Simunul Island is an island in the Sulu Sea, located in the province of Tawi-Tawi, Philippines. It is the birthplace of Islam in the Philippines, as it is where the first mosque in the country, the Sheik Karimol Makdum Mosque, was built in 1380. The mosque is still standing today and is a National Historical Landmark. The island also has white sand beaches and crystal clear water that are ideal for swimming and snorkeling.
The island is named after Simunul, a local chieftain who welcomed Sheik Karimol Makdum, an Arab missionary who came to spread Islam in the region. Sheik Karimol Makdum built the mosque using four wooden posts that are believed to have miraculous powers. The mosque has a simple and modest design that reflects the Islamic culture and heritage of the Sama people.
The island is also rich in history and culture, as it was once a center of trade and commerce in the Sulu Archipelago. The island has a vibrant and diverse community that consists of various ethnic groups, such as the Sama, Tausug, Badjao, and Jama Mapun. The island also hosts an annual festival called Kamahardikaan, which celebrates the culture and heritage of Tawi-Tawi.