COTABATO CITY: It was a festive day in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on Tuesday as the Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Day was celebrated throughout the region.
Makhdum Day, marked annually on November 7, was declared a non-working holiday by ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman in honor of the Arab trader and missionary who introduced Islam in Tawi-Tawi 637 years ago.
Amir Mawallil said ARRM initiated various activities along with the local government units in Tawi-Tawi, the “Cradle of Islam” in the country.
Makhdum’s arrival resulted in the Islamization of the province and eventually Mindanao as well as many parts of the country before western colonizers took political control of most islands in the Philippine archipelago, Mawallil said.
He added that government officials, from national to local leaders, graced the event which Filipinos regard as an important occasion since historians and religious leaders in Southeast Asia recognize the significance of Makhdum’s efforts to introduce Islam in this part of the world.
Over the centuries, Makhdum’s accomplishments have been documented not only in the Philippines but in other countries as well.
Among these is the construction of the first mosque in the Philippines in 1380 in Tubig Indangan, Simunul. The existing mosque was named in his honor.
New officers of the Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque Management Board (Skmmmb) took their oath of office before the governor on Makhdum Day.
The Department of Tourism-ARMM currently heads the Skmmmb through Regional Secretary Ayesha Vanessa Hajar Dilangalen, with Bureau on Cultural Heritage-ARMM Executive Director. Marites Maguindra as vice-chairman.