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
- By Jeewan Chanika
- Published 09/2/2009
Do we truly know and understand His love for us? His ability to forgive us? To grant us His mercy in the most difficult situations? What about our relationship with God? Is it a selfish one? One that only manifests when we are in dire need or in pain and despair? Or is it balanced between patience and gratitude? When do we mention God? Do we do so in solitude? With family? Friends? And while I am not saying to run into the middle of the mall and shout, I am asking all of us, myself included to reflect. When do we think of God? Do we allow His Majesty and Omnipotence to guide our daily life and actions? Do we think about Him in our interactions with people? In our business dealings? In our activities? When we are with our families and friends? think about it….
Sometimes, we feel that we cannot approach God or that God, would not want to hear from us. These sentiments may be borne out of guilt or pain. And while we should not mock God by intentionally doing things that would cause His displeasure and then tell ourselves, we will ask for forgiveness, we must remember that God cannot be understood within the scope of our own failings or emotions. His Love, Forgiveness, Mercy, Compassion cannot be contained.
It is important for us to remember the following narration of our beloved Prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon him:
I am as My servant expects Me to be. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assemble better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed. related by al-Bukhari (also by Muslim, at-Tirmidhi and Ibn-Majah).
During these blessed days, let us choose to expect the best from Allah- that if we turn to Him sincerely, He will forgive us, that if we ask for His mercy, He will bestow it upon us, that when we mention Him, He, glorified be He in His glory and majesty, mentions us by name. What a noble honour to be mentioned by God, by your name, to Himself or to an assembly of angels.
This is a month of purification and upliftment. Allah is granting us the honour of drawing closer to us, coming to us faster than we can turn to Him…open your hands and hearts brothers and sisters in Islam and in humanity. He is ever present. Let His love and light illuminate your life, the choice is yours.