Being a Jedi Muslim
Did you know there are a lot of similarities between the Jedi Knights and a good Muslim? Yes, the Jedi, that mythical clan of do-gooders from the Star Wars franchise, have many great qualities. But just because they’re mythical, doesn’t mean you can’t take a lesson from them.
Whether you’re a Star Wars fan or not, I’m certain you’ve heard of the Jedi. And whether you’re a Star Wars fan or not, you’ll also want to accept the following attributes of the Jedi.
Inshallah, utilizing them may help you become a better Muslim. And similar to the Jedi, these tips apply to everyone. It doesn’t matter if you male or female.
1. It’s Better To Start Young. But It’s Never Too Late.
In the first (fourth?) Stars Wars film, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon Jinn wants to train a young Anakin Skywalker as a Jedi. However, when the matter is brought before Master Yoda, he disagrees as he believes Anakin is too old.
Ultimately, Anakin is trained by Qui-Gon’s apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Anakin becomes a Jedi himself. At the time, Anakin was only about ten years old, yet Yoda still felt he was too old to become a Jedi. While we don’t have to go to such extremes as Muslims, it is easier and better if we try to improve ourselves while we’re young.
It can be very difficult changing bad habits after you’ve grown old and settled in your ways. So if you’re still relatively young, now is the time to begin your training (if you haven’t done so already). Start doing those extra Sunnahs now and turn them into regular habits. Start working on those bad habits also.
However, just because you may be past your prime, that doesn’t mean you can’t still become a Muslim Jedi. Even Yoda was willing to train Luke Skywalker in “The Empire Strikes Back.” And Luke was much older than his father Anakin was when he started training.
So don’t despair. It may be a little harder, but you can still do it. You can work out those bad habits and work in some good ones, Inshallah.
2. Don’t Be Attached To This World
One of the most admirable things about the Jedi is their lack of worldly trappings. They don’t hunger for power (unless they’re Sith, of course). They don’t have many possessions. Really, they are almost like monks.
But let’s take this with a little caution. In their pursuit to detach from worldy concerns, the Jedi forsake family and friendship. That is NOT how a Muslim should be. Instead, you should hasten to get married if you have the means.
Nonetheless, there is a lot to be said for the Jedi’s complete distaste for wealth and possessions. If you find that you’re attached to your belongings and that you’re constantly thinking about making more money, perhaps it’s time to let go a bit.
The Jedi know that holding onto material things will only impede their mission and slow them down. In many ways, they incorporate the following hadith:
Live in this world as if you are a traveler or a stranger.
Inshallah, you can do the same.
3. Dress Simply
One major way you can detach yourself from material things is to dress simply. How much money do you spend on fancy clothes? On shoes? On jewelry? And much of it you’ll probably not wear more than a few times.
Be like the Jedi.
Dress simply. Of course, I don’t mean you need to wear old tattered robes everyday like they do. But you can certainly spend a little less on clothes. Is it really going to hurt you to wear last year’s fashions? Do you need to buy that jacket/coat/pair of shoes you saw in the mall the other day?
Instead of spending money on clothes you don’t need, spend it on charity, or increasing your knowledge, or investing in a business. Just try to do something that will benefit you in this life and the next, Inshallah.
4. Devote Yourself To A Greater Cause
This is another good quality of the Jedi. They do not live to serve themselves, but to serve others. Almost all of the Jedi worked towards protecting the Republic.
In fact, they were the primary peacekeepers until the beginning of the Separatist Wars. How about you? Are you doing enough to serve your community? Are you volunteering at your local Masjid or Islamic Center?
Are there people (Muslim and non-Muslim alike) who could use your help with tutoring, taxes, buying food, etc? You should be willing to devote yourself to helping others in some way. Whatever way is easiest for you.
Everyone has something to offer, even if it’s just simple physical labor. So inquire at your masjid and see if there are any volunteering opportunities. If not, find other charitable organizations you’d like to work with. After all, it’s not all about you.
5. Harness and Control the Force
In Star Wars, the Force is this invisible, pervasive, source of energy that the Jedi use for many things, such as:
- Moving objects without touching them.
- Controlling other people’s minds.
- Emitting blasts of energy.
- Detecting disturbances or tremendous events from far way.
The interesting thing about the Force, is that it can be used for good and evil. And that is how come the Sith also exist. They use the “dark side” of the force to subdue and control others. You also have a Force that be used for good and evil.
And with practice, you may also learn to control this force. And just like a Jedi must learn to control the fictional Force, you must also learn to control your force if you want to become a better Muslim. That force is your nafs (desires).
If you can control your desires, they can be used in good and beneficial ways. But if you let the “dark side” take over, you’ll find your desires controlling you instead of the other way around. Rest assured, you will not be shooting blasts of energy.
6. Master Your Lightsaber
A Jedi’s primary weapon is his/her lightsaber. A lightsaber is a beam of energy controlled by the Jedi’s mastery of the force. A Jedi can use his lightsaber to fend off attacks and slice through obstacles and fight against enemies.
Hmmm. Sounds a lot like the Salaah doesn’t it? And just like a Jedi’s mastery of the lightsaber depends on their control of the force, your mastery of prayer depends a lot on controlling your nafs (desires).
Your prayer is your primary weapon. All of the good deeds in the world mean nothing if you cannot master your five daily prayers. And by “master” I mean”:
- You pray all five prayers daily on a regular basis.
- You pray all five prayers on time.
- You pray Salaatul Fajr (the Dawn Prayer) and Salaatl Isha (the Night Prayer) in congregation (if you’re a male).
- You wear proper clothing to prayer and make sure you have wudu or ghusl if necessary.
- You maintain the proper khushoo (focus) in your prayers.
And though your prayers may not emit colorful sparks and make funky humming sounds, it can be used to fend off attacks and slice through obstacles. You just gotta know how to use it.
7. Understand That Death Is Not The End
Now, I want to be very clear here. The concept of Jedi death as shown in the Star Wars movies is absolute shirk (blasphemy) and against Tawheed (Islamic monotheism). There is no way a dead person’s spirit can help you like Obi Wan Kenobi’s spirit helped Luke Skywalker.
But, the Jedi’s knew that death was not the end of their journey and it helped make them fearless. It also encouraged them to stand up for what they believed in despite the odds against them. That is a noble quality that you as a Muslim should emulate. We know death is not the end of our journey.
- Our physical bodies will decay and turn to dust.
- Our spirits will be tested and questioned in the grave.
- We will be resurrected along with the rest of humanity.
- We will stand for judgement before Allah.
- We will receive punishment or reward according to Allah’s perfect wisdom and justice.
It is vital that you understand that death is not the end. It is just the beginning of the true reality. With this in mind, you should never be afraid to say what is true, stand up for justice, and promote righteousness. When Jedis depart, they say “May the Force be with you.” When Muslims depart, we say: As-Salaamu Alaikum “May the Peace be with you.”