When Cat Stevens Became Yusuf Islam and Left It All Behind

A Father and Son Conversation

The song Father and Son, from the 1970 album Tea for Tillerman, is one of Cat Stevens’ most notable songs. And over five decades later, the father and his son collaborated on the album’s second version, Tea for the Tillerman2.

A dated portrait of Cat Stevens.
Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images

Father and Son is a conversation between a young man and his father, debating the philosophical question: should one seek to change the world or make do with what he has. Cat Stevens – now Yusuf Islam – chose the first option, which is why he left it all behind in the name of religion and spirituality.