Islamic detective regularly turns his thoughts to God
Islamic detective regularly turns his thoughts to God
By LIZ SZABO
The Virginian-Pilot (http://www.pilotonline.com/news/nw0422fai.html)
JAY JAVEY strides through the Virginia Beach detective bureau, past rows
of desks where officers are investigating robberies and car thefts. On his
belt, he wears a pager, a pair of handcuffs and a gun. Under his arm, he
holds an emerald green prayer rug.
He checks out an unused office. It's a Saturday afternoon, and the public
safety building is nearly empty. No one will need this space again for
hours. All clear.
Detective Javey flips off his shoes, unfurls the rectangular mat and faces
He prays in a voice no louder than a whisper:
``In the name of God, all gracious, all merciful. Praise be to God, Lord
of the universe. All gracious, all merciful, master of the Day of
Judgment. You alone we worship. You alone we ask for help. Guide us in the
right path, the path of those whom you blessed; not of those who have
deserved wrath, nor of the strayer.''
He leans forward with his hands on his thighs, praying continuously under
his breath. He straightens up, eyes closed, then kneels to touch his
forehead to the ground. He sits up, then prostrates himself again in a
ritual he repeats four times.
In this spare room, away from the hustle and bustle of tracking down
stolen cars, Javey, a Muslim, is taking five minutes to praise God. Islam
requires Muslims to pray five times each day in the direction of the holy
city of Mecca. The prayers -- which are said before sunrise, at noon, in
midafternoon, at sunset and at bedtime -- are among of the five pillars of
Islam, the religion's most important commandments.
Javey says his morning and evening prayers at home with his wife, and he
uses his lunch break to meet with three other Muslims on Friday, the
Islamic holy day. The five prayers are so important to him that he has
programmed an Islamic calendar into his laptop computer so that he'll
always know when to turn his thoughts to God. A small window in the upper
right corner of his computer screen highlights the next prayer coming up.
Javey has even downloaded the Qur'an, the Muslim holy book also sometimes
spelled Koran, onto his laptop.
By praying regularly throughout the day, Javey says, he ensures that his
thoughts never stray too far from God. Knowing that he will have to stop
everything and pray in an hour gives him a sense of anticipation, so that
his mind always revolves around God, whose Arabic name is Allah. Muslims
pray, too, before every meal.
``I take five minutes to glorify the Creator, and that makes me feel
great,'' Javey says, back at his desk after praying. ``I know that by
doing that, I will be blessed. You never know -- I could leave the office,
go on a case and get killed. And I wouldn't have the chance to praise him
again. So I am thankful to have this chance.''
Some days, the demands of Javey's job do not allow him to get away even
for five minutes. At these times, Javey makes do as best he can, praying
silently in the police car if he has to. His partner, Detective Pat
Tucker, obliges by turning down the radio and stopping conversation.
``If I'm doing an interview with a subject and 1:07 (prayer-time) comes, I
don't have to drop everything and go,'' Javey says. ``God doesn't want to
make religion hard. He gives us a time frame for our prayers. So we can do
it at 1:30.''
Javey has never encountered resistance to his religious practices.
``To be honest, when I first started with the Police Department, I wasn't
sure what people would think about a Muslim,'' Javey says. ``But everyone
in the department has been very kind. . . . The detectives here -- they
are always fascinated. Sometimes they come up to me to ask questions, and
the conversation goes on an hour or two. Sometimes they even ask me to
pray for them.''
Islam teaches him to respect other religions, Javey says, so he doesn't
mind answering questions. He spent a long time studying Christianity and
Judaism before recommitting to Islam, the religion of his birth. He was
born in Iran to Muslim parents who weren't particularly religious; his
mother, for example, never wore a veil, and his father never forced his
son to pray.
Javey's family later moved to England, where he was educated. As an adult,
he felt the need for spiritual guidance, but his memories of
fundamentalists in Iran kept him from studying Islam for years.
Rediscovering Islam 14 years ago, however, helped him find a sense of
Unlike many area Muslims, Javey and his wife do not worship at a mosque,
also known as a masjid. He prefers not to label himself as Sunni, Shi'ite
or to affiliate with any other school of Islam. Javey differs from many in
the local Muslim community, which numbers nearly 3,000, in maintaining
that women are not required to cover their heads. One of Islam's greatest
attractions for him is its stress on the equality of all people.
Javey says, ``Once you understand the Qur'an, when you are walking down
the street and you see all the people's different colors and different
languages, and the different colors of the flowers -- those are proofs of
God and his creation.''
ININ List Archives Found Here: http://www.inin.net/list/
To subscribe to ININ please e-mail majordomo@...
In the body of the message type in: "subscribe inin-net" (without the
To unsubscribe from ININ please e-mail majordomo@...
In the body of the message type in: "unsubscribe inin-net" (without the
CANADA'S ONLINE ISLAMIC BOOKSTORE: HTTP://WWW.ISLAMICBOOKSCANADA.COM
ISLAMIC NEWS AND INFORMATION NETWORK: HTTP://WWW.ININ.NET