Makhdum Karim

Makhdum Karim or Karim ul-Makhdum was an Arab Sufi[1]Muslim missionary from Arabia who came from Malacca.[2] In the late 14th century CE, he was a Sufi who brought Islam to the Philippines, in year 1380 CE, 141 years before Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived in the country.[3] 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.


For his arrival, he and his mosque built in Bohe Indangan, Simunul island in Tawi-Tawi are yearly celebrated in southern Philippines as anniversary of the coming of Karim’ul Makhdum. The celebration offers a prayer to commemorate the propagation of Islam in the Philippines.

In 2005, Governor of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Zaldy Ampatuan has appealed to Philippine government, Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries to rehabilitate the mosque and develop it to a religious tourist spot in south.


  1. Spirituality and Interfaith Dialogue, ISA Publications, 2006
  2. SHIM QUILING, MUCHA. "Tawi-tawi celebrates Karim'ul Makhdum Day". MindaNews. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  3. Jacinto, Al. "Filipino Muslims Remember Arrival Of Arab Missionary". Arab News. Retrieved 5 November 2005.