Why Is the Symbol of Islam a Crescent Moon?
Why is the symbol of Islam a crescent moon? Here we discuss the pagan origins of this symbol and address the history of its source, the
Why is the symbol of Islam a crescent moon?
Islam has been on the rise throughout the Western world, and the religion is often associated with a crescent moon and star symbol. Most non-Muslims do not know why this is, and even many Muslims are unaware of the reason.
Here’s the reason:
The holiest site in Islam is the Kaaba. The Kaaba is the site that Muslims visit when they make their pilgrimage to Mecca. The Kaaba contains a stone carving of the crescent moon and star. This carving is the source of the symbol. The symbol predates Islam, although most Muslims do not know this.
Now we’ll explore the history of the Kaaba and Islam’s relationship to this building
A Picture of the Kaaba
The Kaaba is an old cubic building made of brown bricks. Its real appearance is not very interesting. However, the structure is often covered with an attractive tarp. Here’s what it looks like with the tarp:
That crowd of people surrounding the Kaaba is a group of Muslims who circumambulate the building. The purpose of Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca that serves as one of Islam’s Five Pillars, is ultimately to move around the Kaaba.
Where the Kaaba Came From
The origin of the Kaaba is expressed in two opposing ways: the Muslim way and the honest way.
The Muslim Kaaba Origin Story
Muslims attribute the construction of the Kaaba to Abraham, the Father of the Jewish people. They hold that Abraham built four temple to the Lord, three of them were in Judea, and the fourth was in Arabia hundreds of miles to the south. The Kaaba is supposed to be the fourth temple built by Abraham.
Now, the Old Testament does not mention the building. Yet Muslims simply say that Jews removed the verses which described the construction of the Kaaba.
And the only extant support for the Islamic account of the Kaaba’s origin is the claim of Muslims. Yet these same Muslims only say so because must in order to justify their religious views.
Those same Muslims also say many other silly things. Examples include: (1) that Muhammad rode a flying horse, (2) that people in Arabia saw the moon split in two, (3) and that in the end times talking trees will try to save the Jews from the wrath of the Muslims.
And they say that all people are born as Muslims.
Perhaps it is not such a great idea to believe the Islamic account.
Where the Kaaba Truly Came From
Nobody knows where the Kaaba came from.
The building definitely predates Islam. It shows up a couple of times in the writings of ancient Greek and Egyptian philosophers and historians. They briefly allude to a large stone structure which the pagan Arabs would travel to for religious purposes; this structure is the Kaaba.
Now, that we do not know the origin story of the Kaaba is not surprising. The pagan Arabs who used it were probably its original builders, and they were a semi-literate people. They possessed a writing system, but their writing was primitive and hard to decipher, even by the people who knew it well, and it was mostly used by merchants to record financial transactions.
Moreover, after the Muslims took control of Arabia, they destroyed most of the pre-Islamic cultural artifacts that were on the peninsula. So even if the pagan Arabs had recorded the history of the Kaaba, the Muslims probably would have destroyed it.
And writers from outside of Arabia were also unlikely to record the Kaaba’s history. The rulers of the ancient empires in that region thought that Arabia was a worthless backwater. So the Persians, Romans, Egyptians, Greeks, and other peoples of the Middle East did not bother recording the history of the Arabs.
Where Might the Secret of the Kaaba’s Origin Be?
It may be the case that the Ethiopians recorded something of the pagan Arabs and that these records still exist somewhere. This is because the Ethiopians interacted with the Arabs to a much greater degree than the other peoples of the region.
Moreover, the Muslims have never conquered Ethiopia, so they have not yet had the opportunity to destroy remnants of the pagan Arab culture which may be hidden there. Therefore, Ethiopia, and, more specifically, the territory of the ancient Aksumite Kingdom is the location most likely to contain evidence of the Kaaba’s founding.
The Kaaba & The Crescent Moon
So, the people who lived in Arabia were pagans for a very long time before Islam. These were the people who were using the Kaaba when Muslims seized the peninsula. The pagan Arabs were likely the ones who built it in the first place.
Now, these pagan Muslims, or, as the author of the Quran called them, mushrikun, worshipped a pantheon of deities. Among those deities worshipped was a moon god called Hubal.
Hubal was the chief deity acknowledged by the Quraysh tribe, and Muhammad hailed from this group.
And the image of Hubal is carved onto the Kaaba. Hubal’s image is located directly beneath a crescent moon with a star above it. The “crescent moon and star symbol” originates from this carving.
So, when the Muslims wiped out the mushrikun, they seized the Kaaba in the name of Islam. Yet they could not convert the building to Islam, because buildings don’t have religions, and they could not remove the carving of Hubal and its moon. The Kaaba is supposedly a Muslim temple, so to deface it would be blasphemy.
This proof of the pagan origin of the Kaaba has remained carved onto the side of the structure ever since, and the symbol most strongly associated with Islam comes from this proof which the Muslims were unable to erase.
So the symbol of Islam comes from a people whom the Muslims wiped out, and the symbol has been retained because it is carved onto a site which the Muslims seized and pretended was their own.
Gene is the director of the Theosis Christian Project. He studied physics and military science before founding the Project. Gene is currently pursuing his doctorate in systems engineering at an engineering college in the Ozarks. The Theosis Christian Project is his attempt to expand Holy Orthodoxy in America.
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Why Is the Symbol of Islam a Crescent Moon?
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