Yusuf Islam (born Steven Demetre Georgiou, 21 July 1948), also known by his stage names Cat Stevens and Yusuf, is an English musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, educator, philanthropist and prominent convert to Islam.

Contents [hide]
1 Sourced
1.1 Mona Bone Jakon (1970)
1.2 Tea for the Tillerman (1970)
1.3 Teaser and the Firecat (1971)
1.4 Catch Bull at Four (1972)
1.5 Buddha and the Chocolate Box (1974)
1.6 Numbers (1974)
1.7 Izitso (1977)
2 Misattributed
3 Quotes about Yusuf Islam
4 External links

[edit] Sourced

I’m very sad that this seems to be the No. 1 question people want to discuss. I had nothing to do with the issue other than what the media created.
No right thinking follower of Islam could possibly condone such an action: the Qur’an equates the murder of one innocent person with the murder of the whole of humanity. We pray for the families of all those who lost their lives in this unthinkable act of violence…
We believe that the civilised world is a multicultural, multi-religious world. That is the type of message we want to get across.I love my dog as much as I love you
But you may fade, my dog will always come through.
“I Love My Dog” (1966), his first single, later included on Matthew and Son (1967)
The first cut is the deepest, Baby I know —
The first cut is the deepest
‘Cause when it comes to being lucky, she’s cursed
When it comes to lovin’ me, she’s worst
But when it comes to being loved, she’s first
That’s how I know
The first cut is the deepest.
“The First Cut Is the Deepest” (1967)
Geoffrey Robertson: You don’t think that this man deserves to die?
Yusuf Islam: Who, Salman Rushdie?
Robertson: Yes.
Islam: Yes, yes.
Robertson: And do you have a duty to be his executioner?
Islam: Uh, no, not necessarily, unless we were in an Islamic state and I was ordered by a judge or by the authority to carry out such an act — perhaps, yes.
Hypotheticals : “A Satanic Scenario” Granada Television (5 May 1989)
Rather than go to a demonstration to burn an effigy of the author Salman Rushdie, I would have hoped that it’d be the real thing.
As quoted in “Cat Stevens Gives Support To Call for Death of Rushdie,” by Craig R. Whitney, in The New York Times (23 May 1989), p. C18
If Rushdie turned up at my doorstep looking for help, I might ring somebody who might do more damage to him than he would like. I’d try to phone the Ayatollah Khomeini and tell him exactly where this man is.
As quoted in “Cat Stevens Gives Support To Call for Death of Rushdie” by Craig R. Whitney, in The New York Times (23 May 1989), p. C18
In Islam there is a line between let’s say freedom and the line which is then transgressed into immorality and irresponsibility and I think as far as this writer is concerned, unfortunately, he has been irresponsible with his freedom of speech. Salman Rushdie or indeed any writer who abuses the prophet, or indeed any prophet, under Islamic law, the sentence for that is actually death. It’s got to be seen as a deterrent, so that other people should not commit the same mistake again.
As quoted in “Yussuf Islam, Formerly Cat Stevens, Expresses Support For Rushdie Death Sentence” in The Christian Science Monitor (1989)
I’m very sad that this seems to be the No. 1 question people want to discuss. I had nothing to do with the issue other than what the media created. I was innocently drawn into the whole controversy. So, after many years, I’m glad at least now that I have been given the opportunity to explain to the public and fans my side of the story in my own words. At a lecture, back in 1989, I was asked a question about blasphemy according to Islamic Law, I simply repeated the legal view according to my limited knowledge of the Scriptural texts, based directly on historical commentaries of the Qur’an. The next day the newspaper headlines read, “Cat Says, Kill Rushdie.” I was abhorred, but what could I do? I was a new Muslim. If you ask a Bible student to quote the legal punishment of a person who commits blasphemy in the Bible, he would be dishonest if he didn’t mention Leviticus 24:16.
As quoted in “Cat Stevens Breaks His Silence,” by Andrew Dansby in Rolling Stone (14 June 2000); Leviticus 24:16 reads : “And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death.”
I wish to express my heartfelt horror at the indiscriminate terrorist attacks committed against innocent people of the United States yesterday. While it is still not clear who carried out the attacks, it must be stated that no right thinking follower of Islam could possibly condone such an action: the Qur’an equates the murder of one innocent person with the murder of the whole of humanity. We pray for the families of all those who lost their lives in this unthinkable act of violence as well as all those injured; I hope to reflect the feelings of all Muslims and people around the world whose sympathies go out to the victims at this sorrowful moment.
