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
Representing God on Earth
- By Jeewan Chanika
- Published 09/5/2009
Allah created us as His representatives on this earth, as leaders for humanity, to establish justice for all people regardless of their beliefs and back grounds, men and women, young and old. Today however when we reflect on the reality of this leadership, we see something entirely different. We have lost much of what made us special; we are in a deep crisis. Physically we hurt because spiritually we have lost ourselves and lost sight of the truth that made us leaders.
The earth and all its inhabitants are supposed to be under our care. Yet it continues to suffer. Its tears and anguish will be present before us when she reveals all her secrets on a day that there will be no secrets left. The day of Judgement.
And how will we be judged as leaders? In which hand will we receive our scrolls? What took up the majority of our time? Did we deepen our knowledge and try to make a change in our families? communities? country? the world?
The most perfect of all humanity, one individual, peace be upon him, extended this leadership. He, peace be upon him, led through his personal example- he committed himself to regularly focusing on his relationship with Allah.
When was the last time you read Qur'an? Recited it? Reflected on it? When did you last let its words soften your heart? Or guide you out of a deep slumber to His remembrance? Too many of us during this month race to complete the recitation of the Qur’an without having had it’s beauty touch our hearts. Is this what the Allah wants? Is it from the example of our beloved Prophet peace be upon him?
He, peace be upon him, manifested it in his family, by assisting in the daily chores, by teaching his wives, by consulting with them and taking their advice, by not silencing them, by building their leadership and allowing them to be leaders of the community with him. When did you last assist your husband or wife in their daily duties so that both of you could spend time remembering Allah? the last family halaqa? The last time you spent time learning and laughing together?
Then he, peace be upon him, gave back to his community. A noble endeavour shared by his family and companions (RA). Who never lost sight of why Allah placed them in this world. Who never went to sleep without dispensing of his last piece of money, whose wife would donate all their food to those who needed it, who would spend time counseling those who needed it. And their love for each other grew, because they worked tirelessly for the sake of Allah. Not simply out of a physical or irrational sense of love, but a deeper bond- a spiritual one that awakened them to a truth that can only be seen by those who Love Allah SWT, when veils are lifted and reality is clear.
How do you and I love? What do we spend our time doing? What do we encourage our wives, husbands, children, siblings, parents and friends to spend their time in? How much of our time is spent thinking about those less fortunate, sacrificing our time from each other and our own pleasures to give for His sake and His alone, how many of us push each other to work for His sake and recognize that the best relationships are the ones where we come together for the sake being a source of mercy to our neighbours and society…
In short brothers and sisters, I am asking you to consider, what kind of leader are you?
Let us take ourselves to account before we are taken to account.