23 May 2013

History of Cheng Ho Mosque in Palembang

The presence of Admiral Cheng Ho was separated from Palembang. Since the voyage around the world, Zheng He had three times come to Palembang. Zheng He was a Muslim eunuch who became a confidant of the Yongle Emperor of China (reigned in 1403-1424), the third emperor of the Ming Dynasty. His real name was Ma He, also known as Ma Sanbao (马 三 保), comes from Yunnan province. When the Ming army conquered Yunnan, Cheng Ho was arrested and then made eunuchs. He was a Hui tribes, tribes that are physically similar to the Han, but a Muslim. Natural spread of Islam in Indonesia, in addition to do the traders from Arabia and surrounding areas, was the origin of Chinese traders had a role to spread Islam in the coastal area of ​​Palembang. Here, too, the role of Admiral Cheng Ho in spreading Islam in Palembang. Zheng He's fleet by 62 ships and 27,800 troops he leads totaled four times that ever docked at the Old Port in Palembang. Palembang in 1407 under the authority of Srivijaya never asked for help China's fleet in Southeast Asia to crack down on Chinese Hokkien robbers disturbing the peace. Robber chief Ji Chen Tsu was successfully arrested and taken to Peking. Since then, Admiral Cheng Ho Chinese community established Islam in Palembang who had been there since the era of Sriwijaya The people inhabited many Chinese. Hordes of pirates led by Tsu Chen Ji, actually a former naval officer Cantonese Chinese origin. He fled when the Ming Dynasty to power. Escape anchored in Palembang. Palembang has made his return to the merchants who stopped fretting. Therefore, Chen Tsu Ji brought thousands of followers and build a power base in Palembang, or in Chinese, po-lin-fong, which means "old port." During power in Palembang, Ji Chen Tsu controlled the area around the mouth of the Musi River, waters Breech , and Bangka Strait. Ji Chen Tsu men merompak all ships passing through the waters. Coincidence or not, the areas that until now a bandit pockets Palembang. During Zheng He's trips between 1405-1433 AD, he had four times to Palembang. In 1407 AD, Zheng He's fleets come to Palembang in order to crack down on pirates led by the Ji Chen Tsui. Later, in the year 1413-1415M, 1422M-1421, and the years 1431 to 1433 AD, Zheng He's fleet anchored to Palembang. After eradicating the robbers, Admiral Cheng Ho anchored up to three times to Palembang. However, no one knows the intent and purpose. 


Sriwijaya Mosque Muhammad Cheng Hoo , a mosque located in the Jakabaring China has architectural design, can accommodate about 600 worshipers and a 2-story. Cheng Ho Mosque has a unique architectural design, which combines elements of local culture with shades Palembang Chinese and Arabic. The mosque is built on a land of 5,000 square meters is located in a middle-class residential complex. Towers on either side of the temple-mosque emulate pagoda in China, painted red and jade green. This mosque began in use since August 2008. There is no barrier that separates the congregation of men and women in the mosque. Men pray on the first floor, while women on the second floor. In the neighborhood of the mosque there is a small house for the priest, an office, a library, and a multipurpose room. 


Cheng Ho mosque functions more than just a place of worship. This mosque menghelat religious activities and community, and has become a tourist destination, attracting visitors from Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and even Russia. Cheng Ho Mosque in Indonesia is proof that there is space for citizens to express their unique identity - mixing tradition and culture of Chinese and Indonesian Islam in a local context. 

 Laksamana Cheng Ho

             Daily Photo


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