The black banner in the image bearing the full text of the shahada (Islamic testimony of faith holding that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is his messenger). According to prophetic tradition (hadith), the black flag was the battle flag of the Prophet Muhammad and it was carried into battle by many of his companions. The image of the black flag has been used as a symbol of religious revolt and engagement in battle (i.e., jihad). In the contemporary Islamist movement, the black flag with the shahada is used to evoke notions of jihad and of reestablishing the Islamic Caliphate.
The yellow and red of the sun’s light invoke the fajr al-Islam, the dawn of Islam, a symbol of hope and renewal of the faith through jihad.
The image also makes use of the bird motif. The world of birds is very important in the symbolic language of Islam. Pre-Islamic Arabs imagined soul birds fluttering around the grave of the deceased, and the bird continues to symbolize the flight of the soul beyond the confines of this world. Finally, the appearance of shrubbery in the image–albeit in silhouette (and not in green)–resonates the idea of God’s benevolence, and is symbolic of creation, life and sustenance.