City of Brass

City of Brass


Islam and Star Wars Day: Allah is the Force

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

A long time ago, in a suburb not far away... my beard was a lot less grey

Jumah Mubarak, and May the 4th be with you! Today is Star Wars day, the day we remember with fondness the three greatest movies of our childhood and tolerate three others that were loosely related.

The Jedi order has always had a special resonance for geeky muslim youth in the West. Every muslim kid knows that green is the color of Islam as well as the color of the coolest Jedi (Obi-wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker). But for more substantive parallels, look no further than my friend Irfan Rydhan’s epic post about Star Wars and Islam, which documents how much Lucas drew on Islamic sources for inspiration.

But there is a philosophical connection between muslims and Jedi as well, regarding the source of our power. For muslims, Allah is The Force.

Consider how Obi-Wan (Luke’s ‘alim) explained The Force to his young student, in the desert madrasah on Tatooine: “The Force is what gives a Jedi his power… It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.” In other words, the Force is not confined to any one place but exists in all places, arising from life itself. In Islam, Allah is also omnipresent in Creation, upon the throne of Heaven and at the same time “closer to Man than his jugular vein” (Qur’an 50:16). Though the Force is described as an energy field arising from living things, in Islam it is life that arose from Allah’s will – the connection to life itself is inextricable.

Later, Master Yoda teaches Luke about how the Force elevates him above the level of the merely material:

[The Force’s] energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, Luke (Yoda pinches Luke’s shoulder), not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you. Here, between you, me… the tree.. the rock… everywhere!

Again, the emphasis of the omnipresence of Allah, but here Yoda also explains to Luke that is via The Force that our true selves can be realized. Our existence on this mortal plane is not the totality of our existence, we are more than merely our “crude matter” of flesh. In Islam, as well, acceptance of the Oneness of Allah (Tawhid) is the key to unlocking the truth about reality and our purpose on this crude world. In Islam, Allah is what makes us luminous, what surrounds and binds all muslims and humanity alike.

Of course, it’s just a movie, with a simplified philosophy suited to fiction. But the higher philosophy of the Jedi is one that muslims should recognize. And of course, the Qur’an is our lightsaber…

May The Force be with you… Always. And Fi Amaan Allah (Allah’s peace be with you).



Previous Posts

is ISIS Islamic? Wrong question.
There is an excellent longform essay on ISIS published in The Atlantic, "What does ISIS Really Want?" that lays out an excellent case fore ISIS being genuinely different in ideology, motivation and ethos than Al Qaeda. The real question boils down to, is ISIS "Islamic" or not - and makes an excellen

posted 11:34:08pm Feb. 17, 2015 | read full post »

The Price of Extremism
This is a guest post by Durriya Badani. The execution style murder of three young North Carolina students, two of whom were hijab wearing Muslim women, raises questions regarding the rise of Islamaphobia in the United States in the form of hate crimes. Some will argue that the motive for the inc

posted 11:26:53am Feb. 12, 2015 | read full post »

Can atheism drive someone to murder? #muslimlivesmatter #chapelhillshooting
Like everyone else, I am in shock at the horrible tragedy in North Carolina last night, where three young Muslim Americans were brutally executed. The police are investigating and the murderer is in custody and cooperating. The family of the victims will hold a press conference soon, until then I am

posted 4:21:58pm Feb. 11, 2015 | read full post »

Halal Italian and Mexican catering in Chicago
This is a guest post by Whitney Gaspar. I am not Muslim. I am not any religion, really. I was baptized as a Catholic to please my grandma and raised as an atheist by my mother. I am spiritual and I believe in God. But that is not why I eat halal. I eat halal because it is logical. It simpl

posted 11:09:45am Feb. 09, 2015 | read full post »

the State of the Ummah, 2014/1436
I tuned into President Obama's 2014 SOTU for a while last week - mainly beca

posted 12:06:37pm Jan. 26, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.