The history of Xinjiang Hui Nationality can be traced back to Tang and Song dynasties, mainly were the Muslims who came and go for Silk Road from Central Asia, West Asia and South Asia. During Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, numerous Hui people settled in Xinjiang to open up wasteland, making the population of Xinjiang Muslims increased. The Hui Nationality mainly are distributed in Urumqi, Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture, Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture, Turpan Region and the Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture, etc.
About during the Northern Song Dynasty, Islam was introduced into Xinjiang region from central Asia. From 15th to 16th century, Islam had rapid development in Xinjiang, not only reflected in the increased devotional people and the expanded areas, but also the forming of the main ideology of all ethnic groups.
Islam occupied advantages in Xinjiang's Turpan and Hami districts; it had become a unified religion of Uigur from different areas. It had the profound influence of Uigur language, customs, ethics and psychological quality.
1. Each dynasty implemented the Islamic law. The religious top people like Sheikh, Mulla, Kaldi, had a higher social status; which are honored as teachers and religious advisers by the Qarakhanids king and Cahetai King. In the ruler's support, religious leaders had a lot of rights. The religious top people gave reconstruction to the tombs of the Islamic martyr.
2. Since the early 17th century, central Asia Sufis famous Farooq Azam's sons, came to Xinjiang successively to do missionary work. Using their special identity, with the southern Xinjiang Yarkant ruler's support, they widely accepted disciples, amassed wealth, formed a strong religious and political power. As for the religious leadership, the Khoja family were divided into two different religious sects which were opposite. Until the middle of 18th century, the Qing Dynasty pacified Dzungaria noble insurgency and reoccupied Xinjiang; hence, the Khoja Family forces was collapsed.
3. At the same time of the development of Khoja Family, Islamic Sufis mysticism got further spread and development. It combined Xinjiang Turkic ethnic original religious influence and traditional culture, produced many Sophie mystical Ishan Sect. The emergence and development of the Ishan Sect promoted the development of the saints, the holy sepulchre and the enlargement of the Mazar architecture and formed Xinjiang's unique Islam etiquette institution.
As early as the 10th century, Uygur had established the Qarakhanids in central Asia, Xinjiang Kashgar and Hetian area; till the end of the 17th century, Islam became main religion of Xinjiang Uygur, Kazak, Tajikistan, Tatar, etc. According to the 2010 sixth national population census statistics data, Xinjiang uygur autonomous region had a total population of 21.81 million people; among which, the Islamic population was more than 13 million, accounting for half of the total population in Xinjiang, and half of the national Muslim population, ranking the first of Muslim population in China.
Xinjiang has more than 24000 mosques.
The Shaanxi Great Mosque in Urumqi is the oldest existing mosque in Urumqi. Urumqi Islamic Association lies in the office building of Urumqi national religious committee.
The Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar, is located in front of the Id Kah Square. This mosque can give religious service for 8000 people. It is China's largest mosque and Islamic culture center of Southern Xinjiang.
Emin Minaret, located in the south-eastern suburbs of Turpan City, is the largest domestic existing ancient tower with dense Islamic architecture style in Xinjiang.
The Emin Minaret Mosque, adjacent to the Emin Minaret, can accommodate thousands of people' worship.