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Star and Crescent

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: Regional History or Period History
Forum Name: Post-Classical Middle East
Forum Description: SW Asia, the Middle East and Islamic civilizations from 600s - 1900 AD
Moderators: Sparten, Azimuth, es_bih
URL: http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=24776
Printed Date: 25-Aug-2019 at 01:59
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.10 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Star and Crescent
Posted By: Carpathian Wolf
Subject: Star and Crescent
Date Posted: 03-Jul-2008 at 23:18
So I was watching Kingdom of Heaven and I noticed the Muslims used a moon crescent on their banners. Is that accurate? I've heard several stories of how this became to be a symbol of Islam.
 
1. The Star and Crescent was actually a symbol in Constantinople and after the Ottoman Turks took it over, their nobles began wearing it and eventually it spread. This is possible because Saudi Arabia for example the most traditional Muslim country IMHO doesn't use the symbol.
 
2. It was the symbol of the Tengrists, again Turkish origin. But IIRC the Mongols were Tengrists too and I don't recall this symbol being popular with them either.
 
3. It's a symbol of the Moon god(s) of pre Islamic pagan people adopted into Islam.
 
4. It could be a purely Islamic symbol but every muslim I have spoken to has not known to give me an answer to its origins.
 
 
 
Also perhaps there are two symbols involved? A crescent symbol and then a star and crescent symbol?



Replies:
Posted By: eumenes
Date Posted: 03-Jul-2008 at 23:59
I was under the impression it came from the Sassanids, and before them, ancient Mesopotamian civilizations. I know I've seen the star and crescent on some pre Islamic seals from the region.




Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 04-Jul-2008 at 00:56
The entire film is fictitious anyway so yes, this is not accurate.
 
Saladin's symbol was the two headed spread eagle which he took from the the Turks who brought it with them when they came to the middle east. Arabs of Mecca had the Hawk as their symbol and their main battle standard was call Al-uqab or the hawk. Since depiction of live things is forbidden, the prophet and both first caliphs of the Rashidun and Ummayyads had plain standards, the Ummayyads white and Black for the rashidun.
 
The Abbasids returned to black, and sometimes green but still depiction of animals was non existant till the end of their days however their military standards had eagles, hawks, lions and Pegasus. The first people to bring the crescent were the Ottomans since they were a later addition to the Turks of Anatolia and it was linked to their former pagan religions.
 
The mughals, the Safavids and the central asian states all didn't have the crescent as their symbol, it was the lion and the tiger and the eagle but since the Ottomans were most connected to europe it became representing of Islam.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle_%28heraldry%29#Twin-headed_eagle_and_the_Turks - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle_%28heraldry%29#Twin-headed_eagle_and_the_Turks
 
Al-Jassas
 
 


Posted By: Sparten
Date Posted: 04-Jul-2008 at 08:19
Correction, the Mughals did have the cresent as their flag, on which the present Pakistani flag is based.
 
http://adhyaru.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/mughalempire.png - http://adhyaru.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/mughalempire.png
 


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The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".


Posted By: Leonidas
Date Posted: 04-Jul-2008 at 12:21
Hi guys a thread " http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=4119&PN=1 - discusses this question

and it was raised again in this thread " http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=10381&KW=ishtar&PN=1 -
I am convinced its Babylonian when the crescent and star is combined and then became more regional.


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 04-Jul-2008 at 15:58
But One thing is certain, Arabs didn't use that symbol and it didn't come from them. Saladin used the double headed eagle.
 
AL-Jassas


Posted By: Sparten
Date Posted: 04-Jul-2008 at 16:28
I know, and they still don't.

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The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".


Posted By: Roberts
Date Posted: 04-Jul-2008 at 16:32
Originally posted by Sparten Sparten wrote:

I know, and they still don't.

Algeria and Tunisia use those symbols on their flags. The question is whether these states can be considered Arabic?


Posted By: Omar al Hashim
Date Posted: 05-Jul-2008 at 02:22
Certainly it was the Ottoman Khalifa that popularised it.


