Yusuf Islam to lead BBC Ramadan spiritual reflections series
British musician Yusuf Islam is set to lead a series of spiritual reflections for the BBC during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The singer, formerly known as Cat Stevens, will read excerpts from the Quran, other holy texts and his own songs.
“Humans, as far as we know, are the only earthly creatures who have to live with the knowledge of their own mortality. Now, for anyone with a mind, it’s hard not to question the reason for this, or to contemplate what might be beyond the final wall we must all climb one day,” he says in the first installment on the series, which is due to air on Friday.
The renowned singer-songwriter reached his mainstream peak in the 1970s, with hits including Peace Train, Morning Has Broken, Father and Son, and Wild World.
His music career to an abrupt halt, however, when he converted to Islam in 1977. Citing a near-death experience and his recovery from tuberculosis, the folk singer sold his musical instruments, changed his name to Yusuf Islam and turned his attentions to humanitarian work and children's education.
In the second talk of the BBC series, Islam promises to discuss his journey to faith and "how near-death came to wake me up and begin my journey in search of meaning”.
The reflections and talks will be broadcast at 5.50am on Fridays on 14 local British radio stations.