Unlike the Muslims in China who have developed an Islamic identity peculiar to their culture and history which is more than a thousand years old now, the Chinese Muslims in Malaysia are still in search of a clear Chinese Muslim identity that they could call their own.
Notwithstanding, one common feeling among the current Muslims of Chinese descent in Malaysia is that they are not going to be a wholesale replicate of the Muslims in China. On the contrary, they will try to produce an identity that would keep them connected to their Han roots.
This book, in this regard, is an effort at carving a Chinese Muslim identity that is compatible with the Malaysian as well as Nanyang (South-east Asia) ambience, an identity that a Muslim of Chinese descent in modern times can feel at home that he or she is a Muslim, yet a Chinese retaining his or her Han roots, and portraying the Chinese Muslim identity that is commensurate with the local culture as well as keeping abreast with contemporary developments in world history and civilization.
Since the author is Malaysian, this book will deal with the identity of Chinese Muslims of Nanyang from a Malaysian perspective but it is hoped that whatever is attempted in this book can serve as a useful comparison towards the formulation of Islamic Chinese identity in the rest of South-east Asia.