PETALING JAYA: Being of different faiths has not stopped a local TikTok star who converted to Islam and his Hindu mother from celebrating a meaningful and joyful Hari Raya together.
Known under the handle @mukagangster on the social media app, Muhammad Mikhael Sathayah is known for looking like a tough guy, with a bald head and a full beard, and yet there is no denying he is a mummy’s boy.
From the videos, it is clear that the 39-year-old shares a loving relationship with his mother and proves that the bond between a mother and her son is unbreakable despite their different beliefs – a message that Mikhael hoped to spread.
“After I embraced Islam, my relationship with my mother became even stronger,” said the Tambun native who converted in 2018.
“I am sharing (the story of) my pilgrimage (into Islam) and I would like to tell everyone to continue loving our mothers no matter what.”
For the past five years, Mikhael has been celebrating Aidilfitri with his mother M Muniamah.
“I will wear my baju Melayu and my mother will wear traditional Indian attire. We celebrate Hari Raya together,” he said.
When asked about her feelings when Mikhael told her about his intention to convert, the 72-year-old Muniamah admitted that she feared that she would lose her son.
She was not worried about what others might think, her only worry was that Mikhael would abandon her.
“When he first wanted to convert to Islam, I was afraid that after his conversion I would be left alone.
“But he promised that he will not leave me. If that (Islam) makes him happy, I am happy. I’ve always given him whatever he wanted ever since he was a little boy,” she said.
The Muslim convert’s most viewed video on his TikTok page mentioned how his mother was vilified, with some saying that she spoiled him too much by allowing him to convert.
It was clearly an emotional memory for Mikhael, as he could be heard sobbing as he narrated the story in the video that has garnered 8.1 million views.
Another popular video on his page was about his meeting with preacher Ebit Lew, who is also a convert. That video had 3.5 million views.
Many of his videos feature his mother, including showing them dining in restaurants, his mother scolding him for his messy room and buying his mother a gold bracelet.
Despite his popularity on the TikTok platform and the fame it has brought him, Mikhael insists that he has not changed.
“If I ate nasi kandar back then, I still eat nasi kandar. I just want to spread the message of Islam through love,” said Mikhael.