News ID: 7807
Publish Date: 22 August 2012 - 16:40
Jonathan Yusuf Ali, the American Singer, who has experienced atheism, Christianity and Buddhism, talks about his experience of getting acquainted with Islam and his interest toward this religion.
According to BarackObama.ir, Jonathan Yusuf Ali is a phenomenon. His life is no less strange than that of Sean Ali Stone. The only surprise in the life of Ali is not his pleasant songs or the "Ya Hossein" label on his guitar but even stranger than that is his long path of life in the maze of different schools of thought.



According to him, he is not born Muslim but rather, as he asserts, he has started his life as an atheist and in some parts of his life he has lived according to the Buddha's teachings but he states that eventually he reaches a point where he concludes that none of these paths would result in the human salvation and starts to seek the truth from the beginning.
If you know some people who have adopted a lifestyle of an atheist or are intoxicated with seemingly humanistic theses of Buddhism, they are recommended to read this interesting conversation.
Jonathan Yusuf Ali, who spoke with BarackObama.ir during an interview talks about his own personal life:

 I was not born Muslim. My father, who is a Caucasian (white) American comes from a Christian background but is/was not a devout or practicing one. My mother is from South Korea and doesn't really have a religious background. Neither or my parents ever spoke to me about religion or beliefs when I was a child. We did go to church sometimes, but not consistently. My parents were divorced when I was 7 years old. For the rest of my childhood, I lived with my father and my stepmother and visited my mother only once or twice a year.

This American singer, referring to his childish attempt to get the truth says: When I was about 10 years old, I began wondering about life in a general way and began to have a sense of emptiness and meaninglessness. These feelings increased through my teenage years and I remember asking myself one day whether or not I believed in God.

Song about Bahrain revolution, written and performed by Jonathan Yusuf Ali

Jonathan pointed out the hypothesis that he had hold during his teenage years and added that: I was probably 14 or 15 years old and I remember deciding, "No, I don't believe in God." Through my teenage years, I was an atheist and I openly criticized religious beliefs as being false and like believing in fairy tales or Santa Claus.

He says regarding the Buddha School that: My views towards religion began softening slightly as I read more, especially philosophical literature. I was especially attracted (like many westerners) to the ideas of Zen Buddhism, although I never went beyond reading some books about it. It's a really long story, but eventually I arrived at a crisis point in my life (I was 22-24 years old) and I found myself considering the existence of God again. This time I decided that there was a good enough possibility that He existed that I should assume that He does exist. I tried to pray somehow for guidance.

Jonathan Yusuf Ali by taking a comparison between Christianity and Islam says: After believing in God, I felt that I should follow a religion in order to know how to put my belief into action. The first and most obvious choice was Christianity, but I'd always felt that it was shallow and full of contradictions and that Christians were largely hypocrites. I never considered Islam until I learned a little about it in a World History class in college and I met a couple of Muslims on campus who happened to be Shia. I soon accepted Islam and went to the local Shia Islamic center in the Dallas, TX area and there I met Hujjatul-Islam Sheikh Shamshad Haider, who was the resident 'alim of the community. Over the next several years, I learned more and more, especially through the guidance of Sheikh Shamshad and grew stronger in faith.

Song about Imam Mahdi the savior of humanity, by Jonathan Yusuf Ali

This American singer, referring to the way he was married says: Meanwhile I got married to a Shia sister who grew up in the US but her family is originally from Pakistan, and we now have 3 children: two daughters (7yrs and 6yrs) and one son (3yrs old). Alhamdulillah. I'm currently 35 years old.

About his music career he said: My work in music is only a hobby actually. I was inspired by the need for western-style Islamic (especially Shia) artistic expression. My full time profession over the past eight years has been teaching at a local high school. I taught English (literature, writing, etc.) to 11th and 12th grade students. This year I've resigned from teaching to study full time at a 2year pre-Hawza program in Florida. After that, I hope to study in Qom, inshaallah.

I heard about the popular uprising in Bahrain and wanted to write a song in solidarity with those who were standing up for their rights and dignity against the oppressors. I don't know if many people in Bahrain have actually heard the song, except for one or two comments left on the Youtube video. I pray that the song had some (even if tiny) positive effect.

Jonathan Yusuf Ali also referred to his recent visit to Iran, which he holds as "one of his best life experiences" and says: Visiting Iran was one of the best experiences of my life. I expected and experienced some cultural differences and inconveniences, but any negatives were vastly outweighed by the opportunity to visit the shrines of Imam Raza (as) and Bibi Masooma (sa) and to spend time in Mashhad and Qom.

And in the end this American singer adds: The best thing about my trip to Iran was knowing that I was in a country that is under the wilayat of such a great and wise leader as Imam Khamanei (ha).

Jonathan’s Facebook profile and his website contains his videos and also there are two links here and here that can give you access to his music videos.
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