So who has been a great role model for Muslims this year? Who has carried out great work? Who is the individual who has done us proud?
Well first of all we had Amir Khan for his boxing achievements, then we had sisters Yvonne Ridley and Ruqayyah Waris Maqsood for their tireless efforts in dawah, media and education. We had a list of scholars including the likes of Shaykh Hamza Yusuf who have portrayed a very positive image of Islam in the West.
But the Muslim personality can only be one individual....an individual who is a living legend in the eyes of Muslims. So, The Revival has chosen Yusuf Islam, aka former pop star Cat Stevens, as The Muslim Personality of the Year 2005.
Cat Stevens was one of the biggest solo artists of the 1960s and 1970s. He embraced Islam in 1977 and changed his name to Yusuf Islam. Today, Yusuf is arguably one of the world’s most famous converts to Islam.
And yes... he’s done loads in 2005, just like he does every year. From the dignity he showed when not being allowed into America, to the way he handled all the allegations about links to terrorism. He even got The Sun to formally apologise for one of it’s articles and he received libel cost from both The Sun and The Sunday Times.
On top of that he released a song with Ronan Keating which was quite successful and brought him to the attention of a new generation. He has also done loads of charity work, under his UN registered charity Small Kindness, with the Tsunami, Niger, Sudan, Mali and currently with the Earthquake appeal in Kashmir. He has staged many concerts all over the world in places like Jakarta and Abu Dhabi to help raise money for these disasters.
His pioneering work in the field of education resulted in securing a landmark decision by the British government to certify and support Islamic education throughout Great Britain. The three schools he founded in London’s Brent district – Islamia Primary, Islamia Girls’ Secondary and the Brondesbury College for Boys – consistently top the borough’s examination league tables.
He has done work for IBERR, which helps to educate the Muslim Ummah, last year it was mostly based in Nigeria.
Yusuf Islam has again turned his attention to the recording studio, releasing ten albums to date under his Mountain of Light label. He is currently working on a new album of spiritually inspiring songs as well as a stage musical based on his spiritual journey.
He has done a great deal in the UK and worldwide and is publicising Islam in a good manner by making headlines for the right reasons. He is an excellent role model for all Muslims and even non Muslims today.
Yusuf Islam deserves plenty of credit, appreciation, praise and our support.
This is why The Revival has chosen Yusuf Islam as the Muslim Personality of 2005.
For further information on Yusuf Islam and his efforts see: http://www.yusufislam.org.uk/