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"O Byzantines! If success is your desire and if you seek right guidance and want your empire to remain then give the pledge to this Prophet"
~ Heraclius, Roman Emperor


Posted By: azimuth
Date Posted: 05-Jul-2008 at 10:17
Originally posted by Leonidas Leonidas wrote:


Hi guys a thread " http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=4119&PN=1 - [COLOR="#0000ff - Sasanid Crowns (Star & Crescent)[/COLOR - " discusses this questionand it was raised again in this thread " http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=10381&KW=ishtar&PN=1 - [COLOR="#0000ff - Crescent and the Star, how did they become the symbols of Islam?[/COLOR - ". I am convinced its Babylonian when the crescent and star is combined and then became more regional.


here is an even older topic
http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=1542

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Posted By: The Hidden Face
Date Posted: 05-Jul-2008 at 18:02
So, what is clear is that this so called Islamic symbol is actually paganic, which must be unacceptable to the Islamic world. The Islamic conferance should do something about that. Removing the crescent from their flag would be a good start.
 
Don't you think so?


Posted By: erkut
Date Posted: 05-Jul-2008 at 18:20
Well we had discuss that moon-star issue about two years ago. (But i couldnt found the topic).

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DÜŞÜNÜYORUM O HALDE VURUN !


Posted By: azimuth
Date Posted: 05-Jul-2008 at 18:34
Originally posted by The Hidden Face The Hidden Face wrote:

So, what is clear is that this so called Islamic symbol is actually paganic, which must be unacceptable to the Islamic world. The Islamic conferance should do something about that. Removing the crescent from their flag would be a good start.
 

Don't you think so?



i think so too.

as i mentioned before i always thought of the crescent on top of the minaret as a symbol for the Hilal of the Holy month of Ramadan and how special that month and also how important the moon is for islamic calender.

i dont think many muslims know that this symbol came to islam via Turks who continued using it after they became muslims.




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Posted By: Sparten
Date Posted: 05-Jul-2008 at 20:00
Whats wrong with it.


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The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".


Posted By: Carpathian Wolf
Date Posted: 06-Jul-2008 at 04:56
Well if I were a follower of Mohamed i certainly wouldn't want a pagan symbol atop my place of worship or on my national flag. But there are levels of traditionality to the religion from the ones who think the hijab is only an option to the ones that follow the Koran strictly and allow no instrument or dancing. (IIRC) Some might just think it isn't worth the trouble of changing anything.


Posted By: Sparten
Date Posted: 06-Jul-2008 at 06:35
I am a muslim or a "follower of Mohammad". And I have absolutly no trouble with the symbol.


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The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".


Posted By: Efraz
Date Posted: 06-Jul-2008 at 13:23
Well "islamic" nations aren't only "followers of mohammad" they have cultural pasts aside from that of Arabic. Some of them have their own national symbols. You may call them paganic but they are national too. They are embraced by these nations for thousands of years.

Like this symbol. Like Turks, Iranians' other symbols... they have many symbols may be regarded as "paganic" and we have no problem with.

Being a "follower of Mohammad" doesn't make you an Arab.

And to the star and crescent. Let me give a couple of symbolic infos.

Crescent: It's the symbol of moon goddeses which are a connected with mother goddeses and fertility deities. Which is also the symbol of the cult of women. In Greek, Hittitian and Mesopotamian Mythologies.

Star: It's also a symbol for a specific type of goddesses. Ishtar for example. Which is the very equivalent of Aphrodite and all love and war goddesses. Ishtar literally means "star"

I think "Crescent and Star" has a pagan past which is connected to the matriarchal culture. Which is a fine thing :)


Posted By: Efraz
Date Posted: 06-Jul-2008 at 13:29
BTW I have to correct myself here.

All religions have a paganic past. These religions did not come from outer space, of course they all have connections with elder beliefs.


Posted By: Leonidas
Date Posted: 06-Jul-2008 at 15:15
Originally posted by Efraz Efraz wrote:

BTW I have to correct myself here.

