Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque in Tawi-Tawi now a National Historical Landmark

Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque

Last May 24, 2013, President Benigno S. Aquino III signed the Republic Act No. 10573 otherwise known as “An Act Declaring the Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque as a National Historical Landmark.

Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque
Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque One of the Philippines Oldest Mosque (photo courtesy of pamana.ph)

The Mosque is considered as one of the Philippines’ oldest existing Muslim Houses of Prayer. The new historical landmark is located in Tubig Indangan, Simunul in the province of Tawi-Tawi.

The Act, which originated in the House of Representatives, was finally passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on March 23, 2011, and February 4, 2013, respectively.

The Sheikh Karimul Makhdum mosque is known to be the first mosque in the Philippines built in 1380, established by the Arab missionary, from whom the mosque was named after.
The Sheikh Karimul Makhdum mosque is known to be the first mosque in the Philippines built in 1380, established by the Arab missionary, from whom the mosque was named after.

The newly-declared national historical landmark Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque was constructed in 1380 A.D. The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) shall exercise supervision over the preservation of the site and shall issue the necessary rules and regulations to fulfill its functions, the President noted.

It is the oldest mosque in the Philippines and was built by an Arab trader, Sheikh Makhdum Karim in 1380. It was first thought that the pillars of the old mosque found within the current mosque are the pillars of the original built in 1380.

However, studies from the National Museum of the Philippines have confirmed that the pillars found within the present mosque dates back to the 17th century, making them remnants of a reconstruction of the mosque during the 17th century, and not the 14th century.

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