In 1976 Stevens nearly drowned off the coast of Malibu, California and claims to have shouted: “Oh God! If you save me I will work for you.” He says that right afterward a wave appeared and carried him back to shore. This brush with death intensified his long-held quest for spiritual truth. He had looked into “Buddhism, Zen, I Ching, Numerology, tarot cards and Astrology“. Stevens’ brother David Gordon brought him a copy of the Qur’an as a birthday gift from a trip to Jerusalem. Stevens took to it right away, and began to find peace with himself and began his transition to Islam.
During the time he was studying the Qur’an, he began to identify more and more with the name of Joseph, a man bought and sold in the market place, which is how he says he had increasingly felt within the music business. Regarding his conversion, in his 2006 interview with Alan Yentob, he stated, “to some people, it may have seemed like an enormous jump, but for me, it was a gradual move to this.” And, in a Rolling Stone Magazine interview, he reaffirmed this, saying, “I had found the spiritual home I’d been seeking for most of my life. And if you listen to my music and lyrics, like “Peace Train” and “On The Road To Find Out”, it clearly shows my yearning for direction and the spiritual path I was travelling.” Stevens had been seeking inner peace and spiritual answers throughout his career, and now believed he had found what he had been seeking.
Stevens formally converted to the Islamic religion on 23 December 1977, taking the name Yusuf Islam in 1978.
Yusuf Islam (born Steven Demetre Georgiou on 21 July 1948), best known by his former stage name Cat Stevens, is a British musician of Greek Cypriot and Swedish ancestry. He is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, educator, philanthropist and prominent convert to Islam.
Cat Stevens’ hypocrisy about Salman Rushdie
On his personal spiritual website he wrote:
I never called for the death of Salman Rushdie; nor backed the Fatwa issued by the Ayatollah Khomeini–and still don’t. The book itself destroyed the harmony between peoples and created an unnecessary international crisis.
When asked about my opinion regarding blasphemy, I could not tell a lie and confirmed that–like both the Torah and the Gospel–the Qur’an considers it, without repentance, as a capital offense. The Bible is full of similar harsh laws if you’re looking for them. However, the application of such Biblical and Qur’anic injunctions is not to be outside of due process of law, in a place or land where such law is accepted and applied by the society as a whole…
Uploaded: March 09, 2007
(I would have a lot more respect for Yusuf Islam if he would admit that he was wrong and apologize. Maybe he fears for the safety of his wife and children. Or maybe he is a religious fanatic.)
Favorite Album Sides (cont’d.)Tea for the TillermanTea for the Tillerman is an album by singer-songwriter Cat Stevens. This album, Stevens’ second during 1970, includes many of Stevens’ most well-known songs including “Where Do the Children Play?,” “Hard Headed Woman,” “Wild World,” “Sad Lisa,” “Into White” and “Father and Son.”
1.”Where Do the Children Play?” – 3:52
2.”Hard Headed Woman” – 3:47
3.”Wild World” – 3:20
4.”Sad Lisa” – 3:45
5.”Miles from Nowhere” – 3:37
1.”But I Might Die Tonight” – 1:53
2.”Longer Boats” – 3:12
3.”Into White” – 3:24
4.”On the Road to Find Out” – 5:08
5.”Father and Son” – 3:41
6.”Tea for the Tillerman” – 1:01