Islam is the oldest recorded monotheistic religion in the Philippines. Islam reached the Philippines in the 13th century with the arrival of Muslim traders from the Persian Gulf, Southern India, and their followers from several sultanate governments in the Malay Archipelago. The Muslim population of the Philippines has been reported as about 6% of the total population as of a census in 2000. According to a 2015 report of Philippine Statistics Authority, 6% of Filipinos are Muslims. While the majority of the population are Roman Catholic, some ethnic groups are Protestant, Hindu, Buddhist, Animist, Sikh, or non-religious.
According to national religious surveys, there are about 5.1 million Muslims in the Philippines, composing 6% of its population. However, a 2012 estimate by the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) and the U.S. Department of State, stated that there were 10.7 million Muslims, or approximately 11 percent of the total population. Most Muslims live in parts of Mindanao, Palawan, and the Sulu Archipelago – an area known as Bangsamoro or the Moro region. Some have migrated into urban and rural areas in different parts of the country. Most Muslim Filipinos practice Sunni Islam according to the Shafi'i school. There are some Ahmadiyya Muslims in the country.
Islam arrived in the southern islands of Philippines, from the historic interaction of Mindanao and Sulu regions with other Indonesian islands, Malay islands and Borneo. The first Muslims to arrive were traders followed by missionaries in the late 14th and early 15th centuries. They facilitated the formation of Sultanates and conquests in Mindanao and Sulu. The people who converted to Islam came to be known as the Moros. The Muslim conquest reached as far as the Kingdom of Tondo which was supplanted by Brunei's vassal-state the Kingdom of Maynila. Muslim Sultanates had begun expanding in central Philippines in the 16th century, when the Spanish fleet led by Ferdinand Magellan arrived of Philippines. The Spanish conquest during the 16th century led to Catholic Christianity becoming the dominant religion in most of Philippines, and Islam a minority religion.
In 1380 Karim Al Makhdum the first Arabian trader reached the Sulu Archipelago and Jolo in the Philippines and established Islam in the country through trade in several regions of the island. In 1390 the Minangkabau's Prince Rajah Baguinda and his followers preached Islam on the islands. The Sheik Karimal Makdum Mosque was the first mosque established in the Philippines on Simunul in Mindanao in the 14th century. Subsequent settlements by Arab missionaries traveling to Malaysia and Indonesia helped strengthen Islam in the Philippines and each settlement was governed by a Datu, Rajah and a Sultan. Islam was introduced by Chinese Muslims, Indian Muslims, and Persians. Islamic provinces founded in the Philippines included the Sultanate of Maguindanao, Sultanate of Sulu, Sultanate of Lanao and other parts of the southern Philippines.
When the Spanish fleet led by Miguel López de Legazpi arrived in the Philippines in 1565, they were met by local datus as they traveled in the islands. Arriving in the Kingdom of Maynila, a vassal-state of the Sultanate of Brunei, in 1570 they were met by the Muslim rajah, Rajah Sulaiman III.
By the next century conquests had reached the Sulu islands in the southern tip of the Philippines where the population was Buddhist and Hindu and they took up the task of converting the animistic population to Islam with renewed zeal. By the 15th century, half of Luzon (Northern Philippines) and the islands of Mindanao in the south had become subject to the various Muslim sultanates of Borneo and much of the population in the almost of South were converted to Islam. However, the Visayas was largely dominated by Hindu-Buddhist societies led by rajahs and datus who strongly resisted Islam. One reason could be the economic and political disasters preeuropean Muslim pirates from the Mindanao region brought during raids. These frequent attacks gave way to naming present-day Cebu as then-Sugbo or scorched earth which was a defensive technique implemented by the Visayans so the pirates had nothing much to loot.
In the year 1498-99, the Bruneian Empire conducted a series of raids against the natives of the Kingdom of Taytay in Palawan and the island of Mindoro which had been subjugated to the Islamic Bruniean Empire under Sultan Bolkiah. The Muslim conquest reached as far as the Kingdom of Tondo which was supplanted by Brunei's vassal-state the Kingdom of Maynila.
