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
The Balance of Time Part 1
- By Jeewan Chanika
- Published 08/28/2009
Our lives have become filled with things, toys and stuff. We no longer work to live, we live to work. It seems that “work” fills up an extraordinary amount of our time. As we continue to live this way, time eludes us with her benefit and her blessings. We try to manage our families around that and manage to stick in our brothers and sisters, sometimes we even manage to get in some community work. But our hearts know that our lives that are unbalanced, intutitively, we know it too. We tell ourselves, this is the only way. So, we may try throw some change in the charity box to sooth the guilt we feel and continue to repeat the cycle as incomplete as we may feel. There is always a sense of victim-itis- we just have to work. There is ‘no way’ around or out of it. This cycle is true for so many of us, if it’s not work, it’s something else.
We’ve created situations for ourselves and have convinced ourselves that there is no other way to live. Yet, if we were to reflect and answer the questions, “Is this what life is meant to be about?”, “Does this make me feel fulfilled?”, “have I lived my life according to the things and people I value most?”, most of us would probably say no. What do you value most?
The true question is not do we fill our time with work or activities BUT do we use time in a meaningful way? We know what makes us feel fulfilled in our hearts, we inherently know the direction that will lead us to true happiness-physically, emotionally and spiritually…so what should we do? Why can't we change the direction in which we are moving?
Daily, we fight our internal voice while externally we continue to expend energy into the same bad or poor habits that we know will harm us and those that will leave us no real profit. For some of us, if we really truly reflect we will realize we have become the exact things that we despised or disliked and that we promised ourselves we would never be or do.
So when you look in the mirror, do you like what you see, it’s time for us to be honest with ourselves?
What is it about your behaviour that you need to change to help make your life more rewarding in all ways?
When you stop and reflect, what are the negative traits about yourself that you want to change? What are the traits you need to change? Today, is an important time to make a list.
We need to start with the habits that negatively affect our personal relationship with Allah. Let us work on culturing that relationship and use Ramadan to strengthen it. When we look at that list of traits we want to change, we should set a plan in motion to change them gradually. These are the traits that take us away from God and make us lose our balance in time, thereby losing our balance in life.
Today, let us take ourselves to account before we are taken to account.
This is part 1 of a 2 entry reflection.