Cat Stevens’ transition to Yusuf Islam



In 1975, British singer-songwriter and international superstar Cat Stevens experienced a near death experience that led him to an unforeseen journey towards Islam. This interesting video reveals the reasons behind Cat’s diappearance from stardom and his spiritual journey towards faith and Islam. It shows how and why Islam appealed to and inspired Cat and made him rethink life.

In 1976 Stevens nearly drowned off the coast of Malibu, California and shouted: “Oh God! If you save me I will work for you.” He says, right afterward, a wave appeared and carried him back to shore. The near-death experience intensified his long-held quest for spiritual truth. He had looked into “Buddhism, Zen, and I Ching, Numerology, tarot cards and Astrology”, but when his brother David gave him a copy of the Qur’an, Stevens began to find peace with himself and began his transition to Islam.
During the time he was studying the Qu’ran, he began to identify more and more with the name of Joseph, a man born and sold in the market place, which is how he had increasingly felt, within the music business. 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.”
Stevens formally converted to the Islamic faith in 1977, and took the name Yusuf Islam in 1978. Yusuf is the Arabic pronunciation of the name Joseph. He stated that he “always loved the name Joseph” and was particularly drawn to the story of Joseph in the Qur’an.
Yusuf married Fauzia Mubarak Ali in September 1979, at Regent’s Park Mosque in London. It was the 1,000th such ceremony to take place at the mosque. The couple have five living children


About this entry