From Hello Magazine from around 1995, courtesy
of Chris Abrams.
- YUSUF ISLAM (CAT STEVENS)
- MAKES FIRST RECORD FOR 20 YEARS
- As successful pop star Cat Stevens (above)
and convert to Islam (right)
Almost 20 years ago,
Cat Stevens embraced the Islamic faith, changed his name to Yusuf Islam and turned his
back on a career in the music industry. The singer of such hits as Morning Has Broken
and Matthew And Son says he was really searching for peace and meaning, just like
everyone else. When I discovered Islam, I read the story of the life of the last Prophet
Mohammed - and I knew I had found my role model."
Now, at 47, he has broken
his nearly two-decade-long silence to produce a recording on The Life Of The Last
Prophet. "I've been studying the life of this great man ever since I became a
Muslim," he says. "Many people in the West see Muslims and their faith as alien
and threatening so I wanted to convey the message of Islam in English. The moment I opened
my mind to the message of the Koran, I was amazed to find that Islam was not the foreign
religion that I had expected. It was about belief in one God, for all people; about
humanity as one family."
As Cat Stevens, he grew up
believing that "making it" was the be all and end all. "I made it at the
grand old age of 18. But it wasn't long before that short exposure to success caused me to
become ill, I contracted tuberculosis. During my recovery I began to seek answers to my
questions about the meaning of life," he says. "My songs were more reflective
when I went back to the music business."
But his return was
short-lived. Following a trip to the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem, his brother
gave him a copy of the Koran and his life changed. Now married with five children he says:
"The moment I became a Muslim, I became happy."