The Muslim Bruneian Empire under the rule of Sultan Roger, who is an ancestor of the current Sultan of Brunei subjugated the Kingdom of Tondo which was ruled by Rajah Sukwu during 1500. The aftermath of the battle was the formation of an alliance between the newly established Kingdom of Guihulngan (Selurong) and the Sultanate of Brunei, to crush the power of the Kingdom of Tondo and the subsequent installation of the Pro-Islamic Rajah Sulaiman into power. Furthermore, Sultan Bolkiah's victory over Sulu and Seludong (modern day Manila), as well as his marriages to Laila Mecanai the daughter of Sulu Sultan Amir Ul-Ombra (an uncle of Sharifa Mahandun married to Nakhoda Angging or Maharaja Anddin of Sulu), and to the daughter of Datu Kemin, widened Brunei's influence in the Philippines.
A new dynasty began under a local Lumad leader who accepted Islam and became Rajah Salalila or Rajah Sulayman I. He also started to established a trading challenge to the already rich House of Rajah Lakandula in Tondo. Islam was further strengthened by the arrival of Muslim traders and from Jolo, Mindanao, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Rajah Suleyman and Rajah Matanda in the south (now the Intramuros district) were installed as Muslim rajas by converted Muslims and the Buddhist-Hindu settlement was under Raja Lakandula in northern Tundun (now Tondo.)
Chinese persian mariner Zheng He is credited to have settled Chinese Muslim communities in Mandaue and along the shores of Lapu-lapu, the Bohol Peninsula, and the Philippines during China's early Ming dynasty. These Muslims allegedly followed the Badjao school in the Chinese language. This Chinese Muslim community was led by Hajji Yan Ying Yu, who urged his followers to assimilate and take local names.
Sulayman resisted the Spanish forces, and thus, along with Rajah Matanda and Lakan Dula, was one of three Rajahs who played significant roles in what was the Spanish conquest of their kingdoms of the Pasig River delta in the early 1570s.
Moro (derived from the Spanish word meaning Moors) is the appellation inherited from the Spaniards, for Filipino Muslims of Mindanao. The Muslims seek to establish an independent Islamic province in Mindanao to be named Bangsamoro. The term Bangsamoro is a combination of an Old Malay word meaning nation or state with the Spanish word Moro which means Muslim. A significant Moro Rebellion occurred during the Philippine–American War. Conflicts and rebellion have continued in the Philippines from the pre-colonial period up to the present. Other related issue with the Moro secession is the territorial dispute of eastern Sabah in Malaysia which claimed by the Sultanate of Sulu as their territory.
The Moros have a history of resistance against Spanish, American, and Japanese rule for over 400 years. The violent armed struggle against the Spanish, Americans , Japanese and Filipinos is considered by current Moro (Muslim) leaders as part of the four centuries long "national liberation movement" of the Bangsamoro (Muslim Nation). The 400-year-long resistance against the Japanese, Filipinos, Americans, and Spanish by the Moro/Muslims persisted and morphed into their current war for independence against the Philippine state.
In 2012, research was conducted on various cultural properties in Islamic areas in Mindanao. The research included the 'Maradika' Qur'an of Bayang, description of the notes found in the Qur'an of Bayang, the Qur'an and Islamic manuscripts of the Sheikh Ahmad Bashir collection, the 'Dibolodan' Qur'an of Bacong in Marantao, the Qur'an and prayer scroll of Guro sa Masiu in Taraka, the 'Story of the Prophet Muhammad' at the Growing Memorial Research Center of the Dansalan College, and the Islamic Manuscript Art of the Philippines. In 2014, the Maradika Qur'an of Bayang was declared as a National Cultural Treasure, the first Islamic manuscript in the Philippines to be declared as such.
In 2018, a unification gathering of all the sultans of the Sulu archipelago and representatives from all ethnic communities in the Sulu archipelago commenced in Zamboanga City, declaring themselves as the Bangsa Sug peoples and separating them from the Bangsa Moro peoples of mainland central Mindanao. They cited the complete difference in cultures and customary ways of life as the primary reason for their separation from the Muslims of mainland central Mindanao. They also called the government to establish a separate Philippine state, called Bangsa Sug, from mainland Bangsa Moro or to incorporate the Sulu archipelago to whatever state is formed in the Zamboanga peninsula, if ever federalism in the Philippines is approved in the coming years.
Most Muslims in the Philippines live on the island of Mindanao, the Sulu Archipelago and Palawan. The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is the region of the Philippines that is composed of all the Philippines' predominantly Muslim provinces, namely: Basilan (except Isabela City), Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and the Islamic City of Marawi. It is the only region that has its own government. The regional capital is at Cotabato City, although this city is outside of its jurisdiction.
