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The Feast for the Rajah Baguinda: A tribute on Its Contribution


The legendary Rajah Baguinda was an Arab religious missionary from Minangkabau, Sumatra, who arrived in Mindanao in 1390 and reinforced Islam until 1460. He was the famous Sultan of Sulu and stated by some Negeri Sembilanese historians as a Minangkabau prince, but in reality he was a native Bajau prince of Sabah.

by Jane Dacumos on May 29, 2012

Uncovering of Rajah Baguinda:

The legendary Rajah Baguinda was an Arab religious missionary from Minangkabau, Sumatra, who arrived in Mindanao in 1390 and reinforced Islam until 1460. He was the famous Sultan of Sulu and stated by some Negeri Sembilanese historians as a Minangkabau prince, but in reality he was a native Bajau prince of Sabah. According to Sulu ancestors, his arrival in Sulu was welcomed by a resistance among the natives. The chiefs of Buansa tried to sink his boats and drown him in the sea. Baguinda, however, fought the natives back and asked these people why they wanted to drown him. He insisted to the people that he came to travel and, out of goodwill, to live among the Sulu natives who, like him, were followers of Mohammad. Knowing that they have the same faith, they accepted him in the island.

The arrival of Islam in Sulu around 1138 saw the migration of Arabs, Persians, and other Muslims into Mindanao. This gave way to the advent of religious missionaries, traders, scholars, and travelers to Sulu. In 1380, Karim-ul-Mahkdum, an Arab religious missionary, reinforced the Islamic foundation of Rajah Baguinda’s polity (1390-1460). By then, it was inherited by Sayid Abubaker, who married Paramisuli, the daughter of Rajah Baguinda. He established the Sultanate and became the first Sultan of Sulu.

The Feast of Rajah Baguinda:

Celebrated every 2nd week of August in Jolo, Sulu, Rajah Baguinda Festival is a three-day cultural show to commemorate the contribution of Rajah Baguinda in the history of Sulu. He was the one who led the spread of Islam and the adaptation of the Sulu Sultanate Government.

Participants throughout the city are dressed with colorful costumes, performing the different cultural shows to give honor to the arrival of Rajah Baguinda in their province.

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