Angara pushes for the commemoration of the arrival of Islam in the Philippines as a special national working holiday

Posted on: Thu, 04/04/2024 - 15:16 By: admin
Angara pushes for the commemoration of the arrival of Islam in the Philippines as a special national working holiday

Senator Sonny Angara is pushing for the declaration of November 7 of every year as a special working holiday in commemoration of the first mosque and the introduction of Islam in the country.

Filipino Muslims have long commemorated the arrival of Islam in the Philippines on November 7, which marks the arrival of Arab missionary Sheikh Karim’ul Makhdum in 1380 at Sinumul Island in Tawi-Tawi and the construction of the country’s first Mosque there.

The Mosque, which is still standing to this day, is where Islam was first preached in Sulu based on the book of Dr. Cesar Adib Majul and Dr. Najeeb Saleeby’s readings of Sulu genealogical accounts.

In recognition of this important day for the Islamic faith, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao celebrates Sheikh Karim’ul Makhdum day on November 7 as a special public holiday.

In the past, the now defunct Regional Government of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao also declared the Sheikh Makhdum centennial celebration as one of the Islamic events entitled to a special non-working holiday.

“Islam is one of the oldest religions in the country—arriving over a century before Christianity. It is part of our culture and history as a nation and it is only fitting that we give due recognition to the contributions of our brothers and sisters of the Islamic faith and be one with them in commemorating the arrival and proliferation of Islam in the Philippines,” Angara said.

Angara and his father, the late former Senate President Edgardo Angara, were responsible for Republic Act 10573, which declared the Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque as a national historical landmark.

In filing Senate Bill 1616, Angara emphasized the need to acknowledge the vast contributions of the Islamic faith to the enrichment, vibrance and diversity of the unique culture and civilization of the great Filipino nation and declaring November 7 a special working holiday nationwide will go a long way in raising awareness and inculcating respect to Islam and its believers.

“This is long overdue and we urge our colleagues in the Senate and the House of Representatives to support this measure because our Muslim brothers and sisters deserve equal recognition from our government,” Angara said.