Mighty Wallet

My wallets usually doesn't have a really long life-span. Most would last less than a year of continuous use like the one that had before. What I need is a wallet that's really durable, tough and long-lasting while not costing me an arm or a leg. That's when I found out about Mighty Wallet by Dynomighty Design.

The Mighty Wallet was designed by Terrence Kelleman in 2005 and made entirely of Tyvek material which is very strong and difficult to tear but easy to cut. The Mighty Wallet is folded entirely out of a single sheet of Tyvek and features a stitchless design.

I love the thin, durable, and light weight qualities of the Mighty Wallet which is perfect for me to carry around every day. It is thin enough to fit comfortably in my pocket, durable enough to withstand the elements, and light enough that you will hardly notice you are carrying it.

Finding the Mighty Wallet in Malaysia was initially quite frustrating. You can't definitely find any of them in sale in any of your regular hypermart or fashion outlet. I found one local online store which does sell wallet for RM55 but reading several customer reviews of the website didn't really inspire confidence to me. Finally I found the Mighty Wallet on sale at a Borders store at The Curve last weekend and bought it right away. There are over a dozen designs to choose from (a hundred from their American website). I had my eyes on the mail envelope design for a long time but unfortunately that one is out of stock.

RM64 is more than I usually pay for my wallets which usually cost no more than RM25. But since this wallet is really durable and the design is quite pretty, I simply have to try this wallet. So far I'm one truly satisfied Mighty Wallet customer. I would really recommend this wallet to everyone, you won't regret it.

No god but God review

I first heard about Reza Aslan from his international bestseller book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth became a hot topic of discussion across the Internet. Naturally, when a professed Muslim wrote a book about Jesus the christian prophet/god, people will take notice. Then I heard he spoke in an interview with our local BFM Radio about the controversy of the usage of the name of Allah in the local christian publication, Herald. From then on I was compelled to read his works so I started with his first bestseller - No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam which has been translated into 13 languages.

I must confess, my knowledge of Islam had been limited to what I've been taught at school from the tender age of 7 until I graduate from college. Naturally, my views on Islam only covers the perspective of sunni Muslims who were responsible for introducing Islam in this region. Before reading the book I vaguely knew about other Islamic denomination such as shia and sufism. The book has certainly opened my worldview on Islam, in a positive way in spite of some of the more startling revelation uncovered in the book.

No god but God explains the origin and evolution of Islam from the moment prior to prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) birth until the present day. He started with the history of Mecca and the community around it, the origin of the Kaabah, Muhammad's life as a typical pre-Islam Meccan orphan up until his death in Medina. According to Aslan, a young pagan Muhammad like his peers had actively took part in pagan rituals like worshipping the idols around Kaabah and offering sacrifices to them. It is a common view by traditionalist muslims that our beloved prophet, before being called by God had never took part in such pagan rituals.

Aslan also touched on the origin of the name Allah. The Bedouin tribe in pre-Islamic Arabia had always practised a rich and diverse religious tradition. Like their contemporaries, they had worshipped many deities and their nomadic lifestyle requires a religion to address immediate concerns like which god can lead them to water or which god can heal their illnesses. Paganism among the societies of Arabia had developed from its earlier and simpler structure into a complex form of neo-animism, providing a host of divine and semi-divine intermediaries who stood between creator god and his creation. This 'creator god' was called 'Allah', which is not a proper name but a contraction of the word al-illah, simply meaning "the god". Like his Greek counterpart, Zeus, Allah was originally an ancient rain/sky deity who had been elevated into the role of the supreme god of the pre-islamic Arabs. Their Allah had a prominent status in the Arab pantheon and a powerful deity to swear by. However like most High Gods, this Allah went beyond the reach of ordinary people. Only in times of great peril would anyone bother consulting him. Otherwise it was much faster to turn to the lesser, more accessible gods who acted as Allah's intermediaries. After the introduction of Islam, Muhammad and his followers naturally continued to use the name Allah although this time it refers to the one and only God. Hence historically the name Allah doesn't exclusively belong to muslims because they had been used by pagan pre-Islamic Arab people since a long-long time ago.

Another interesting point that Aslan highlighted in this book was the prophet's marriage to multiple wives and particularly one to a then nine year old Aisha. The west has been relentless in their attack against Muhammad for this. Like the great Jewish patriarchs Abraham and Jacob; like the prophets Moses and Hosea; like the Israelite kings Saul, David, and Solomon; and like nearly all of the Christian/Byzantine and Zoroastrian/ Sasanian monarchs, all Shaykhs in Arabia — Muhammad included, had either multiple wives, multiple concubines, or both. In seventh century Arabia, a Shaykh’s power and authority was determined by the size of his harem. And while Muhammad’s union with a nine-year-old girl may be shocking to our modern sensibilities, his marriage to Aisha was not purely sexual in nature. Aisha did not consummate her marriage to Muhammad until after reaching puberty, which is when practically every girl in Arabia eligible for marriage.

