The journey of Yusuf Islam back to making music has taken 28 long years.
The story of Yusuf Islam's early career as Cat Stevens is well-enough known and has become - although he will hate the phrase - the stuff of pop legend. Born Steven Georgiou into a Greek-Cypriot and Swedish family household, he grew up in London and attended a Roman Catholic school. He had his first pop hit before he was out of his teens with I Love My Dog and followed it with further hits such as Matthew & Son.
Then in 1968 when he appeared to have it all, he was struck down with a life-threatening disease. It was to prove to be a key moment in his life. After a lengthy period of recovery, he re-emerged in 1970 with the album Mona Bone Jakon and a new, more reflective style. Then in 1976 his brother gave him a copy of The Koran. "I began to read it and found a totally unique form of revelation in terms of the communication between God and man," he recalls.
A final album, Back To Earth, appeared in 1979 but by then he was set upon a different course, giving up music to follow the path of Islam and changing his name to reflect his new-found faith. He has often been asked why he gave up music so completely and did not find a way to accommodate his faith and his career.
Since his conversion the royalties from his old records have been channelled into his charity work and the Islamic schools he set up in North London. Over the years, his actions and beliefs as a Muslim have often been misunderstood and misrepresented by the media and controversy has at times engulfed him. It's a role that led to him recently being given the European Man of Peace award.
Ultimately, the reason for his return, he says, is simple. "The language of song is simply the best way to communicate the powerful winds of change which brought me to where I am today, and the love of peace still passing through my heart. I feel gifted to have that ability still within me. I never wanted to get involved in politics because that essentially separates people, whereas music has the power to unify, and is so much easier than for me than to give a lecture."