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Yusuf Islam

Yusuf Islam in 2009, Photo by Simon Fernandez

One of the most famous converts to Islam, Yusuf Islam is an iconic singer and humanitarian perhaps more commonly known as Cat Stevens, the name under which he recorded some of his most popular songs during the 1960s and 70s, including “Moonshadow” and “Father and Son.” His search for spirituality arose from a near-drowning experience, and Cat Stevens (born Steven Demetre Georgiou) began to embrace Islam in 1977. Soon afterwards he changed his name to Yusuf Islam and left the music industry. His humanitarian work dominated his life for the next two decades, but he eventually returned to the recording studio and has since released many albums under his new music label: Mountain of Light.







Sami Yusuf

Sami Yusuf in 2011, Photo from

The artist labeled “Islam’s Biggest Rock Star” by TIME Magazine in 2005, Sami Yusuf is a singer of Iranian origin who has gained a diverse fan base since he released his first album in 2003. Born into a musical family, Sami Yusuf has studied music theory and composition extensively at such prestigious institutions as the Royal Academy of Music in London. Yusuf sings and plays several instruments, and he classifies his musical style under a new genre of his own creation: Spiritique. As a devout practicing Muslim, he sees songs as a way to promote the message of Islam. He provides a strong example of what it means to be proud of his Arab identity and Islamic spirituality for his largely young fan base.