Monday, October 27, 2014

Video Making on a Tablet

When you talk about video making, the basic steps are the same no matter what tools you use. The point is not to sigh when you don’t have high-tech video making gears to make you videos. The point here is to make the best out of whatever you have in your disposal.

Start with what you have. A humble beginning goes a long way.

I didn’t start off with the expensive camera that I have now. When I started making videos on Youtube, I didn’t own much of what I used; I simply borrowed them. I borrow the camera and the tripod from friends.

For editing, I used the cheapest software that I could find. It is so cheap that it is free. I used Windows Live Movie Maker to start off with. It is simple, basic, and it fulfills what I needed. In fact, that software is complete enough if you want just basic video editing with no sophisticated effects or anything like that.

For vlogging purposes, basic video editing is enough. That is all that you need. Anything else is luxury. If you can afford luxury, then go ahead. If you can’t, then live within your means.

In this post I would like to explain how I made my 15s Instagram video about how to make Youtube videos. If you haven’t watched it, this is the link: How to Make Youtube Videos.

Step 1: Write

For a 15s video, you don’t need much content due to the time limit. However, the shorter the video, the greater the amount of creativity required. If you want to deliver a message in such a short amount of time, you need to know how to be concise – brief, but comprehensive.

Here, I didn’t want to do any talking. I just let my actions do the talking. So as you can imagine, there wasn’t much to write in this case.

Step 2: Shoot

I used the Samsung Tab 4 that I got from a friend. Using the front facing camera, I simply held the camera in one hand and record the video – kind of like a selfie (I can’t believe I just wrote that).

Looks ridiculous. I know.

In general, smartphones or tablets need plenty of light in order to make the picture clear. But I didn’t have much light to go on. I relied on the ceiling fluorescent lights that I have in the room. To my eyes, it was plenty of light but to the camera, it needed more.

Not to mention, it has a leather like back cover, so at least I know I look stylish every time I’m recording a video.

So the picture in the end was dim in some instances, but I think it didn’t take away from the message of the video so I’m going to roll with it.

Sound quality wasn’t an issue because I am not using any sound in this video, except for the background music that I’ll add later in post – which brings us to Step 3.

Step 3: Edit

I edited the video on the Tab 4, using a free video editing app called VivaVideo. This is the first time I edited a video on a tablet. It was awkward at first, but once I got the hang of it, it is kind of fun!

The basics of any video editor are still the same. You only need a software that can cut and choreograph clips. In this day and age, practically any video software you can find has those basic features.

I opened the app and clicked on “Pro Edit” because I’m cool like that *wears sunglasses*

VivaVideo > Pro Edit > Add clips

I added all of my clips into the editor. I recorded each clip longer than I needed it to be, so I have to trim each one to my desired length. I know that Instagram only allows a video to be 15s long max, so I’ll trim all 4 of my clips into 3s each.

To trim a clip, just drag the indicator at the bottom to the desired length and portion of the clip that you want to keep. Click on the blue scissor button after you’re done and tadaa! You have trimmed one clip. Do the same for the other 3 clips.

After the trimming session is all done, the editor will take me to another window for further editing. The editor automatically put together all of the clips in the order that I trimmed them.

If I want to add more clips, I can tap on the “Add clip” button. If I want to rearrange my clips. I can tap on the “Clip edit” button. I wanted to add a blank frame at the beginning and at the end of my video. So I added 2 blank pictures at the beginning and rearrange one of them to the end of the video.

I made the first picture 2s long and the second picture 1s long so that the total length of my video will be 15s (perfect!)

Now lets add some titles. Simply tap on the button that says “Title”

Drag the video strip at the bottom to the point where you want to put the title in. Click on the big blue button to add the title.

Tap on the tick button on the top right when you’re done. It will automatically play the video with the title and you have to stop the video where you want the title to stop showing. In this video, I added a different title to each of my clips.

When that’s done, I finished it off with the background music. Simply tap on the button that says “Music”.

I clicked on the volume button on the bottom left to mute the sounds in my video clips because I don’t need to use them. Then I chose where to start my music, and then clicked on the big blue button to add the music. I selected the music that I wanted and added it in.

I played the full video just to see if everything is all right.

