Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Simple Beauty

Most of us might be living a fast paced life; always on the move and always feel like you don't have time for almost anything.

The tyranny of a fast paced life is that we might overlook the simple beauty that is always around. It is there, always was. If we slow down a bit, we might notice one or two things.

Did you notice the clear blue sky?

Did you notice the green trees?

Did you notice the birds?

Did you notice the innocent little children walking passed you?

Did you notice the sound of the river?

Did you notice the flower arrangements by the road?

Did you notice how clean the water from your tap is?

Did you notice that old man sitting by the park bench, just resting his eyes?

Did you notice the smile on your child's face this morning?

What else did you notice?

Or should I ask, what else didn't you notice?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

On Finding Your Potential

I firmly believe that every individual has his/her own unique potential. Everyone has a place in this world. You just have to find it.

In the quest to find your potential, there are a few things that I can share with you. Things that I've learned from my own experience i.e. the making of my first vlog on Youtube.

1. You need to take chances.

If you see an opportunity, grab it. Who knows, things might work out. If it doesn’t, at least you tried. Making that first video was a chance that I took. I didn’t know what will happen. It could go either way. But succeed or not, I’m glad that I tried. I don’t want to live the rest of my life thinking “what if…”

2. You need to get out of your comfort zone.

Honestly, this takes courage. There is no short cut to this one, you just have to do it and face the challenges as they come. Making that first video was me getting out of my comfort zone. It was awkward talking in front of a camera. I didn’t like it. But I knew that I had to do it. I just had to. I had to at least try right?

3. You need to stop worrying about what other people think of you.

I had this obstacle before. I was thinking to myself, “What would people think of my video?” and “What would people think of me?” It’s a scary question, but allow me to answer the question for you. If what you’re about to do is good, then Bismillah…do it. Just do it. If Allah is happy with what you’re doing, then what other people think of you doesn’t matter. People talk. If what they say is good, take it. If what they say is bad, throw it in the garbage where it belongs.

4. Things don’t have to be perfect the first time around.

There is no rule that says that you gotta do everything perfectly. No. But you do have to try your best. You learn from experience and that’s how you grow.

5. You don't even know you have it.

The thing about finding your potential is that sometimes you don’t even know that you had that potential in the first place. Which is why I think the term “finding” your potential is a good fit because you literally have to go out and find it. And who knows, you might surprise yourself with what you might find.

All the best.


Check out TeenACE - Teenager Award, Convention & Exhibition.

This is a youth convention happening in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on June 29th and 30th. The theme is “Teens of Dignity Leading Community”. It's gonna be awesome so don't miss it!

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Tribute to My Dad

New video! Yay!

I'm trying to make it a good habit to post a new video every week. For 4 weeks now (including this week), I have posted one video each week. So far so good! If you missed my new videos, you can go to my Youtube channel and find all of them there: youtube.com/aimanazlan90.

You can subscribe if you want to get notified of new videos.

In this video, I wanted to make a tribute to my dad i.e. showing my appreciation that my dad is my dad. I made a similar video about my mom 2 years back (link here) and now I wanted to make one for my dad. I've been wanting to make this video for a long time now. I had the script for it in my computer for God knows how long.

Oh procrastination, thou art a pain in thy neck!

But, I made it! Enjoy!

I would love it if you could make a tribute video to your dad too and post it as a video response to this video (you have to do that on Youtube though). If you don't want to do that, then you can drop a comment in the Youtube comment section. I would appreciate that too :)

Thanks, bye!

Copy-and-Paste Da'wah

Photo by Leonid Mamchenkov

I'm skeptical about the "copy-and-paste Da'wah" that I sometimes see here and there.

What is Copy-and-Paste Da'wah?

When we hear a question, we immediately search for the answer from an "answer scheme" in our head and copy-and-paste it.

Why Not?

It's like a typical exam in school: memorize everything, load the brain up, and unload when needed. We just spill everything out on the paper. No understanding, no internalization, and no creativity.

Most of the times, Da'wah not that simple as copying and pasting stuff we hear and read. Sometimes, copy and paste does work but, for myself at least, I don't think that it's wise to rely on it as the norm of Da'wah.

The reality is that we're dealing with people, not robots. Each individual is unique; with unique personalities, unique circumstances, and unique experiences.

Prophetic Example

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was a genius at this. He knew the people around him and he knew the ways to penetrate their hearts. He didn't use magic. He built that social connection with people, before engaging them.

Once, the Prophet engaged with Rukanah - the undefeated wrestler of his time. The Prophet knew that wrestling was the "language" that Rukanah understood well so he challenged Rukanah in a wrestling match. Rukanah thought this was a joke, because no one ever beat him before. But he agreed to it.

To his surprise, the Prophet easily threw him to the ground. He lost. He was dumbfounded. That was the first time such a thing happened to him. So he challenged the Prophet to another match. The Prophet agreed, but he gave Rukanah a condition. The Prophet will fight him again and if he loses, he has to accept Islam. Rukanah agreed and the match began. Boom! He lost again.

Long story short, Rukanah then embraced Islam.


Disclaimer! I'm not telling you to go wrestle people into Islam.

The point of the story above is the importance of understanding people and speaking their language. The Prophet knew that the language of Rukanah was wrestling.

We have to understand who we're speaking to. We have to build that connection before we send our message across.

It's like the internet: if there's no connection, the message is not going to go through right?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sincerity is a Battlefield

Someone asked, "With this work that you do, how do you guard your heart to remain sincere?"

To be honest, I cannot recall a moment when I have a few minutes of pure sincerity. It is something that I am struggling with constantly, especially since I am known to a lot of people now. My heart can't stay still but I try my best to always be aware of when my heart is going somewhere it's not supposed to.

What's The Point?

I always fear that I am not sincere, but I am hopeful. I don't fear it too much up to a point where I don't do anything at all. Some people might say, "What's the point of doing it if you're not sincere?" I beg to differ.

Doing what you should do and pursuing sincerity must go hand in hand, not one after the other.

Don't Just Wait

I believe that sincerity is something that you pursue and not something that you wait for. If you wait for it, it will not come. It is a target. Hence, you have to go to it. Sincerity requires a lot of effort and constant reminders. Therefore, I constantly have to remind myself and I surround myself with people of reminders.


I believe that to remain sincere is my biggest struggle, until the day I die.

The nature of the heart is that it tosses and turns. One of the du'as that our Prophet taught us is this, "O Turner of Hearts, make my heart firm upon your religion."

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Don't Assume. Instead, Ask.

Photo by Aiman Azlan

My mother told me the incident that happened the first time she flew to America to further her studies.

It was her first time traveling in an airplane. She assumed that everything that she needed to know has been told by the officer who accompanied her group. Being a newbie, she thought that everything was sought after and she didn't have to worry about anything.

The officer, on the other hand, assumed that the group that he led had sufficient knowledge about traveling by flight because they didn't ask him anything.

Alhamdulillah, she arrived safely in America, only to realize that her luggage was in Manila.


As it turned out, she didn't declare for her luggage to be delivered straight to America. Why? Because she didn't know! She assumed that everything was settled and the officer assumed that she knew what she needed to know.

She was stuck with her hand luggage for a month before her luggage arrived. Thankfully, she packed a couple of clothes in her hand luggage.

So this story has a happy ending. Don't worry.

Moral of the story: Don't assume things. Ask, and don't be shy to ask.


Do you want to master your confidence?

Speak Up! Project focuses on creating a strong foundation of inner confidence. We apply the confidence in practicing essential soft skills: English speaking, public speaking, and debating.

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