Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. The message of Islam is so appealing that anyone who gets it can’t resist his desire to embrace it. Today when the world is in a state of misguidance; sins, crime, dishonesty and terror are prevalent. People need a guidance which can lead them from darkness to light. People want peace, calmness, spirituality, harmony which their respective belief is unable to provide them, so they are searching it in other religions and beliefs. While most of them tries other religion before reaching to Islam and Qur’an but once they know it, they find the truth and peace by Allah’s guidance and convert to it.
Celebrities are no exception, since they are in showbiz, they require peace and spirituality most.
Today, we will tell you about one such celebrity convert who is inspiration to millions. Chances are high that you may know him by name, but we will tell you about his faith and what led him to the straight path. This is the story of “Yusuf Islam”, a well known British Singer.
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Born as Steven Demetre Georgiou, Cat Stevens converted to Islam in December 1977 and took his present name “Yusuf Islam”.
At the time of his conversion to Islam, he was at the zenith of his pop music career. His album ‘Catch Bull at Four’ spent 3 weeks at Billboard 200 in 1972, and was his most rapidly successful album reaching gold record status in 15 days in United States.
In 2007, he received the ‘Ivor Novello Award’ for outstanding sound collection from the ‘British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. He has also received 2 honorary doctorates and awards for promoting peace by the organization founded by ‘Mikhael Gorbachev’. He was included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.
His story of conversion to Islam is very interesting, his first introduction to Islam took place while he was in Morocco for his holidays where he heard Adhan for the first time. It was very strange and fascinating at the same time for him. Out of curiosity, he inquired about it. Someone explained to him Adhan as “music for God.” Steven said, “I thought, music for God ? I’d never heard that before – I’d heard of music for money, music for fame, music for personal power, but music for God ?” He found it strange.
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His second encounter with Islam happened when he was nearly drowned off the coast of Malibu, California and he shouted “Oh God! If you save me, I will work for you.” Suddenly a wave appeared and carried him back to shore. Stevens quest for spiritual truth intensified after this incident. While he was searching for true religion, his brother gifted him a copy of Qur’an on his birthday which he brought from a trip to Jerusalem.
This was the moment when his thirst of Truth & God quenched. He read the entire Qur’an and fell so satisfied that he decided to convert to Islam. His name ‘Yusuf’ arabicised version of Joseph, is inspired by the name of Prophet Yusuf whose story in Qur’an inspired him the most.
After reverting to Islam, on 23 December 1977 he discontinued his musical career which he later resumed after three decades of his conversion. He auctioned all of his guitars and donated the money in charity right after accepting Islam.
In an interview he said, He would use all his wealth on philanthropic and educational causes of the Muslim community in London and around UK.
In 1983, he founded Islamic primary school. In 1992, he set up the Association of Muslim Schools (AMS UK), a charity that brought together all Muslim schools in UK.
He strongly condemned the 9/11 attacks and always defended Islam with various verses of the Noble Qur’an. He said the one who truly knows Islam would never attack others. He promoted the actual Islam while the media was doing opposite.
He is the founder and chairman of ‘Smile Kindness’ a charity organization. He did many charity concerts to collect money for philanthropic causes and donated them to his charity organization. He also did a show for the victims of 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and Earthquake with other musicians and donated the money into charity.
Yusuf Islam resumed his career after almost three decades by writing and recording Nasheeds such as ‘A is for Allah’, ‘God is the Light’. He also recorded some commercial songs but refrained from all immoral words, lines and actions in the song. He chose to promote morality and Islamic teachings through his songs.
Today Yusuf Islam is actively promoting Qur’an and Islam through songs and most of his concerts are done for charity purpose.
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