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Introduction

The black flag of the Islamic State has become a familiar sight to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The flag is not only associated with the Islamic State but with terror in all its forms. The black flag is not new; it has been in use for years by other Islamic terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and before them by Hizbul Tahrir.

The fact that all those terrorist organizations decided to choose the black flag was not random but a carefully made decision. Just like everything those organization do, the black flag represents Islam well and has its roots in Mohammed’s Islamic State. The Muslim scholars agree that Mohammed’s flag, which he used in his wars, was black. Probably it had no writings on it but that is only because of the technical difficulties involved.

The Arabic writings on the Islamic State’s flag say “no god but Allah”, which is the first part of the Islamic statement of faith (the shahada). The second part of the shahada, which reads “ Mohammed is the messenger of Allah”, seems to be missing but is not – it is incorporated in the rounded shape underneath. That white circle on the flag is of special significance since it represents Mohammed’s seal.

We have seen an increasing number of Muslim organizations and nations who insert Allah’s name on their flags. It is their right to design their flags the way they like if they keep it a personal matter. However, inserting Allah’s name on a flag has the potential to pose considerable problems for the others. The Muslims may demand the others to treat the flag as a sacred object that must be handled with care to avoid any form of intentional or unintentional desecration, which could trigger street riots and massacres. Sunni Muslims believe that a flag with Allah’s name must not fly half mast in national mourning; Allah’s word must always fly high. It is that ‘special treatment’ thing for Islam once again.

Muhammad’s Seal

In addition to having a formal flag, the Muslim scholars believe that Mohammed also had an official stamp. The Arabic word for stamp is ‘khatem’, which means any ring that people wear on their fingers. In the past, officials had their stamps engraved on rings, which they used to wear on their fingers. This used to be the case until recently in the Middle East. According to Muslim historians, Mohammed used his stamp in a letter which he sent to the Coptic leader, Al Muqawkas.

Mohammed’s seal in this context is not to be confused with his other seal, the so called seal of prophethood. Allegedly, after Allah finished creating Mohammed, he stamped him on the back of his shoulder, as a sign of authenticity! A few bedouins, called sahaba, claimed they actually saw the seal which looked to them like an egg, an apple or a vas. Interestingly, none of his wives or close friends claimed to have seen the ‘seal’. Assuming there was a birth mark on Mohammed’s shoulder, how do we know it was Allah’s seal? Did anyone know how Allah’s seal, assuming it existed, looked like?

The Turks claim that Mohammed’s seal is currently preserved in Topkapi palace in Istanbul. They claim they found the golden seal in Baghdad after they conquered the city in the sixteenth century. This is very unlikely because it is not possible to trace the seal back to Mohammed. Muslim historians claim that, after Mohammed’s death, his seal was passed to the rightly guided caliphs until Uthman, who lost it in a well in Medina. Muslim historians claim that Mohammed’s original seal was made of silver, so was the replica issued after its loss. It is a sin for Muslim men to wear gold, a fact that refutes the Turks’ claim.

Why didn’t Mohammed stamp the Quran?

At this point a very important question springs to mind: Why didn’t Mohammed employ his stamp for the most important use ever – stamping the Quran? Stamping those sheets of whatever material the Quran was written on would have saved the Muslims a great deal of disagreement (and arguments) when the time came for its compilation. Stamping the Quran would have boosted the case for Islam’s authenticity in later times.

Unless he did but the stamped documents are missing, and we are left with forged ones!

Muslims believe that Allah published his book several times in the past but those previous editions were subjected to human corruption. In the year 610 AD, Allah decided that enough is enough and now he will publish his book and make it human proof. So he chosen an illiterate man from an illiterate nation that spoke several dialects none of them with written format. Until the Quran, the Arabs never saw a book, never mind writing one; their total literacy output was only ten sheets of poetry. The illiterate Mohammed had no means to verify the writings of his scribes, which were never reviewed. The edible sheets were kept here and there, or under the bed and within reach of hungry chicken and goats. Mohammed never bothered to order the compilation of the written sheets of the Quran in his life. Now we know he did not even bother to stamp them.

Preserving the Quran was a messy business at its worst, and we are supposed to believe it!

Islam, upside down

There is another interesting finding in Mohammed’s seal, as it appears on the Islamic State’s flag. The seal incorporates the second part of the Islamic statement of faith (shahada), which reads “Mohammed is the messenger of Allah”, or does it? As a matter of fact, it reads the exact opposite – “Allah is the messenger of Mohammed”! Arabic is read from right to left and from top to bottom, therefore, by observing this rule the writing on the stamp reads: ‘Allah is the messenger of Mohammed’. Although it is unlikely that Mohammed, or whoever engraved the stamp, did this on purpose but the error happens to tell the reality of Islam. Any objective reader of Mohammed’s history reaches to the conclusion that Mohammed used Allah (Quran) as his messenger to convey his messages to his followers.

When Mohammed wanted to marry Zaynab bint Jahsh, his adopted son’s wife, he did it through his messenger Allah (Quran).The relevant verses where released with unquestionable clarity and details, which is so unusual for a book that only touches briefly on more important issues like prayers. After the fuss and shouting by his wife Hafsa, when she caught him, red handed, having sex with her (Hafsa’s) maid Maria, Mohammed unwillingly promised her not to do it again. After the dust settled, he regretted to have made that promise, so he used his messenger, Allah, to sort it out for him. Again the verses came with clarity that leaves no room for doubt. When he decided to have one fifth of the war booties, or wanted to tell his companions not to marry his wives after his death, he made Allah do the embarrassing work for him. Even his wife, Ayesha, noticed the pattern when she said to him: “I see your god is quick to answer your desires”

But the Islamic State’s flag carries some other messages, none of them good. It tells us that the people who hold the flag do not belong to us but to the seventh century. Even worse, they want to take us back to the seventh century.

The black flag also symbolizes Islam’s lack of authenticity. The first part of shahada, which is written in a shabby style, to hopelessly suggest authenticity, is fake. The Arabic hamza sign (ء), which is used twice in the writing, was invented about two centuries after Mohammed’s death. And we explained that Mohammed’s seal at the bottom of the flag is nothing but a fake copy of the one used by Uthman, not Mohammed.

There is no explanation why Mohammed opted for the black color, which in Mohammed’s mind stood for everything bad and evil. Most likely that was precisely his message to those who stood in his way: “I only have for you black days of death and destruction”. Some Arab countries incorporate a black color on their flags for the same reason, and they make no secret about it – ‘our battles bring dark days on the enemy’ (Arabic: soodun wakai’ona).

Sadly, that is still the message in the twenty first century. There is no imagination here, it is reality and we already tasted some of it.