All religions have a paganic past. These religions did not come from outer space, of course they all have connections with elder beliefs.
This is very true. You can find most symbols going further back than their current use with hints in their meaning still carrying on even if they do change over time. The moon carrys on with the Virgin Mary for instance in some iconograhy (AFAIK latin catholic). though instead of being on her head, its on her feet.

The Crescent and Star is quite interesting. I have read on the below source that it meant different things depending on which way the moon was facing in the symbol and this connects back to the dual nature of Ishtar/Astarte/Inanna (Shaushga ?). I used the same n one my two old posts (in the above  links ) but i would like to cross reference it

Quote
In its role as the goddess of war and fertility it is associated with the Morning star. In its role as the divinity of sexual love it is associated with the Evening star.

http://www.symbols.com/encyclopedia/41a/41a7.html - www.symbols.com

from a better part of that website that goes into more detail
Quote
It was only when humans realized that the Morning star and the Evening star were the same planet that the pentagon, http://www.symbols.com/old/encyclopedia/28/2823.html">28:23 , and the four-year period could be linked to http://www.symbols.com/old/encyclopedia/41a/41a7.html">41a:7 .
    The Akkadians were the first to realize this. Inanna, the Sumerian queen of the heavens and the daughter of the moon for the Semitic Akkadians became the contradictory Ischtar. Still the queen of the heavens, Ischtar (Astarte) was the holy virgin but also "she who accomodates men", the goddess of battle and war, but also the goddess of beauty, peace and sex.
    Three were the highest divinities in the EuphratesTigris region. Their symbols can be seen in almost every ancient mythological representation. They are http://www.symbols.com/old/encyclopedia/25/2516.html">25:16 , the sun god; http://www.symbols.com/old/encyclopedia/20/207.html">20:7 , the moon god; and http://www.symbols.com/old/encyclopedia/26/2646.html">26:46 , Inanna, Ischtar, Astarte.


http://www.symbols.com/old/encyclopedia/29/2913.html - www.symbols.com


Posted By: Carpathian Wolf
Date Posted: 06-Jul-2008 at 19:35
"I am a muslim or a "follower of Mohammad". And I have absolutly no trouble with the symbol. "

And that's perfectly fine with me. :)
 
"Well "islamic" nations aren't only "followers of mohammad" they have cultural pasts aside from that of Arabic. Some of them have their own national symbols. You may call them paganic but they are national too. They are embraced by these nations for thousands of years."
 
I know but I generally got the impression it was frowned upon at least by the traditionalists.


Posted By: Bulldog
Date Posted: 08-Jul-2008 at 00:51
The Star and Crescent has been used by various peoples since ancient times across vaste geographical areas.
 
The use of Star and Crescent in the muslim world is a result of the Turks expansion and dominance. The star and crescent had a spiritual/religous significance to the pre-muslim Turks, they kept using this emblem mainly due to tribal tamgas/flags ie the Kayi clan used the Crescent and the millitary. The marching bands used flag poles which were decorated by Crescent and moon, wolf heads, horsetails or Holy Qur'an boxes.
 
Then ofcourse there is the folklore, legends, myths which come with any symbol or emblems.
 
And then there are other nations which used the crescent and star as well.
 
In conclusion, the crescent and moon symbol has been used by many nations in the past, however, its popularity in the muslim world is mainly due to the Turks.


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      What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.
Albert Pine



Posted By: Sparten
Date Posted: 03-Aug-2008 at 21:16
The cresent was also used in Rome i believe.


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The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".


Posted By: Cryptic
Date Posted: 05-Aug-2008 at 23:25

The cresent appears in Chistian art as well.  Some art depicting the the Virgin Mary (mother of Jesus) shows her standing over a cresent.  Some explanations say that this symbolizes Christianity's dominance over older pagan religions. Others say that the crescent is a pagan symbol for female divinity and was thus incorporated into Christian art to show the Virgin's special status.



