Ikhwān is a very young sect and thus it is also called New Sect. Its founder Ma Wanfu (1853-1934) was a native of Hezhou in Gansu Province.
Ikhwān means brothers in Arabic. This sect is the result of the modern Islamic Reformation in China. It is widespread and has a very large number of believers.
The formation of Ikhwāhad a special historical background. At that time, Islam in China has been deeply influenced by the Chinese culture. The traditional Chinese culture including Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism was infiltrated into the Islamic belief system. In addition, the conflicts between various Islamic sects were serious. All this made some leaders to decide to carry out reformation and they finally achieved a tremendous success.
As one of the youngest Islamic sects, Ikhwā features obeying scriptures and reforming the customs and reforming the religion in accordance with the scriptures in religious beliefs. It requires the believers to strictly followthe Rukunand traditional customs on religious rites. It opposes any religious staff member to get personal gains by abusing their positions. It requires the believers to recite Koran in Arabic and also requires believers to raise their right forefingers on certain special occasions to show their sole belief toward Allah.
In religious organization, this sect adopts the Muslim neighborhood system, in which there is no uniform organization or general leader for the whole sect. There is a board responsible for the administration of mosques. After the death of its founder, the sect split into two factions.