Jeewan Chanicka accepted Islam at the age of 11. His journey to Islam and continual learning has enabled him to understand its beauty and compassion for all peoples regardless of differences. He has been married for 14 years and has been blessed with two wonderful sons.
Jeewan was born in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains in Calgary, Alberta and went on from there to live with his family in the beautiful Caribbean island of Trinidad. He lived in Trinidad for approximately 15 years and completed his highschool A Levels there before returning to Canada. It is in Trinidad that he began to sing and this would lead to his first nasheed album, "The Prophet's Song". He has a Masters Degree in Education.
While working as a teacher in the public school system, he lectured and ran workshops across North America on various issues of Islamic relevance: youth, domestic violence, family, self-esteem, conflict-resolution, and da`wah, among other issues. Jeewan has counseled both youth and adults in areas dealing with employment, housing, mental health, suicide, drugs, racism, physical and sexual abuse, immigration and integration issues, marriage, and family problems.
Jeewan has won several awards for his work in the field of education as well as community work. Most recently, he was participated in a project with the United Nations University of Peace to develop a curriculum framework around Peace in the Islamic Context. It is being implemented from madrassahs to universities across South Asia. Jeewan has been fortunate to travel to Tobago, Barbados and St. Vincent and has the privilege of having two Guyanese sisters-in-law :)
For more information on Jeewan please visit www.jeewanc.com
Consciousness and Freedom
- By Jeewan Chanika
- Published 08/27/2009
One way to know how much Allah remembers you is to reflect on the ayah (verse) Sura Baqara (2:152): “Then if you remember Me; I will remember you.” Consciousness is the core of worship. People sometimes restrict their understanding of worship to the ritual aspects of prayer and other acts that are required of us. And while these form the cornerstone and provide a foundation for our lives, it is important that we do not limit our understanding of Islam to this.
Potentially, all of our actions can be classified as a form of worship. When we clean our homes, go to work, learn and study, enjoy time with family and friends and face, look after the environment, give charity, enjoy simple and complex moments in our lives, are thankful for the good and the challenges that face us and look after the needs of the community, these are all forms of worship. Moments to remember God, to be thankful, to supplicate and ask for His help and for his forgiveness.
This is why Islam is not considered to be merely a religion but in fact looked at as a complete code for life.
So how do we live this deen (way of life), do we remember our duas (supplications) as we move from one thing to another, do we make our intentions knowing when we go to school and work, we are doing so as a form of worship? Do we measure our words and actions? When was the last time we spent time doing work to benefit people other than ourselves- in our schools, work places, communities?
How do we raise our families to understand that we are here for a purpose greater than collecting “trinkets”, that we have a Divine Purpose and that collectively if each individual, each family maintained their consciousness of Allah, then that consciousness would only push them to re-prioritize their time, their goals and their lives because they would understand that we are only present on this earthly journey for a limited time.
Our goal should be to not fall into the typical routines that erase our time and make us lose the value of living completely and meaningfully. It should be to work hand-in-hand starting in our own families, to Know Allah and to serve His creation. Each a vital component of worshiping Him.
Allah has given you and I an opportunity to reach a personal potential higher than we can imagine, to elevate our souls and to own this world with our hands not our hearts because a conscious heart submits only to God not to jobs and tasks. We begin to see each thing as a part of the total whole and start developing ourselves and our family to work towards attaining the goal of God’s Pleasure.
Let us start reprioritizing our consciousness, remember our divine duties to transform ourselves and to serve society and make those the driving principles in our relationships.
True consciousness can only lead to freedom and eternal happiness.