|Islam in China|
Abakh Khoja (? - 1693/94) (Uyghur: ئاپاق خوجا), born Hidayat al-Lah, a.k.a. Apaq Xoja, or more properly Āfāq Khwāja (Persian: آفاق خواجه) was a religious and political leader with the title of Khwaja in Kashgaria (in modern-day southern Xinjiang). He was also known as Khwāja Hidāyat Allāh.
In Chinese, Afaq Khoja's name is usually written as 阿帕克霍加 (Āpàkè Huòjiā) or 阿帕克和卓 (Āpàkè Hézhuō ), occasionally just 阿帕霍加 (Āpà Huòjiā); khoja may also appear as 和卓 (hézhuō).
Afaq Khoja was a great-grandson of the famous Naqshbandi Sufi teacher, Ahmad Kasani (1461–1542) (also known as Makhdūm-i`Azam, "the Great Master"), and was revered as a Sufi teacher in his own right. He was born in 1626 year in Kumul, where his father Muhammad Yusuf Khoja was preaching, his mother was Zuleiha Begum, the daughter of a rich Bek from the village of Beshkerim in Kashgar vilayet, who settled in Kumul after fleeing from Kashgar several years before. In 1638, at the age of 12, he came with his father to Kashgar and settled there. Among some Uyghur Muslims, he was considered a sayid, who is a relative of the prophet Muhammad.
As a highly respected religious figure, he was in a clash with ruling elite of Chagatai dynasty and this conflict does have both religious and secular nature, for the religious part he was an advocator of implementing Islamic law against Mongol Yassa law which was legal law at that time, for secular part he heavily criticized the luxurious lifestyle which the ruling elites enjoying. This clash was very serious due to the fact that Chagatai Khan (c. 1185–1241 or 1242) had been appointed by Genghis Khan to see if the Yassa was observed  so it eventually resulted expelling of Afaq Khoja by Ismail Han,the later ruler of Chagatai Khanate. Since Ishaki khojas is another offshoot of Naqshbandi Sufi, Ismail Han purposefully approached to Ishaki khojas ( known also as Kara Taghliks, i.e. "Black Mountaineers") for balancing Afaq Khoja influences at aim of preventing dangerous propaganda against him by followers of Afaq Khoja . This way a clash between religious sects had successfully created at Ismail Han's benefit .However exiled Afaq Khoja had accomplished a diplomatic mission that had led collapse of Chagatay dynasty in 1678. In this diplomatic mission Tibet Muslims played a crucial role by convincing 桑结嘉错 write a letter of introduction to Dzungar. Using this recommendation letter Afaq Khoja allied with Dzungar and formed a strong coalition forces which included some Chagatay (Moghul) royal family members like Abdirishit Han,Muhammad Imin Han, Muhammad Momin Akbash who were against Ismail Han, Moreover there were significant numbers of followers of Afaq Khoja inside the Khanate,the profile of the Afaq Khoja had raised considerably.
He made himself a powerful ruler, controlling several cities around the Tarim Basin, including Khotan, Yarkand, Korla, Kucha and Aksu as well as Kashgar. According to sources from Ishaki khojas Afaq Khoja paid 100,000 tangas (silver coins) to Dzungar for his military assistants and accepted the mandate of Dzungars, led by Galdan Boshughtu Khan (1670–1697)
Afak Khoja died in 1694 and was succeeded in Kashger by his son Yahya Khoja (r. 1694-1695). After Yahya Khoja death (he was killed by Apak Khoja's wife Khanam Padshah) the Yarkand Khan Muhammad Imin (Akbash Khan, r. 1695-1706) restored Chagatay dynasty of Yarkand, attempting to get rid of the Dzungar mandate, but finally he was killed by Kyrgyz leader Arzu Muhammad. Kashgaria was soon reconquered by Dzungar Khan Tsewang Rabtan.
Influence on Islam in China
Afaq Khoja's influence spread far outside of Xinjiang. From 1671-72, he was preaching in Gansu (which then included parts of modern Qinghai province), where his father Muhammad Yusuf had preached before. On that tour, he visited Xining (today's Qinghai province), Lintao, and Hezhou (now Linxia), and was said to convert some Hui and many Salars there to Naqshbandi Sufism.
According to the Chinese (Hui) followers of the Qadiriyya Sufi school, when Afāq Khoja was in Xining in 1672, he gave his blessing to 16-year-old Qi Jingyi (later also known as Hilal al-Din, or Qi Daozu (1656–1719)), who was then to introduce Qadiriyya into China proper. His two other spiritual descendants, Ma Laichi and Ma Mingxin, went to study in Central Asia and Arabia, and upon return to China founded two other Naqshbandi menhuans (brotherhoods) there: the Khufiyya and the Jahriyya, respectively.