After having been married with Khadija for more than twenty-five years, Muhammad, in the course of ten years in Yathrib, married nine different women. However, with very few exceptions, these marriages were not sexual unions but political ones. But as the leader of the Ummah, it was Muhammad’s responsibility to forge links within and beyond his community through the only means at his disposal: marriage. Thus, his unions with Aisha and Hafsah linked him to the two most important and influential leaders of the early Muslim community — to Abu Bakr and Umar, respectively. His marriage to Umm Salamah a year later forged an important relationship with one of Mecca’s most powerful clans, the Makhzum. His union with Sawdah by all accounts an unattractive widow long past the age of marriage — served as an example to the Ummah to marry those women in need of financial support. His marriage to Rayhana, a Jew, linked him with the Banu Qurayza, while a significant political alliance with the ruler of Egypt.

Furthermore, Aslan also touched the history of the wearing of the veil. Although long seen as the most distinctive emblem of Islam, the veil is, surprisingly, not imposed upon Muslim women anywhere in the Quran. The tradition of veiling and seclusion (known together as hijab ) was introduced into Arabia long before Muhammad, primarily through Arab contacts with Syria and Iran, where the hijab was a sign of social status. After all, only a woman who need not work in the secluded and veiled. In the Ummah, there was no tradition of veiling until around 627 C.E., when the so-called “verse of hijab” suddenly descended upon the community. That verse, however, was addressed not to women in general, but exclusively to Muhammad’s wives: “Believers, do not enter the Prophet’s house unless asked. And if you are invited do not linger. And when you ask something from the Prophet’s wives, do so from behind a hijab. This will assure the purity of your hearts as well as theirs” (33:53).

This restriction makes perfect sense when one recalls that Muhammad’s house was also the community’s mosque: the center of religious and social life in the Ummah. People were constantly coming in and out of this compound at all speak with Muhammad, they would set up their tents for days at a time inside the open courtyard, just a few feet away from the apartments in which Muhammad’s wives slept. And new emigrants who arrived in Yathrib would often stay within the mosque’s walls until they could find suitable homes. When Muhammad was little more than a tribal Shaykh, this constant commotion could be tolerated. But by the year 627, when he had become the supremely powerful leader of an increasingly expanding community, some kind of segregation had to be enforced to maintain the sanctity of his wives. Thus the tradition, borrowed from the upper classes of Iranian and Syrian society from the peering eyes of everyone else. That the veil applied solely to Muhammad’s wives is further demonstrated by the fact that the term for donning the veil, darabat al-hijab, was used synonymously and interchangeably with “becoming Muhammad’s wife.” For this reason, during the Prophet’s lifetime, no other women in the Ummah observed the hijab.

Of course, modesty was encouraged on all believers, and women in particular were instructed to “draw their clothes around them a little to be recognized as believers and so that no harm will come to them” (33:60). More specifically, women should “guard their private parts and drape a cover ( khamr ) over their breasts” when in the presence of strange men (24:31–32). But, as Leila Ahmed, a prominent Egyptian American writer on Islam and Islamic feminism observes, nowhere in the whole of the Quran is the term hijab applied to any woman other than the wives of Muhammad. It is difficult to say with certainty when the veil was adopted by the rest of the Ummah, though it was most likely long after Muhammad’s death. Muslim women probably began wearing the veil as a way to emulate the Prophet’s wives, who were revered as “the Mothers of the Ummah.” But the veil was neither compulsory nor, for that matter, widely adopted until generations after Muhammad’s death, when a large body of male scriptural and legal scholars began using their religious and political authority to regain the dominance they had lost in society as a result of the Prophet’s egalitarian reforms.

Next Aslan related the history of the stoning punishment which began during the rule of Umar Al-Khattab. The stoning to death of adulterers, is a punishment which has absolutely no foundation whatsoever in the Quran but was justified by Umar by claiming it had originally been part of the Revelation and had somehow been left out of the authorized text. Of course, Umar never explained how it was possible for a verse such as this “accidentally” to have been left out of the Divine Revelation of It was enough that he spoke with the authority of the Prophet.

