The "R4BIA sign" has become the most rapidly spreading symbol across the globe in recent years.
It was born in Rabia al-Adawiya Square, now the focal point of the resistance against the military coup that occurred in Egypt on July 3, resulting in the military overthrow of elected president Mohamed Morsi.
The logo for the sign, featuring four black fingers on a yellow background, has achieved substantial visibility online. Millions across the Muslim world from Malaysia to Morocco have begun using it as an avatar image on their social media profiles.
Now the sign has its own website running, www.r4abia.com, which features information about how the sign was born and what it means.
The website, available in English, Arabic and Turkish, also contains photo and video content, including a clip showing the letter written by senior Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Beltagy to his late young daughter Asma, who was martyred in Rabia al-Adawiya after being shot while protesting the coup.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had given a strong emotional response to a Turkish version of the clip by sheeding tears during a TV program aired last week.
The birth of the sign
The website greets its guests with a passage from its main article, titled "How did R4BIA emerge?” No explains the origin of the sign as follows: "The owners of this sign were martyred in Rabia al-Adawiya Square by the military coup that took place in Egypt on July 3, 2013.
"The Egyptian people, who wanted to reclaim their beliefs, freedoms, future and the votes they cast for the first elected president in Egypt, launched a collective resistance unprecedented in world history on 28 June in Rabia al-Adawiya Square.
"It was there that they made the sign for the first time by raising their four fingers. It never transpired who invented the sign or who came up with the idea for it."
The article says those who used the sign for the first time were eventually killed during the army's intervention. Asked on the meaning of the sign, the protesters in Adawiya Square are quoted as saying, "“This is the ‘Rabia sign.’ ‘Rabia’ means four or fourth in the Arabic language. The name of this square comes from Rabia al-Adawiya, a blessed lady among the pious servants of Allah. She received the name Rabia because she was the fourth child in the family. We use the sign to cherish her legacy.
“The second reason why this sign bears significance is the fact that Mohamed Morsi was the fourth President of Egypt after Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak. We make the sign to remind people of his presidency.
“In addition, those who gather in Tahrir Square to support the military coup prefer the V sign made with the two fingers. We cannot be the same as those people. We use and spread the Rabia sign in order to distinguish ourselves from them.”
What do the colors black and yellow stand for?
The piece on the origins of the sign also provides information on how its wildly popular black-and-yellow logo came into being:
"Among the numerous logos designed to represent the Rabia sign, the one with the black hand on a yellow background caught on more quickly than others. People started using it everywhere.
"Noteworthy about the design is that the creators of the logo are said to have used the color yellow in reference to the golden dome of Qubbatus Sakhra Mosque in Jerusalem, Muslims’ first Qiblah, and the color black to signify the black cloth that covers the Kaaba."
The website says the sign is the shared property of the entire Muslim world.
"The Rabia sign is the symbol of awakening, triggered in response to the massacres, oppression and long-going political, economic and cultural pressure – both in the West and the East – that have targeted Islam and Muslims.
"Western concepts such as democracy, human rights, freedom, equality and right to life, often exercised in a double standard, have utterly collapsed in Palestine, Syria, Bosnia and lastly in Egypt. With the spirit of the Rabia sign, these and similar concepts will be reinterpreted based on Islamic principles."
On another page of the website, the question "What is R4BIA?" is answered with reference to a number of concepts and definitions:
"R4BIA is a symbol of freedom
R4BIA is the birth of a new movement for freedom and justice
R4BIA is the birth of a new world
R4BIA is the return of Muslims to world stage
R4BIA means justice, freedom and conscience
R4BIA is the place where the so-called values of the West collapsed
R4BIA means the Egyptian heroes who became free by dying"
A notable aspect of the website “www.r4bia.com” is the lack of any information on its administration. Instead of bits on the developers' identity, it puts up a short explanatory note: "The administrators of this website do not own or manage this sign, either; they are simply servants of Islam."Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.