The Spread of Islam in The Philippines

The Arabs were the first people who introduced Islam in the Philippines. The first Arabs who arrived in the Islands eventually traded with the Chinese way back in the time of the Sung Dynasty (960 – 1280). Then came the Muslim missionaries from the places of Malacca, Jahore and Borneo that came to the Philippines with the Islam religion.

Based on the “Tarsila” or the genealogies, the first one who introduced, Islam in the country was Tuan Mashaika who married the daughter of Raja Sipad of Patikol in Buansa ( currently Jolo island).

The next Muslim missionary who arrived was Karim-ul Makhdum in the year 1380 in Simunol, an island in Sulo. Makhdum is an Arab scholar that went to the Philippines after he spread Islam in Malacca. He spread Islam until the time of his death.

His arrival was followed by other Muslim missionaries. One of them was Raja Baginda, a Malayan prince from Menangkabaw, Sumatra. Together with him are soldiers who were having fired ammunition.

The next who arrived was a Muslim missionaries called Abu-Bakr, a Muslim scholar from Malacca. He arrived in the Philippines in the year 1450. He married the daughter of Raja Baginda named Princess Paramisuli. He organizes and formed the sultanate of Sulo. 

There are other Muslims who arrived in the country, including Shariff Muhammad Kabungsuwan Ibrahim, son of a royal blooded Arab from Hadramaut. He also spread the Islam religion in Sulo. Together with his soldiers, he invaded Cotabato in the year 1475. He was able to control the place and forced the pagan natives to believed in Islam. He married the pagan princess Putri Tonina and he founded the sultanate of Maguindanao. Muslim missionaries continues to arrived in the country until the arrival of the Spaniards.

In Arab Islam means to surrender or dedication to Allah. The people who worship and believe in Islam are called ” Muslims ” or the people who surrender their life to Allah.

Muhammad, is Knowned to be the prophet or the one who was sent b God th the Muslims. His full name is ” abu alQasim Muhammad ibn’ Abd Allah ibn’ Abd alMuttalib ibn’ Hashim”. He was born in the year 570 A.D in Mecca Western Arabia. He founded the Islam religion.

In the story, in the year 610 A.D, Muhammad felt that he was called by God. Angel Gabriel appeared to him and told him to spread the commandments and the word of God. Since that time until his death, he received revelations that believed to be directed from God.

The Commandments and the word of God was written in the Koran (Qu’ran), the holy book of the Muslims. Muhammad preached that there is only one God, Allah.

The teachings of Koran includes the Five Pillars of Islam;

  1. Shahadah or the proclamation of faith-There are no other God than Allah and Mohammad is his prophet.
  2. Salat or Prayer- There should be 5 times of prayer in one day facing in the direction towards Mecca, the holy city of Islam. The ” muezzin called the Muslims in the time of praying. The first prayer is done before the sun rises, the second prayer is done in the middle of the day, the third prayer is done in the afternoon, the fourth prayer is done after the sun set, and the fifth or the last prayer is done before going to bed.
  3. Zakat or Giving- It is needed to give to those who are in need such as the beggars, victims of typhoons, earthquakes and other casualties.
  4. Abstinence or Ramadan- There is one month of abstinence celebrated by the Muslims. This celebration is called the Ramadan. this is one of the most holy celebration, commemorating the day when Allah give the Holy Qur’an to Mohammad. Abstinence started when the sun rises and ends when the sun sets. Eating, drinking, smoking, merry-making activities as well as heavy works are being prohibited. When the sun sets, doing the mentioned activities are resumed. The Hariraya Puasa is the end of the Abstinence. The Muslim usually prepares for this event. This is the most celebrated time where the people prepares a lot of foods.
  5. Hadji or the trip to the holy Land Mecca- Mecca is the center of the Muslim faith. Here, a marmol stone or rock is one of the center of attraction. It was believed that Abraham shielded here when he was pursued with his enemies. It is a wish of every Muslims to visit Mecca in Saudi Arabia at least once in their life. For every Muslims that had visited and worshipped in Mecca, he will be allowed to connect the word Hadji to his name.

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