Rub El Hizb is essentially the Islamic version of the eight-pointed star, an icon that is found in several spiritual traditions all over the world. The Rub el Hizb is formed by two overlapping squares with one square titled over the other to make an eight-vertex, star-shaped geometrical figure. The symbol often has a small circle in the middle
According to some historians, the origin of Rub el Hizb can be traced to Tartessos, which was a civilization that existed in Andalusia (a region in Spain) around the 11th century BCE to 6th century BCE. The region was ruled for about eight centuries by Islamic dynasties and it had the eight-pointed star as its unofficial symbol.
The Rub el Hizb symbol is used in Arabic calligraphy to mark the end of a chapter. Its most familiar use is found within the Muslims’ holy book, the Quran, where the symbol is used for the division of the text into passages. Coming from the Arabic terms, ‘rub’ that means a quarter/one-fourth and ‘Hizb’ that means a group/party, ‘Rub el Hizb’ can be translated to denote ‘divided into quarters’.
The Quran is divided into sixty nearly same-length Hizbs (groups or portions). Rub El Hizb symbol further divides every Hizb into four parts and appears at the ends of each quarter. The purpose of this division system is facilitating recitation of the Quran.
The Rub el Hizb symbol has inspired the Al-Quds Star, associated with the city of Jerusalem, which is known in Arabic as Al-Quds. It is also seen on the coat of arms of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and has been used in emblems of several organizations.
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