Why Do We Still Use the Moon and Star In Islam? Maybe We Shouldn’t.

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Take a look at the above image and I am sure you have heard the idea before that Allah is the moon god that Muslims pray to. But this is completely false and the Quran even warns people of Mecca who were pagans (before Islam) to NOT pray to the sun, moon and stars. The Quran reveals that Allah, the Arabic word of God, is something BEYOND the celestial bodies and created ALL that you see.

2:189

They ask you, [O Muhammad], about the new moons. Say, “They are measurements of time for the people and for Hajj.” And it is not righteousness to enter houses from the back, but righteousness is [in] one who fears Allah. And enter houses from their doors. And fear Allah that you may succeed.

This very line means that IF any one worships the moon or considers it more than a tool of measurement than it is as if they are concealing themselves from God and entering faith from the back door. It is a false faith and it not guided in truth.

6:74

And when he saw the moon rising, he said, “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said, “Unless my Lord guides me, I will surely be among the people gone astray.”

This line is Abraham noticing that the moon rises and sets, and God is this constant force, so the moon could never possibly be the God of Abraham. Also, science has revealed we have more than one moon, and more than one sun in our known universe. So easily God could not be ONE idea if it was a sun or moon.

Something that has bothered me a bit ever since I followed a path of Islam is the idea that Muslim states use a symbol to symbolize the religion.  Being interested in history I decided to do a little investigation into this symbolism of where it really came from since NEVER in the Quran is there any indication that the moon and star should symbolize Islam and faith of the Muslim world.

I discovered that the star and moon symbol did indeed belong to a pre-Islam people that worshiped the moon god Ur, and a few others. It also could have been for Diana who was the goddess of the moon in Ancient Greece. This moon and star was the pagan representation of this deity that they believed controlled the moon and stars. “Allah” a word that is more of an expression or adjective in Arabic can be used to describe an all seeing source. It is the word that Muhammad was given in the Quran when Gabriel related everything in Arabic for this particular era of the message from God. God is a word that is difficult to convey in meaning, but for communication purposes “Allah” was the word chosen to describe the One God that Abraham believed in with the Christians. Remember, Arabs in the Middle East did not speak English back then, but the word Allah conveyed the same meaning to others of faith.

Historically, there is NO evidence that Muslims during Muhammad’s time ever used a symbol to convey Islam. As there are no images used to symbolize God there should be none to symbolize faith. It was not needed and in my opinion still isn’t. I don’t use the symbol at all because I believe in only represents the Ottoman Turk Empire.

The Ottoman Turk Empire which was founded in 1229 AD was growing to be a large militant force.  The symbol of the moon and star became affiliated with the Muslim world as the flag was used to show conquest on certain land territory. Keep in mind this was about 629 years after Islam was re-established in the Middle East. “When the Turks conquered Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453, they adopted the city’s existing flag and symbol that we see today. 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 chose to keep the crescent and make it the symbol of his dynasty.” http://islam.about.com/od/history/a/crescent_moon.htm

Now, I am no one to judge, but as a Muslim, this symbol to me does not represent Islam. It represents Osman’s dynasty and the Ottoman Empire and if he wanted to make it the symbol of his nation as a proud moment in time-that’s his business, not mine.

It may be a good idea down the road to get back to the source of the Quran and to be rid of all symbols for Islam. Islam is a way of life, a path towards God and oneness with other monotheistic faiths. It is supposed to be free of symbols and labels. It’s very confusing today for a Jew or Christian to relate to Islam because of this moon and star. There is much Islam needs to get back to in order to stay focused on the original intent of the revelations for mankind.

I even get frustrated because wordpress will not let me use small “m”s when writing the word “Muslim”.  Because even though it is used as  a religious label to define a person’s belief, it reads as an adjective in the Quran.

3:84

Say, “We have believed in Allah and in what was revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Descendants, and in what was given to Moses and Jesus and to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [submitting] to Him.”

 

For unification purposes and our duty as muslims to help unite the faiths together in love and understanding, let’s not use the symbol. What do you say?

Surah Al-An’nam : Chapter 6 (line 70-80) the Livestock

70. So leave alone those who take their religion for play and pastime, and whom the worldly life has deceived. But remind with it, lest a soul becomes damned on account of what it has earned. It has no helper or intercessor besides God. Even if it offers every equivalent, none will be accepted from it. These are the ones who are delivered to perdition by their actions. They will have a drink of scalding water, and a painful punishment, because they used to disbelieve.

71. Say, “Shall we invoke besides God something that can neither benefit us nor harm us, and turn back on our heels after God has guided us; like someone seduced by the devils and confused on earth, who has friends calling him to guidance: ‘Come to us’?” Say, “The guidance of God is the guidance, and we are commanded to surrender to the Lord of the Universe.”

72. “And to perform the prayers, and to revere Him; it is to Him that you will be gathered.”

73. It is He who created the heavens and the earth in truth. On the Day when He says: “Be,” it will be. His saying is the truth, and His is the sovereignty on the Day when the trumpet is blown. The Knower of secrets and declarations. He is the Wise, the Expert.

74. Abraham said to his father Azar, “Do you take idols for gods? I see that you and your people are in evident error.”

75. Thus We showed Abraham the empire of the heavens and the earth, that he might be one of those with certainty.

76. When the night fell over him, he saw a planet. He said, “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said, “I do not love those that set.”

77. Then, when he saw the moon rising, he said, “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said, “If my Lord does not guide me, I will be one of the erring people.”

