the crescent moon. why?

Discussion in 'Islam' started by LeoSalinas22, Oct 15, 2007.

  1. LeoSalinas22

    LeoSalinas22 merely a shadow...

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    hello everyone, peace be upon you all.

    i am doing a little bit of research on Islam for the purpose of trying to understand it more. i have come across hearsay as i usually do on all religions. but in this case i need to know why the crescent moon symbol? i know this may come as offensive to the muslims, but please understand i am doing a personal search for understanding on this topic and before i make a personal judgement, i need to know all sides of the matter. anyhow, hope to get some answers soon. thanks, and God bless you all...
     

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  2. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Namaste Leo,

    When I was researching symbolism in various religions, what I discovered about this symbol I found quite interesting...I'd love to find out how accurate or inaccurate my thoughts are.

    The common symbol the moon and star is NOT the symbol for Islam, it is the symbol westerners use for Islam yet the actual symbol of a Muslim is by his or her actions.

    The five pillars...if a person is following the five pillars they are Muslim....that is the symbol.

    There was some king of Persia or family who had the crescent moon and star as the symbol for their family..... when westerners went over and drew lines in the sand and called them country boundries, many of the flags of these new nations used this symbol....many of these nations were primarily Muslim...and the symbol of the family and the nations was applied to the religion.

    Now the five pillars....to me that is a great symbol!


    [FONT=Arial, Arial, Helvetica]Faith or belief in the Oneness of God and the finality of the prophethood of Muhammad;

    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Arial, Helvetica]Establishment of the daily prayers;

    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Arial, Helvetica]Concern for and almsgiving to the needy;

    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Arial, Helvetica]Self-purification through fasting; and

    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Arial, Helvetica]The pilgrimage to Makkah for those who are able.[/FONT]

    Leo, the depth and breadth of the pillars is incredible...the submission to G!d/Allah, their concept of prayers...five times a day...five connections with earth...the cleaning/preparation....the charitable nature...Ramadan...

    Great stuff....you'll enjoy researching and learning.
     
  3. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    If I recall, the original symbols of Islam (ie, for flags) were text - possibly quotes from the Quran - displayed on black, green, red backgrounds, etc. The heraldic use of the moon indeed seems to have been used outside of Arabia, but then used in a more blanket manner for Islam, possibly because it relates better to European heraldic tradition.
     
  4. flowperson

    flowperson Oannes

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    Yes...interesting how cultures automatically interpenetrate each other through the sharing of symbols. Of course the crescent phase of the moon is an ending/beginning symbol in the moon's phase changes. And the use of moon symbology goes far back into ancient times, and is usually associated with female oriented cyclic phenomena. Ocean tides, fertility, etc.

    However, there are wholly Islamic institutions who utilize the symbol such as the Islamic equivalent to the Red Cross, the Red Crescent, which is a primary care giver organization within Islamic culture. Pinning down the origination of the use of any symbol such as this is problematic since it is shared by so many global cultures way back into ancient times.

    And remember, the progenitors of Islamic culture were among the very first to institute formal astronomical/astrological studies under royal mandates. Without all of that, we'd all know a lot less than we do.

    flow....;)
     
  5. Abdullah

    Abdullah Member

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    Hi leosalinas,

    The Islamic calendar is based on the lunar Calendar; which is, the start of the month and special days such as Ied days are subject to the visibility of the moon; I think, the moon is a crescent shape most of the time, if not all, when it is sighted on those days, hence the crescent moon has been adopted by Muslims as a symbol of the Islamic religion.

    This symbol may not have been originally there during the time of the Prophet Muhammad [saw], but there is a hadith in which it basically says that, what is accepted by the [generality] of the Muslims, is accepted by Allah, hence it may be that the crescent moon symbol has become a recognised symbol for Islam, due to the muslims finding nothing wrong with it.

    Here is a link that explains the significance of the cresent moon in Islam:

    Zaytuna Institute & Academy

    Peace. :)
     
  6. LeoSalinas22

    LeoSalinas22 merely a shadow...

