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
Something from nothing.
- By Jeewan Chanika
- Published 08/31/2009
Allah SWT has given us a great opportunity to make something from nothing. By this I mean, we have an opportunity at each instant in our lives to transform it from something that may be seemingly insignificant to something that can change our lives forever.
In short, we have a choice.
Why are some people negative and others positive? Some people can find good in every situation while others see only the misery and hardships. Which type of person do you like to be around? Which lens to life do you personally wear?
Recognize that Allah has control over all aspects of life, so when things are good, we should be grateful for that and when things appear to be difficult, instead of being miserable or drowning ourselves in self-pity, we should ask ourselves, “What does God want me to learn from this?” By keeping in mind that Allah is still with us and we turn our reliance to Him, will help us not to lose sight of the BIG PICTURE. This experience is for my highest and greatest good and meant to help me be the best person I can.
The same can be said for moments we think about as being “empty and insignificant”- standing in line; walking to the store; doing house hold chores, sitting in traffic are some examples. People sometimes feel that these are a “waste of time” yet they “must be done”, on the roads we see “road rage” and well today there are all kinds of other “rages”.
This Ramadan, let us try to fill those moments with the treasures taught to us by the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and given to us by Allah. By simply renewing our intention, “I am doing this for Allah” and then use the opportunity to make dhikr (remembrance of God), we change that moment from being what we consider as useless to something that can have great benefits for us.
So the next time you are in a line or in traffic, instead of getting angry because someone took “your spot” or “cut you off” fill your time with saying any of the following: Subhan Allah (Glory be to God); Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God), Allahu Akbar (God is the greatest); Subhan Allah wa bi hamdi-hee (glory be to God and to Him belongs the Praise) or Subhan Allah hil Adheem (Glory be to God, the Greatest and most Magnificent). These are dhikr that are, “light on the tongue but heavy on the scales (of our deeds)”.
Take advantage of these moments and use them to help you. Instead of you losing your blessings (by getting angry) or losing the opportunity to increase your reward with God. Perhaps on the day of Judgement, it will make a bigger difference than we could have imagined!