Aiman Azlan

Motivator

Vlogger

Author

Freelancer

I'm Aiman Azlan,
Motivator, Vlogger, and Author
from Perlis, Malaysia.

I have rich experience in youth engagement, both online and offline. I am passionate about social issues involving the local youth community. In 2015, I founded Aiman Azlan Academy to empower the youth with sustainable self-confidence through effective communication skill.

What I Do
Motivational Speaking

Engaging the youth, locally and internationally, through motivational speaking programs of various format, such as talks, forums, and seminars.

Training

Teaching communication skills, like vlogging, English speaking, and public speaking, through one-to-one or small group workshops.

Vlogging

Sharing thoughts and answering questions in video form on Youtube and Facebook, touching upon relevant youth topics of today.

Writing

Writing motivational and self-help books about various youth topics, such as self-confidence, identity, love, education, career, and community.

Social Media Advertising

Producing advertisements for products or services through social media copywriting and videomaking. Managed by Gushcloud.

Proofreading

Reading and making grammar corrections for final year project papers, theses, resumes, CVs, and other student-related writings.

"Dad, I Want To Get Married"

Daughter: Dad, I want to get married.

Father: That is a good thing to wish for. What kind of man do you want?

Daughter: I want a life of luxury and ease. So, I would like a man who can help me achieve that life.

The father became worried by her words.

Father: Umm...I've never known you to be like this. I've never even seen you with a jewellery in your possession other than the ring your late mother left you, the same ring I married her with. If you were to sell it, the money you get won't be enough to buy you anything of value. Honestly my dear, I am surprised by your ambitions.

The daughter looked at the ring her father alluded to. She rubbed it gently with her left index finger. 

Daughter: Dad, the luxury I seek cannot be bought by gold or diamonds. The ease I wish for cannot be offered by any wealthy man.

Father: I don't understand.

Daughter: I seek the luxury of Jannah and the ease of being in the company of the Prophets. I seek the life of luxury and ease that Mum is enjoying right now insha Allah, because I see you as the kind of man who has helped her made it there. I am sure, she has helped you as well and you will be in her arms once again.

He couldn't hold his tears anymore.

Daughter: Dad?

Father: Yes, my dear?

Daughter: Is there a man out there who can offer me what you have offered Mum?

Father: I pray for a man who can offer you more. Much more.

They embraced each other tightly, in front of the grave of the wife and the mother who bonds them together.

23 Blessings That I Am Grateful For



Sometimes it is good to stop, take step back and look at all the good things that we already have, and take the time to appreciate them. Some blessings are easy to be overlooked because we got used to them, and because of that, we tend to take them for granted.

Take some time off in our busy schedule, be alone for a while, and reflect on all the things we have. Know that even in the darkest of times, we can count of these blessings to brighten up our day.

Here is my list of 23 blessings that I am grateful for, in no particular order.
  1. I have a physical body that works well.
  2. I have food and water.
  3. I can pray, 5 times a day, without any difficulties.
  4. I have family and friends who care about me, and I care about them.
  5. I can read the Quran.
  6. I have people who watch me on Youtube.
  7. I am here in Canada to pursue my undergrad studies, on a scholarship.
  8. I am doing a degree about a subject that I am passionate about.
  9. I finished my degree.
  10. I can cook.
  11. I have a roof on top of my head.
  12. I have clothes.
  13. I have a phone.
  14. I have internet connection.
  15. I have health.
  16. I have time.
  17. I have energy.
  18. I have the ability to help other people.
  19. I can sleep safely at night.
  20. I can read, write, and count.
  21. I know how to ride a bicycle.
  22. I have clean air to breathe.
  23. I am a Muslim.
Those are 23 things that I am forever grateful for. You can make your own list and write them down. Perhaps post it on your bedroom wall or something. Or, you can make a video about it and send the link to me. I would like to watch it.

Of course, these are not the only blessings that I have. Even if I cut down all the trees on earth to make pencils, I can’t write down all the blessings that I have. Even if I use all the water on earth to make ink, I still can’t write down all the blessings that I have.

