I am a little embarrassed by admitting this, but, I have always wanted to be a Jedi. Yes, I know the Jedi are fictional warriors from the "Star Wars" series. However, there has always been something about the Jedi that have attracted me. When I was a young lad, when the first three movies came out, I wanted to be a Jedi because they were "cool." They defeated the bad guys with their "awesome" light-swords. As I became older, the whole spirituality of the Jedi order appealed to me. They embody the sort of Muslim I want to be: a spiritual, devout warrior for the common good.

The Jedi remind me of the Sufi mystics of the past. These Muslims were "knights by day, monks by night." They dedicated their days to the common good of their fellow human beings, and their nights were spent in deep and devoted worship of God. It is an ideal I have always strived for and, I admit begrudgingly, have not yet achieved.

I have always loved how the Jedi can use the powers of the Force to their advantage. I always fantasize how cool it would be to use the Force to lift the remote control from across the room and bring it to my lap. I would love it even more if I could run to work, instead of battling the Dark Side warrior of Chicago's traffic, at amazing speed using the Force; or if I could use the Force and perform a backflip, forever impressing my friends; or if I could see into the future like the Jedi do.

By and large, though, what I want more than anything else is to own and be able to use a light saber! That would be the ultimate dream-come-true. The skill and art of the light saber is beyond imagination, and to be able to master that skill, without amputating your arm in the process, is an enormous accomplishment indeed.

More than simply cutting off the hand of a thief or flipping away from a speeding car, I am deeply attracted to the spirituality of the Jedi. I can easily substitute "God" for the "Force" and make complete sense. In fact, I always wonder whether the Jedi are actually speaking of God when they talk of the "Force." After all, in Islam God has 99 names, and, for me at least, God is the "Force" that drives my life every day.

In Episode I, Master Qui-Gon spoke of his meeting young Anakin Skywalker as the "will of the Force," and this is very close to the Muslim belief of all things happening according to God's will. In addition, Qui-Gon's advice to Anakin to "feel, don't think" and the Jedi salutation of "May the Force (read: God or peace, even) be with you" deeply appeal to me as a Muslim.

Now, I admit, the whole thing about the midi-chlorians infecting everyone, telling them the will of the Force, is a bit "out there." Nevertheless, the description of the Jedi as "A noble order of protectors unified by their belief and observance of the Force (read: God)" and "...as guardians of peace and justice" are of particular significance to me as I try to be the best Muslim possible.

Yes, I know the Jedi really do not exist. But, everyone, even adults in today's world, need an escape to a fantasy world, and that place for me is the world of the Jedi. I frequently pray to God to make me a Jedi in Heaven. My sister and I joke that, when we first arrive in Paradise (God willing, of course!), we shall have a lightsaber duel. Evidently, my sister, who signs her emails as a "JIT (Jedi in Training), is as much a "Jedi junkie" as I am.

All joking aside, however, the principles of the Jedi: devotion to the Force (read: God), honor, discipline, and service for justice, are principles that our world, torn apart by the Dark Side of human nature, is in desperate need of. I hope and pray that I become one of the Muslim "Jedi" of our world today.

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