Statement on his website (12 September 2001), quoted in “Cat Stevens Condemns Attack” in Rolling Stone (17 September 2001)
We understand the anger, the anguish and suffering which this act of international terrorism has created amongst people.
What we are worried about is the impact of the wrong kind of response to it. … We believe that the civilised world is a multicultural, multi-religious world. That is the type of message we want to get across. … I think there are many who are Muslims and non-Muslims, who are not warmongers but peace makers and want this world to be a better place.
We believed the unison of the voices of so many people standing together against international terrorism is something to be valued and something to be built upon.
“Attacks ‘no excuse for racist violence'” in BBC News (22 September 2001)
I wanted a break. I had been on the road more or less since I was 18, you know? And I hadn’t known any other life, other than, you know, hotel rooms and concerts and records and studios and press conferences. … and to me, here was a chance to jump off that kind of wagon and see life for real. You know, actually my last album was called Back to Earth. So that was the meaning of it. I wanted to join the human race again. I didn’t want to be a star. I didn’t want to continue with that thing, because so much illusion and non-reality is connected to it. I wanted to be real. And so I — I kind of — I found an opportunity. And the actual point about music was — the imam who I met and who I first embraced Islam with in London’s Central Mosque, he actually told me to continue making records.
On the abandonment of his music career after converting to Islam, on Larry King Live (7 October 2004)
It seems to be the easiest thing in the world these days to make scurrilous accusations against Muslims, and in my case it directly impacts on my relief work and damages my reputation as an artist. The harm done is often difficult to repair.
As quoted in “Singer Islam gets libel damages” BBC News (15 February 2005)
The last place I wanted to return to was the music business. But it’s the people and the cause that matter and right now there’s an important need, which is bridge-building. I wanted to support the cause of humanity, because that’s what I always sang about.
Music can be healing, and with my history and my knowledge of both sides of what looks like a gigantic divide in the world, I feel I can point a way forward to our common humanity again. It’s a big step for me but it’s a natural step. I don’t feel at all irked by the responsibility — I feel inspired.
As quoted in “The Billboard Q and A: Yusuf Islam” by Nigel Williamson, in Billboard Magazine (17 November 2006)
I wrote a song called “Father & Son” about the son running off to do his own thing. Now the story is about my son coming back and bringing a guitar into the house. A couple of years ago, one morning after prayers, his guitar was lying around. I picked it up and my fingers knew exactly where to go. I’d written some words and when I put them to music, it moved me and I realized I could have another job to do. Things just grew from there.
On producing new music, after shunning the music business for over two decades, as quoted in “The Billboard Q and A: Yusuf Islam” by Nigel Williamson, in Billboard Magazine (17 November 2006)
I had to learn my faith and look after my family, and I had to make priorities. But now I’ve done it all and there’s a little space for me to fill in the universe of music again.
On getting back into the music business, as quoted in “The Billboard Q and A: Yusuf Islam” by Nigel Williamson, in Billboard Magazine (17 November 2006)
A lot of people would have loved me to keep singing … You come to a point where you have sung, more or less … your whole repertoire and you want to get down to the job of living. You know, up until that point, I hadn’t had a life. I’d been searching, been on the road.
On leaving the music business in 1979,in an interview with CBS News Sunday Morning (12 August 2007)
I was a sitting target, in a way, for anybody who wanted to make some kind of headline. … I certainly never supported the Fatwa, but when I was asked about … the actual principle of blasphemy and capital punishment, well, like the Bible, I said, “You know, yeah, it’s there, it’s in the Koran.” And I couldn’t deny that.
Interview on CBS News Sunday Morning (12 August 2007)
A big turning point happened when my son brought back a guitar into the house — You know, ’cause I’d given all those guitars away to charity — way back in 1979 and hadn’t really touched the instrument, you know, for like two decades. … So then one day … when everybody’s asleep and nobody’s watching, I pick it up — and lo and behold, I still know where to put my fingers and out comes this music. I said, “Maybe I’ve got another job to do.” And in this time and period it’s probably the best thing I can do because lecturing, politics, God, I’ve got nothing to do with that. I want to just get heart-to-heart, make sure people understand some of the real subtle beauties of what I’ve discovered.