Khoja Afaq's descendants, known as the Āfāqi khojas, or the Aq Taghliqs, i.e. 'White Mountaineers', played an important part in the local politics south of the Tian Shan range for almost two centuries after Afāq's death. They first ruled Kashgaria as Dzungars' vassals, but after the death of Dzungars' Galdan Khan managed to gain independence for a while.
The next strong Dzungar ruler, Tsewang Rabtan (1697–1727), subjugated Kashgaria again; to stay on the safe side, Dzungars this time were now to keep the Afaqi Khojas as hostages in the Ili region, and rule Kashgarian cities through Afaqis' rivals, the Ishaqi khojas -Karataghliks, i.e. 'Black Mountaineers'.
In the 1750s, two Afaqi Khoja descendants- brothers, Burhān al-Dīn and Khwāja-i Jahān, who had been held by Dzungars as hostages in Ili, aided the Manchu Qing emperor Qianlong in annihilating the Dzungars ( from spring 1755 till summer 1757 around 300,000 Dzungars, no subject to gender and age, were massacred by the invading 300,000 (?) Qianlong Army, which executed an official order, given to General Jiao Hui in spring 1756 by the Son of Heaven, to liquidate the whole Dzungar nation till last baby, those who survived were killed by the following epidemic of smallpox, total loss of the population in Dzungaria reached 1,000 000, transforming it eventually into the Land without people; at the same time Khoja Jahan, executing Khoja Burhan ad-Din order, razed to ground in 1755 both Dzungar temples, Golden and Silver, in Ghulja and Kainuk cities of Ili River Valley, that were built by Galdan Boshugtu Khan and represented the sacred symbols of Dzungar Power) and establishing Qing hegemony over Dzungaria and the Tarim Basin in which they waged in 1755-1756 a bloody war against their old rivals- Karataghliks, who previously took total control of Kashgaria since 1752, having terminated annual tribute payments to Dzungars. However, as the two eventually victorious khojas began to seek more independence for themselves, they soon ( in autumn 1757 ) came into conflict with the Qing power. Having lost Yarkand and Kashgar to the Qing armies in 1759, they fled to Badakhshan, where they were promptly killed by the local ruler, Sultān Shāh, who sent their heads to the Qing.
According to a legend, Iparhan, granddaughter of Apak Khoja was given to emperor Qianlong as concubine. Under Qing auspice, Khojijan rulers of city states often fell out of favor of the hegemonic power and had to flee to Uzbek protection in the Khanate of Kokand.
By 19th century, prominent Afaqi Khojas (Khojijans) in exile in Kokand sought to influence their former domains through preaching or allying with new imperialist powers of Russia and Great Britain. It was during the 1800s that two major attempts were launched from Kokand to claim the "Six City State of Tarim Basin" ( Altishahr ) from Qing domination. These were the British-supported Jihangir Rebellion (1826–1828) and the usurpation of Kashgaria by Kokand retainer Yaqub Beg (1864–1877) who recognized Ottoman suzerainty.
Well into 20th century, there were still local princely families of Khojijan descent. The Chinese warlord and Military Governor (Duban) of Sinkiang general Sheng Shicai (April 12, 1933- August 29, 1944) restored the status of several of these local rulers to facilitate his rule.
Afāq Khoja Mausoleum
Afāq Khoja's mausoleum is considered the holiest Muslim site in Xinjiang. It is located at in Haohan Village (浩罕村), a northeastern suburb some 5 km from the city centre of Kashgar. First built ca. 1640, initially as Muhammad Yusuf tomb, the beautiful tiled mausoleum contains the tombs of five generations of the Afāqi family, providing resting places for its 72 members, both men and women.
- Khwāja Āfāq, or Khoja Afaq, is a spelling preferred by modern schlars, e.g. Kim (2004) or Gladney (1999)
- "Mongol Laws: the Yassa". Elibrary.sd71.bc.ca. Retrieved 2013-06-02.
- 安瓦尔, 巴依图尔. 略论阿帕克和卓. China Academic Journal Electronic Publishing House.
- Gladney (1999)
- Kim Hodong, "Holy War in China: The Muslim Rebellion and State in Chinese Central Asia, 1864-1877". Stanford University Press (March 2004). ISBN 0-8047-4884-5. (Searchable text available on Amazon.com)
- Gladney, Dru (1999). "The Salafiyya Movement in Northwest China: Islamic Fundamentalism among the Muslim Chinese?" Originally published in "Muslim Diversity: Local Islam in Global Contexts". Leif Manger, Ed. Surrey: Curzon Press. Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, No 26. Pp. 102–149