Other provinces and regions with large Muslim populations, as well as a significant history with Moro/Muslims include North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and the Zamboanga Peninsula. However, these are not part of the ARMM.
The 2000 survey states that Islam is the largest minority religion, constituting approximately 5 percent of the population. A 2012 estimate by the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), however, states that there are 10.7 million Muslims, which is approximately 11 percent of the total population.
The 2000 Sipadan kidnappings was a hostage crisis in Sabah, Malaysia, and the southern Philippines that began with the seizing of twenty-one hostages from the dive resort island of Sipadan at approximately 6:15 p.m. (UTC +8) on 23 April 2000, by up to six Abu Sayyaf (ASG) bandits. Taken hostage were 10 tourists from Europe and the Middle East and 11 Malaysian resort workers, 19 non-Filipino nationals in total. The hostages were taken to an Abu Sayyaf base in Jolo, Sulu.During the hostage taking, Abu Sayyaf issued various demands for the release of several prisoners, including 1993 World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef, $2.4 million and a complete withdrawal of government troops from the area around Jolo where the hostages were being held.The Philippine Army launched a major offensive on 16 September 2000, rescuing all remaining hostages, except Filipino dive instructor Roland Ullah. Ullah was eventually freed in 2003.Agama Islam Society
The Agama Islam Society is a consultative council of Islamic scholars that are based in Marawi, Philippines. The basis in instituting the society is to act as an assembly in the establishment of Islamic faith in 1956. The society was organized and led by late Sheikh Ahmad Bashir in 1955. Its governing body consists of fifteen members called Shura Council which is based on shura.The society has helped established various madrasahs, and the notable one is Jamiatu Muslim Mindanao. In 2004, these madrasahs were mainstreamed in 16 regions nationwide mainly in Muslim areas in Mindanao, under the auspices and program of the Department of Education.Baclaran Mosque
The Baclaran Mosque, formally called the Rajah Sulayman Grand Mosque was a mosque in Barangay Baclaran at the border of Pasay City and Parañaque City in Metro Manila, Philippines.The mosque, along with nearby shopping stalls, was demolished by local authorities in 2013, due to tenants' lack of legal ownership of the site, and an ordinance to widen city streets and prevent pickpocketing and violence in the area. A belfry for the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help is currently being built in its place, as part of the shrine's redevelopment plan that is expected to be completed in 2016.Bojinka plot
The Bojinka plot (Arabic: بوجينكا; Tagalog: Oplan Bojinka) was a large-scale, three-phase attack planned by terrorists Ramzi Yousef and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed for January 1995. They planned to assassinate Pope John Paul II, blow up 11 airliners in flight from Asia to the United States with the goal of killing approximately 4,000 passengers and shutting down air travel around the world, and crash a plane into the headquarters of the CIA in Fairfax County, Virginia.Despite careful planning, the Bojinka plot was disrupted after a chemical fire drew the attention of the Philippine National Police – Western Police District (PNP-WPD) on January 6–7, 1995. Yousef and Mohammed were unable to stage any of the three attacks. The only fatality resulted from a test bomb planted by Yousef on Philippine Airlines Flight 434 which killed one person and injured 10 others. They also planted two other bombs in a shopping mall and theater in Southern Philippines.Cesar Adib Majul
Cesar Adib Majul (October 21, 1923 - October 11, 2003) was a Filipino historian best known for his work on the history of Islam in the Philippines and on the life of Apolinario Mabini.Dansalan Declaration
The Dansalan Declaration was published by Philippine Muslims on March 18, 1935 requesting not to be included in the Philippines and be granted separate independence by the United States.
The declaration was prepared by Didato Amai Manabilang and one hundred twenty datus of Lanao, with 30 sultans who signed a strongly worded letter, popularly known as "Dansalan Declaration" to the U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the U.S. congress that in the U.S. grant of Philippine independence, Mindanao and its Muslim inhabitants should not be included and should remain under American rule to be granted separate independence at the right time. The Declaration stressed that Luzon and the Visayas are Christian-dominated while Mindanao is predominantly Muslims and therefore the two people with different religion and culture cannot peacefully co-exist with one another.
The Dansalan Declaration was introduced by Congressman Robert Bacon (Democrat, Ohio) as an amendment to the Philippine Independence bill at the U.S Congress but was defeated by the lobby of pro-Philippine Independence leaders led by President Manuel L. Quezon.
