The Moon

catalog

Well-known member
cheers, interesting, not read it all, but this sticks out straightaway:

"The use of the crescent symbol on Muslim flags originates during the later Middle Ages" which says a lot i think? crusades. they might have been pushed into adopting that symbolism, cos they needed a counter symbol, and if you've got the knights with the sun, then the moon is an obvious choice i suppose.
 

pattycakes_

Well-known member
Did you see the bit about it possibly being linked to paganism, and moon worship is actually forbidden in the Quran? Want to dig in a bit more later. Looks like it could be juicy
 

catalog

Well-known member
Yeah it all seems a bit ambiguous/contradictory to me on a quick read. Eg this:

"The Quran emphasises that the moon is a sign of God, not itself a god"

I'm not sure it really matters what official Islam says tbh, the crescent moon is used on a lot of modern mosques up north.
 

sufi

lala
Nah, Allah as Lunar deity is retrospective hateful revisionism.

Just like the other 2 "religions of the book", Islam has always been sternly monotheistic as a core tenet and as a distinctive feature, particularly in the earliest days.

So, the Kaaba in Mecca was apparently a pre-islamic gathering of idols, including Allat (mentioned there) and probably the moon and what not (they were all kicked out and it's now empty, like the Jewish temple was, apparently much to the disappointment of the romans).
There is the black stone there too, if course, which is distinctly cosmic and lithic etc, and still revered in Islam
There is no conclusive pre-islamic "historical" mention of Mecca, the tradition is that it goes back to Abraham - his footprint is preserved in the middle of the concourse.

So Islam was a very progressive and modern force from the start, scientific and embracing rationality. Dictating improvements to women's entitlements, and inclusive across race and religions - a superceding ideology,

I follow a brilliant twitter that posts up early islamic rock carvings which connect all this with the historical record in Arabic that is still easy to read

The original banner of Islam was the one adopted recently by the neo-primitives of ISIS - the black flag with the declaration of the faith, in that same early calligraphy and the prophet's seal. Some very early relics can be seen among the ottoman leftovers in the topkapi palace in istanbul as well as scattered around the islamic world.
 

sufi

lala
There are other lunar religious calendars as far as i know - not that far
Ethiopian and maybe other orthodox christianities have hybrid calendars with 12 lunar months and an extra one to fill up the year.

I was discussing just yesterday actually about how come it's October not Octember (like Nov and Sept). There must be a reason but maybe nobody knows it
 

sufi

lala
What has long fascinated me is that we are actually on the Babylonian calendar still. That's one of the oldest, we're about 5000 years in now. That is where we get the 7 day week from (there have been other shaped weeks but none survive now, basically) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylonian_calendar that's when the humans moved from observing time to predicting it, as well as numerous other basic human evolutions, some good some bad.

We've had schisms and year-shifts, shuffled months and so on, so there are all these alternative calendars, and some people reckon we may have skipped a whole century during the dark ages. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calendar_(New_Style)_Act_1750

But as far as I know we have never skipped a day of the week, so the Babylonian market day is still our market day.

fully makes sense to me
 

sufi

lala
i like the contrast between the calendar havoc that the moon and sun's incompatibility sow,
compared to the science-defying immaculate perfection of the solar eclipse
 

catalog

Well-known member
Very interesting Sufi, thanks. I've heard from my (Sikh) cousin recently the story about the kaaba being full of idols. Of course he put an indocentric spin on it - 'Muhammad wanted to destroy the black stone itself, but it was too powerful. It represents the Shiva lingam'.

I'm curious as to your thoughts on the current use of the crescent moon as a signifier for Islam though. Why is it so prominent?
 

catalog

Well-known member
What has long fascinated me is that we are actually on the Babylonian calendar still. That's one of the oldest, we're about 5000 years in now. That is where we get the 7 day week from (there have been other shaped weeks but none survive now, basically) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylonian_calendar that's when the humans moved from observing time to predicting it, as well as numerous other basic human evolutions, some good some bad.

We've had schisms and year-shifts, shuffled months and so on, so there are all these alternative calendars, and some people reckon we may have skipped a whole century during the dark ages. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calendar_(New_Style)_Act_1750

But as far as I know we have never skipped a day of the week, so the Babylonian market day is still our market day.

fully makes sense to me
that is odd, the 7 day week as such a constant. Babylon = Iraq right?
 

sufi

lala
Very interesting Sufi, thanks. I've heard from my (Sikh) cousin recently the story about the kaaba being full of idols. Of course he put an indocentric spin on it - 'Muhammad wanted to destroy the black stone itself, but it was too powerful. It represents the Shiva lingam'.

I'm curious as to your thoughts on the current use of the crescent moon as a signifier for Islam though. Why is it so prominent?
I dropped into a wikipedia hole last night on calendars and moons and stuff. there are good pages on the crescent and star and on the pre-islamic south arabian calendar that kind of disconnect all that from actual islam - the banner was ottoman and that's how it got into mosque design, apparently,

but, you're asking more about whether there is an affinity in Islam that may be less orthodox or not even conscious, and that's why that symbolism has been embraced... hmmm i've been racking my brains and maybe that's all about ramadan...

ramadan is certainly all about the moon and the night; moon sightings at the start of the lunar month, fasting til the night time each day, & there are leilat al qadir - the nights of power at the end of the month (though noone knows exactly which nights they are), and the tarawih all night prayer sessions, and more broadly because the entire muslim world is fasting during the day, ramadan nights are like a carnival,

maybe there's more to it? i dunno & maybe there are other faiths that have similar traditions? i'm hesitant in accepting that islam particularly has "something of the night" about it
 

catalog

Well-known member
i'm hesitant in accepting that islam particularly has "something of the night" about it
Yeah I hear that. I guess I'm thinking more in terms of signifiers than signified, if you see what I mean.

It does seem to me that Islam has had to brand like every other religion, and the chosen signifiers have been orientalised by the West.

I'm really interested in religion, but less from a belief perspective, more a sociological/story way. Like I love all the stories you can pull from religions.

Anyway, back to the moon.

Interesting that it is white.
 
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