20 Years in the Making YUSUF ISLAM's LATEST RELEASE. With 8 songs - most of which he wrote and 1 he performs, he explains the basics of his faith through the vehicle of the 28 letter Arabic alphabet. The album takes its name from the title track written by Yusuf after the birth of his first child back in 1980 but never officially released. Read about why Yusuf decided to resume his career in production 17 years after accepting Islam. "A is for Allah" also introduces Zain Bhikha, a young up-and-coming artist from South Africa, part of Yusuf's efforts to encourage and work with talented artists. Zain, who flew in especially to record, loved the experience. " I'm not too sure if I can ever express in words what it felt like to work with Yusuf Islam. It was something I've dreamt of doing since I started singing in 1994". This album will accompany the 68 page full colour hardback book of the same name- which contains the complete text as well as all the lyrics - that was released in the UK in November 19! 99. Some trivia-- apparently a pirate copy of the song A is for Allah was bootlegged all around the world and amazingly hit the top of the charts in Turkey in the 1980s; a decade later he was to achieve the same with Tala'a al-Badru 'Alayna from the album The Life of the Last Prophet (1995). Double CD and Book.
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Saima | Washington, DC United States | 08/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I purchased this CD after having listened to some of Yusuf Islam's music, although, I am ashamed to admit, after my sister dowloaded some of his songs from the internet for my newborn son.
I was immediately enchanted and wanted to listen to more.
This CD is so beautifully put together that when you are listening to it in the car you don't want to shut it off even after you have reached your destination.
The Surah and songs are used to explain and support the his narration of the alphabet. For example, after A is for Allah, AyatulKursi is recited to explain the Power and Abilities of Allah.
The song lyrics are simple enough for any child to understand and at the same time very meaningful. I find myself constantly singing them.
My only suggestions to you when listening to this CD is to listen to it carefully and in the order it is presented.
Then the last song, A is Allah, will be so much more meaningful.After that you can go back to any thing you liked out of the CD.
I hope this helps."
EL | 11/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one captivating CD. Even as a non-Muslim (Catholic) I am inspired by its holiness... and certainly touched by the commitment that went into its production. It is clear that Yusuf Islam is still a perfectionist, and created this work with complete and utter dedication. He is a great and natural teacher.
For me, it is best listened to in private, in a dark room, beneath headphones. This is the best way to experience Yusuf's soft and gentle, yet emphatic voice ... which at once puts the "fear of God" into the listener and also soothes him or her. His voice feels like a warm angora wool blanket enveloping you on a cold windy night. It cares for you. And Indian singer Zain Bhikha's hauntingly sweet, almost feminine, voice rivals or even surpasses Yusuf's. The only song in which Yusuf is the lead singer brings back a bit of the old Cat Stevens his fans once knew and loved, but the voice is a little more submissive, more plaintive, and eerily thin.
[NOTE: I originally wrote this review (word for word) in December 2000 but have only just now gotten around to posting it.]"