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    thanks so much for your responses, people. one thing, though, if i may. so far none of the responses made have answered the question i originally had in mind when i started this thread. of course i don't expect divination, but i would think that at least someone surely would have mentioned this by now. the reason i had started this thread was because i read an article on the 'net that the crescent moon represents some pre-islamic pagan moon goddess symbol that carried over or "mixed" with modern islam. also, that allah is an actual name to this so-called pagan goddess. again, thanks so much for your responses, they have given me more questions than answers, but to me, that is a very good thing. please be patient with me... hope to get some responses soon. thanks, and peace be upon you...
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2007
  7. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    In the ancient Middle Eastern calendar (as we find among the Sumerians and Babylonians and so on, as well as among Jews and Arabs alike), the day begins at sundown, because that is when the "first" day of the month can be visually distinguished from any other: the month is supposed to start when the baby-crescent phase is visible following the setting sun. During the long fight of the Semitic peoples against Roman domination, the crescent moon became a symbol of holding onto the old ways, and in particular the old religious festivals-- as opposed to the new-fangled and heathenish purely solar calendar.
    The star was not originally a part of that symbol, and still doesn't always accompany it, but when Venus in its "evening star" phase is particularly close to the baby-crescent, that is always pretty-looking and was considered auspicious.
     
  8. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    How exactly could research and a search for a deeper understanding be offensive to anyone?
    Leo, it is easier for someone to answer your question if you ask it without leaving pertinent parts out. Yes the crescent was a sign of a goddess, however the moon with the star was the symbol of the Ottoman Empire and as indicated when broke up into countries they carried that on. And one could decide that links Islam to some pagan roots just like many feel that the use of the cross, fish, tree, wreath, winter solstice, spring equinox by Christians indicate their pagan roots.
    I thought the day beginning at sundown came from Genesis....and that was the end of the first, second, third day...and G!d said it was good...Genesis to many defines the end of the day at sundown....some feel the beginning of the day at sunrise...others use yet another arbitrary method and consider when their babalometer to strike midnight to be the end of one day and the beginning of the next.
     
  9. LeoSalinas22

    LeoSalinas22 merely a shadow...

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    hello wil, thanks for your responses,
    you would be surprised, my friend.
    you are absolutely correct for saying this. i was just wanting to know first if anyone had heard anything about this. i guess it is like testing to see if the water is too cold or too hot.
    you see and this is where everything frustrates me. everything i have read so far has been defiled with paganism. at first i thought that the only one not defiled was the Tanach and i come to find out that even those books have been tampered with! how are we supposed to know the truth when even God's supposed "word" has got our filthy hands all over it? something's got to give. i am beginning to think that i won't find the answers in any of the holy scriptures or any of the world's religions, for that matter!
     
  10. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Amen to deeper understanding Leo.

    First, developing the understanding that all the books were not written, copied, transcribed, interpreted, compiled, canonized and ordered by the 'finger of G!d' is a great start!

    Knowing that while they all may have been divinely inspired, but man was involved in every step of the way to what we are reading now is important. Including the fact that man was trying desperately to translate what was given to him thru quite strange means with an understanding, world view and experience and a language that was quite inadequate to describe all that was given. And beyond that he had to tell it to others in such a way that they would embrace it, and not burn him at the stake, or deem him/her as crazy!

    Also we need to be aware that due to the above the rituals, stories and relationships of past goddess, pagan, indigenous beliefs would be interspersed in this new revelation....a normal evolution don't you think?

    This is all refreshing and releasing allowing you to research and learn without the rug constantly getting pulled out from under you! Allowing you to see the stories for what they are and not get tied up in all the political...look at each and all with fresh eyes and ear and determined what does the story say to your heart?
     
  11. flowperson

    flowperson Oannes

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    Hi Leo...Yeah, the more that you read which came from the mouths and writings of other "seekers" about all of this, the more you will be enabled to look deeply within yourself and find the answers for you, which have always been there. It's a long strange trip...trust me...I know. But that always happens eventually...stick with it.

    flow....;)
     
  12. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    Hi Leo--

    Yep, what flow and wil said. Plus...

    Always look for Love (with a capital "L"). Whatever proves unloving, throw it out. Love never fails, but religion mixed up with political power mongering does. Hang in there! You say you want to know the narrow way? I believe you have already embarked upon it. :)

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  13. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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  14. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    It looks like to me an early symbol was the Arabic Allah, and it wasn't until the 15th century that the crescent moon and star became associated...