So I think 23 is enough for now, but why 23? Well, I will be 23 years old on September 24th. That’s why.

For my birthday, please make du’a for my parents because they did all the hard work. They deserve all the presents, not me. I just eat, cry, poop, and repeat, which is not a hard thing to do. May Allah reward them and I hope all their hard work pays off. Ameen.

All in all, Alhamdulillah.

4 Things To Do After Graduation

Photo by Andalib

After about 4 years of being in University of Toronto Mississauga, Canada, I have completed my degree in Biology and Psychology. I am currently waiting for my convocation in mid-November of this year. Seeing that I am graduating soon, many of my peers have raised the question: what’s next?

The usual trajectory after graduating from a university is to either work or pursue a higher degree (Masters or PhD). I have no problem with either of them, but I do have a problem with doing things just because that is the way things are or because that is what other people are doing.

I want to have more control over my life and not let other people decide my life for me. After all, it is my life. I will be held responsible and accountable for it in front of Allah. Not that I am saying that I do not need anyone’s help. I do. What I am saying is that I do not want to do things without due diligence.

Take a break

I want to take some time off. I have been in the system, going with the flow, for about 16 years now and out of those years, little were spent contemplating and reflecting on what I was doing and what I truly and honestly want to make of my life.

Taking some time off would be a good way to stop the flow and think. Just think. We sometimes move way too fast and too haphazardly that we do not even think about our actions. In effect, we find no meaning in what we do.

Everything seems so mechanical and lifeless. I do not want that. I want to break that pattern.

Generate a steady income

Taking some time off does not mean that I am sitting on a couch all day doing nothing, while relying on my parents to take care of me. That is so 7 years ago. I should be way pass that point about now.

Though I am not looking for a long term commitment to work (at least I plan not to), I should find a way to live on my own. I think the best way for me to honour my parents is to show them that they have taught me well enough for me to live independently.

Many students graduated but then they returned to their nests (i.e. their parents’ house) and live under their parents’ wings. I do not want to be that way. God, I hope not.

Look at what I can offer

Money is important; no doubt about that. But it is not as important as giving back to the community that I grew up in. Between more money but less contribution, and less money but more contribution, I want to say that I will choose the latter option. In my heart, that is what I want to do.

However, I cannot give back what I do not have. So I have to do some soul-searching to see what I do have so that I may offer it to the people.

Look at what the community needs 

This goes hand in hand with the previous point. I do not want to offer something that the community does not need. There is no point in doing that. I believe that between what I can offer and what the community needs, there is an intersection (or more than one).

I need to find that intersection.

At the intersection, I will find my place in the world. I will find the best place to serve the people and consequently, the best place to serve Allah. The best among the people is the one most beneficial to the people. I want to be that person.

Overall, my goal is to find a way (or ways) to best serve the community.

If by working behind a desk is the best way to achieve that goal, then that is what I will do. If by getting a Masters degree and/or a PhD is the best way to achieve that goal, then that is what I will do. If by doing something else is the best way to achieve that goal, then that is what I will do.

Point being, I want my life to have meaning and value so that I may spend it buying my ticket to Jannah. The way I see it, there is no better way to perform that transaction than through serving the people.

May Allah accept.

---

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.

Click here to get updates about our next confidence-upgrading programs.

The Parallel between Islamic Scholarship and Medical Discipline

Photo by epSos.de

There are individuals, men and women, in the Ummah who spent (literally) decades of their lives intensely immersed in knowledge seeking to understand Islam the best that they can. They are those who are qualified to say things about Islam that you and I are not.

Not everyone is on the same level. I don't mean that one is better than the other in the Sight of Allah - that title is up for grabs by anyone. However, there are those who are qualified to do certain jobs that you and I are not.

The medical model is a good analogy to understanding how Islamic scholarship works. Not everyone in medicine can diagnose and/or prescribe medicine. Nurses and pharmacists can't diagnose and prescribe medicine. They are not qualified for that purpose.

