Not too long ago in 2005, Yusuf Islam (Formerly known as Cat Stevens) released his first new original song in almost 20 years, Indian Ocean. He initially gave up his career of popular music because it wasn’t the lifestyle he had in mind in his quest to become a devout Muslim. However, upon critical investigation and reflection, Yusuf Islam has finally returned to the music scene with a new song, and is working on many more. I do not want this to turn into a discussion or argument over the permissibility of music in Islam. I may have my own opinion, and you may have a conflicting one, and ultimately that is fine. In Islam sometimes we must learn to agree to disagree on certain matters.
Recently Yusuf Islam collaboarted with another rising artist in England to remake one of his earlier songs, Father and Son, and he was asked about the motivating factors behind his renewed interest in music:
” There are many examples where the Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged singing and the expression of good poetry. He also taught us to share whatever knowledge we have and that messengers always spoke in the language of the people. I believe to collaborate with a person such as Ronan who is a very clean living example of a family orientated man, with good religious morals, is a positive action which can lead to more understanding especially in these dark times. Some people have changed their lives and become better people by listening to my music – that’s really saying something. Too much can be dangerous, but that applies to anything.”
Currently, Islam (the person) views Islam (the deen) and Music as being able to mutually coexist and permissible:
” ( Music) is a natural expression of my concern as a Muslim and as an artist. I believe both can exist side by side, particularly when the cause is right.”
Music: A Question of Faith or Dawah?, an article written by Yusuf Islam himself, discusses music in detail and his views on why he believes not only that music is Islamically permissible, but how music can even be a praiseworthy act and a successful medium for dawah.