Personally, I liked the earlier, historic part of the book - from pre-Islamic Mecca to round about the administration of the Rashidun Caliphate to the foundation of shia and sufism sects. I have learn a lot more about Islam in my one week of reading the book then say the last 3 years of my Islamic studies. After that period of the book, it started to get pretty boring and uninteresting since it only covers the history and development of Islam in Iran and much of Pakistan and India only. I have to admit that the shia and sufism denomination are pretty radical and not far-fetched to say, deviated from the original teachings of Islam. Of course I might be rather biased on this because I have only known the sunni manifestation of Islam for as long as I can remember. The shia part is still mostly credible to me but the sufism movement sounds more like the hippie equivalent of modern pop culture.

To call this book is the complete guide to the entire history and development of Islam would be a fallacy. A more apt title would be the history and development of pre-Islamic Arabia to it's expansion to the middle east, Mediterranean and south Asia. Reading this book offers me a fresh and critical perspective of Islam in a positive way. Will I start asking my wife and daughters to start not wearing the hijab after reading this book? Will my faith in Islam diminish or shaken after learning the origin of the name Allah? Most absolutely not. In fact my conviction and belief in Islam has not faltered a bit but grew even stronger after reading this book. To quote the 18th century poet Alexander Pope, "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing". If muslims around the world had better knowledge of the history of Islam, they'd be less susceptible to the manipulation by clerics and rulers with their own personal agendas.

I would highly recommend No god but God to all and every muslim and also non-muslims who wishes to better learn about Islam and how they come into being today.

Verdict: ★★★★

Moto G review

Ever since I bought that Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos last November, I was not particularly happy with it. Sure it has a big 5" screen but the tiny 8GB internal storage does really irks me until today. After losing 4GB to operating system and bundled apps, I barely got 4GB left to use for everything else. Even with only installing the essential apps that I use daily for work, I've got less than 2GB of space left. Forget about games like FIFA 14 or Real Racing, I don't even dare to install larger than 50MB apps for fearing of running out of space. That's not how I wanna use a 'smartphone'.

So I thought screw Samsung. I'm gonna sell my Grand Duos and buy something smarter, worthy of the smartphone moniker. Lucky for me I managed to sell my Samsung phone within 24 hours via Mudah and did a pre-order for the Motorola Moto G on Lazada the next day. Despite a few bad reviews I found on the Internet about Lazada, I find my experience with the online retailer to be a real pleasant one.

When I placed my order, the phone was not officially launched yet in the country so I had to wait for around two weeks for the actual launch date. When the phone does officially launch in Malaysia on 24th of January, Lazada took only 3 days to deliver the phone to me through in-house courier where I paid for it cash on delivery. Not bad at all I must say. I suppose all the bad reviews that I read or people wrote online are just isolated incidents.

So why did I chose Moto G over all the other smartphones in the market? As usual before making any purchase decision for new phones, I did an extensive research online by reading tech blogs and websites and numerous reviews available on many different phones out there. This time I narrowed my selection to phones with at least 4" screen with minimum 16GB of internal storage and most importantly within my meagre budget.

The Moto G has caught my attention ever since it was introduced a few months ago in the American market so when they finally made it to our shores, it didn't take me long to get it as my next phone. It sells for just $199 in the states which translates to RM788 here for the 16GB version. The fact that it was made by Google-owned Motorola is another big plus factor when buying this phone. As with Nexus devices, this phone will be amongst the first to get the latest Android OS update when they come out.

In the box, I get the Moto G, AC adapter and a earphone. The extras included in for the local market are the Moto G flip shell cover and one screen protector which are more than generous because for the American market they got nothing but the phone and a flimsy USB cable out of the box.


The Moto G features a 4.5 inches LCD display and weighs just 143 grams. There's no physical key on the front face of the device unlike most Samsung devices. The standard Android home, back and multitask buttons will appear onscreen when needed, but otherwise the bezel below the 4.5-inch display is bare. Above the LCD display you'll find the front-facing camera, LED notification light and the speaker grill. I didn't know there was an LED notification light on this phone until I reread the reviews again. Apparently if you signed with your Google account on your previous Android phone and turned off LED notifications there, you won't see them on your Moto G again after you signed in with the same Google account. Fortunately Motorola has released a widget called Notification Light Widget to fix this problem. Once you installed this widget, turn the LED notification on and you're done. You'll see a little white LED pulse every time you receive new text, email, IMs or missed calls.

The Moto G is all plastic, including the sturdy matte back cover. The back cover is interchangeable so if you're bored with the stock black color, you could just buy one of the many colorful back covers in the market. I'm not really a fan of any flip covers before cause I feel they just add weight to the phone. The Moto G flip shell cover however is attached directly to the back cover so it's like part of the device and you won't notice any extra weight. That said, I'd probably get the grip shell rubberized frame for my Moto G once they're available in stores here.