78. Then, when he saw the sun rising, he said, “This is my lord, this is bigger.” But when it set, he said, “O my people, I am innocent of your idolatry.

79. I have directed my attention towards Him Who created the heavens and the earth-a monotheist-and I am not of the idolaters.”

80. And his people argued with him. He said, “Do you argue with me about God, when He has guided me? I do not fear what you associate with Him, unless my Lord wills it. My Lord comprehends all things in knowledge. Will you not reconsider?

My Interpretation: 

Muhammad is a pioneer in his country in the Middle East. He is a man who has been chosen to teach people that have been taught to call on one of their 300 gods or goddesses for help, to start to ask help from and pray to ONE God. Once again, anything that says “Say” in the Quran is what is being told to Muhammad to say exactly to the people. He is being taught how to teach the people to THINK for themselves about the essence of God. This is such an important step for the pagan Arab civilization predating Islam. The masses of people were never taught to question about their faiths, only to accept what was told to them by those in charge in Mecca. Giving the people the right AND permission to logically question about God, was one of the greatest allowances given to humanity at this time. This is what the Quran allows you to do with it’s rhetorical nature.

One other reason that it was important for the people to stop worshipping these gods and goddesses, is because they were following energies unknown to them. Followers of Satan they are called. Entities that are non human waiting to take advantage of humans who are vulnerable in their quest for knowledge and power. Following the guidance of God, laid out in these revelations is how you protect yourself from following blindly into this trap of Satan.

Gabriel in line 73 is going into how God has dominion over the material and non-material worlds. He has created everything by saying “Be” and it becomes. There is no other King of Heaven, except our Lord and everything on the day of the trumpet blown, will be gathered back to Him. Nothing can escape this calling back to Him.

Muhammad is told about how Abraham became one of God’s messengers. Abraham questioned his father, Azar, about the idol worship of his ancient civilization and God saw this service and purified him in his faith to know God, by guiding him further on this path of knowledge.

Abraham saw the sky clearly one night to see a planet, and believed that shining spot in the sky to be God like his fellow people. But when the planet “set” or rotated out of sight in the sky, he saw that such a thing that could not stay constant in the sky was not God. Next, he saw the moon, but realized it went away during the day and came back at night. He quickly realized this was not God either as his people worshipped as another god. Lastly, he saw the bigger light of the sun, and thought that God was the sun. But he soon realized that the sun was not God. At this point, he decided that he did not believe in what his father or any people of his nation believed about gods. He was a pioneer of his civilization and became a messenger to his people to help spread the message of how vast God really is by using logic to compare the physical bodies found in space.

Any lie you hear about Islam being the worship of the moon God of ancient times, now you know the truth within these verses. “Allah” is the same God Abraham was guided towards and created ALL of the heavens and earth.

An artist’s interpretation of Abraham looking to the sky for the truth.

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Surah Ali-Imran: Chapter 3 (line 180-190) The Family of Iram

180. Those who withhold what God has given them of his bounty should not assume that is good for them. In fact, it is bad for them. They will be encircled by their hoardings on the Day of Resurrection. To God belongs the inheritance of the heavens and the earth, and God is well acquainted with what you do.

181. God has heard the statement of those who said, “God is poor, and we are rich.” We will write down what they said, and their wrongful killing of the prophets; and We will say, “Taste the torment of the burning.”

182. “This is on account of what your hands have forwarded, and because God is not unjust towards the creatures.”

183. Those who said, “God has made a covenant with us, that we shall not believe in any messenger unless he brings us an offering to be consumed by fire.” Say, “Messengers have come to you before me with proofs, and with what you asked for; so why did you assassinate them, if you are truthful?”

184. If they accuse you of lying, messengers before you were accused of lying. They came with the proofs, and the Psalms, and the Illuminating Scripture.

185. Every soul will have a taste of death, and you will receive your recompense on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever is swayed from the Fire, and admitted to Paradise, has won. The life of this world is merely enjoyment of delusion.

186. You will be tested through your possessions and your persons; and you will hear from those who received the Scripture before you, and from the idol worshipers, much abuse. But if you persevere and lead a righteous life-that indeed is a mark of great determination.

187. God received a pledge from those who were given the Scripture: “You shall proclaim it to the people, and not conceal it.” But they disregarded it behind their backs, and exchanged it for a small price. What a miserable exchange they made.

188. Do not think that those who rejoice in what they have done, and love to be praised for what they have not done-do not think they can evade the punishment. They will have a painful punishment.

189. To God belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. God has power over all things.

190. In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, are signs for people of understanding.

My Interpretation:

This is Gabriel giving knowledge to Muhammad that he will need to sustain him. The Angel is explaining how even though men in charge mock God and his prophets on earth, and say terrible things about the Giver of Life instead of appreciate Him, these men will not go unpunished for what they have done to others.

Each evil deed done is tallied up and kept in a record of their life, and they will be shown what they have done to others in the End. Never worry, the evil will always get their just reward and punishment. It’s karma and how the universe works.

Another proof in the idea Muhammad did not write this himself, is the explanation given to Muhammad that he will be mocked, ridiculed, and even threatened against just as the other messengers of God in the past have been. Gabriel is warning Muhammad it will be a tough journey, but he has been appointed to this duty for a reason.

Just the existence of the perfect way the universe works, by having the sun shine for our days, and the moon glow for our dark nights as the earth rotates, is proof to those who believe that there is a system or purpose for everything. Signs are everywhere and those who do not recognize them, don’t believe in the system of perfect justice that lies beyond this earth that will account for all that they have done-good and bad.

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