Islam reached the Philippines islands in the 14th century with the arrival of Indian, Malay and Javanese (Indonesian) merchants, and Arab missionaries from various sultanates in the Malay Archipelago, as well as preachers from Muslim India. Muslims form 5% of the Philippine population. In 1380, Karim ul Makhdum, the first Islamic missionary to reach the Sulu Archipelago and Jolo, brought Islam to what is now the Philippines. The Sheik Karimal Makdum Musjid was the first Musjid established in the Philippines. Subsequent visits by Arab Muslim missionaries from Muslim Malaysia and Indonesia, helped strengthen Islam mostly in the south but as far north as Manila. Vast Muslim sultanates were established.
Muslim traders spread Islam in much of Southeast Asia including Philippines. Two century before the coming of Western colonizers Muslim enjoyed full independence and had a well-organized government: the sultanate. The Spaniards and Americans gradually incorporated the independent Muslim state into the Philippines, reducing the power of the sultan, especially during US rule. Muslims courageously fought the Spanish invaders and rebelled against the Americans.