Posted By: Carpathian Wolf
Date Posted: 12-Aug-2008 at 04:27
Alot of modern revisionists try to make Christianity (Orthodox from my perspective) as having adopted certain pagan elements into them but this is contrary to the theology and to history in which Christianity was quite staunchly against the pagan faiths. People site the dates of christmas and pascha being on traditional pagan holidays but this was done so that the Christians went to the Christian worship rather then the pagan. It was a move to replace not accomodate.
 
 
Anyway, I think the theory of it being a symbol of nobility in constantinople is the strongest so far.


Posted By: xi_tujue
Date Posted: 12-Aug-2008 at 09:07
same could be said for the crusifix imo

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I rather be a nomadic barbarian than a sedentary savage


Posted By: Carpathian Wolf
Date Posted: 12-Aug-2008 at 09:14
Originally posted by xi_tujue xi_tujue wrote:

same could be said for the crusifix imo
 
Not really. Christ was crusified but it isn't the pieces of wood which are venerated but the sacrifice and act of love.


Posted By: xi_tujue
Date Posted: 12-Aug-2008 at 09:48
be4 that it was used to punish to worst kinds of criminals and still afterwards

the cruifixtion of Jesus Christ (pbuh) is just a exception

humans make symbols and believe in them so they can change the meaning of one



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I rather be a nomadic barbarian than a sedentary savage


Posted By: Carpathian Wolf
Date Posted: 12-Aug-2008 at 18:34

Yes but again Christians don't worship the "punishment method" but what it represents, the bridge between our world and God, redemption, salvation to the Faithful.

 
I think it was Saint John of Damascus who said (paraphrasing) "When the cross is shown I venerate it for it symbolizes the love of God to man kind, but when the boards are broken in two it means nothing to me and I burn it as wood."


Posted By: xi_tujue
Date Posted: 12-Aug-2008 at 19:38
thats a perfect example symbols are what we make them, what we believe they are

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I rather be a nomadic barbarian than a sedentary savage


Posted By: Carpathian Wolf
Date Posted: 12-Aug-2008 at 20:14
That's kind of an obvious statement. Water is wet, fire is hot etc etc. What Symbol isn't what we make it?


Posted By: Mercury_Dawn
Date Posted: 05-Sep-2008 at 17:28
I was told that it was a symbol of security for the early Arab tribes who would travel the desert by day, and park thier caravans at night, and socialize. The caravans offered security, and the moon was a symbol of not being insanely hot.

I suppose I'm wrong, I had only asked a common businessman. It sounded far more romantic though. They say the Star of David was a symbol of Venus.


Posted By: pebbles
Date Posted: 02-Mar-2009 at 11:37
 
 
Originally posted by Bulldog Bulldog wrote:

 
 
The use of Star and Crescent in the muslim world is a result of the Turks expansion and dominance.
 
 
 
They were the people Chinese referred to as " 月氏 = Yue Zhi ".
 
 
 
 


Posted By: Seko
Date Posted: 03-Mar-2009 at 16:45
Would that make them the Eastern Saka then?

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Copyright 2004 Seko


Posted By: pebbles
Date Posted: 04-Mar-2009 at 03:54
 
I wouldn't think so.Saka or Scythians were a seperate people,Yuezhi definitely not an offshoot.
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scythians - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scythians
 
note: 古代波斯人稱之為 Saka 塞克人 = ancient Persians referred those tribes as Saka.
 
 
 
 


Posted By: Seko
Date Posted: 06-Mar-2009 at 16:54

Some of the Yuezhi formed the Kushan Empire and are thought to have been or were closely related to the Tocharians.  However, according to this page the Eastern Schythians could also have been the Yuezhi.

http://web.raex.com/%7Eobsidian/Centasia3.html#Sakae - http://web.raex.com/~obsidian/Centasia3.html#Sakae

http://www.famouschinese.com/virtual/Yuezhi

http://web.raex.com/%7Eobsidian/Centasia3.html#Sakae -



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Copyright 2004 Seko



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