For those who are qualified, their diagnosis and prescription qualifications are limited to their respective specializations. For example, a general doctor can handle everyday illnesses like a fever and a cold. But when it comes to more complex illnesses, the doctor refers the patient to specialists.

Sometimes, crossing disciplines occur. For example, a medical doctor might need to consult a psychologist for a specific issue. 

A medical professional can't do anything and everything under the banner of medicine just because he/she earns the title. A medical professional operates within the scope of his/her specialization. We understand this principle very well in medicine. We generally know who to seek in medicine for specific purposes.

Islamic scholarship operates on the same principle. Just because a person is knowledgeable in Islam, that doesn't mean he/she is a scholar. Even if the person is a scholar, that doesn't mean he/she is able to analyze every religious texts in every way possible with mastery.

There are specialists within Islamic scholarship. To list down a few examples: a muhaddith specializes in hadith, a mufassir specializes in Quranic exegesis, and a faqih specializes in fiqh.

Just as we have general doctors who can handle general medical issues, we have scholars who can handle general everyday Islamic issues. We might call them Imam, Shaykh, Chaplain, Ustadh, etc. They don't necessarily specialize. When they can't handle an issue, they have to refer to the specialists.

Note: Often times, these titles do not reflect what they do specifically. They do not come with specific job descriptions. Watch "Nomenclature" by Usama Canon to know more. 

Sometimes, we have to cross discipline. If a faqih wants to give a ruling regarding euthanasia, for example, the faqih must consult a doctor about it before he/she can derive a ruling from the scriptures.

The point is this: we seek specific people for specific purposes. Not everyone can do everything.

The medical discipline deals with physical health, while Islamic scholarship deals (primarily) with spiritual health. Seek specific medicine from the right people. Otherwise, it will do more harm than good to our health.

Fear of the Blank Page

Photo by Rennett Stowe

The joy of discovery, especially about the things you care about, is a wonderful feeling.

I like the idea of having essay assignments because they allow me to explore the subject I am studying in my own terms (to a certain extent). I can learn new things on my own and put my thoughts out there about the things I’ve learned.

However, despite having to write many essay assignments during my four years in university, I still have problems with writing them.

I get intimidated by word count and page numbers. The professor telling me how many pages or how many words I have to write is like giving me a whole chicken and asking me to eat it all in one go. I know that is not the case, but in my head that is what I am thinking about.

Knowing that I have that huge goal in mind and looking at the blank Word document in front of me, I get anxious. To avoid my anxiety, I procrastinate - I convince myself that I still have time and that I can do it later. Deep inside I know that is not true, but I can be very persuasive at times, even towards myself. It is bad to fool others, but it is worse to fool oneself.

I am still struggling with this fear, but I found 3 ways of dealing with it that seem promising.

1. Break the task into smaller pieces.

I can’t eat the whole chicken in one sitting.

If I have a 10-page essay to write, for example, then the first thing that I’ll do is break the task up into parts.

For example, for the first week, I will only focus on the research that has to be done for the assignment. Then, the second week will be the time when I start on the blueprint of the essay. Then, I’ll move to the introduction. So on and so forth.

A colossal task can be made manageable if I take it one piece at a time. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

2. Don’t look at the page.

Simple, but surprisingly effective.

Since I am anxious when I look at the blank age in front of me, the best way to overcome it is to avoid looking at it. Not that I am avoiding the problem, but I am removing the restriction that prevents me from writing.

Once I free myself from the shackles of the blank page, I can just focus on the one thing that matters at the time – writing. Word count and number of pages are not as important as getting the message across.

I cover my computer screen with something and look at the keyboard. It is surprising how smoothly ideas flow from my brain to the tips of my fingers when I don’t have to think about how much I’ve written or how much more I need to write. I just focus on the writing and I write my minds off.

Of course, there are going to be errors (lots of them) in my writing since I am looking not looking at the screen. I don’t worry about that because that is what editing is for. As long as the main ideas are written down, the process of editing will be a breeze.

