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Emperor Hong Wu: Hundred Character Eulogy

Emperor Hong Wu: Hundred Character Eulogy
   
Photo: Muslim Salar woman in Qinghai
 

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In 2013 I came across a poem which I asked a friend, Adrian Chan-Wyles (Shi Da Dao)to translate. It is a short Chinese text entitled the 'Hundred Character Eulogy' to Islam. When the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) over-threw the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) and chased the Mongolians out of China, the first emperor Hong Wu (1328-1396), instead of attacking the Islamic faith ordered that mosques be constructed so that Chinese Muslims could continue to pray and worship Allah. He also wrote a hundred character poem in praise of Islam - portraying the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as an enlightened sage of the highest order. This is significant as many descendants of Arab tradesmen practice (and preserve) Northern Chinese martial arts that are often linked to Long Fist. Both Muslims (and Jews) have lived in China for many centuries.

Below is the beautiful translation which Shi Da Dao generously gifted to the Muslim umma.


《百字讚》寫道: 
The Hundred Character Eulogy States: 


乾坤初始,天籍注名。 
At the creation of the divine sky and the broad earth, 
The divine recorded the name. 

傳教大聖,降生西域。 
The great lineage transmitting Sage, 
Who was born in the western region. 

授受天經,三十部冊,普化眾生。 
He was granted the Divine Classic, 
This is divided into 30 sections, 
Everywhere it converts all beings. 

億兆君師,萬聖領袖。 
Teacher of all monarchs, leader of all sages. 

協助天運,保庇國民。 
Divine help and assistance, secures and shelters the populace of the country. 

協五時祈祐,默祝太平。 
Congregate 5 times a day to pray, silently invoke supreme peace. 

存心真主,加志窮民 
Keep Allah in your heart, and empower the poor people. 

拯救患難,洞徹幽冥。 
Rescue and save all from suffering, lead them through the darkness. 

超拔靈魂,脱離罪業。 
Guide spirits and souls; lead them away from sinful behaviors. 

仁覆天下,道冠古今。 
Let benevolence cover the world, follow the ancient Way here and now. 

降邪歸一,教名清真。 
Conquer evil continuously, and teach in the name of Islam. 

穆罕默德,至貴聖人。 
Muhammad, the Very Honourable Sagely Person. 

© Adrian Chan-Wyles, Shi Da Dao, 2013. Visit his website here.

 
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Recommended Reading:

'Chinese Gleams of Sufi Light' 

By Sachiko Murata  (Author)

Purchase Book:

Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk


Description:

Chinese Gleams of Sufi Light investigates, for the first time in a Western language, the manner in which the Muslim scholars of China adapted the Chinese tradition to their own needs during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The book surveys the 1400-year history of Islam in China and explores why the four books translated from Islamic languages into Chinese before the twentieth century were all Persian Sufi texts. The author also looks carefully at the two most important Muslim authors of books in the Chinese language, Wang Tai-yu and Liu Chih. Murata shows how they assimilated Confucian social teachings and Neo-Confucian metaphysics, as well as Buddhism and Taoism, into Islamic thought. She presents full translations of Wang's Great Learning of the Pure and Real--a text on the principles of Islam--and Liu Chih's Displaying the Concealment of the Real Realm, which in turn is a translation from Persian of Lawa'ih', a famous Sufi text by Jami. A new translation of Jami's Lawa'ih' from the Persian by William C. Chittick is juxtaposed with Liu Chih's work, revealing the latter's techniques in adapting the text to the Chinese language and Chinese thought.
 

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