Friday, April 10, 2009

A is for Allah... said the good Catholic

Today is Good Friday... and on Good Friday Catholics and Christians across the world commemorate and remember the day that Jesus was killed on the cross... an event that is central to Christian theology.

He was nailed to a wooden cross by Roman soldiers. This is the reason why the cross is an important sign for Christians today. There are crosses in churches and many Christians wear a cross on a chain. At Easter people eat 'hot cross' buns which have a cross shape on the top... and are delicious (I love them toasted with a little butter and jam).

Christ's Crucifixion is remembered across the world today. In Jerusalem large crowds of Christians take the same path as Jesus along the Via Dolorosa. This is replicated in many other countries, where people act out the story of Jesus' last day while others march in processions or watch and think about the events which happened long ago.

Good Friday, for Christians, is traditionally supposed to be a sad day and churches never have flowers or decorations on this day. However, with society moving into more secular times these days, many do not celebrate, remember or even know what Good Friday is about. If you want to know or need to refresh your memory, you can find out more about Good Friday here.

Now to get to my point... and I know you may have been a little surprised by my blog post's subject heading... having said a little bit about what this day is about... what I want to especially do today, as my contribution to Good Friday is... to remind you about the universal Christian belief that Jesus gave up his life for the good of everyone.

To do this, I am sharing with you today, a lovely song from an old favourite of mine... Yusuf Islam... who used to be known by his stage name of Cat Stevens:

A is for Allah is the title song of a double album created for Muslim children by Yusuf Islam, (formerly known as Cat Stevens), released in July 2000 and was posted on YouTube... in support of peace across the world!

This song was written in 1980 upon the birth of his first child, a daughter named Hasanah. Because she was the first of five living children to come, Yusuf Islam's concerns about how she was to learn the Arabic language, to read and understand the Qu'ran, while living in Western society struck home. He himself was raised in London, the same city where they still lived, and had kept a home there throughout his life. Islam was a recent convert to Islam himself, and was just realizing the great task laid before him, and many other Muslim families in securing an Islamic education as well as schooling that could be considered the very best he could give his children.

Thus, Yusuf Islam as a Muslim musician, used the song as a vehicle to teach children about the 28-letter Arabic alphabet, creating a very lovely song and video in the process... and giving us a little bit of an antidote against all the 'bad press' that we are bombarded with these days... about Islam and Muslims.

Today, on this Good Friday... I am using it to remind us that, as the song says, there is only one God... who died for all of us on the Cross at Golgotha.

Have a Good Friday all... and a Happy Easter! smile

Read more about Good Friday and Easter @ Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Yusuf's Latest Hit Album

Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) is an incredible songwriter. We know this because he's released a heap of inimitable songs through the years, beginning with his classic album, Tea for the Tillerman, to which, no doubt, his latest effort, An Other Cup, refers. 'Tea' was a refreshing blend of folk and contemporary pop music, infused with the inspirations of nature and peace, two things still vital in his latest album, An Other Cup.

Search for more music from Yusuf Islam or Cat Stevens @