Surrounded by the fascinating world of wealth and fame, Cat Stevens started his life. He lived an affluent childhood with his Christian parents and Christianity was the only religion he was taught from the early beginning of his life.
As a Christian, Cat believed in the presence of God, but he was taught that there is no way to contact Him directly. It is only through Jesus (the Christ) that one can have and maintain such a link.
Cat, really, confesses that he was not completely convinced that this is the right belief, but he had to respect his father's teachings!
Moreover, he had doubts regarding the idea of trinity and it worried him a lot, but, he used to keep silent and did not argue. He believed partially in these ideas though his mind rejected them completely!
Bit by bit, he started to go away from his religious beliefs and directed all his attention to the world of music. He wanted to become a famous pop singer who possesses a huge wealth and devoted his life to achieve this aim. His new orientation, indeed, was part of a general one that spread widely in England and in Europe as a whole, where people sought their materialistic needs and ignored the spiritual aspects of this life. Also, viewing his uncle as his role model, with his huge wealth, encouraged him to go on this way to be as rich as he was.
He started to follow the world famous pop singers to know everything about their lives, learn how they achieved what he dreamt of and considered the best thing in life and accordingly attempt to be a copy of them and probably a more successful one.
Cat, amazingly, achieved this in a very short time. He introduced a lot of successful songs and started to have his own fans. He became the target of media coverage and mass media focused on his news so that it became familiar to see him, personally or through his photos, every now and then.
They made a legendary pop singer out of him through this intensified coverage and propaganda. Cat recalls that in spite of all of this, still, he had a humane sense inside him, as he felt sympathy towards the poor and tended to help them.
But, as a normal human being he was greedy and wanted to possess more and pay less! Also, as a normal human being he did not fulfill all his promises and thus usually he ignored the humane sense just mentioned above and went on his way to collect more money and achieve more success without thinking about anyone except himself!
To overcome the barriers of time and the limited humane capabilities, he used drugs and wine as a source of acquiring extraordinary power.
He indulged in the world of music and drugs and life went on with no change until he fell ill with tuberculosis and was taken to hospital.
There, Cat started a new phase in his life. He admits that it was the first time that he thought about the purpose of life. He wondered why he was stuck to bed like that and started to ask himself whether he was just a “body” and all what he should do in life is to gratify the desires of that body and make it as happy as possible...
Many questions aroused in his mind and he thought a lot about death. Thus, he got interested in the beliefs of south Asia as they gave him the spiritual dose he needed much at that time. Accordingly, his life style changed a lot. He spent a lot of time in meditation and became vegetarian in order to achieve spiritual highness and internal purity. The best thing that he acquired in this stage was, from Cat’s point of view, that he started behaving on a new basis and according to a deep belief that man is not a mere body. Man has a strong determination that should drive this body to the direction that he wants and not the opposite. He should not be driven by his body, its desires and needs.
In this stage, Cat got bored with Christianity. After his recovery, he introduced new songs which reflected his new orientation.
One of these songs was called “I wish”:
I wish I knew, I wish I knew
what makes me, me, and what makes you, you.
It's just another point of view, ooo.
A state of mind I'm going through, yes.
So what I see is never true, .
I wish I could tell, I wish I could tell
what makes a heaven what makes a hell.
And do I get to ring my bell, ooo.
Or land up in some dusty cell, no.
While others reach the big hotel, yeah.
I wish I had, I wish I had
the secret of good, and the secret of bad.
Why does this question drive me mad? Ahhh.
'Cause I was taught when but a lad, yes,
That bad was good and good was bad, ahhh.
I wish I knew the mystery of
that thing called hate, and that thing called love.
What makes the in-between so rough? ahhh.
Why is it always push and shove? ahhh
I guess I just don't know enough, yes.
Cat believed that Buddhism is so noble, but still, he liked his glittering life and was not ready to abandon his career and devote all his time to worship and meditation. Buddhism requires total isolation and would not suit the fame of a pop singer.....
Cat became more famous and successful than before and this caused him much trouble as he sought the truth and being in the spot light hindered his efforts to find it.
That was why Cat preferred not to embrace Buddhism and converted his attention at that time to horoscopes and numbers and other ideologies that never convinced him.
But fortunately, his brother traveled to Jerusalem where he was so impressed by Al-Aqsa mosque which was all the time crowded.
He found it different from churches and temples which are most of the time empty!! From Jerusalem, Cat’s brother brought him “Al-Aqsa” version of the Holy Quran. Although Cat’s brother did not embrace Islam, he felt that the Quran is unique and different and expected that it would help his brother find the truth he had been searching for since a long time.
Cat read the Quran and through its verses came to know the answers to all his perplexing questions. He knew a lot about Allah and why he created us. He realized that man is body and soul and that he can not ignore the needs of any of them. He found a practical religion that suits his life and does not order him to abandon people and live in isolated caves to become a devoted person! He knew that Islam means complete submission to Allah and His will. It means that there is no god but Allah and no mediators, only a direct life-long relation that one maintains with Allah and puts on the top of his priorities. He realized that Allah sent all His messengers for the same mission and with the same teachings of worshipping Him and abiding with His orders.
They were sent to guide human beings to the right path, but those who benefited from corruption fought against those honest messengers and their call. Moreover, these enemies distorted the previous holy books and turned the teachings upside down to cope with their interests. Allah sent Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, to reveal the truth that had been deliberately hidden all that time and purify the true religion once again. Cat found that the Quran encourages man to look around him and think, to learn about the sun, the moon and all other natural phenomena. As this will help him believe in the presence of Allah and His incomparable might.
To sum up, Cat found the truth he had been seeking and felt as if the Quran had been sent especially for his sake!! At first, he did not reveal his new feelings, but deep inside him he became a Muslim person.
A year and a half after that incident, Cat wanted to announce his decision to embrace Islam. He met a Muslim woman who advised him to go to “new regent” mosque and there Cat met the (Imam) and uttered the testimony in front of him. Cat Stevens converted to “Yusuf Islam”, the new name he chose for himself after embracing Islam. He asserts that his decision was a direct result of studying Quran and that no body affected him. He wanted to have a direct relation with God and he did not find this in any other religion. He wanted a perfect belief and Islam is the only perfect religion. He says that if human beings abided by Islam’s orders and followed its teachings the whole world would change and would enjoy a better life. Now, Yusuf’s efforts are all for Allah’s sake and the call for His religion.Now, he has really found the best thing in life
11 janvier 2008