Many Muslim scholars believe that had the U.S. Congress adopted the Dansalan Declaration the secessionist wars for an independent Mindanao state waged by the Moro National Liberation Front and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and other extremist groups would have been prevented. The secessionist wars which continued to this day have claimed the lives of more than 100,000 mostly Muslim lives and 10,000 soldiers and policemen.Isnilon Hapilon
Isnilon Totoni Hapilon (March 10, 1968 – October 16, 2017), also known by the nom de guerre Abu Abdullah al-Filipini ("Father of Abdullah, the Filipino"), was a Moro Islamist militant affiliated with ISIS.He was formerly leader of Abu Sayyaf Group, before its battalions pledged their allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.An April 2016 issue of ISIL's weekly newsletter Al Naba said that Hapilon had been appointed as "emir of all Islamic State forces in the Philippines".In the early morning of October 16, 2017, he was killed by the Philippine Army in the Battle of Marawi, along with Omar Maute.Jabidah massacre
The Jabidah massacre was a disputed massacre of Moro army recruits by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on March 18, 1968, which is acknowledged as a major flashpoint that ignited the Moro insurgency in the Philippines.It is sometimes also known as the Corregidor massacre, because the killing took place on Corregidor Island in the Philippines.
Author Cesar Adib Majul notes that the administration of Ferdinand Marcos had suppressed coverage of the affair in the interest of national unity, which led to little or no documentation about the incident. This led to varying accounts of the number of trainees killed, ranging from 11 to 68, and the reasons behind the massacre.Kapitan Laut Buisan
Kapitan Laut Buisan (reigned: 1597–1619), also known as Datu Katchil or Sultan Laut Buisan, was the sixth Sultan of Maguindanao in the Philippines. He was a direct descendant of Shariff Kabungsuwan, a Muslim missionary who preached Islam in the Philippines and established the sultanate after marrying a Sulu princess in the 16th century.Makhdum Karim
Makhdum Karim or Karim ul-Makhdum was an Islamic preacher from Johor (in present-day Malaysia). In the late 14th century CE, he was a trader who brought Islam to the Philippines, in year 1380 CE. He established a mosque in Simunul Island, Tawi Tawi, Southern Philippines, known as Sheik Karimal Makdum Mosque which is the oldest mosque in the country.Maradeka
Maradeka is an emerging pro-democracy Muslim political organization espousing non-violent political action in the Philippines amidst the backdrop of over four decades of armed Muslim insurgency mounted by Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in their Moro Quest for self-rule after people dissenting Philippine government treatment of Muslim minority as second class citizens and suffering years of social, economic, and political inequities called Mindanao problemMaradeka is rooted from Malay word merdeka etymologically means freedom or liberation In reinvigorating the spirit and inherent values of freedom from Malay forebears, the word Maradeka was adopted as the name of the umbrella freedom alliance of 72 Bangsamoro civil society and political organizations, groups such as Task Force Mindanao, Alternative Muslim Mindanao Entrepreneurial Dev't, Inc (AMMENDI), Basilan Solidarity, Organization of Maguindanaon and Iranon, Bangsamoro Consultative Assembly, Bangsamoro Supreme Council of Ulama (BSCU), Maradeka Youth, Bangsa Iranun Muslim Advocates for Peace, Inc., Ittihadun As-Shabab Al-Muslimeen, Karitan Foundation Inc., Mindanao Peace Observers, Manila Peace Zone Community Association (MAPZCA), and Mindanao War Victims.
