Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that there is only one God (Allah) and that Muhammad is the last messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion, with over 1.9 billion followers, and Muslims form 24.4% of the world's population.
|Symbol||Image||History and usage|
|Crescent (Hilāl)||The crescent appears to have been adopted as an emblem on Islamic military flags from the medieval period, possibly in response to the Crusaders' cross. The Red Crescent has been used as a replacement of the Red Cross as early as in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877 and was officially adopted in 1929. In Unicode: (U+263D ☽ )|
|Star and crescent||The star and crescent moon was created by the Byzantines, even though it is commonly associated with the Ottoman Empire, and later came to commonly symbolize Islam, especially in the Western world before attaining more universally Muslim connotations. In Unicode: (U+262A ☪ )|
|Allah||Means "God" in Arabic and used by Muslims worldwide irrespective of the language spoken. The word written in Islamic calligraphy is widely used as a symbol of Islam in the Muslim world. In Unicode: (U+FDF2 ﷲ )|
|Shahadah||Parts of it are mentioned in the Quran separately, but never in its complete form. Used in hadiths and many historical Muslim and Islamist flags and emblems.|
|Rub el Hizb||The Rub el Hizb (Islamic Star) is used to facilitate recitation of the Quran. The symbol is also found on a number of emblems and flags especially the state of Fez during the Marinid Sultanate. In Unicode: (U+06DE ۞ )|
|Khatim||Khatim symbol (Black Star) is known as the seal of Muhammad.|
|Sujud Tilawa||Used in the Quran to indicate when the reader should perform sujud, the act of low bowing or prostration in worship of God. In Unicode: (U+06E9 ۩ )|
Further information: Green in Islam
Early Islamic armies and caravans flew simple solid-coloured flags (generally black or white) for identification purposes, with the exception of the Young Eagle of Muḥammad, which had the shahada inscribed upon it. In later generations, the Muslim leaders continued to use a simple black, white, or green flag with no markings, writings, or symbolism on it. The Umayyads fought under white and gold banners. The Abbasids chose black (blue) and fought with black banners. The Fatimids used a green standard, as well as white. The Saudi Emirate of Diriyah used a white and green flag with the shahada emblazoned on it. Various countries in the Persian Gulf have red flags. The four Pan-Arab colours, white, black, green and red, dominate the flags of Arab states.
The Black Standard is one of the flags flown by Muhammad in Muslim tradition. It was historically used by Abu Muslim in his uprising leading to the Abbasid Revolution in 747 and is also associated with the Abbasid Caliphate. It is also a symbol and is associated with Islamic eschatology (heralding the advent of the Mahdi).[Note 1] The Black Banner, which is different from the flag used by ISIL. Scholars have interpreted ISIL's use of a similar black flag in attempts to their claim to re-establishing a Caliphate.
The crescent is usually associated with Islam and regarded as its symbol. The crescent and star had been used by royalty in the Sassanid Persian Empire, so it was adopted for similar uses by Muslims after the Rashidun Caliphate's conquest of the region. However, the symbol only came into widespread use after it was associated with the Ottoman Empire, who took it from being the symbol of Constantinople after their takeover of the city. By extension from the use in Ottoman lands, it became a symbol also for Islam as a whole, as well as representative of western Orientalism. "Crescent and Star" was used as a metaphor for the rule of the Islamic empires (Ottoman and Persian) in the late 19th century in British literature. This association was apparently strengthened by the increasingly ubiquitous fashion of using the crescent and star symbol in the ornamentation of Ottoman mosques and minarets. By contrast, the majority of religious Islamic publications emphasize that the crescent is rejected "by some Muslim scholars". The "Red Crescent" emblem was adopted by volunteers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as early as 1877 during the Russo-Turkish War; it was officially adopted in 1929.
After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1922, the crescent and star was used in several national flags adopted by its successor states. In 1947, after the independence of Pakistan, flag of Pakistan was white crescent and star with a green background. The crescent and star in the flag of the Kingdom of Libya (1951) was explicitly given an Islamic interpretation by associating it with "the story of Hijra (migration) of our Prophet Mohammed" By the 1950s, this symbolism was embraced by movements of Arab nationalism such as the proposed Arab Islamic Republic (1974).
Further information: Rub el Hizb
The Rub el Hizb is used to facilitate recitation of the Quran. The symbol determines every quarter of Hizb, while the Hizb is one half of a juz'. The symbol is also found on a number of emblems and flags, such as that of the Marinid Sultanate.
Further information: Seal of the Prophets
Seal of the Prophets (Khatim) a title used in the Qur'an and by Muslims to designate Muhammad as the last of the prophets sent by God.
Further information: Shahadah
Shahadah is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and part of the Adhan. It reads: "I bear witness that none deserves worship except God, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God."
Religious flags with inscriptions were in use in the medieval period, as shown in miniatures by 13th-century illustrator Yahya ibn Mahmud al-Wasiti. 14th-century illustrations of the History of the Tatars by Hayton of Corycus (1243) shows both Mongols and Seljuqs using a variety of war ensigns.