Up Close with Malaysian Vlogger Extraordinaire Aiman Azlan
Aiman Azlan is a 21-year-old Malaysian student in the University of Toronto. He started making videos (à la Baba Ali) around six months ago and his videos have since hit around 20,000 to 50,000 views each. We posted this video on our Facebook page but we shall post it here as well:
Aiman was kind enough to agree to an interview with Muzlimbuzz. Here’s our short chat with him!
Aiman: I started making videos by accident. Alhamdulillah, it was a beautiful accident. There were other Malaysian vloggers before me and I was inspired by them. One day, I made a “mistake” of telling my friends that I want to make a Youtube video. Of course, I didn’t follow through with what I said. I procrastinated, fearing that people might not like my videos. The classical question of “what would the people think?” haunted me.
My friends started teasing me. I became a bit upset and I think I was more upset with myself for not doing what I said I wanted to do. So, in a way, my friends motivated me to make my first video (Just Do It). I didn’t plan on making videos about Islam. In fact, there was no plan at all. Like I said, it was an accident.[pullquote_right]The lecture changed me and I wanted to share the message with the world.[/pullquote_right]
But my second video was the tipping point. I saw a need to address the issue of judging people and I used the notes I took from an Islamic lecture I went which talked about mercy and part of it is about not judging people. The lecture changed me and I wanted to share the message with the world. People accepted my message well and people started saying that the video was Islamic and that I am doing good da’wa. I started realizing that somehow the way I deliver the message is easily acceptable to people. I guess that’s how I started. Subhanallah, sometimes things happen without planning. Allah opens doors which you don’t expect.
I make more than videos. I have a blog in which I write (www.aimanazlan.com). I’ve been doing that for a few years, longer than I did vlogging (about 6 months).
[box_dark]Muzlimbuzz: Did you ever expect that your videos would become such a hit?[/box_dark]
Aiman: I didn’t expect it at all. It’s just something new that I wanted to try out because I think it’s something cool. Now, I enjoy doing it. Doing something you enjoy that can benefit the people is a rewarding experience. Alhamdulillah.
I record my videos in HD and I don’t have a fast computer or a sophisticated video editing software. Hence, making a video could take me (roughly) an entire day especially the editing part. But since the first video, I’m able to cut down the time used because I kind of got used to it.
Insha Allah, I will try to devise a way to make videos using the least amount of time. I think ideas are easy to generate. The hard part is to deliver those ideas in a way that is both entertaining and beneficial to people. That is something unique to each individual. Each person has his/her own way of getting the point home.
[box_dark]Muzlimbuzz: We understand you are also studying Biology and Psychology. How do you like the subjects you’re doing? Has anyone commented that since you’re not trained in Islamic studies, you shouldn’t be tackling Islamic issues?[/box_dark]
Aiman: I like my program very much. I choose them because I have a passion for them, especially Psychology. A few people have asked me about my educational background. But none has told me not to do what I do just because I don’t have a degree in Islamic Studies, Alhamdulillah. Indeed I didn’t go to an Islamic school nor am I pursuing an Islamic degree in university.
However, I take precaution in making my videos. I don’t simply talk based on personal opinions. People who aren’t trained in medicine can’t prescribe drugs to other people. The content of my videos stems from knowledge I gained from various teachers/shuyukh.
[box_dark]Muzlimbuzz: Speaking of comments, what are the best and worst comments you’ve gotten since this whole journey started?[/box_dark]
Aiman: I have received a lot of comments: good ones and bad ones. The best comment that I remember is a person saying that my video left an impact in him/her and caused him/her to change or start changing. Worst comment? I honestly don’t know. I try not to think about it, unless the comment is something constructive.
[box_dark]Muzlimbuzz: Who are your greatest inspirations?[/box_dark]
Aiman: The greatest inspiration ever is Prophet Muhammad of course! Also, I got my inspiration from the teachers/shuyukh that I’ve been given the honour of spending time with and learning from. Other than that, the people around me and the experience I go through each day can be a source of inspiration.
[box_dark]Muzlimbuzz: Baba Ali started off making videos and he has plans of doing a movie and he also has a matchmaking service running now. What are your future plans for your videos?[/box_dark]
Aiman: I plan on continuing making videos because I enjoy doing it and I am glad that people are benefiting from them. I do have the intention on perhaps making a short movie but that is something that I’ve placed on the back burner simply due to lack of resources. For now, I want to continue making videos for as long as I can, Insha Allah.
[box_dark]Muzlimbuzz: Which part of Aiman Azlan do we not get to see in the videos?[/box_dark]
Aiman: The part where I am just a regular teenager. Like everybody else, I have a lot to improve about myself.
[box_dark]Muzlimbuzz: What do you have to say to your Singaporean fans and to the modern day Muslim youth in general?[/box_dark]
Aiman: I want to say “thank you” to everyone who keeps on watching me talking to my camera in my apartment like a madman. “Thank you” is all that I can say really. I would love to bake you guys cookies or something but it would be more of a torture than a gift so I hope “thank you” is enough. Your support means a lot. I hope I can get the chance to visit Singapore one day Insha Allah. Although I live so close, I haven’t been there yet.
“To the youth in general, I want to say that if the world is a car then we are the engine. Be a great Muslim that can benefit your community so that you may leave a legacy when you’re gone. I believe that each and every one of us has something to contribute to the society, no matter how big or how small. Remember that Allah doesn’t look at the magnitude of your deed but He looks at the sincerity of your intention. Allahua’lam.
We thank Aiman Azlan for his time and pray that Allah continue to inspire and guide him so that he may continue to inspire other youths. Ameen!