Ramadan 2021: How a powerful 'dua' changed a British expat's life

Dubai - Muhammad Khalid says he found direction and purpose in life after embracing Islam.

By Saman Haziq

Published: Tue 13 Apr 2021, 7:46 PM

British expat Olu Thomas, 29, is a highly successful entrepreneur in the UAE today. But the tech enthusiast was once a homeless teenager in the UK, living a directionless life and hanging out with the wrong crowd.

Life would have gone on like this, he says, if not for a “powerful” prayer that got him to Islam and changed his life forever.

“I was going through very tough times in my teenage years in the UK. I had left my home and was living it rough on the streets and was hanging out with the wrong crowd. After sometime, I got tired as I could see myself going nowhere. I was directionless and didn’t know what to do with my life. One day, I just prayed my heart out to God asking for help. I told God, 'I give up... Please show me the right path. Help me,'" Khalid said.

That’s when Thomas, who is now called Muhammad Khalid, says he found Islam.

After that heartfelt prayer, Khalid said things began to change. “Suddenly, things started turning for the better. My mother called me and reconnected with me, asking me to return. I went back home and then began researching on life, purpose of life and related topics. I came across many theories, philosophies and stumbled upon some videos on Islam. When I heard about the concept of Islam and stories of Prophets, that too from a convert narrating his experience during an online show, I decided to research more. Luckily, my uncle had recently married a Muslim woman, so I went to her and asked her for a English copy of the Quran.”

Khalid, who was born and raised a Christian, then began his journey to understanding Islam and after reading and understanding the Holy Quran, he took the Shahada (declaring that one has become a Muslim) while in the UK.

"Things started looking up as I changed as a person and strove to become the best version of myself. My mum loved me more after I became a Muslim (she is still a Christian) as I became more obedient, responsible and caring towards my family,” he laughed.

Khalid said he found direction after embracing Islam a few years before coming to the UAE. “Islam has given me happiness, purpose, direction and brought peace in my life. I didn’t know my life's purpose until I read the Holy Quran. After embracing Islam, I got the focus back in my life and began investing in different businesses outside the UK. This got me to the UAE. I fell in love with Islamic culture, the call for prayer, the community feeling of being with so many Muslims, and the convenience of eating Halal food,” he said.

Finding success

After completing his graduation, Khalid began investing in different businesses across the world, including the UAE. Most of them clicked and he went up the success ladder to become a successful entrepreneur.

Khalid who is marking his second Ramadan in the UAE this year, says his love for his new religion – Islam – has helped him settle in the UAE.

He is now the successful founder of Shisheo Group, which helps F&B outlets connect with the right audience, through a restaurant directory that convert it to a social media food blogging platform. He also has a dessert parlour and co-owns a boxing gym in Dubai.


Muhammad Khalid is marking his second Ramadan in the UAE. Supplied photo
Muhammad Khalid is marking his second Ramadan in the UAE. Supplied photo

More news from Ramadan 2021