The Corona Crisis Brought Me to Islam

Wilhelm (Willi) Ott is a professional mixed martial art fighter from Austria. During the Covid-19 crisis, Willi Ott said, he had enough time and the necessary peace of mind to study about Islam. He pronounced his shahadah publicly on his Instagram account.


Willi Ott, who chose the Muslim name of Khalid, said that he was interested in Islam for quite some time. However, he never really got around to delve deeper into the religion.

“There were times, I just could not connect to religion. And I also let myself be influenced by politics”, Khalid writes on his Instagram account.

Austrian politics have been quite hostile towards the Austrian Muslim minority. Resulting in the ban of the niqab and different laws that restrict Muslims’ religious freedom in the country. However, during the Corona quarantine, Willi Khalid Ott felt his faith grow and his belief in the One and Only God rooted deep in his heart.


Khalid further describes that now his faith and conviction are strong enough to recite his shahadah. It is a few days before the beginning of Ramadan, middle of April 2020. He records his shahadah and makes it public that he is now Muslim and worships the one and only God.

“I am proud to be a Muslim”, Khalid writes in his Instagram post.

“I posted my shahadah because I wanted my friends and surrounding to know that I became Muslim”.

Khalid did not just pronounce his shahadah, but also acted on it right away. Together with his Muslim friends, he joined Friday prayer for the first time. And one of his friends gave him the holy Quran in German translation and a prayer mat. “I don’t know what to say about the positive feedback I got after my conversion”, Khalid Willi writes.


“As a professional fighter”, Khalid explained, “you need strong will-power. Fasting also needs strong will power. I feel that my faith helps me to strengthen my will-power.

Not eating and drinking all day requires strong self-discipline. But it becomes more beautiful with every day. I enjoy every day of fasting more than the day before.”

Another aspect Khalid describes in his posts is the Muslim brotherhood that is so important to him. Many days he is invited to one of his friends’ home to break the fast together. Many of his friends from the Gym became his brothers in Islam.


Although Khalid just embraced Islam around one month ago, he is already active in spreading and calling others to Islam. He records his progress of learning Islam. He posts videos of himself reciting Al-Fatihah. “I love this Surah”, he claims.

Slowly, Khalid memorizes other short chapters and conducts the five daily prayers. Al-Ikhlas is one chapter he memorized. He recorded it and hopes that him reciting it will maybe open somebody’s heart to return to Islam and start praying again. Subhan Allah.

Furthermore, Khalid Wilhelm Ott also motivates his son to join him in fasting. Khalid’s motivation in spreading Islam shows us in a beautiful way that it is not only about what we know but about practicing it and having certainty about it.


“Now that things are starting to get back to normal, many things will just be like before. Life will continue. Many people will just go on with their lives as before. However, for me, everything changed. This crisis was the best thing that ever happened to me. I feel like I was born again. I feel so strong like I never felt before. Alhamdulillah.”

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