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
Brothers and Sisters?
- By Jeewan Chanika
- Published 09/14/2009
The relationship of brotherhood and sisterhood is likened to that of marriage by some scholars and is seen as one of the ways by which society is strengthened. It is for this duty that we must pay attention to fulfilling the rights that our brothers and sisters have over us.
This relationship is one that is based on faith and mutual love. However, the best and truest of these relationships are the ones where the love of a sister for her sister or brother for his brother is based on their love of God, first and foremost. These are the people who encourage each other to abide by the guidance of Allah SWT. They plan together to do what is right and stand against what is wrong. When one becomes lost, the other helps to bring them back to what is right; when one is suffering, the other supports them without being asked; they are together to share and celebrate the good moments and to bare patiently with each other in difficult moments.
However, for some of us, this does not occur. While some may have good strong bonds with people, it may not always be based on a love for God and others, though they may love their brothers or sisters, they get preoccupied with their work or other daily activities and do not give the appropriate amount of time or consideration to their brothers and sisters. Our brothers and sisters have rights over us and on the Day of Judgement they can bring this up to Allah, if they feel that their rights were not fulfilled.
In a hadith narrated by Al Hakim, the Prophet peace be upon him said, “ If one of you goes with his brother to help him fulfill his duty, and then the Prophet peace be upon him made a sign with his fingers, added: “That is better for him than making I’tikaf (staying at the mosque for worship) in my mosque for two months.”
Our cooperation with our brothers and sisters are not simply spiritual, but we should also look after their material welfare as well. In another hadith related by Muslim, the Prophet peace be upon him said, “Those who help a Muslim in hardship in this world, will be protected by Allah from suffering hardship in the Hereafter. Those who help the unfortunate, Allah will help them both in this world and in the hereafter. Those who keep the secrets of a Muslim in this world, will have their secrets kept by Allah in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah will help His servant as long as they help their brothers (and sisters).”
Today, see if you can find a way to help your brother and sister or reconnect with your brothers and sisters whom you were close to and rekindle that bond for the sake of Allah alone.