When I’m satisfied, I tapped on the “Share” button on the top right to export the video and later, uploaded it on Instagram.

The tab’s performance is smooth enough to handle this kind of video editing. So the whole process didn’t take long.

Of course, this isn’t the high-end video making that we all dream of, but this is a good start for those who wanted to get used to this arena. It is okay to start small and it is okay to start with an imperfect step.

The fact that you took that first step means that you are closer to your destination than those who stay put and don’t do anything.


This blog post was sponsored by Samsung. If you want to know more about the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, please visit this link: You too now can make your own videos with the Tab 4 and even start writing with it.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

My Video Making Process

Many have asked about how I make my Youtube videos, most of them are vlogs. I don't have a special technique for video making, so I would like to share my point of view on making videos. My method is fairly basic and it composes of 3 simple steps.

For this post, I would like to share with you how to make a vlog using the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4. Not only that, I’m even writing this blog on the tab itself, because it’s just that convenient because of its size.

Step 1: Write

I don't record my vlogs spontaneously. I wish I could, but I guess that I don't have that ability, yet. But for now, I write a script for every video. At the very least, I would have bullet points of all the things I want to say in that video.

I would write the script while imagining in my head how I would "act it out" during the recording. I mentioned "act it out", but none of it is fake. My personality is in the script as much as it is in the video (or perhaps more in the video than in the script).

To write the script in my own voice makes the script becomes alive to me and it becomes easier to manifest the script in video form.

The point is, don't be any other person other than yourself. You might think that you are not interesting, but you'll never know. At first, I didn't think that many people would bother to watch my videos. As it turned out, there is an audience out there who are willing to listen to my voice.

Similarly, you too have your own audience out there who are willing to listen to your voice, whether you realize it or not.

And! Sometimes, you would need to look for certain inspiration or information online. When you have so many different sources online, it’s good that I can use the multi window function on the Tab 4. Having multi-windows enables me to write notes while watching a video at the same time, all in one screen.

Multi window function.

Step 2: Shoot

Recording or shooting the vlog is the next step. The key to shooting a vlog is to put yourself in the shoes of your audience. Just like you would like to watch a good quality video, you should offer the same to your audience. Do unto others what you wish for yourself.

A good quality video basically consists of two important components: picture quality and audio quality.

When I mention "picture quality", some might think of a pricey camera and conclude, "Well, that's it. I can't vlog. I'm broke." That is not necessarily true. Though a good camera is indeed a useful tool, but it only contributes a fraction to an overall good quality video.

The best camera is whatever you have in your hand. Having said that, the Tab 4 can provide that camera that you need, as it shoots high-resolution videos and it’s easy to use. A tool is only as good as the person who is using it. Having an expensive camera doesn't automatically make a good quality video, especially if you don't know how to fulfill the camera's full potential.

Picture quality is more about controlling the camera angle and the lighting.

The camera angle is what you want the audience to see. You want the environment in the video to be interesting enough that people want to watch, but not too interesting that it distracts the audience from the main subject.

The lighting is what you want the audience to focus on. Think of it like a spotlight. Wherever you direct the light, the audience's eyes will follow. If it is a vlog, then the focus should be on the vlogger. If the vlogger is poorly lit, then the focus of the video is poorly set up.

Unless of course, a poorly lit video is the mood that you are going for.

As for audio quality, I would argue that it is more important than picture quality. It is because of the simple fact that the audio contains the message. You have a voice and you want people to hear you.
Having used the Tab 4 previously to record some video, I find the audio quality to be pretty good, so it’s safe to say that the Tab 4 would be a great tool for recording videos, be it Vlogs or even skits.

A video that is noisy, too noisy that you gave difficulty hearing the message, is a bad quality video. Find a quiet place to shoot, speak clearly, and get a good microphone (optional).

Step 3: Edit

"What software do you use?" is probably the most famous question in the subject of video editing. Like shooting a video with an expensive camera, people might think that you should edit with a sophisticated software.

Not really.

Whatever software you have in your disposal is good enough, because any software should be able to accomplish two basic things: cutting and pasting. That is video editing in a nutshell.