On getting back into producing new music, interviewed on “Yusuf Islam’s New Album” at CBS News (12 August 2007)
Here’s a chance, I think, for us to kind of remind ourselves, of those things we all commonly enjoy and love and share, try to get back together. You know, singing out for a more peaceful world today, I think, can only do good. … I do believe that … a lot of Muslims have yet to learn, you know, the incredible great history and contribution of Islamic civilization — and its become very, if you like, in some way puritanical — that puritanical approach will become narrower and narrower and even become more fragmented. Its that vast middle ground where people actually live, you know, that we have to reclaim; and in that area, everybody should be able to live together. And I don’t think that God sent us prophets and books to fight about these books and these prophets. But they were telling us, actually, how to live together. If we ignore those teachings — whichever faith you belong, you profess, then I think we’ll be finding ourselves in an even deeper mess.
Interview on CBS News Sunday Morning (30 November 2006)
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.
“Chinese Whiskers,” FAQ #18: “Did Cat Stevens Say, ‘Kill Rushdie!’?,” Mountain of Light (undated)
In 1989, during the heat and height of the Satanic Verses controversy, I was silly enough to accept appearing on a program called Hypotheticals which posed imaginary scenarios by a well-versed (what if…?) barrister, Geoffrey Robertson QC. I foolishly made light of certain provocative questions. When asked what I’d do if Salman Rushdie entered a restaurant in which I was eating, I said, “I would probably call up Ayatollah Khomeini”; and, rather than go to a demonstration to burn an effigy of the author, I jokingly said I would have preferred that it’d be the “real thing”.
Criticize me for my bad taste, in hindsight, I agree. But these comments were part of a well-known British national trait; a touch of dry humor on my part. Just watch British comedy programs like “Have I Got News For You” or “Extras”, they are full of occasionally grotesque and sardonic jokes if you want them! … Certainly I regret giving those sorts of responses now. However, it must be noted that the final edit of the program was made to look extremely serious; hardly any laughs were left in and much common sense was savagely cut out. Most of the Muslim participants in the program wrote in and complained about the narrow and selective use of their comments, surreptitiously selected out of the 3-hour long recording of the debate. But the edit was not in our hands. Balanced arguments were cut out and the most sensational quotes, preserved.
“Chinese Whiskers,” FAQ #18: “Did Cat Stevens Say, ‘Kill Rushdie!’?,” Mountain of Light (undated)
“Peace Train” is a song I wrote, the message of which continues to breeze thunderously through the hearts of millions. There is a powerful need for people to feel that gust of hope rise up again. As a member of humanity and as a Muslim, this is my contribution to the call for a peaceful solution.
“Yusuf Islam Takes Stance for Peace” by Ali Asadullah at IslamOnline
[edit] Mona Bone Jakon (1970)
My Lady D’Arbanville, why do you sleep so still?
I’ll wake you tomorrow, and you will be my fill,
Yes, you will be my fill
Lady D’Arbanville
[edit] Tea for the Tillerman (1970)
Will you make us laugh, will you make us cry?
Will you tell us when to live; will you tell us when to die?
I know we’ve come a long way,
We’re changing day to day,
But tell me, where do the children play?
Where Do the Children Play?
I’m looking for a hard-headed woman,
One who will make me do my best,
And if I find my hard-headed woman,
I know the rest of my life will be blessed
Hard Headed Woman
I know many fine feathered friends
But their friendliness depends on how you do
They know many sure fired ways,
To find out the one who pays
And how you do
Hard Headed Woman
Now that I’ve lost everything to you
You say you wanna start something new
And it’s breakin’ my heart you’re leaving
Baby, I’m grieving
Wild World
Baby, I love you
But if you wanna leave, take good care
I hope you make a lot of nice friends out there
But just remember there’s a lot of bad and beware
Oh, baby, baby, it’s a wild world
It’s hard to get by just upon a smile
Oh, baby, baby, it’s a wild world
I’ll always remember you like a child

Wild World
Lord, my body has been a good friend
But I won’t need it when I reach the end
Miles from nowhere,
Guess I’ll take my time
Oh yeah, to reach there
Miles From Nowhere
I love everything
So don’t it make you feel sad
’cause I’ll drink to you, my baby
I’ll think to that, I’ll think to that
Miles From Nowhere
I don’t want to work away
Doing just what they all say
But I Might Die Tonight
Longer boats are coming to win us
Hold on to the shore, or —
They’ll be taking the key from the door
Longer Boats
I built my house from barley rice
Green pepper walls and water ice –
And everything emptying into White
Into White
So on and on I go, the seconds tick the time out
There’s so much left to know, and I’m on the road to find out.