On the backside, you'll find the primary camera, loudspeaker, LED flash and a small indention where you thumb rests when prying the back panel off. And trust me, prying the back panel can be a pain on the fingers most times. They're that difficult. Even after you follow the step by step instruction by Motorola. Under the back cover, you'll find the micro SIM card slot. Not one but two of them.

I didn't know my Moto G is dual-SIM until I opened the back cover for the first time which is a surprise because the U.S version has just a single SIM slot. You can see the battery as well under the cover but unfortunately it's not user replaceable meaning you'll need to an expert to replace it one day. Like all Google branded devices, this one doesn't feature an expansion slot for memory cards so you'll have to do with the 8GB or 16GB internal storage. You might save about a hundred ringgit with the 8GB version but trust me, you don't want to own any smartphone with just 8GB of storage. It's horrible. When you sign in to your Google Drive on the phone, you'll get an extra 50GB of space free for 2 years. 50GB of Google Drive space sounds nice but for anything but eternity I'd still call it meh.

The 4.5" LCD display is beautiful, clear and and crisp with a respectable 720p resolution. The Gorilla Glass LCD should withstand minor scratches but as always I wouldn't gamble on that and fix the screen protector from day one.


My Moto G comes with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean which I quickly updated to 4.4.2 Kit Kat after opening. The phones uses basically a stock Android OS save for the startup Motorola animation and the camera app. And unlike all of Samsung devices, the Moto G doesn't include any unnecessary bloatware save for Motorola Migrate & Motorola Assist which are actually useful (hence not a bloatware). To be honest, I'm just glad to get rid of the ugly TouchWiz UI that I'm familiar with on my old Samsung Device. The fonts, design, animation and icons are much better on the Moto G and for once, I don't have the problem with the email app where I can't press enter to create a new line as I had with the Grand Duos (and most Samsung droid phones).

The stock keyboard is good if not great. Sure I'll make a few typos now and then and typing on it is still not as smooth as on an iOS device but it's definitely better than on TouchWiz (yeah I hate Samsung very much).


The Moto G features a modest 5 megapixel main camera which takes some really nice shots even in low light conditions. The stock Motorola camera app contains HDR, flash, focus control, geotag and sound recording (in video) toggles, as well as switches for the aspect ratio, and panoramic or slow-motion video recording modes which are not bad at all. With all those fancy settings I had to actually google how to snap a picture with the camera app (by touching anywhere on the screen) because there's no camera icon on it. The 1.3 megapixel front facing camera is good enough for the occasional selfie in broad daylight or for video calling. See sample photos and video below.

Moto G sample picture

Moto G sample video


For a RM788 phone you'd half expect it not to pack too much power. However, the Moto G decided to use the speedy 1.2GHz Snapdragon quad-core processor with a respectable 1GB RAM. Apps and games loads fairly quickly and graphic-intensive games like Real Racing 3 and Angry Birds Go runs smoothly without a glitch on the phone. It's easily twice as fast than my previous Samsung Grand Duos.

Battery-wise, the Moto G goes from fully charged to 20% in 8.5 hours with heavy use. Heavy use as in Wi-Fi on, push email which refreshes every 5 minutes, occasional web browsing and YouTube, an hour and a half on Instagram, a few calls and text messages and occasional messaging with Whatsapp. Quite okay with just a 2070mAh battery.


There's quite a few things I like about my Moto G but to summarize it quickly - it's the best Android phone you can get in the market today for under 800 ringgit or USD200 bar none. If you bothered to read or actually try the Moto G, I assure you, you won't touch another cheap but horrible Samsung phone again. Aside from the affordable price point, the Moto G packs a punch with it's quad core processor and RAM and it uses the latest stock Android OS with almost no modification and no bloatwares included. Unlike your Samsung, HTC or Sony Android phones, the Moto G will probably get the latest update from Google much sooner too.

Despite making it sound like the best thing since sliced bread, the Moto G does have a few compromises. For starters the screen is only 4.5" which is not a big deal for me although I certainly wouldn't mind a 5" or bigger screen. Of course you can always add another 700 ringgit and get the 5" Nexus 5. There's also no memory card slot and the battery is not user-replaceable. Apart from that, I can't find anything else to pick about the Moto G. So if you're looking for a new smartphone with a budget of only RM800, you should just head on to any Brightstar authorised dealer and get the Moto G. Trust me, you won't regret it. Even better, you can save up to 50 ringgit if you buy from online retailers like Lazada and iPmart. Even if your budget is less than 800 ringgit, don't buy that lousy but cheap Samsung or Lenovo phone. Save up a bit more and buy the Moto G the following month. To quote the review from Engadget, the Moto G is an affordable smartphone done right. The Moto G is quite simply the best phone on the market in its price range.