Same thing for the Tab 4, there are a few editing apps that you can use, and is simple to navigate. For example, Kine Master Pro, Vid Master Pro, and AndroVid. These are some of the apps that you can use for editing.

For more lengthy and trickier videos, I use Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 - not out of necessity, but out of a desire to learn a more complex software.

Learn to cut and paste your video, to choreograph each video clip or scene into one coherent video.


Whatever you have is good enough to start off with. Somebody somewhere out there will find you interesting to listen to.

Before I go, I’ve recently watched some of these viral videos, and I think they’re really interesting!

  1. Do I Only Use 10% of My Brain?
  2. Intro to Psychology - Crash Course Psychology #1
  3. Lip Sync Battle with Emma Stone
  5. Chicken or the Egg? (Dear Ryan)


This blog post was sponsored by Samsung. If you want to know more about the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, please visit this link: You too now can make your own videos with the Tab 4 and even start writing with it.

Wrote this post on the tab.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Pen and Paper

People asked me about my ideas and where do they come from. I simply told them that my ideas come from anywhere, anyone, and at any time.

I find inspiration in anything that I can wrap my mind around. Our life experiences are full of inspirations and these inspirations are a goldmine of ideas. I believe we all have them. The difference between those who can harness these ideas into meaningful things and those who cannot is that those who can, usually write them down.

Therefore, it is always recommended to have a pen and paper wherever you go, because you don’t know when the next idea is going to pop up. But if you have a pen and paper handy, you will be ready to capture that idea when it catches you by surprise.

I am a bit traditional in that I prefer to use pen and paper over anything else. I like the sensation of writing things down. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate the newer technology that I have in my hand.

I would sometimes use my phone as my “pen and paper” and fill it up with anything noteworthy, even if it doesn’t make much sense at the time. An idea is still an idea, even if it is a bad one. A bad idea doesn’t always have to remain bad, if you know how to refurnish it into a good one. So write anything and everything down.

Nowadays, I write notes mainly for three reasons: delivering talks, writing blog posts, and making videos. Ideas usually come in bits and pieces. Putting them all together in one coherent writing is not easy and there is no one particular time when I find it most effective to write. When it feels right, I will write.

Since I travel a lot, having something handy to write on will be very useful. Writing down ideas turns the abstract into something physical and comprehensible. Keeping ideas in your head doesn’t help. You might forget, loose track, mix it all up, etc.

Recently, someone loaned me this Samsung Tab 4 and since I have it with me, I wanted to see if it can be my “pen and paper”. I’ve been bringing it around with me everywhere I go. Though a phone is pretty fantastic, sometimes I might want to use a bigger paper.

This 7-inch tab is really useful. It is big enough for longer note takings, small enough to carry around, and light enough so that I don’t hurt my back carrying it.

Everyone needs to listen to music on the go right, with the 16gb micro sd card, I can store my favourite songs and listen to it on the go, whenever I’m out.

So as I was playing around with the tablet, I thought I’d try making a short video with it, and I did! In which I will share the video with you guys soon on my Instagram. Not only that, I found some online editing apps for the tablet as well that I used to edit that particular video. Stay tuned for the video to be up on my Instagram soon.

Point is, you find good use in whatever technology you have available in your hand. Technology is there to assist you in life, but it shouldn’t take away your life. As long as our ultimate purpose is clear, I think we will use whatever technology we have in accordance with that purpose.

Writing ideas down is for a greater purpose; you want to make something good out of them.


This blog post was sponsored by Samsung. If you want to know more about the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, please visit this link:

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Self-worth: My Beauty is a "Curse"

Assalamualaikum Mr. Aiman Azlan.

I've recently followed your blog since my friend forwarded a post you made that related to my experience. If possible, I'd like to inquire your help with my current situation, and first and foremost, I am grateful for it.

I am a 22-year old female. People say I have a fairly nice-looking physical appearance, but for me it is a curse. You see, because of this face, it attracts so many unwanted attentions and because of my previously failed relationships, I figured that people liked to see what this face have rather than what lies beyond just a face. And because of this face, I developed a fear of commitment and a fear of falling in love. I became insecure and prejudiced every time a man confesses his love for me.

I know this is a negative mindset but I really don't know what to do anymore.

Thank you for your help.


Waalaikumussalam warahmatullah.

