. Unlike most mosques in Middle Eastern or Arab countries, the Great Mosque of Xi’an is completely Chinese in its construction and architectural style, except for some Arabic lettering and decorations, for the mosque has neither domes nor traditional-style minarets
Since China Muslim also preserved part of ancient Muslim cultures, perhaps the meaning of Songkok can found it definition traits back to China. Or perhaps I am wrong.
I am disappointed body like JAKIM failed to clarify the roles of Songkok. And Malaysia cultural ministry are also clueless about this meaningful costume.
Some image of prayer cap