Muslim Popular Western Musicians
Cat Stevens (aka Yusuf Islam)
Do you ever wonder what happened to Cat
Stevens (Yusuf Islam) and what he has been singing since his
Islam? If you have Real Player, listen to God
is the Light (Link fixed, 24 April 2002.) And while you're at
certainly wouldn't hurt to bring the spirit of 1971 into the present and
listen to him urging us to get on the Peace
Train (fixed 22 April 2002) and/or you can hear Yusuf's A Capella Peace
Train, which he performed before
the New York City benefit concert on October 20, 2001.
Regarded by one recent reviewer as "the most adventurous and downright frightening
Jimi Hendrix," Richard was a central element in the 60's folk-rock group "Fairport
Rock Musician Richard Thompson (link fixed 20 August, 2005) See stills from the video documentary
the Edge." (Link fixed, March 23, 2005.) A short article In Defence
of Islam (by Mark Worden) briefly gives Richard's perspective of Sufism and Islam.
The following excerpt from an interview with Keith Phipps of the Onion A.V. club gives
another glimpse of Richard's view of
O(nion): One topic I noticed that rarely surfaces in interviews is your conversion to
Is that because people are uncomfortable talking about Islam, or do you prefer to keep
private about it?
RT: It's a subject that people approach with a lot of preconceptions. In the space of
an interview, I don't have time to get through the preconceptions to get onto the
subject, so if it's avoidable or if I can gloss over it, almost, in a few sentences,
I'm happy to do that.
O: From what I know of it [i.e. Sufism], it seems like it could have a special appeal
because of the way it emphasizes aspects of worship that are like performance.
RT: There's a very strong spiritual aspect to music, and a lot of musicians I know are
very spiritual people, really. Even the ones who might be alcoholics, or might have a
terrible drug problem or something, they're still basically very spiritual people. And
they know that element is in music, perhaps because music is such an elusive thing.
It's such a door sometimes to something mystical, if you like. I think audiences are
very aware of that, as well.
Regarded as one of the world's best acoustic bass players. Of the many groups he has
been in, one of them was the 60's band "Pentangle." See the following link for an
article, written by John Hillarby, on Danny Thompson's Career
On occasion Danny plays with Richard.
Another versatile Muslim musician (one who has at times
played with Richard Thompson) is Ian
Whiteman (Abdullateef). A recent production (of Islamic music, however) in which
he was involved is the CD
music by contemporary Moroccan musicians) and
book of the Burda (The Cloak),
the classical Islamic poem of devotion to the Prophet Muhammad.
Islam has a major influence on Hip Hop music. Listen here to a fascinating
interview with Minister Louis Farrakhan about
Hip Hop music.
Originally a Hip Hop artist, Everlast has moved into Rock music as well. An
Interview with Everlast, (Grammy winning -- for "Put Your Lights On" on Santana's
Supernatural CD -- Euro-American Rapp artist) concerning
his embrace of Islam. More detail about Everlast's view of Islam is in this
March, 2001, interview with
translated from German. Additional information on Everlast and Islam can be found
in "Being Muslim
One Day at a Time," an interview with Everlast by Adisa Banjoko.
Everlast was also interviewed by Jim DeRogatis in Penthouse (March, 2001) in Whitey Sings the Blues