Thank you for your honest confession.

I think you have identified your problem when you said "negative mindset". Negative things happened to all of us, and each of us face different negative things. We all have our battles. I have mine, you have yours, and others have theirs. Your battle is your beauty.

But at the same time, your blessing is your beauty as well. Allah gave you a beautiful face and you should be grateful for it. At the same time, you should realize that humans are innately attracted to beautiful things. Just like what Prophet Yusuf faced during his time.

Prophet Yusuf was a very handsome man and people were attracted to his handsomeness. But he didn't find his beauty a curse, but he did see it as a test from Allah. If he passed, he knows that he will have a better relationship with Allah in the long run. That should be your goal as well, to have a better relationship with Allah, by facing this test and not running away from it.

I speak for all men when I say that we are attracted to beautiful women (Sidenote: just like women are attracted to beautiful men). But I wouldn't that is our curse - that is our test. We as men shouldn't let our affection for beauty cloud our better judgment. That is why the Prophet advised men to prefer a women with Deen than a woman with only a beautiful face. Because in the long run, the Deen will help you get to Jannah, not the beautiful face. But that is our test as men.

Your test, as a beautiful woman, is to not let your beauty define you.

Yes, people will look at your beauty but don't let their preference for your beauty stops you. You should prove that you have much more to offer than a pretty face, and I believe you do. Don't think too much about your beauty, and definitely I hope that you don't obsess yourself over it. Because beauty will fade, whether we like it or not. Beauty will fade, even if we take very good care of it. It is the nature of beauty. But if we take good care of our Deen, Insha Allah it will not fade.

I think that should be your main focus. In fact, that should be our main focus.

I believe that you have more to offer than superficial beauty. It is a shame that so many of us can't see you beyond what is on the outside, beyond what is only skin deep.

Work on your relationship with Allah and work on developing your full potential so that you may realize it in service of your community. Focus on that, because at the end of the day, Allah looks at what is inside of you. Not what is outside.

May Allah grant you strength and may Allah surround you with good company who will help you get closer to Him. Ameen.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Education: Finding Passion Is Difficult

Assalamualaikum Brother Aiman,

I don’t know if you will read this, but I’ll have a go at it anyway.

After secondary school, I got into the engineering program. I had no idea why I picked that program because I had no interest in it. Maybe I was influenced by my peers in school, or maybe I was mesmerized by its “wow” factor. I mean, it’s engineering…come on.

In the beginning, I didn’t want to go into the program but my teacher asked me to give it a go. My teacher said that interest can be cultivated. But I ended up hating the program – I didn’t understand it, I couldn’t study, every night I called my mom wanting to go home, and my pointers were just enough for me to get by.

I didn’t want to waste my time there so I quit. Thankfully, my parents understood me.

But I had no idea what to do then. I had no idea what program to take. So I applied into anything that I found was easy. Sadly, none of my applications got through. 

I wonder why God did this to me. All my friends managed to get a place in their university, but not me. 

I had to face a lot of resentment from people. They asked me, “So, are you still on vacation?” Some even said that I have failed. It hurts, and I don’t know when it will end. I feel like I want to cover my face when I go outside. I am tired and I don’t think I have the strength to face all of this. 

When will this end?

But anyhow, I haven’t given up yet. I called universities, I sent letters, and I sent my secondary school transcript. I am still trying. I don’t know what else to do besides that. I know I have the potential if I study well and if I believe in myself. 

I don’t know why I’m telling you all this. I don’t know if anyone is willing to listen, or not. But if there are those who are willing to lend me their ears, please pray for me. I hope God still give me a chance to make something of my life, and to move on.

Thank you.



Thank you for your honest email. I appreciate your willingness to share your story with me.

Allow me to begin with two important points:

No. 1, if you are going for something you are not interested in, chances are you are not going to like it.

No. 2, we have to stop ranking jobs. One job is not superior to the other. An engineer is not better than a garbage man. We need both in this world that we currently live in. I mean, imagine a world without garbage men.

Any honest job is a good job, and if you are positively contributing to the society by doing that job, that’s great, and if you find satisfaction in doing that job, that is even better.

Interest or passion can be cultivated. I have met people who didn’t love what they do at first, but they learn to love it as they go along. That is great.

