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Symbol

This circular figure appears on the top of the minarets and domes of a great number of Islamic worship places around the world (even as far back as the middle ages—the first image is from the Book of Wonders / Kitab al-Bulhan). What does it represent? A common theory is that it's a stylized crescent; but many Muslims say the crescent is not intrinsically a symbol of Islam. I've seen someone call it "the horns of Dhul Qarnayn"; which sounds too far-fetched, as Dhul Qarnayn isn't that much of a major figure in Islam.

So, what are the most common explanations in Muslim literature/historiography for this symbol?

  • What about a crescent moon? – Sassir Jan 5 '18 at 20:48
  • The crescent not having having a religious basis doesn't mean that it isn't part of Muslim culture, albeit adopted from the Turks rather than the Arabs. – UmH Jan 7 '18 at 2:41
  • @Uma It is true that crescent has been adopted by Muslims. But as far as I know, Turks achieved dominance over the Islamic world by the end of the middle ages. There are many non-Turkish Islamic architecture built before that period which have this symbol. – Esoppant Jan 8 '18 at 21:49
  • Esoppant is correct. The moon is a significant symbol in Islam. There is a surah in the Quran named after the moon; surah 54 Al Qamar. In this surah a miracle of our prophet is mentioned where the moon is split asunder and moments later put back together. The onlookers dismissed what they witnessed as a magical illusion or trick. Some scholars also signıfy this revelation as the start of the muslim lunar calendar coinciding with the Hijra (migration) to Medina (Yathrib). The moon is also mentioned numerous times in the Quran. – 0tyranny 0poverty Oct 10 '18 at 8:50
  • @0tyranny0poverty The same can be said of many other things. There is a surah named after the sun, surah 91 Ash-Shams. The sun regulates prayer and fasting times. The sun is even mentioned more times than the moon in the Quran. – UmH Oct 10 '18 at 12:09
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This is a crescent, heraldry of Tatars and Mongols who got absorbed into Muslim culture.

  • Salam and welcome to IslamSE the Q&A site about Islam. Consider taking the tour and checking our help center to learn more about our site and the stackexchange model. As to your post adding evidences to support your claims would make it more helpful (see How to Answer). – Medi1Saif Oct 10 '18 at 9:52

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