(In Korean) “An Examination of the Status of the Muslims in Yuan China: Based on the
Analysis of Stone Inscriptions,” Ewha Sahak Yeongu [A Bulletin of the Ewha Historical
Institutions] 54, 2017, pp. 213-245.
Link to Article from KISS (email me if you don’t have access to the KISS DB)
There something fishy about the Muslims in the tax exemption edicts/inscriptions. Want to examine them yourself?
This article examines the status of the Muslim clergy during the Mongol rule of China or the Yuan Dynasty, especially focusing on the analysis of Darqan Jarliqs – the edicts of tax exemptions – preserved as stone inscriptions in China. In 1280, Qubilia Qa’an issued an edict prohibiting the slaughtering of animals in the Muslim manner. Recently, Professor Christopher P. Atwood has argued that due to this incident, there was a change in the status of the Muslim and Muslim clergy, mostly clearly evident in the absence of the word Dashiman 答失蠻-the Chinese word equivalent of the Muslim clergy (literally, “the learned man,” originally from Persian danishmand) from the tax exemption edicts during the period from roughly 1280 to 1330 in the tax exemption edicts. However, other literal sources from this period show that the Dashiman remained as one of the four different religious clergy/leaders that were that the beneficiaries of the Mongols` tax exemption policy. Therefore, I argue that the sources are too limited to reach a conclusion on what the exact status of the Muslims was, even during the period where the word Dashiman disappears from the stone inscriptions. More broadly, the examples in the article indicate that there were various factors that played in determining the religious policies of the Mongols-the enforcement of the authority of the empire, the legacy of founder Chinggis Khan who insisted on the equal treatment of the different religions, and the role of powerful individuals who held close relations with the Qa’ans. This articles also highlight the potential pitfalls of using the absence of records in reaching a conclusion in historical research and the difficulties of understanding the Muslims in Yuan China due to the limited amount of available sources on Muslims.