But, if you have tried your best and you have tried to find interest and passion in what you are doing, but you could not find it, then I think it is a form of emotional torture to keep walking on that path.

You want to enjoy what you do, not endure it.

If you decided to quit, then good for you. There is no rule that forces you to keep on pursuing something that you hate. However, I am not saying that if you don’t love what you do, you should quit cold turkey. Ask for advice. Consult wise people before you make your decision.

I am fully aware that each individual situation is different, but my main point is this: if you want to do something for the rest of your life, as a career choice, then it makes sense to choose something that you love doing (provided that it’s not illegal or morally wrong of course).

Never pursue something just because it is easy. Pursue something because you love it, not because it is easy. Sometimes what you love is easy. Sometimes what you love is hard. But either way it doesn’t matter because you would find enjoyment and satisfaction in it nonetheless. Plus, difficult things build character.

If you have no idea what to do, it’s okay to try things out. Explore new things. See if anything resonates with you or not. It’s okay to take your time. There’s no rule that says that you have to be in university by this age and you have to graduate by this age.

I have met people who are much, much older than me sitting in the same class as me in university. One person in particular had grey hair and needed a cane to walk. So there is no age limit to learning and exploring.

For some people, finding passion is easy – they already figured out what to do with their life from the very beginning. But for others, it is not as easy. They have to go out, explore, and figure things out – that process requires time, patience, and determination.

And hey, a little bit of help from the people around who actually care can go a long way.

I understand that in a difficult time like this, we have this tendency to find blame so that our apparent misery has some form of explanation to it. 

But don’t put the blame on God. You have no idea what He has planned for you. You have no idea if there is good in what you are currently experiencing. 

We are taught to always be optimistic. Not delusional, thinking that everything is sunshine and daisies. No, we acknowledge the negative that is around but we choose to focus on the positive. Between the two, if I had to make a choice, I’d go for positive any day. 

Sometimes the thing that we want the most might not be good for us, and we might not see it in the moment. We are very short-sighted; we can’t see beyond what is in front of our eyes. We want something and think that it’s good for us, but in the long term, it might not be good and only God knows what is in the long term. 

It’s like when a child wants to play with fire and you as a parent know that it is bad for the child, so you stop the child from going near the fire. But all the child knows is that he really wants to play with the fire, so the child would probably cry because you didn’t allow him to play with it. 

So maybe, just maybe, the things that you want right now are not good for you so God blocked you from going near them. In a way, He is doing you a huge favour and that is a reason to thank Him. Not to blame Him.

Don't measure yourself with other people. What is good for others might not be good for you. Yes, your friends might be getting along fine with their university application being accepted and all, but you don't know what other challenges they are facing. 

Try to look beyond what you see. What seems good for you might not be good at all in the long run. What seems bad for you might actually be good, if you search for the silver lining. Know this, God will never forsake you.

I understand it must be difficult for you to face all the resentments from people. One of the hard truths about life is that it is not easy. Life is difficult. Along the way, you will come across difficult people. 

For you, you should know that you don't have control over their mouths. However, you do have control over your own. Whatever they say, don't reciprocate because that will only make matters worst. Don't fight fire with fire. 

Having said that, it doesn't mean that you allow yourself to get beaten up by their words. You can stand up to them, by giving them compassionate but firm advice. At the end of the day, you can only do what is in your control. 

For the difficult people, they should really hit the brakes and think about what they are doing. They have no idea what you've gone through. They have no idea how hard you are trying. They have no idea about your current emotional state. If they have no idea, then they should think better of you. 

At the very least, they should just keep quiet. Speak good, or speak nothing at all. 

Life will serve you with a full course meal of annoying and demotivating people, so we need to build a much thicker skin to deal with people like that. 

Chances are, we can’t avoid them. They will be around. We can try our best to advise them, but in the end we can’t really shut people up. we can’t control what they say, but we can control our reaction to what they say.

Be the bigger person and God will love you for it.

Despite all the hate, the fact that you are still trying your best shows your true colors. It shows how strong you really are and it shows that you have what it takes to face these challenges, for God doesn't burden a soul with a test it cannot bear. 

And yes, there are people who are willing to listen to you. 

