Tuesday, August 2, 2011

History of the Muslims in the Philippines "MUSLIMS IN THE PHILIPPINES:A Historical Perspective" By Cesar Adib Majul


Muslims throughout the world generally have tended to look at their history as a process tending towards justice, provided men make the effort to work for it. But more than this, there is the widespread belief that the historical process is not solely the result of Man’s intentions and actions but there is also the Merciful and Compassionate Deity who is involved in the direction of such a process. Thus, concomitant with the belief that life on earth is a severe moral test, there is always the hope that living the Islamic way of life makes it more purposive and tends to bring about a social situation where justice and good life become operative.
Because of all this, it becomes understandable why Muslims in the Philippines believe that the coming of Islam to the Philippines, and hence their being Muslims, constitutes an instance of Allah’s mercy and graciousness. Also understandable is the belief that their bitter wars against the Spaniards and Americans, their resistance to any form of European colonial design or foreign economic exploitation, and even their internecine quarrels and the chronic epidemics that have visited them have served to maintain their integrity as an Islamic Community.
In so far as they are aware of belonging to a definite religious community, Muslims in the Philippines have always made an effort to understand their past and have never ceased to recall those men who, on account of personal traits, character, and leadership, have helped to guarantee the preservation of Islam in the Philippines in spite of the determined efforts of their antagonists to deprive them of their religion, land, and knowledge of their ancient past. A careful analysis of the history of the Muslims in the Philippines will reveal that the character and attitudes of present-day Muslims are not only the result of what they have made out of themselves but also of what others have forced them to become. Thus it is important to know how Islam was introduced and how it expanded in the Philippines. We need to know also those forces, which came into conflict with Islam, forces which helped to shape the character of the present day Muslim Filipino.  
Peter G. Gowing and Robert d. McAmis, THE MUSLIM FILIPINOS Their History, Society and Contemporary Problems, Solidaridad Publish Hose (1974), Manila, pp. 1-11

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