For centuries, the crescent and the star has been seen by many to be the symbols of the Islāmic faith. The Christians with their cross, and the Jews with their star of David. And, Muslims with their crescent and star.
Even to this day we find many Islāmic countries, who champion themselves of being the bearers of Islāmic values and morals. Have the crescent and the star on their national flag. But, where does this symbol actually come from? Did the Muslims of the past actually use this as their symbol? Or, is this, as understood by few, and known by a handful, to be one of the pre-Islāmic symbol which has been teared apart from the many pagan and tribal cultures of the past?
The answer could not be clearer than ones own hands!
The crescent moon and star symbol actually pre-dates Islam by several thousand years. Most sources agree that these ancient celestial symbols were in use by the peoples of Central Asia and Siberia in their worship of sun, moon, and sky gods. There are also reports that the crescent moon and star were used to represent the Carthaginian goddess Tanit or the Greek goddess Diana.
There are further evidence which suggests that crescents appearing together with a star or stars are a common feature of Sumerian iconography, the crescent usually being associated with the moon-god Sin (Nanna to the Sumerians) and the star (often identified as Venus) with Ishtar (Inanna to the Sumerians). The early Muslims had no such symbols to signify the faith. Many bigots and islamaphobic people use the crescent and the star to further push their false claims that the name ‘Allah’, is the name of a moon God which Muslims worship. (Astagfirullah) Their understanding is, this is why we have the respective symbols to represent this notion.
It begs the question then, when did the Muslims begin adopting this symbol to signify Islam? It wasn’t until the Ottoman Empire that the crescent moon and star became affiliated with the Muslim world. When the Turks conquered Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453, they adopted the city’s existing flag and symbol. It is understandable why the myth of the crescent and the star still holds ground today. The Ottoman empire was in many respects the greatest empire of the ancient world. Stretching from the southern towns and villages of Spain to the furthest point in the middle east.
It is no surprise to see wherever the empire went, people soon took to mean the crescent and the star to represent the Islāmic faith. After all it was the official emblem of the Ottoman empire. However, there are many Muslims who do not (and rightly so), connect the crescent and the moon with Islam. Correctly claiming it has no significance in Islam. Our faith is unique in every way shape and form. We are drastically different to the earlier divine religions. A complete 180 degree turn from them. From the way we announce our prey times, to the way we establish our principles. Everything in Islam is different from the Christians and the Jews. Unlike Christianity and Judaism we neither name our religion after the founders of the religion, nor do we have symbols to signify our faith.