Sami Yusuf who was born in in Tehran, Iran is one of the most celebrated global singers.
Sami Yusuf was born to Azerbaijani parents in Tehran, Iran in 1980. However, despite his Iranian and Azerbaijani roots, Sami Yusuf was raised in the UK and identifies himself with his country of upbringing.
On a recent visit to Azerbaijan and Iran he experienced a sense of dislocation from a region in which he was not raised.
Sami Yusuf is a great musician and has been blessed with many qualities and talents. His music is primarily devotional and inspirational muslim / islamic music and for this reason, his following is primarily from amongst muslims. This following is not limited to either the UK or Iran. Instead, Sami Yusuf is celebrated on an international stage and his music bridges both western and non western audiences. Although Sami Yusuf primarily focuses on devotional music, his intention is not to limit his music to a muslim audience only. His music should touch the hearts of muslims and non muslims alike. In particular, other religiously oriented individuals – whether from Tehran, in Iran, or from London in the UK are likely to find great inspiration in the beauty of Sami Yusuf’s songs.
As with a number of Muslims however, who seek to express the devotions in the universal language of music, Sami Yusuf has been condemned by a small minority of muslims who believe that music is forbidden in Islam or ‘haram’. Many however, would argue that a medium used to bring religion to people and to inspire them with love of God and their environment is nothing but a positive thing. Many parents of both muslim children and children of other religious persuasions would undoubtedly prefer their children to sing the lyrics of Sami Yusuf’s songs (such as ‘Hasbi Rabbi’, translating to ‘my Lord is Sufficient’ as opposed to songs focused on more questionable activities prevalent in today’s society.