Praise be to Allaah.
The croissant is a well known type of bread, the name of which comes from French. Its shape is similar to that of a crescent.
Some Arabic and non-Arabic sources state that this bread was made in the shape of a crescent – the symbol of the Ottoman state – to celebrate the defeat of the Ottoman army at the battle of Vienna at the hands of the Polish army. One of the bakers was the cause of this defeat, as he heard the sound of the Muslims digging to reach the fortified city, so he told the emperor who hastened to prepare a trap for the Muslims, which led to their defeat. That was in 1683 CE.
Some sources say that this bread was made to celebrate the defeat of the Muslims, under the leadership of ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Ghaafiqi, in the battle of Balaat al-Shuhaha’ in 732 CE at the hands of the French.
Some researchers stated that the story of the croissant is part of some curricula for the teaching of children in western countries, and perhaps this is the reason why so many people are concerned about this story nowadays.
With regard to the shar’i ruling on eating this bread, we do not think there is anything wrong with it, in sha Allaah. It is basically halaal in terms of its substance and components, but if alcohol is used in the dough then it is haraam.
With regard to it being haraam because of the story that is told about the reason why it was first made, we do not think that this is of any significance, for the following reasons:
1- It is an assumed story and there is no way of proving it. The fact that sources are mentioned for it does not mean that it definitely happened.
2- There is no way to confirm whether the shape of the croissant that is made today is the same as the shape that was made by the Polish baker in 1683 CE. It is most likely that there is a great difference in the ingredients of the dough and the way the bread is made and shaped. Nowadays it does not even remotely resemble a crescent.
3- The fact that the story is very old means that it has no significance in the minds of people who eat this bread; sharee’ah, on the other hand, is realistic and is based on real evidence, not on what is imagined or is not remembered.
4- Moreover, the crescent is not a symbol of Islam, rather it is a symbol of the Ottoman state. There is a great difference between attributing a symbol to Islam, which needs a valid text, and attributing a symbol to a Muslim state, such as the symbol of the Umayyad state or the ‘Abbasid state and so on. It is not right give this symbol sanctity and a religious significance. This has been previously discussed on our site in the answer to question no. 1528 and 79141.
And Allaah knows best.