Don't stop. Don't give up. You can do it. 

May God grant you strength and grant you what is best for you in this world and in the next. Ameen.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I Want To Repent, But...


My name is ##### and I am 17 years old.

My parents perform Solat (prayer). They told me to pray but I don't. I don't know why I don't pray. They sent me to Islamic school and I learned a lot about Islam, but I don’t practice it.

Could you please give me steps that I can follow to practice what I have learned and how can I open my heart to change my life to become a better Muslim? Could you suggest books that I can read?

I want to do Tawbah (repentance), but sometimes I feel maybe I shouldn’t do it yet. I am afraid that when I repent, I would still commit the same sins.

I hope that you can help me as much as you can. Thank you, Abang Aiman. I just need a listener that can listen without any judgment.

Thank you. Assalamualaikum.



Thank you for emailing me.

It doesn't matter what you did in the past. Let the past be in the past. Islam teaches us to repent and move on.

Focus on what you can do today in preparation for a better tomorrow, insha Allah. Start working on changing yourself to become a better Muslim, both inward and outward.

The fact that you emailed me asking for help indicates that you are on the path to change for the better, and that is a good thing. It shows me that you have that noble intention in your heart. If you ask me, your heart is already open for change. Otherwise, you wouldn't email me.

I pray that Allah keeps you steadfast on this path. Ameen.

Now, what you need to do is to take it one step at a time. Don't rush it. Long-lasting change usually happens gradually - slowly but surely. The Prophet took 23 years to completely deliver the message of Islam. Change is a long journey.

It doesn't matter if you are slow, as long as you are moving on the right path and in the right direction.

Having said that, where should you start? My suggestion: A good place to start is to know Allah, the focus point of our life.

He is our center, hence anything and everything that we do should gravitate towards Him. So it is only logical that we start with Him and our relationship with Him.

A good book that I would recommend is the book "Reclaim Your Heart" by Yasmine Mogahed. It discusses about the heart and how we might have attached it to the world too much in such a way that we forget the real purpose of our existence.

Other than that, I recommend that you start attending classes that discuss about Allah. Start familiarizing yourself with good gatherings and good people. Surround yourself with good company, who can support you in times of need and who can direct you to where you should go.

A good way to change yourself is to change your surrounding. Slowly transition into a better surrounding, one that fits your goal of wanting to become a better Muslim. Start building up a good, healthy, and positive social support because change is not easy so there is a good chance that you might need help once in a while.

For taubah (repentance), you don't need to wait to be perfect to repent. In fact, repentance is not for the perfect. It is for the imperfect, and the imperfect is us. We are all imperfect. We have many shortcomings and mistakes. Therefore, it is advisable for us to constantly repent and to constantly reflect on what we have done.

If you repent and you repeat the same mistake, then repent again. If you do it again, then repent again, and again, and again, and again...until your final breath if you have to. Allah loves those who repent with sincere repentance. I believe that you are sincere and you indeed want to change. So do it, and don't stop.

Don't stop and don't give up hope. Allah talks to you when He said:

"...O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah . Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful."

[Surah az-Zumar: 53]

Allah is giving you hope and Allah is telling you not to give up. He will never be tired of forgiving you, if you never stop turning back to Him sincerely.

For solat, like I said before, start slowly. If you have never prayed 5 times a day before, then it might be difficult to do all 5 now. But that is normal. Everything is difficult the first time around, like when you learned how to walk for the first time. It wasn't easy, was it? You fell down a few times, but you never give up did you? If you did, then you wouldn't be walking today.

Likewise, you should think of solat as learning how to walk. In the beginning, it will be difficult. But insha Allah, it will be easier if you keep on trying. In the end, praying 5 times a day would feel like a walk in the park.

In addition, it would really help if you surround yourself with friends who pray 5 times a day. They can be your support and they can remind you when it is time for prayer. In fact, you guys can pray together! A journey is made easier when you have others to walk alongside you.

I hope this helps. I apologize if I have offended you in any way. That is not my intention. I intend good for you both in this life and in the next, and nothing less than that.

May Allah grant you strength, patience, good company, and steadfastness. Ameen.

Don't stop. Don't give up. You are on your way :)