The world’s most famous Muslim convert today, Dr.Sheikh Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens and his wife, are on a sweeping visit to Malaysia.
Sheikh Yusuf has been toMalaysiaon numerous occasions. However, this visit is significant and special as he is for the first time scheduled to have an audience with His Majesty Tuanku Mizan Sultan Zainal Abidin, The Yang Di Pertuan Agong of Malaysia, as well as calling on The Rt Honourable Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak, The Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Sheikh Yusuf, either as Cat Stevens or Yusuf Islam has an immense following in Malaysia, a multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural nation. His stature and eminence given international recognition as a man giving his gifts from Allah on a mission of peace for Humanity, actively and generously contributing to humanitarian causes East and West is well documented. Although his beautiful melodies are historical anthems for earlier generations, who continue to remain followers and fans, his inspirational words and nasheeds are also naturally able to cross time and borders for many generations to come. He is truly an icon exemplary for contemporary generations, and for all that he stands for and does in the name of Islam and Peace,is indeeda man for all seasons and nations.
Uniquely, he has chosen to accept an invitation as anhonourable guest in our country being an admirer of Malaysia forits beauty and peaceful aura. Besides a few official engagements, he has been kind enough to give time in his schedule for several events like the release of his latest nasheed single, ”Wind East and West”, as well as the launching of his initiative for world peace,the “Peace Train Community”for promoting a more peaceful world through networking and interaction,with the cooperation of the university students of Malaysia.
Sheikh Yusuf is now also well known for his pioneering work in Education. Together with major scholars from around the world, Sheikh Yusuf has worked energetically for over two decades towards the development of an International Syllabus, culminating in the formulation and implementation of a comprehensive and integrated syllabus in Islamic education from pre primary, primary to secondary schools now adopted in part or in whole in English speaking Muslim schools in UK, South Africa, Nigeria and USA. This is one aspect that could well be a part of our future relationship with Sheikh Yusuf in providing an alternative Islamic curriculum education for the young generations of Malaysians.
Sheikh Yusuf’s swift, stop over is planned to facilitate connections for future projects. Given his express driven schedule, we are nevertheless looking forward to the possibilitythat we may be able to welcome Sheikh Yusuf again next year for his world tour concert in which he has indicated that Malaysia may indeed be a distinct and desirable venue. That opens the possibility that we may be afforded with an opportunity to stage anhonour tribute to Sheikh Yusufas a Man Of Peace, one who has contributed a lot in many ways to Mankind.
His global standing as an artist and a humanitarian activist are testimony by themselves. It would nevertheless be a place of pride for Malaysia to have a role, to play any role in enhancing and realising the mission of Sheikh Yusuf in his life’s work in so far as those also tally with some of Malaysia’s mission : in the proper learning of Islam by Muslims, in the larger understanding by all of Islam as a religion of peace, in promoting social care and welfare for the needy in Humanity and in promoting peace and harmony amongst all of Allah’s creation.
Our lives are a gift from Allah. Sheikh Yusuf’s is a larger one Syukur Alhamdulillah. We wish him and his family all the Peace supreme that Allah may bestow here in this world and in the hereafter for all that he has done in the service of Allah.
Sheikh Yusuf’s visit to Malaysia with his wife is solely managed by The Peace Train Community, Malaysia Chapter Committee chaired by Ambassador Datuk Yeop Adlan Rose.