Sami Yusuf is an internationally acclaimed singer, songwriter and musician with a huge following in the Islamic world. Born in Tehran and educated in Britain, he experienced what he calls a “spiritual awakening” at the age 16, which very much shaped his musical path. Since shooting to fame at 23, he has been described as “the most famous British Muslim in the world” by TIME magazine. His pop star status has not come without criticism from leading Muslim figures, who have accused him of poisoning the masses with his concerts attended by hundreds of thousands of devoted fans.
The first Muslim ever to appear on The Word, Sami Yusuf explains to Alison Hilliard why despite his deep commitment to his own faith, he treasures passages from the Bible – particularly the Gospels. Through his choice of verses, he reflects on the values he feels Christianity and Islam have in common. He also discusses his new-found mission as a UN global ambassador against world hunger, and reflects on the challenges facing Muslims today as they try to promote peace and cross-cultural understanding in the face of atrocities carried out in the name of Islam.