On The Road To Find Out
Then I found my head one day when I wasn’t even trying
And here I have to say, ‘cause there is no use in lying, lying
Yes the answer lies within, so why not take a look now?
Kick out the devil’s sin, pick up, pick up a good book now.
On The Road To Find Out
It’s not time to make a change,
Just relax, take it easy
You’re still young, that’s your fault,
There’s so much you have to know.
Find a girl, settle down,
If you want you can marry
Look at me, I am old, but I’m happy
Father and Son
But take your time, think a lot,
Why, think of everything you’ve got
For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not
Father and Son
It’s always been the same, same old story.
From the moment I could talk I was ordered to listen
Now there’s a way and I know that I have to go — away
Father and Son
All the times that I’ve cried, keeping all the things I knew inside,
It’s hard, but it’s harder to ignore it
Father and Son
Bring tea for the Tillerman,
Steak for the sun,
Wine for the women who made the rain come,
Seagulls sing your hearts away
‘Cause while the sinners sin, the children play
Tea For The Tillerman
[edit] Teaser and the Firecat (1971)

Now come and join the living, its not so far from you
And its getting nearer, soon it will all be true
Oh peace train sounding louder.I listen to the wind
To the wind of my soul
Where I’ll end up well I think,
Only God really knows
The Wind
Ruby my love,
You’ll be my love
If I laugh just a little bit
Maybe I can forget the chance
That I didn’t have to know you
And live in peace, in peace
If I Laugh
Don’t you feel a change a coming
From another side of time,
Breaking down the walls of silence,
Lifting shadows from your mind.
Changes IV
How can I tell you that I love you, I love you
But I can’t think of right words to say
How Can I Tell You
If I make a mark in time,
I can’t say the mark is mine
I’m only the underline of the word
Yes, I’m like him; just like you,
I can’t tell you what to do
Like everybody else I’m searching through
What I’ve heard
Tuesday’s Dead
Now I’ve been happy lately
Thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be
Something good has begun.
Oh, I’ve been smiling lately
Dreaming about the world as one
And I believe it could be
Someday it’s going to come.

Peace Train – Earth Tour performance (1976) – 2006 performance – Nobel Concert (2006)
Now I’ve been crying lately,
Thinking about the world as it is.
Why must we go on hating?
Why can’t we live in bliss?
Peace Train
Now come and join the living, its not so far from you
And its getting nearer, soon it will all be true
Oh peace train sounding louder
Peace Train
[edit] Catch Bull at Four (1972)

All I know is all I feel right now,
I feel the power growing in my hairThe name of this album is derived from the fourth of the Ten Bulls (or Ox Herding Pictures) of Zen Buddhism
Oh I’m on my way, I know I am,
Somewhere not so far from here
All I know is all I feel right now,
I feel the power growing in my hair
Sitting on my own not by myself,
Everybody’s here with me
I don’t need to touch your face to know,
And I don’t need to use my eyes to see
Oh I’m on my way I know I am,
But times there were when I thought not
Bleeding half my soul in bad company,
I thank the moon I had the strength to stop
Now I’m not making love to anyone’s wishes,
Only for that light I see
‘Cause when I’m dead and lowered low in my grave,
That’s gonna be the only thing that’s left of me
As years went by the boy grew high
And the village looked on in awe
They’d never seen anything like
The boy with the moon and star before
And people would ride from far and wide
just to seek the word he spread
“I’ll tell you everything I’ve learned,”
And “Love”, is all he said.
Boy With A Moon And Star On His Head
She moves like and angel
And seven evening stars
Dance through the window
Of her universal house
Her breath a warm fire
In every lovers heart
A mistress to magicians
And a dancer to the gods
Her clothes are made of rainbows
And twenty thousand tears
Shine through the spaces
Of her golden ochre hair
Sing a song of love and truth
We’ll soon remember if you do
When all things were tall
And our friends were small
And the world was new
Silent Sunlight
Oh I can’t keep it in; I can’t keep it in,
I’ve gotta let it out
I’ve got to show the world; world’s got to see,
See all the love; love that’s in me
Can’t Keep It In
Well I rode a while, for a mile or so
Down the road to the 18th Avenue
And the people I saw were the people I know
And they all came down to take a view
18th Avenue (Kansas City Nightmare)
O caritas, O caritas
nobis semper sit amor
mos perituri mortem salutamus — ah, ah
sola resurgit vita
O love! O love!
