Friday, November 03, 2006

Crescent and Pentagram

The following paragraph is from Dr. Asher Eder’s book The Star of David, which was published in 1987 in English in Jerusalem by Rubin Mass Ltd. The publication here is courtesy of Oren Mass
Several Islamic states have a pentagram in their flags: Morocco, Syria, Turkey, Egypt and others. There are good reasons for this. Countries like Iraq and Saudi Arabia, the cradle of Islam, are direct heirs to the ancient Babylonian culture. Until the Crusader and Mongol invasions, Islamic culture, with Baghdad as its center, revived the sciences of ancient times and passed them on to Europe.
On the other hand, Islam also has a special relationship to Jerusalem. Its original Qiblah pointed to Jerusalem's Temple Mount. The Koran speaks of it as El-Aqsa, which means "far away", "at the other end" from Mecca. The Temple Mount established by King Solomon as a place of prayer for all nations is, according to Islamic tradition, especially blessed by Allah. He brought His Prophet Mohammed from Mecca to this place to show him His signs there, the event being referred to as Mohammed's Night Journey and Ascencion.
Both these factors - the revival of the ancient sciences and the relationship to the site of Solomon's Temple - may have influenced some Islamic nations in the design of their flags.
Most of these flags, however, do not contain the pentagram alone. It is often combined with the crescent - another Islamic symbol inherited from ancient Babylon (notably the flags of Turkey, Libya, Tunisia and Egypt):
Most of these ancient cultures, especially those which developed in deserts or tropical regions, related more to the moon than to the sun. Nabunaides, the last king of ancient Babylonia, not only adhered to the moon cult but tried to forge polytheistic Babylonia unto a "monotheistic" society which would acknowledge the supremacy of the moon god. The moon, besides influencing agricultural seasons, allows for the idea that Man, who has no light of his own, should resemble the moon which reflects the light of the sun in purity. Moreover, the moon's waxing and waning would indicate constant renewal. rebirth and even resurrection. Babylon, at that time the Middle East's most advanced society in terms of science, technology, social structure and political evolution, exported these ideas to Arabia where Nabunaides himself preferred to live.
Mohammed did not eliminate these ideas, but instead incorporated them into Islam, as he also did with the Kaaba.
The combination of the two symbols, crescent and pentagram, allows for various interpretations, all of which find their reflection in current Islamic life:
a) some "crescent countries" are closely related to the powers of science, and vice versa, a situation symbolized by the pentagram. Technologies are needed in oil extraction. On the other hand the technically advanced countries depend on the crude "black" oil from below, and shirk the "white" oil from above symbolized by Jerusalem and what it stands for;
b) others oppose these powers (usually anti-progressive religious fanatics);
c) the Islamic establishment sees the Temple of Solomon, symbolized by the pentagram and marked by the Temple Mount, incorporated into its own system and territory
d) it opposes an independent Temple (the jihad or "Holy War" against Israel);
e) the semi-circular crescent encroaches on the pentagram (which may mark the Temple and the adjoining "Land of Moriah"), reminding us of the Islamic/Arab nation-states which today encroach on Israel; if peaceful relations existed, the crescent would depict Isaiah's grand vision of peace. The Temple, if symbolized by the pentagram, would shed its light and the crescent countries would reflect it as the moon reflects the light of the sun.
Such a situation could then be expressed symbolically by the Star of David, with its two triangles representing the power fields represented by the Crescent of Islam and the Temple symbolized by the pentagram.
The United States have the pentagram as well as the hexagram in their flag, as we saw. This may well express allegorically the challenge facing the USA, namely, to work for the harmonious balance of the energies these two symbols represent

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