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
What we hold on to
- By Jeewan Chanika
- Published 09/8/2009
Why do you think we hold on so tightly to the material possessions we own? Is it out of fear that we will lose something we worked for? Because we don’t want to lose it? Some other reason?
Is it that we think the Hand of Mercy and Provision that provided it to us in the first place, is unable to provide it to us again? Or to provide something better?
We hold on so tightly to things, our property, our money that we begin treating these things as if they were the end for which we were striving and not the means to the end. In so doing, all of these things we spend time accumulating begin taking up space not only in our homes and bank accounts but in our hearts as well. They begin to overwhelm our time and like a tireless trash collector, we spend time trying to figure out how to continue collecting more and more.
Unlike the trash collector, who collects it and then dumps it where it belongs, we continue to let all of our possessions, fill up not only our physical surroundings, but dump it into our hearts and become pre-occupied with it. We tell ourselves we are working for our families and to live well, but with each new thing and dollar, we only indebt ourselves further.
We hold on so tightly to our money that we begin to think that we earned it ourselves. Had it not been for the mercy of your Creator would you have attained it?
And as we continue to become pre-occupied, saving for the things we need and want, for our retirement and everything else in our temporary life on this earth, we forget to save for a life that will span eternity. We choose to ignore the fact that our possessions were given to us as a tool to help us earn closeness to God. But when we lose sight of why we were created and our purpose, we lose sight of the importance of the tools given to us by God, like a carpenter who takes the tools given to him and hangs them on the wall and stares at it each day.
So what is the purpose of all that you were given? Have you made it your life’s objective to work this way OR do you use what you have to be a source of mercy to the creation of Allah? Do you remember that each moment you use your vehicle to help people, your money to assist those less fortunate or those in need, your time for worthy causes to benefit the society that you are actually saving for your akhira (your eternal life)? Do you remember that when you die, everything you collected will remain here with those you leave behind and no longer be able to profit you? Do you not realize that the same Hand that gave you provision is more than capable to give you beyond what you expend in charity?
How is it that we forget that being charitable is not a “nice thing” or something to make us “feel good” but in fact a duty. That what we earn and have been blessed with should be used effortlessly to bring good to all around us. And should God choose to increase or decrease it, it is His will. What if you were the one in need- how would you feel? We need to ensure that we actually use it while we can to help ourselves profit. Allah has promised those who give rewards in this life and the next.We have to clear out the things we hold on to, to make room for His light and blessings to shine into.
Let us use what we have of good health, of our time, of our property, our money, our life to bring and do good and mirror Muhammad peace be upon him, in supporting worthy causes and being a source of mercy to those who need.
Go and engage in some charity today brothers and sisters, even if it is as simple as smiling to those around you.