Don't let perfection get in the way of the writing. Just write.

3. Writer’s block? Write about it.

Writer’s block: the enemy of all writers. Or is it?

Once, I took a writing course and my professor gave me an interesting advice: when you have writer’s block, write about it. I don’t think writer’s block is the inability to generate ideas. Ideas are there, but words to express those ideas are not coming out.

To overcome the blockage of words, write about anything on the side. What the professor suggested was brilliant: using the writer’s block itself as the topic of writing. Describe the block, the feelings, the fear, and be as detailed as possible. Turn a problem into an opportunity.

The main point is to just write – let the words come out. Break the blockage with a constant stream of words. Pretty soon I'll find myself able to continue my original work. 

Having written all that, I still feel the fear and it is still affecting me. I even experienced it before writing this article. But here I am, writing my words and putting my thoughts out there, and there you are, reading them.

A Conversation About Friendship



A 20-minute conversation about friendship with Zeyara, a friend and a fellow Youtuber. I asked on Facebook and Twitter for questions about friendship. I took some of them and we answered them here.

Since it's 20 minutes long, I provided a content list in the video description if you want don't want to watch the whole thing and want to jump to certain questions (click on the timelinks). These are the questions we answered in this video:

  1. How do you know a friend is actually a good friend?
  2. How do you reprimand a friend without hurting his/her feelings?
  3. Why is it hard to be close to some people? Is it us, or them?
  4. Why can't friendship last?
  5. How to accept our friends just the way they are?
  6. Can parents be our friend?
  7. How to find a good friend?
  8. How do you continue friendship even though you've separated?

Zeyara is going to the Caribbeans to further his studies so this might be our last time hanging out with each other. May Allah bless him wherever he may be. Ameen.

A special thanks to Abdulkareem Tattan who generously opened up his home for us to record the video and for his hospitality. He made a cameo at the end of the video.

Confessions of Procrastinating Me

Photo by Gavin Firkser

For as long as I can remember, I've always been kind of a last minute person (especially in school) and for the longest time, that strategy worked pretty well for me. I honestly thought that I could go through life that way. To some extent, I could. But if I want to go as far as I know I could go, I have to use a different strategy. Hopefully, a better one.

The thing about procrastinating is that it trains you to be a master in making excuses. Not only are you able to convince others with your excuses, you are able to convince yourself too. Excuses are nothing more than layers you put up between yourself and the reality of the situation, one that you know quite well but choose to avoid.

Sometimes I am able to catch myself in the act of making excuses and manage to correct myself in time - something that I wish to do more often as I progress.

Battling procrastination is not easy, especially if you have been doing it for as long as I have. You win some and you lose some. I've had my share of good days and bad days. The thing about the bad days is that most of them are preventable and what hurts the most is that I know it was preventable. Learning from failure is one thing. Learning from failure and do nothing about it is another thing entirely.

I can search the web and the bookstores for all the many different tips and tricks on how to fight procrastination, but none of them will do me any good if I don't take any action. It might be just another excuse I've added in my list of excuses: I'm fighting procrastination by reading about how to fight procrastination (but take no action whatsoever). The excuse might sound brilliant in your head but when you put it in writing, it starts to sound ridiculous. You might laugh at yourself with your palm in your face thinking, "How did I manage to convince myself that it was a good excuse in the first place?"

This fight against procrastination won't end in a day, just like the habit of procrastination didn't develop in a day. After I finish writing this piece, the battle continues on. But hopefully as I count the days that pass, I am that much closer to winning for good.

I realize it's not easy to talk about myself like this because I know that most of us have self-serving bias - the tendency to think good about ourselves in order to protect the ego. At times, this bias serves its purpose in a good way. Other times, it's just an excuse to avoid the bitter truth.

Another excuse.

Recent Vlogs

Contact Me

Location

Arau, Perlis MY

Phone number

+6 013 416 4652

Website

www.aimanazlan.com