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Imam Asim Tomb – a silent spiritual location within the desert

 2014-12-16    Jenny Huang    Tours    Hetian    574  

Touring important destination with historical values is always a cherishing experience. When moving around, it will give you a chance to experience the hidden ancient relics. The profound ancient cultural relics give you an idea about our great ancient generations. One of such location in China is the Imam Asim Tomb which is located in Jiya Township in the Lop County. The historical tomb is just 23 kilometers far from Hotan city. The tomb area is located exactly in the middle of a desert area and also the meeting place of farm land and the desert. Thursdays during April and May are considered as the best day to visit the tomb. During this time many local Muslims and tourists will throng to the tomb.



Curious location and practices

During the peak season you can see there will be lot of Muslim pilgrimages praying here. They recite devotional stances hoping to find solace and for their daily life redress. Especially, ladies who are impotent or barren to have children consider this place as a place of hope and believing that after rendering a prayer at the tomb, they shall be blessed with a child. The practice of ritual is followed by pinning a small needle on toghrak, a tree, which is common in this part of the desert. Believing that, once the needle driven on the tree trunk, if resin or liquid flew out from the trunk then it is considered that their prayers are accepted! Men and Women, who are coming to the tomb are seen wearing traditional Muslim dresses and ladies wear black veil. The tomb is one of the sacred places for Muslims and it is estimated that about 10,000 people visit this place in a year for worship.



Best tourist attraction

Vast spectacular desert makes this place one of the best tourist attractions in China. Careful study of the tomb by Chinese archeological team is estimated the life of Imam Asim Tomb is about 1,000 years old. It is believed that Imam Asim, who was a Sufi and soldier led a group of Muslims to conquer the location in AD 1000. And that is the reason; the Uyghur Muslims visit this location to venerate this legendary warrior. He fought under the Turkish ruler Khan of the Turkic Karakhanids and rooted out the Buddhist kingdom of Hotan and established an Islamic dominant province. References related to this historical development could be seen in the famous scholar and lexicographer Mohmud Al-kashaghari’s works, how the Buddha temple was destroyed and pulverized the statues.



Imam Asim was considered as the first Islamic missionary who lived in Southern Tarim Basin, until he was killed in the battle against the Buddhist Kingdom of Hotan. The mosque and tomb are twenty kilomters north of Hotan. The tomb and mosque are well connected with the Uyghur community and there are about 7.2 million Uyghur are living in the Xinjian Uyghur Autonomous area. Uyghur’s are believed to be descended from Turkish tribal nomads and blended with Hans, Tibetans and Mongolians. Imam Asim Tomb located inside the desert is a wonderful location to visit when you are in China.

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