article quoted from The Hajj of Mohammad Cheng Hoo Foundation
Among Indonesian people, The Hajj of Mohammad Cheng Hoo, whom also known as Admiral Mohammad Cheng Hoo or Ma Zheng He, has been popular among society especially Chinese people at Indonesia. Though he has been known as Sam Po Kong and according to ‘Sam Po Kong di Indonesia’ wrote by Prof. Kong Yuang Zhi, Javanese people knew him as Dampo Awang.
As a seaman, the world has admitted that the expedition of Admiral Mohammad Cheng Hoo has had huge historical value until now. His great voyage, actually also admitted by world’s historian and its value was the same with other famous seaman, i.e. Marco Polo and Colombus.
First expedition of Admiral Mohammad Cheng Hoo began on 11 July 1405 AD. Some of this expedition had performed for 26 years until 1433 AD, followed by 200 vessels with 28.000 sailors and visited 38 countries in Asia and Africa. Through this expedition, Admiral Mohammad Cheng Hoo also built bilateral relationships in politic and trading with other countries he visited during the expedition, then his most successful voyage also known as ‘Silk and Ceramic’s Road’
Through this seventh expeditions across the world, Admiral Mohammad Cheng Hoo always visited Indonesia. At Java island, Admiral Mohammad Cheng Hoo built mosque and musholla, i.e. a mosque in Gedung Batu located at Semarang which now known as the Temple of Sam Po Kong and also could be found some musholla in Ancol, Cirebon, Tuban, Gresik, Surabaya and Pasuruan.
Expedition team leaded by Admiral Mohammad Cheng Hoo was compiled neatly fleet with high responsible and competent sailors. This expedition was spectacular which also delivered new cultures to both China and countries visited by Admiral Mohammad Cheng Hoo. A memorial building was built at Khun Yang, China to respect his dedication, also a Tai Ping Park at Nanking was then changed to be The Hajj of Mohammad Cheng Hoo’s Park by the Emperor, he ordered to renovate and build a mosque inside of the park. The expedition of Admiral Mohammad Cheng Hoo was performing 83 years before Bartolomeus Diaz found Cape of the Good Hope at South Africa (1488), also before the expedition of Vasco da Gama (1498), Christopher Colombus (1492) and Ferdinand Magellan (1519).
Admiral Mohammad Cheng Hoo who also named as Ma Hoo, was a model society who bestowed a name of Zheng (Cheng) by the Emperor of Ming Dynasty on the year of Yong Le dated 1 January 02, then his name became Ma Cheng Hoo. As a seaman, he has reputation as a first and biggest expedition leader who sailed across continents through the years. As a dedicated Moslem, Cheng Hoo should be once the pride of all Moslems.
From the explanation above, we can conclude that Cheng Hoo is an expert seaman which is also expert ini management. In his voyages he succeeded leading more or less 27.000 crews from different tribes, religions and races. This fact proves that Cheng Hoo expert in management. Besides, Cheng Hoo is also expert in politics and a delegation of peace.
Cheng Hoo is a pious Moslem and tolerant to other religions. Through his seventh voyages, he always made good relations with countries being visited, based on the Quran. Cheng Hoo sailing experiences proved that in his journey there was a perfect tolerant act towards other tribes and believes. To memorize his contributions many people from different tribes and believes try to honor him with their own ways.
- Cheng Hoo : Entered the Red Sea until east coast of Africa
- Christopher Colombus : Found the America’s continent and its massive shipping
- Vasco da Gama : Found the massive shipping from Europe - India
- Cheng Hoo : 7 times
- Christopher Colombus : 4 times
- Vasco da Gama : 4 times
- Cheng Hoo : 1405 – 1433
- Christopher Colombus : 1492 – 1504
- Vasco da Gama : 1497 – 1498
- Cheng Hoo : 27.000 crews
- Christopher Colombus : 1.500 crews
- Vasco da Gama : 1.600 crews
- Cheng Hoo : 62 large ships and 100 small ships
- Christopher Colombus : 17 ships
- Vasco da Gama : 4 ships
- Cheng Hoo : 147 x 60 metre
- Christopher Colombus : 24,5 x 6 metre
- Vasco da Gama : 120 tons