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
Restoration of rights. (part 1 of 2)
- By Jeewan Chanika
- Published 09/8/2009
Oh servants of God, at no time do we come into contact with another soul without the possibility of affecting them in some way- positively or negatively. But why should we be concerned? Allah reminds us in the Qur’an “We shall place the just scales for the Day of Resurrection and no soul will be wronged in any respect, and even if there is only the weight of a grain of mustard-seed We shall bring it, and We are sufficient to take account.”Al-Anbiya (The Prophets) 21:47.
Have you stopped to think about your actions and how they affect others? Do you remember a day when you will give account for all that you have done? Scrolls of your deeds, every single action and word, rolled out in front of you, nothing left out.
It is interesting how in life we can be so self-righteous. Ready to judge others, making sure that anyone who takes away our rights should know and in some way make reparations for it. How it is easy not to forgive, families stop talking to each other, friends stop caring and people claiming to care for our mosques and institutions fight each other over them slowly pushing away those who love Allah.
Do we forget that one day we too shall all be gathered, from Adam and Eve peace be upon them, all the way to the very last person created to give account for our deeds and actions.
Imagine standing on a Day when nothing is left out…a Day when all will be judged and no act will be missed. All that we did in the open and all that we did behind closed doors.
When we take ourselves to account and we repent before God, it must be sincere and we should try to repair the damages, grain by grain. To reconcile ourselves with those we injured by talking about them behind their backs and to their faces, those we hurt by our hands and our bad opinions. We should actively seek to make peace with all of these individuals so that when we die, no soul can claim that we were unjust, that we caused hurt or pain to them. These are the ones who will gain entrance to Heaven with no reckoning.
As for those who choose not to try and repair their wrongs, apologize to those who were hurt by their words, deeds and actions, imagine standing on the Day of Account before Allah. And while we may think that we have enough good deeds and our scale on the right is heavy, as we look around we are surrounded by people who stand before Allah,
“He lied about me”, “She disgraced me”, “He stole money from me”, “…sold me defective materials”, “had unfair business dealings with me”, “sold me something but concealed the defects”, “was my neighbor but treated me unkindly”, “pushed me out of the mosque”, “took away my rights because I could not stand up for myself”, “used their power and positions to harm me”, “took my money away unfairly”…..this list goes on. On this day how we treated animals and the environment will also be considered.
On this day, there are no injustices that will be left un-dealt with. For those who thought they “got away” in this life, they forget that balance is a law of Allah and the balance of justice will be restored eventually. Sometimes we see it in our lives and other times we don’t. It is in the Hand of God. And as the people we wronged plead to God, He will say, “Erase some of his good deeds”, “Erase some of her good deeds”.
Soon as we look at our scales, they gradually become more and more empty with nothing left behind. Standing bankrupt before God, because our arrogance and pride in front of people. Our desire to be seen as “the one in charge”, “the responsible one”, “the one who has power and can do what he or she wanted”. Even if we think that the persons we wrong are “not good people” we still have to give account for our actions and choices. The things we thought were funny when we hurt others, the “innocent” lies we told…
In a hadith related by Anas, the Prophet peace be upon him said that Allah will say on the Day of Judgement, “ It is not proper for any of Heaven’s people, when any one of the people of Hell has been wronged by him, that he should take in place in Heaven until the latter has exacted retribution from him; neither is it right that any of Hell’s people should enter Hell when he has a grievance against any of heaven’s people until he has exacted retribution from him, even for no more than a slap.”
What will we do then?