Be with us always
We who will perish salute death
Life alone goes on!
“O’ Caritas” (co-written with Andreas Toumazis and Jeremy Taylor)
Give me time forever here in my time
“O’ Caritas” (co-written with Andreas Toumazis and Jeremy Taylor)
Underneath her kiss I was so unguarded
Every bottle’s empty now and all those dreams are gone
Ah, but the song carries on … so holy
Sweet Scarlet
All those days are frozen now and all those scars are gone
Ah, but the song carries on … so holy
Sweet Scarlet
Where’s it leading to, freedom at what cost?
People needing more and more and it’s all getting lost
[edit] Buddha and the Chocolate Box (1974)
Yesterday I was on the edge
Hoping everything was going to work itself out
A good honest man doing the work of God
Trying to make things better for Him
A lover of life in a school for fools
Trying to find another way to survive
I said, ‘Put back your heart, and sing, sing
While you know you’re still living.’
Sing, sing, sing, while you know there’s still –
New Music, new Music, new Music
Sweet Music can lighten us
Can brighten the world – can save us
Oh very young,
What will you leave us this time?
There’ll never be a better chance to change your mind
And if you want this world to see better days
Will you carry the words of love with you?
Will you ride the great white bird into heaven?
And though you want them to last forever
You know they never will — you know they never will
Oh Very Young
Sun is the reason
And the world it will bloom
‘Cause sun lights the sky
And the sun lights the moon
Sun C79
They crossed the wood and hanged him
A long time ago
They still misunderstand him
Those who don’t know
And in the evening his love will lead the blind
In every secret corner there in your mind
I love, I love, I’m ready to love — yes
And if my mind breaks up
In all so many ways
I know the meaning of
The words, “I love you”
King of Trees
I’ve, I’ve had it enough
All those lonely rooms
And blank faces
Had it enough
And I want you, I want you no more
A Bad Penny
Come the morning I’ll be far from here
Slowly rising in another sphere
Home In The Sky
[edit] Numbers (1974)
Dark and empty was the place to which I’d come
Cold and silent was the house my name was on
Nine rooms — and a tomb in every one
Novim’s Nightmare
This stranger had the key
To any door he wished — with his eyes, I say
What kind of majiks, of majiks?
What kind of man —
Can make me turn and see the way I really am?

Majik of Majiks
One is the ever kindling star
King of the immortal spark
In heaven’s eye
Monad’s Anthem
[edit] Izitso (1977)
Don’t you remember the days
Of the old schoolyard
When we had imaginings and we had
All kinds of things and we laughed
And needed love … yes, I do
Oh and I remember you
(Remember The Days Of The) Old Schoolyard
I never wanted to be a star,
I never wanted to travel far
I only wanted a little bit of love
So I could put a little love in my heart
(I Never Wanted) To Be A Star
[edit] Misattributed
Morning has broken,
Like the first morning,
Blackbird has spoken
Like the first bird.
Praise for the singing!
Praise for the morning!
Praise for them springing
Fresh from the Word!
Morning Has Broken, was widely popularized by the Cat Stevens version on Teaser and the Firecat (1971), but was actually written by Eleanor Farjeon in 1931.
[edit] Quotes about Yusuf Islam
Yes, Martha Stewart is going to jail and Cat Stevens is being deported. Man, I feel so much safer now.
David Letterman, on The Late Show as quoted on Larry King Live (7 October 2004)
A flight from London carrying the artist we all used to know as Cat Stevens, now known as Yusuf Islam, was forced to make an emergency landing in Bangor, Maine after his name showed up on a terrorist no-fly list. I tell you, it’s a real success story in the war on terror. You know, we finally got the guy that wrote “Peace Train.”
Jon Stewart, on The Daily Show, as quoted on Larry King Live (7 October 2004)
[edit] External links
Wikipedia has an article about:
Cat StevensYusufislam.org.uk Official site
Small Kindness – Yusuf Islam’s charity
Mountain of Light – Yusuf Islam’s spiritual website