The Relationship Between Islam And the Crescent Moon

Today due to the common use of the crescent moon by Muslims, many believe that it is the official symbol of the Islamic faith as it is seen at the top of the dooms or peaks of most mosques around the world, on various flags of Muslim dominated countries of the Middle East and on Islamic books and accessories.

Historically speaking that doesn’t seem to be the case as the religion of Islam was never recognized by a symbol. The use of these symbols pre-dated Islam by a thousand years. Although information about the origin of the crescent moon and star are still not clear but it Is predicted that this ancient symbol was used by people of central Asia and Siberia in worship of their Gods mostly of the sun, moon and sky. Actually, some historical text represent the Carthaginian goddess Tanit or Greek goddess Diana with a crescent moon. Constantinople and Istanbul former Byzantium used the symbol of the crescent moon in honour of the goddess Diana.

The early Muslim community was never documented to really have an acknowledged symbol. Even during the time of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ  Islamic armies and caravans only flew simple solid-colored flags for identification purposes alone. As generations passed by, Muslim leaders continued to use a simple black, white or green flag with no markings, writings or symbolism of any kind on it.

The crescent moon and star became affiliated with the religion of Islam during the  Ottoman Empire. When the Turks conquered Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453 CE, they adopted the city’s existing flag and symbol. Legend holds that the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman, had a dream in which the crescent moon stretched from one end of the earth to the other. Taking this as a good omen, he decided to keep the crescent as the symbol of his dynasty. There is speculation that the five points on the star represents the five pillars of Islam, but these are just mere speculations. The five points were neither standard on the Ottoman flags nor were they standards on flags used in the Muslim world today.

The Ottoman Empire ruled the Muslim world for hundreds of years. It is understandable that after centuries of battle with Christian Europe, the symbols of this empire became linked with the faith of Islam in people’s minds. The heritage of the symbols, however, really is based on links to the Ottoman Empire, not the faith of Islam itself as history has shown.

Well, the truth is that Islam as a religion has no symbol. Even from historical findings no symbol was ever used to represent the religion of Islam. In line with this Muslims should not to accept any symbol as representing their faith as doing so is a form of an ancient pagan icon.

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