Maradeka, a Philippine civil society network and alliance of Moro organizations, pursues its social and political advocacy and development programs with its partners organizations and institutions. It build its organization's strength in grass-root community and citizens' action and consensus building through its regional people assemblies (RPA) held in various regions widely in Mindanao and Sulu, and growing in the Central Luzon and Calabarzon area. Maradeka as ideological organization takes its main form of action in articulating voices of marginalized Moro people, democratic dialogues, participatory community consultations (shura), social and political advocacy campaigns, and launches mass actions to demonstrate its protests, appeal, and demands on various legitimate issues to influence policies affecting the Muslim people.Maranao people
The Maranao people (Maranao: ['mәranaw]; Filipino: Maranaw), also spelled Meranao, Maranaw, and Mëranaw, is the term used by the Philippine government to refer to the southern tribe who are the "people of the lake", a predominantly-Muslim region of the Philippine island of Mindanao. They are known for their artwork, weaving, wood, plastic and metal crafts and epic literature, the Darengen.Moro National Liberation Front
The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF; Arabic: الجبهة الوطنية لتحرير مورو) is a political organization in the Philippines that was founded in 1972. It started as a splinter group of the Muslim Independence Movement. The MNLF was the leading organization among Moro separatists for about two decades beginning from the 1970s.In 1996, the MNLF signed a landmark peace agreement with the Philippine government that saw the creation of Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), an area composed of two mainland provinces and three island provinces in which the predominantly Muslim population enjoys a degree of self-rule. Nur Misuari was installed as the region's governor but his rule ended in violence when he led a failed rebellion against the Philippine government in November 2001, and fled to Sabah before being deported back to the Philippines by the Malaysian authorities.The MNLF is internationally recognized by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and its Parliamentary Union of OIC Member States (PUIC). Since 1977, the MNLF has been an observer member of the OIC. On January 30, 2012, MNLF became an observer member of the Parliamentary Union of Islamic Cooperation (PUIC), as approved during the 7th PUIC global session held in Palembang, Indonesia.Moro people
The collective term Bangsamoro people or Moro people refers to the 13 Islamized ethnolinguistic groups of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan. As Muslim-majority ethnic groups, they form largest non-Christian majority population in the country, and comprise about 5% of the total Philippine population, or 5 million people. Most Moros are followers of Sunni Islam of the Shafi'i madh'hab. The Muslim Moros originally had an independent state known as the Sulu Sultanate, which once exercised sovereignty over the present day provinces of Basilan, Palawan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, the eastern part of the Malaysian state of Sabah (formerly North Borneo) and North Kalimantan in Indonesia.
Today, the Bangsamoro people mostly live in southwest Mindanao, Sulu and Basilan. Due to imminent threat during the eras of Spanish and American colonization, the Bangsamoro migrated continuously throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Because of this, small communities can be found in most large modern cities of the Philippines, including Manila, Cebu and Davao. Some Moros have emigrated to Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei in the late 20th century due to the Moro conflict in Mindanao. Newer communities can be found today in Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Semporna in neighbouring Sabah, Malaysia, North Kalimantan in Indonesia, as well in Bandar Seri Begawan of Brunei.National Commission on Muslim Filipinos
The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos is a government agency whose objective is to promote the rights of Muslim Filipinos and to make them active participants in Philippine nation-building. On August 11, 2008, the Commission, which also serves as a link between the government and the country's Muslim minority, replaced the Office on Muslim Affairs, which had been pursuing the same aim since 1987.NCMF is one of the 12 agencies, formerly from the Office of the President which now placed under the supervision of the Cabinet Secretary, based on Executive Order No. 1 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte on July 4, 2016. On October 31, 2018, the Commission, through Executive Order No. 67, was transferred to the Department of the Interior and Local Government along with the National Youth Commission and the Philippine Commission on Women as part of the reorganization of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary.Regional Darul Ifta’ of Bangsamoro
The Regional Darul Ifta' of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (RDI–BARMM) is an Islamic advisory council which has jurisdiction over Bangsamoro.Sharia in the Philippines
Sharia or Islamic law is partially implemented in the legal system of the Philippines and is applicable only to Muslims. Sharia courts in the country are under supervision of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.
Sharia courts in the Philippines has jurisdiction over Muslim-majority Bangsamoro as well as other parts of Mindanao outside the autonomous region.Sharif Kabungsuwan
Shariff Muhammed Kabungsuwan (Malay: Muhammad Kebungsuwan, Jawi: شريف کبوڠسووان) was the first Sultan of Maguindanao in the Philippines. A native of Johore in Maritime Southeast Asia, Kabungsuwan re-settled in Mindanao in the Philippines where he preached Islam to the native tribes around the region.Yakan people
The Yakan people are among the major indigenous Filipino ethnolinguistic groups in the Sulu Archipelago. Also known as dream weaver having a significant number of followers of Islam, it is considered as one of the 13 Moro groups in the Philippines. The Yakans mainly reside in Basilan but are also in Zamboanga City. They speak a language known as Bissa Yakan, which has characteristics of both Sama-Bajau Sinama and Tausug (Jundam 1983: 7-8). It is written in the Malayan Arabic script, with adaptations to sounds not present in Arabic (Sherfan 1976).
The Yakan have a traditional horse culture. They are renowned for their weaving traditions.