    Just like the cross wasn't until the 4th century for Christianity...(the earlier version was the fish)
     
  15. farhan

    farhan Active Member

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    Initially, Islam had no symbol at all. Only a black flag in the battle field. What happened is that he last nation that converted to islam were Turks (of central asia). They mainly had two symbols, wolf & crescent. Now these turks, after conversion ruled south asia (Mughals) different parts of persia, russia, & a huge part of west asia, east europe & north africa (ottomans). As a result, cresent was the last symbol of Islamic power. May be thats why we see this symbol associated with Islam everywhere.

    Lateron Robert Morey came up with Moon God theory.
     
  16. Abdullah

    Abdullah Member

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    Such wild theories have no basis at all, and they are simmilar to the one's put forward by conspiracy theorists who try and associate all religions with pagan and alien worship. And I suspect that for a lot of people who make such allegations, envy of the Islamic concept of pure monothiesm plays a part in it.

    The theory can be refuted simply on the basis that, a religion that has a pagan origin, can rarely adopt a form of monothiesm so pure as the Islamic one.
     
  17. Amica

    Amica Member

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    Salaam,

    I can understand why the Muslim communities adopted the crescent as the symbol of Islaam (i.e. symbolic for the fast of the Month of Ramadan, lunar calendar, etc).
    But, according to my own personal research, I found that the crescent and the star were actually ancient symbols of Ishtar, pagan diety. Ishtar, sources say, was female and the statues that represent her are seen in various cultures. Depending of where the star is positioned next to the crescent, Isthar may turn into the 'godess' of love, sex, marriage, etc. or into a warrior like lady.
    Very interesting, no? I would like to find out who among Muslims made us believe crescent and star should symbolize Islaam? I read somewhere that the Turks before converting to Islaam, held high esteem for the crescent and the moon, and that is how the symbol was 'adopted' by the Muslims.
    But, Muslims are not the only ones battling the 'symbol' issue. The cross itself has a very long history, much older than Christianity. Yet, today it strictly
    symbolizes Christianity.
    Perhaps it does not matter what we use to symbolize us, but our actions are the best way to portray us as communities.
     
  18. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    Found where? You do not give any sources.
     
  19. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    I know -some- believe Allah to be a pagan "moon god".... Perhaps the "crescent moon" helped them fuel this idea? From my thoughts though, The star/moon pre dates Islam? By quite an amount, thousands of years... I believe some in Asia used it in worship of the Sky/Sun/Moon gods... Also used in Greek and Carthaginian worshop of goddesses.... Tanit(Carth) Diana(Greek) It was also used in celebration by the Romans for defeating the goths on the first day of a Lunar month! :D

    But anywho... How did it come to be a symbol of the Muslims? The first Muslims didn't have a symbol? Then During the times of Muhammad (ṣallā llahu ʿalayhi wa sallam ;)) They had solid flags? Green/White/Black.... And even later on the Muslim Community leaders continued to carry on with simple colour flags (no images/writing) The Ottoman Empire brought on the affilation of the star/crescent moon with the muslims..... 1453 the Turks conquered Istanbul (which was Constantinople) And they took the city's symbol/flag. It is legend that Osman, the founder of the Ottoman Empire had a dream where the moon stretched from one end of the Earth alllllll the way to the other. He took that as a good omen, so he chose to keep the crescent and make it the symbol of his dynasty... Also in the star... The five points, they were not "standard" on the Ottoman flags... They again are another part that has come with time over hundreds of years.... I also belive that the five points on the star represent the pillars of Islam? I haven't met any yet, but some items I am reading show that -many- Muslims reject the usage of the crescent moon as a symbol... I assume that is because the Islamic faith historically has had NO symbol... And, perhaps.. Going back to the very start of my post... Where I spoke of it being identified as a PAGAN symbol... That the christians used in a way to "attack" Islamic views and values... Then again something to ponder on.... Is it important to focus on symbols? What truly is important the message OR the front cover? Oh and yes.... I have been studying quite a bit over the weekend... before you ask lol...

    maca salāma
     
  20. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    Again: sources, please? On this topic the web seems to be full of assertions which are just made up out of nothing; if these are based on some ancient text or inscription it would be nice to see them.
     

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